Femme Force…Comics Alternative-Style!
This 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, combining 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, http://gabriellebell.com, and Becky Cloonan, http://estrigious.com/becky/, for more of their comics and information on how to order their books.