On the August episode 0f the webcomics — granted, a little late — Sean and Derek check out three titles where the art is incredible. They begin with Kochab, a YA fantasy about two young women, one a fire spirit, and their explorations of surroundings and self. After that they check out a most curious webcomic, Sara Valta’s Alchemilla. This narrative focuses on the struggles and encounters of Valo, a problematic adventurer, and Fabulous, the magical counselor of a crisis center for fanatical creatures. Sean and Derek wrap up with Zap!, a science fiction adventure, partly inspired by Star Wars, but instilled with a good bit of humor.
For the July webcomics episode, Sean and Derek discuss three unique titles. They begin with Ryan Howe’s Daisy Blackwood: Pilot for Hire. This is a series of short stories featuring an Indiana Jones-like figure whose job as a pilot introduces her to a variety of adventures. And many of these adventures involve supernatural elements. Next, the Two Guys look at a relatively new title, Moby Dick: Back from the Deep. This webcomic, written by Matt Schorr and with art by Joe Bilicic, is reminiscent not only of Herman Melville’s classic, but also Spielberg’s classic, Jaws. Finally, Sean and Derek wrap up with a recently completed webcomic, Katya Granger’s Hana and the Firebird. This is a fantastical narrative about a community of individuals with special powers, and one resident in particular who must come to terms with her past and her current relationships.
This month Sean and Derek look at three very different webcomics. They begin with Mike Exner III, Ian Waryanto, et al.’s Adamant, a superhero narrative that spins the genre in fascinating, and parodic, ways. After that they turn to a beautifully rendered tale, Mac Smith’s Scurry. While the story is solid, the guys point out that the art is this webcomic’s biggest draw. Finally, they discuss the already-completed webcomic, Sarah Ellerton’s The Phoenix Requiem. This is a Victorian-inspired supernatural narrative of love and mystery that, as both Sean and Derek point out, is quite substantive.
After a month’s hiatus — and due to an accident that Sean suffered (although he’s recovering now!) — the Two Guys are back with their latest webcomics episode. And since it’s Eisner Awards season, Sean and Derek decided to discuss the nominees for this year’s Best Webcomic category. As listeners may remember, last year the guys were quite critical of the Eisner Awards judges. While they finally took the long-overdue step in separating webcomics from digital comics, they nonetheless seemed to have no clear understanding of what defined a webcomic. They included webcomics in the Best Digital Comic category, and digital comics in the Best Webcomic category. This year, the judges seemed to have correctly understood the distinctions, although Sean and Derek still have questions as to the parameters and qualifications as to the choices and decision-making process. Then again, theirs may not be to wonder why, but to discuss critically the webcomics under consideration. And the guys have a fruitful discussion concerning this year’s nominees:
Awaiting a Wave, by Dale Carpenter and Nate Powell (The Weather Channel Digital)
For the month of March, Sean and Derek discuss three webcomics that are very different in terms of art style and storytelling technique. However, what all three have in common is a focus on relationships. They start off with Michael Sexton’s Everblue, a fantastical tale about two young adventurers who want to explore their world while at the same time avoiding the threats that are in pursuit. After that the guys discuss Handrava, a more realistic narrative set in Madagascar’s capital city. It’s author Rado R. captures the rhythms and flavors of his subject matter through both the dialogue and the visual layout of his scripting. Finally, Derek and Sean turn to a recently completed webcomic, Thom Zahler’s Warning Label. As with the creator’s previous works — most notably Love and Capes, Long Distance, and Time and Vine — the focus is on relationships and its unpredictable contours. This is yet another impressive work from Zahler, and one that will leave you, once again, with a warm and positive feeling.
For February, Sean and Derek discuss three very different webcomics, each published by a single young female creator. They begin with two currently ongoing titles, Jess Milton’s The Flying Ship and Erin Mehlos’s Next Town Over.The first is webcomic inspired by a Russian fairytale, and despite its relatively short run so far, Milton does a great job at establishing a detailed premise. Mehlos’s Next Town Over is a curious mix of magic, steampunk, and the western genre (although not set in the American West). The Two Guys then wrap up with the already-completed webcomic, Yu+Me: Dream. This long-form narrative ran from 2004 to 2010, and there are several fascinating stylistic turns that the guys cannot discuss in detail for fear of soiling the webcomic for first-time readers.
