Comics Alternative Podcast Episode 71: A Review of Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time and Betty Blues

Chunkin’ with Gene

DoctorWhoPrisonersTimeCompleteIn this week’s review episode of The Comics Alternative, Derek and Gene discuss two recent releases. They begin with Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time, the Complete Series (IDW Publishing), written by Scott and David Tipton and illustrated by a host of artists. First, they place the book within context, discussing last year’s 12-issue Prisoners of Times miniseries and the 50th anniversary of the BBC’s Doctor Who television show. Then they look at the book as a whole — after a brief comment or two about their own histories as Whovians — focusing on its narrative structure, its variety of stylistics takes on the Doctor, and the way its premise springs from an easily overlooked event in the BBC series that occurred with the ninth Doctor. The Two Guys also discuss briefly the history of the franchise in comics, pointing out that one of the great features in the Prisoners of Time miniseries, and retained in the book, is the various retrospectives on the Doctor Who comics.  If you’re a fan of the television series, or just a lover of good science fiction stories, this nice hardbound edition is for you.

Next, Gene and Derek turn their attention to Renaud Dillies’s Betty Blues (NBM). This graphic album just recently came out from NBM’s ComicsLit imprint, although it was originally published in French in 2003…and was the winner of the Angoulême Comics Festival Prize for First Comic Book in 2004. Since then, Dillies has written Bubbles BettyBlueand Gondola and Abelard, both also translated and published through NBM, but now his first book is available to English readers in the U.S. The guys remark on the beauty of Dillies’s art and the sophistication of his story. While it might appear at first glance that this is a book for young readers — with its funny animals, rounded drawings, large panels, and colorful pages — this narrative is anything but juvenile. In fact, Betty Blues is a somber and ambiguous work that delves into mature themes and resists simple resolutions.

This week’s incidental music is brought to you by
the great compilation, Pulp Surfin’

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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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