The Under Guides Graphic Novel Podcast

The Under Guides Graphic Novel Podcast Vol I

Buying Image Comics on Minimum Wage

Three decades long fans offer their views on “indie” comic books, which basically encompasses everything without a Marvel or DC logo. Join Diabolu Frank, Mister Joe Fixit and the Ill Mac “Illegal Machine” as they toss through titles from Image, Valiant, Dark Horse, First, Fantagraphics, IDW, Epic, Pacific, Slave Labor Graphics, Vertigo, Drawn & Quarterly, Avatar… basically everything in the shadow of the so-called “Big Two.”

Kicking it 1990s style for the debut episode as we talk the launch of Image Comics, with an emphasis on early and recent material from Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, Rob Liefeld’s Youngblood, and Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon. Then, our spotlight original graphic novel is Bob Fingerman’s Minimum Wage Book One from 1995 for Fantagraphics Books, recently reprinted in the large Image Comics collection Maximum Minimum Wage. Also, a brief nod toward Love and Rockets.


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2 thoughts on “The Under Guides Graphic Novel Podcast Vol I”

  1. Great new podcast. I’m into it. Frank had a very similar journey to mine, with my abandoning Marvel completely in the early 90s and turning to pretty much everything else – early Image sucked balls but I tried many and stuck with only a couple for the first year (Spawn and Savage Dragon), but also bought loads of Valiant, Impact, Malibu & Ultraverse, Dark Horse, etc. At one point, anything that looked quirky and different got thrown on the pile, so lots of Caliber, etc.

    Minimum Wage passed me by – although kudos on using the short They Might Be Giants song, it’s awesome – I was more of a Yummy Fur kind of guy when it came to underground comix-type stuff, though I did read Hate, American Splendor, Palestine and others. I too a quick look at the new Minimum Wage mini that came out recently, but that’s about it. I’ll take your recommendation to heart. And I REALLY need to read Love & Rockets, been meaning to since forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I finally got around to listening to this episode and it’s terrific. I hope you guys do many more Under Guides episodes, because it was a lot of fun hearing you talk about books and ideas outside the Big Two. I’d never heard of Minimum Wage before now but that sounds like a book I would really enjoy.

    Image Comics launched only a few short years after I started reading comics so for me and my friends it was a fortuitous opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a series that wasn’t steeped in decades of continuity. It also felt young and rebellious while still being absurdly exploitative and commercially successful–just like the music and other media in the early ’90s. I will say, though, that I never got into Spawn or Youngblood when they came out. My friends picked up those first issues; I gave ’em a read and never felt anything special. I read the first three or four issues of Savage Dragon, but that wasn’t my jam either. The books I really liked were Jim Lee’s WildC.A.T.s (for a time), Whilce Portacio’s Wetworks (when it eventually came out), Marc Silvestri’s Cyber Force, and Stormwatch. I read every issue of Stormwatch until Warren Ellis took over and then I dropped it three issues into his run. I still have never read Planetary.

    The shipping delays, the creator turnover, and the general backlash against the comics of the ’90s turned me off of Image for a long time, but I finally started picking up more of their books in the last couple years when creators I love started doing indy projects there. FATALE, SAGA, EAST OF WEST, and plenty of others–all great stuff.

    Once again, great new edition to the Rolled Spine podcast family. Looking forward to more Under Guides!

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