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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.


May 25, 2018

Time Codes:


For the May Euro Comics episode, Pascal and Derek discuss three very different works in translation...but all of which are primarily in black-and-white. They begin with Esteban Maroto's Lovecraft: The Myth of Cthulhu (IDW Publishing), an adaptation of three of H. P. Lovecraft's short stories: "The Nameless City," "The Festival," and "The Call of Cthulhu." All three are part of the writer's Cthulhu mythos, and the guys comment on Maroto's illustrative style and how it reflects that found in 1970s Warren publications, to which Maroto actually contributed (although not these stories).

Next, they discuss Olivia Burton and Mahi Grand's Algeria Is Beautiful Like America (Lion Forge). This is a memoir of Burton's journey to Algeria, particularly Algiers and the Aurès Mountains, to visit the land of her mother and grandparents. In many ways, this is a narrative all about identity, in that the author attempts to understand the land of her forebears in order to better understand herself. This is a striking autobiographical work, but as the Two Guys point out, it's unusual that a memoir such as this is written and illustrated by different creators.

The guys wrap up this month's episode by visiting a book that is close to Pascal's heart, André Franquin's Die Laughing(Fantagraphics Books). This is a collection of Franquin's Idées noires strips, which are strikingly different from his earlier work in Spirouor his Gastonand Marsupilamicomics. As Derek and Pascal point out, these are more serious and foreboding pieces that reflect a dark peri0d in Franquin's life. And while many of these strips are politically poignant, they are nonetheless timeless and are just as fresh today as when they were first created during the 1970s and 1980s.