Tuesday, September 30, 2008

SPX travel plans by cartoonists

Here's a cute bit by Mei K at the Daily Cross Hatch, Brian Heater's excellent blog.

And here's more cartoons on the topic by Liz Baillie and Josh Eiserike. Note that Josh is the DC area creator of Assholes I'll be buying a copy from him if I don't complete space out. If I do, Josh, tackle me and wrestle one into my hand.

Geppi's Entertainment Museum rent?

Tom Spurgeon found this article - "Geppi, state ensnarled in museum rent dispute," LIZ FARMER, Maryland Daily Record Business Writer, September 29, 2008. If you haven't seen the museum yet, check it out. It's amazing.

Steve Conley update

I talked to Steve and his wife (? sorry!) at the Baltimore Comic-Con. Steve's wrapped up Star Trek Year 4 and there's a trade of it now. While he was buying a book from Our Man Thompson, I talked with Mrs. Conley who said he's working on a 10th anniversary Astounding Space Thrills special - yeah! I loved the clean lines and goofy humor of the strip. Zot! is an obvious antecedent and if you liked that, try AST which is still online. She also mentioned his Socks and Barney political strip. I suggested he do a mini for SPX of this - he's still got a few days so pop onto the site and second it!

UMd newspaper covers Baltimore Comic-Con

See "Baltimore Comic Convention draws a huge crowd," By Gaby Arevalo, University of Maryland, Baltimore County's Retriever Weekly September 30 2008. I personally waited in line an hour to buy a ticket. Bah. Good con though.

Oh, and here's Heidi on it - didn't see her there...

"Baltimore Showcases Comics First," By Heidi MacDonald, PW Comics Week September 30, 2008.

VCU student cartoonist featured in campus newspaper

See "Cartoonist proves artistic passion," by VERONICA GARABELLI - Associate Spectrum Editor, Commonwealth Times 9/29/08 for a story on communication arts major Allison Smith. Virgnia Commonwealth University in Richmond has been pumping up its comics collection lately - they've got the collection of my friend Tom Inge. Speaking of Richmond and Tom, his exhibit on Poe in the comics is still on view.

Bad News in DC #2

This was a good local chain that hosted comics events - Mike Carey was one of the most recent ones I went to.

Olsson's is Closed

Thanks to you and all our loyal customers who supported us for the last 36 years in the Washington area.

September 30, 2008

SEPTEMBER 30, 2008

Olsson Enterprises, Inc., trading as Olsson's Books & Records closes stores and petitions court for Chapter 7 conversion.

Olsson Enterprises, Inc., trading as Olsson's Books & Records, Record & Tape Ltd., and Olsson's Books announced today that it has closed all of its locations and petitioned the U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Maryland for conversion of its current Chapter 11 protection to Chapter 7.

The reasons given for the petitioning were stagnant sales, low cash reserves, and an inability to renegotiate current leases, along with a continuing weak retail economy and plummeting music sales.

Olsson's was granted Chapter 11 protection on July 11 this year in order to work on an aggressive reorganization plan involving selected store closings and large cuts in overhead costs. At the same time the Lansburgh/ Penn Quarter location on 7th Street, N.W. was shuttered to make way for a new London-based restaurant.

Olsson's was established in 1972 and grew to as many as nine retail stores in the Washington, D.C. metro area with sales over $16 million a year and as many as 200 employees. Currently there are five retail stores: Reagan National Airport, Old Town Alexandria, Arlington Courthouse, Crystal City, and one in Northwest Washington at Dupont Circle. Olsson's earned its reputation as a locally-owned community-oriented retailer with a knowledgeable staff selling a wide selection of books, music, video and gifts.

Stephen Wallace-Haines, Olsson's general manager stated: "In the end, all the roads towards reorganization led to this dead end: we did not have the money required to pay for product in advance, to collect reserves to buy for Christmas, and satisfy the demands of rent and operational costs. We were losing money just by staying open."

