Comics Alternative Interviews: Bill Kartalopoulos

Setting Up the Best

BKOn this episode of The Comics Alternative Interviews, and in anticipation of their review show later this week, Andy and Derek are pleased to talk with the new editor of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Best American Comics series, Bill Kartalopoulos. They congratulate him on the publication of the first volume under his stewardship, guest edited by Scott McCloud, and then ask him a variety of behind-the-scenes questions. For example, Bill discusses the laborious process that goes into screening and choosing which comics to pass onto the guest editor, the challenges he and McCloud faced in compiling their selections, the unexpected finds and discoveries he makes when interacting with the comics community, the logistics of incorporating comics that appear in unconventional — including non-print — BAC2014formats, and his attempts at balancing a “best of” volume that represents the contemporary comics scene. The guys also ask him about the process behind choosing each year’s guest editor, how this volume is different from those under his immediate predecessors (Jessica Abel and Matt Madden), and if he thinks this year’s selections adequately do justice to the comics-publishing mainstream. The conversation is engaging, and Bill gives Derek and Andy much to think about, and a variety of talking points, as they prepare for their own discussion of The Best American Comics 2014 later in the week. And who knows…perhaps talking with the BAC series editor will be a yearly event for the Two Guys.

Be sure to check out Bill Kartalopoulos’s website!

This episode’s incidental music is brought to you by
T-Bone Burnett’s The True False Identity
Interview Image - Kartalopoulos
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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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