Comics Alternative, On Location: The April Visit to Valhalla Games and Comics

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Catching Up

As he tries to do every month, Derek visits his local shop, Valhalla Games and Comics in Plano, TX, to talk with customers and employees about what they’re reading, what they’re looking forward to, and what interests them in current comics culture. For April the topic is open, so anything goes…and the resulting conversation is free-floating and casual. Among the topics that come up are local conventions, Bones of the Coast from Cloudscape Comics, getting caught up with the Marvel Universe on Netflix, Astro City, Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name, the return of Rat Queens, Kyle Starks’s Rock Candy Mountain, the convoluted world of Love and Rockets, the new Anne Hathaway movie Colossal, and speculations on how (and if) comics creators will eventually work Donald Trump into their stories.

Comics Alternative, On Location: The January Visit to Valhalla Games and Comics

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Touch the Weird Love

It’s the beginning of a new year, and on this episode of the on-location series, Derek is back at Valhalla Games and Comics to talk with customers and employees about the comics they’re looking forward to in the coming months. He’s joined by a couple of the regulars, Craig and Nick, as well as employees Stephanie and Freddy. Among the titles folks are anticipating in 2017 are The Unstoppable WaspHighlander: The American DreamJustice League of America, Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern, Hatchet, more Head LopperBlack History in Its Own WordsPsychodrama Illustrated, and the new Rat Queens. But the guys at the shop don’t stop there. They also discuss other comics-related media, films and television series, that are planned for this year.

 

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Zone 4 #326: Firebird? Really?! (Plus Doctor Strange & Daredevil!)

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The Zone 4 crew returns for a special holiday edition of the show! They share what they’re thankful for in the world of comics, talk headlines, and discuss Doctor Strange and Daredevil Season 1!

Plus, some hilarious outtakes with potential plans for a future episode!

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Black Friday Sale Extended!!!

Comics Alternative, On Location: The August Visit to Collected Comics and Games

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New Voices

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This month for the on-location recording at Collected Comics and Games in Plano, TX, the discussion table is rather crowded. Derek is joined by many of the regular Collected customers — Craig, Matt, and Nick — but joining the conversation for the first time are Tristan, Chris, and Carrie, as well as Brian, the shop’s newest associate. The talk begins with Craig’s recounting of his own experiences at this year’s San Diego Comic-Com, but then it segues into a discussion of recent comics that folks have been reading. Some of those titles include Grant Morrison’s KlausDivinity IIBlack HammerBackstagersGiant Days, Voltron Legendary DefenderFight Club 2Black PantherWonder Woman, and various Brian K. Vaughan titles.  They also discuss several comics-related Netflix shows, DC’s upcoming Young Animal series, and writers in other media who have tried their hands in comics. Needless to say, this is a packed episode with a full table of participants and plenty of topics to go around.

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Comics Alternative, On Location: The July Visit to Collected Comics and Games

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Summertime, and the Readin’ Is Easy

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Derek is back at his local shop, Collected Comics and Games in Plano, TX, to talk with customers and shop employees about the comics they’re reading. And for the month of July, the topic of conversation is summer reading. Many of the shop regulars are there, and store manager Sabrina and her associate, Stephanie, join in the discussion, as well. The conversation begins with DC Comics’ Rebirth titles and how the quality of those stories are resonating with the gang (most of which are Marvel die-hards). That discussion leads to talk about the seemingly endless string of Big Two events and how even publishers such as IDW are seeing the need to create crossover events of their own. Other summer reading for the Collected gang includes How to Talk to Girls at Parties, Jade Street Protection Services, BountyThrowawaysAction Man, and Heathen (which was discussed in May’s on-location episode). In addition, Sabrina also gives her take on some of the early releases she gets to read as shop manager — e.g., Briggs Land and Black Hammer — and Derek is appalled that at least one dedicated shop customer doesn’t even know what Fables is. As is usual with the monthly on-location episodes, there’s a lot of fun talk about a wide variety of comics, something to pique the interest of any Comics Alternative listener.

Much thanks to Freddy Ruiz for taking pictures!

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On Location: Anticipating the New Year at Collected Comics

New Stuff for the New Year

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CollectedJan2015-1It’s a new month — and a new year! — so Derek is back at his local shop, Collected in Plano, for another on-location episode of the podcast. This time he’s joined by Collected regulars Shea, Nick, Matt, and Craig, and the discussion topic is “Comics in the New Year.” Everyone brings up the various titles, events, and pop cultural phenomenon they are looking forward to in 2015. For some, it is the wrap up of currently ongoing series and storylines, particularly Fables and Spider-Verse; the occasion of a crossover event, such as Marvel’s new Secret Wars or DC’s CollectedJan2015-2Convergence (although there doesn’t seem to be a lot of love for DC at this gathering); the publication of eagerly awaited graphic novels and trade collections (e.g., Harlan Ellison’s City on the Edge of Forever and Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor); announcements of brand new series; comics that were held over from 2014, such as Pascin and the latest volume of Love and Rockets: New Stories; and the new movies and television shows surrounding comics culture. As always, it’s a fun discussion with these guys. And once again, the Two Guys thank the great folks at Collected for letting them come by every month!

This episode’s music is brought to you by
the Soundtrack to Night on Earth

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12 Days of Zone 4 – Day 12: 2014 in Review

As I wrap up things with Day 12 of the 12 Days of Zone 4, I reflect on the year of 2014. I discuss movies, comics and other life events that stood out to me personally throughout the year, and I look forward a bit on what’s to come in 2015.

Thank you to everyone who listened to and (hopefully) enjoyed the 12 Days of Zone 4! And thank you for all your support for Zone 4 throughout the years and going forward.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Deconstructing Comics #280: Comics for Kids! No, really!

While comics continue to register in the American consciousness as being inherently “for kids”, conversely, the “Wednesday stack” crowd wring their collective hands about an apparent lack of comics readers under the voting age. There are comics out there for kids, but where can you find them? And, is anyone reading them?

Tim investigates these questions and more, with three guests: Buddy Scalera, author of Comics from Start to Finish and now a writer on the new Richie Rich title; Rashad Doucet, creator of My Dog is a Superhero; and Brent Erwin, Co-Publisher and General Partner at APE Entertainment.

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Deconstructing Comics #218: The ups and downs of downloading

Is having your work illegally downloaded the worst thing that can happen to a comics artist? If you work for a major, perhaps not, but every download can have a noticeable effect when you’re trying to make a living drawing comics that are less widely purchased. One such freelancer, Jake Ekiss of Dallas, Texas, joins Tim and Mulele to talk about the prevelance of comics downloading and the feeling among many struggling comics artists that their time and effort are undervalued. What about those downloaders who later buy? What about those who download because they can’t afford the product?