On this special episode of The Comics Alternative, Gwen and Derek moderate a roundtable discussion on comics for children and young adults. Joining them in the conversation are Karly Marie Grice and Joe Sutliff Sanders, both contributors to the brand new book coedited by Gwen, Graphic Novels for Children and Young Adults: A Collection of Essays (University Press of Mississippi). Over the course of the roundtable, both Joe and Karly present the research they conducted for the collection — the aesthetics of children’s digital comics and contesting narratives in Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers & Saints, respectively — but the core of the discussion centers on the current state of children’s and adolescent comics, the scholarship surrounding it, questions of demographics, and the pedagogical challenges facing educators when framing the medium.
Gwen’s coeditor, Michelle Ann Abate, had planned on joining the roundtable discussion, but due to technical difficulties she was unable to do so.
On this episode of the interview series, the Three Guys with PhDs — Andy, Gene, and Derek — talk with Brian Cremins about his new book from the University Press of Mississippi Captain Marvel and the Art of Nostalgia. During their conversation Brian discusses why he chose to focus specifically on the Big Red Cheese, what the comics meant to him growing up, and the superhero’s links to nostalgia. As he points out, Captain Marvel isn’t the most popular figure for critical or scholarly discussion, but the contexts surrounding the Fawcett property make it the perfect vehicle for the kind of analysis Brian wanted to bring. Gene, Andy, and Derek also ask their guest about the research that went into his book, the kind of archival investigations he conducted, the correspondences he struck up along the way, his efforts in securing a unique cover image, and his strategies for making this, in many ways, a very personal work.