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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.


Dec 7, 2015

On this interview episode, Derek is pleased to have as his guest Jon Morris, the author behind The League of Regrettable Superheroes (Quirk Books). This is a book devoted to the heroes throughout comic-book history who just never made it to the big time...and for good reason. As Jon discusses on the show, his work chronicles some of comics' weirdest and wackiest superheroes, complete with backstories, publication history, and colorful vintage art. In the pages of The League of Regrettable Superheroes you'll find strange figures from the Golden and Silver Ages, as well as plenty of head-scratching curiosities from more contemporary times. Throughout much of their conversation, Derek and Jon discuss some of their favorite regrettables, including The Red Bee (a district attorney donning striped leggings and carrying bees hidden inside his belt, his favorite being named "Michael"), The Clown (a police commissioner turned crimefighting circus clown), The Eye (a giant, disembodied eye...that's it, just a floating eye), Nightmare and Sleepy (pro wrestlers dressed in white and with an apparent skeleton fetish), Captain Marvel (not who you think, but someone whose disturbing superpowers includes disengaging his body parts), Fatman the Human Flying Saucer (a green-wearing version of the Fawcett Captain Marvel, but one with a weight problem who turns into a flying saucer), Gunmaster (a pacifist who relies on an inventive arsenal of guns to fight crime), Adam-X The X-Treme (a hero embodying the X-treme worst of '90s culture), the New Guardians (DC Comics' attempt at multiculturalism gone horribly wrong), and Killjoy (Steve Ditko's silent Ayn Randian "mouthpiece"). Jon even discusses some of the earlier manifestations of very current heroes, such the Outsiders, Prez, and Squirrel Girl. What comes through in the guys' conversation -- and what is central to the success of the book -- is Jon Morris's sense of humor. Then again, you have to have one to write about this unlikely collection of crimefighters. A candy-inspired strongman named Captain Tootsie? A robot with an iron propeller beanie named Bozo?


Be sure to check out Jon's web presence: