Thursday, February 26, 2015

Feb 27: Gareth Hinds at Hooray for Books in Old Town

Friday, February 27th: Author Gareth Hinds will present and sign his latest graphic novel for teens,Macbeth. 7 pm.
Set against the moody backdrop of eleventh-century Scotland, Gareth Hinds's illustrated interpretation of Shakespeare's classic play takes readers into the claustrophobic mind of a man driven mad by ambition. An evil seed takes root in the mind of Macbeth, a general in the king's army, when three witches tell him he will one day be king. But is Macbeth prepared to commit murder to steal, and keep, the crown?

http://www.hooray4books.com/events.htm

J. Robert Deans explains why he is Kickstarting a cow-in-space childrens book

by Mike Rhode
 
J. Robert Deans may be most familiar to the local community as a comic book store manager, but he's been working on a webcomic, and now has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a cartoony children's book about a cow in space. In the middle of that fundraising, he took the time to answer my usual questions.


What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?
Around the time my daughter was born, I started working in a comic shop in Springfield, the former NOVA Comics. After that closed, I worked for Game On Comics in Vienna. I’ve had a web comic for almost three years now, a weekly single-panel gag comic called “Crass Fed Comics,” which is mostly jokes and puns in cartoon form. I occasionally post other random pieces of art as well, larger pieces, longer comics, or stuff that doesn’t fit the theme. Last year I added a new comic, the monthly (soon to be bi-monthly) comic strip “The Adventures of Surf and Turf,” which features a cow and penguin hanging out on a farm…with puns. Lots of puns. Last year after being laid off from Game On, I had an idea based on a silly doodle I had done some time earlier, and that quickly became a picture book for kids, which has exploded into half a dozen book ideas, and “Crass Fed Kids” was born. The first book, Moo Thousand and Pun, is now being Kickstarted. Subsequent books may be as well, depending on the success of the first, which features a cow in space.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?
I do have a tablet with the Manga Studio program on it. I use that to make corrections and add colors to art when necessary. (Moo Thousand was done this way, with letters also added digitally.) Most of the Crass Fed cartoons are black and white line art, but when I color I use technology. For the most part, I use pen and ink. I like drawing digitally, and I keep experimenting…but nothing can replace a pencil and a sheet of Bristol board.
When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?
I was born in the early 1970s, in South Carolina. Luckily, I escaped.
Why are you in Washington now? What neighborhood or area do you live in?
When I was moving to go to college after a few years of working full time, my best friend tried to hook me up on a blind date with her friend. That Christmas, said friend sent me a card with her picture in it. A couple of weeks later we went on that date, and haven’t looked back. After I graduated I moved up here to the Springfield area to be with her. She’s a native to the area.
What is your training and/or education in cartooning?
None. And, to be honest, it shows. I have been drawing and doodling all my life, but I never took any formal classes. The past few years have been filled with several family tragedies, and drawing was an outlet to keep myself distracted. My position as a comics retailer afforded me many friends in the industry that have been very generous with their time and advice, and I have taken advantage of that.
Who are your influences?
Oy. A ton. It may not show up in my work at all, but artists like Will Eisner, Wally Wood, Jack Kirby, John Romita Sr, Frank Robbins, Alex Toth, Paul Reinman, Martin Nodell, Carmine Infantino, Charles Schulz, they were all over the books I read as a child. And many more, to be sure.
Creators that could be considered contemporary to me would include Dave Stevens, Stan Sakai, Chris Samnee, Gabriel Hardman, Dave McDonald, Paul Smith, Frank Cho, Evan Shaner, Roger Langridge, Howard Chaykin, Kevin Maguire, George Perez…too many to really count. The late Mike Parobeck and Mike Wieringo remain favorites. And that doesn’t even include the writers.
The biggest outside influence on my work today is Stephan Pastis, the creator of “Pearls Before Swine,” who I am pretty sure is my spirit animal.
I have also amassed a wonderful core of friends who help me almost daily with their encouragement, advice, and talent, and make my life that much more enjoyable: Jamie Cosley, Tara O’Connor, Matt Wieringo, Drew Moss, Bob Frantz, Eryk Donovan, Hoyt Silva, Erica Schultz, and Steve Conley.
