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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.


Mar 14, 2016

On this month's webcomics show, Sean and Derek discuss three relatively fresh titles. They begin with Lho Brockhoff's The Lost Oracle, a webcomic that began in July 2015 and is just into its third chapter. This is a fantasy about a young girl, Amra, raised in an abandoned city and longing to see the world beyond. Yet, unbeknownst to Amra, some on the outside are seeking her, as well, and it's not entirely clear what this quest will have in store for the innocent protagonist. Next, the guys take a look at a completely different kind of quest, one involving a minstrel skeleton and a talking lump of goo. In Rickety Stitch & Gelatinous Goo, Ben Costa and James Parks create one of the weirdest buddy narratives you're likely to encounter. Their mixture of humor, adventure, and dark overtones make this webcomic stand out in ways that others haven't. Sean notes that the art and tone of Rickety Stitch, as well as that of The Lost Oracle, are reminiscent of Jeff Smith's epic Bone (in fact, Bone gets a lot of love on this month's episode). Costa and Parks have recently announced that their larger trilogy will begin being published next year by Knopf, and the portion of the narrative that is now available appears to be the core of that first volume. Finally, Sean and Derek wrap up with a different twist on the superhero story, a genre that the Two Guys rarely investigate. Ryan O‚ÄôSullivan and Plaid Klaus's Turncoat is a short and contained webcomic -- running between August 2015 and March 2016 -- about a mercenary group of villains who are hired to thin out the superhero population. It's protagonist, a malcontent name Duke, is short on generating reader appeal. However, as Derek points out, his saving grace is his pathetic nature, a character trait that generates at lest a modicum of sympathy. And while there's still time, you can get on board O'Sullivan and Klaus's Kickstarter campaign that is bringing out Turncoat in hardcopy format.