Setting Up the Best
On 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 — formats, 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.