Monday, September 24, 2018

Sept 26: Tom King at Third Eye Comics in Annapolis

Loads of awesome going on this week at Third Eye, including one of our most anticipated releases of 2018: HEROES IN CRISIS #1!

Not only is it the next big DC COMICS storyline to carry the CRISIS torch -- but, it's also by one of our favorite writers: TOM KING (MISTER MIRACLE, VISION, BATMAN)!

And, on top of that - we're hosting a big launch signing with Tom for it this Wednesday at Third Eye Annapolis! You can read more about that below!

This Wednesday is our HEROES IN CRISIS #1 Launch Signing at Third Eye Annapolis!

Click here for all the info on our HEROES IN CRISIS #1 launch signing at all locations!

Third Eye is Fueled This Week By
Sounds: AFI - Art of Drowning
Sights:   The Predator
Tastes: Coffee

 HEROES IN CRISIS #1 delivers the next big CRISIS to hit the DC Universe, and we are stoked -- and it's by superstar TOM KING (MISTER MIRACLE, BATMAN, VISION)

Meet writer TOM KING at Third Eye this Wednesday 9/26/18 and get your copy of HEROES IN CRISIS signed!

Tom King is pretty much our favorite writer working in comics today, and the dude just keeps on hitting home-runs, with his latest release, HEROES IN CRISIS being no exception!
In this killer new series that continue the grand tradition of classics like IDENTITY CRISIS, INFINITE CRISIS, and CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, Tom King delivers a fascinating look at the superheroes and super villains of the DCU!
HEROES IN CRISIS finds us in a world of superheroes plagued not by supervillains and monsters - but mental health.  Hundreds of heroes experience a certain level of PTSD, and with that knowledge - Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman create The Sanctuary, a top secret hospital for recovering heroes.
This all comes to a screeching halt when inexplicably, patients start turning up dead.
With absolutely nothing to go on; the DC Trinity start to suspect it as an inside job - with Harley Quinn and Booster Gold being the prime suspects!
Like many of his iconic storylines, Tom draws from his extensive career in the CIA - and a bit from his personal life as well.  We're telling you - Tom takes it to a level that NO ONE has before, and we can't wait to see where he takes us this time.

Comic Riffs talks to editorial cartoonists on Kavanaugh hearings

3 con and 1 pro.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

That darn Candorville

The presidential mafioso

New book from Terry Flippo collects his Deliver Me comic strip

Deliver Me!: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night.... Paperback – September 23, 2018

Friday, September 21, 2018

Comic Riffs notes Nancy cartoonist appearance

The private cartoonist behind 'Nancy' will make her public debut at the CXC festival

Washington Post Comic Riffs blog September 20 2018

The Library of Congress' newish comic book blog

I missed this when they announced it in May:

but here's what Megan Halsband has written about comics since then:

May the Fourth Be With You! [Star Wars comic books].

Before Bang! Pow! Zap! [newspaper comic strips].

September = Comics [SPX collection]

LOC's Megan Halsband on Marie Severin

Remembering Comics Artist Marie Severin

Sally Ingraham's SPX experience

Sally Ingraham here with my Small Press Expo 2018 memories and pictures!
by Sally Ingraham
Comics Workbook September 21 2018 :

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Cavna talks Doonesbury & Trump with Trudeau

As 'Doonesbury' characters turn 50, Garry Trudeau describes his journey from pummeling Nixon to tackling Trump [in print as Knocking Nixon, then tackling Trump: Trudeau's 'Doonesbury' comic strip has a long history with presidents].

'Big Satire is the least of Trump's problems': Garry Trudeau weighs in on how humor has taken on the president

Book Review: DC: Anatomy of a Metahuman

by Mike Rhode

DC Comics collects a lot of the comic books they've published, but they also have quite a few publications aimed at an adult audience looking for a gift or willing to spend larger amounts on material that interests them. The fact that these books even exist can be amazing especially for someone who grew up in the 1970s when there was one (or less!) collection of comics published per year (The Dark Knight Returns in 1986 started the modern trend of collecting a story arc in a book or "waiting for the trade"). Over the next week or so, I'll look at three of these I've been provided with recently.

DC: Anatomy of a Metahuman by S.D. Perry and Matthew K. Manning and illustrated by Ming Doyle (San Raphael, CA: Insight Editions, 2018; $50, ISBN 978-1-60887-501-6) comes out this week and is an in-depth look at twelve mostly major DC characters through the longstanding conceit of Batman researching the strengths and weaknesses of other heroes and villains (which on reflection also dates back to 1986's The Dark Knight Returns). The press release reads:

Concerned about the threat that so-called "metahumans" may pose to the world, Batman has begun compiling a detailed dossier on their incredible physiology and abilities. From villains like Killer Croc, Bane, and Brainiac to Batman's own comrades, including Superman and Cyborg, the file brings together the Dark Knight's fascinating personal theories on the unique anatomical composition of these formidable individuals. 

