Friday, September 04, 2015

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "'Progressive' Sanders Loves Him Some Drones"

From Mike Flugennock:

"Progressive" Sanders Loves Him Some Drones

I was just checking out this short article in The Hill today about Pwogwessive hero Bernie Sanders and his declaration that he wouldn't end the US drone warfare program. Can somebody please tell me again why I should so much as lift a finger to support this brazen hypocrite? Check this out:

"I think we have to use drones very, very selectively and effectively. That has not always been the case," Sanders said.

No shit, Sherlock. Christ, is this clown really the Great Progressive Hope? Are you friggin' kidding me, man?

"What you can argue is that there are times and places where drone attacks have been effective," he added.

Oh, yeah, especially against weddings, funerals and schools. Now we know why Bernie doesn't spend much time discussing foreign policy, and prefers to keep beating the shit out of that old economic inequality riff. If Pwogwessive America found out too much too soon, they'd bolt the Donkeycratic Party and run like the place was on fire.

Basically, what we're got here is a warmed-over Obama, with the economic inequality rhetoric dialed up a notch or two for all the gullible bougie pwogwessives. Dude had to be dragged kicking and screaming into addressing the ongoing police reign of terror against Black America, and he'd probably still be ignoring the issue if #BlackLivesMatter hadn't publicly gotten all up in his shit about it.

This doorknob needs to stop referring to his sheepdog campaign as a goddamn' "revolution". It's really offensive.

Mike Flugennock, flugennock at sinkers dot org
Mike's Political Cartoons: dubya dubya dubya dot sinkers dot org

Comic Riffs' pre-National Book Festival interviews

National Book Festival: Are you 'cynical' and 'twisted'? Stephan 'Pearls' Pastis wants you.

National Book Festival: Miss Lasko-Gross enchantingly taps the art of our unease

National Book Festival: Pioneer Trina Robbins ever a vital voice for women creators

ED. NOTE: Tomorrow at 7 p.m., Comic Riffs will host and emcee the Graphic Novel Night pavilion at the Library of Congress's National Book Festival. The participating cartoonists will include Lalo Alcaraz, Keith Knight, Miss Lasko-Gross, Diane Noomin, Stephan Pastis and Scott Stantis.

Jennifer Holm at Hooray for Books

Today: Jennifer Holm in Alexandria

Editorializing here - this is one of my favorite graphic novels of the year so far. I'm going to this signing. - Mike

Friday, September 4th at 4 pm: Join us for an exclusive sit-down with Newbery honoree Jennifer Holm! She will drop by to chat and sign copies of her new graphic novel, Sunny Side Up, on her way to the National Book Festival on Saturday, September 5th. Her new graphic novel is a collaboration with her brother, Matthew Holm, with whom she co-wrote the ALA Notable Children's Book and Gryphon Award-winning graphic novel series Babymouse.

Following the lives of kids whose older brother's delinquent behavior has thrown their family into chaos, Sunny Side Up is at once a compelling "problem" story and a love letter to the comic books that help the protagonist make sense of her world. on Frank Cho's new Hulk series

Marvel reveals Amadeus Cho as Totally Awesome Hulk

Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso promises that, "come December, arguably the strongest character in the Marvel Universe is going to be Asian-American." September 4 2015

And they appear to be jettisoning some of their extraneous characters: 

"But I also want to say that he will be the only Hulk in the Marvel Universe. He will be the Hulk, the green Hulk, that will be him. Just like there’s one Thor in the Marvel Universe and she’s a she, there is one Hulk and it is Amadeus Cho."

But apparently "only" has a different meaning in Marvel-land:

"Amadeus is the main character of course, She-Hulk is right there in the very first issue — she’s got a great and big role to play in the first few issues."


Sept 17: Frederik Peeters in Takoma

Busboys and Poets Takoma: Frederik Peeters - Aama: 4. You Will Be Glorious, My Daughter

Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

Peeters, the Geneva-based graphic novelist, has won world-wide acclaim for Blue Pills and Pachyderme, and was awarded the Best Series Prize at Angoul'me for the first two volumes of his four-book Aama.  Set in the distant future, the series began with Verloc, his brother Conrad, and a cigar-smoking robotic monkey named Churchill. Rejecting the technology he feels destroys old values like humanity and beauty, Verloc, with his companions, travels across the galaxy in an attempt to recover the mysterious biorobotic experiment known as aama. As the quest continues on the planet Ona(ji), which aama has populated with biorobotic creatures, the expedition dwindles to a single man: can Verloc alone, himself radically transformed, regain control of aama? Peeters will be in conversation with Sam Marx, Exhibitor Coordinator at the Small Press Expo.

