Episode 216: A Publisher Spotlight on Kilgore Books and Comics



Time Codes:

  • 00:00:27 – Introduction
  • 00:02:28 – Setting up Kilgore Books and Comics
  • 00:05:28 – Conversation with Dan Stafford
  • 00:22:04 – Cosmic Be-ing #2
  • 00:28:45 – The Fifth Window
  • 00:35:24 – A Horse, a Crow, and a Hippo Walk into a Bar
  • 00:45:53 – Powermac
  • 00:55:16 – Paid for It
  • 01:01:56 – The Plunge: A True Story
  • 01:12:21 – What Happened
  • 01:18:23 – Scorched Earth
  • 01:25:44 – Blammo #9
  • 01:54:57 – Wrap up
  • 01:56:02 – Contact us

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Number 9

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On this episode, their final publisher spotlight of the year, Andy and Derek discuss the 2016 releases from Kilgore Books and Comics. They discuss nine titles, in all: four from the publisher’s spring catalog, four from the fall releases, and an in-between book that conceptually lives up to its interstitial positioning. The guys begin their spotlight with a brief interview Derek conducted with Dan Stafford at this year’s Small Press Expo. He introduces Kilgore to listeners, reveals its history and mission, and sets the contexts for the various 2016 releases. After that, the Two Guys with PhDs begin looking at the four titles from the spring, Alex Graham’s Cosmic Be-ing #2, Amara Leipzig’s The Fifth Window, Lauren Barnett’s A Horse, a Crow, and a Hippo Walk into a Bar, and Box Brown’s Powerman. They’re intrigued by the more abstract constructions of the former, and they contrast this with the humor and sheer fun found Barnett’s and Brown’s comics. And given recent political events, the satiric Powerman becomes disturbingly prescient.

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And on the topic of satire…Andy and Derek next check out the latest work from one of their favorites, Joe Matt. Paid for It is a send-up of Chester Brown’s Paying for It. In it, Matt (writing under the name “Chesty Matt”) basically takes panels from Brown’s original texts, inverts their sequence, and tweaks the story so that it’s the protagonist who becomes the prostitute and the women who are the johns…or janes. It’s not often that we see anything new from Matt, so Paid for It is definitely an event worth noting.

The last part of the episode is devoted to Kilgore’s fall releases: Emi Gennis’s The Plunge: A True Story, Simon Moreton’s What Happened, Tom Van Deusen’s Scorched Earth, and Noah Van Sciver’s Blammo #9. The first is an historical account of the first woman to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, and a reminder of the gender biases we continue to live under. Moreton’s is an introspective examination of childhood experiences, while Van Deusen’s is an no-holds-barred exposé of a dysfunctional individual, reminiscent of Sacha Baron Cohen and Curb Your Enthusiasm. But the guys save their most vocal praise for the latest issue of Blammo. They’ve discussed Van Sciver’s series on the podcast before, but this latest installment is a truly outstanding issue that stands above in its predecessors.

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The Comics Alternative is a podcast and blog focused on the world of alternative, independent, and primarily non-superhero comics.

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