This stunning and unique book delves into the incredible abilities of DC Comics characters like never before. Using beautifully illustrated anatomical cross sections depicting twelve different DC characters, the book, told from Batman's unique perspective, will explore how these metahumans' physical makeup differs significantly from that of the average person. From detailed theories on how Superman's eyes shoot heat rays to an in-depth exploration of how Aquaman is able to breathe underwater, the book delves into the deepest secrets of these classic characters. Also featuring chapters on the anatomy and abilities of Doomsday, Aquaman, Swamp Thing, Darkseid, Martian Manhunter, and more, this one-of-a-kind book will change the way you look at metahumans forever. 

The authors Perry (a sf/fantasy novelization writer) and Manning (a comic book historian) do a good job at summarizing the powers and features of the characters in the book (Superman, Cheetah, Aquaman, Cyborg, Martian Manhunter, Swamp Thing, Darkseid, Bane, Doomsday, Killer Croc, Bizarro and Killer Frost), but run quickly into the major problem of the fact that these powers are impossible by our understanding of physics, chemistry and other sciences, so how can they be explained? On page 9, the second page of his dossier, Batman writes, "Much of my research has been focused on the composition of Superman's bones and muscles. What combination of organic structures could possible generate his immense strength? I have many theories but all are at odds with conventional scientific thinking." This difficulty with the human scientist Batman trying to understand impossible phenomena continues throughout the book. How can a woman become a were-cheetah?

Of course, the suspension of disbelief is a major requirement in enjoying superhero comic books (and television and movies, fans of which the characters of this book seem to have been selected for). Once one decides to accept the internal logic of the book, the writing is concise and seems to reflect the current DC Universe of the comics (they've had so many reboots recently that I can't tell). Ming Doyle's semi-scientific illustration is a good match and very well done. Her illustration of Superman as Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian man has an underlying layer of amusement since on the same page Batman specifically notes that Superman is not and never will be human.

If I had come across this book when I was sixteen, I would have been thrilled, and I think it will appeal to more introspective fans of the various versions of the DC Universe, especially the movie fans. I imagine this might be a gift book for most people, and the high-quality of the printing makes the price very reasonable.

Sept 22-23: SPOONS, TOONS and BOOZE at the Arlington Drafthouse

SPOONS, TOONS and BOOZE at the Arlington Drafthouse - Sept 22nd & 23rd

  • Ticket Price: $16.00
  • Door Time: 11:30 AM
  • Show Type: Special Event
  • Restrictions: 21 & over

  • We're baaaack! One of NYC's hottest tickets is returning to the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse for another weekend of cartoon, cereal and brunch cocktail fun! Coming off a six year, sold-out run in Brooklyn, we're bringing your favorite childhood cartoons to experience on the big screen while dining on the Drafthouse's delicious food and drink menu.

    Do you miss your childhood Saturday mornings of waking up early to gorge on cereal and cartoons? If so, SecretFormula has the ultimate brunch for the kid in you...Spoons, Toons & Booze! We've got all your favorite Saturday morning cartoons, delicious cocktails and a free all you can eat sugary cereal bar. Hosted by SecretFormula's Michael Austin and Nell Casey!

    SPX Interviews by Derek Royal of Comics Alternative podcast

    On Location: Talking with Creators at SPX 2018, Pt. 1

    Derek Royal

    On Location: Talking with Creators at SPX 2018, Pt. 2


    More Good Smallness

    Last weekend Derek attended the Small Press Expo, which is held every September in North Bethesda, MD. At the event, he talked with a variety of artists who tabled there. This is the second of two on-location shows featuring these brief interviews, the first being released earlier this week. These short conversations range from around 6 minutes to 23 minutes in length, and while most were recorded on the floor of the convention, some were conducted outside on the hotel's patio. The creators Derek talked with on this episode include Jennifer Hayden; Fernando De Peña, Rodrigo Vargas, and Coni Yovaniniz; Ellen Forney; Miss Lasko-Gross; Michael DeForge; Evan Dahm; Ben Costa and James Parks; Ivy Atoms; M.S.  Harkness; Maritsa Patrinos; and Maransa Harmon and Eric Taylor.

    BYT on SPX

    Fun, Bright, Colorful: Small Press Expo 2018

    Wednesday, September 19, 2018

    Michelle Delgado writes on Lisa Hanawalt

    Lisa Hanawalt: Drawing Progressive Westerns from the Horse's Perspective

    The Visual Mind Behind BoJack Horseman is Having a Busy Year

    Michelle Delgado is a journalist in Washington, DC. Her culture reporting has been featured in The Atlantic, CityLab, VICE, and others.