Clearly, my wife and daughter (who at times is a collaborator) are my biggest influences. I really just do what I do for them. The fact that others have enjoyed the result is gravy, and something I am always thankful for. I also have to acknowledge Francesco Francavilla and his wife Lisa, who was the final push for me to start Crass Fed, with an almost literal kick to the tuckus and a “go do it, ya dummy!”
If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?
Start younger. A lot younger. I’m at an age when arthritis and vision problems set in (and they are). Plus, I would have started taking classes to improve my craft that much earlier.
What work are you best-known for?
Probably my penguin avatar. I drew it while I was in high school, and when I go to shows, once I tell folks I’m “that penguin guy,” they recognize me. Next would probably be the cows, which I draw for my daughter. Her favorite toy is a stuffed cow she has had since birth, and that cow is the star of Moo Thousand.
What work are you most proud of?
There are a couple of individual cartoons from Crass Fed or Surf and Turf that I am proud of, but the biggest thing is the book. One friend, when I asked him to read a draft after the art had been finished, said that everyone says they write, but few actually finish a book. He said no matter what the reaction, I should take pride in my producing a complete work…and I do. I like how it turned out, people I don’t know have enjoyed it, and have asked for more. That’s… a nice feeling.
What would you like to do or work on in the future?
I would like to try my hand at writing a traditional cape and cowl comic. That would be a challenge, to be sure. I see what writers go through to keep readers captivated month in, month out, and it’s daunting and admirable. For some reason, I would like to try that.
Barring that, I have ideas for several other books in the Crass Fed Kids line, and hopefully this first one will be successful enough to allow me to make more.
What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?
This may fall in to the category of “TMI,” but I jump in the shower. Every time I’ve had an idea that has really worked, like Moo Thousand, that lightbulb has gone off while I’m in the shower. After that, I put on another pot of coffee and get to work.
What do you think will be the future of your field?
Honestly, once we get past all of this histrionic crap about new female and minority creators and have real representation and equality at the creative level, comics will blossom. Folks still have a bizarre preconception about comics and comic shops, and the only thing that will get us past that is diversity. Speaking as a former retailer, every new comic book movie does nothing to boost comic sales. In almost ten years of selling comics in which there were some 20 comic-book-based blockbusters, I can count on one hand the number of new readers that came in to the shop because they saw one of those movies.
What really got people into the shop where they may not have thought of comics before were books like March by John Lewis. Or Bone by Jeff Smith. Or Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. Books that feature lead characters that aren’t white dudes in tights. While there isn’t anything wrong with white dudes in tights, there are so many more worlds to explore that we need to open up the gates to everyone who has a story to tell… and let them tell them. Encourage them. Inspire them. Get them started with a pencil and a dream and support to let them tell their story. When we can really do that with everyone, the future will be as rich and as amazing as we can dream it to be.
What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

We regularly attend Heroes in Charlotte, Baltimore Comic Con, and SPX. We also went to AwesomeCon last year. If all goes well with the Kickstarter, this year will be our first exhibiting, starting with AwesomeCon. We will also have tables at Heroes, and are in the queue for a table at SPX. Baltimore is up in the air this year (because of a family scheduling conflict).

I have written about attending conventions for my blog, because they are such different animals for exhibitors than attendees. The cost of attending a show can be pretty big, especially if the show isn’t local. Admission, hotels, meals, travel, all of that adds up before you even buy your first piece of art or your first book. When you exhibit, that costs goes up exponentially with table fees, travel and shipping all of the materials needed to exhibit…it’s an expensive undertaking just in hopes that a few folks stop at your table and check out your work. It’s exhausting, and most creators hope they can just break even. It’s a little easier for artists because they can always sell commissions, but writers have to be able to sell their story, which is a lot harder in a convention setting where the visual side of the medium is king.

