Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Books Received - July 2017

Newly published books continue to appear in my mailbox. I'll try to get notices of them up more regularly. 

I find myself enjoying much of Scholastic's line for young people. Sunny Side Up was one of my favorite recent semi-autobiographical books. A sequel comes out this fall, and is more episodic, but we do meet the older brother whose 1970s-era problems with drugs have led him to being enrolled in military school. Recommended.


The Holms are also expanding their Babymouse series beyond the juvenile graphic novel books into middle school and mixed chapter book style. Not read.

 It’s a new kind of book for Babymouse! Fans of Dork Diaries, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and James Patterson’s Middle School books, this is going to be epic. . . .

For Babymouse, middle school is like a monster movie. You can never be sure who’s a friend and who’s an enemy, and the halls are filled with mean-girl zombies. Instead of brains, the zombies hunger for stuff—the perfect wedge sandals or the right shade of sparkly lip gloss—and they expect everyone to be just like them.

But Babymouse doesn’t want to fit in—she wants to stand out! So she joins the film club to write and direct a sweeping cinematic epic. Will making the film of her dreams turn into a nightmare?

Thanks to Babymouse, middle school gets schooled in this hilarious new series from bestselling authors Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.

 Christopher Eliopoulos has been using his big-head style on historical biographies with Brad Meltzer, but he also does a lot of other cartooning. His original graphic novel about receiving superpowers via a magic ring and then getting caught in a video game eventually becomes a story about the importance of family. This book is probably best for pre-teen boys, but I enjoyed it. Recommended.

Cosmic Commandos Hardcover – July 4, 2017

 In this graphic novel adventure for readers of Hilo and Roller Girl, a pair of twin brothers accidentally bring their favorite video game to life—and now they have to find a way to work together to defeat it.

Jeremy and Justin are twins, but they couldn’t be any more different from each other. Jeremy is a risk taker who likes to get his hands dirty; Justin prefers to read, focus, and get all his facts straight before jumping in. But they do have one important thing in common: They both love video games. When Jeremy wins a cereal-box charm that brings his favorite video game to life, villains and all, he finds that he’s in way over his head. Justin knows everything there is to know about the rules of the game—he read the handbook, of course—and Jeremy isn’t afraid to try new things. Can these two mismatched brothers work together to beat the video game that has become their life? 

Lee J. Ames died in 2011, but his Draw 50 series has been continued. Two new books with art by Erin Harvey were sent to us. Not read.

PR: Small Press Expo Announces International Special Guests

For Immediate Release
Contact: Warren Bernard
Email: warren@spxpo.com
Small Press Expo Announces International Special Guests Albert Monteys, Tommi Musturi, Anaïs Depommier and Alex Alice for SPX 2017
Bethesda, Maryland; July 17, 2017
Media Release - Small Press Expo is proud to announce its International Special Guests for SPX 2017. The festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 16-17, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center and will have over 650 creators, 280 exhibitor tables and 22 programming slots to entertain, enlighten and introduce attendees to the amazing world of independent and small press comics.
SPX 2017 is honored to have the following creators from Europe as Special Guests to this year's show:

Albert Monteys is a Spanish graphic novelist and illustrator, known for his works in El Jueves, a weekly satirical magazine that he directed from 2006 until January 2011.Albert created the series Carlitos Fax for the children's magazine Mister K. After his departure from El Jueves, in 2014, he founded a satirical monthly publication Orgullo y Satisfaccion (Pride and Satisfaction) with other cartoonists. That same year Monteys began to publish a science fiction comic ¡Universo! (Universe!) in Panel Syndicate, winning a 2017 Eisner Award nomination for Best Digital Comic. Albert's appearance at SPX is supported by a grant from Spain Arts & Culture.                                                                               