    Comic Riffs talks to Rebecca Sugar

    Sept 29: ΘeoCon: Where Theology Meets Pop Culture


    ΘeoCon is a one-day convention in which participants will be introduced and invited to explore themes of theology and morality in pop culture. Pop culture mediums include, but are not limited to: comic books, graphic novels, gaming and science-fiction(sci-fi) films. Methods of exploration include: guest speakers, panel discussions, exhibits, reflection spaces, and cosplay.

    ΘeoCon is a welcoming event, that invites people from diverse faith affiliations, races, abilities, gender identities, and ethnicities. In order to offer a safe and welcoming space, we invite all ΘeoConers/con participants to review our no-harassment and safety policy. *There are a number of great sites that speak to "Cosplay Is Not Consent."

    Doors open at 8am for admission. Event begins at 9am.

    Free parking is available on the campus, but limited. Carpooling or using the metrorail is suggested.


    Date and Time


    Virginia Theological Seminary

    Addison Hall

    3737 Seminary Road

    Alexandria, VA 22304

    Book Review: Out Of The Woods: A Journey Through Depression and Anxiety

    Williams' experiments with alternative medicine
    reviewed by Mike Rhode

    I recently got an email from a publicist noting that they had sent me a book eleven months ago and I hadn't reviewed it yet. Whoops! When you buy as many books as I do, this happens all too frequently, but in this case it was also a big mistake. Out Of The Woods: A Journey Through Depression and Anxiety by Brent Williams and illustrator Korkut Oztekin (Educational Resources, 2017; ISBN 978-0473-39006-8; $28) is an excellent book and a worthy addition to the burgeoning field of graphic medicine.

    'Graphic Medicine' refers to comics about illness or medicine, and are more and more often being done by cartoonists who suffer from the illness. The three main strands of the works are cancer, mental illness, or traditional educationally works (that aren't usually done by patients). This past weekend's Small Press Expo (SPX) had a panel devoted to the topic of bipolar disorder (details below)* which also highlights another aspect of the field - the comics are usually done by a single cartoonist with some experience of the disease.

    Out Of The Woods is not. New Zealand's Brent Williams is a human-rights lawyer and filmmaker, who "in his late forties he found he could no longer do this work. It was like he had hit an insurmountable wall. That wall was depression and anxiety. Denial, shame, and a misguided belief he had to fight these illnesses on his own made Brent's situation worse."  His co-author, Turkey's Korkut Öztekin "has worked as editor and chief writer for The Turkish Graphic Design Magazine and freelanced as a comic book artist, cover artist and illustrator for several literary works.Korkut is known for his work on Deli Gücük, a Turkish comic series of ghost stories from rural Ottoman Anatolia. He worked on Clive Barker's Hellraiser: The Dark Watch series as support artist to Tom Garcia, and recently was the lead artist in Frank Miller's RoboCop: Last Stand series." The two men with very different backgrounds, experiences and lives build a surprisingly strong work.
    Williams is diagnoses by a family practitioner.

    Collaborative works of autobiographical graphic medicine are very rare. Our Cancer Year by Brabner, Pekar and Stack is one of the few that comes to mind, perhaps because it is also successful. Öztekin and Williams work well together and Out of the Woods is a generally seamless telling of Williams leaving his family, quitting his work, and hitting bottom, suffering anxiety attacks and being unable to get out of bed, while half-heartedly trying a variety of self-help meditation and alternative medicine cures, while generally refusing antidepressants and therapy. A major part of this must be due to Öztekin's art, which is clear, understated, but also poetic at times.

    The book's oddest note comes from what I can only call Williams' 'spirit guide'. A middle-aged white man appears throughout the story, in William's thoughts, and offers support and good advice to keep him on a path towards wellness and health. I'm unsure who this person represents, unless it's supposed to be his better self; however, it doesn't look like him. Notwithstanding that, the spirit guide serves as a useful foil showing the reader how Williams' self-destructive impulses can be tamed and how his physical and mental state can be improved.

    Williams' 'spirit guide' explains depressions effect on brain cells.
    Williams eventually meets a therapist who helps him realize that his father was a controlling, insensitive (but rich) self-made man who treated his wife and children badly, and that Williams needs to move past thinking of him as a role model and loving father to get well again. The art and writing remain extremely clear, the causes and treatment of depression are examined, the various ways it affects one are effectively shown - in short, this book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in, suffering from, or trying to understand loved ones who have depression. It's one of the best works of graphic medicine that I've read.
    Physical activity is always recommended to help with depression.

