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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 29, 2014

On this episode of The Comics Alternative Interviews, Derek is pleased to have as a guest Anya Ulinich, the author of the new graphic novel Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel (Penguin Books). They begin by discussing Anya’s transition from writing more traditional prose fiction — her first novel, Petropolis, was released in 2007 — to comics narrative. Along the way Anya talks about her art background, the genesis behind the new book, and the challenges of writing within two different media formats. As she points out, the character of Lena Finkle is loosely based on Anya’s own life experiences, but this is strictly a work of fiction. Yet at the same time, this is a deeply personal story, brought out most notably through the art — at times cartoony, at times more realistic — the layout, and the hand lettering. Much of Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel has the feel of a personal journal, as if we are reading illustrations and stories from Ulinich’s sketchbook. The result is an intimate reading experience where we’re able to get inside of the protagonist and understand her complexities and contradictions as best we can.