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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.


Feb 25, 2015

On this week’s podcast, the Two Guys with PhDs take on a gargantuan task: they review ten different #1 issues from a variety of publishers. First they look at several debuts from Image Comics, including Bryan Hill, Matt Hawkins, and Isaac Goodhart’s Postal; Jimmie Robinson’s The Empty; Brian Joines, Jay Faerber, and Ilias Kyriazis’s Secret Identities; and Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, and J. Bone’s Sparks Nevada: Marshall on Mars. After those they discuss three new titles from Dark Horse Comics, such as Richard Corben’s Rat God, Rafael Albuquerque and Mike Johnson’s Ei8ht, and Dean Motter’s Mister X: Razed. And then they wrap up with two #1 issues from BOOM! Studios/Archaia — Swifty Lang and Skuds McKinley’s Plunder, and Ed Brisson and Damian Couceiro’s Cluster — and finally Ryan Ferrier and Valentin Ramon’s D4ve from IDW Publishing. Almost all of these new titles are worth checking out, with enthusiastic recommendations going to Cluster, Secret Identities, and especially the clever and comedic D4ve (perhaps the best of the bunch). And while Derek and Andy W. try to focus on the positive, they aren’t overly enamored of Sparks Nevada, a miniseries based off of a Thrilling Adventure Hour performance. In fact, some of the comedy in this first issue seems to rely — and, at times, confusingly so — on sounds, a strategy that doesn’t translate as effectively in comics. But outside of this little bump, this episode presents a smooth and enjoyable trip down the road of recent comicsdom. There’s a lot to digest in the extra-long podcast, so just sit back, relax, listen up, and let the Two Guys do the driving.