John Olsson, principal owner, Washington native and graduate of Catholic University had this to say, "Although it is certainly a sad day for us, I can rejoice in all the great memories of my life in retail in Washington. I began at Discount Record Shop on Connecticut Avenue in the fall of 1958, and worked there until 1972 when I left to open my own record store at 1900 L Street. Along the way books were added, more locations, a couple thousand employees, and many thousands of customers. It was exhilarating. Through it all, our best and brightest served Washington's best and brightest with love and distinction. I'm very proud of what we accomplished. My love and gratitude to all my employees, and special thanks to all those thousands of loyal customers."

Bad News in DC #1

Read "City Paper's parent files for bankruptcy," By Bill Myers, Examiner Staff Writer 9/30/08. This would be Creative Loafing, the Florida chain that took over the City Paper last year and immediately slashed budgets, forcing the laying off of freelance cartoonists Rob Ullman and Shawn Belschwender. All of the strips in the paper were also dropped including Derf's The City, Cannon's Red Meat and Lynda Barry's Marilys.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cartoonists visit troops at Walter Reed

I didn't witness this except to see them drive off in a minivan, but I'm told that Stephan Pastis, Jef Keane, Rick Kirkman, Tom Richmond and other cartoonists visited wounded troops at Walter Reed hospital today.

Brief account of Gaiman at LOC bookfest in Post

There's photographs online as well - "Storied Lives: Writers' Inspiration, Readers' Dedication Are on Display at Book Festival," By Bob Thompson, Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, September 29, 2008; C01.

Oct 1: Terry Pratchett on Post book chat

From the North American Discworld Convention Update Sept 27th:

The Washington Post's Book World will host a live chat with Terry on Wednesday, Oct 1st at 11 am ET, 8 am PT on their website. You can submit questions or comments now for the chat. Details can be found at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/09/25/DI2008092502168.html . Note that registration may be required for access via the main Book World page at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artsandliving/books/index.html .

Strictly speaking, he's not a comic book writer, although I love his books. However, they have been adapted into comics.

Oct 3: Lynda Barry at Politics and Prose

Here's D&Q's PR:

Slide Show and Signing unless otherwise noted!
These are the last dates until 2009! Do not miss the most enthralling and exhilarating author tour of 2009!

An exuberant, no-nonsense cheerleader for life’s outcasts, [Barry] led her smallish room’s capacity crowd in a sermon-like call to creativity without fear of failure, to engage in what she called deep play or suffer going slowly insane. Of all the convention’s professional badge wearers, she was the coolest. She finished her panel by singing, You Are My Sunshine without moving her lips and got a standing ovation.-MSNBC on COMICON 2008

BOSTON Thursday, October 2nd, 7 PM, Brookline Booksmith, brooklinebooksmith.com
WASHINGTON DC Friday, October 3rd, 7PM Politics & Prose, http://www.politics-prose.com
NYC, Saturday, October 4th, 4 PM, New Yorker Festival, festival.newyorker.com *In conversation with Matt Groening!
NYC, Sunday, October 5th, 3 PM, New Yorker Festival, festival.newyorker.com *Signing only
MADISON, Saturday, October 18th, 2PM, Wisconsin Book Festival, www.wisconsinbookfestival.org *Multi-Author Panel
TORONTO, Saturday, October 25th, 3PM, IFOA, www.readings.org
TORONTO, Sunday, October 26th, 1PM, IFOA, www.readings.org *With Chip Kidd
PORTLAND, Sunday, November 9th, 5PM, Wordstock, www.wordstockfestival.com
LOS ANGELES, Tuesday, November 18th, 7PM, Hammer Museum, www.hammer.ucla.edu *In conversation with Matt Groening!

Toronto! Portland! Los Angeles! San Francisco!

The collages in legendary cartoonist Lynda Barry’s What It Is are a bathysphere-like odyssey through the depths of her funky subconscious.–Vanity Fair

Using ink brush, pen and pencil drawings as well as collages and luminous watercolors, many of them on lined yellow legal paper,
[What It Is] explores deep philosophical questions...–Carol Kino, The New York Times

Deliciously drawn...insightful and bubbling with delight. A –Salon

Part free-spirited workbook, part instruction in how to write... What It Is is unparalleled in originality.–Entertainment Weekly

What It Is demonstrates a tried-and-true creative method that is playful, powerful, and accessible to anyone with an inquisitive wish to write or remember. Bursting with full-color drawings, comics, and collages, autobiographical sections and gentle creative guidance, each page is an invigorating example of exactly what it is: The ordinary is extraordinary. Lynda Barry explores the depths of the inner and outer realms of creation and imagination, where play can be serious, monsters have purpose, and not knowing is an answer unto itself. How do objects summon memories? What do real images feel like? These types of questions permeate the pages of What It Is, with words attracting pictures and conjuring places through a pen that first and foremost keeps on moving. Her insight and sincerity will tackle the most persistent of inhibitions, calling back every kid who quit drawing to again feel alive at the experiential level. Comprised of completely new material, this is her first Drawn & Quarterly book.

Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher and found they are very much alike. She is the inimitable creator behind the syndicated strip Ernie Pook\'s Comeek featuring the incomparable Marlys and Freddy, as well as the books One! Hundred! Demons!, The! Greatest! of! Marlys!, Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel, Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies!, and her first book for Drawn & Quarterly, 2008’s What It Is. D Q plans to publish a multivolume hardcover collection of Ernie Pook’s Comeek starting in 2009, as well as a collection of the Nearsighted Monkey.

Peggy Burns
Drawn & Quarterly
Director, Marketing & Publicity
400 Ave Atlantic #800
Montreal, QC H2V 1A5
t: 514/279-0691


By John Judy

THE ALCOHOLIC HC by Jonathan Ames and Dean Haspiel. A graphic novel about a writer who enjoys the occasional tipple if you can imagine such a beastly thing.

BATMAN #680 by Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel. In which Bats faces down the Joker and the Club of Villains. Do they not realize he’s the !@#$% Batman?!

BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2008 HC by Lotsa People including Chris Ware, Seth, Alison Bechdel and some guy named Matt Groening. Edited by Lynda Barry, Jessica Abel and Matt Madden. What it says, people. Gotta look.

THE BOYS #23 by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. Beginning a new storyline so big they needed multiple covers just to…. Um…. Just to…. Take more money from gullible fans? Come on guys it’s a good series. You don’t need to do this. Plus the third BOYS trade paperback is out too, collecting issues #15-18.

DC UNIVERSE DECISIONS #2 of 4 by Judd Winick, Bill Willingham and Rick Leonardi. So we’ve learned that Lois Lane believes in small government, low taxes and a strong military. In other words there is no party in America she can vote for. I now believe this is a woman who was fooled by a pair of glasses all those years. Oh, and Green Arrow is a “librul.” Who knew? Good for DC for at least attempting to broach the subject of who a real hero would vote for.

DOKTOR SLEEPLESS #9 by Warren Ellis and Ivan Rodriguez. Doktor Sleepless: Hero, Villain, or Complete Nutjob? My money’s on “Yes.”

HARVEY COMICS CLASSICS, VOL. 4: BABY HUEY SC by Various Creators. It’s about a huge creature in a diaper who just wants someone to play with him. And it’s NOT Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana! It’s NOT, do you hear?!

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #25 by Dwayne McDuffie and Ed Benes. The African spider-god Anansi begins screwing with the histories of the JLA members. Is Anansi gunning for a job with DC Editorial?

MARVEL APES #3 of 4 by Karl Kesel and Ramon Bachs. They ain’t just super-hero apes, pal! They are VAMPIRE super-hero apes! Might as well just ship Kesel and Bachs their Eisners now. In your face, WATCHMEN!

NO HERO #1 of 7 by Warren Ellis and Juan Jose Ryp. That nice Mr. Ellis suggests that super-heroing might occasionally present certain unpleasantries.

SUB-MARINER: DEPTHS #2 of 5 by Peter Milligan and Esad Ribic. In this sorta out of continuity, sorta Mature Readers version Prince Namor is a scary legend of the sea who terrorizes and kills anyone dumb enough to screw with him. Milligan seems to get what Bill Everett figured out in Subby’s first appearance. The Sub-Mariner isn’t terrifying because he can breathe water. He’s terrifying because you can’t.

TOP TEN: SEASON TWO #1 of 4 by Xander Cannon and Gene Ha. The hard-working super-cops of Neoplolis are back without the guiding hand of creator Alan Moore. Still looks amazing. For fans of cop dramas and classic spandex. Recommended.