The advice I give everyone about attending is go to have fun. Even I have attended a show (Heroes, the first time), just to meet a particular creator (Kelly Sue DeConnick). In addition to that, use the time to explore other creators you don’t know. Browse the artist alley. Check out folks sharing tables. Their budget is small, and their hopes large. A simple $5 purchase at their tables could be just the encouragement they need to keep creating. Who knows… a comic bought on a whim at a table could mean you were one of the first people to discover the next big thing in comics. I call it “Try 5” and have written more about the idea on my blog at icrvn.com/blog/?p=745

What's your favorite thing about DC?

I met my wife here. The food’s pretty good too.

Least favorite?

The commuting. Always, the commuting.

What monument or museum do like to take visitors to?

I actually let my wife handle that. Being the native, she is much better at figuring out logistics and such when those visits are needed. Aside from the Library of Congress where my wife works, Air and Space is usually the big hit, though. And Natural History. Old books, space, and dinosaurs rule, I suppose.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

I used to manage a restaurant, nothing at all fancy, and my wife is finishing up her first cookbook, so we tend to cook most of the time. But, if friends are in town it’s hard to top any of Jose Andres’ options. Jaleo is probably the favorite. Or one of a small handful of good Pho places. Hard to go wrong with Pho, or my favorite, Bibimbap.

Do you have a website or blog?

Indeed. My home site, which has been running since ’97, is icrvn.com – from there you can get to my blog (icrvn.com/blog), or any of my webcomics (all hosted at crassfed.com), plus a few other sites like my wife’s recipe blog, or other art, such as my daughter’s art (kidletkorner.com). I am also on twitter (@jrobertdeans). I don’t have a public page for Facebook, but when I remember to, comics are also cross-posted on the Crass Fed Comic page on Facebook.

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "#F26"

"#F26"
http://sinkers.org/stage/?p=1665

On February 26, the possession, use, sharing and growing of marijuana officially becomes legal in the District Of Columbia.

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

March 4: "You Say Graphic Novel, I Say Comic Book" at Arlington Central Library

Wednesday, March 4: You Say Graphic Novel, I Say Comic Book

Should kids be reading graphic novels? What happened to 'real' books? Discuss the merits of avid graphic novel reading.

 

"Get Book Smart" Series: Library Experts on Children's and Teen Literature–Central

When: Back to Calendar March 4, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Where: Central Library
1015 North Quincy Street
Arlington,VA 22201
USA
✔ Add to Calendar Add to Google Calendar
Cost: Free
Contact: 703-228-5946
Categories: Featured Event General Kids
Tags: @ Central featured event @ Central

Talk To Your Library Experts on Children's and Teen Literature

Each session will include a presentation and social time for discussion and refreshments.

No registration required. Attendees will received a coupon good for ten percent off one item at One More Page Books.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Art of Richard Thompson short film to be in local festival

'Art of Richard Thompson': Filmmakers 'excited' as docu selected for first NoVa Film Festival


By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog February 25 2015
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2015/02/25/art-of-richard-thompson-filmmakers-excited-as-docu-selected-for-first-nova-film-festival/

Nate Powell on March vol. 2

Powell Talks Real Life Violence in "March," "I Have a Dream" Speech & More

Alex Dueben,

Comic Book Resources  February 20th, 2015
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=59475

Marc Singer on Morrison's Mastermen

J. Robert Dean's cartoon children's book Kickstarter campaign


A "pun-for-all-ages" Children's Book about a cow who goes on a spacewalk...and gets lost. (First in a new series from Crass Fed Kids.)

- the cartoonist is straight out of Springfield, VA and used to manage a comic book store. I just backed him.

March 2: Steve Brodner in Baltimore

Steve Brodner will be speaking on Johns Hopkins' Homewood Campus at 5:30 on March 2. See the image for more details.

