Comics Alternative, Episode 218: Reviews of Love and Rockets #1, Garden of the Flesh, and The One Hundred Nights of Hero

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This week the Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics check out three recent titles, including the latest contributions from the Hernandez brothers. They begin with Love and Rockets #1 (Fantagraphics), the launch of the brothers’ new (fourth) series that will appear quarterly and in magazine-sized format. This kind of presentation harkens back to the original run of Love and Rockets beginning in the early 1980s. Andy and Derek are quick to point out that, while the format may have changed, the storytelling picks up where the Love and Rockets: New Stories annual left off. Jaime continues his previous storylines surrounding Princess Animus, Vivian’s half-sister Tonta, and, perhaps most notable, Maggie and Hopey’s punk reunion. With Gilbert, it’s the always evolving and convoluted Fritz saga, with even more Fritz imitators to keep track of.

And on the topic of Beto…The next book under discussion is his Garden of the Flesh (Fantagraphics). This is Gilbert’s treatment of the Book of Genesis, although with less fidelity than Robert Crumb has demonstrated. As you might expect, there’s a lot of explicit content, something that you might find in his Blubber series. In fact, the guys note that what we have with Garden of the Flesh is the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Noah and the flood…but with a lot of money shots.

Finally, Andy and Derek turn to Isabel Greenberg’s The One Hundred Nights of Hero (Little Brown). This is her follow up to 2014’s The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, and everything is set in the same storyworld. Here we find the return of god/creator BirdMan and his children Kid and Kiddo. And as with Greenberg’s first book, the overriding theme in The One Hundred Nights of Hero is storytelling. This time around, however, that theme is linked directly to female empowerment and sisterhood. With more than a tip of the pen to One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Greenberg’s tale demonstrates not only how worlds are created through language, but the dynamics underlying the control of those worlds.

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Isabel Greenberg

The Art of World-Building

IsabelGreenbergOn this episode of The Comics Alternative Interviews, the Two Guys with PhDs talk with Isabel Greenberg, the author of The Encyclopedia of Early Earth (Little, Brown and Company). Most of the conversation centers around Isabel’s debut book — the genesis of The Encyclopedia, its dominant theme of storytelling, its structure as a series of embedded narratives, the artist’s preference for black-and-white illustration, the many myths that inform Greenberg’s storyworld, its I call them humans (c) Isabel Greenberg.jpgintended audiences, the humor that permeates the book, and the kind of critical responses it has been receiving — but Andy and Derek also ask the author about her history as a reader of comics, her time as an apprentice creator, and her plans for future stories. While The Encyclopedia of Early Earth has been garnering much critical praise — including its place on Derek and Andy’s “Best of 2013” list — Isabel Greenberg is a fairly new name on this side of the pond. So the Two Guys talk with her about her history with the UK comics scene and the ways in which her work is finding a much wider audience. It’s a fun conversation, and it ends with the promise of more great things coming from Isabel’s imagination.

This week’s incidental music is brought to you by
the original soundtrack to the film, A Night on Earth

Interview Image-Greenberg