Comics Alternative Interviews: Ger Apeldoorn

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:25 – Introduction
  • 00:02:24 – Setup of interview
  • 00:03:34 – Interview with Ger Apeldoorn
  • 01:06:35 – Wrap up
  • 01:08:17 – Contact us

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Wannabes

Just in time for the San Diego Comic-Con — where he and Craig Yoe will be meeting with fans and signing books — Ger Apeldoorn is on the show to talk with Derek about his new book, Behaving Madly: Zany, Loco, Cockeyed, Rip-off, Satire Magazines (IDW/Yoe Books). It’s a beautifully produced work that highlights the many knockoffs of Bill Gaines’s Mad that appeared between 1954 to 1959, attempting to capitalize on the kind of success the Usual Gang of Idiots enjoyed once the title changed to magazine format. These Mad wannabes appeared with such titles as From Here to InsanityCockeyedBunk!, SNAFULunatickleWho Goofed?ThimkShook UpFrenzyFrantic!LocoZany, and Nuts! You might think — or thimk — that these rip-offs would all be cheesy and subpar, but as Ger makes clear, these short-lived satire magazines included work from such comics legends as Jack Davis, Al Jaffee, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Joe Kubert, Howard Nostrand, Bob Powell, Ross Andru, Basil Wolverton, and Russ Heath. Derivative and second-rate? Perhaps. But the selections in Behaving Madly are no laughing matter. Well…actually, they are.

Check out this great promo from Yoe Books!

 

 

Comics Alternative Interviews: Happy New Yoe!

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Yoessarian

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:25 – Introduction
  • 00:02:13 – Setup of interview
  • 00:03:20 – Interview with Craig Yoe
  • 01:25:46 – Wrap up
  • 01:28:58 – Contact us

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It’s a new year, and what better way to bring it in than with another Craig Yoe interview! In what has become a Comics Alternative tradition, the Two Guys with PhDs use their very first episode of the year — not just their first interview, but their very first podcast release — to talk with Craig and find out what he’s been up to. It’s what has become known as the guys’ Happy New Yoe show!

The fun begins with Andy and Derek asking Craig about his 50th anniversary celebration. As he tells the guys, this year is the golden anniversary of Craig’s first contribution to comics culture, a fanzine he published as a kid. And from there, he never looked back. A big part of this celebration is a string of new releases that began late last year. In fact, most of the interview is devoted to a discussion of one of those books, Super Weird Heroes: Outrageous but Real! This is the first of a two-volume — and maybe a third? — collection of really strange heroes from comics’ Golden Age, written and drawn by some of the medium’s most obscure as well as some of its best-known creators. The guys ask Craig about the compilation of this enterprise and its place within the Yoe Books pantheon. They also do deep dives into some of the weirdest of the weird, including the superhero of the cloth The Deacon and his sidekick Mickey; the disembodied hand, The Hand; the crossdressing Madam Fatal; phallic-prone heroes such as Black Cobra, Nature Boy, and The Dart; Kangaroo Man and his Nazi-bashing marsupial pal Bingo; the inexplicable Jeep and Peep; and the nearly naked Phantasmo. Actually, there is a lot of bared flesh to go round in this book.

But the Two Guys also ask Craig about some of his other recent books, including The Return of the Zombies, The Complete Voodoo Vol. 2, Jay Disbrow’s Monster InvasionBehaving MadlyReefer Madness, and the next volume in his Weird Love series. It’s an understatement to say that there’s a lot to look forward to from Yoe Books in the coming year. Craig Yoe is still the most interviewed guest in Comics Alternative history, and you can rest assured that he’ll be back a couple of more times to talk about even more releases in the coming year.

And a special Happy New Year goes out to Clizia Gussoni, Craig’s partner and the engine that keeps Yoe Books running. Thank you for all of your help, Clizia!