Tonight: March vol. 2 at the Newseum (members only)

Civil Rights Superhero: An Evening with John Lewis and Andrew Aydin

- See more at: http://www.newseum.org/event/civil-rights-superhero-an-evening-with-john-lewis/

The Post reviews Gaiman's new book

Science fiction: Tales of possession, freedom and monsters [online as Best science fiction and fantasy for February]

By Nancy Hightower
Washington Post February 25 2015
http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/best-science-fiction-and-fantasy-for-february/2015/02/24/287f00a4-b22f-11e4-827f-93f454140e2b_story.html

The Post on Lela Lee's Angry Asian trademark battle

Who gets to be 'Angry Asian'? Trademark tiff splits activists [online as Who's the angriest Asian? It's 'man' vs. 'little girl' in trademark feud].

By David Nakamura
Washington Post February 25 2015, p. C1-2
http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/whos-the-angriest-asian-its-man-vs-little-girl-in-trademark-feud/2015/02/24/8746c372-b90c-11e4-9423-f3d0a1ec335c_story.html

Support cartoonists rights now

The recent murder of 5 cartoonists, along with others, in their offices at Charlie Hebdo in Paris has brought the issue of cartoonists rights to freedom of speech and safety to the forefront of people's notice.

The Cartoonists Rights Network International (based in Northern Virginia) has been defending cartoonists for decades. In addition to the French cartoonists, Zunar in Malaysia has been arrested, Bonil is Ecuador is being censored and Mohammad Saba'aneh in Palestine has been suspended.

I spoke to Matt Wuerker last night about their Indiegogo fundraising campaign. The interview will appear soon on the City Paper, but time is ticking in their campaign. Click here:

Cartoonists Rights Network International - CRNI

Andertoons in today's Post

 
Mark Anderson's Andertoons provided the cartoon illustration for Better Medicare Alliance's advertisement on page A7 of the Washington Post today.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

James "Giacomo" Bellora, RIP

Self-portrait courtesy of Billy Ireland Library
by Mike Rhode

ComicsDC has learned that Falls Church illustrator and sometime cartoonist James Bellora passed away on February 18, 2015. He was born in St. Charles, MO on June 6, 1960 according to the CaringBridge website that reported his passing. The site also notes that he had an engineering degree and was an avid bicyclist, and is survived by his wife and daughter. According to a brochure for his services held at Ohio State University's Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, his cartoons appeared in trade publications such as FBLA Association News, Air Force Acquisition Network News, Actuarial Association Magazine and Sketches magazine. He listed himself as a cartoonist and "humorous illustrator." He also recieved work from Arlington's BonoTom Studio. At points in his career, Bellora was a member of the National Cartoonists Society and the Illustrators Club of Washington, DC (where he also served as President). A funeral will be held on March 6th at St. James Catholic Church in Falls Church.

Several local cartoonists and illustrators have given us their thoughts on him.

Editorial cartoonist Steve Artley: "In the 90's, he was a regular at the annual Cartoons & Cocktails event and hung with Jack Higgins, Chip Beck and I during the event and afterward in the bar upstairs. He and I had a great time banging out songs on the piano in the lounge. He was very friendly and outgoing, engaging and seemed happy... ."

Illustrator David Hagen: "We had sort of a competitive relationship especially in the days you used to hump your big illustration portfolio around town for freelance jobs. I'd see him either coming or going. He was the president of the Illustrators Club when I joined and remember pausing by his display table at the yearly portfolio shows. I think I stepped up my game because I knew he was out there! Which made me a better illustrator."

Cartoonist Joe Sutliff: "James (I never called him Jim or Giaccomo) and I hung out a lot years ago, but I lost touch after he met his soon-to-be wife. He was full of passion for anything he got involved in, and truthfully I had been thinking about him a lot lately... I remember James as always being "full throttle"… whatever he went after, it was never halfway. He was always ready to lead the way - he went from a freshman member of the Illustrator's Club to President in just a couple of years, and joined the National Cartoonist Society and organized the local chapter as well. He was always fun-loving; I remember one Illustrators Club Holiday party where he lead me, Rob Sprouse and some others in a full dance-out of YMCA… I think it's still on online somewhere…:

Illustrator Kevin Rechin:  "So unbelievably sad. I knew him fairly well. Saw him quite often in the '90s either at NCS stuff or Illustrators Club gatherings. He was definitely a go-getter and full of life. Always had a smile on his face. Thoughts and prayers to his wife, daughter and family."

