show episodes
 
A comics and graphic novels appreciation podcast, where literacy educator Paul Lai (@twoplai) reads widely and digs deep in search of the socio-cultural, literary, and artistic significance of comic books, including superhero media, graphic novels, all-ages comics, and comic shop single issues. For comics fans, teachers, librarians and parents, and young readers alike.
 
This is a podcast that features interviews and conversations with authors, parents, child development experts. It'll also feature conversations with "kids" (i.e. teens and others,) and parents living in the Bay Area. Feel free to send me your show ideas. Podcast art: Annie Dills (https://www.anniedills.com/) Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/sarah-lai-stirland/support
 
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show series
 
Thoughts on MOON KNIGHT! Digging into themes of the Lemire and Smallwood Marvel Comics run (2016) in light of the first episode of the Marvel Studios Disney+ show. Oh, mishaps! This week, the podcast was MEANT to cover the 2016 ”Moon Knight” run by Lemire and Smallwood (which we DO!) AND the graphic novel “Memories from Limon” by Edo Brenes… but my…
 
This week’s Comics Syllabus podcast: “Girl on Fire” (HarperAlley). Come meet Lolo Wright, a hero for all ages, crafted by singer-songwriter-superstar Alicia Keys, co-written by Andrew Weiner, and brought to comic life by Brittney Williams. Check out the Comics Syllabus Substack, and find out how you can support Paul’s work on this podcast, at comic…
 
Episode 4 of To Be Human features Juhi Nandwani, a Belizean who left her vibrant country in the Caribbean to chase the American Dream. She talks about her childhood in Belize, her seven-year journey in the USA and how she managed her mental health throughout. This episode was edited by Dennis Zhang. — CONNECT WITH JUHI Instagram: @juhister LinkedIn…
 
This week’s Comics Syllabus podcast: “Wingbearer,” an incredible new middle grade graphic novel by Marjorie Liu and Teny Issakhanian from HarperCollins/Quill Tree Books. Then, Paul’s NON-SPOILER thoughts on “The Batman,” the small indie movie directed by Matt Reeves. Check out the Comics Syllabus Substack, and find out how you can support Paul’s wo…
 
“Borders,” a graphic novel with story by Thomas King and art by Natasha Donovan (Little, Brown, & Company, 2021), is the main topic of this brief episode of the Comics Syllabus podcast, recorded in conversation with Cohost Kid. Paul and Cohost Kid are actually on a family vacation, so pardon the poorer audio quality. But catch our convo as we also …
 
In the third episode of To Be Human, we are joined by Safa Ali Mudei. Safa is a third-year medical student by day, but taking over the Toronto dance community by night. Safa shares her experiences being Black and Muslim in both medicine and dance, as well as how her life has changed since being diagnosed with a rare form of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) …
 
On this week’s Comics Syllabus pod, I make star-eyes emojis at the litany of New Comics at Substack, covered by Multiversity here and at the Comics Syllabus Substack here. And (at 52:55) we look a little deeper at “STARSIGNS” by Saladin Ahmed, Megan Levens, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Shawn Lee, and Heather Antos, available for free at Copper Bottle. First,…
 
In the second episode of To Be Human, we chat with Paul Lai about his life as a Hoosier in the Midwest, the college experience with his twin brother at Stanford, and his pursuit of success through multiple jobs and passion projects thereafter. This episode was edited by Dennis Zhang. --- CONNECT WITH PAUL: - Instagram: @official.paulai CONNECT WITH…
 
Back from a winter break, we (eventually) dive into Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco's return to "Arrowsmith: Behind Enemy Lines" from Image Comics. First we touch bases with "Usagi Yojimbo," open The Book of Boba Fett, revisit "Shadow Hero," and then round the corner into the return to Busiek and Pacheco's storyworld of a fantasy-infused World War I…
 
Graphic Novel Review: “No One Else” (Fantagraphics) by R. Kikuo Johnson. PolyBagged (New Comics in Shops, Reviewed): “The Good Asian” #7 by Pichetschote and Tefengki (Image), “Made in Korea” #6 by Holt and Schall (Image), “The Me You Love in the Dark” #5 by Young and Corona (Image), “X-Men: Legends” #9 by Hama and Tan (Marvel), “Crush and Lobo” #7 …
 
Would you do us a HUGE favor and let us know on this Google Survey what you want to hear on the Comics Syllabus podcast? This week, Paul asks for your input through the survey above. You— YES YOU!— can shape the future of the Comics Syllabus podcast. We want this podcast to meet your interests. Let us know! Then, Paul walks through samplings of the…
 