For their first webcomics episode of 2018, Sean and Derek discuss three fascinating and diverse titles. They begin with The Shaderunners, written by Lin with art by Capp (AKA Anna Assan). This Prohibition era-tinged webcomic concerns a group of rag-tag bohemians who attempt to bring color into their sepia-toned world. While this looks like a narrative set in early twentieth-century America, the storyworld that Capp and Lin create is actually a fantastical one. Next, the guys turn to a science fiction title, Jamie Primack’s Binary Star. The protagonist of this story, Zaki, is a bounty hunter out to capture a big payoff, and in the process, ends up growing close to and working with her target. And there’s quite a bit of humor. As Derek suggests, Binary Star is reminiscent of Midnight Run, yet set in a sci-fi world. Finally, Sean and Derek wrap up with an already completed webcomic, Jape’s Nautilus. In it, the creator, whose real name is JT Trostle, reveals what happened after the passing of his mother and how he managed her affairs in the wake of her death. The mother, Connie, was a hoarder, and the webcomic provides a empathic look at the challenges and frustrations surrounding Connie’s behavior and JT’s efforts to “clean up” after her.
Happy New Year! It’s time for another special week at the Wayne’s ComicsPodcast! Get ready to support another terrific book from Scout Comics—Shiver Bureau by Walter Ostlie! The first issue of this series is available to order through your local comics shop, so be sure to listen to this episode to learn how! During our interview, we discuss how he creates this great comic (as well as his other books and webcomics), where the ideas behind Shiver Bureau came from, and what we can expect from Walter in the future! Check out his website at this link, his Shiver Bureau page here, and his Facebook page here, among other social media sites! Don’t miss next week’s episode as we kick off 2018 with another terrific conversation with another great comics professional!
It’s the holiday season, and for December Sean and Derek discuss three holiday-related webcomics. The start off by looking at two shorter works, Kate Beaton’s Cookies (available on her Hark! A Vagrant website) and Emily Carroll’s creepy All Along the Wall. After that they look at the much more substantial Holiday Wars, written by Scott King and with art by Michael Odom. So sit back, plug in your earphones, and enjoy the holiday goodness of this month’s webcomics episode.
On the November webcomics episode, Sean and Derek look at three very different titles. They begin with Kadi Fedoruk’s Blindsprings, a fantasy filled with magic and spirits, but one whose philosophical foundations are deeper than you may at first think. As the guys point out, the meticulous art is one of the highlights of this webcomic. After that, Sean and Derek turn to a lighthearted all-age series by Trevor Mueller and Gabo, Albert the Alien. Much like Blindsprings, this webcomic has been around since 2013, but there seems to be no foreseeable sign of story exhaustion. Finally, the guys look at a much more somber, and timely, completed webcomic, Brian Fies’s A Fire Story. This is a brief account of the author’s experiences in last month’s devastating California fires. The story is heart-wrenching, and Fies includes commentary and photographs to underscore the full extent of the tragedy.
The Comics Alternative‘s monthly webcomics series is back, and for October Sean and Derek discuss three intriguing titles. They begin with Righteous, written by Kevin Sheller and with art by Joseba Morales and colors by Gab Contreras. This is a narrative with a curious premise: What would happen if suddenly, everyone decided to do the right thing? The story focuses on Daniel, a risk analyst who is “touched” by a mysterious entity and then realizes that his work demeans human life and decides to commit himself to helping others. And his attitude becomes infectious.
Next, the Two Guys discuss a very recent webcomic (beginning in May), Laurence Dea Dionne’s Zen and the Ephemeral. It’s the story of Moé, a young woman suffering from depression who decides to spend ten days at a meditation retreat. The narrative is in its early stages — as of this recording, we’re still in the first chapter — but it reveals the various experiences and feelings that Moé goes through as she becomes acclimated to the retreat and its other participants.
