Comics Alternative Podcast Episode 57: A Review of Battling Boy, Shaolin Cowboy #1, and Rocket Girl #1

Cowboy Up, Grasshopper

BattlingBoyThis week on The Comics Alternative podcast, Derek and Gene review Paul Pope’s Battling Boy (First Second), Geof Darrow’s Shaolin Cowboy #1 (Dark Horse), and Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder’s Rocket Girl #1 (Image). The Two Guys with PhDs begin with Battling Boy, placing it within the larger context of Paul Pope’s body of work — seeing similar themes, stylistic flair, characterization, and tone found in comics such as 100%Heavy Liquid, and THB — and also reading it in light of other First Second publications. ShaolinCowboyBoth are fascinated by what Pope is doing in this all-age (?) superhero (?) sci-fi narrative, and they are eagerly anticipating the next installment of the story, The Rise of Aurora West. Gene brings keen insights not only to the metaficational aspects of Battling Boy, but also Pope’s use of lettering and font choices. The Two Guys are RocketGirlnot in the same kind of agreement with Shaolin Cowboy. Derek feels that it’s one of the most visually intriguing, and funniest, comic books of the year, while Gene wants more story. (And Derek recommends that Gene read the first Shaolin Cowboy series from Burlyman Entertainment…although even he has his problems with the way that first series unfolded.) But they do agree on Montclare and Reeder’s Rocket Girl, feeling that the series starts off with a blast — sorry for the pun — and promises interesting things in the issues to come, especially in terms of time travel twists.

This week’s incidental music is brought to you by
Bottoms Up!: Ultra-Lounge, Vol. 18

Episode 57 Image

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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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