Comics Alternative Interviews: Kim Deitch

The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Art of Kim Deitch

NOTE: Beginning this week, The Comics Alternative will present a new feature: a series of interviews with comics writers and artists. Interviews aren’t anything new for the Two Guys with PhDs. They’ve been a part of the podcast from the very beginning — in fact, the first, with Jonathan Hickman, appeared as episode 4 — but now interviews will be decoupled from the weekly podcast rotation. The reason for this is that there are more interviews than Derek and Andy (or Gene, or Tof) have time to include. What’s more, for every weekly episode that an interview is featured, that’s 2-3 fewer books the Two Guys get to review…and there are plenty of new titles that they want to discuss. So to keep the reviews flowing, and to satisfy their interests in doing more interviews, the guys have decided to make their interviews separate from the weekly episodes. There will be no set schedule for the interviews. They will be made available as they are conducted.

KimDeitchFor the first in this new feature, the Two Guys with PhDs are proud to have as a guest comics legend Kim Deitch. His new book, The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley, was just published by Fantagraphics, and Tof and Derek begin their conversation by asking him about the genesis of the project. Kim reveals the history of Katherine Whaley, its links to “The Sunshine Girl” (in Deitch’s Pictorama) and The Search for Smilin’ Ed (both by Fantagraphics), and his fascination with early twentieth-century film and popular music. Along the way, they discuss some of Kim’s characters that recur in Katherine Whaley, some that do not (most notably, Waldo), the evolution of Kim’s art style, his fascination with storytelling, his strategies for keeping the creative juices flowing, and the inside scoop on Kim’s next book project. All in all, it’s a wonderful way to begin the new Comics Alternative Interviews feature!KatherineWhaley


Comics Alternative exclusive: one of the first sketches Kim Deitch did of the characters Charles Varney and his dog, Rousseau:


The incidental music in this episode is “Tiger Rag,” by the Gus Arnheim Orchestra, and “Steamboat Stomp,” by Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers

Interview Image - Deitch

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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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