Finally, Sean and Derek wrap up with an already completed webcomic, Tom Scioli’s American Barbarian. One of the first things that grabs the guys’ attention is the heavy influence of Jack Kirby on Scioli’s art. Both the character illustration and the kinetic action in the comic bear the stamp of the legend, and not in a derivative way. Scioli utilizes this influence in a way that propels the action forward, providing a story that is reminiscent of Kamandiand Conan the Barbarian. The guys spend a lot of time discussing Scioli’s art, but they also mention other webcomics on his website, such Princess, Final Frontier, and his brand new biography of Jack Kirby.
Christopher Jones has done a variety of work for DC Comics (including The Batman Strikes and one story in Batman ’66) and other animation adaptations), a few things for Marvel, and Dr. Who comics for Titan. How did he break in, and why is so much of his work of a more “cartoony” nature?
Lucid is making her living from crowdfunding in support of her webcomic, Avialae, a “boy’s love” story with an emphasis on consensual couplings. She talks about how “living the dream” can sometimes be a double-edged sword.
Sean and Derek are back with their monthly foray into the realm of webcomics. They begin with Z. Akhmatova’s Gods Can’t Die, a lavishly illustrated fantasy of adventure and self-discovery. This is a relatively young webcomic, beginning in April 2016, so readers can easily jump on board with its prologue and first chapter. It’s the story of Ena, born of both human and god, as she searches for her deity father and encounters other gods and creatures along the way. Next, they discuss Kamikaze, a futuristic dystopic tale created by Alan Tupper, Carrie Tupper, and Havana Nguyen. Its teenage protagonist, Markesha Nin, is a lightning-fast courier making deliveries within competing corporate interests and trying to provide for her blind father. The guys can’t help but think of CW’s The Flash when discussing this series. Finally, Sean and Derek wrap up with Sarah Mirk and Lucy Bellwood’s The Secret Life of Gitmo’s Women. This already-completed webcomic appears in the online magazine Narratively, and it presents the first-person accounts of two female naval veterans and their experiences at Guantanamo Bay. The conflict in their stories isn’t what you might expect, but instead have everything to do with the military’s (and our culture’s) patriarchal structures.
For the June webcomics episode, Sean and Derek take a close look at the webcomics nominees for the 2017 Eisner Awards. Before they do that, though, they have to determine exactly which titles are actually webcomics and which are not. If this sounds strange, that’s because this year the people behind the Eisner Awards have separated “Best Digital Comics” and “Best Webcomic” into two completely different categories — which is a good thing — but in doing so they have ill-defined the criteria to where there are digital comics mixed in the “Best Webcomic” category and webcomics in the “Best Digital Comic” category. In other words, there doesn’t seem to be any clear distinctions between the two…which was the problem in previous years when webcomics and digital comics were unfortunately clumped into the same category. Sean and Derek discuss in detail the problems underlying this year’s categorization, and they offer advice for next year’s judges and hope that in the future there will be a much more precise understanding of what a webcomic actually is.
After that, they begin discussing the real webcomics that are scattered between the “Best Webcomic” and “Best Digital Comic” categories. There are five in all, and in this episode they discuss Steve Conley’s The Middle Age and Christina Tran’s On Beauty(both nominated for “Best Webcomic”), as well as Jahanzeb Hasan and Mauricio Caballero’s Helm and Tillie Walden’s On a Sunbeam(inexplicably nominated under “Best Digital Comic”). Anne Szabla’s Bird Boywas also nominated as a webcomic, but since the guys discussed that title on a previous webcomics episode, they spend their time talking about the other nominees. And as the guys reveal, there is a reason why these four titles are nominated for an Eisner Award this year. They’re all well-written, keenly drawn, and ambitious in what each endeavors to accomplish. Both Sean and Derek wish this year’s webcomics creators, despite the appropriateness of the categories for which they’re nominated, the best of luck when the announcements are made at next month’s SDCC!