What happens when a group of people must work in the middle of nowhere, with virtually no supervision or accountability? Generally it’s not a good situation, as Kate Beaton, now well-known as the creator of the web comic Hark! A Vagrant, found in her younger years when she got a job on Alberta’s oil sands. This week, Kumar and Dana discuss her memoir of the experience, entitled Ducks: Two Years on the Oil Sands.
Alexandra (her friends call her “Ax”) is trying to get in touch with hero team Steamgear Defenders; she wants to become a member. But will they turn out to be all they’re cracked up to be? Will she even get there, with so many people getting in her way? The comic is Steamgear Inc. by Snuffy Sam, with the most unusual art Tim or Adam have ever seen. Does that mean it’s good? We discuss.
During the U.S. Civil War, a confederate soldier is changed into a dangerous creature by a mysterious woman. His comrade, now a marshal, tracks him after the war as he takes more innocent victims. But is everything as it appears? Tim and Jason enjoy the twist in Rougarou, by Giles Clark and Jose Rondon.
Our second entry takes us further back in history, to 1790, when poet-painter William Blake claims to have met a horrific lizardlike creature, the Ghost of a Flea. GE Gallas’ The Poet and the Flea presents a take on Blake’s work and experiences. Emmet joins Tim to school all of us in Blake. What kind of image does it give us of Blake, and is it accurate? And, is this comic of interest to non-Blake fans?
Everyone is Tulip got an Eisner nomination! Hear our review and creator interview here.
What’s creator Ron Randall been up to since we talked with him last? He’s continuing his comic Trekker, now 35 years since its inception, and is up to his seventh Kickstarter for the series. He’s back to talk about that, plus he and Tim talk about the rise of decompressed storytelling in American comics over the past few decades, what caused its rise, and its pluses and minuses.
Root and Branch is a comic that flirts with the fantasy genre, but is more concerned about a clash of cultures: a traveling elf meeting humans for the first time. This is a web comic, created by Pink Pitcher, that’s still going strong in its seventh year, and currently has a Kickstarter going. Tim and Adam critique.
Part comic, part children’s storybook, Realm of Owls is heavy on world building and a bit light on characters, at least in the early going. How does it stand up as a reading experience? Tim is joined by Adam Pasion to discuss this web comic by Gheralf and Vayandil.
Con Chrisoulis has been on the comics scene since 1996, releasing comics in his native Australia, in Greece, and in the UK, as well as comics on the web. He’s best known for Tales of the Smiths, Rebel Rebel: The Graphic Biography of David Bowie, and King: The Graphic Biography of Jack Kirby. In this episode, he talks with Emmet about all these works, and the pushback on political commentary in some of his work.
There have been plenty of comics made about the current COVID-19 pandemic, both instructional and autobiographical ones. In this episode Tim talks about about some of these with graphic medicine expert Alice Jaggers, a contributor to graphicmedicine.org, as well as other comics on health issues… one of which is none other than Fullmetal Alchemist!
Then, a talk with comics journalist Josh Neufeld, who recently did a piece called A Tale of Two Pandemics, exploring the myth that black people are immune to many illnesses. This idea popped up during both the 1918 flu pandemic and the current pandemic. Josh also talks about his comics journalism career and the experience of working with Harvey Pekar!
Way back in 2014, Tim and Mulele discussed the first volume of R.u.N. (Remember Ur Nature), a comic in shonen manga style about the sport of parkour. Now, at last, volume two is available, and Tim is joined by a new voice, Ryan Carey of SOLRAD, to discuss the book (by Kariofillis Chris Hatzopoulos, Rafail Voutsidis, Luis Figueiredo, Roberto Fernandes De Oliveira, and Vasilis Fotsinos). The comic is a spot-on imitation of shonen manga made in Japan — but is it good?