To Be Human kicks off season 1 by chatting with Mateo Peralta. In this episode, we explore the impact of immigration, coming out in a Hispanic family, and Mateo's journey with leukemia. This episode was edited by Michelle Wong. --- CONNECT WITH MATEO: - Twitter: @mateoperalta_ - Instagram: @mateoperalta - Book/Art Instagram: @pastichemateo --- CONN…
 
Cohost Kid joins Paul again to talk about “Laid-Back Camp” by Afro (Yen Press) volumes 1-2. This charmingly low-key manga was an enjoyable read. But first, dad and kid talk about other recent comics reads for each of them, including the “Wings of Fire” series by Tui T. Sutherland and Mike Holmes (Graphix), the “Frazzled” series by Booki Vivant (Har…
 
This week, Paul talks about “Asadora!” volumes 1-4 by Naoki Urasawa (Viz) and “Marshmallow & Jordan” by Alina Chau (First Second), two comics that have provided wonder and delight in hard times. (Those chats begin around 27:40 on the podcast.) But first, Paul talks about some comics he’s been teaching and reading, including “Secret Coders” by Gene …
 
It’s JEFF! Jeff the Landshark. Kelly Thompson’s Marvel Unlimited Infinity Comic with artist team Gurihiru has won our hearts. And by “our,” we mean Comics Syllabus host Paul and his special guest, Cohost Kid! (That’s his daughter.) Today on the Comics Syllabus, we dive deep into the far reaches of Marvel history (2018!!!) to explore the origins of …
 
On this week's Comics PLEASE! (for Parents, Librarians, Educators, and Student Enthusiasts!), we look at “Ms. Marvel: Stretched This” (Marvel/Graphix) by Nadia Shammas and Nabi H. Ali, “Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story” (DC) by Lilliam Rivera and Steph C., and “BlancaFlor: The Hero with Secret Powers” (TOON) by Nadja Spiegelman and Sergio García Sán…
 
Apologies for the late post here. Some issues with podcast plugin! On this week's Comics Syllabus, Paul talks through thoughts on the first volume and complete run of "Y: The Last Man" as part of the first Comics Syllabus "Long Read" segment. Over the next few weeks, read along with us as we re-read the seminal Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra Verti…
 
On this week’s Comics Syllabus, some examination of “Shang-Chi”… but not the movie, since host Paul is still avoiding theaters. Pandemic! Delta! (For a good take on Marvel’s groundbreaking movie, check out Christopher Chiu-Tabet’s Multiversity review as well as All Over the Internet.) Instead, Paul shares thoughts on the recent Marvel series writte…
 
On this week's Comics Syllabus, we look into "Snow Angels," a Comixology Originals series by Jeff Lemire and Jock, now three issues into its second season. "Snow Angels" can be found here free for Comixology Unlimited or Amazon Prime subscribers. Then, on our "Polybagged" segment about new comics in shops, Paul INADVERTENTLY figures out that he's c…
 
Welcome to the Comics Syllabus, where on this week’s audio-only episode, we talk a bit about the sequel series to the celebrated “March” autobiography of John Lewis, “Run” volume 1, written by Lewis and Andrew Aydin, with art by L. Fury and Nate Powell. Then, some chatter about the “What If” comics on Marvel Unlimited compared to the MCU show on Di…
 
On this episode of Comics Syllabus, another installment of Comics PLEASE! (Parents, Librarians, Educators, and Student Enthusiasts). We are hyped about some new graphic novels for kids out this summer as we enter the Fall’s new school year: “The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel” by Ryan North and Derek Charm (DC Ki…
 
On this episode of Comics PLEASE! (Parents, Librarians, Educators, and Student Enthusiasts), we are hyped about some new graphic novels for kids out this summer as we enter the Fall's new school year: "The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel" by Ryan North and Derek Charm (DC Kids) "Miles Morales: Shock Waves" by Just…
 
This week's Comics Syllabus is a review of "Adora and the Distance" by Marc Bernardin and Ariela Kristantina from Comixology Originals. And in Polybagged, we talk about "Bermuda," "Dark Blood," "Radiant Black," and "Save Yourself." We begin with "Adora and the Distance." Marc Bernardin writes and Ariella Kristantina draws this all-ages fantasy abou…
 
Marc Bernardin writes and Ariella Kristantina draws this all-ages fantasy about Adora, a girl whose adventurous spirit, courageous heart, and generous soul lead her and a band of companions on a voyage that is more than meets the eye. From Comixology Originals, this is a graphic novel for parents and caregivers as well as kids. Both will find a fam…
 
