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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: April, 2015
Apr 30, 2015

Beginning in April, The Comics Alternative will be presenting a new monthly show devoted exclusively to manga. Derek will be joined by Shea Hennum, a manga aficionado and longtime friend of the podcast, to discuss both new and older titles. In this inaugural episode, Shea and Derek begin by laying out their agenda and describing the format of the show. Around the last half of every month, they will discuss two manga titles, one of which will in some way be new. (The guys define "new" as a first-time publication, a new translation, an updated edition of an older volume, or a new collection of previously published individual volumes.) This month, Derek and Shea discuss Junji Ito's Gyo -- which is seeing brand new 2-in-1 deluxe edition from VIZ Media  -- and Satoshi Kon's Opus, which came out a few months ago from Dark Horse. Before they get to the titles, though, the guys first define what they mean by "manga," contextualizing it as both a medium and a style. They also address common and essentializing misconceptions of manga, introducing forms that are far different from the kind of manga most popularly known in this country (e.g., Naruto, Bleach, and Fruits Basket). In fact, they predict that the vast majority of what they'll be discussing on the monthly shows are titles that most American fans of manga will not immediately recognize. Shea and Derek then recommend a few manga guides or introductory critical works that listeners might find useful. But after all of the preliminary comments and explanations, the guys get down to the nitty gritty of the show: discussing specific manga titles. They begin with Gyo, emphasizing its disturbing tone and sheer creepiness. Jinji Ito is a master of the horror genre, as is evidenced by earlier works, Tomie and Uzumaki, and in Gyo the terror comes from a gaseous stench and fish on mechanical legs. At times Ito stretches credibility by taking his narrative close to the extreme, but he seems to always pull back just before venturing into the ridiculous. In fact, when reading Gyo Derek kept thinking of Sharknado and other outlandish Syfy over-the-top movies, although not making the association in a negative way. Jinji Ito is a much more intelligent, and adept, storyteller than that. Next, they focus on Satoshi Kon's Opus. Of the two titles discussed this month, this is the one that really captures the guys' admiration. Primarily known for his anime Perfect Blue, Paranoia Agent, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika, Satoshi Kon began his career as a manga artist, and Shea points out that this work goes a long way in defining the artist's general approach to storytelling. Indeed, Opus is all about creators and their relationships with, and responsibilities to, their creations. It is a metafictional narrative where the protagonist, a manga artist by the name of Chikara Nagai, plunges into his own created storyworld and is seen as a god-like figure by his characters. But some of the players in his story attempt to wrench control of their own destinies, creating an almost dizzying interaction between "reality" and "fiction." As Derek points out, fans of Grant Morrison will love what Satoshi Kon does in Opus. And although the book was ultimately incomplete at the time of the artist's death in 2010, the editors of this edition include an unfinished final chapter that, for all practical purposes, wraps things up as best as possible. All in all, this is an exciting first outing for Shea and Derek in their attempt to immerse listeners into the fascinating world of manga.

Apr 29, 2015

Occasionally, Derek and Andy like to devote an episode to a particular publisher, looking at the recent or seasonal releases and providing a snapshot of the kind of books they publish. So for this week, the Two Guys discuss the spring publications from Koyama Press, a Toronto-based small press founded in 2007 by Annie Koyama. This is a publisher that the guys deeply appreciate but have discussed little on the show. (They reviewed Renee French's Baby Bjornstrand in November of last year, and there have been a few reviews of Koyama books on the blog.) The conversation begins with Alex Schubert's Blobby Boys 2, a minimalist collection of stories with a punk aesthetic and a great sense of humor. This is a follow up to the first Blobby Boys book, which came out in fall of 2013. The guys discuss the book's wild and violent comedy, and while they enjoy the strips devoted to the titular characters, they particularly like the two stories focusing on Fashion Cat, a hip, powerful, yet ill-fated celebrity of the fashion world. After that, Andy and Derek look at Ginette Lapalme's Confetti. This is not really comic -- although there is a little sequential narrative in the opening pages of the book -- but more of an art book. Lapalme's illustrations, paintings, and object art are featured throughout, and the guys try to find several iconic themes that link the pieces together, such as melting heads, bodily fluids, butts with eyes on them, and the obvious prevalence of cats. Next, they turn to an unequivocal comic, A. Degen's Mighty Star and the Castle of the Cancatervater. This is special kind of superhero story, one that is largely silent. (There is text that introduces each chapter's dramatic personae, and there are vague sounds, represented by Ns and Hs, that are sprinkled throughout.) Degen's unique take on the hero or adventure genres is both compelling and metaphorical. But when it comes to thought-provoking texts, there is perhaps no book discussed this week more philosophical than Dustin Harbin's Diary Comics. This project began as an online illustrated journal that Harbin kept beginning in January 2010, where he would try to represent each of his days with at least one comics panel. He continued this experiment off-and-on until September 2012, eventually releasing hardcopy issues of this work in four short installments. Now, all of those life stories are collected in a single volume, and one of the pleasures of reading Diary Comics is seeing the development of Harbin as an writer and how his art, as well as his understanding of himself as an artist, progresses over time. Indeed, the highlight of the text is its opening and closing sections, where Harbin introduces his project and provides a interpretive context that is much more than mere navel gazing. This is the kind of meticulously crafted and experimental work, much like that other books discussed on the episode, that represents Koyama's mission and deserves far more attention from comics readers.

