Comics Alternative Interviews: Leela Corman

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Trauma, Bellydancing, and Eurovision

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:25 – Introduction
  • 00:02:07 – Setup of interview
  • 00:03:01 – Interview with Leela Corman
  • 01:06:25 – Wrap up
  • 01:07:25 – Contact us

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On this interview show, Andy and Derek have the pleasure of talking with Leela Corman. Her latest book, We All Wish for Deadly Force, was just recently released by Retrofit/Big Planet Comics, and it’s a collection of shorter comics spanning a wide range of topic and tone. These pieces have previously appeared in such publications as The NibTabletWomen’s Review of Books, and Nautilus, and the guys begin by asking Leela about her work with these magazines. As both Derek and Andy point out, the comics in this collection fall into one of three main (and, at times, interconnected) categories: stories addressing the loss of her first daughter, Rosalie; those focusing on Leela’s family and her Jewish roots; and tales involving bellydancing, one of Leela’s passions. Indeed, the loss of Rosalie arguably pervades this entire collection in some form or another — see the guys’ earlier interview with Leela’s husband Tom Hart for more on this topic — and the guys talk with Leela about the role that art can play in dealing with trauma. But there are also lighter moments in this collection, such as the occasional comedy found in Leela’s Jewishness as well as her exercise in live drawing the Eurovision song contest. The guys also take the opportunity to talk with their guest about her earlier works, such as Unterzakhn and Queen’s Day, and her upcoming fictional narrative set in the 1940s.

Learn more about Leela at her website!

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Tom Hart

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Circles

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Gene and Derek start off the week presenting a powerful interview with Tom Hart. His new book, Rosalie Lightning: A Graphic Memoir, is being released this week from St. Martin’s Press, and it’s an honest and heartrending work. It chronicles the days following the unexpected death of Tom’s daughter, Rosalie, as he and his wife anguished over the loss and tried to make sense of RL-Coverwhat had happened. In addition to their grief and feelings of emptiness, they also had to continue struggling with the frustrations of the mundane, such as trying to sell their apartment in New York. It’s a story about putting the pieces of your life back together, reflected in large part through the structure of Tom’s narrative. Gene notes the images that bind the scenes together, such as the visual prominence of circles, and Derek believes the Rosalie Lightning reads much like poetry with its associative, non-linear linking of emotions and memories. The guys also use the opportunity to talk with Tom about his other work, such as his Hutch Owen comics and his educational efforts. In fact, they talk a good deal about the Sequential Artists Workshop that Tom founded in 2012 in Gainesville, Florida, as well as the online course he offers on graphic memoir writing…an endeavor that largely grew out of his own experiences documenting his loss. As the guys point out in this episode, Rosalie Lightning an important new book from Tom, one that is sure to resonate beyond the comics and graphic novels community of readers.

To find out more about Tom’s work, visit his website. And also check out the Sequential Artists Workshop.

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Comics Alternative Podcast Episode 81: Reviews of Hidden, Genesis, and World War 3 Illustrated #45

Destruction, Death, and the Holocaust…an Uplifting Show!

HiddenThis week on The Comics Alternative, Derek and Gene put on their happy faces to review three titles concerned with the positive and uplifting sides of life. First, they go through Loïc Dauvillier and Marc Lizano’s Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust (First Second), a new graphic novel focusing on genocide. A translation of the 2012 French album, L’enfant cachée, this is the story of a survivor telling her young granddaughter the traumas she underwent in 1940s France. Perhaps even more significantly, it’s a story about hiding: hiding from Genesisterror, hiding who you are, hiding your experiences, and hiding from your family. Among other facets of the book, the guys focus on the possible audience assumptions with this story, how it’s crafted for younger readers while at the same time having an all-age appeal. Next, they turn to Genesis (Image Comics), the new one-shot from Nathan Edmondson and Alison Sampson. Gene is uncertain about the issue, feeling that the story reaches for a deeper significance that it never really earns. Derek is a little more positive, arguing that Sampson’s intriguing (and at times, surreal) art goes a long way in carrying the weight of this quasi-parable. The story has everything to do with death and destruction…much like Hidden, and much like the next title that the Two Guys review. The latest issue of World War 3 Illustrated WW3cover(distributed through Top Shelf Productions), #45, is described by editors Peter Kuper and Scott Cunningham as “the death issue.” All of the 31 contributions to this anthology have something to do with death, whether it be the passing of a family member, the “death” of an idea or identity, coming to terms with the end of life, or the presence of death in art and literature. As Derek and Gene discuss, some of the most moving, and most notable, pieces in this latest issue of World War 3 Illustrated include comics by Kuper, Rosalie Lightning and Tom Hart, Hayley Gold, Seth Tobocman, Sandy Jimenez, and Kevin C. Pyle. The tone of the comics discussed in this episode may be dark or heavy, but the stories are all fascinatingly told and well worth reading.

This episode’s incidental music is brought to us by
Elvis Costello’s Blood and Chocolate

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