The Two Guys with PhDs are very happy to have back on the podcast Noah Van Sciver. He was first on the show back in March 2015, and a lot of things have changed with him since the guys last talked with Noah (and not just his growing of a mustache). Most significantly, his output has been through the roof! One of the things Sterg and Derek discuss with their guest is the sheer volume of his comics creation. Over the past six months alone he has released four different titles, and from a variety of publishers: Constant Companion(Fantagraphics), Blammo #10 (Kilgore Books and comics), One Dirty Tree (Uncivilized Books), and Fante Bukowski 3: A Perfect Failure (Fantagraphics). The guys talk with Noah about his work habits, his penchant for working with different publishers, his ability to juggle different projects at the same time, and his current work and what we can expect from him in the future. And of course, there is a lot of laughter in this episode. Noah is a humorous, and at time quite satirical, writer, yet the humor is often mixed with pathos, as we see not only his autobiographical comics, but most notably in his recent Fante Bukowski. This was a fun interview…and even more fun was had after they turned off the microphones and the guys hung out on Skype to talk about even more matters. Too bad that wasn’t captured for the show, but this new interview with Noah Van Sciver is definitely a highlight of Stergios and Derek’s year.
The Two Guys talk with a lot of comics creators about their craft, their ideas, and their passions. But they never really talk with them about their health. On this interview episode, Gene and Derek have as their guest an artist who is all about health and well-being. Kriota Willberg, whose new book Draw Stronger: Self-Care For Cartoonists and Other Visual Artists (Uncivilized Books) was released last month, discusses her experiences in health care, her years as a massage therapist, and how it all informs her creative trajectory. Draw Stronger is a text targeted to visual artists who work within fine and detailed contexts, and it provides helpful means to avoid pain and address the kind of physical practices that will best nurture creativity. The book is divided into three sections, revealing the basics of creative self-care, exercises that target a variety of body movements, and useful first aid to address stress and pain while waiting to visit a health professional. Over the course of their conversation, Kriota discusses the genesis of this project in her minicomics, the ways in which humor informs her approach, the vast research that went into this guide, and how her work in bioethics has impacted her comics.
02:09:06 – Wrapping up our favorites, and honorable mentions
02:13:52 – Contact us
And the Winner Is…
Paul and Derek are back with The Comics Alternative‘s annual “Favorites” episode. This is where the Two Guys share what they consider to be the best comics of the past year. Usually this year-end show is released as the very last regular review episode of each year, but this time around the guys had to postpone the recording due to family issues. But we’re not far from the end of 2017, and Paul and Derek wanted to get the show out in as timely a manner as possible. So here you have it, the Two Guys’ 10 favorite titles of 2017:
“The anxiety and the happiness are just so close together”
On this interview episode Andy and Derek are pleased to have as their guest Gabrielle Bell. Her latest book, Everything Is Flammable, came out recently from Uncivilized Books. The guys talk with Gabrielle extensively about the idea for this book — described as her first long-form graphic memoir — and how it evolved from her work on short diary pieces. What binds most of the entries in Everything Is Flammable are her experiences with her mother after her northern California house was destroyed in a fire. The guys also ask her about her annual event, the July diary, a project in which she was in the middle of at the time of this recording. Gabrielle discusses both the pleasures and the struggles of completing her self-imposed month-long project and how this year’s daily stories surround her time house- and pet-sitting for her friend and publisher, Tom Kaczynski. Along the way, Gabrielle reveals her various thoughts on being a semi-autobiographical cartoonist, the uncertainties of including friends and family members in her comics, the responsibilities she feels in those representations, and the very problem of trying to pigeonhole her work within a particular genre or form.
On this episode of the interview series — the very first for cohost Paul Lai! — the Two Guys with PhDs are pleased to have as their guest Mike Dawson. His latest book, Rules for Dating My Daughter: The Modern Father’s Guide to Good Parenting, comes out on May 10th from Uncivilized Books, and our fearless cohosts talk with Mike about his project’s journey from Tumblr, to Kickstarter, to finished book. One of the things they discuss early on is the fact that Rules for Dating My Daughter is not one of those gun-hugging “hurt my daughter, and I will hurt you” kind of books you’d expect from the cover image. In it, Mike lays bare his thoughts on the responsibilities of fatherhood (and not just for his daughter) and how those concerns relate to larger-world issues. The book is episodic in nature, comprising fifteen short strips focusing on such topics as gender roles, violence in America, religious observance, global warming, carnivorism, and cultural intolerance…and all filtered through parental concerns. Paul and Derek ask Mike about the genesis of this project and how it’s significantly different from his previous books, Troop 142 and Angie Bongiolatti (both published by Secret Acres). At the same time, the tone of the new book isn’t dissimilar from those works, and, in fact, one could argue that in Rules for Dating My Daughter, Mike is bringing together the themes of the earlier works — both political and familial — and combing them with the autobiographic approach established in his first book, Freddy and Me. And toward the end of the interview, the guys ask Mike about his work as a podcaster cohosting Ink Panthers with Alex Robinson and heading up TCJ Talkies. All in all, the guys have a great time talking with their guest about his art, his thoughts on the industry, and the current state of our culture…as only a dad could do.