Apr 27, 2015

On this episode of the interview show, Derek and Gene talk with the strange minds behind the even stranger title, Punks: The Comic, Joshua Hale Fialkov and Kody Chamberlain. Their first trade collection, Punks: The Comic, Vol. 1: Nutpuncher, has just come out this month from Image Comics, and Josh and Kody are ready to spill the beans about their secrets to humorous success. They talk with the guys about the genesis of Punks, how they come up with story ideas, their collaborative process, and the possible future of the title. If you're familiar with this comic, you know all about its offbeat humor, its non sequitur sensibilities, and its resistance to formula. Gene and Derek have the same kind of experience talking with the creators, demonstrating that the title's humor comes from a idiosyncratic wellspring. Both Kody and Josh are entertainingly funny, and Punks is their weird labor of love...complete with cross-stitched Lincoln patters, Sean Connory-infested holidays, do-it-yourself awesome red ties, violent gnome deaths, a fish-faced Rick Remender, fun facts about urine, and Nutpuncher: The Game. The Two Guys also ask the collaborators about some of the titles they work on separately, such as Kody's Sweets: A New Orleans Crime Story, and Josh's The Bunker and The Life After. All in all, it is a fun and funky interview, and both Derek and Gene eagerly await the upcoming release of Punks: The Comic-CBLDF Special, where the historic Comics Code will get the roasting it truly deserves.

Apr 24, 2015

Craig Yoe is back for his fourth interview appearance on The Comics Alternative, and this time he has two wacky new books to share with everyone, both from IDW Publishing and Yoe! Books. First, he talks with Derek and Andy about Milt Gross' New York, a "lost" graphic novel that was originally published in 1939 to capitalize on that year's New York World's Fair. Copies of the original paperback are very difficult to find, but Craig was able to get his hands on one -- thanks to eBay -- and then work his wonders in what he does best: restoring and reproducing in beautiful editions classic, often obscure, comics from our past. The result is a sturdy hardback volume that showcases the wild and breakneck style of Milt Gross. Originally published by Bystander Press and titled That's My Pop! Goes Nuts for Fair: A Cartoon Tour of New York, it features Gross's famous (at the time) character Pop, a proto-Homer Simpson, and his admiring son as they tour New York City, it's neighborhoods, its nightlife, its culture, its food, its busy streets, and then finally ending up at the World's Fair. Craig discusses the significance of Milt Gross to comics history and how his work is often overlooked. More to the point, much of the conversation centers on this new edition and how it could be read as a defining example of the cartoonist, who Craig sees as one of America's funniest artists. Next, Derek and Andy talk with their guest about a second new publication from Yoe! Books, Weird Love, Vol. 1: You Know You Want It. It was almost a year ago that the Two Guys interviewed Craig about the inaugural issue of his semi-monthly series, Weird Love, and now that the first collected volume is out, they wanted to talk with him about his further adventures in finding strange stories masquerading as romance comics. Over the course of their conversation, the guys talk about hippy love, misogyny, spanking, communism, escorts, molls, Ronald Reagan, wayward girls, body image, and perhaps most disturbing of all (at least for Derek), clown love. As with every interview with Craig, the conversation never flags, is filled with fun and unlikely topics, and you're not entirely sure where things will end up. The guys also talk with Craig about the fifth anniversary of Yoe! Books, a topic they discussed back in January, and how that year-long celebration is going. All in all, it's a fun conversation...as it usually is with this guest. Craig's been on the show so many times that he's almost becoming an honorary cohost of The Comics Alternative. But that's fine with Andy and Derek, and they plan to have him back for more conversation in the months to come.

Apr 22, 2015

On this episode of the podcast, Andy and Derek discuss two thought-provoking books that challenge the way we look at sequential narratives. First, they explore François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters's The Leaning Girl, the first edition of the Franco-Belgian series, Les Cités obscures, currently being translated and published in English by Alaxis Press. The guys begin by giving a little background of The Obscure Cities, its spotty publication history in the US, and Alaxis Press' attempts to bring all eleven volumes of the series into print with new translations. The Leaning Girl is actually the sixth book in the series, although readers do not need any knowledge or experience with the earlier works in order to appreciate it. In fact, the guys emphasize the fact that The Leaning Girl easily stands (or leans) on its own, and its immersive narrative world, as fantastic as it is, effectively draws you in so that you quickly become acquainted with its many facets. There are three story threads that eventually tie together, much like the convergence between worlds that takes place in the book. Translated by Stephen D. Smith, and with photography by Marie-Françoise Plissart, The Leaning Girl is a beautiful European album-sized work of art, one that anticipates and sets the standard for the next planned volumes in the series, The Theory of the Grain of Sand and The Shadow of a Man. Next, the Two Guys with PhDs look at a completely different kind of book, Nick Sousanis's Unflattening. Published by Harvard University Press, this book is based off of Sousanis's doctoral dissertation at the Teachers College of Columbia University, and it focuses on alternative and diverse ways of experiencing the world, making our understanding of existence more "rounded" and less "flat" (thus, the title). This is an extended essay in comics form -- much like Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics -- and it's divided into ten main sections (not counting the extensive notes and bibliography that complete the text). Sousanis begins with references to Edwin A. Abbott's Flatland and then uses that romance as a springboard into his larger thesis. The first three chapters, or parts, provide a brief introductory overview of epistemology from a historical perspective. The themes presented here are played out over the course of the text. In the fourth section, "The Shape of Our Thoughts," Sousanis links his broader ideas with the medium of comics, and it's here where Unflattening becomes a kind of theoretical take on comics. After that, the book plays out the remainder of his thesis. Both guys are fascinated by this project, and as Andy points out, the book is exciting for what might anticipate with future graduate studies, comics and otherwise. Will we see other comics-based dissertations in other disciplines? And while Derek believes this to be one of the most notable books of the year, he nonetheless feels that the narrative flattens out -- so to speak -- about halfway in, after the "Shape of Our Thoughts" chapter, and that Sousanis merely revisits or repeats many of the points he made in the first half. Regardless, this is comic worth studying, even though it will probably fall beneath most readers' radar. But as the guys point out, it, along with The Leaning Girl, deserves serious and repeated attention.

Apr 17, 2015

Derek is back at his local comic book shop, Collected Comics and Games in Plano, TX, and this month he's talking with customers and employees about returns. This is not about customers being unhappy with their purchases and then coming back into the shop to demand their money back. By "returns," Derek is referring to the various titles, characters, and events that are making reappearances after years of silence or of being out of currency. This is an appropriate topic because over the past year there have been a number of works that have come back or that have been reassertion themselves in new forms. For example, they get the conversation going, surprisingly enough, with a discussion of Bob Fingerman's Minimum Wage, which came back through Image Comics last year. The people who were there to talk with Derek -- Krystle, Shea, Craig, Matthew, and Michael -- were divided on this title, with some appreciating it, some not liking it, and one or two not even knowing what it is. But the conversation soon turns to more popular mainstream books that have been reappearing on the shelves, such as the new Star Wars comics published through (and returning to) Marvel. This leads to a brief discussion among the participants of other Marvel characters who are once again getting more panel space, such as Howard the Duck. While almost everyone there likes Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones's new series, Derek is the odd man out because Howard's heavy-handed insertion into the Marvel Universe is not to his liking, and he sees the new premise as an easy and predictable ploy. But they discuss other returns as well, such as the Big Two's return to universe-altering events, Convergence and Secret Wars; old titles coming back after Convergence but with very different creators, such as Gene Luen Yang (Superman), Ming Doyle (Constantine: The Hellblazer), and Sonny Liew (Dr. Fate); AiT/Planet Lar's Astronauts in Trouble coming out from Image (although Derek can't remember the title, for some reason); reprints of famous underground comix coming out in (expensive) collections from Fantagraphics; and more terror from Junji Ito in the form of Fragments of Horror and the new deluxe edition of Gyo. Of course, there are a lot of returns that the guys didn't get around to discussing -- David Lapham's Stray Bullets from last year, the recently announced second issue of Nate Simpson's Nonplayer, and old characters coming back to the Valiant universe -- but there's only so much you can pack into an on-location show before the shop has to close.

Apr 15, 2015

This week Derek and Andy discuss three recent titles, each of which is part of a larger series. First, they review the third in Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's Nemo trilogy, Nemo: River of Ghosts (Top Shelf). The guys begin their discussion by looking at the series as a whole -- even placing the trilogy within the larger context of Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen universe -- and then exploring the accessibility of the text as a singular narrative. River of Ghosts certainly needs to stand alongside the first two Nemo volumes, Heart of Ice and The Roses of Berlin, but the intertextual demands imbedded in the story (and in the Nemo trilogy as a whole) are far fewer than they are in the League books. Indeed, the three-part story of Janni Dakkar, beginning in 1925 (in Heart of Ice) and wrapping up in 1987, where River of Ghosts concludes, reads more as an adventure tale to be enjoyed than as a literary text to be deciphered. Yet, the Nemo trilogy is still part of Moore's larger narrative tapestry, and its picaresque quality adds even further dimension to the already substantive League universe. Next, the Two Guys turn to the latest series from Brian Wood, Rebels (Dark Horse). In this inaugural issue, with art by Andrea Mutti, we get a good dose of historical fiction -- the New Hampshire Grants become pivotal, and Ethan Allen even makes an appearance -- but in many ways it's familiar territory to Wood. This first narrative arc's subtitle, "A Well-Regulated Militia," as well as the introductory premise embedded on the first page, suggest that this series may be similar to Wood's long-running DMZ in political and cultural tone. Although that one of his favorite series from the past decade, Derek hopes that the allegorical messaging found in DMZ doesn't become too heavy in Rebels. And Andy observes that perhaps the series will stick more closely to the kind of historically based fiction we find in Northlanders. Yet, despite a little confusion generated by the issue's central confrontation, a class between colonials and redcoats at the village courthouse, the guys found Rebels #1 a solid read and anticipate the series to come. Andy and Derek wrap up this week's show with a review of No Mercy #1 (Image), the new series from Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil. What begins as a potentially light or trendy look at youth culture turns darker and more complex as the story develops. As de Campi makes clear in her comments at the end of this first issue, the lives and interactions of young adults are rich enough with drama without the usual genre-bendings or twists found in many contemporary narratives. There are no vampires, no otherworldly visitations, no anthropomorphic engagements. In No Mercy, we can expect to get real people from real contexts, and the story will be driven by their all-too-real desires and limitations. And in this first issue, we see de Campi and McNeil play out this premise to an uncertain, and unexpected, crescendo.

Apr 14, 2015

At last weekend's Sumter Comic Arts Symposium, Andy sat down with Tim Seeley in front of a live con audience and talked with him about his various comics, including Grayson, Batman Eternal, Effigy, Revival, and Sundowners. Along with Ray Fawkes (not part of this interview), Tim was one of the special guests at this first-ever Sumter event, which is described on the Sumter county's website as “an event like no other. This fun-filled event celebrates some of the most exciting and innovative creators working in comics and graphic novels today. From colorful cosplayers, once-in-a-lifetime Q and A panels, to exhibitions highlighting comics-inspired artworks along with prized original comic art from local collectors and emerging comic artists, the Sumter Comic Arts Symposium is sure to be the highlight of the Spring season.” Tim has been on The Comics Alternative twice before, back in November 2012 soon after Revival began, and then September of last year to talk about Grayson and Sundowners. He now joins the proud pantheon of creators who have had multiple appearances on the podcast, including Craig Yoe and Andy Hirsch!

