Monday, January 11, 2016
Comics Alternative Podcast: Tom Hart Interview
On this episode of The Comics Alternative, Derek Royal and I welcome cartoonist and educator Tom Hart. His graphic memoir Rosalie Lightning (St. Martin's Press) will be published tomorrow.
This wide-ranging discussion focuses primarily on Rosalie Lightning, an extraordinarily moving rumination on life, and death, and grieving, and memory, and celebration, and endurance, and art, and love. It chronicles how Tom and his wife, cartoonist Leela Corman, continued on after the sudden death of their daughter Rosalie Lightning just days before her second birthday. (You can read versions of the first two chapters here - and also, read Leela's hauntingly beautiful comics "Yahzeit" and "PTSD: The Wound that Never Heals.") Rosalie Lightning is a powerful and meaningful book. You'll be hearing a lot about it--and not just from comics-specific commentators, I'll wager.
We also talk a bit about some of Tom's earlier comics work, his hands-on process, and his general approach to art. And Tom tells us about The Sequential Artists Workshop which he and Leela established in Gainesville, FL, a training program a new generation of cartoonists. (SAW is currently holding a fundraiser which is worth your attention.)
On a personal note: I first "met" Tom over twenty years ago on an email list, and we met in person a few times at SPX in the late 1990s. I met Leela then, too. I grieved when I learned the news about Rosalie, though I had never met her. Just about two years ago, I got to see Leela and Tom again, along with their recently born daughter Molly Rose: Leela was one of the cartoonists featured in the "Graphic Jews" exhibit at Skidmore College's Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, and the family traveled up to Saratoga Springs so Leela could be a guest on a panel I co-moderated in conjunction with the exhibit. (Darling Molly Rose nibbled on my fingers a bit during the pre-panel dinner.) Tom and Leela are both wonderful people and amazing artists.
Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Comics Alternative Podcast #169: The January Previews Catalog
It seems like only a couple of days since I was last on The Comics Alternative, but today I'm back with Derek Royal as we take a stroll through the latest Previews catalog, pointing out books of interest to us amongst the thousands that will go on sale in a few months.
Monday, January 04, 2016
Comics Alternative Podcast Interview: @YoeBooks' Craig Yoe
It's the first installment of the Comics Alternative podcast for 2016! Derek Royal and I say "Happy New Yoe!" as we welcome back Craig Yoe for another interview. We discuss the most recent hardcover comic book reprint collections from Yoe Books, including Ghost and Girls of Fiction House, The Complete Voodoo vol. 1, Horror by Heck, Walt Kelly's Fairy Tales, and Weird Love vol. 2 (plus we sneak in a little talk about the upcoming Haunted Love title). We talk a good bit about the process of putting these books together: Collecting the materials; working with collaborators like Michael Price and Mike Howlett; and the editing, production, and design processes which Craig shares with Yoe Books co-founder Clizia Gossoni (who, I believe, makes a cameo appearance or two in the recording!).
I got a huge kick out of all of these books. The old horror comics are all over the map in terms of story and art types--if all you're familiar with are the old EC titles like Tales from the Crypt, these stories will surprise you with their variety. The romance stories in Weird Love most definitely live up to their billing. And the Walt Kelly book is truly a marvel to behold.
Craig's a longtime friend of the podcast, as well as a friend of mine in real life. It's always great to catch up with him and talk about cool--and often really, really strange!--old comics. In fact, after we stopped recording, we came up with an idea or two for future shows with Craig which would go in a very different direction indeed, and I hope we get to do them.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Comics Alternative Podcast #166: Killing and Dying; Taddle Creek; Barrier; iTunes Terms and Conditions
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Comics Alternative Podcast #163: Thanksgiving
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Comics Alternative Podcast #159: Halloween Review Spooktacular
It's the annual Halloween episode of the Comics Alternative podcast, and Derek Royal and I review a whole bagful of Halloween- and horror-themed comics! Apart from the book-length Haunted Horror vol. 3 (Yoe Books), Upside Down: A Hat Full of Spells (Top Shelf), and The Monsterjunkies (Red Anvil), we also cover individual comic books: Adventure Time 2015 Halloween Spooktacular, Spongebob Squarepants #49, The Goon: Theatre Bizarre, All Hallow's Eve #5, Elder House #1 and #2, Zombies Vs Cheerleaders 2015 Halloween Special, Zombie Tramp Halloween Special #1, and Gold Digger Halloween Special #11. And then we (or at least I) crashed - that was A LOT of comics!