Monday, February 23, 2015

Carolyn Belefski's Curls book Kickstarter

Curls: The Ultimate Book Collection


"I hope you'll join me in supporting Carolyn's Kickstarter. Because I really want to see what a really talented goofball does with 90 Billion dollars."
-- Richard Thompson (Cul de Sac - 2010 Reuben Award)
for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year

"This collection is what kickstarter was made for. Carolyn is able to bring to life her ideas in a way that is both charming and funny with the compliment of beautiful art and skill. I love this strip and am so happy to see it finally collected. It's about time!"
-- Jimmy Palmiotti (Harley Quinn, Jonah Hex, Painkiller Jane, Power Girl)

"'Curls' is a thoroughly engaging comic that positively brims with joy and warmth. Strip by strip, Carolyn Belefski constructs a magical world of animal (and toast!) friendships that feels, well, utterly believable -- proof that the cartoonist has the rich imagination to pull off this sleight of hand and heart. Raise a (large) toast to the world of Curls!"
-- Michael Cavna ("Comic Riffs" Columnist/Cartoonist, The Washington Post)

"The expressions, movement and attitude in Carolyn Belefski's characters resonate because she's somehow created a line that is at once deft, fun, innocent and sexy."
-- Nick Galifianakis (The Washington Post)

I've just put my money in.

Carolyn Belefski blogs about her White House 'Obamacare' cartoons

With Macbeth behind him, Gareth Hinds eyes an "impossibly long list of classic adaptations"

Gareth Hinds (all pictures from his website)
by Mike Rhode


Gareth Hinds just released Macbeth, his newest Shakespeare adaptation. He'll be introducing Macbeth tonight at the Takoma Park Library in MD, Politics and Prose in DC on March 3, and Hooray for Books in VA this Friday. Maria Russo at the New York Times just gave the book an excellent review, writing "The book feels like a remarkably faithful rendering of the world of the play. You can almost feel the damp chill of the Scottish Highlands in the silvery-green palette, and as the murdered corpses pile up, the warm oranges of the candlelit castle interiors inevitably tinge toward the blood-red at the center of the story."

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

Graphic novels based on literary classics

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?
Always a combination, sometimes more digital, sometimes more traditional.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?
I'm from central Vermont. I was born in 1971.

Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?
My wife took a job at the literacy nonprofit First Book, and we moved to Takoma Park about a year and a half ago.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?
I went to Parsons School of Design for illustration, but they didn't have a lot of classes on comics, so as a cartoonist I'm mostly self-taught.

Who are your influences?
Herge, Moebius, Bill Sienkiewicz, Walt Simonson, Walt Kelly, Lorenzo Matotti, Enki Bilal, Masamune Shirow and a lot of other manga artists.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

 I would have probably picked a more popular play than King Lear as my first Shakespeare outing.

What work are you best-known for? 
Beowulf and The Odyssey

What work are you most proud of?
When I look back at each book I see things to love and things to groan about. Beowulf launched my career. The Odyssey is my magnum opus (At least so far).

What would you like to do or work on in the future?
An impossibly long list of classic adaptations and original projects.

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block? 
Work on something else for a bit, draw from life, meditate, doodle.



Beowulf
What do you think will be the future of your field? 
The only constant is change. However, like other media I don't think newer forms of storytelling will make comics go away, though they may become less profitable or change in terms of delivery format. I'm already doing eBooks, and I think they're still in their infancy. We're kind of still waiting for the right reading platform/device as well as a unified format. 

