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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.


Sep 29, 2015

For the September episode of the manga series, Shea and Derek discuss two very different titles, although both heavily invested in popular genres. They begin with Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki's The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Ominibus 1 (Dark Horse Books), a different take on both horror and detective narratives. Although the English-language releases of this title began in 2006, Dark Horse has just this month published the first of the omnibus editions, one that collects the first three volumes of the series. The guys begin by describing the premise as a cross between supernatural horror and Scooby-Doo, where you have a bunch of young investigators, each with a particular set of skills informing their unique form of "detecting." (Derek also compares Otsuka's storylines to The Rockford Files, another series featuring an unlikely investigator constantly down on his luck.) Both enjoy the title well enough, although Shea is less impressed than is Derek, feeling that the routine becomes formulaic rather quickly and that the individual characters are never fully realized, at least in the segments featured in this initial omnibus edition. Next, the Two Guys turn to the first two volumes of One-Punch Man, a satiric series by the pseudonymous One with art by Yusuke Murata (VIZ Media). This began as a webcomic by One in 2009, but then Murata helped to remake the series a few years later, and VIZ Media's recent release of volumes 1 and 2 are the first print versions in English (although originally serialized in the digital Weekly Shonen Jump magazine). Both of the guys love One and Murata's humorous spin on the superhero and shonen formulas, although Derek wonders if the premise may soon wear thin (an inverse of what the guys felt about Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service). However, it is Murata's art that solidly captures the guys' attention. As a result, both Shea and Derek are interested in seeing how this series develops, especially if it continues to bring the keen genre-deconstructing insights found in the first two volumes.