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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.


Jul 12, 2017

Time Codes:


"Smell my book. Feel bad."

On this week's episode, the Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics look at there new releases...and even smell them. They begin with Pieter Coudyzer's Outburst (SelfMadeHero), a surreal meditation on creative expression and not fitting in. The narrative can even be called an example of magical realism (and the guys don't apply that term indiscriminately), where the natural world not only becomes a refuge from human interaction, but also literally infiltrates and consumes the marginalized. Next they discuss a recent release from one of their favorite publishers, Retrofit Comics/Big Planet Comics. Laura Ķeniņš's Steam Clean is a short yet poignant look at the challenges women and gender non-binary individuals face in their day-to-day lives. The story takes place at a women's sauna party in some Scandinavian country, and its varied attendees use this gathering to explore their relationships and "sweat out" their frustrations. Finally, Andy and Derek wrap up with an in-depth look at the second volume of the freebie newspaper Resist! Edited by Françoise Mouly and Nadja Spiegelman, this latest release is similar to the first -- which the guys reviewed earlier this year -- and includes contributions from well-established as well as younger and first-time artists. Familiar names that the guys discuss include Roz Chast, Cathy Malkasian, Miss Lasko-Gross, Carol Lay, Kristen Radtke, Pénélope Bagieu, and Glynnis Fawkes, but they are equally impressed with artists and cartoonists new to them. These include Palmer Frankel’s "Dickface" series of paintings, Ana Christine's "Persistence," and a unique call-to-action from an anonymous contributor working for a Catholic hospital.

A special thanks to Red Pegasus Comics in Dallas, TX, for providing the Two Guys with their copies of Resist! Vol. 2!