Busboys and Poets Takoma
235 Carroll Street NW
Washington DC 20012

Cache of Grandma Rose's vintage NJ landscape paintings is Hagenized

For Immediate Release

Local artist and cartoonist David Hagen has undertaken the delicate and time-consuming process of "Hagenizing" a newly-revealed cache of vintage paintings from Northern New Jersey. The paintings were done from the late 1950s through the early 1970s by the mysterious Grandma Rose's. Largely a collection of landscapes, with a few still lifes known, the paintings by themselves capture the hallucinatory reality of the world made famous in Bruce Springsteen songs.

"I was pleased to be able to rescue these oddly-moving paintings from a house that was about to be demolished, and to place them with such a distinguished and groundbreaking modern artist to be safely and proudly Hagenized," said ComicsDC publisher Mike Rhode.

After a careful study of the work, Hagen applies his own particular brand of restoration to each painting, resulting in a new and improved masterwork. With about 50 paintings to work through, Hagen anticipates his production to be slow, but just in time for the holiday shopping season. The first painting, seen here in before and after versions, debuts tomorrow at the Civitan Flea Market in Arlington, VA.

Keep following this breaking story as there's more to come.

Politico's Cartoon Carousel online today.

Politico's Cartoon Carousel is online today, as selected by Matt Wuerker.

Ben Hatke's Little Robot book tour

Ben's new book is out, and here's information on his tour for it.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Warren Peace on Liz Suburbia

I assume Liz is still in the NoVA area.

The exquisite punk expressiveness of Liz Suburbia

September 2, 2015

Small Press Expo Announces SPX 2015 Programming

Small Press Expo Announces Programming Schedule for SPX 2015

For Immediate Release

Contact: Warren Bernard

Phone: 301-537-4615


Bethesda, Maryland; September 3, 2015

Media Release - Small Press Expo is pleased to announce the Programming Schedule for SPX 2015. SPX is continuing the festival's established tradition of rich, thought provoking programming featuring leading comics artists and critics in conversation. As in previous years, the Programming Schedule features two simultaneous tracks on both Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20.
This year Bill Kartalopoulos has stepped down from the Programming Coordinator role at SPX. Over the course of nine years working in a volunteer capacity, Kartalopoulos has not only established SPX as a destination for robust and thoughtful programming, he has single-handedly elevated the standard for programming events across the entire field of comics festivals and related events. Additionally, this year Kartalopoulos co-curated, with Warren Bernard, the impressive and groundbreaking Alt-Weekly Comics exhibit at the Society of Illustrators that was sponsored by Small Press Expo.

"On behalf of the SPX Executive Committee, as well as the entire SPX Community, we cannot thank Bill enough for the tremendous time and effort he put into making SPX's programming the highest level it could possibly attain." says Small Press Expo Executive Director Warren Bernard
This year's programming was developed by a committee led by Esther Kim of Fantom Comics that includes Michael Cavna and Jen Vaughn, with Kartalopoulos continuing in a consulting capacity with a focus on international guests. 

The complete SPX 2015 Programming Schedule with full descriptions and participants for the 22 panels and interviews may be found at

Programming will run on Saturday September 19 from Noon  until 7PM, and Sunday September 20 from 12:30PM until 6PM.   

SPX 2015 programming includes Q&A sessions with Kate Beaton, Noelle Stevenson, Bill Griffith, Dylan Horrocks, Stuart and Kathryn Immonen, Jessica Abel, Scott McCloud, Luke Pearson, Philippa Rice and Phoebe Gloeckner.

Highlights of this years panel discussions will include:

- Black Art Matters brings together Darryl Ayo (Press (A) To Talk), Spike Trotman (Iron Circus Comics), Whit Taylor (The Fabric of Appropriation) and Rod Wimberly (Lighten Up) in a discussion of comics and the black experience in America, moderated by Keith Knight (The Knight Life, K Chronicles).

- In Animate Your Life!, Michael Cavna of the Washington Post leads Lilli Carre (Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation), Sam Spina (Regular Show), Josh Frankel (Welcome to Showside), and Monica Ray (Nickelodeon's Harvey Beaks) in a discussion of the various paths people take into the world of animation.

