Comics Alternative, Episode 274: Reviews of Why Art?, Infidel #1, and Vampironica #1

Time Codes:

  • 00:00:30 – Introduction
  • 00:03:12 – Welcoming new Patreon supporters, and more listener mail!
  • 00:14:29 – Why Art?
  • 00:42:19 – Infidel #1
  • 00:58:55 – Vampironica #1
  • 01:13:58 – Wrap up
  • 01:15:53 – Contact us


“Another episode of Gene’s forced connections”

This week Gene and Derek discuss three different titles that may or may not be connected (you’ll have to ask Gene). They begin with Eleanor Davis’s Why Art? (Fantagraphics Books). Going into this reading, the guys thought that the book might be more on the expository or critical side. However, they quickly discovered Davis’s unique approach in combining humor, storytelling, and aesthetic analysis. After that they check out the first issue of Infidel (Image Comics), written by Pornsak Pichetshote and with art by Aaron Campbell. This is a curious combination of horror and the dynamics of intolerance, and the first issue raises a variety of questions that start off the series with good story momentum. The Two Guys with PhDs conclude with another horror title, Greg and Megan Smallwood’s Vampironica #1. Although in the tradition of Archie Comics’ other recent horror titles, this first issue doesn’t have the same impact on the guys as did Afterlife with Archie or The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Still, the art and premise are an attention-grabbing setup.

Comics Alternative Kickstarter: LAAB Magazine #0: Dark Matter

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Crossroads of Identity and Culture

This week Derek talks with Ronald Wimberly, Josh O’Neill, and Maëlle Doliveux about their Kickstarter project LAAB Magazine #0: Dark Matter. Published by Beehive Books, this will be a tabloid-sized newspaper annual filled with comics, interviews, artwork, cultural criticism, and writings on identity as played out in popular culture. This inaugural #0 issue will include

  • An interview with musician and actor Saul Williams 
  • A conversation with graphic artist Trenton Doyle Hancock
  • James Romberger on Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • A discussion with the poster artist Alexandra Bell
  • A critical analysis of George Lucas’s THX 1138
  • Ronald Wimberly’s visual tribute to Sun Ra
  • A review of BLACK, the new comic from Black Mask Studios
  • Over a dozen pages of comics and illustration by Ronald Wimberly
  • …and much more!


Be sure to visit the LAAB Kickstarter page, see what Ronald is up to, and back this project by Friday, December 1. And learn more about the exciting publications coming out through Josh and Maëlle’s Beehive Books!

Sample Art


Comics Alternative Interviews: Nate Powell and Andrew Aydin

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The Pen and Government Man


Time Codes:

  • 00:00:25 – Introduction
  • 00:02:42 – Setup of interview
  • 00:03:56 – Interview with Nate Powell
  • 01:10:11 – Interview with Andrew Aydin
  • 02:12:26 – Wrap up
  • 02:13:57 – Contact us


On this interview show, Andy and Derek do something different. They talk with both Nate Powell and Andrew Aydin, the artist and coauthor of the recently completed March trilogy (Top Shelf Productions), but instead of interviewing both creators together, the guys talk with them separately and then combine the two recordings into one long episode. So in this show, over two hours and fifteen minutes long, you’ll hear about the genesis and the creative turns that went into the March books from both the artist’s and the writer’s perspectives. Nate and Andrew also discuss their time working with Congressman John Lewis, his wealth of experiences from the Civil Rights Movement, and the creative choices that each of them had to make when representing those events. For example, Nate explains the challenges that faced him when illustrating the unspeakable violence, and Andrew describes his strategies for scripting the chronology of the congressman’s young life. Both guests also share a few words about current projects they have underway and what we can expect from them post-March.



Episode 73: Investigating Mat Johnson’s INCOGNEGRO – Race in America

INCOGNEGRO is one of the most entertaining and important graphic novels I have had the pleasure of reading, and during this podcast, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by brilliant and beautiful people who shared my enthusiasm for this book.Written by Mat Johnson, INCOGNEGRO is about a black reporter in the early 1930’s using his light skin and Eurocentric features to impersonate a white man as he investigates lynchings in the south. This panel was immaculately hosted by Gabby Beans, she kept the conversation going as Malia Knight, Bintu Conte, Travelle Barksdale, and myself gave our shiny two cents on race relations in America, systematic oppression, and of course this hilarious, entertaining, and important comic.

