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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.


Jan 26, 2016

On this episode in the interview series, Gwen and Derek are pleased to have as their guest Theo Ellsworth. Back in the fall he completed his trilogy, The Understanding Monster (Secret Acres), and he talks with the cohosts about that series as well as his process of creation. Similar to the work in Theo's earlier mini-comic, Capacity, this narrative is a journey into the artist's subconscious, where the dreamlike and (at times) non-linear nature of his storytelling becomes an exercise in discovery and imaginative excavation. Gwen and Derek also talk with Theo about his highly detailed art style and marvel at its intricacies. It's difficult to think of a contemporary creator whose work is as elaborate, as meticulously textured, and as richly colored as Ellsworth's. As Derek points out, engaging with The Understanding Monster is an immersive experience, where the reader is swept into Theo's visual terrain and must navigate the storyworld according to its own rules. They also discuss his solo show (in February) at Giant Robot in Los Angeles, as well as his work on other upcoming projects, such as a children's book, a possibility that really excites Gwen. All in all, this is a fun and revealing conversation with an artist whose work, if you don't already known it, should definitely be on your radar.