- International guests Joan Cornella (Spain), Bendik Kaltenborn (Norway) and Brecht Vandenbroucke (Belgium), led by moderator Bill Kartalopoulos, talk about European Comics And The Absurd.

- Our hands-on comics workshop, led by Jon Chad (Center for Cartoon Studies) and Beth Hetland (School of the Art Institute of Chicago).


Wednesday, September 02, 2015

SPX 2015 Reminder: Nickelodeon Call for Submissions Due September 14

Reminder! Nickelodeon Call For Submissions at SPX 2015 Due September 14

Dear Creative Creators,

If you have ever thought about getting into the animation world, the Nickelodeon Call for Submissions at SPX 2015 is a great way to try and do just that. Monica Ray and Nick Sumida (Storyboard Artists on Nickelodeon's Harvey Beaks), who will be part of the Nickelodeon contingent at this years show, both sold their mini-comics at SPX before finding themselves out in Burbank, California at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio.

So be sure to sign up to submit your ideas as time is getting short with the September 14 due date fast approaching. A note from Kevin Lee at Nickelodeon is below!!

See you at SPX,

Warren, Mike, Sam, Eden and the rest of the SPX Executive Committee


Hi again from Nickelodeon Animation Studio!

In case you missed it last time, we're taking pitches for shorts in-person at SPX 2015 and will select one to produce as part of Nickelodeon's 2015 global Animated Shorts Program!  If you're already planning to pitch, we look forward to meeting you!  If you missed it earlier and are interested or curious, please go to our website:

Important Update!  Comics and storyboard superstars, Monica Ray and Nick Sumida (Storyboard Artists on Harvey Beaks), will be joining in to hear your pitches!  Our global Animation Shorts Program encourages artists to work with and learn from others here at the studio, so we're grateful that they will be with us to hear your ideas and get to know you as well.

Reminder!  Deadline to register is September 14th.  What this really means is we need you to enter your information via the website by then so that we can schedule a meeting.  You don't have to submit your pitch materials by this date, just be sure to bring a copy of it with you to the meeting.

Also Important!  We want to meet everyone who is interested in talking with us, whether you're pitching or not.  Maybe you're just interested to know about how to get a job or internship at Nickelodeon?  Please drop by our table and say hi!  We'll have information on hand about opportunities at Nickelodeon and we'll be around all weekend.

If you have any questions, please email me at

Thank you!
Kevin Sukho Lee
Creative Director
Nickelodeon Animation Development

Comic Riffs on the return of Bloom County

Magnet Opus: Breathed 'delighted' as 'Bloom County 2015′ joins Universal Uclick lineup

The third Comic Riffs article on the content of comic strips

The Taste Test: Pastis and Piccolo rail against the tameness and timidity of comics

Comic Riffs talks to Bob Mankoff about the computerization of humor

Can robots now write quality jokes? How the notion is becoming less laughable.

The Vision moves to suburban Northern Virginia via Tom King

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Teresa Logan on Internet radio show POSTPONED DUE TO ILLNESS

The Savage & Starbuck Show

Hosted by Joie Savage and SB Starbuck

An Hour With Teresa Roberts Logan


The Laughing Redhead is Teresa Roberts Logan.
She's made a living with humor for several decades, on page and on stage.
Teresa writes and draws humor for publication, for standup comedy, for storytelling, for cartoons . . . as well as spooky stuff, and provides content for publishing, animation, books, and product.
As a professional artist and illustrator, she has done thousands of paintings and drawings, kabillions (math!) of cartoons and jokes for products such as animations, cocktail napkins, partyware, tissues, and greeting cards. She was nominated for a Reuben Award by the National Cartoonists Society for her greeting cards. Currently she's working on a graphic novel, HAINT BLUE, (an autobiographical supernatural story), some horror short stories, and a web comic, FOG OF WORRY.
Books which contain her funny stuff (cartoons and columns): "The Older I Get, The Less I Care" (Andrews McMeel Publishing), "Laughing Out Loud" (Hallmark Gift Books), "Humor for a Sister's Heart" (Howard Publishing), "Mug of Woe," "All Woe Great and Small," "Woe of Dating," (just released) "Wreck the Halls," (Mug of Woe Publishing).
Teresa has done a lot of standup comedy and storytelling, through such venues as: HBO, Comedy Channel, A&E, Catch A Rising Star, Gotham Comedy Club, The Metropolitan Room NYC, Zanies, and Comedy Works . . . and was an opening act for Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Nealon, Dana Carvey, Drew Carey, and Paula Poundstone, as well as many other famous and not–so-famous funny people. "Rich Jeni called me 'the Meryl Streep of comedy' and I thought that was so cool that he loved my dialects and accents so much. But one day, when he found out that's what I thought, he laughed really hard and told me, 'No, I meant you have the same NOSE!'"

