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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.


Aug 27, 2014

Derek and Andy are really excited this week, because on the latest episode of The Comics Alternative they get to talk about three new and incredible titles. (They're also excited because they have their first Podcast Patrons...but more on that later.) First, they look at Ray Fawkes's new graphic novel The People Inside (Oni Press). This is an innovative work that utilizes the comics medium in ways you rarely see. Fawkes gives us twelve, arguably thirteen or even more, stories of couples whose relationships flower, fade, endure, explode, and end in both touching and tragic ways. It's the way he tells the story (or stories) that makes this book unique, using paneling techniques to alternately separate and bring together individuals over the courses of their lives. The People Inside is one of the most striking books the Two Guys have discussed this year, and it makes them regretful for having missed out on Fawkes's previous book, One Soul (Oni Press). Next they look at another striking title, the first issue of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips's The Fade Out (Image). Their series Fatale may have just recently ended, but Brubaker and Phillips are back in top form with the kind of straightforward, classic noir storytelling that marked their Criminal series several years ago. This tale is set in late-1940s Hollywood, and it takes as its subject matter the gritty and unseemly side of the industry that the studios try to keep hidden, or at least tap down. Unlike Fatale, this one has no supernatural elements, just the key components of a classic noir drama. And in this first issue, at least, the creators avoid the cliches and predictability that could mare such a down-the-line genre title. Finally, Andy and Derek look at a comics anthology out of New Zealand that they just got turned on to. Faction, edited by Damon Keen and Aime Maxwell, and published by 3 Bad Monkeys, is an annual showcasing the work of various New Zealand artists, including one of the guys' favorite digital comics artists, Tim Gibson (of Moth City fame). Derek and Andy look at the first three annuals, from 2012 to this year, and discuss the work of Gibson, Keen, Li Chen, Jonathan King, Karl Willis, Ned Wenlock, and Cory Mathis, among others. This is a collection that will, unfortunately, not get much attention here in the US, and the Two Guys hope to convince others to seek out this great title and increase its profile. You can get the 2012 and 2013 annuals through ComiXology, or visit the Faction website for content and ordering information. ALSO...the Two Guys announce the first Podcast Patrons for their new Patreon campaign! Check out what they're doing, see the rewards they're offering, and become a Patreon Patron yourself!