On this week's "Polybagged," covering some new comics in shops this week (July 21, 2021), we talk about: "Bermuda" #1 by John Layman and Nick Bradshaw (IDW) "Dark Blood" #1 by LaToya Morgan and Walt Barna (Boom!), "Save Yourself" #2 by Bones Leopard and Kelly & Nichole Matthews (Boom!), and "Radiant Black" #6 by Kyle Higgins, Cherish Chen, and Dark…
 
This week's Comics Syllabus is a set of thoughts on the "Black Widow" movie from Marvel/Disney (SPOILERS aplenty!) with some reference to the comic book history of the character. But first, Paul opens with a correction/apology, as last week's "Polybagged" misattributed the backmatter story in "Ordinary Gods" #1 to Kyle Higgins, when the author is t…
 
This week's Comics Syllabus is a set of thoughts on the "Black Widow" movie from Marvel/Disney (SPOILERS aplenty!) with some reference to the comic book history of the character. But first, Paul opens with a correction/apology, as last week's "Polybagged" misattributed the backmatter story in "Ordinary Gods" #1 to Kyle Higgins, when the author is t…
 
This week: Part 1 of Discussion about 2021's Eisner Nominees, and covering new comics this week: "Karmen" #5, "Mamo" #1, "Ordinary Gods" #1, and "Wynd" #8. On this week's Comics Syllabus, we start with “Polybagged,” (video episode here) covering some new comics in shops this week (July 7, 2021), talking about: "Karmen" #5 by Guillem March (Image), …
 
On this week's "Polybagged," covering some new comics in shops this week (July 7, 2021), we talk about: "Karmen" #5 by Guillem March (Image) "Mamo" #1 by Sas Milledge (Boom!), "Ordinary Gods" #1 by Higgins and Watanabe (Image), and "Wynd" #8 by Tynion IV and Dialynas (Boom!) with mentions of other titles. [CORRECTION: In my review of “Ordinary Gods…
 
On this segment of Comics Syllabus, a couple months ago the Eisner nominees for 2021 were announced. Here's the whole list from their website: https://www.comic-con.org/awards/2021-eisner-awards-nominations But in this segment, Paul runs through the list of nominees (and his own selections for most of the categories) in: Best Continuing Series Best…
 
This week: "Djeliya” by Juni Ba (TKO). New issues of “Crossover,” “Monstress,” “Usagi Yojimbo,” and “Made in Korea." First, we review “Djeliya” by Juni Ba from TKO Studios (video episode here). Juni Ba’s new graphic novel is “A West African Fantasy Epic” and follows djeli (storyteller and advisor) Awa as she fights for (and with!) Monsour, heir to …
 
On this week's "Polybagged," covering some new comics in shops this week (June 30, 2021), we talk about: "Usagi Yojimbo: Dragon Bellow Conspiracy" #1 by Stan Sakai and Pattison (c) (IDW), "Made in Korea" #2 by Holt and Schall (Image), "Monstress" #35 by Liu and Takeda (Image), and "Crossover" #2 by Zdarsky, Hester, and Parks (Image) with mentions o…
 
On this video episode, we review "Djeliya" by Juni Ba from TKO Studios. Juni Ba's new graphic novel is "A West African Fantasy Epic" and follows djeli (storyteller and advisor) Awa as she fights for (and with!) Monsour, heir to a throne, against gods and beasts for the rightful throne. Ba's work artfully mixes Cartoon Network stylistics with folk n…
 
[Audio version of Comics Syllabus podcast] On this week's audio-only version of the Comics Syllabus, first, we open with "Polybagged", new comics in shops this week that Paul picked up, including: "Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters" #4 by Samnee and Samnee (Oni) "Good Luck" #1 by Erman and Simeone (Boom!) "The Blue Flame" #2 by Cantwell and Gorham …
 
On this week's "Polybagged," covering some new comics in shops this week (June 23, 2021), we talk about: "Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters" #4 by Samnee and Samnee (Oni) "Good Luck" #1 by Erman and Simeone (Boom!) "The Blue Flame" #2 by Cantwell and Gorham (Vault) and "Black Hammer Reborn" #1 by Lemire and Yarsky (Dark Horse) with mentions of othe…
 
It's Vita Ayala Week on "The Infinite Unlimited," our segment of the Comics Syllabus where we check out new arrivals and dope archivals on Marvel Unlimited and DC Universe Infinite! Ayala's "Static" 1 with CrissCross and Nikolas Draper-Ivey (DC) and their "Children of the Atom" 1 with Bernard Chang (Marvel) popped up on their respective apps this w…
 
