Comics Alternative Podcast Episode 68: A Review of Six Digital Comics

“Assholity…is that a word?”

Happy New Year, and welcome to another episode of The Comics Alternative! To start off 2014, Andy and Derek discuss six relatively recent digital comics: Tim Gibson’s Moth City, Chris Sheridan’s Motorcycle Samurai (Top Shelf), Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari’s The BunkerDigitalFred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey’s Action Presidents, Brian Winkeler and Robert Wilson IV’s Knuckleheads (Monkeybrain Comics), and Jeremy Holt and Chris Peterson’s Pulp.  They begin by focusing on the two titles that utilize the digital format the fullest, Moth City and Motorcycle Samurai, and how the authors use the technology to enhance their storytelling. Derek and Andy discuss the unique nature of these works and how much would be lost if these titles were offered in print form. From there they move on to The BunkerKnuckleheads, and Action Presidents, appreciating how the creators use digital technology yet noting that these titles could easily be adapted into physical format without losing much of anything (and as we will see soon, when The Bunker is released by Oni Press). Finally, the Two Guys with PhDs look at the one-shot, Pulp, admiring not only its complex narrative structure, but also the fact that Holt and Peterson chose to market their comic as a “pay what you will” title, much like Brian K. Vaughn and Marcos Martin have done with The Private Eye. Along the way, the guys discuss the general state of digital comics, issues of cost and distribution, the pros and cons of the technological layout, the marketing potential of the format, and how what we now call “digital comics” or “webcomics” is a hybrid form that is challenging our understanding, and our definitions, of “comics.”

Much thanks to the creators who contacted Andy and Derek about their digital works, as well as to the many listeners — and you know who you are — who recommended certain titles and lobbied for the Two Guys to finally do an episode devoted to digital comics.

This episode’s incidental music is brought to you by
both Bob Dylan and George Harrison. Ding dong, ding dong!

Episode 68 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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