Storied Arcs

Storied Arcs

A Deep Dive Into Comics, One Story Arc at a Time...Welcome to Storied Arcs! A book-club style deep dives into indie comics. In each episode, we will discuss one story arc, typically in the form of a trade paperback, for a completed comic series. In general, we will be avoiding ongoing or continuing series so that we can discuss a work in its entirety. We’ll also be avoiding the “big two” (Marvel and DC.) While we love those comics, there are plenty of podcasts covering characters like Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and so on. Instead, we’re excited to explore some of the great creator-owned stories. We’ll deep dive into the story while evaluating the prose, art, and all the easter eggs we can find. Learn more at


June 23, 2022 2 mins

As always, join our discussion on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and our website.

Welcome to Storied Arcs! The podcast for deep dives into indie comics.  In each episode, we will discuss one story arc, typically in the form of a trade paperback, for a completed comic series.  In general, we will be avoiding ongoing or continuing series so that we can discuss a work in its entirety.  We’ll also be avoiding the “big two” (Mar...

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Join co-hosts Mike and Alex as they provide a spoiler-free preview of what's to come in the ensuing trade-by-trade analysis of Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang from Image Comics. They'll introduce the creative team, key information, and most importantly, why they love this book and decided to start their podcast off with it.

As always, join our discussion on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and our w...

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July 7, 2022 73 mins

Welcome to scenic Stony Stream, Ohio! Okay fine, it's just suburban Cleveland. In 1988.
In this episode, co-hosts Mike and Alex kick off the first season of Storied Arcs by breaking down Paper Girls Volume 1 (issues 1-5). They discuss the storytelling choices made by the creative team that are specific to sequential art, the use (or potential overuse) of nostalgia when dealing with period setting, and Alex gives his ...

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July 14, 2022 77 mins

If you could be told with exact certainty when you were going to die, would you want to know? Would you find that knowledge be freeing or burdensome?

Mike and Alex go deep on that very topic and more as they cover Paper Girls Volume 2 (issues 6-10). They touch on how prescient it was in 2015 to refer to 2016 as the begin of The Problems and how weird it would be to meet an younger version of yourself. Or an older one, for ...

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July 21, 2022 80 mins

Travel back to 11,706 BCE and meet the woman who invented time travel! But she's not even technically the first time traveler because people from the future will use the technology she invented to go back into the past which will allow people from that past to go even further into the past and thus be present in that past when she arrives there after having just invented time travel in the future.

Everybody clear? Goo...

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July 28, 2022 66 mins

Where were you when Y2K hit? Were you hiding in a fallout bunker? In Times Square to watch the ball drop? Or were you defiantly at your computer, actively ignoring the explicit warnings of electronics retailers, like one of your podcast hosts? And if you were too young to remember Y2K or weren't even born yet, we're curious- what do you know about it? Do they talk about the giant robots? Because that totally happened. Tru...

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August 4, 2022 95 mins

It's true, folks; the future's so bright, you gotta wear shades. But never mind that, we have more important things to discuss, like, if you had to say, which Ninja Turtle are you?

In this week's episode, Mike and Alex travel into the future for Paper Girls Volume 5 (issues 21-25) and talk about how things there maybe aren't so different from how they are right now. Over-policing? Still an issue. Hospi...

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August 11, 2022 110 mins

Maybe the real storied arcs are the friends we made along the way.

In this season finale, Mike and Alex discuss the epic conclusion to Paper Girls in the final story arc, Volume 6 (issues 26 - 30). Endings are hard because it's nearly impossible to give everyone the satisfying closure they're looking for. Spoiler alert- this one nails it.

Thanks for listening along all season and we hope you enjoyed divi...

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August 18, 2022 113 mins

After six long weeks of a deep dive into the source material, Alex and Mike share their thoughts on Amazon Prime's adaptation of Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang.

Long story short, they LOVED it! 

This episode does contain spoilers for Season 1 of Paper Girls and a fair bit of speculation for future seasons based on what we know from the comics. If you have not watched Season 1 yet then we h...

