A weekly podcast focusing on the world of alternative, independent, and primarily non-superhero comics. (There's nothing wrong with superhero comics. We just want to do something different.) New podcast episodes become available every Wednesday and include reviews of graphic novels and current ongoing series, discussions of upcoming comics, examinations of collected editions, in-depth analyses of a variety of comics texts, and spotlights on various creators and publishers. The Comics Alternative also produces "special feature" programs, such as shows specifically dedicated to creator interviews, webcomics, on-location events, and special non-weekly themes and topics.
A Publisher Spotlight on Glom Press
Reviews of Now #5, Criminal #1, and Scratcher #1-3
00:00:32 - Introduction 00:03:38 - Now#5 01:02:20 - Criminal #1 01:20:01 - Scratcher #1-3 01:33:04 - Wrap up 01:34:32 - Contact us
On this episode of the podcast Sterg and Derek look at three exciting titles. They begin with Now#5, the latest in Fantagraphics' outstanding comics anthology series. As the guys point out, they're dedicated to discussing every issue of Nowthat is released, and this one is chock-full of comicy goodness. Although all of the contributions in this issue are intriguing, some of the most notable that the guys discuss are those by Eroyn Franklin, Walker Tate, DRT, Ana Galvañ, DW, Maggie Umber, and especially Walt Holcombe.
And although Derek and Sterg spend the vast majority of their time discussing this anthology -- there's a lot to take in -- they also look at two other titles. One of those is most recent incarnation of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips's Criminal(Image Comics). In the new series' first issue, the protagonist is one familiar to Criminal enthusiasts, Teeg Lawless. But there are other manifestations of Brubaker and Phillips' world that are imbedded within. After that they look at the first three issues of Scratcher, John Wald and Juan Romera's self-published horror title that takes place at a tattoo parlor. This is actually a work that its writer alerted the guys to, and they're glad that he did.
Reviews of The Unknown Anti-War Comics, Love and Rockets IV #6, and LaGuardia #1 & #2
00:00:32 - Introduction 00:03:07 - Listener correspondence! 00:09:07 - The Unknown Anti-War Comics 00:53:57 - Love and Rockets IV#6 01:29:53 - LaGuardia #1 & #2 01:55:39 - Wrap up 01:57:53 - Contact us
On this episode, Sterg and Derek discuss three recent titles that run the gamut from sci-fi to political to slice-of-life (or what the Two Guys prefer to call verite dessinée). They begin with the latest collection from Craig Yoe, The Unknown Anti-War Comics(IDW Publications/Yoe Books). This is a volume devoted to classic Charlton Comics stories from the 1950s and 1960s -- most probably written by Joe Gill -- that have a peaceful message to deliver. One of the highlights of this collection is the art of Steve Ditko. After that, the guys jump into the latest issue of Love and Rockets (Fantagraphics Books). Both Derek and Sterg highlight what they particularly like about this specific issue, but they also speculate on the current career trajectories of Gilbert and Jaime and even on what they see as some of the "excesses" of each brother. Finally, the guys wrap up with a discussion of the first two issues of Nnedi Okorafor and Tana Ford's LaGuardia(Dark Horse Comics/Berger Books). In fact, this is an appropriate title to bookend the episode, along with Charlton anti-war stories. Both Sterg and Derek are intrigued by the premise of this limited series, but at the same time they feel that there's something missing from the first two issues, which is half of the four-issue run. Is the narrative too decompressed? Lacking enough exposition? Regardless, both guys want to read on and see where Okorafor and Tana end with their timely story.
