Comics Alternative Interviews: Joseph Remnant

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 – Introduction
  • 00:02:33 – Setup of interview
  • 00:03:45 – Interview with Joseph Remnant
  • 01:18:05 – Wrap up
  • 01:19:38 – Contact us

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Growth

Derek is pleased to have Joseph Remnant on the podcast. His new book, Cartoon Clouds, was released last month from Fantagraphics. This is a graphic novel in the truest sense, a work of fiction that explores the nuances of relationships, defining yourself, and growing apart from those with whom you were once close. As Joseph reveals, this is a narrative that began in serial installments on a website he once maintained with Noah Van Sciver, but it soon developed into something more complex and ambitious. Most of the interview is devoted to Cartoon Clouds, but Derek also asks his guest about his comic-book series Blindspot and his illustration work with Harvey Pekar. Along the way Joseph talks about his contribution in the upcoming second issue of Now, and he hints at some of the new work he currently has underway.

Joseph will be at CAB, Comic Arts Brooklyn, this coming weekend. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and tell him hello and that you heard him on The Comics Alternative!

Comics Alternative, Episode 223: Reviews of Trump: The Complete Collection, The Few #1, and Gumballs #1

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Bad Trump, Good Trump

Time Codes:

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This week the Two Guys with PhDs start off by getting political. While some listeners might not like it when Andy and Derek become polemical on the podcast, the guys just had to speak out about the brouhaha surrounding Congressman John Lewis’s recent comments on Trump’s illegitimacy. The Two Guys stand with Representative Lewis, a man of courage, honor, and action. And it’s heartening that copies of March are selling out all over the place!

But enough of the bad Trump. The guys find more serious another entity of that name, this one orchestrated by the legendary Harvey Kurtzman. Trump: The Complete Collection is the second volume in Dark Horse’s Essential Kurtzman series. This beautiful hardbound edition collects the only two issues of Trump ever published, as well as the many never-before reproduced illustrations from what would have been the third issue of the magazine, had Hugh Hefner not pulled the plug. Both Andy and Derek appreciate the collection — especially Denis Kitchen’s outstanding essay and annotations! — and while some of the humor appears dated (or even falls flat at times), this text stands out as an indispensable historical contribution.

After that Derek and Andy check out two recent #1 issues, Sean Lewis and Hayden Sherman’s The Few (Image Comics) and Erin Nations’s Gumballs (Top Shelf/IDW Publishing). The former is a leisurely paced and extra-long issue centered around a future where the United States is now a fractured territory due to water scarcities (at least the guys think this is the series’ premise). Sherman’s art stands out here. And Gumballs is a single-creator anthology that’s a mix of autobiographical sketches, character portraits, and poignant cultural observations. The guys look forward to seeing what transpires in both of these series.

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Koren Shadmi

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Getting Personal

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On this interview episode Derek has the pleasure of talking with Koren Shadmi. His latest book, Love Addict: Confessions of a Serial Dater was released last month from Top Shelf Productions. They begin the conversation by discussing the genesis of this semi-autobiographical project and Koren’s own experiences on singles dating websites. He describes the challenge of making his protagonist, K., both identifiable and problematic, all the while walking a fine line between authenticity and potential charges of misogyny. But they also discuss Koren’s other works, including his experimental story collection, In the Flesh, and his webcomic-turned-book, The Abaddon. Koren also discusses his latest webcomic on the Vice channel, Motherboard, and his plans for future projects. Derek also asks his guest about last year’s Mike’s Place: A True Story of Love, Blues, and Terror in Tel Aviv, his own Israeli roots, and his thoughts on being identified (and perhaps pigeonholed) as a Jewish or Israeli cartoonist.

Be sure to visit Koren’s website!

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Benjamin Frisch

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“Family,” Not “Home”

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For this interview show, Gwen and Derek talk with Benjamin Frisch about his new book from Top Shelf Productions, The Fun Family. In many ways, this is a parody of Bil and Jeff Keane’s The Family Circus. The narrative concerns the family life of beloved cartoonist Robert Fun and chronicles the threads of FunFamily-coverdomesticity as everything begins to unravel. Fun has a strip very much like Keane’s, a family-oriented single-circular-panel daily, but Frisch doesn’t demean the legendary newspaper strip or take it into obscene territory. However, there are dark places where Frisch travels, and that’s much of the fun of this book. Both Gwen and Derek ask their guest about the genesis of his project, his history with newspaper dailies, and his recent experiences in the residency program, La Maison des Auteurs, in Angoulême, France. They also discuss Frisch’s background in sound production and his own work in podcasting, specifically with Jessica Abel (a previous guest) and Out on the Wire. This experience with Benjamin Frisch is yet one more example of the fruitful intersection of comics and podcasting.

