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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.

 

Feb 18, 2015

This week on the podcast, Derek and Andy discuss three new titles. They begin by looking at the second book in John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell's March trilogy. Although the first volume from fall 2013 was a powerful debut, March: Book Two (Top Shelf Productions) is a decidedly more gripping work. There is more action and drama in this book -- and not only conflict between the protesters and the Southern white community, but perhaps more pointedly, conflict within the nonviolent movement's ranks -- than there was in the initial one. What's more, this is a much more emotionally charged work, in that readers are taken to the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement and Lewis's encounters with senseless beatings, attack dogs, firehoses, and bombings. The guys note that for younger readers, or those unfamiliar with mid-century American history, this book may be a bit of a shock -- or a wake-up call -- in that it paints a very different, starker picture of race relations in this country than experienced today...even given the realities of Ferguson, Missouri, and the shooting of Trayvon Martin. At the same time, March is a complement to these contemporary tragedies and a much-needed reminder that racial equality in this country is a yet unfinished project. Next, Andy and Derek turn to Michel Fiffe's Copra: Round One (Bergen Street Press). They begin by discussing the subtle popularity of the self-published Copra series, a title that has gained attention primarily though word of mouth. Andy had been telling Derek about this series for several months, and now the guys finally get to talk about its impact. Andy is particularly interested in Fiffe's take on John Ostrander's Suicide Squad. And while Derek voices his uncertainly of the collection's initial pacing, he acknowledges the artist's unique style that requires more reader engagement with completing the narrative. Finally, the Two Guys with PhDs look at the new title from Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham, Nameless #1 (Image Comics). As they point out, any new Grant Morrison title is a cause for notice -- and most times, for celebration. There are times when his books don't resonate as well as the guys would like, but there are others when his unique brand of storytelling recalls the groundbreaking Doom Patrol and The Invisibles. This first issue of Nameless appears to hold a lot of promise, but the guys are keen to see how Morrison's narrative plays out. While they think it will resonate more than his last series with Image, Happy!, Derek and Andy wonder how it might compare to what Morrison has currently been doing in the DC University with Multiversity or his creator-owned miniseries over at Legendary, Annihilator. Regardless, both guys on on for the ride, and as with any Morrison tale, who knows where that ride may lead?