An Interview with Keith Dallas and Jason Sacks
00:00:25 - Introduction 00:02:20 - Setup of interview 00:03:54 - Interview with Keith Dallas and Jason Sacks 01:22:12 - Wrap up 01:22:52 - Contact us
On this, the second show in The Comics Alternative's new Critical Takes series, Derek has back on the podcast Keith Dallas, coauthor of the new book, American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1990s. Listeners might remember that he talked with Keith, along with John Wells, back last summer when their Comic Book Implosion was released by TwoMorrows Publishing. In fact, that was the very first Critical Takes episode. This time around, Keith is joined by Jason Sacks, another comics scholar and historian who has worked on other texts within the American Comic Book Chroniclesseries. The two have just released their volume on the 1990s, a curious and tumultuous time in American comics history. As you’ll hear in conversation, Jason and Keith discuss in detail their first-hand experiences during this decade, the process of researching for this project, the various stereotypes that they had to overcome when encapsulating the decade, and what each of them sees as key defining moments for comics during the 1990s. They also talk about the genesis of the American Comic Book Chroniclesseries and what we might expect with future volumes.
A Discussion of the January Previews Catalog
It's the first episode of the new year, and for the January Previewsshow the Two Guys decide to try something different: invite a third person to join them in discussing the current Previewscatalog. This week Sterg and Derek are joined by Troy-Jeffrey Allen who works with community outreach at PREVIEWSworld. And given Troy's association with Diamond Distributors and the ins and outs of their monthly catalog, he's able to provide insights and additional commentary that results in an extra special discussion. And as you might expect, the addition of a third conversant makes this episode longer than usual...as if the guys' monthly Previews shows weren't long enough. Among the many publishers and titles that Troy, Sterg, and Derek highlight are:
Image Comics - Little Bird#1, Assassin Nation#1, and Black Magick: The First Book of Shadows Dark Horse Comics - Invisible Kingdom#1, Black Hammer '45: From the World of Black Hammer#1, Astro Hustle#1, Bad Luck Chuck #1, Moonshadow: The Definitive Edition, and Emanon Vol. 1: Memories of Emanon DC Comics/Vertigo - Dial H for Hero #1, Second Coming #1, and Detective Comics#1000 IDW Publishing - Impossible, Inc., Enola Holmes: The Case of the Left-Handed Lady, Violette around the World Vol 2: A New World Symphony!, and Highwayman BOOM! Studios - Firefly: Bad Company#1, Ronin Island#1, The Grand Abyss Hotel, Black Badge Vol. 1, and Midas Abrams ComicArts - A Fire Storyand Nobody's Fool: The Life and Times of Schlitzie the Pinhead Abstract Studios -Strangers in Paradise XXV Vol. 2: Hide and Seek AdHouse - The Freak Aftershock Comics - Dark Red #1 and Out of the Blue Vol. 1 Albatross Funnybooks - The Goon#1 Archie Comics - Sabrina the Teenage Witch#1 Avery Hill Publishing - Ismyre Candlewick Press - The Iliad Cave Pictures Publishing - The Blessed Machine#1 Dead Reckoning - The Night Witches Drawn and Quarterly - Clyde Fans Box Set Slipcase Edition, Palimpsest, and Kitaro Vol. 6: Kitaro's Yokai Battles Fantagraphics Books - 3D Sweeties, James Warren, Empire of Monsters: The Man behind Creepy, Vampirella, and Famous Monsters, Is This How You See Me?, and Alienation First Second - The Breakawaysand Kiss Number 8 It's Alive - D-Day: From the Pages of Combat Lion Forge - Stiletto No. 1: Officer Down, Haphaven, and Gang of Fools NBM - The Rolling Stones in Comics Papercutz - The Only Living Boy Omnibusand The Only Living Girl Vol. 1: The Island at the Edge of Infinity Pegasus - Goya: The Terrible Sublime Quirk Books - Giraffes on Horseback Salad Rebellion/2000AD - Fran of the Floods SelfMadeHero - Blossoms in Autumn, Guantanamo Kid: The True Story of Mohammed El-Gharani, and Lomax: Collectors of Folk Songs Silver Sprocket - Magical Beatdown#1 Titan Comics - Life Is Strange Vol. 1 University Press of Mississippi - The Comics of Rutu Modan Vault Comics - Queen of Bad Dreams#1 Dempa Books - Super-Dimensional Love Gun Kodansha Comics - Gleipnir Vol. 1and Love in Focus Vol. 1 A BIG THANKS to Troy-Jeffrey Allen for his contributions to this episode!
