This week on the review show Paul joins Derek in discussing two new recent releases. They begin with Jillian Tamaki’s Boundless, published by Drawn and Quarterly. This is a collection of nine short stories, most of which have been previously published in Frontier, Nobrow, and Hazlitt.net. The guys begin by discussing how Tamaki structures the contents, along with including new pieces, in order to give the collection visual and thematic coherency. Unlike her longer narratives Skim and This One Summer, both with her cousin Mariko, Tamaki tends to use the shorter storytelling forms to create pieces that are slightly askew and bend the reality that we know.
Next, Paul and Derek turn to Devin Grayson, John Bolton, and Sean Phillips’s User (Image Comics). This was originally published as a three-issue prestige-format miniseries through Vertigo Comics in 2001, but until now has never been collected in a single volume. User is the tale of a young woman finding refuge in a MUD, escaping the chaos that surrounds her real-life work and family. What makes the narrative notable is its handling of online interaction and gender identification, quite provocative at the time of its original publication. And while the guys appreciate what Grayson and company are doing, they note the slightly dated nature of this comic. As they point out, understanding the temporal context puts everything into perspective.
It’s the first part of March, which means it must be time for the Two Guys with PhDs to look through the latest Previews catalog. Before they do that, though, they alert readers to this month’s #trypod social media campaign and encourage listeners to share their love of The Comics Alternative by using that hashtag along with #try2guys. Next, they give a big THANK YOU to Kristin and Thomas at the Secret Stacks podcast for their recent shout-out. Then they get into the March Previews catalog, highlighting a variety of upcoming titles from both large and small publishers alike. Among the upcoming comics they discuss are offerings from: