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The Comics Alternative

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.


Oct 11, 2016


Time Codes:

  • 00:24 - Introduction
  • 02:14 - Setup of interview
  • 02:57 - Interview with Box Brown
  • 53:28 - Wrap up
  • 54:53 - Contact us


On this episode of the interview series Derek talks with Box Brown, whose new book Tetris: The Games People Play has just been released from First Second. As the two discuss, this is a detailed history of the famous video game and the cultural, business, and political contexts swirling around the program's creation. Box shares his experiences and fascination with the game, explaining the genesis of the project and the research that went into it. Whereas his previous First Second book, Andrea the Giant, focused on one figure, the new work synthesizes the lives of everyone involved in the creation of Tetris including its designer Alexy Pajitnov as well as the many key players at Nintendo, Mirrorsoft, Andromeda Software, Atari, Bulletproof Software, and Elorg, the government bureau tasked with overseeing the profits and negotiations surrounding any computer products coming out of the Soviet Union. But Box also focuses on the psychology of gaming and role it plays in our lives, using Tetris as his illustrative example.