LISTEN: X-Men comics fans, check out our interview with historic X-Men writer Chris Claremont!

Written by Mat Johnson, INCOGNEGRO is about a black reporter in the early 1930’s using his light skin and Eurocentric features to impersonate a white man as he investigates lynchings in the south. The podcast panel was immaculately hosted by Gabby Beans, she kept the conversation going as Malia Knight, Bintu Conte, Travelle Barksdale, and myself gave our shiny two cents on race relations in America, systematic oppression, and of course this hilarious, entertaining, and important comic. The current social landscape is occupied by dangerous Trump rallies and the Black Lives Matter movement means there couldn’t have been a better time for this comic to be analyzed and discussed. This book would be relevant at most times in American history, but with themes of race and gender being central to the narrative, our current social climate seemed like a perfect coincidence. An even greater coincidence was that we were able to record this podcast in February, which is considered Black History month (in some parts of this country).

HEAR: Join an all-female cast of ComicsVerse Podcasters discussing Marjorie Liu’s MONSTRESS!

Mat Johnson managed to craft a refreshing noir filled with analysis on racial and gender politics while still finding time for colorful characters and an intriguing murder mystery.  INCOGNEGRO truly represents some of the best work in the medium we at ComicsVerse love to analyze deeply. British artist Warren Pleece provided the artwork. In terms of character design, it seemed that Warren Pleece intentionally made the physical differences between black and white characters close to non-existent, and white a black and white color scheme (keeping with the noir theme) the race of the characters is almost impossible to decipher without context. Johnson and Pleece have brought the world and the awesome medium of graphic novels a spectacular, funny, uncomfortable, important book. We hope you enjoy all that we have to say.

Download The ComicsVerse Podcast on iTunes


Comic Timing – Episode 160: Ethnicity and Race In Comics


The spiritual sequel to our Religion in Comics episode is finally here! Brent and Ian are joined by Brandon Christopher (for technically the third episode in a row if you count 159 Part A and B as two separate episodes) and Julian Lytle to discuss ethnicity and race in comics. How have comics evolved in their portrayal of people of color over the years? What still needs to be done to improve things further? How about creators of color getting their foot in the door of a predominantly white industry? Who are some of our favorite ethnically diverse creators? Is it a good idea to take originally white characters and reintroduce them as black, Asian, or otherwise, or is legacy the way to go? We go into all of this and more here. Listen in, and enjoy. This one is an instant favorite of the crew.

As always – we are sponsored by DCBS! That’s right! Discount Comic Book Service! All comics from major publishers like Marvel, DC, Image and Dark Horse are 40% off or more. And hardcovers and trade paperbacks from Marvel and DC are at least 50% off! Plus, be sure to check out their Comixology digital storefront for even further savings! And be sure to check out Julian’s film reviews at Punch Drunk Critics, and check out FilmGamesEtc for Brent and Jim’s reviews!

You can e-mail the show at and be sure to Like us on Facebook at Thanks, and we’ll catch you next time!

The PKD Black Box #73: “The Komplicated Red Tails.”

Shawn and special guest Hannibal Tabu ( discuss the lack of Black comic book writers in the Big 2 comic publishers (Marvel and DC Comics), race in comics, the comics market, and the Black Super Hero Algorithm; then Shawn has a conversation with Joey Aulisio as they go in deep about Red Tails, the subject of race within the movie industry, and Haywire.

Enjoy, and rep for Philo.


The Black Hero Alogorithm
Chemical Box Podcast

Deconstructing Comics #263: Adrian Tomine’s “Shortcomings” … and our own


“Shortcomings” is a relationship story that mixes in issues of race and gender, and features a rather unlikeable character as its protagonist. Some say it’s Adrian Tomine’s masterwork, others say it’s more of the same from him. Tim (battling a cold that’s bestowed on him the voice of a frog) and Kumar (with a mic that keeps going on the fritz) overcome their own shortcomings to discuss the book.

Visit the Deconstructing Comics site

Follow Tim on Twitter | Facebook group

Hope Of All Trades #3 — DRAGON*CON


In this episode of Hope of All Trades, Hope discusses her time at Dragon*Con. She met Mike Bailey, Shag, and others in her time there. She discusses the panels she saw and was on, as well as jokes she heard. With music in between, this should be an entertaining episode! I have to apologize. My mic was doing some funny things in this episode. Here are the websites she mentioned in this episode:


 You can now follow Hope on Twitter at( “Friend” her on Facebook!



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