#681 “The Last Tide” and “Breakwater”

The Last Tide and Breakwater

Isekai is a genre, named in Japan, in which a character from our earth is suddenly transported to “another world.” This concept goes back at least to Alice in Wonderland, but these days the “other world” is often the inside of a computer game. Although it’s not explicitly stated (so far), that seems to be the case in The Last Tide, a book from new publisher Cloudscape and created by Pirateaba, Shane Sandulak, and Matias Zanetti. Our patron Gabe joins Tim to review.

Avery Hill, publisher of Zoe Thorogood’s The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott, has really gotten on our radar lately. This time, Tim and Emmet discuss a graphic novel called Breakwater by Katriona Chapman. The story takes place among employees of a movie theater, but it could (and does) happen in any situation.

 

#680 “Dorohedoro”

Dorohedoro

Is it comedy or violent action? Delivering fan service or gross-out scenes? Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? Perceptions and expectations are constantly flipping in Q Hayashida’s Dorohedoro. Kumar and Emmet review.

Critiquing Comics #183: “Chad in Amsterdam” #5

Chad in Amsterdam 5

Chad Bilyue is on a roll! No sooner had he released issue 4 of Chad in Amsterdam than he was releasing issue 5 on its coattails. CIA 5 turns out to be a theme issue, on a bizarre and rather offensive aspect of Dutch culture. It’s about what happens when an entire country convinces itself that one of its customs isn’t racist, while it looks that way to nearly everyone else.

Also in this episode, big programming announcements from both Mulele and Tim!

#679 Mark Russell

Billionaire IslandMark Russell has been one of the standout comics writers of the past five years, in part because he’s possibly the only mainstream comics writer doing satire (or, he would argue, fables). Since he burst on the scene with Prez and The Flintstones, he’s written a number of comics for several publishers that aren’t just comedy or action, they express his views and have deeper meanings.

This time, Tim’s interview with Mark. How did he get into comics, and start out in a Big Two book? Why did he use ’60s Hanna-Barbera character Snagglepuss to tell a story of gays in the 1950s? How do you “punch someone in the beef”? What inspired his latest, Billionaire Island? And how does he feel about being the only writer of his kind in mainstream comics?

The Law of Equivalent Exchange: “Fullmetal Alchemist” chapter 3

Fullmetal Alchemist ch3

Tim and Patrick discuss the third chapter of Fullmetal Alchemist, “The Mining Town.” Why are alchemists hated as “the dogs of the military”?

Critiquing Comics #182: “After the Fall” and “Organic But Not Mental”

Telling a story without dialogue can be difficult. Telling your story entirely with pictures takes excellent storytelling skills. What are the stakes? What are the characters’ motivations? What, exactly, is going on here?! Tim and Mulele discuss two submitted comics which partially or entirely rely on wordless sequences: After the Fall, by Jacqueline Goldfinger, Keni Thomas, and Taylor Esposito; and Organic But Not Mental, by Pier Dola.

#678 Rumiko Takahashi’s first comedy, “Urusei Yatsura”

Urusei Yatsura

We’ve talked about several of Rumiko Takahashi’s manga series over the years, but this time we go back to the beginning with her first big hit, Urusei Yatsura, sometimes known in English as Lum. Tim and Kumar discuss the history of the strip, the gags you wouldn’t get without knowing Japanese, and what’s odd about it for being ostensibly a kids’ comic.

#677 “The Drifting Classroom”

Kazuo Umezu’s horror manga series The Drifting Classroom is a taboo-busting series: it was aimed at kids and employs kid logic and exaggeration to a story depicting outrageous violence being done to and by kids. Even if you’re into horror, that description may have you asking: “Is this for me?” In this episode, Kumar and Ryan try to answer that question.

Umezu in red and white. (Source: https://www.jprime.jp/articles/-/18187)

#676 “Ballyskillen”: An augmented reality comic

Ballyskillen

Over the years there have been some attempts at augmented reality comics — where a smartphone app pointed at a comics page will reveal a bit of animation. One issue with these projects is that they’re labor-intensive, and require several different skill sets to produce. Sam Noir and Andrew Dorland are Kickstarting an augmented reality comic called Ballyskillen, and Andrew has multiple necessary skill sets for the endeavor, which he’ll apply to the project in proportion to the amount of money raised. In this mini-episode, Tim talks with Sam and Andrew about the project, and also about Sam’s series of comics anthologies called Cauldron.

 

Critiquing Comics #181: “Chad in Amsterdam 4”

Chad in Amsterdam 4

The latest installment of our beloved Chad in Amsterdam is here! As always, Chad combines some incisive but casual observational and philosophical discussion with the work of his great artist friends, but this time the focus is less on Amsterdam and more on Chad himself. Where is he from? What makes you “from” a place? Will Tim and Mulele like this issue as much as the others? (Well, what do you think!?)