Apr 13, 2015

Derek and Andy W. are back for another of their monthly webcomics episodes, and for April they discuss three exciting titles, two currently ongoing webcomics and one completed series. They begin with Kristen Gudsnuk's Henchgirl, the story of a young villain trying to find her way (and her fortune) in a world of super-powered crime. However, her heart and her relationships keep getting in the way, making her a unlikely and often-torn protagonist. As the Two Guys point out, this is more of a relationship-based story than a superhero one, and Gudsnuk is adept at showing the unglamorous and untold side of villainy. Manga-influenced and reminiscent of the style and tone of Scott Pilgrim, Henchgirl is probably a story aimed at a younger (Millennial?) readership, but it's humor and playfulness can be enjoyed by all. Next, the guys, not intending to be alliterative this month, discuss another H-heavy webcomic. Huge Hana is a relatively recent title created by Ian Burns, with a first installment posted on December 30, 2013, and an active Patreon campaign underway. As Andy describes it, it is a scientific science-fiction tale with a bit of Attack of the 50 Foot Woman thrown in and complete with devastating meteors, mutations, and enough of a medically based premise to set the Center for Disease Control on edge. It's the story of a young woman transformed into a giant and in search of answers to her dilemma, all the while trying to navigate a world that now sees her as a monster. Finally, the guys look at what could arguably called a "classic" in webcomics, Ursula Vernon's Digger. Running from February 2007 to March 2011, Digger is an epic that may have you reaching for your copy of Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces. It involves an anthropomorphic wombat far from home and in an unlikely team-up with the Hindu deity, Ganesh -- or at least a wooden statue of the god. Accompanied by an exiled hyena skin painter, a mentally unstable worshipper of Ganesh, and a shadow born of a white bird that just may be a demon, the story's hero, also known as the Digger-of-Unnecessarily-Convoluted-Tunnels, reluctantly undergoes a journey to uncover the source of evil magic that is gumming up the world. If you're a fan of such quest narratives as Tolkein's The Hobbit, Dave Sim's Cerebus, or Jeff Smith's Bone, then Digger is definitely a webcomic for you.

Apr 8, 2015

On this episode of the podcast, Andy and Derek review three new titles, each of which is a brief glimpse into a facet of our diverse comics culture. They begin by looking at the new book from Darryl Cunningham, The Age of Selfishness: Ayn Rand, Morality, and the Financial Crisis (Abrams ComicArs). This work is an extended essay focusing on the life and philosophy of Rand, the contribution of her ideas to the 2008 financial crisis, and a general discussion on growing libertarian selfishness of Western culture. In fact, the book is divided into three parts, each of which is devoted to one of these three components. The guys discuss Cunningham's structural approach when presenting his arguments. Andy feels that the three parts work fairly well together, although Derek isn't as convinced that the book as a whole has the appropriate balance. For examples, the references to Rand's philosophy in the second part of the book, "The Crash," are sporadic and could have been more deeply ingrained. As a result, the transition from the first part of the text, a broad biography of Ayn Rand, to the discussion on the 2008 crash that follows seems to separate two different projects. Still, Cunningham is able to weave his points together through references to Rand's disciples, the most prominent of which is Alan Greenspan. The Age of Selfishness is definitely an editorializing work with a left-leaning bent -- which is OK with the guys -- although at times the author tries almost too hard to be evenhanded. Next, Derek and Andy talk about a comic that they've been meaning to discuss for some time, Lumberjanes (BOOM! Box). In their first collected trade, Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen introduce the adventuresome girl team by plunging readers directly into the thick of things, involving yetis, animated statues, werescouts, a mysterious bearwoman, and the subtitular "kitten holy." This initial volume collects the first four issues of the series, which began about a year ago. The guys wonder why it took so long to put out the first trade, and why this collection comprises only the first four comic books. Derek believes that issues #5, and perhaps even #6, could have been included in the first trade with it still retaining a coherent narrative. But the thing about Lumberjanes is that the storyline is tightly woven, to where it's difficult to determine where one arc ends and another begins. That's to the creators' benefit, as it suggests that they have a solid story to tell and that they're not merely writing with the typical trade cycle in mind. Finally, the Two Guys discuss the inaugural issue of the new series from Matt Kindt and Scott Kolins, Past Aways (Dark Horse). This is a time-travel  narrative, although one with a different twist. Five explorers from our future are trapped in the early twenty-first century, and after a year of being stranded, they drift apart with each going his or her separate way. The opening event in this first issue is what draws everyone back to a common purpose, so in many ways Past Aways has a superhero-ish "getting the team back together" kind of feel. The prelude to this new series actually appeared a couple of months ago in Dark Horse Presents #6 -- and the guys briefly discuss that story -- but readers do not have to have read that introduction to get into this first issue. Kindt is one of Andy and Derek's favorite creators, and they love Kolins's mainstream work in titles such as The Flash. So this new series will be a no-brainer for the guys. They're on board for the long haul!