Nate Powell talks about March

Comic Riffs talks to a syndicate censor ... editor

The Comics Taste Test: Dilbert, 'Uranus-Hertz' & the birth of the substitute strip


Fwd: Small Press Expo Announces Guests Brandon Graham and Phoebe Gloeckner

Small Press Expo Announces Guests Brandon Graham and Phoebe Gloeckner at SPX 2015

For Immediate Release

Contact: Warren Bernard


Bethesda, Maryland; September 1, 2015

Media Release ­— ­— SPX is pleased to announce Brandon Graham and Phoebe Gloeckner  as guests at SPX 2015. This is in addition to the previously announced guests to SPX's 21st Birthday Party, Kate Beaton, Luke Pearson, Noelle Stevenson, Michael DeForge, Gemma Correll, Noah Van Sciver, Matt Bors, Lilli Carré, Theo Ellsworth, C. Spike Trotman, Jennifer Hayden, Stuart Immonen, Scott McCloud, Bill Griffith, Kathryn Immonen, Derf, Jessica Abel (Sat. Only) and Ted Rall, as well as international guests, Frederik Peeters, Dylan Horrocks, Brecht Vandenbroucke, Bendik Kaltenborn, Anna Ehrlemark and Joan Cornellà.

Previously announced special guest Raina Telgemeier will be unable to attend this years show.
From his beginnings as a graffiti artist in his hometown of Seattle to his recent run as writer on the Image comics series
Prophet as well as creator of his own comics Multiple Warheads, King City, Elevator and Universe So Big, Brandon Graham has been a vocal and passionate proponent of independent comics. Mr. Graham will sign his books as a fundraiser for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Stop by the CBLDF table to buy his works, including his latest from Image Comics, 8House: Arclight #2, as well as issues #2 and #3 of the science fiction anthology series he co-edits with Emma Rios, Island.
Diary of a Teenage Girl,
Phoebe Gloeckner's semi-autobiographical graphic novel published in 2002, was released earlier this year as a critically acclaimed movie starring Kristen Wiig. Garnering a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Ms. Gloeckner co-wrote the screenplay to Diary that was a selection at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Influenced by the women's comics anthology Twisted Sisters, Ms.Gloeckner work was published in such titles as Wimmen's Comix, Young Lust and the Robert Crumb edited magazine, Weirdo. A compendium of all of her comics work to date, A Child's Life and Other Stories, was published in 1998, generating significant controversy, with public schools and library systems banning the book due to its frank portrayal of sex and drug use. Ms. Gloeckner is a trained medical illustrator and is an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. Ms. Gloeckner will also be signing her books at the CBLDF table.

SPX 2015 takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20, 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.

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 600 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 For more information on the Small Press Expo, please visit

Sept 16: "Sequential Art in Science Communication” by David Clarke
Guild of Natural Science Illustrators

PRESENTATION: "Sequential Art in Science Communication" by David Clarke
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.

The word "comics" might bring to mind well-thumbed copies of Scrooge McDuck, Spiderman, or the newspaper's Sunday funny pages, but today sequential art is being used to communicate and teach subjects such as science, medicine and history. David Clarke is creating comics about the history of science. His first large scale project is a graphic novel of the voyage of "Captain" James Cook and Joseph Banks to Tahiti for the Transit of Venus and their subsequent travels around the South Pacific mapping New Zealand and the east coast of Australia. David will describe the development process – what's involved - in creating a graphic novel.

David Clarke, former GNSI DC President, is the CEO of his own studio. He creates animations, illustrations, comics and graphics and works with a small programming team to create interactive learning objects for the university's online classrooms. He is an Adjunct faculty member of Northern Virginia Community College and a multimedia/graphic artist at the University of Maryland University College. He has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the Academy of Art University, based in San Francisco.

Smithsonian Natural History Museum
10th St. & Constitution Ave., Washington, DC.

