Comics Alternative, On Location: Talking with Creators at HeroesCon 2016

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Talk Talk


Stay tuned over the next week for other episodes generated at the 2016 HeroesCon!


Comics Alternative Interviews: Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller

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A F**k-filled Episode

humans_teamOn this interview show, Derek and Andy W. have a fun time talking with Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller. The first trade volume of their series, The Humans, recently came out from Image Comics, and next week the narrative arc will continue with issue #5, in which the simian bikers make their drug run in L.A. Although every issue of The Humans is filled with action and dynamic art, this upcoming installment is particularly energetic, complete with chase scenes, road fights, blown-off faces, pissing on police cars, plenty of explosions, and an abundance of profanity. In fact, as the Two Guys point out, this has to be the most “fucked”-filled episode of The Comics Alternative that the guys have ever recorded. (And of course, it bears the appropriate “explicit” rating in iTunes.) Keenan and Tom cut loose with the conversation, just as their biker gang rides roughshod over 1970s Bakersfield. They discuss the genesis of The Humans, the series’ humble beginning as a self-published #0 issue, their relationship with Image Comics, the joys of living and working (literally) right down the street from each other, the kick-ass work of colorist Kristina Collantes, and the creation of a larger Humans “universe,” HumansNo5complete with its own soundtrack. You will even hear in this interview original tunes created specifically for The Humans. Tom and Keenan also discuss their larger plans for the series, possible spin-off narratives that flesh out their storyworld, and Humans-branded biker magazines. Although most of the conversation is devoted to the current series, the Two Guys ask their guests about their past works, including Keenan’s Galactic Breakdown and Force Majeure, as well as Tom’s The Blot and Popeye. Derek is especially interested in talking with Tom about Henry and Glenn Forever and Ever, how he came up with the idea — not surprisingly, there was a lot of drinking involved — and the story behind the satanic Hall and Oates. Not only is there a lot of explicitness in this episode, but there’s tons of laughing, as well. If you love comics about biker apes, drug use, exploding heads, and blow jobs, then The Humans — and this interview with Tom and Keenan — is definitely for you!

Be sure to check out The Humans‘ website.


 Soundtrack for this episode:

  • The Zig-Zags – “Humans March (Let’s Die)”
  • Boss Kong – “Viet Kong”
  • Fairlight Empress – “Outside in a Cage”
  • Smelly Tongues – “Live to Ride”


Episode 109: Reviews of Baby Bjornstrand, The Kitchen #1, Masterplasty, and The Humans #1

“For Life. Till Death.”

Baby_BjornstrandThis week on the podcast, Andy W. joins Derek to discuss four recent titles…and boy, are you in for a treat. First, they look at Renée French’s new book, Baby Bjornstrand (Koyama Press). The guys discuss its Samuel Beckettesque setting, the unusual characters that make up the cast, the fragmented temporal arrangements, and French’s stripped down narrative style. Yet while some readers have described the book as bleak and downbeat, both Derek and Andy see a more hopeful — and perhaps even life-affirming — ending in the story. Next, they move from French’s barren landscape outside of time to an all-too-real story set in Hell’s Kitchen during the 1970s. Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle’s The Kitchen #1 (Vertigo) is a solid piece of Kitchenstorytelling that effectively launches this 8-issue miniseries. The guys are particularly taken by the final pages of this first issue, where Masters complicates his premise while at the same time laying on exposition without being overbearing. Andy and Derek then turn their attention to two recent titles from Image Comics. James Harvey’s one-shot Masterplasty is a curious story that doesn’t seem to stand entirely on its own…which may explain why Harvey describes it as a prequel to a much longer narrative Masterplastyhe’s working on. Perhaps the most notable thing about this comic is its unconventional size, the ultimate purpose of which has the guys scratching their heads. Finally, they look at the first issue in a new series from Keenan Marshall Keller and Tom Neely, The Humans. Unlike most reviewers of this title, Derek and Andy don’t feel that this has much of a Planet of the Apes vibe. (Also, that’s way too facile a comparison, just because you have apes riding motorcycles.) Instead, they feel that the story in this first issues stands entirely on its own, and if anything, it reminds the guys of the kind of biker movies they remembered from the 1970s. While this is yet another offbeat humor comic from Image — following in the wake of God Hates Astronauts and Punks: The Comic — it’s one with a harder edge…as the overt references to pot, Quaaludes, and fellatio will attest. There’s a lot of weird, fun stuff for this week, and we hope you will join Andy and Derek for the wild ride.


And as the guys mentioned on the show, you should throw your enthusiastic support behind Gabriel Dunston and his new Kickstarter campaign, Purgatory Pub (Book 2). It has the official Comics Alternative Stamp of Approval!

Also, be sure to check out the hip, clever, and visually appealing publication, Bachelor Pad Magazine, the digest of atomic age culture. Remember, booze, babes, and burly-Q can be your friends!

This episode’s incidental music is brought to you by
Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes
and The Humans Soundtrack

Episode 109 Image