Comics Alternative Interviews: Charles Soule

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House of Cards Meets 2001 Meets West Wing Meets Alien

CharlesSouleOn this episode of the interview show, Derek talks with Charles Soule about his most recent creator-own works, specifically Strange Attractors (Archaia) and the currently ongoing Letter 44 (Oni Press). They spend most of their time discussing the latter and the various narrative threads and subplots interwoven within the series. In their conversation, Charles tells Derek about the extent of his research for the title, his love of NASA history, the intrigue of writing political drama, and the StrangeAttractorsways in which his background in law helped give birth to series’ premise.  They also discuss the contemporary rootedness of Letter 44 and the extent to which recent presidential history plays out in its storyline, albeit ramped up and taken to speculative extremes. Much of the conversation is also devoted to Strange Attractors, a book similar to Letter 44 with a high concept and a keen scientific bent. Charles explains how his interest in complexity theory and his love of New York City combine to create an unlikely sci-fi drama. But even though Derek is mostly interested in his non-mainstream work, he nonetheless asks Charles about his efforts in the DC and Marvel Universes — e.g., his experiences writing Swamp ThingDeath of Wolverine, Superman/Wonder Woman, and She-Hulk — how he balances the superhero narratives with his creator-owned work, and the ways he negotiates both franchise limitations and fanboy expectations. All in all, it’s a fun interview, with listeners being able to hear about creative facets of Charles Soule that rarely surface in other interviews.

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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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