Small Press Expo To Be Held This Weekend, Saturday October 4 and Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm interviewing Our Man Thompson at... 5 pm on Sunday! Well, that will be a quick session.

Small Press Expo To Be Held This Weekend, Saturday October 4 and Sunday, October 5, 2008

For Immediate Release
Contact: Warren Bernard

Phone: 301-537-4615

E-Mail: webernard@spxpo.com

Bethesda, Maryland; September 29, 2008 - The Small Press Expo (SPX), the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comic books, graphic novels and alternative political cartoons, will be held this weekend, Saturday, October 4 from 11AM to 7PM and Sunday, October 5 noon-6PM at The North Bethesda Marriott Convention Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Admission is $8 for a single day and $15 for both days.

In addition to a wide ranging series of panels and interviews, there will also be the presentation of the Ignatz Awards on Saturday night, October 4 at 9PM.

Information on the panels, interviews, directions and exhibitors can be found at http://www.spxpo.com.

This year, SPX is pleased to have the following special guests attending this year’s event:

Richard Thompson is a long time contributor to The New Yorker and a first time guest at Small Press Expo. Richard contributes a weekly political/social strip to The Washington Post called Richards Poor Almanac. Richard is also a contributor to The Atlantic Magazine, National Geographic and U.S. News and World Report and won the National Cartoonists Society's Magazine and Book Illustration Award. He is also a syndicated cartoonist, whose strip Cul De Sac is now in over 100 newspapers. Richard will be signing copies of Cul De Sac: No Exit, the first Cul De Sac collection at SPX.

Joost Swarte is best known to American audiences for his covers and illustrations for The New Yorker, along with his internationally recognized comic and poster work. He has extended his unique cartoon style into the world of industrial design by designing stained glass installations, sculptures and furniture, as well as the Toneelshuur Theater in Haarlem, The Netherlands. SPX is proud to host Mr. Swarte in one of his rare United States appearances.

Ben Katchor is making his first appearance at SPX. Mr. Katchor is known for his books “Julius Knippel, Real Estate Photographer”, “The Jew Of New York”, and “Beauty The Supply District”. He is a contributor of comics to both The New Yorker and the New York Times and has a regular strip that is printed in Metropolitan Magazine. Mr. Katchor has turned his talents to the stage, writing the libretto and creating the backgrounds for the plays “The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island” and “The Rosenbach Company”. Vist his web site at http://www.katchor.com

Bryan Lee O’Malley is the creator of the Scott Pilgrim (http://www.scottpilgrim.com) series of books issued by Oni Press. Scott Pilgrim was named Best Indy Comic of the Year by Entertainment Weekly and was recently optioned as a motion picture by Universal Studios. Bryan has been nominated for both the Eisner and Harvey Awards and is a past recipient of the Joe Schuster Award for Best Canadian Cartoonist and the Doug Wright Award for Best Emerging Talent. Bryan’s web site is http://www.radiomaru.com/.

Hope Larson is the creator of the recently released book, Chiggers, published by the Atheneum imprint of Simon & Schuster. She was the recipient of the 2006 Ignatz Award in the category Promising New Talent and the Eisner Award for Special Recognition in 2007. Her previous works include Gray Horses published by Oni Press and Salamander Dreams, her web comic subsequently published by Adhouse Books. Hope’s web site is

For further information on the artists or to request an interview, please contact Warren Bernard at mailto:webernard@spxpo.com.

SPX, a non-profit organization, brings together more than 300 artists and publishers to meet their readers, booksellers and distributors each year. Graphic novels, political cartoon books and alternative comics will all be on display and for sale by their authors and illustrators. A series of panel discussions will also be held of interest to readers, academicians and creators of graphic novels and political cartoons.

SPX culminates with the presentation of the 12th Annual Ignatz Awards for outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning that will occur Saturday night, October 4. The Ignatz is the first Festival Prize in the US comic book industry, with winners chosen by balloting during the SPX.

As in previous years, all profits from the SPX will go to support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), protecting the First Amendment rights of comic book readers and professionals. For more information on the CBLDF, go to their website at

Founded in 1994, SPX is North America's premier alternative comic-book and graphic novel festival. This annual event brings together comic creators, publishers and fans together to celebrate the art of visual storytelling.