Apr 3, 2015

On this episode of the interview show, Derek talks with Charles Soule about his most recent creator-own works, specifically Strange Attractors (Archaia) and the currently ongoing Letter 44 (Oni Press). They spend most of their time discussing the latter and the various narrative threads and subplots interwoven within the series. In their conversation, Charles tells Derek about the extent of his research for the title, his love of NASA history, the intrigue of writing political drama, and the ways in which his background in law helped give birth to series' premise.  They also discuss the contemporary rootedness of Letter 44 and the extent to which recent presidential history plays out in its storyline, albeit ramped up and taken to speculative extremes. Much of the conversation is also devoted to Strange Attractors, a book similar to Letter 44 with a high concept and a keen scientific bent. Charles explains how his interest in complexity theory and his love of New York City combine to create an unlikely sci-fi drama. But even though Derek is mostly interested in his non-mainstream work, he nonetheless asks Charles about his efforts in the DC and Marvel Universes -- e.g., his experiences writing Swamp Thing, Death of Wolverine, Superman/Wonder Woman, and She-Hulk -- how he balances the superhero narratives with his creator-owned work, and the ways he negotiates both franchise limitations and fanboy expectations. All in all, it's a fun interview, with listeners being able to hear about creative facets of Charles Soule that rarely surface in interviews.

Apr 1, 2015

It's the first of the month, so that means that Andy and Derek flip through the latest Previews catalog and share some of the upcoming releases they are most excited about. And April is jam-packed with solicits worth highlighting...which is one of the reasons why this week's episode is extra long. After sharing a bit of listener mail -- and it's always great to get letters, so keep those correspondences a-comin'! -- the guys jump into this month's offerings, beginning where they usually do with Dark Horse Comics. There they find intriguing titles such as Black Hammer #1, Bowery Boys: Our Fathers, Nanjing: The Burning City, and The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Omnibus, Book 1. After a brief conversational detour about DC's Convergence event and the controversy surrounding Rafael Albuquerque's variant cover for Batgirl #41, the Two Guys highlight Will Eisner's The Spirit: A Celebration of 75 Years and the final issue of Fables (pulling double duty as issue #150 and volume 22 of the trade paperbacks), both from DC/Vertigo. From there the good stuff just keeps on coming, including upcoming titles such as Long Distance #1, Bacchus Ominbus Edition Vol. One, American Barbarian: The Complete Series, and Bravo for Adventures (all from IDW Publishing); Airboy #1, Starve #1, 8House: Arclight #1, Empty Zone #1, Astronauts in Trouble #1, Nonplayer #1, and the XXX variant of Sex Criminals #11 (Image Comics); Pope Hats #4 (AdHouse); Death in Oaxaca #2 and The Hic Hoc Illustrated Journal of Humor Vol. 1 (Alternative Comics); Mark Waid and Fiona Staples's Archie #1 (Archie Comics); The Fiction #1, Strange Fruit #1, and Broken World #1 (BOOM! Studios); Towerkind (Conundrum Press); the new edition of DeMatteis and Johnson's Mercy (Dover Publications); Showa: A History of Japan, 1953-1989 (Drawn and Quarterly); Dörfler, Leaf, Not Funny Ha-Ha: A Handbooks for Something Hard, Blubber #1, and Demons and Angels: The Mythology of S. Clay Wilson, Vol. 2 (Fantagraphic Books); Last Man, Vol. 2: The Royal Cup and Mike's Place: A True Story of Love, Blues, and Terror in Tel Aviv (First Second); Anomal (Gen Manga Entertainment); Re*Pro*Duct (Magnetic Press); Borb (Uncivilized Books); Junji Ito's Fragments of Horror (Viz Media); and The League of Regrettable Superheroes (Quirk Books). Derek and Andy also give a shout-out to all of their Patreon supporters out there, especially thanking for this week the several new $1/month backers. A big ol' hearty THANK YOU everyone!

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