Comics Alternative, Episode 220: Our Favorite Comics of 2016

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The Results Are In

Time Codes:

  • 00:01:50 – Introduction
  • 00:03:37 – Setting up our favorites
  • 00:07:16 – Year-end statistics
  • 00:15:54 – Our favorites of 2016
  • 01:43:22 – Wrapping up our favorites, and honorable mentions
  • 01:48:55 – Contact us

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This is the last regular review episode of 2016, and as the Two Guys with PhDs do annually, they use their final show of the year to share their favorite comics from the past twelve months. Both Andy and Derek have each chosen what he considers the 10 best of 2016 — and in no particular order — but neither has shared his list with the other until the recording of this episode. So there are some surprises along the way. There is not much overlap between the guys’ lists, and only two titles are mentioned by both. Taken together, this is a wide-ranging selection that includes everything from mainstream superhero comics to small-press selections, from webcomics to manga, from comics in translation to works that are sure to become part of many readers’ canon.

However, before they plunge into their lists the guys share some year-end statistics. By the end of 2016 The Comics Alternative will have produced 162 episodes (including this episode and the December manga review). Among those shows, 278 print titles will have been discussed along with 36 webcomics. Derek also crunched the numbers in terms of the most reviewed publishers. The one whose titles were discussed most frequently was Image Comics, with the guys focusing on 25 of their titles. Next is Fantagraphics and Dark Horse Comics with 21 reviewed titles each. After that it’s IDW with 19, DC/Vertigo with 17, First Second with 13, and BOOM! Studios with 11. Other publishers whose titles have been reviewed at least 5 times over the past year include Kilgore Books (9), Kodansha Comics (8), Alternative Comics (7), Aftershock (7), Floating World (6), Drawn and Quarterly (5), Retrofit/Big Planet (5), and Avery Hill Publishing (5).

After that numerical rundown, the Two Guys get into their 10 favorite titles of 2016:

Andy’s Top 10 of 2016

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Derek’s Top 10 of 2016

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The Honorable Mentions…These Titles Almost, but Just Didn’t Quite, Make It onto Each Guy’s List

For Andy

For Derek

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Comics Alternative Interviews: Leela Corman

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Trauma, Bellydancing, and Eurovision

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:25 – Introduction
  • 00:02:07 – Setup of interview
  • 00:03:01 – Interview with Leela Corman
  • 01:06:25 – Wrap up
  • 01:07:25 – Contact us

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On this interview show, Andy and Derek have the pleasure of talking with Leela Corman. Her latest book, We All Wish for Deadly Force, was just recently released by Retrofit/Big Planet Comics, and it’s a collection of shorter comics spanning a wide range of topic and tone. These pieces have previously appeared in such publications as The NibTabletWomen’s Review of Books, and Nautilus, and the guys begin by asking Leela about her work with these magazines. As both Derek and Andy point out, the comics in this collection fall into one of three main (and, at times, interconnected) categories: stories addressing the loss of her first daughter, Rosalie; those focusing on Leela’s family and her Jewish roots; and tales involving bellydancing, one of Leela’s passions. Indeed, the loss of Rosalie arguably pervades this entire collection in some form or another — see the guys’ earlier interview with Leela’s husband Tom Hart for more on this topic — and the guys talk with Leela about the role that art can play in dealing with trauma. But there are also lighter moments in this collection, such as the occasional comedy found in Leela’s Jewishness as well as her exercise in live drawing the Eurovision song contest. The guys also take the opportunity to talk with their guest about her earlier works, such as Unterzakhn and Queen’s Day, and her upcoming fictional narrative set in the 1940s.

Learn more about Leela at her website!

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