Comics Alternative Interviews: Deb Olin Unferth and Elizabeth Haidle

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Bad Luck Is for the Birds

On this interview episode, Derek talks with Deb Olin Unferth and Elizabeth Haidle on the publication of their new book, I, Parrot (Black Balloon-Catapult). This is a graphic novel in the truest sense, a work of fiction, about a middle-aged woman who’s prone to bad luck. She stumbles upon a bird-sitting job, caring for an aviary of exotic, rare, and very expensive parrots, and despite the help of her boyfriend and her young son, falls prey to a series of misfortunes that lead to unintended, yet not entirely tragic, consequences. Both Deb and Beth share their experiences working together on this project, the collaborative rhythm they established, and how their previous creations reflect on this graphic novel. This is Deb’s first work in comics, having previously established a career as a writer of prose fiction. And while Beth’s experiences in comics art is more extensive, this is her first effort in “adult” long-form graphic narrative. Derek also asks his guests about their other current projects and any possible plans to collaborate on future projects.

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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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