 

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Josh Simmons

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Creepy

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The second volume of Josh Simmons’s Jessica Farm was released recently from Fantagraphics, and now the artist takes the time to talk with Derek for another Comics Alternative interview. In the conversation, Josh shares his ideas behind Jessica Farm and the long, involved process of its creation. Beginning in January 2000, he began drawing one page a month with plans for publishing a collection of his efforts every eight years, and then doing all of this over a fifty-year span. What’s more, he plans to reissue the previous volumes of Jessica Farm each time he publishes a current volume. For example, the first installment of Jessica Farm was published in 2008, but Fantagraphic re-released that book, and in a new edition, along with this year’s Jessica Farm, Vol. 2 so that the design of the two books matched. Josh explains that he wants to do this about every eight years so as to offer new editions that will reflect current design and publication practices. As a result, this long and evolving narrative is not just a curious and episodic fantasy tale, but also an exercise in creative process that underscores the materiality of his project.

But the conversation isn’t just limited to Josh’s current work. The guys spend a lot of time talking about last year’s Black River, his 2007 graphic novel House, his early Top Shelf series Happy, and especially his provocative collection The Furry Trap. In fact, Derek spends much of the interview asking Josh about the stories in the latter, most of which have an edge and intensity not found in the longer-form comics. This leads to a conversation on Josh’s different styles of storytelling, short-story versus long-form, and the kind of reactions he’s received on some of his more explicit work. Along the way, Derek educates Josh on Doctor Who, and Josh introduces Derek to a variety of foreign films. A smart and educational conversation all the way ’round!

Visit Josh’s Tumblr site to learn more about his weird world.

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The various forms in which Jessica Farm has been published…so far.

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Deconstructing Comics #098: Craig Thompson’s “Blankets”

BlanketsFLASHBACK! Tim and Brandon cover Craig Thompson’s award-winning Blankets. Also, we got an e-mail from this guy named (ulp) Larry Young…

Originally published October 22, 2007

Deconstructing Comics site

Comics Alternative, Episode 161: A Publisher Spotlight on Top Shelf Productions

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Marvel at the Naked Spine!

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Can it be true? Are the Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics actually doing yet another publisher spotlight? Are they gluttons for punishment? Are their eyeballs going to fall out from all of the reading? Maybe so, but if their orbs do drop out of their heads, they’ll do so while gazing at some of the great books coming out of Top Shelf Productions. In this episode, you’ll hear Andy and Derek talking about the publisher’s summer and fall releases, including:

Before they get into the titles themselves, Derek shares a brief interview he conducted with Chris Staros, the publisher of Top Shelf. They talk about the origins of Top Shelf, the authors who have helped define their line, and their recent acquisition by IDW Publishing. Then, it’s on to the books! The guys begin with a discussion of Eddie Campbell’s Bacchus Omnibus, Vol. 1. This is the first of two behemoth books collecting all of Campbell’s Bacchus stories, complete with the titular god of wine and revelry, Joe Theseus, Hermes, the Stygian Leech, and the guys’ favorite, the Eyeball Kid. After that, Derek and Andy revisit a comic that they first discussed almost two years ago, Chris Sheridan’s Motorcycle Samurai. Back in January of 2014, they looked at the first two issues of the digital series, but this time they focus on the first completed narrative arc. The guys point out some of TopSelfLogothe differences between the two versions, digital and hardcopy, while at the same time highlighting many of he strengths in Sheridan’s storytelling. The next book they cover, Julian Hanshaw’s Tim Ginger, turns out to be one of their favorite books of the year. Both Andy and Derek point out the ambitiousness of this narrative, both thematically and visually, especially given the book’s compressed format. Indeed, Andy wonders if perhaps there was too much that Hanshaw was attempting to take on. Jennifer Hayden’s The Story of My Tits is where they go after that. This is an autobiographic tale of the author’s bout with breast cancer. But the book is much more than a personal cancer narrative. It is also Hayden’s account of her important life relationships, both with her loved ones and with her breasts as they relate to self-image. Next, the Two Guys turn to a completely different kind of book, Troy Little’s adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Like the original, this is a wild ride, and Little’s composition brings out the surreal and even frightening quality of Thompson’s narrative. The guys note that Little does what Ralph Steadman does in his illustrations for the 1972 book, without being derivative in any way, and that this is a more approachable version that Terry Gilliam’s 1998 film. Finally, the guys wrap up with a book that is not yet out but will soon be, Ray Fawkes and Vince Locke’s Junction True. This is a disturbing science fiction tale that doesn’t seem that unrealistic at all. In fact, its thematic focus on body enhancement and media exhibitionism is not too far from the culture in which we currently reside. One could even read Junction True metaphorically as a cautionary tale…or one of contemporary gothic horror.

