Comics Alternative Interviews: Back with Howard Shapiro

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 – Introduction
  • 00:02:22 – Setup of interview
  • 00:03:58 – Interview with Howard Shapiro
  • 01:06:33 – Wrap up
  • 01:07:06 – Contact us

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Nazis in the Bathroom Just below the Stairs

A common theme in Howard Shapiro’s stories is the significance of music. His first graphic novel, The Sterotypical Freaks, revolved around competing high school bands and how that competition and their dedication to the music defined each member’s life. In his latest book, Queen of Kenosha (Animal Media Group), music once again takes center narrative state. It’s the story of young singer-songwriter from Wisconsin, Nina Overstreet, who comes to New York City in the early 1960s to make it on the folk scene. What she unexpectedly finds is espionage and ideological conspiracy. Whereas in his earlier Forever Friends series of graphic novels Howard wedded music to hockey as the backdrop for his stories, here in Queen of Kenosha — the first book in what he’s calling The Thin Thinline Trilogy — he uses music within the context of geopolitical intrigue. In this conversation, Derek talks with Howard about the impetus behind his latest project, the importance of music to his storytelling, the kind of research he conducted to set the historical stage, and his plans for following up on his songwriting protagonist. Howard was on the podcast a couple of years ago when Hockey Karma was released, and it was nice to touch base with him again and discuss his subsequent work.

Comics Alternative Interviews: Howard Shapiro

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Time Codes:

  • 00:24 – Introduction
  • 02:21 – Setup of interview
  • 04:03 – Interview with Howard Shapiro
  • 53:00 – Wrap up
  • 54:05 – Contact us

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On this interview show, Gwen and Derek have the pleasure of talking with Howard Shapiro. The latest book in his Forever Friends Series, Hockey Karma, was just released last week from the Animal Media Group. The two talk with their guest about the series as a whole — including the two previous graphic novels The Stereotypical Freaks (2013) and The Hockey Saint (2014) — but specifically focus on the most recent work. Howard discusses the role that music plays in his books, which in many ways goes hand-in-hand with the premise of most of this narratives: hockey. He explains that while Hockey Karma (and The Hockey Saint) is centered on the sport, its themes transcend the ice rink. The Forever Friends Series is all about the struggles of growing up and finding your place, appropriate reading for young readers who will empathize with the books’ protagonists.

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