Tommi Musturi is a Finnish cartoonist, illustrator, graphic designer, and artist. In addition to his current ongoing series Walking with Samuel and The Books of Hope, Musturi contributes to the studio Kutikuti based out of Helsinki, which creates, publishes, and teaches comic art. Musturi co-founded Huuda Huuda in 2006 to translate international comics into Finnish, publish local comic artists, and get the word out about the vibrant Finnish scene by anthologizing the work in English. Tommi latest graphic novel is Simply Samuel from Fantagraphics. Tommi's appearance at SPX is supported by a grant from the Finnish Literature Exchange.
Anaïs Depommier was born in the late 1980s in a small village in the Southeast of France. Growing up a close friend of Mathilde Ramadier, they can't do enough sleepovers from one's house to the other. Inseparable at school, they spend their weekends building huts in the bush, watching the gendarmes go by, playing "Mouse Stampede" on a Macintosh Classic, and reading many comics. When it becomes time to prepare for the entrance exam to art school, they meet later in the evenings at the painter Jean-Michel Pétrissans' workshop in Valence. Anais first graphic novel, in collaboration with Mathilde Ramadier, is Sartre from NBM. Her appearance at SPX is supported by a grant from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. She will be appearing at SPX on Saturday September 16.
Alex Alice is a French graphic novelist whose works have been translated into more than fifteen languages. His comics in English include the esoteric thriller The Third Testament and the operatic fantasy Siegfried. In his latest, Castle in the Stars from First Second, he draws on Jules Verne and nineteenth-century romanticism to create a watercolor world of adventure and wonder. His appearance at SPX is supported by a grant from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Alex will be appearing at SPX on Saturday September 16.
In the next few weeks, SPX will announce additional guests, special events, the 2017 Ignatz nominees and a full slate of programming.
Small Press Expo (SPX) is the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comics, graphic novels, and alternative political cartoons. SPX is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings together more than 650 artists and publishers to meet their readers, booksellers, and distributors each year. Graphic novels, mini comics, and alternative comics will all be on display and for sale by their authors and illustrators. The expo includes a series of panel discussions and interviews with this year's guests.
The Ignatz Award is a festival prize held every year at SPX recognizing outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning, with the winners chosen by attendees at the show.

As in previous years, profits from the SPX will go to support the SPX Graphic Novel Gift Program, which funds graphic novel purchases for public and academic libraries, as well as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), which protects the First Amendment rights of comic book readers and professionals. For more information on the CBLDF, visit their website at http://www.cbldf.org. For more information on the Small Press Expo, please visit http://www.smallpressexpo.com.

Monday, July 24, 2017

New POE book from Gareth Hinds

POE is almost here!

My new book POE: Stories and Poems comes out August 1 from Candlewick Press. Simultaneous hardcover, paperback and eBook release. See below for a sneak peek.

You can pre-order it now from your favorite online or brick-and-mortar merchant. At the moment my own online store is down because I'm working in a temporary studio space -- so if you'd like a signed copy, please come to one of my bookstore events, or order from one of the stores below and ask to have it signed when I'm there.

There will be more events added to this schedule, but this is what's confirmed so far:

DC Area
8/1 - Official launch at Takoma Park, MD Library, in association with Politics & Prose, 7:00pm
9/9 - Barnes & Noble Bethesda, 2:00pm
More DC events to come!

Boston Area
9/26 - Tentative: Brookline Booksmith, 7:00pm

10/3 - Enoch Pratt Govans Branch Library, 6:30pm
10/7 - BCPL Reistertown Library, 7:00pm

2/3 of March team and their Eisner Award photo

Click through for the picture. Andrew lives in DC. Congratulations to the March team and Tom King as well.

Jill Thompson, John Lewis, Sonny Liew Take Home 2017 Eisner Awards

Jul 22, 2017

Comic Riffs on Eisner Awards including local winners.

Eisner Awards: Cartoonists from Singapore, Canada and Capitol Hill win big at 'the Oscars of comics'

Washington Post Comic Riffs blog July 22  2017

New ReDistricted comic online

King of Washington

Story by Christopher Charlton

and art by Ali Cantarella

1835 — A gun raises through the thick morning haze amongst a crowd gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. President Andrew Jackson in the crosshairs. A trembling finger squeezes the trigger. Jackson's war with the banks had afforded him numerous enemies — Richard Lawrence just happened to be insane.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Aug 1: Marc Tyler Nobleman talk on Batman

From: Marc Tyler Nobleman

If you haven't yet heard me tell the story of the borderline obsessive quest that took nearly ten years of my life (brief description below), please join me for this special event/talk. (If you have heard it, you are no less invited. In fact, you may get a sticker.)