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Comics Alternative, Episode 137: Reviews of Headspace, You Don’t Say, Lost Property, and Vacancy

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Southern Comfort

On this episode of The Comics Alternative podcast, Derek and Andy W. discuss four new titles. They begin with Ryan K. Lindsay, Eric Zawadzki, and Sebastian Piriz’s Headspace (IDW Publishing). This was originally an eight-issue digital series published by MonkeyBrain Headspacebetween March 2014 and April 2015. A law enforcement officer, Shane, finds himself in a surreal land with no memory of how he got there nor any idea how to leave. He eventually discovers that he is inside the mind of a violent criminal whose brain is being manipulated by the authorities. As the guys point out, this is a psychological thriller as much as it is an astute exercise in world-building. Next, they take an extensive look at Nate Powell’s You Don’t Say (Top Shelf), a collection of seventeen short stories published between 2003 and 2013. For readers who appreciate Powell’s previous works — such as Swallow Me WholeAny EmpireThe Silence of Our Friends, and the first two volumes of March — this is a wonderful opportunity to see the development as well as the full range of the creator. The earlier stories, several of which were part of his first Top Shelf book Release Me, demonstrate Powell’s autobiographical attempts to capture an artist in transition. But the emerging impact of the writer becomes more apparent in the later works YouDontSay1where you can more clearly see some of the characteristics that mark Powell’s style, such as the theme of race relations (often set in the South) and the psychological quality of his storytelling. In fact, Derek points out that in many of Powell’s work, there is a “dreamy” quality where transitions between scenes and even panels are represented in a fluid, and at times ambiguous, manner, reflecting the way in which memory and fantasy allows us to interpret the world. Both Andy and Derek highlight their favorites in this collection, including “Cakewalk” (written by Rachel Bormann), “Bets Are Off,” and the gothic “The Villa at the End of the Road.” These collected stories originally appeared in earlier Powell works, in various anthologies, as part of a CD release, and as self-published installments. Together they demonstrate the sheer force of Powell’s artistry. Finally, the Two Guys look at two recent releases from Nobrow, Andy Poyiadgi’s Lost Property and Jen Lee’s Vacancy. These are both part of the publisher’s unique 17×23 series, a graphic short-story project established to help young creators present their work in a concise and economic format. Lost Property is a brief tale about missing pieces, the various things we have lost Nobrow-LP-Vthroughout our lives — both literal and figurative — and how their rediscovery can help us define who we are. Lee’s comic is an anthropomorphic narrative about the costs of freedom. Simon, a young dog, is neglected by his owners, yearns to venture beyond his backyard fence, and then ventures into the woods with a deer and a raccoon, with mixed results. Both of these short works are beautifully produced — Andy specifically points out Nobrow’s distinguishing coloring — and highly affordable. For a little more than the cost of an ordinary American comic book, you can get a 17×23 publication that is more of a book than a periodical. The guys featured a Publisher Spotlight on Nobrow last year, and there’s certainly a reason that they keep coming back to their publications.

Villa

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Deconstructing Comics #436: Jess Fink

Jess FinkIt’s one thing to have sex with a robot. What if you actually started having feelings for your A.I. S.O.? What if you started preferring the robot to your actual human partner? That’s the situation in Jess Fink‘s sexual, but also romantic and even moving, graphic novel Chester 5000 xyv. Jess discusses the book with Tim in this episode, as well as her sci-fi autobiographical story We Can Fix It, getting a book-jacket blurb from Alan Moore, making comics for kids, and more.

Deconstructing Comics site

Longbox Review Episode 78: Breaking Late News

I go over certain comic book related headlines culled from the last several weeks.

Links:

Please send your comments to longboxreview@gmail.com, leave voicemail at 208-953-1841, or send me a voice message via Speakpipe (or just go to longboxreview.com/feedback/). Please subscribe, rate, and review the show via iTunes.

Thanks for listening!

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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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Deconstructing Comics #401: The Companion “From Hell”!

fromhellcompanionNearly three months ago, way back before “Tim Across America,” Kumar and Dana discussed Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s classic graphic novel “From Hell.” Now they’re back with a discussion of last year’s From Hell Companion, which includes an annotated script and a lot of other behind-the-scenes information, inspiring our guys’ repeated forehead slaps and exclamations of “How come I never noticed THAT bit of symbolism before?”