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Comics Alternative Podcast #155: International #PodcastDay 2015!
This week on the Comics Alternative, founding hosts Derek Royal and Andy Kunka are joined by several of the podcast's other co-hosts--Gwen Tarbox, Andy Wolverton, and myself--for a non-comics show! Today is International Podcast Day, so we gathered (virtually) to discuss our favorite podcasts, what we look (listen) for in a good podcast, our own roles as podcasters (are we members of the media now?), and more.
I give a few shout-outs to Jessica Abel's new Out on the Wire, Helen Zaltzman's The Allusionist, Welcome to Night Vale, and Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast, among other shows. And I took lots of notes on other podcasts recommended by Gwen and and Derek and the Andys. Now I just need more hours in the week to listen to them all...
As always, click the link above to stream the episode, or you can subscribe via iTunes.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Comics Alternative Podcast #153: The Dharma Punks, My Hot Date, Tokyo Ghost #1, Future Fantasteek #16
Once again, I'm back again on the Comics Alternative podcast! Join Derek Royal and myself as we review Ant Sang's anarcho-Buddhist masterwork The Dharma Punks; Noah Van Sciver's painfully hilarious memoir My Hot Date; Rick Remender, Sean Murphy, and Matthew Hollingsworth's media-saturated dystopia Tokyo Ghost #1; and Jackie Batey's smart and snarky zine Future Fantasteek #16.
We have lots to say about these books, so to hear the whole show, click the link above to stream the episode, or you can subscribe via iTunes.
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
CFP: ICAF, International Comic Arts Forum / USC Columbia (Nov. 6; Apr. 14-16)
ICAF, the International Comic Arts Forum, invites proposals for scholarly papers for its eighteenth annual meeting, to be held at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, from Thursday, April 14, through Saturday, April 16, 2016. Confirmed guests include comics artists Howard Cruse, Keith Knight, Cece Bell, and Prof. Michael Chaney of Dartmouth College.
The deadline to submit proposals is November 6, 2015.
ICAF welcomes original proposals from diverse disciplines and theoretical perspectives on any aspect of comics or cartooning, particularly studies that reflect an international perspective. Studies of aesthetics, production, distribution, reception, and social, ideological, and historical significance are equally welcome, as are studies that address larger theoretical issues linked to comics or cartooning, for example in image/text studies or new media theory.
Among the thematic panels we hope to offer are Comics and the American South, Digital and Online Comics, and Superheroes; proposals are especially welcome in these areas.
Proposal Guidelines: ICAF prefers argumentative, thesis-driven papers that are clearly linked to larger critical, artistic, or cultural issues; we avoid presentations that are summative or survey-like in character. We only accept original 20-minute papers that have not been presented or accepted for publication elsewhere. Presenters should assume an audience versed in comics and the fundamentals of comics studies. Where possible, papers should be illustrated by relevant images on PowerPoint. Proposals should not exceed 300 words.
Review Process: All proposals will be subject to blind review. Due to high interest in the conference, in recent years ICAF has typically been able to accept only about half of the proposals received.
SEND ABSTRACTS (with contact information, including state, province, or country of residence in the body of the email) by 6 November 2015, to C.W. Marshall, ICAF Academic Program Director, via email at
Receipt of all proposals will be acknowledged. Applicants should expect to receive confirmation of acceptance or rejection by December 14, 2015.