BASH! Magazine #3 Now On Newsstands

I noticed the BASH! Magazine kiosks loaded with the October 2008 issue (#3) this morning at the Vienna and Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro stops. It has a lovely Halloween orange tint, with an excerpt from Eamon Espey's content in the issue. Oh, and it has a full-page ad for SPX, which is cool (though I would've erred to include the writers and artists of BASH! who are attending the show in their list of attendees).

This month:

"One Person Each" by Theo Ellsworth
"Onion Head" by Bryan Stone
"Animal Stew: Taxidermy on Edge" by Matt Dembicki
"For Want of an Oomplip" by Morgan Pielli
"Something Happens" by Thomas K. Dye
"Tiny Sepuku" by Ken Cursoe (x2)
"Legs" by John Dimes
"Slow Wave" by Jesse Reklaw
"Slowpoke" by Jen Sorensen (x2)
"K Chronicles" by Keith Knight (x2)
"The First 9/11" by Dan Archer
"Limbs of the Megalith: The Sleeping or the Slain" by Eamon Espey

As in past issues, this is a mixture of the bizarre to the educational. Come see a bunch of these folks this weekend at the Small Press Expo!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Interview with honorary ComicsDCian Von Allen

See "VON ALLAN'S "road" TO LI'L KIDS," by Jennifer M. Contino, Comicon's the Pulse 09-26-2008.

Small Press Expo's Owly guitar

Jeff Alexander, one of the organizers of SPX, has organized a guitar painted by Andy Runton to be auctioned off for the Comic Book Legal Defense fund.

Very cool.

Baltimore Comic-Con - Wrightson interview and more

I still haven't gotten my pictures online, but news from the BCC is starting to appear. (By the way, if anyone's got an extra of the Tucci Sgt Rock, poster, I'd like to get a copy of that.)

Actually I never even saw Bernie Wrightson yesterday, but here's an interview with him - "Master in horror genre is home for Comic-Con," By Chris Kaltenbach, Baltimore Sun September 28, 2008...

...an early report on the Harvey Awards "Horror Comics Haunt the Harvey Awards!" by Joseph McCabe, FEARnet September 9/28/2008...

...some panel and Harvey Award reports from Comic Book Resources...

2008 Harvey Award Winners
Sun, September 28th, 2008 | By Jonathan Callan
This weekend saw the presentation of the 2008 Harvey Awards, hosted by Kyle Baker and kicked off with keynote speaker Brian Bendis. Brian K. Vaughan, Darwyn Cooke and "All Star Superman" took the top honors.

Baltimore: Cup of B Panel
Sat, September 27th, 2008 | By Jonathan Callan
At the Cup of Bendis panel at Baltimore Comic-Con Saturday morning, a number of announcements came down including Slott on “Mighty Avengers,” Spider-Woman series finally scheduled and more.

Baltimore: The Bendis/Kirkman Debate
Sat, September 27th, 2008 | By Jonathan Callan
If you were unimpressed by Friday night's debate, the one between Robert Kirkman and Brian Bendis about creator-owned work held today at Baltimore Comic-Con won't disappoint. We've got all the details.

Baltimore: Tucci Presents The Return of Sgt. Rock
Sat, September 27th, 2008 | By Richard Chapell
Billy Tucci brought along members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team to his panel Saturday morning to paint a picture of what World War II was like, which he’ll be depicting in “Sgt. Rock — The Lost Batallion.”

Baltimore: DC Nation Panel
Sat, September 27th, 2008 | By Richard Chapell
At today’s DC National Panel at the Baltimore Comic-Con, Dan DiDio brought Jimmy Palmiotti, Sterling Gates, James Robinson, Sean Mckeever and Ian Sattler to talk “Final Crisis” and update numerous other projects...

...and Newsarama has a bunch of stories including...

Baltimore Comic Con '08: The Kirkman - Bendis Panel
By Vaneta Rogers
Newsarama 2008-09-28

and not least, Richard and I spoke with Frank Cammusso who will also be at SPX. I was online with Frank years ago at SPX and enjoyed talking to him then and now - here's an interview on his new book...