DCP InTouch:

Deconstructing Comics site

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Feed It Comics #22 – “A Little Closer To Armageddon…”

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I’m not gonna lie, this episode will throw you for a loop. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly and then – as if the ringing in of the new year was a dinner bell for demons – the show was split in twine by unforeseen events! What the hell is Doc Fluxx babbling about? Well you’ll just have to hear for yourself. Considering the details of our week long plunge into a membrane of hell, only to emerge a week later to tell the tale, but with certain limbs missing…

Oh, so we have your curiosity? Then by all means listen to the New Years Episode of Feed It Comics! We talk quite a bit of comics, actually…

Thanks for listening. Be a good chap and review us on itunes or Stitcher it would be incredibly cool of you and it will help us jump up in the standings. Surely you want the whole world to have access to such premium free media! Also, there is a comment section below meant for discussions. Try communicating with us, it may be the best thing you’ve done within hours.

 

Topics we cover:

  • Unfinished Business (Old News)
  • Sandman Movie
  • David Goyer Again
  • New Years!
  • Disaster Strikes
  • Best Series This Year
  • Comics, comics, comics, comics…
  • Sadness

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RSS FEED IT! Music by Doc Fluxx, Guy Lombarto, Some marching band, Ulrich Schnauss, Phaeleh, music from the  Fez Soundtrack and free use junk. If you like the music totally seek it out and buy it. FIND US ON TWITTER: Doctor Fluxx | Brother ShepherdBrother RyeFleur Feed It Comics! VISIT THE ARCHIVES FOR EARLY SHOWS

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Feed It Comics #20 | “The Deadly Foes of Supermen”

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Episode 20! Can you believe it folks? What do we got for you this time, you ask? Well Professor Ryefleur and Doc Fluxx are gonna chew that fat about this and that! You dig?

We talk Gal Godot, and other DC movie and television tomfoolery. We talk A Smidge about how Bryan Singer plans to ruin X-Men as long as possible. We talk about promotions within the ranks here at the ritual chamber. We talk comics, comics, and more comics.

Join us, for we are the Masterpiece Theater of comic book podcasting, and if you don’t listen, you’re basically saying “Hey, I have zero culture and my head is three feet up my posterior!”

Thanks for listening!

Be a good chap and review us on itunes or Stitcher it would be incredibly cool of you and it will help us jump up in the standings. Surely you want the whole world to have access to such premium free media! Also, there is a comment section below meant for discussions. Try communicating with us, it may be the best thing you’ve done within hours.

Topics we cover:

  • Gal Ga-who-now?
  • Green Arrow / The Flash / etc.
  • More news
  • East of West #5
  • Alex & Ada #2
  • The Wake #5
  • Trillium #4
  • Unity #2
  • Manifest Destiny #2
  • aaaand more!

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Music by Doc Fluxx, MF DOOM, music from the  Fez Soundtrack and free use junk. If you like the music totally seek it out and buy it.

FIND US ON TWITTER: Doctor Fluxx | Brother ShepherdBrother RyeFleur Feed It Comics! VISIT THE ARCHIVES FOR EARLY SHOWS

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Feed It Comics #19 – ‘Emotionally Subnormal’ | A Scent by Alan Moore

Episode 19: ‘Emotionally Subnormal’ | A Scent by Alan Moore
This episode is the official introduction of a new member of our mysterious and blessed cult, Brother “The Riff” RyeFluer. Feed It Comics has thus become the flagship podcast of the Rhymes With Geek podcast network Bwahahaha Bwahahaaha Bwhahahahaaaa!!!

Our twisted story continues, friends, and this show we mercilessly  address several news items, including Alan Moore’s seething hatred for superheroes and their respective fans. Lady Sif visits your sick kid in a hospital and Tom Waits sings duets with Little John. All of this and more comic talk on episode 19 of FEED IT COMICS!

HEY! Be a good chap and review us on itunes or Stitcher it would be incredibly cool of you and it will help us jump up in the standings. Surely you want the whole world to have access to such premium free media! Also, there is a comment section below meant for discussions. Try communicating with us, it may be the best thing you’ve done within hours.

Topics we cover:

  • Alan Moore Hates You
  • Lady Sif
  • Fight Club Comics
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • The Goon
  • Sacrifice
  • Rocket Girl
  • Wolverine and the X-Men
  • Afterlife With Archie vs Ian
  • Ruined Pizzas

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Music by Doc Fluxx, Air, Sasha, Fez Soundtrack and free use junk. If you like the music totally seek it out and buy it.

FIND US ON TWITTER: Doctor Fluxx | Brother ShepherdBrother RyeFleur Feed It Comics!

VISIT THE ARCHIVES FOR EARLY SHOWS

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