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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.

 

May 23, 2016

Sean and Derek are back for another month's-worth of webcomics talk, and for May they discuss three intriguing titles. They begin with Maritza Campos and Bachan's Power Nap. This is the second time the guys have focused on Bachan's art, the first occasion being his anthropomorphic humor/crime series, Vinny, back in September of last year. He provides the art on the Campos-scripted Power Nap, a story set in a dystopic future where everyone uses pharmaceuticals to stay awake 24/7 in order to produce more for their corporations...except if someone is allergic to the drug. Drew Spencer, the story's protagonist, is just such an individual. Sean and Derek enjoy the webcomic's strange melding of reality and dreamscape, although there are occasions when the storyline becomes unnecessarily fractured. Sean believes that this is the result of the sporadic scheduling of the updates, with long stretches between some story events.

Next, the Two Guys check out Jake Wyatt's Necropolis, a webcomic that is fairly new and in its early stages. This is a fantasy where the creator is establishing quite an elaborate narrative world, complete with its own mythology. Derek and Sean are impressed with the art, especially, and they're curious about the fact that, according to the webcomic's "About" page, this story is already set to be published by Image Comics in English and Casterman in French. That's quite an achievement for a webcomic only in its second chapter and with only 32 pages of story, so far.

Finally, the guys wrap up with a webcomic that was completed in March 2013 and published in book form from Alternative Comics the following month. Elaine M. Will's Look Straight Ahead is a moving story about mental illness and the struggles of adolescence. It follows the final high school months of Jeremy Knowles, a 17-year-old who has difficulty fitting in and whose psychiatric state exacerbates his alienation. He comes to use his art as a way of dealing with his condition, and Sean and Derek are fascinated by the way Will represents psychological states through her black-and-white style and her selective use of colors. Whether you read this story online -- and the complete webcomic is still available -- or you buy the book, this is definitely a narrative worth exploring.