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Comics Alternative Interviews: More Mike Howlett

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The Ophidiomaniac

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Time Codes:

  • 00:24 – Introduction
  • 02:28 – Setup of interview
  • 04:50 – Interview with Mike Howlett
  • 56:56 – Wrap up
  • 57:52 – Contact us

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Halloween is just around the corner, and what could be scarier than a nest of snakes? Although to hear Mike Howlett tell it, there’s nothing at all frightening about the legless reptiles. This was part of the impetus behind Snake Tales, the latest volume in Yoe Books’ Chilling Archives of Horror Comics series. In it, Mike curates some of the weirdest, the most ridiculous, and the most ophidiophobia-inducing snake-related tales found in pre-code comics. Derek talks with Mike about the genesis of this project, his love of snakes, his collaboration with noted herpetologist Frank T. Burbrink, and his ongoing work with Craig Yoe and Clizia Gussoni in their never-ending quest to bring pre-code horror sensibilities to the heartland of America.

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Comics Alternative, Episode 178: Reviews of Nod Away, Gulag Casual, and Haunted Love #1

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Intrusions

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This week the Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics discuss three very different titles. They begin with Joshua W. Cotter’s Nod Away (Fantagraphics), an ambitious sci-fi narrative that explores the impact, and the costs, of technological progress. At least that’s what the guys think the book might be about. As both Andy W. and Derek point out, one of the distinguishing features of this book is its ambiguous or equivocal nature. There are many moving parts to this story — hive communication, inter-dimensional wormholes, suspended animation, unexplained quests — and the guys aren’t entirely certain how all of the pieces fit together. But that’s OK. Part of the beauty of Nod Away is that HauntedLove-Wormsit paints a narrative picture best observed from a broader context, while at the same time the fine detail of Cotter’s art compels us to investigate its many intricacies. The guys also speculate as to the significance of the title, another meaningfully uncertain facet of this book. Next, they look at Austin English’s Gulag Casual. This book is part of 2dcloud’s current “Winter Collection” Kickstarter campaign, and the the guys introduce the publisher, and its Kickstarter, to their listeners. English’s book is a collection of five different stories, each of which challenges its readers in the ways of comprehending comics. Derek points out that the stories are very dream-like in their coherency, and the guys spend much of their discussion sharing their strategies for reading this unique text. They wrap up this week’s episode by looking at another title from the offbeat mind of Craig Yoe. Haunted Love #1 is the first of a three-issue series from IDW Publishing and Yoe Comics, and it’s another example of what Craig does best: showcasing precode comics with a mixture of amusement and reverence. As described on the issue’s cover, it’s “the unholy spawn of Haunted Horror and Weird Love” — two tastes that go great together! — so if listeners appreciate those Yoe-inspired series, then they’ll go ga-ga for the seven stories collected in this first issue. There’s a lot of weirdness to go around, but a couple of Andy and Derek’s favorites are “The Dead Are Never Lonely” (originally published in Baffling Mysteries #14 in 1953) and especially “Crawling Evil” (Journey into Fear #10, 1952). Some of these stories are reminiscent of the classic EC style (such as “The Ice Man Cometh”), while others are just nonsensically whacked out. But the best thing about Haunted Love #1 is that it’s classic Craig Yoe. And everyone needs mo’ Yoe, right?

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Once Again, It’s Time for Craig Yoe

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Happy New Yoe!

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It’s a brand new year, and for their very first podcast episode of 2016, the guys have as their guest the great Craig Yoe! This may become a tradition on The Comics Alternative, having Craig start off the new year, much as they did in 2015. In fact, this is the fifth interview appearance that Craig has made on the podcast (not counting the brief segment recorded at HeroesCon last year). Usually when the Yoemesiter comes on the show, he has one or two new books to discuss. But this time around there are a whopping six titles recently released from Yoe Books and IDW Publishing! It’s all that Gene and Derek can do to keep up with everything that Craig and his production editor/wife, Clizia Gussoni, are putting out.