Wait for an escort in the Constitution Avenue lobby between 5:30 and 6:10 p.m. (about every 15 minutes)

5:30 p.m. for snacks and socializing (Please bring a food item to share, or $3.00 for the donation jar.)
6:00 p.m. Business and announcements
6:10 p.m. (approx.) Presentation begins

World War II cartoons from the Navy's medical historian's office

The Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery's historian's office holds a collection of newsletters and newspapers from various naval hospitals. U.S. Naval Hospital Aiea Heights had two issues and 2 fragments of an issue that are now online at the Medical Heritage Library. Here's the cartoons from them.

Robert Woodcock was one of the best of them and had two in the November 11, 1944 issue, and is featured in an article here.

Virgil Partch, aka VIP, was one of the best cartoonists and went on to a serious postwar career in cartooning. This is from December 15, 1945.

Al Santamauro (Nov. 11, 1943) and Bill Pietsch (Dec. 12, 1945) both seem to have disappeared from the cartooning world.

PR: Niso Ramponi book from Lost Art Books

KREMOS: The Lost Art of Niso Ramponi Vols. 1& 2 are now officially available for pre-order from our website. Here's our book trailer.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Comic Riffs talks to The Post's comics censor.... editor

The Comics Taste Test: The thankless task of drawing the funnies' red lines

PR: The Sevara novel is FREE today only (Monday, August 31)

by Damian Wampler

Yep, that's right. The novel, which tells about Sevara's childhood and how she got her powers, is on Amazon now, and it's free. You can download it tonight until midnight Pacific time, so you still have a few hours. Here's a link to the book:

Here's a video that talks a little about the novel. Get a copy before the deal ends.

Frank Cho continues girly art

Bleeding Cool has the story at and you can buy the sketches at Baltimore Comic Con soon.

Outlasting another City Paper editor

Christina Cauterucci left last week, so I've outlasted my third Washington City Paper editor whilst writing about comics. Jonathan Fischer, who lured me over in the first place, appears to be gone as well. So unless I hear from them, I'll probably be back to posting all my local material here. You can read what I wrote for the over a few years for the paper here.

Mike Rhode

Small Press Expo Sponsors Keith Knight, Miss Lasko-Gross and Diane Noomin at the National Book Festival

For Immediate Release Contact: Warren Bernard


Small Press Expo Sponsors Keith Knight, Miss Lasko-Gross and Diane Noomin at the National Book Festival

Bethesda, Maryland; August 31, 2015 
Media Release ­—  Small Press Expo (SPX) is proud to announce it is again a sponsor of the Library of Congress National Book Festival. As a part of this sponsorship, SPX is bringing Keith Knight, Miss Lasko-Gross and Diane Noomin to the National Book Festival.

Keith Knight is a musician and cartoonist. His works include The K Chronicles, (Th)ink and The Knight Life series. He has received the Comic-Con Inkpot Award for career achievement, multiple Glyph Awards for best comic strip and the Harvey Kurtzman Award for best syndicated comic strip. His art has appeared in various publications worldwide, including The Washington Post, Daily KOS, San Francisco Chronicle,, Ebony, ESPN the Magazine, L.A. Weekly, MAD Magazine and the Funny Times. The first collection of his Knight Life strip is The Knight Life: Chivalry Ain't Dead (Grand Central).

Miss Lasko-Gross is a comics artist and author known for her semiautobiographical graphic novels Escape from Special and A Mess of Everything. Her first graphic novel was nominated for YALSA's Great Graphic Novel award, and A Mess of Everything was named by Booklist among the top 10 graphic novels of 2009. Lasko-Gross has contributed to and worked on a variety of comics and collections. Her latest graphic novel, Henni (Z2 Comics), features a girl with cat-like ears and a tail who questions the religious rules of her community.

Diane Noomin is a comics artist best known as the creator of Didi Glitz. She is one of the original contributors to Wimmen's Comix and is the editor of the anthology series Twisted Sisters. Her work has appeared in many books, magazines and underground comic publications, including Weirdo, Young Lust, Short Order, Arcade, El Perfecto, True Glitz, Aftershock, Real Girl, Lemme Outta Here, Mind Riot, Titters, Dangerous Drawings, The Comics Journal/Special Editions, The New Comics Anthology, The Nose and The Nation. Noomin has received an Inkpot Award and been nominated for Harvey and Eisner awards. Her book Glitz-2-Go (Fantagraphics) is the first collection of more than 40 years of Didi Glitz comics.

