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The Comics Alternative - Smart Discussions on Comic Books and Graphic Novels

Two guys with PhDs talking about comics! The Comics Alternative is 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.
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The Comics Alternative - Smart Discussions on Comic Books and Graphic Novels
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Now displaying: March, 2013
Mar 29, 2013

The Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics make another visit to Lone Star Comics in Plano, Texas. There they talk with the location’s scheduling manager, Shea Hennum, about general comics news.  The conversation is free-flowing and engaging, with topics including the recent “banning” of Persepolis for seventh graders in Chicago, Superman‘s Orson Scott Card problem, indy creators and all-age comics, mature titles on Lone Star Comics’ shelves, the impact of The Walking Dead television show and other comics-based TV series, the current impressive wave of Image Comics, and Brian K. Vaughn and Marcos Martin’s new digital experiment, The Private Eye. Shea also reveals to Andy and Derek how The Comics Alternative saved his life while riding the subways in New York. What better endorsement can a podcast get? Be sure not to miss this new “point one” show on location at Lone Star Comics, something that will now be a monthly feature. Mark your calendars!

Mar 27, 2013

This week the Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics return with another one of their regular review shows, this one focusing on the new graphic biography from SelfMadeHero, Hellraisers, written by Robert Sellers and illustrated by JAKe, and Helheim #1 from the creative team of Cullen Bunn and Joëlle Jones, and published by Oni Press. Hollywood alcoholic celebrities and supernatural vikings…two tastes that go great together! They also follow up on their recent foray into John Constantine by critiquing Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes’s Constantine #1, and overall, both guys are cautiously optimistic about Constantine’s new home in the DC Universe.

Mar 20, 2013

his week the Two Guys with PhDs return with the second of their two-episode look at recent crime, detective, and noir comics. In this installment, they begin with a discussion of more conventional detective/crime comics and then turn their gaze to noir with a psychological twist, where the protagonist's mental condition creates confusion and uncertainty. Regarding the former, Derek and Andy look specifically at From the Files of...Mike Hammer: The Complete Dailies and Sundays, Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth’s Stumptown, Roger Gibson and Vince Danks's Harker: The Book of Solomon, Andy Diggle and Jock’s first issue of Snapshot, and Jay Faerber and Koray Kuranel's Point of Impact.  Next, they segue to several recent examples of psychological noir, including Jay Faerber and Simone Guglielmini's Near Death, Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson's mini-series Happy!, Nathan Edmondson and Tonci Zonjic's Who Is Jake Ellis? and the first two issues of Where Is Jake Ellis?, and Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon's graphic novel Tumor.

Mar 13, 2013

This week, Derek and Andy talk with Ben Katchor, an award-winning cartoonist who has also worked in musical theater and is currently an associate professor of illustration at Parsons the New School of Design.  His new book, Hand-Drying in America and Other Stories, came out last week from Pantheon Books. It's a phenomenal work collecting strips that were originally published in the architectural and design magazine, Metropolis, between 1998 to 2012. In their conversation with Ben, the Two Guys with PhDs ask the artist about the design and packaging of  Hand-Drying in America, how his new book differs from his earlier collections, what he sees as the current state of comics publishing, the difference between his work in Metropolis and his ongoing serialized strips, and how his picture stories underscore the layout and strictures of urban life.

Mar 7, 2013

This week the Two Guys with (easy) PhDs take their monthly stroll through the pages of the new Previews catalog.  They mention how jam-packed the March Previews is, filled with more promising comics than humans should be allowed. Among the many titles catching the guys’ (easy) PhD-trained minds are the new Mister X mini-series, Richard Corben’s adaptation of The Fall of the House of Usher, the 10th anniversary edition of Fagin the Jew, The Green Team, The Movement, The Wake, Promethea: The Immateria Edition from DC/Vertigo, Ten Grand, The Dream Merchant, Jim Rigg’s Supermag, Chris Northrop and Jeff Stokely’s The Reason for Dragons, Brenda Starr: The Complete Pre-Code Comic Books, Vol. 1, Gilbert Hernandez’s Marble Season, Matt Kindt’s Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes, Jim Woodring’s Fran, The Metabarons: The Ultimate Collection, Mike Carey’s Suicide Risk, and two exciting titles from a brand new publisher, Black Mask Studios. Two Guys with (easy) PhDs also observe some weirdness in their iTunes reviews.

Mar 1, 2013

This week the Two Guys with PhDs eulogize the recently ended Hellblazer series and the publication of its 300th issue.  This is a sad occasion, since both Andy and Derek love Hellblazer, but at the same time both are generally pleased with how the series ended.  In this episode the two guys spend a lot of time discussing the impact and the legacy of John Constantine, his place in both the Vertigo line and the DC Universe, the strengths and shortcomings of the newer, younger Constatine in Justice League Dark, and they also speculate on the new title, Constantine, and what that might be. In addition, Andy succinctly encapsulates Brian Azzarello's run on Hellblazer with canine acuity.

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