Comics Alternative Interviews: Dash Shaw

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Destroyed…and Reborn

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:24 – Introduction
  • 00:02:13 – Setup of interview
  • 00:03:30 – Interview with Dash Shaw
  • 01:02:39 – Wrap up
  • 01:03:52 – Contact us

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On this interview episode, Derek talks with Dash Shaw about his latest book, Cosplayers (Fantagraphics). This “Perfect Collection,” as it is called, brings together the Cosplayers stories that were previously released in the two earlier comic-book issues from April and July 2014, as well as the story that appeared in the 2015 Free Comic Book Day release of Hip Hop Family Tree Three-in-One. (The guys reviewed Cosplayers #1 in Episode 83.) However, as Dash points out, this isn’t a mere repackaging of his earlier Cosplayers comics. The book not only includes brand new material, but it also reworks some of the visuals from the original stories. A telling example of this can be found in some of the book’s collage art, where Dash takes the covers and some of the interior pages from the earlier comics, cuts them up, and re-presents them in collage form…much like his protagonists, Annie and Verti, do with their comic books in the story “Escape from Nostalgia World.”

Image from A Cosplayers Christmas

Image from A Cosplayers Christmas

Derek talks with Dash about his curious stylistic choices for this new work, as well as his experimental use of colors in earlier books such as Doctors and New School. But they also discuss some of Dash’s other projects, such as his work in animation. His feature-length directorial debut, My Entire High School is Sinking Into the Sea, a film based on an earlier short story, will be premiering at next week’s Toronto International Film Festival. Also, Dash reveals that he may not yet be done with Cosplayers, referencing the new story appearing in the summer 2016 issue of Smoke Signal and the upcoming one-shot A Cosplayers Christmas. All in all, this is a fascinating interview, and one that underscores why Dash is one of the few artists the Two Guys have featured in a Creator Spotlight episode.

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See what’s up with Dash on his Tumblr site!

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Comics Alternative Podcast Episode 83: Reviews of The Best of Comix Book, Insect Bath #1, and Cosplayers #1

A REAL Alternative Show

ComixBookIt’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another regular episode of The Comics Alternative! This week, Andy and Derek really strut their alternative creds by focusing on three titles that keenly define “alternative.” First, they discuss the recent Dark Horse/Kitchen Sink book, The Best of Comix Book. This is a collection of comics culled from the original five-issue run of Comix Book, Marvel’s ill-fated attempt to partner with the underground comix movement of the early 1970s. The project was originally initiated by Stan “The Man” Lee and edited by underground maverick, Denis Kitchen. This recent collection features the work of such major underground comix figures as Justin Green, Trina Robbins, Kim Deitch, S. InsectBathClay Wilson, Skip Williamson, Lee Marrs, Joel Beck, Art Spiegelman, and Sharon Rudahl, and it includes a wonderful historical essay by James Vance. The Two Guys discuss the various pieces that are collected, comment on some of the artists represented here, and even speculate on why certain comics from the original run were included in this collection and why others were not.

Next, Derek and Andy turn their attention to two new single issues from Fantagraphics: Insect Bath #1 and Cosplayers #1. Edited by Jason T. Miles, Insect Bath is an anthology of comics that could be called contemporary manifestations of the “underground.” In this way, the book transitions well from Comix Book, in that it very much carries on in the tradition of the Cosplayers1underground, although with much more of a minicomics feel (and minicomics themselves are arguably the legitimate offspring of comix). The guys feel that the pieces included in this first issue of Insect Bath are hit or miss, but they are more excited about Dash Shaw’s Cosplayers. This is the first of a series — how many issues might there be? — where Shaw brings his experimental approach to a study of pop culture fandom. As Andy points out, Cosplayers feels much like a Daniel Clowes story, a far cry from what we saw last year in Shaw’s unconventional 3 New Stories and New School. There’s a lot packed into this episode, so plug in your earbuds and let’s get it on!

This episode’s incidental music is brought to us by
The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds Sessions

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