Frank Cammuso on Knights of the Lunch Table
By Zack Smith
Newsarama 2008-09-24

Much shorter Harvey Pekar biography

In spite of the evidence piling up, this isn't really a blog devoted to Harvey Pekar. I did run across something to mention today though. I've got a 248 page book devoted to Harvey out now as you're well aware, but, quoting from SMITH Magazine, in "Short memoirs: Six little words can be revealing," By Doug Mason, Knoxville News Sentinel Sunday, September 28, 2008, Harvey pretty much summed up the whole thing: "Fight, work, persevere - gain slight notoriety."


Thanks to Herschel Kanter for sending this in! It looks like a follow-up to SPX.

OCT. 6, 2008


Cartoonists Jesse Reklaw (The Night of Your Life: A Slow Wave Production), Dash Shaw (Bottomless Belly Button), Trevor Alixopulos (Hot Breath of War), Ken Dahl (Welcome to the Dahl House: Alienation, Incarceration, and Inebri in the New American Rome), and Sarah Edward-Corbett (See-Saw) will join a reading and panel discussion titled "Happy Accidents," about contemporary themes and issues in graphic novels. This event is sponsored by The George Washington University's Melvin Gelman Library and the University Writing Program.


Monday, Oct. 6, 2008; 5 p.m.


The George Washington University
Gelman Library, Room 301
2130 H St., N.W., Washington, D.C.
Foggy Bottom - GWU Metro Station (Orange and Blue lines)


This event is free and open to the public. Photo I.D. is required to enter the building. Media wishing to attend should contact Nick Massella at (202) 994-3087 or massella@gwu.edu.


Jesse Reklaw turns the dreams of strangers into clever four-panel comic strips in The Night of Your Life: A Slow Wave Production. This hardcover book collects five years of Reklaw's comic strip, Slow Wave, which appears in alternative weekly newspapers all over the country.

Twenty-five-year-old Dash Shaw's fourth graphic novel, Bottomless Belly Button, is a 720-page comedy-drama that follows the dysfunctional adventures of the Loony Family.

Trevor Alixopulos' Hot Breath of War takes seemingly unrelated episodes of life during wartime and entwines them into one experimental narrative. This subtle graphic novel explores love amidst conflict and the seduction of violence.

Ken Dahl documents alienation, incarceration, and inebriation in the new American Rome in Welcome to the Dahl House: Alienation, Incarceration, and Inebri in the New American Rome, a graphic novel anthology. Dahl is a 2006 Ignatz Award recipient and 2007 Center for Cartoon Studies Fellow.

Sara Edward-Corbett's comic strip See-Saw ran in the New York Press from 2003 - 2005. With her detail and affection for youthful insolence, she is a new contributor to Mome, the premier anthology of literary comics.

For additional information about the event, visit http://blogs.gelman.gwu.edu/blogs/news.

Washington Times on Jenny, an atypical military comic strip

See "Jenny's mission of mirth: Military spouse reaches out to her peers with comic strip," by Karen Goldberg Goff, Washington Times Sunday, September 28, 2008.

Julie Negron is the creator of "Jenny, the Military Spouse," which can be seen online at www.jennyspouse.com in addition to newspapers.

Post on anti-Semitic Iranian cartoon book

This was on the wires a couple of days ago, but the Post appears to have a reporter in Iran - as much as I bash them at times, it's a good paper. I read most of the foreign reporting, but rarely note the bylines. See "Young Iranians Release Book Caricaturing The Holocaust," By Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post Foreign Service, Sunday, September 28, 2008; A23.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

SPX ad on YouTube

Fantagraphics has posted a 30-second video ad they liked on their blog. The ad is for SPX and is on YouTube. I'll be roaming around there on both days, and look much like the Simpsonized version to the right.

Corrected due to Fantagraphic's comment.

Post ombudsman on Oliphant cartoon

Here's the Post ombudsman on an Oliphant cartoon about Palin, with a ho-hum sort of defense of free speech as it applies to cartoonists on the web, which after all, isn't really the newspaper, but if it had been the newspaper, well, then by god, we wouldn't have run the cartoon because it criticizes beliefs in god of 750 likely non-subscribers to the Post... aw, just read the thing - "The Power of Political Cartoons," By Deborah Howell, Washington Post Sunday, September 28, 2008; B06.

