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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.


Jan 31, 2018

Time Codes:


This week Gene and Derek discuss, yet again, three diverse titles. They begin with Anneli Furmark's Red Winter (Drawn and Quarterly). It's the the first in a trilogy of graphic novels, although this is Furmark's first work translated into English. The narrative is set in the late 1970s and centers on two lovers struggling with complicating relationships, both marital and political. Each chapter focuses on a particular character involved in the drama, and Furmark's presentation is both contemplative and tonally provocative. The guys eagerly await further Furmark translations coming from Drawn and Quarterly.

Next, the Two Guys check out the first issue of a new Vertigo Comics miniseries, Motherlands, written by Si Spurrier and with art by Rachel Stott. This is a sci-fi, futuristic story of a middle-age multi-dimensional bounty hunter, Tabitha Tubach, trying to earn a living, while at the same time struggling with her past and a mother who marked it (and not for the better). And as if familial matters couldn't get more any more trying, the end of this inaugural issue brings additional complications with the emergence of Tabitha's sibling, Bubbsa.

Gene and Derek wrap up this week's show with Alex Segura, Matthew Rosenberg, and Joe Eisma's The Archies #4. It's unusual that the guys review an issue of a series beyond the first one or two issues, but this is a special case. The focus of The Archies #4 is a musical group near and dear to both Derek and Gene, The Monkees. That's right, Davy, Mickey, Peter, and Mike meet The Archies...which is not as unusual as you might think. After all, both groups have been perceived as "fictions," both have been categorized as bubblegum pop, both inadvertently find themselves in weird dilemmas, and both have a history with Don Kirshner. Hey hey...