Comics Alternative Interviews: Liz Prince

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 – Introduction
  • 00:02:02 – Setup of interview
  • 00:03:13 – Interview with Liz Prince
  • 01:16:24 – Wrap up
  • 01:18:11 – Contact us

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Woods Porn

On this interview episode, Sterg talks with Liz Prince about her latest books, Look Back and Laugh (Top Shelf Productions) and the colorized Be Your Own Backing Band (Silver Sprocket), as well as several of her past publications. Over the course of the conversation, Sterg talks with Liz about self publishing, writing for certain age-appropriate audiences, the influences of music, her international reach, as well as many of her previous works.

Comics Alternative Interviews: Back with Nate Powell

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:23 – Introduction
  • 00:02:38 – Setup of interview
  • 00:04:02 – Interview with Nate Powell
  • 01:19:33 – Wrap up
  • 01:22:26 – Contact us

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Coming (Back) Again

Paul and Derek are pleased to have Nate Powell back on the show. This time they talk with him about his new book Come Again, just released from Top Shelf Productions. They discuss the genesis of this project, the significance of the story’s setting, the unsteady balance between needs for personal isolation and the importance of community, and the narrative’s forays into the fantastic. Yet they also talk about several of Nate’s other works, including March, Swallow Me Whole, Any Empire, and Sounds of Your Name. But what comes out over the entire course of the conversation is the kind of fun these three guys have talking together. Can’t you just hear it?

Comics Alternative Interviews: Erin Nations

Time Codes:

  • 00:24 – Introduction
  • 02:16 – Setup of interview
  • 03:40 – Interview with Erin Nations
  • 51:50 – Wrap up
  • 52:14 – Contact us

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Illustrating the Self

In December of 2016, Top Shelf Productions published the first issue of Erin Nations’s Gumballs, the one of four issues that would be released over the course of the following year. This quarterly ran as a one-personal anthology, a collection of stories and observations, many of which were autobiographical in nature. Gumballs stood out among its peers in that it recalled the kind of comic books we used to get from other alternative creators such as Seth, Daniel Clowes, and Chris Ware. Now those creators have turned to the “graphic novel” or book form, and it’s a rarity that we get a comic book like this, making Gumballs stand out as a title of note. Now those four issues have been collected as a trade, one that has just been made available in the direct market and next week will be out for wider release.  In this interview, Derek talks with Erin Nations about the genesis of his Gumballs series, his thoughts on being an autobiographical cartoonist, how he uses comics to chronicle his transitioning, and the various tones he strikes among the many stories contained within his series.

Comics Alternative for Young Readers: A Discussion of the Nominees for the 2018 Eisner Awards for the Early Readers, Kids, and Teens Categories

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:31 – Introduction
  • 00:03:19 – Setup of the discussion
  • 00:05:04 – Nominees in the Best Publication for Early Readers category 
  • 00:51:47 – Nominees in the Best Publication for Kids category
  • 01:31:45 – Nominees in the Best Publication for Teens category
  • 02:20:32 – Wrap up
  • 02:26:03 – Contact us

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Putting on the Evening Gown and Tuxedo

On this episode of the Comics Alternative Young Readers Show, Gwen and Paul detail the three categories of the Eisner Awards that focus on children and teens:

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9–12)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

  • The Dam Keeperby Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi (First Second/Tonko House)
  • Jane, by Aline Brosh McKenna and Ramón K. Pérez (Archaia)
  • Louis Undercover, by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault, translated by Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi)
  • Monstressby Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image)
  • Spinningby Tillie Walden (First Second)

In addition to reviewing each nominated text, the duo refers listeners to The Comics Alternative archives for the shows that reference these nominees: Good Night, Planet by Liniers; Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez; The Dam Keeper by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi; and Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda.

Paul and Gwen use this episode to launch a general discussion of age designations and categorization of children’s and YA comics, and they reference the art of Bolivian painter and lithographer Graciela Rodo Boulanger, whose depiction of children resembles that found in Campbell Whyte’s Home Time. So, won’t you pour yourself a chilly beverage, kick back, and give a listen to the two PhDs — more on Paul’s recent doctoral graduation from University of California-Berkeley will appear in the June podcast — for a rundown of this year’s Eisner nominees.

Comics Alternative Interviews: Dave Calver

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 – Introduction
  • 00:02:22 – Setup of interview
  • 00:03:42 – Interview with Dave Calver
  • 01:01:31 – Wrap up
  • 01:02:25 – Contact us

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“Concentrating on the worms”

Derek talks with Dave Calver about his new book Limbo Lounge. This is his first graphic novel, and it’s a first for IDW Publishing, a joint effort between two of its imprints, Yoe Books and Top Shelf Productions. Over the course of their conversation, the two discuss the origins of this project, the author’s effective use of coloring as a narrative tool, the surreal and tonally ambiguous nature of the work, how Dave’s background as an illustrator informed his storytelling, and where his efforts, largely inspired by Limbo Lounge, are taking him now.