Be sure to keep up with the good people at PREVIEWSworld, and check out Troy on PREVIEWSworld's weekly YouTube show!
Another Happy New Yoe Interview with Craig Yoe
00:00:29 - Introduction 00:02:38 - Setup of interview 00:07:14 - Interview with Craig Yoe 02:16:37 - Wrap up 02:18:05 - Contact us
It's a new year, so that must mean that it's time for the annual Happy New Yoe show! On this, The Comics Alternative's very first episode of 2019, Derek talks with Craig Yoe about what he's been up to lately. They spend much of the time talking about the year in review for Yoe Books. And it was a busy one for Craig and his companion/colleague, Clizia Gussoni, who oversaw the publication of such titles as Limbo Lounge, Reefer Madness, We Spoke Out: Comic Books and the Holocaust, Lou Cameron’s Unsleeping Dead, Super Patriotic Heroes, The Best of Don Winslow of the Navy, Super Weird Heroes: Preposterous but True!, and new collections of their Weird Loveand Haunted Horrorcomics. Craig also reveals some of the titles we can look forward to in the new year, such as The Unknown Anti-War Comics, Jungle Girls, Swamp Monsters, Clyde, Life on the Moon, and Matchless Beauties: The Art of Pin-up Matchbook Covers. Along the way, the two discuss Yoe Books' recent efforts to publish original graphic novels -- such as Limbo Loungeand Life on the Moon-- the glories of HeroesCon, the future for Craig's various comic-book series, which books caught the most fire in 2018, and plans for Yoe Books to branch out and cover more popular culture topics in addition to comics and comics history. And of course, there are the laughter and wry humor that Craig always brings to every interview he gives to podcast. And this marks the 11th occasion that Craig has been interviewed on The Comics Alternative!
And Craig is also an artist!
Design that Craig Yoe created specifically for The Comics Alternative!
Great, interesting comics podcast
I am glad to hear information and analysis of comics that aren't superheroes. I agree with the 2Guys + others assessment that the alternative comics get less attention than their superhero counterparts. I love that the Comics Alternative fills that niche. I always try to keep up with all of the wonderful content they provide. You can choose to only listen to the regular episodes, the special interest episodes, or do what I do and listen to everything! I cannot recommend this podcast highly enough!
Smart Talk about Comics
This is perhaps the most insightful comics-related podcasts out there. Fanboy/girl podcasts with “geek this” or “nerd that” are a dime a dozen, and those almost always focus on superheroes and mainstream comics ad infinitum. The hosts of this podcast make an effort to discuss small press and indie comics, regardless of style and genre. I’ve discovered so many great titles by listening to these guys. Their insightful, democratic, and humorous analysis should be a model for other podcasters. They’re the Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert of comics talk!
Good, Deep Commentary on Alt/Indy Comics
This is a great podcast for the deep and thoughtful commentary on the comics reviewed and it's not pretentious or too high-brow to enjoy. There's a good rapport between the co-hosts. They're smart and knowledgeable but very down-to-earth. The interview with Hickman is a definite highpoint and I still have two more eps to listen to. If capes and cowls bore you, then this is your relief.
Update: late in 2015 I unsubscribed to this podcast. While it was all that I said it was, it became more of an advert to the Patreon campaign than anything else. I just began to feel too guilty about not being able to afford to pay a monthly amt. to the two guys. And, to be honest, the rotating "anchors" became more of a distraction and the chemistry just wasn't there. And the tipping point was the first podcast about webcomics -- it was wrong, poorly researched and was opinions dressed up as "fact." I wish the 2 (or 3 or 4 or whatever it is now) guys all the best. They just aren't in my ears anymore.