On a new segment (series?) on the Comics Syllabus, Paul talks about comics and graphic novels of interest to Parents, Librarians, Educators, And Student Enthusiasts in "Comics P.L.E.A.S.E." (see what I did there?) We start by discussing "Truly Tyler" from Balzer + Bray, the latest in Terry Libenson's "Emmie and Friends" series which was kicked off …
 
On a new segment (series?) on the Comics Syllabus, Paul talks about comics and graphic novels of interest to Parents, Librarians, Educators, And Student Enthusiasts in "Comics P.L.E.A.S.E." (see what I did there?) We start by discussing "Truly Tyler" from Balzer + Bray, the latest in Terry Libenson's "Emmie and Friends" series which was kicked off …
 
On our "Polybagged" segment for the week of June 16, 2021, Paul discusses new comics in shops this week that he picked up, including: "Home" #3 (Image) by Anta and Wieszczyk "The Many Deaths of Laila Starr" #3 (Boom!) by Ram V and Andrade "Rangers of the Divide" #2 (Dark Horse) by Megan Huang "Compass" #1 (Image) by Mackenzie, Walker, and Greenwood…
 
On our "Polybagged" segment for the week of June 9, 2021, Paul discusses new comics in shops this week that he picked up, including "Good Asian" #2 (Image), "X-Men" #21 (Marvel), "Wonder Woman" #775 (DC), "Eve" #2 (Boom!), and "Far Sector" #12 (DC/Young Animal). Let’s keep reading! Find the weekly audio podcast version of the Comics Syllabus on Sun…
 
On this Comics Syllabus segment, we review the graphic novel "Black Star" by Eric Anthony Glover and Arielle Jovellanos. "Black Star" is from the new Megascope imprint of Abrams ComicArts, spotlighting comics by and about people of color (see Paul's review of "After the Rain" here). "Black Star" is a sci-fi thriller about a competition for survival…
 
We start this new weekly episode of the Comics Syllabus audio podcast with a review of the graphic novel "Black Star" by Eric Anthony Glover and Arielle Jovellanos (at 7:53). "Black Star" is from the new Megascope imprint of Abrams ComicArts, spotlighting comics by and about people of color (see Paul's review of "After the Rain" here). "Black Star"…
 
Subscribers/followers of Comics Syllabus, thanks for your patience as we figure out how to integrate video segments to our originally audio-only podcast. This episode is to clarify the video and audio podcast feeds (so far!) for our show, which is all about reading widely and digging deep in the world of comics and graphic novels. So... Find the we…
 
The Comics Syllabus continues its return with... A new segment called "The Infinite Unlimited," exploring comics available on subscription apps like DC Universe Infinite and Marvel Unlimited, beginning with the 1993 "Static" series that was part of the original Milestone Comics line. Co-written initially by Milestone founders Dwayne McDuffie and Ro…
 
This week in “PolyBagged,” our segment covering new comics in shops this past week, we discuss: "Fire Power" #12 (Image) "Dead Dog's Bite" #4 (Dark Horse) "Nocterra" #4 (Image) "Iron Fist: Heart of the Dragon" #6 (Marvel) …along with a huge list of honorable mentions for this week. Find the Comics Syllabus at its home at Multiversitycomics.com: htt…
 
A new segment called "The Infinite Unlimited," exploring comics available on subscription apps like DC Universe Infinite and Marvel Unlimited, beginning with the 1993 "Static" series that was part of the original Milestone Comics line. Co-written initially by Milestone founders Dwayne McDuffie and Robert L. Washington III, Static is probably Milest…
 
[VIDEO VERSION. For the audio version of this episode, check out the podcast feed or jump to https://paulflai.com/podcast/2021-05-29-the-dragon-path-and-other-new-comics/ ] The Comics Syllabus podcast returns, this time with a video version of our segments, including a weekly segment we’re calling “Polybagged,” where I talk up some of the new comic…
 
[VIDEO VERSION. For the audio version of this episode, check out the podcast feed or jump to https://paulflai.com/podcast/2021-05-29-the-dragon-path-and-other-new-comics/ ] The Comics Syllabus returns, this time with a video version of our segments (look for those on this stream!), which this week include… A graphic novel review of “The Dragon Path…
 
[AUDIO VERSION] ...and we're back! The Comics Syllabus podcast returns, this time with a video version of our segments (look for those on this stream!), which this week include... A graphic novel review of "The Dragon Path," the new book by Ethan Young from Scholastic's Graphix imprint. The young prince of the Wong Clan has to lead his people throu…
 
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