Episode 265: Reviews of The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head, Days of Hate #1, and Vinegar Teeth # 1

Time Codes:

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Darkness, Cthulhu, and the Alt-Right

On this week’s review episode, Gene and Derek discuss recent titles that are quite varied in tone and narrative approach. They begin with  David Gaffney and Dan Berry’s The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head (Top Shelf/IDW Publishing). This is a somewhat surreal, and dark, look at a young woman and her various relationships with men. The memories of these encounters are something she apparently cannot let go of, and this is represented deftly through the metaphor of rooms and psychological compartmentalization. The guys like the fact that the story ends ambiguously — and with happy elves, no less! — but they’re not too sure what to make of the sudden shift in point of view about two thirds of the way through.

The Two Guys follow this with a very timely new title. Days of Hate #1, written by Aleš Kot and with art by Danijel Žeželj (Image Comics), is set in the year 2022, a time after some sort of civil war takes place in the US — we’re not sure yet of the details surrounding this conflict — and it apparently has resulted, or perhaps even caused by, the rise of extremist or alt-right groups in America. In this inaugural installment, we’re introduced to several characters on various ends of the political spectrum, some of which have intermingled and contentious pasts. There are many questions set up and left unanswered in this first issue, but that doesn’t detract from the intrigue and motivation to continue on with the series.

And what better way to follow up a story on the alt-right than a discussion of monstrous Lovecraftian mayhem? This is exactly what you’ll find in Damon Gentry and Troy Nixey’s Vinegar Teeth #1 (Dark Horse Comics).It’s a strange and wacky tale revolving around a schmucky, but effective, cop named Artie Buckle. An undercover assignment he’s on is almost ruined when a Cthulhu-like creature pierces his world’s dimension, with the unlikely result that the city’s mayor makes this creature a police officer and assigns him as Artie’s partner. What transpires is the beginning of a weird buddy cop story with interdimensional, and narratively warped, potential.

Comic News Insider Episode 782 – The Not Ready for SDCC Players!

Comic News Insider: Episode 782 is now available for free download! Click on the link or get it through iTunes! Sponsored by Dynamic Forces.

Reviews: Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe Again #1, Diablo House #1, Green Hornet 66 Meets The Spirit #1, Rick and Morty: Pocket Like You Stole It #1, Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, Spider-Man: Homecoming

Jon Hoche joins Jimmy in the co-host chair again this week! Jimmy is madly prepping for San Diego Comic Con and has so much to do! News includes: Harley/Ivy will meet Betty/Veronica, Frank Miller is doing a 300 prequel, Marvel’s New Warriors is cast with Milana Vayntrub as Squirrel Girl, The Umbrella Academy live action series is coming to Netflix, Titan Comics is publishing an illustrated adaptation of The Beatles’ animated film Yellow Submarine, Michael Jackson’s Halloween will be an hour long animated special  this October on CBS, and more! Leave your iTunes comments! 5 stars and nothing but love! Also, get a hold of us!

Thanks for listening!

Comics Alternative Interviews: Matt Kindt

Listen to the podcast!

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 – Introduction
  • 00:02:35 – Setup of interview
  • 00:04:57 – Interview with Matt Kindt
  • 01:33:07 – Wrap up
  • 01:34:37 – Contact us

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“What if you set a book on fire?”

Andy and Derek welcome Matt Kindt to the podcast to discuss Grass Kings, published through BOOM! Studios, his two current ongoing series from Dark Horse Comics, Dept. H and Ether, and his voluminous work for Valiant Comics. The guys have been wanting to get Matt on the show for years, so this interview is a long time in coming. And the conversation is quite substantive. Among other topics, they discuss the geneses of these recent series; Matt’s strategies for juggling multiple storylines at once; his collaborations with Tyler Jenkins (on Grass Kings), David Rubín (Ether), and Brian Hurtt (Poppy! and the Lost Lagoon); the many titles he has written for Valiant Comics; his love of genre storytelling; the unique way he “signs” certain books at cons; and his creative direction after the groundbreaking Mind MGMT. This has to be one of the most prolific creators the guys have ever had on The Comics Alternative, and they come nowhere near covering all of the topics they wanted to discuss with Matt. But this is all the more reason to have him back on the show in the not-too-distant future.