    *Writing About Bipolar

    As mental health is becoming a subject that's more openly discussed than ever, comics narratives are emerging about personal experiences with mental illness. Moderator Rob Clough will discuss with Lawrence Lindell (Couldn't Afford Therapy, So I Made This), Ellen Forney (Rock Steady), and Keiler Roberts (Chlorine Gardens) their  struggles with Bipolar Disorder, the choices they make they make in writing about it, and how this process affects how they think about it.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2018

    New Book Features 24 Cartoonists That Lampoon Trump Administration

    'Who's That Man with Mr. Lincoln, Mommy?' 
    by John Darrin

    First there was ‘Fire and Fury.’ Then ‘Fear.’ And now, FUN! ‘Who’s That Man with Mr. Lincoln, Mommy?’ is a humorous and biting catalog of the Trump administration wrapped in a children’s book parody and illustrated by satirical cartoons from twenty-four American premier editorial cartoonists. These never-seen-before illustrations were created exclusively for this book. To get your copy(ies):
    (click on images for larger view)

    The Post's Magazine did a comic strip Date Lab

    NoVA's Ron Evry reviewed Jason Lutes' Berlin in 2002 for the Comics Journal

    Berlin: City of Stones

    This review by Ron Evry was originally published in The Comics Journal #242 (April 2002).

    SPX 2018 Panel - The Universes of Rebecca Sugar

    SPX 2018 Panel - The Universes of Rebecca Sugar

    Ryan Sands
    Rebecca Sugar is a cartoonist, writer, and ukuleleist currently living in Los Angeles. She is the author of the comics Pug Davis, Margo in Dread, and Don't Cry For Me I'm Already Dead, among others. In her free time, Rebecca is also a multiple Annie and Emmy Award-nominated storyboard artist, and creator of the groundbreaking television show, Steven Universe. In this spotlight panel, Rebecca is interviewed by Youth in Decline publisher Ryan Sands. They discuss her groundbreaking series, "Steven Universe," as well as life in the animation industry, representation in children's television, and her own personal history with comics & zines.

    Sept 20-21: Learn drawing from Robin Ha in Northwest DC

    Sept 20:


    Musical Chairs Art Workshop

    · Hosted by Violet Red Studio and Robin Ha
    Ticket: $30

    No Experience needed
    All supplies (& HAPPY HOUR) included

    A collaborative workshop where you start with a canvas and when the music stops, you move on to your neighbors'.

    Have a drink, paint some canvases, and take a unique piece of art home.

    Workshop lead by Violet Red's Studio, Sentient Beings Art, and Robin Ha.

    Sept 21

    Figure Flow


    Remove the cap we subconsciously put over our minds and tap into that creative flow we all have within us by getting it all out onto a canvas. There will be models and props to observe and reference, but don't let your inner critic stop your momentum. Rather, let your intuition guide your strokes. This is the perfect place to experiment with new mediums, styles and colors.

    The instructors will provide short demos for each activity and will be there for any technical advice should you want it, but the main purpose of this gathering is to play and express. Let's revel in the joys of simply creating for the sake of creating!

    Activity examples: Blind Contour, Rainbow Portraits, Pattern Play, Musical Canvases, Costumed Figure Drawing

    Tickets available at:

    All levels, genders, and whatnot welcome!
    BYO materials, although some will be available.
    *suggested donation of $10, no one turned away for lack of funds*
    Held at the Femme Fatale DC art lounge.

    Monday, September 17, 2018

    Brigid Alverson on SPX's ComiXology ties

    SPX, TCJ, OMG: A Hot Take

    Brigid Alverson responds to a recent opinion piece on and shares her thoughts on comiXology/Amazon's presence at this weekend's Small Press Expo.

    SPX's Ignatz Award brick winners...

    Comic Riffs on Our Archie at War

    Archie Comics' newest idea? Putting its beloved characters on the front line of war.

    The Post on Baby Shark animation, Spider-Man video game, and racist cartoons

    The story of 'Baby Shark': How toddlers around the world made a K-pop earworm go viral [in print as Know this? If you have a toddler you doo doo doo doo doo doo].

    Finally, Sony's 'Spider-Man' is the game Marvel cinematic fans deserve

    Washington Post Comic Riffs blog September 4 2018

    'Marvel's Spider-Man' is breathtaking, electrifying, and a tad too predictable [in print as Marvel's spider-Man is breathtaking but a bit predictable].

    Washington Post September 16, 2018, p. E16.

    A racist Serena Williams cartoon went viral. Here's how to caricature her the right way.

    SPX 2018 day 2 in photos

    Here's some more local people as well as others I bought from.

    Dana Jeri Maier

    Chris Artiga-Oliver

    Nate Powell and Erin Nations at Top Shelf booth

    Mollie Ostertag

    Mike Holmes

    Aminder Dhaliwal
    Matthew Thurber

    Matthew Thurber drawing

    Maki Naro

    Rebecca Sugar

    Ellen Forney

    Der-shing Helmer

    Teresa Roberts Logan

    Charles Fetherolf

    Josh O'Neill, publisher of Locust Moon Press

    Erin Lisette

    Shan Murphy