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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.


Sep 24, 2014

This week, Derek and Andy W. discuss three just-released (or soon-to-be-released) titles. First, they look at Dash Shaw's new book, Doctors (Fantagraphics). They begin by comparing it to some of Shaw's other recent work, specifically last year's New School and the miniseries Cosplayers, especially in his unique use of colors. At times the color patterns are clearly a part of the story, contributing to the meaning-making that is going on, but at other times they are used more subtly and with less apparent intentions. But what fascinates the Two Guys the most is the very premise of Doctors. It's a narrative that raises some profound questions, and it's one that might even work well in other media, such as adapted for television. Next, the guys discuss the new series from Grant Morrison and Frazier Irving, Annihilator (Legendary). In this first issue, the creators set up an intriguing premise that is pure Morrison: a story concerning a writer, where his reality and his creation ultimately collide. In Annihilator you'll find black holes, drug-addled reality, orgies, and bad haircuts, and all cinematically illustrated by Irving. Finally, Andy and Derek look at the latest installment in Greg Rucka's Stumptown series, subtitled The Case of the Jack of Clubs (Oni Press). This follows the previous two volumes -- Stumptown and Stumptown: The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case -- which were illustrated by Matthew Southworth. This time around, Rucka is working with Justin Greenwood, and the effect is quite different. Greenwood's is a brighter, less gritty style of art, and it lends itself well to the many soccer scenes that make up this first issue. In fact, the guys are uncertain about the large amount of page space devoted to the story's setup, largely revolving around soccer, and wonder if perhaps the exposition is a bit too much. Nonetheless, they trust Greg Rucka as a writer and look forward to big payoff in this third volume of his Stumptown series.