ICAF also sponsors the John A. Lent Scholarship in Comics Studies. This scholarship is awarded to a current student who has authored, or is in the process of authoring, a substantial research-based writing project about comics. Applications for this scholarship are due by 8 January 2016. For more information and details of the application process, please visit our website.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Comics Alternative Podcast #150: 6 Voyages of Lone Sloane, Wolf, and Americatown
Once again, I'm back again on the Comics Alternative podcast, for the 150th episode! This time, Derek Royal and I cover Philippe Druillet's The 6 Voyages of Lone Sloane (Titan Comics), Wolf #1 and #2 by Ales Kot, Matt Taylor, and Lee Loughridge (Image Comics), and Americatown #1 by Bradford Winters, Larry Cohen, and Daniel Irizarri (BOOM! Studios/Archaia). I thought Lone Sloane lived up to its reputation (and more!) as a psychedelic SF head-trip, while Wolf takes a long time to settle into its world and Americatown's expressive artwork propels a story that is just getting started.
Of course, Derek and I both have lots more to say about these books - so to hear the whole show, click the link above to stream the episode, or you can subscribe via iTunes.
Monday, August 24, 2015
Announcement: USC to host International Comic Arts Forum, April 14-16, 2016
Since 1995, the International Comic Arts Forum has been dedicated to promoting the scholarly study and appreciation of comic art, including comic strips, comic books, comics albums and graphic novels, magazine and newspaper cartooning, caricature, and comics in electronic media. The forum provides a supportive, collegial environment to showcase innovative comics scholarship and comic art from around the world.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Comics Alternative Podcast #148: Hang Dai Editions (Publisher Spotlight)
I'm back again on the Comics Alternative podcast! This time, Derek Royal and I spotlight the first three book-length releases from Hang Dai Editions: Beef with Tomato by Dean Haspiel; Smoke by Gregory Benton; and Schmuck, written by the late Seth Kushner and with art by almost two dozen cartoonists.
Beef and Schmuck both are memoirs told through short stories, with Dean's book tending towards danger (of various kinds) and Seth's book tending towards, well, schmuckiness (primarily in terms of relationships). Smoke moves in a different direction, with a wordless tale of young immigrant workers and other realms. Together, these books represent a strong bookstore debut for the collective. Bonus: Derek talks briefly with Dean and Greg about Hang Dai!
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Comics Alternative Podcast #144: Black River, 8House: Arclight #1, and Kilgore Quarterly #6
I'm back on the Comics Alternative podcast again, doing my first review show since last October! On this episode, Derek Royal and I review Black River by Josh Simmons, 8House: Arclight #1 by Brandon Graham and Marian Churchland, and the anthology Kilgore Quarterly #6 by over a dozen great cartoonists. Post-apocalyptic mayhem under lyric skies? Check. Genderqueer high fantasy in a shared universe? Check. A wide-ranging, knock-out anthology at an unbeatable price? Check!
As always, click the link above to stream the episode, or you can subscribe via iTunes.
Friday, June 26, 2015
CFP - Project: Comic Con, St. Louis MO (Aug. 31; Oct. 17-18)
Dear colleagues, scholars, and friends:
We invite submissions for proposed papers, presentations, and panel sessions related to comics and graphic narratives for inclusion within the academic mini-conference held in conjunction with Project: Comic Con, a locally organized, family friendly celebration of comics, cartoons, anime, and pop culture in St Louis, MO.
As this year’s theme is “Women in Comics,” we are especially interested in potential presentations, panels, workshops, or creative sessions that relate with or speak directly to the changing role of women in comics as characters, creators, and consumers. We also welcome proposals that deal specifically with works related to or produced by our anticipated roster of guests.
More information concerning the Project: Comic Con guest list, programming, and accommodations can be found here: http://www.projectcomiccon.com/
All accepted presenters receive a two-day pass to Project: Comic Con. All presentations are open to anyone with a pass.
As our conference is also meant to encourage popular discussion and debate, we encourage and prefer visually engaging and accessible presentations.
Please submit abstracts and proposals of no more than 300 words and a brief biographical statement no later than 31st August, 2015. Please send all materials as Word attachments to Daniel Yezbick at DYezbick@stlcc.edu.
We look forward to your proposals.