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them? 
I've been at SPX on and off since the mid-90s. I generally don't table, as I prefer to walk around and see what/who is there. I have been a guest at the Gaithersburg Book Fest and am going back this year. 

What's your favorite thing about DC? 
It's a lot easier to get around to things than New York, and there's more good theater (especially Shakespeare) than almost any other city but New York.

Least favorite?
Downtown is just not very interesting, apart from the museums.

What monument or museum do like to take visitors to? 
Depends on who they are, but my favorite is probably The Portrait Gallery / Smithsonian Museum of Art. Particularly the Luce Center and some of the contemporary portrait shows. 

How about a favorite local restaurant? 
There are quite a few options I like, but right now probably Founding Farmers and Comet Pizza Ping Pong (right next to Politics & Prose bookstore!). 

Do you have a website or blog? 
www.garethhinds.com links to my blog, email newsletter, and social media profiles.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Photos from DC Conspiracy birthday bash

A few photos from Saturday's DC Conspiracy 10th anniversary celebration at Fantom Comics at Dupont Circle. Despite the snow (which was reminiscent of DCC's first meeting back on Jan. 22, 2005), the turnout was great for the workshop lead by Jason Rodriguez and the panel talk (with Evan Keeling, Andrew Cohen and myself). The crowd dwindled later as the frozen rain set it. Still, the live music by Mickie and Mallory (featuring Joe Carabeo) was so good that passers-by hearing it from the street were coming in to check it out.

(Photos are courtesy of Jason Rodriguez and Fantom Comics. Click on their links for more pics.)









PW feature on Rosarium Publishing

Brigid Alverson, who often writes about comics, pens a feature story in Publishers Weekly on D.C.'s Rosarium Publishing, which is the brainchild of Bill Campbell.

Rosarium Bets on Multicultural Novels and Comics

By Brigid Aversion

Publishers kept telling Bill Campbell that his novels weren’t marketable, so he published them himself, found a market, and 18 months ago started Rosarium Publishing to do the same for other writers and comics creators. Based in the Washington, D.C., area, Rosarium Publishing boasts a multicultural lineup of authors and a list that features prose works as well as comics.




Saturday, February 21, 2015

DC Conspiracy 10th Anniversary Party!

DC Conspiracy, the collective behind the free semi-annual comics newspaper MAGIC BULLET, has hit its 10TH BIRTHDAY!

In celebration of DC Conspiracy's 10th anniversary, we're putting together a commemorative party to look back on the group's long and varied history as THE local Washington DC comic book creators' collective!

Join us as we enjoy a chill night of art, music, booze, and friends. Help us celebrate 10 amazing years of local homegrown art!

3-4pm: Make Your Own Mini-Comics Workshop with Jason Rodriguez
5-6: Q & A with The DC Conspiracy
7-8: Mickie & Mallory
Cash bar and free nibbles all night long.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Comic Riffs talks to Irish animation director

The Oscars: How Ireland's Tomm Moore deep-dived into 2014′s most transporting animated film: 'Song of the Sea'

By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog February 20 2015
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2015/02/20/the-oscars-how-irelands-tomm-moore-deep-dived-into-2014s-most-transporting-animated-film-song-of-the-sea/

Ann Telnaes speaking at Bush 2 Library

Luckovich, Telnaes to speak at conference exploring the Bush presidency

by
February 20, 2015
http://dailycartoonist.com/index.php/2015/02/20/luckovich-telnaes-to-speak-at-conference-exploring-the-bush-presidency/

Jason Rodriguez interviewed by City Paper, prior to tomorrow's DC Conspiracy party

Coincidentally, it's his birthday. Tomorrow is DC Conspiracy's, at Fantom Comics.

March 17: Big Nate in Rockville

Convention Scene caught this:

bn031715

Cartoonist Lincoln Peirce appears at Barnes & Noble for a signing and fun-filled demonstration on Tuesday March 17, 2015 at 7:00 PM!

Barnes & Noble
Montrose Crossing, 12089 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852
301-881-0237



Scoop's Katsucon report