This week Sterg and Derek discuss three fascinating and genre-spanning titles. They begin with Lisa Hanawalt’s Coyote Doggirl (Drawn and Quarterly). As the guys point out, this is a humor-infused story that engages with the western genre. Both Derek and Sterg mention that while they appreciate Hanawalt’s off-beat sense of humor, they haven’t been big fans of her past books, in that they weren’t so much narrative comics as they were illustrated works of humor. But Coyote Doggirl is more of a “traditional” comic, with sequential panels and a discernible storyline. The premise is more or less simple, but that’s part of the charm of this text. And the humor!
Next, the Two Guys with PhDs turn to Emi Gennis’s Baseline Blvd., released earlier this year from Kilgore Books and Comics. This actually began as a webcomic back in 2015, but it was published in hardcopy as part of Kilgore’s Kickstarter campaign for their 2018 releases. Where many of Gennis’s comics have been profiles or biographies, this latest book is more autobiographical in nature. As the guys point out, there is a silent elegance about this work, and Gennis packs a lot of story — and emotion — into her brief narrative.
The guys then wrap up the episode by looking at Warren Ellis and Jason Howard’s Cemetery Beach #1 (Image Comics). Sterg observes that this seems to be a typical Ellis narrative — and “typical” in a good, demonstrative way — and both of the guys comment on Howard’s art. In fact, much of this first issue is carried by the illustrations. In all, it’s a successful first issue. This seven-issue sci-fi series has a lot of promise, and both Derek and Sterg look forward to seeing where the creators take their premise.
It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for your weekly visit from the doctors! This week on the show the Two Guys with PhDs review two new titles. First, they look at the latest in Titan Books’ Simon and Kirby Library series, Simon and Kirby: Horror! This beautiful volume collects all of the Black Magicand The Strange World of Your Dreams (Prize Comics) stories that Joe Simon and Jack Kirby had a hand in, in one form or another, published between 1950 and 1954. Many of these comics have been collected before — for example, DC’s brief reissuing of Black Magic between 1973-1975 and Craig Yoe’s The Strange World of Your Dreams collection that came out last year — but this is the first time all of the Simon and Kirby contributions have been brought all together and in chronological order. As Andy and Derek point out, there’s some wonderful stuff in this collection, macabre stories in the vein of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone and the creepiest of Hitchcock. Next, the Two Guys turn their attention to issue #1 of Trees, written by Warren Ellis with art by Jason Howard. This is an intriguing first issue, one that teases…but in a good way. The guys are particularly pleased with this latest effort from Ellis, in that they’ve been wanting more original and ambitious (and non-mainstream) stories from him, as demonstrated in Transmetropolitan, The Authority, Planetary, and Desolation Jones. They feel that Trees promises to follow in this tradition.