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Welcome to the Grass Kingdom!  In this episode, Alex and Mike will give a spoiler-free pitch for Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins' Eisner-nominated book, Grass Kings.  You'll get a background on Boom Studios, bio and overview of the creators Matt Kindt, Tyler Jenkins, and Jim Campbell, as well as a spoiler-free synopsis and breakdown of the main characters.

Grab this in single-issue from your local comic shop, in the...

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September 1, 2022 111 mins

You are now entering the Grass Kingdom!

In this episode, Mike and Alex discuss the first volume (issues 1-6) of Grass Kings by Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins, including Jenkins' stunning artwork, the innate need for war and conflict found in human nature, and what this book has to say, if anything, about the idea of sovereign citizenry.

As always, join our discussion on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and our we...

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September 8, 2022 82 mins

What's the price of living in a free society? Is constant surveillance acceptable if you're the one doing it and not the big bad overlords of the world? And do the rules change at all if you find out there might be a serial killer living among you?

Mike and Alex explore these questions and more and they jump into Grass Kings Volume 2 (issues 6-10). They touch on what feels like a shift in tone for the comic and h...

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September 15, 2022 77 mins

A community of people living off the grid, opposed to government oversight, get raided by federal agents. That's never ended poorly before, right?

Join Mike and Alex as they cover the EPIC conclusion to Grass Kings in Volume 3 (issues 11-15), where the Kingdom faces off against the outside world, their own personal demons, and oh yeah, a serial killer. Listen in to hear how the guys rate the ending of the series and t...

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September 22, 2022 54 mins

In this episode, we have an exclusive interview with the INSANELY talented Hilary Jenkins who provided colors for Eisner-nominated Grass Kings and continued her collaboration with Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins into Black Badge, Fear Case, and Apache Delivery Service.  We talk about the creative process and the colorist's role in comic creation.  We also discuss her other comic projects and will provide links to her work and ori...

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In this episode, the guys discuss Mike's all-time favorite comic creator: Jeff Lemire (Alex is a big fan, too, just not quite on the buy-every-Jeff-Lemire-variant-cover-published-regardless-of-series level Mike is). They give a history of Lemire's work, an overview of his style and themes, and finally, provide a synopsis and sales pitch for their next discussion, The Underwater Welder!

Find the original graphic n...

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October 13, 2022 113 mins

"The most spectacular episode of The Twilight Zone that was never produced." - Damon Lindelof, from the introduction to The Underwater Welder

In this oversized, one-shot episode, Mike and Alex cover the entire book for Jeff Lemire's solo masterpiece, The Underwater Welder. No chapter breaks, no multiple volumes, just the whole story all at once, so be sure you've finished reading before jumping into the...

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In this episode, Mike and Alex take a look at Alex's favorite creative team in all of comics- writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips. They discuss the duo's long history of incredible comic work, both separately and together, how noir storytelling infuses all of their collaborations, and sell you on why the vigilante crime-noir book Kill Or Be Killed was their choice for the next deep-dive discussion on the podcast.<...

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October 27, 2022 64 mins

"It's so easy for the guys in those old vigilante movies to find their targets... they just walk around waiting to get mugged. Or they listen for screams and arrive just in time. In real life, it's not like that."

In the first episode of Storied Arcs Season 4, Mike and Alex take a peak inside the mind of a vigilante killer as they dive into Volume 1 (issues 1-4) of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillip's mo...

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November 3, 2022 80 mins

"I don't believe in fate, but you can't deny that things in life sometimes fall together like there actually is some big cosmic plan at work. Which would suck for about 95 percent of us, right?"

In Volume 2 (issues 5-10), Brubaker and Phillips begin to expand the world of Kill Or Be Killed and Mike and Alex are here to break it all down in this episode. They revisit the idea of fate and destiny vs. self...

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November 10, 2022 59 mins

"Fear is a weird thing. Sometimes it's a survival mechanism... like the instinct that made our ancestors flee from saber-tooth tigers. But a lot of the time it's the handcuffs that we put on ourselves."

In this episode, Mike and Alex discuss the changing motivations of the vigilante killer and examine how that alters our perception of what he's doing. Does the "why" matter at all if the e...

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