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They begin with a discussion of the five year anniversary of Yoe Books, which Craig actually celebrated last year. When he appeared on the show back in January of 2015, Craig discussed the coming year and what he had in store for the anniversary celebration. So Derek and Gene talk with him about the success of the first five years and about plans for the next five. Then they jump into a discussion of the many Yoe Book releases we’ve experienced over the past couple of months, beginning with Walt Kelly’s Fairy Tales. This is a beautiful book, going above and beyond the usual standards we’ve come to expect from Yoe and IDW, and the guys begin by asking their guest about the production work that went into this volume. Craig also shares his love of Walt Kelly and his experiences collecting the material which originally appeared in Dell’s Fairy Tale Parade between 1942 and 1946. Next, the guys ask Craig about his latest additions in his Chilling Archives of Horror Comics series, Ghosts and Girls of Fiction House (curated and introduced by Michael H. Price) and The Complete Voodoo, Vol. 1 (which includes an introduction by Mike Howlett, who has previously appeared on the podcast). They discuss the sheer weirdness that was Voodoo, a pre-code horror title from Farrell Publications, and the fetishism apparent in the Fiction House volume. Craig points out that Jumbo Comics, part of the Fiction House line, was known for its buxom women in compromised positions, and that the selections from its “Ghost Gallery” sections (collected in the Fiction House book) provide plentiful examples of “headlight comics.” Gene and Derek also talk with Craig about the latest collected editions of his ongoing series, Haunted HorrorVol. 3: Pre-code Comics So Good, They’re Scary and Weird Love, Vol. 2: That’s the Way I Like It!, as well as his upcoming three-issue miniseries, Haunted Love. It just gets weirder and weirder with Craig Yoe…and that’s why the guys keep inviting him back on the podcast!

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Be sure to check out The Yoe Tube on YouTube for fun videos and music…the latter of which is included in this episode!

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Back Again with Craig Yoe

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Clown Love

MiltGrossNYCraig Yoe is back for his fourth interview appearance on The Comics Alternative, and this time he has two wacky new books to share with everyone, both from IDW Publishing and Yoe! Books. First, he talks with Derek and Andy about Milt Gross’ New York, a “lost” graphic novel that was originally published in 1939 to capitalize on that year’s New York World’s Fair. Copies of the original paperback are very difficult to find, but Craig was able to get his hands on one — thanks to eBay — and then work his wonders in what he does best: restoring and reproducing in beautiful editions classic, often obscure, comics from our past. The result is a sturdy hardback volume that PopYoeshowcases the wild and breakneck style of Milt Gross. Originally published by Bystander Press and titled That’s My Pop! Goes Nuts for Fair: A Cartoon Tour of New York, it features Gross’s famous (at the time) character Pop, a proto-Homer Simpson, and his admiring son as they tour New York City, it’s neighborhoods, its nightlife, its culture, its food, its busy streets, and then finally ending up at the World’s Fair. Craig discusses the significance of Milt Gross to comics history and how his work is often overlooked. More to the point, much of the conversation centers on this new edition and how it could be read as a defining example of the cartoonist, who Craig sees as one of America’s funniest artists. Next, Derek and Andy talk with their guest about a second new publication from Yoe! Books, Weird Love, Vol. 1: You Know You Want It. It was almost a year ago that the Two Guys interviewed Craig about the WeirdLoveCoverinaugural issue of his semi-monthly series, Weird Love, and now that the first collected volume is out, they wanted to talk with him about his further adventures in finding strange stories masquerading as romance comics. Over the course of their conversation, the guys talk about hippy love, misogyny, spanking, communism, escorts, molls, Ronald Reagan, wayward girls, body image, and perhaps most disturbing of all (at least for Derek), clown love. As with every interview with Craig, the conversation never flags, is filled with fun and unlikely topics, and you’re not entirely sure where things will end up. The guys also talk with Craig about the fifth anniversary of Yoe! Books, a topic they discussed back in January, and how that year-long celebration is going. All in all, it’s a fun conversation…as it usually is with this guest. Craig’s been on the show so many times that he’s almost becoming an honorary cohost of The Comics Alternative. But that’s fine with Andy and Derek, and they plan to have him back for more conversation in the months to come.

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Be sure to check out The Yoe Tube on YouTube for fun videos and music!

