Comics Alternative Podcast Episode 42: A Review of The Voyeurs, The Mire, and Demeter

Femme Force…Comics Alternative-Style!

VoyeursThis week the Two Guys with PhDs review Gabrielle Bell’s latest book, The Voyeurs (Uncivilized Books), as well as two self-published comics from Becky Cloonan, The Mire and Demeter. This is the perfect episode to follow last week’s roundtable on the mainstream-indie comics divide, in that the work of both Bell and Cloonan exemplify many of the points raised in that discussion. First, Andy and Derek do an in-depth reading of The Voyeurs, placing it within the larger context of Bell’s body of work. They emphasize the semi-autobiographic nature of the book, while at the same time pointing out how much of The Voyeurs is more ambitious than her earlier comics, Cloonancombining many of the best features found in her Lucky series (collected in 2003) and the more fictional Cecil and Jordan in New York (2008). The guys then move on to Becky Cloonan’s recent self-published comics, The Mire (a 2013 Eisner Award nominee) and Demeter. After briefly discussing some of Cloonan’s mainstream work, such as American Virgin (with Steven T. Seagle, 2006-2008) and Demo (with Brian Wood, 2003 and 2010), Andy and Derek move quickly into the independently published comics, highlighting many of the features that set these titles apart from her mainstream work. They specifically focus on the poetic quality of both The Mire and Demeter, seeing these comics as sophisticated and almost elusive narratives that challenge the reader in significant ways.

The Two Guys with PhDs also announce their July giveaway contest, the prize of which will include a copy of Derek McCulloch and Colleen Doran’s Gone to Amerikay. Just in time for Independence Day, Andy and Derek want to know what listeners find as their favorite comics or graphic novels about the United States, its history, its culture, its politics, and its people. To enter the contest, you can go to The Comics Alternative‘s Facebook page, “Like” the page (if you haven’t already), and then post on the FB wall your favorite comic about the U.S. You can also enter the contest by going to Twitter, making sure that you “Follow” The Comics Alternative, @2guyswithphds, and then tweeting your favorite U.S.-themed comic and including the hashtag #comaltcontest. The winner will be announced on the guys’ July on-location show at Lone Star Comics in Plano, TX. Check back for additional information and updates!

And after enjoying this podcast, be sure to visit the websites of both Gabrielle Belle,, and Becky Cloonan,, for more of their comics and information on how to order their books.

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About Derek Royal

The Comics Alternative is a weekly podcast focused on the world of alternative, independent, and primarily non-superhero comics. (There’s nothing wrong with the superhero genre…we just want to do something different.) New shows become available every Wednesday…much like the comic books you get. Episodes feature reviews of graphic novels and current ongoing series, discussions of upcoming comics, examinations of collected editions, in-depth analyses of a variety of comics texts, spotlights on various creators and their oeuvre, roundtable discussions with prominent critics and scholars in the field, and interviews with the artists and writers who make all of this possible. Along the way, Andy and Derek will talk about the various books that they are reading; the many pop cultural references that, for better or worse, inform their lives; and the unpredictable (and inexplicable) weirdness that seems to creep into each episode. In essence,The Comics Alternative podcast is brilliantly simple: Two guys with PhDs talking about comics.

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