Comics Alternative Interviews: James Albon

Listen to the podcast!

Time Codes:

  • 00:25 – Introduction
  • 02:31 – Setup of interview
  • 03:32 – Interview with James Albon
  • 57:35 – Wrap up
  • 58:31 – Contact us

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Canine Romance

On this interview episode Derek has the pleasure of talking with James Albon, whose new book Her Bark and Her Bite comes out this week from Top Shelf Productions. James is British artist whose illustrations have appeared in The GuardianThe Wall Street JournalWIRED, the New StatesmanThe Diplomat, The Financial Times, and various publications from the Folio Society. Her Bark and Her Bite is his first graphic novel, and much of the conversation is devoted to this fact and how his work as a professional illustrator informs his graphic storytelling. The book can be described as a romantic comedy, where its protagonist artist figure, Rebecca, moves to the big city and meets Victor, a gregarious and flamboyant socialite with whom she quickly becomes smitten. Complications arise when Victor receives a young dog as a gift, and the canine becomes an unwitting rival to Rebecca’s affections. What follows is a series of faux pas and inanities that pits social acceptance against personal expression. In this interview, James shares the genesis of his narrative, its links to his own life experiences, and why fiction was the perfect platform for his inaugural long-form comic.

Comics Alternative Interviews: Nate Powell and Andrew Aydin

Listen to the podcast!

The Pen and Government Man

Powell-Aydin-banner

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:25 – Introduction
  • 00:02:42 – Setup of interview
  • 00:03:56 – Interview with Nate Powell
  • 01:10:11 – Interview with Andrew Aydin
  • 02:12:26 – Wrap up
  • 02:13:57 – Contact us

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On this interview show, Andy and Derek do something different. They talk with both Nate Powell and Andrew Aydin, the artist and coauthor of the recently completed March trilogy (Top Shelf Productions), but instead of interviewing both creators together, the guys talk with them separately and then combine the two recordings into one long episode. So in this show, over two hours and fifteen minutes long, you’ll hear about the genesis and the creative turns that went into the March books from both the artist’s and the writer’s perspectives. Nate and Andrew also discuss their time working with Congressman John Lewis, his wealth of experiences from the Civil Rights Movement, and the creative choices that each of them had to make when representing those events. For example, Nate explains the challenges that faced him when illustrating the unspeakable violence, and Andrew describes his strategies for scripting the chronology of the congressman’s young life. Both guests also share a few words about current projects they have underway and what we can expect from them post-March.

March3-interior

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Deconstructing Comics #322: Harvey Pekar’s “Cleveland”

Harvey Pekar's ClevelandHarvey Pekar’s latest (posthumously published, but perhaps not his final work) is “Cleveland”, telling the story of Pekar’s hometown and his place in it. While perhaps lacking in some of Pekar’s strong points, it’s nonetheless a compelling read. Joseph Remnant’s art is by and large a great take on Pekar’s vision. Tim and Kumar discuss.

Comics Reporter interview with Joseph Remnant

Deconstructing Comics site

Follow Tim on Twitter | Facebook group

#289 Putting your stuff out there!!

self promotionPart of being a creator is promoting your work. But among all the other creators promoting their own work, how can you make yours stand out? (Aside, of course, from making your work really good!)

This week Tim talks with three creators who have found a variety of ways to promote their comics: Ed Luce, whose merchandising of his self-published Wuvable Oaf comics has helped to pay the bills; Reed Greenfield, who appears at conventions dressed as his character; and Jess Smart Smiley, who has a book coming from Top Shelf this fall, and is in the midst of a campaign to be invited onto — well, listen to the podcast and find out…

Deconstructing Comics site

Follow Tim on Twitter | Facebook group

 

Comic Book Outsiders Episode 41

In this episode we start with some news and reviews, talking over some recent comics and the end of one of our favourite shows, BattleStar Galactica. It’s a spoiler free review as I hadn’t seen it at the time.

Our main feature is an interview with Chris Staros the Publisher of Top Shelf Productions, and until recently the President of the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund. We talk about some of the great graphic novels Top Shelf have put out in the past, what he has coming up this year including the third graphic novel in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series – Century, his convention schedule, working for the CBLDF, and working with Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie on Lost Girls.

Finally, one episode late, we finish off with our first Book Club selection – The Winter King. Scott and Steve talk in depth about the story, the characters, the mythology and history of the book and how the author Bernard Cornwell weaves fact and fiction together. We have feedback from members of our forum and at the end of our discussion an audio review from Heath Holland, a friend and co-host of Geek Brunch. We also announce what our next selection will be for the Book Club.

This episode is a big one, but we’ll be back next week as usual with another one.