August 1, 2017
2055 L Street NW
Washington DC
  • 6:30 pm happy (half) hour
  • 7:00 presentation
  • 8:00 Q&A/shake heads in disbelief
  • 8:30 reception
Free of charge and open to the public, but you must RSVP at the link above. Hope to see you there!

Marc Tyler Nobleman

The talk:

Batman's Biggest Secret

"Wow—incredible! An inspiration—absolutely gripping story everyone should hear."
—attendee, Charlotte S. Huck Children's Literature Festival, CA

In 1939, a writer co-created a character that would become one of the most successful fictional icons in world history. In 1974, he died poor and unknown to the public. In 2015, defying longstanding odds, and involving not one but three twists, his legacy was saved...thanks to one author's unprecedented campaign to correct cultural history.

This story has surprised and moved audiences from Tanzania to Thailand—even those who could not care less about superheroes. It has inspired multiple books, a TED talk, an NPR segment...and something bigger. You haven't heard a story like it...

"I feel like I just watched Rocky for the first time."

Batman exhibit on display at Geppi's museum in Baltimore

Holy exhibits, Batman! Now, through October 2017, Geppi's Entertainment Museum (GEM) is hosting an exhibit entitled The Dark Knight Through The Decades. This special exhibit offers attendees the chance to journey through time with the caped crusader.

Continue reading at http://scoop.previewsworld.com/Home/4/1/73/1012?ArticleID=197118

The Post on Valerian

'Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets': Little more than meets the eye [in print as A brilliant galaxy with no signs of life].

Washington Post July 21 2017, p. Weekend 23
online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/movies/valerian-and-the-city-of-a-thousand-planets-little-more-than-meets-the-eye/2017/07/20/9502585a-68af-11e7-9928-22d00a47778f_story.html

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Ben Hatke profiled in Catholic paper

Catholic cartoonist draws inspiration from fantasy classics, family life

By Ashleigh Kassock Catholic News Service



Ben's one of my favorite cartoonists working today - MR

Comic Riffs catchup - Aquaman and DuckTales

Aquaman used to be a king — now he's a vigilante

Washington Post 
Comic Riffs blog July 19 2017

'DuckTales' is back. Yes, 'DuckTales.' Woo-oo.

in print as Taking another quack at it: New TV show, comic book series revive beloved 'DuckTales'.
Express (July 20 2017), p. 41

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

New beer and hence character from Heroic Aleworks

Let me begin this week with a huge THANK YOU to everyone who made it to our Game of Thrones party last Saturday!  It was a ton of fun, and the actual Season 7 premier on Sunday was pretty strong too.  I look forward to hearing everyone's opinions in the taproom about all the action over the next 6 weeks!

Up this coming Friday we have our 80's Night AND a limited beer release.

If you love the 80's as much as I do, you won't want to miss it.  The classic 80's music and videos start at 7:30.  For those of you who frequented the arcades back in the day, this is your chance to polish off your Pac Man skills on our free arcade.  Highest score of the night wins a special prize.  And if video games weren't your thing, perhaps you'd prefer to tackle the Rubik's Cube challenge - first three to solve one get a $25 gift card (and the Rubik's Cube).  Most of all, I'm hoping lots of you get in the spirit and come in some awesome 80's attire!  $5 pours until 9 PM for anyone who dares to break out the legwarmers and teases up their hair!  For the gentlemen, maybe some acid washed jeans, the Miami Vice look, or a Members Only jacket?  The possibilities are as fabulous as they are endless!  

We also have a new limited release beer hitting the taproom on Friday - Hailstorm White IPA.  Come try it while it lasts!

If you have any questions please feel free to drop me a note at kate@heroicaleworks.com, give a call to the taproom at (571) 398-6113, or message us on Facebook.

Heroic Aleworks LLC
2242 Turnbuckle Way
Woodbridge, Va 22193

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 22: March creators at San Diego Comic-Con

Spotlight on March creators Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell
Saturday, July 2210:00am - 11:00am • Room 23ABC
Celebrate the record-breaking, award-winning success of the March trilogy! Join the authors for an emotional look back at their stunning accomplishment — and the way it's inspiring new generations to speak up, speak out, and move our feet.