The primary goal of this sponsorship is to bring creators from the indie comics community to the National Book Festival to provide greater exposure for them and their works to the diverse audience that attends this prestigious festival. As a partner with the Library's Center for the Book, Small Press Expo looks forward to help promoting their various literacy initiatives and events. More information about the National Book Festival can be found at

The National Book Festival takes place Saturday, September 5, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

Keith Knight will be in the Graphic Novel Pavilion, signing his books from 6:00PM-7:00PM, and from 7:15PM - 8:05PM will be on a panel with his fellow cartoonists Lalo Alcaraz and Scott Stantis.

Miss Lasko-Gross and Diane Noomin will be in the Graphic Novel Pavilion signing books from 6:00PM-7:00PM, and will be on a panel with Trina Robbins from 8:10PM-8:55PM.

SPX also supports the Small Press Expo Collection at the Library of Congress, which preserves the history of both the artistic output of the creators who come to SPX, as well as the art that SPX itself generates as part of its yearly festival. It the first program of its type by a major institution in the United States to preserve the works of the indie comics community.

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 600 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 For more information on the Small Press Expo, please visit

Sept 5: National Book Festival cartoonist appearances (updated)

National Book Festival: Graphic Novels

Washington Post

National Book Festival: Picture Books

3 animators, including Christian Robinson, Cale Atkinson, William Joyce in the morning and graphic novelist Dan Santat at 4 pm.


Lunch Lady artist Jarrett J. Krosoczka and graphic novelists Cece Bell and Jennifer Holm.  


 Michael Buckley 

Speaking at 2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Sept. 5, 2015)

New Yorker illustrator Peter de Sève on his Book Festival poster design

2015 National Book Festival poster by Peter de SèvePeter De Sève will talk about his work at 10 a.m. and sign copies of his poster at 11 a.m.


Music from the animated video game will be in Maryland at the Strathmore. Details at

Sunday, August 30, 2015

International Ink: The GNs of August

Regular readers of my reviews know that I'm preferring Young Adult and children's comics much more than the latest attempted cannibalization of ossified superhero stories that were being rehashed when I was young.

The recent mails have brought some good ones.

Sunny Side Up
by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Following the lives of kids whose older brother's delinquent behavior has thrown their family into chaos, Sunny Side Up is at once a compelling "problem" story and a love letter to the comic books that help the protagonist make sense of her world.

The Amazon description isn't really accurate - Sunny Lewin is sent off to Florida to stay with her grandfather in a retirement community instead of taking a family vacation, and she doesn't know why she's being punished like this. She makes friends with the son of one of the staff members, and eventually finds out that her parents are dealing with drying her older brother out. This is one of the best stories I've read this year.

Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth
by Judd Winick
Random House

I'm also a big fan of Judd Winick, and it was a pleasure to see him return to the light humor that characterized his comic book Barry Ween, Boy Genius. A young boy appears to have crashed, naked into a suburban neighborhood where he's found by D.J., a boy who has a big family but no friends. The boy, Hilo, has no idea who he is, or where he came from but soon ends up fighting giant robot monsters that are also landing like he did. Heavily-influenced by Bill Watterson and Calvin & Hobbes, this series is worth reading by adults and kids.

Space Dumplins

Space Dumplins

by Craig Thompson
The online description fails to do this very odd story justice. Highly acclaimed graphic novelist Craig Thompson's debut book for young readers about a plucky heroine on a mission to save her dad.For Violet Marlocke, family is the most important thing in the whole galaxy. So when her father goes missing while on a hazardous job, she can't just sit around and do nothing. To get him back, Violet throws caution to the stars and sets out with a group of misfit friends on a quest to find him. But space is vast and dangerous, and she soon discovers that her dad is in big, BIG trouble. With her father's life on the line, nothing is going to stop Violet from trying to rescue him and keep her family together.
After Thompson's Orientalist tour-de-force Habibi, this book is absolutely bizarre. The father is a miner/lumberjack of space whale poop, which is the energy source that runs multiple space stations, filled with sweatshops and aliens. The mother is a seamstress with a talent for design who's plucked out of a sweatshop to work on a safer space station, and brings her daughter along after the whales ate her school. While on the station, she meets a sentient chicken boy who sources buttons for the designer. It gets weirder from there. I have no idea how children will take to this book, but I enjoyed it in the way that I enjoy late Kirby. Just hold on and marvel.

