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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.


Nov 24, 2014

For this episode of The Comics Alternative Interviews, Derek and Andy are pleased have on the show Mike Howlett, the editor of the newly released The Worst of Eerie Publications from IDW/Yoe Books. In fact, Mike is the expert on Eerie Publications — an “Eerie guru,” as he calls himself — and the author of not only the recent collection but also The Weird World of Eerie Publications (a history of the publisher) and the meticulously researched The Weird Indexes of Eerie Publications. They talk with Mike about his extensive research on the various titles released through Eerie Publications during the 1960s and 1970s — e.g., Weird, Horror Tales, Tales from the Tomb, Tales of Voodoo, and Terror Tales — and publisher Myron Fass’s philosophy of recycling old pre-code horror comics. What makes these comics the worst of Eerie are not only their gore and over-the-top premises, but the questionable storytelling and as well as the equally questionable process of reworking/redrawing 1950s comics for a post-1966 audience…and then reprinting those comics in the multiple publications across Eerie’s line. In fact, the guys are fascinated by the entire Eerie Publications process: photocopy pre-code horror comics, find artists who will redraw the originals, add more gore and a few contemporary updates, slap on a horrific cover with a the requisite gratuitous cleavage, and voila! Repeat as necessary. Derek and Andy also ask Mike about the special barf bag they received with their review copies of The Worst of Eerie Publications, and they feel special learning that the bags are a limited run strictly for promotional purposed. Halloween may be over, but as Mike Howlett demonstrates, the comics from Eerie Publications are a gift that keeps on giving.