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The Comics Alternative - The World's Smartest Comics and Graphic Novels Podcast


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.

 

Nov 18, 2015

For the past several weeks the Two Guys with PhDs have been looking mostly at book-length works, trades, original graphic novels, and archival collections. This week, Andy W. and Derek thought that they'd catch up with their single-comic-book-issue reading by focusing on six recent #1 titles:

  • Paper Girls - Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang (Image Comics)
  • Monstress - Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
  • The Goddamned - Jason Aaron and R. M. GuĂ©ra (Image Comics)
  • Klaus - Grant  Morrison and Dan Mora (BOOM! Studios)
  • Snow Blind - Ollie Masters and Tyler Jenkins (BOOM! Studios)
  • James Bond - Warren Ellis and Jason Masters (Dynamite Entertainment)

The guys note that there's an embarrassment of riches to choose from, as there have been many recent first issues from some powerhouse creators, including Brian K. Vaughan, Jason Aaron, Grant Morrison, and Warren Ellis. For the most part, each of the titles from these writers is a home run, although Andy is not quite impressed with Klaus, feeling that it's a little too formulaic. The guys also note that The Goddamned isn't for those with Puritanical sensibilities, James Bond breaks free of the property's Hollywood shackles, and Paper Girls visits the 1980s in a fun and non-stereotypical way. (Plus, Derek is glad that there are no Goonies references anywhere to be found.) Snow Blind is a great first issue, as well, setting up what promises to be an intelligent four-issue crime/noir miniseries...although given the potential in this inaugural issue, this story seems that it could go on for more than four installments. And both Andy and Derek are bowled away by Liu and Takeda's Monstress. Not only is the storytelling sophisticated, intricate, and intelligently populated, but there is over sixty pages of story in this first issue. The guys are used to oversized #1 issues from Image -- in fact, they're getting spoiled by them -- but the amount of material in this comic goes above and beyond! Finally, the guys wrap up my commenting briefly on some of the other recent #1 issues that they could have included in this episode, such as Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott's Black Magick (Image Comics); Garth Ennis and Keith Burns's Johnny Red (Titan Comics); Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, and Patric Reynolds's Joe Golem: Occult Detective (Dark Horse Comics); and Sam Humphries and Tommy Patterson's Citizen Jack (Image Comics). Again, an embarrassment of riches.