Director's Notes for Off the Quill's upcoming King Kirby play

The play opens July 28 in Greenbelt - see

by William Keith Cassidy

I have a confession to make. As a kid, I never really liked Jack Kirby’s artwork.

 When I started collecting comics, the artist everyone was talking about was Neil Adams. I quickly became a Neil Adams super-fan. Jack Kirby’s (to my untrained eye) blocky and cartoony layouts just never measured up to Adams’ smooth, flowing compositions, which featured subtle, realistic facial expressions as well as a detailed knowledge of musculature and anatomy. I actually thought Kirby’s work was ugly by comparison…How foolish I was.

As I grew older and (at least a little) wiser, I began to learn how misplaced my first impressions were. Comic art is about moving the story forward and no one did that better than Jack Kirby. Every panel of a Kirby comic is packed with as much emotion as the scene required. When a Kirby hero punches a villain, it’s not just his fist landing on the miscreant’s face, but rather his whole body exploding off the evil-doer’s chin sending him flying backwards. Kirby’s use of depth makes his work appear three dimensional as he often has characters break the frame of the panel. There may have been better artists working in superheroes over the years (Neil Adams among them,) but I argue that there has never been a better illustrator than Jack Kirby.

I found this script while browsing at the Drama Book Shop in New York. I was intrigued that someone had written a play about Jack Kirby, and after I read it was very excited to stage it. Two of my greatest passions are theatre and comic books and I was thrilled to be able to merge the two interests into one project.

Off The Quill was the first and only company I thought of. I knew from the first reading that I wanted to tell the story with a great deal of theatricalism and movement. OTQ has proved quite adept at such stagings in their young history. Also, having acted in productions with many OTQ people before, I knew that they would provide the camaraderie and collaboration, necessary to produce this play in accordance with my vision. I told Patrick Mullen up front, “You guys are better at this than me. I’m really depending on you to nail down the movement aspects of this show.” I was not disappointed.

From my first production meeting, we were all in agreement that the art should be the center of the production and would incorporate projections of Kirby’s work throughout the show, not only to give the audience an appreciation for his genius, but also to illuminate how Kirby’s life influenced his work. The goal was to have the projections, when they were used, take up several locations. They would not just appear on screens, but on the walls and floors, literally turning the stage into a giant comic book.

From the very first auditions, the actors in this show have been a tremendous joy to work with. There was not one rehearsal after which I did not leave feeling artistically satisfied. Every day, they find something new in their characters. There are many aspects associated with this production that I will forever have fond memories of, but working with this enormously talented group of actors, led by the incredible Josh Mooney in the title role, certainly tops the list.

One final note to all of you Stan Lee fans (and I consider myself one,) this play reflects Jack Kirby’s version of their working and personal relationship. Stan’s memories are quite different. Many comic book historians take one side or the other…or somewhere in the middle. However, I feel that the playwrights committed to telling JACK’S story and we have to respect that. One thing EVERYONE agrees on, is that Jack never received as much credit as he deserves. Even Stan says so. I invite you all to do your own research and draw your own conclusions.

Hopefully, after seeing our production, audiences will have a greater appreciation of Jack’s contributions, both in creating the Marvel Universe and in promoting the art of graphic storytelling.

 He was the KING!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Former cartoonist Martin Landau RIP

Martin Landau, Oscar-winning actor who played heroes and villains, dies at 89 [in print as Martin Landau, 89; Oscar winner, star of TV's 'Mission: Impossible]

Washington Post July 17 2017, p. B4
online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/martin-landau-oscar-winning-actor-who-played-heroes-and-villains-dies-at-xx/2017/07/16/310a5ee6-6a86-11e7-96ab-5f38140b38cc_story.html

July 22: Superhero Family Day at Smithsonian American Art Museum

Photo credit: Bruce Guthrie

Superhero Family Day

Saturday, July 22, 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Pow! Bam! Kaboom! It's an action-packed day of superheroes. Arrive dressed as your favorite character. No costume? Come as your superhero's secret identity and make a mask at our crafting station. Show off your powers in our series of challenges and let those villains know that there is nothing you can't overcome.