Other books received this month, but not yet read:

The Comic Book Story of Beer: The World's Favorite Beverage from 7000 BC to Today's Craft Brewing Revolution

The Comic Book Story of Beer: The World's Favorite Beverage from 7000 BC to Today's Craft Brewing Revolution

by Jonathan Hennessey, Mike Smith, Aaron McConnell

Ten Speed Press

A full-color, lushly illustrated graphic novel that recounts the many-layered past and present of beer through dynamic pairings of pictures and meticulously researched insight into the history of the world's favorite brew.



by Alecos Papadatos, Abraham Kawa, Annie Di Donna 


Democracy opens in 490 B.C., with Athens at war. The hero of the story, Leander, is trying to rouse his comrades for the morrow's battle against a far mightier enemy, and begins to recount his own life, having borne direct witness to the evils of the old tyrannical regimes and to the emergence of a new political system.
This is Bloomsbury's first graphic novel,but it's by the well-received Logicomix team.

Great Showdowns: The Revenge

Great Showdowns: The Revenge

by Scott Campbell
They're back - with a grudge to settle! Following the bestselling first and second volumes, here's an all-new collection of artist Scott C's strangely good- natured confrontations between his favorite movie characters.

I don't think I'm the intended audience for this, but his watercolors are pretty.

A graphic novel based on the videogame. Also not aimed at me, but I'll give it a try based on this description: In 14th century Egypt, the seasoned Assassin El Cakr seeks to return the mysterious Scepter of Aset to the Brotherhood… when it is stolen by a mysterious woman named Leila. Seven centuries later, El Cakr's descendant Jonathan Hawk desperately tries to get his hands on the relic – leading to an ultimate showdown between the Assassins and the Templars.

  The Art of Regular Show

The Art of Regular Show

by Shannon O'Leary

The Regular Show came on the air after my daughter stopped watching the Cartoon Network. Still I'm a sucker for behind-the-scenes art books, and I own the Fluxx game. I may get one of the neighborhood kids to give me 500 words on this though. The Emmy Award-winning Regular Show, created by JG Quintel, is a jewel in the Cartoon Network crown with over 100 million viewers globally. The series follows the hilarious and surreal adventures of blue jay Mordecai and his best friend, Rigby the raccoon, as they make their days working at a local park anything but regular. Mordecai and Rigby are joined by their boss Benson, an explosively angry gumball machine, yeti groundskeeper Skips, loveable lollipop man Pops and other weird and wonderful friends. This is the world of polar-bear portals and demonic hot-dogs where adventure can be found in the most surprising places.

Before Marilyn and Madonna, Betty booped and wriggled her way into hearts worldwide with her unique mix of wide-eyed innocence and powerful cartoon sensuality. Although she made her film debut as a curvaceous canine cabaret singer in the Max Fleischer short Dizzy Dishes on August 9, 1930, Betty Boop remains animation's first leading lady and a glamorous international icon. This beautiful volume collects Betty's adventures as they appeared in the funny pages of daily newspapers in the 1930's, capturing all the cheeky fun embodied by the character. These comic strips are from well-before my time, but I'm looking forward to dipping into them. This is a Golden Age for comic strip reprints, one last seen in the late 1970s, and if you're interested in strips, you should be spending a lot of money now.

Two other books I've read, after funding them on Kickstarter, are worth mentioning.

Airship Entertainment.
The Foglio's steampunk webcomic is extremely popular, and collected annually. I don't think this is a great jumping-on point, but  you can read all the preceding story online, so buy this one if you haven't already started the series. Adventure, Romance, Mad Science! Agatha is the last of the Heterodynes, a notorious family of Mad Scientists that everyone had thought safely wiped out. When a rival scientist traps her family castle and the surrounding town in a time-freeze, Agatha must embark on a journey to find a way to reverse the effect and save the people she loves. This volume is a great jumping-on point for readers wanting to discover the award-winning Girl Genius series! 

 Comic Book People 2: Photographs from the 1990s

Comic Book People 2: Photographs from the 1990s

by Jackie Estrada
Exhibit A Press
This is a book for the hardcore comic book fan, consisting of photographs taken at cons throughout the '90s. I enjoyed it, but I know and like the work of most of the people in this book. If you know who Dave Stevens is, this might be a book for you.