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Still More Craig Yoe

Happy New Yoe!

Yoe5-heads2It’s a brand spanking new year, and it’s sure to be another great twelve months for interviews on The Comics Alternative. In fact, Andy and Derek start things off with a bang! this month with another visit from the always-friendly, always-funky, and always-fun Craig Yoe. This is the third time he has been on the show, and this time around the guys not only talk with Craig about his latest releases, but they also discuss the past, present, and future of Yoe Books. It’s the 5th anniversary of the imprint, and starting off a year-long celebration marking the occasion, Craig reveals his new Yippie Yi Yoe Society. Derek and Andy were fortunate to get their complimentary membership package in the mail last month, complete with a snazzy welcome letter, an official membership card, a society sticker, a cool “I Belong to the Yippie Yi Yoe Society” button, and a DVD with videos and music…including the club’s song, “The Merry Yippie Yi Yoe Society Marching Song.” Is that cool, or what?

Then the guys get into the nitty gritty of Creepy Craig’s latest efforts, the two new books Ditko’s Shorts and Howard Nostrand’s Nightmares (Yoe Books/IDW Publishing). They spend a lot of time talking about the new Ditko effort, talking with Craig about the genesis of the project, the research he and Fester Faceplate (AKA Mark Knox) conducted for the volume, and YYYS-sticker2behind-the-scenes shenanigans that should excite any true Ditko fan. Next, they delve into the new Nostrand collection, the latest in Craig’s “Chilling Archives of Horror Comics” series, discussing an artist who is sorely overlooked yet so vital to the horror genre. As the great forelocked one points out in the book’s introduction, had Jack Davis and Wally Wood had a love child, it would have been Howard Nostrand. Derek and Andy try to get Craig to discuss any future and yet-to-be-announced Yoe Book projects — he never spill the beans — but he does talk a little about books that will be released early this year, including Tom Sutton’s Creepy ThingsThe Untold History of Black Comic Books, and Milt Gross’ New York. In fact, the guys want to have Craig back on the podcast to talk about the new Milt Gross book, so listeners probably won’t have to wait too long to get a another shot of Yoe.

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Be sure to check out The Yoe Tube on YouTube for fun videos and music!

This episode’s incidental music is brought to you by
“The Merry Yippie Yi Yoe Marching Song”
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Comics Alternative Interviews: Mike Howlett

Palate Cleanser…or Colon Cleanser?

HowlettFor this episode of The Comics Alternative Interviews, Derek and Andy are pleased have on the show Mike Howlett, the editor of the newly released The Worst of Eerie Publications from IDW/Yoe Books. In fact, Mike is the expert on Eerie Publications — an “Eerie guru,” as he calls himself — and the author of not only the recent collection but also The Weird World of Eerie Publications (a history of the publisher) and the meticulously researched The Weird Indexes of Eerie Publications. They talk with Mike about his extensive research on the various titles released through Eerie Publications during the 1960s and 1970s — e.g., Weird, Horror Tales, Tales from the Tomb, Tales of Voodoo, and Terror Tales — and WorstEeriepublisher Myron Fass’s philosophy of recycling old pre-code horror comics. What makes these comics the worst of Eerie are not only their gore and over-the-top premises, but the questionable storytelling and as well as the equally questionable process of reworking/redrawing 1950s comics for a post-1966 audience…and then reprinting those comics in the multiple publications across Eerie’s line. In fact, the guys are fascinated by the entire Eerie Publications process: photocopy pre-code horror comics, find artists who will redraw the originals, add more gore and a few contemporary updates, slap on a horrific cover with a the requisite gratuitous cleavage, and voila! Repeat as necessary. Derek and Andy also ask Mike about the special barf bag they received with their review copies of The Worst of Eerie Publications, and they feel special learning that the bags are a limited run strictly for promotional purposed.

Halloween may be over, but as Mike Howlett demonstrates, the comics from Eerie Publications are a gift that keeps on giving.

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This episode’s incidental music is brought to you by
Halloween Hootenanny

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