Dan Wasserman, the Boston Globe's editorial cartoonist had a better response in "Pentecostals peeved at Palin cartoon" basically arguing that if you mix your politics and religion, then perhaps other people won't bother to separate them either.

Thompson and Ullman at Crafty Bastard's tomorrow

Crafty Bastards, the annual City Paper craft fair in Adams Morgan will have Rob Ullman in a booth, and Richard Thompson selling his book through Politics and Prose at 1 pm.

Back from Baltimore Comic-Con

Richard, the kids and I had a good trip to Baltimore. More notes and pics to come, but in the meantime, here's an interview about the Con that I just ran across. "This Weekend - Baltimore Comic-Con: Talking to Marc Nathan," By Matt Brady, Newsarama 2008-09-26. The Con continues tomorrow and is always fun - this year seemed rather crowded. If you go tomorrow, I'd specifically recommend visiting Arlingtonian Steve Conley and Frank Cammusso at the children's table, Ramona Fradon who's selling her Brenda Starr comic strips for $35 each (I've got 2 now), Don Rosa who has excellent Disney comics, my buddy Dean Haspiel who's got advance copies of The Alcoholic, the Top Shelf booth with Andy Runton's Owley, ... oh, there are too many people to mention.

Off to Baltimore Comic-Con

We're off to Baltimore Comic-Con - stop us and buy our books! We're each carrying copies to pawn off on willing victims.

(original photo by Marcus Hamilton, and it deserved better)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Zadzooks on Comic Book Tattoo

"ZADZOOKS: Comic Book Tattoo blends art and music," by Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times Thursday, September 25, 2008.

Grant Morrison interview on Comic Riffs

"The Interview: Comic-Book Writer Grant Morrison," By Michael Cavna, Comic Riffs blog September 25, 2008.

Flugennock drawing for debate party ad

From yesterday's Onion.

October 23: Canadian animated films at National Archives

Bruce Guthrie sent this in today:

Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater, National Archives, 9th and Constitution Ave, NW

A Salute to the National Film Board of Canada

This program, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in partnership with The Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film and the Foundation for the National Archives, celebrates more than 50 years of Oscar®-nominated and -winning short subjects produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Hosted by renowned animation critic and historian Charles Solomon, the program will feature several films, including Neighbours (1952), Christmas Cracker (1962), Bob’s Birthday (1993), and Ryan (2004). The program will be introduced by Academy President Sid Ganis. Joining us from the NFB will be Government Film Commissioner Tom Perlmutter and animation producer Marcy Page. Torill Kove, director of the 2006 Oscar®-winning animated short subject The Danish Poet, will also appear.

Brad Meltzer interview from yesterday

Christopher Porter of the Express wrote in to note that he did a short interview with Brad Meltzer that was in Thursday's Express, and he noted "I did a longer piece on Brad six years ago in the City Paper; the setting was Big Planet."

Meltzer will be at the Book Festival on the Mall tomorrow.

Sara Duke, who will also be at the Book Festival tomorrow as a Library of Congress escort, wrote in to note that the Library has a podcast with Brad online now.

Marvel bibliographer Rob Weiner interview

Rob Weiner, author of Marvel Graphic Novels and Related Publications: An Annotated Guide to Comics, Prose Novels, Children's Books, Articles, Criticism and Reference Works, 1965-2005, answered some questions about his 400-page book and his future projects.

How about some background? You're a librarian?

I have a BA in history and an MA in History from Texas Tech with a focus in American History and American Popular culture. While I was working on my MA in history, I was always in the library. People started asking me where things were as though I worked there. I thought I should probably get paid for doing that so I applied for a job and worked as a paraprofessional for a few years. Then I went and received my MS in Library Science at University of North Texas. I worked in a public library for 12 years and most recently took a position at Texas Tech as Humanities Librarian. I worked in the local music industry for about 10 years in Lubbock while going to college. I’ve always appreciated the “artsy” side of life so my position now is a real good fit.

Bibliography is kinda in my blood. I co-authored a bibliography on the Grateful Dead, I’ve published a filmographic essay on Johnny Cash, the Marvel Guide, and in my forthcoming book on Captain America, I co-authored Filmographic and Scholarly Bibliographic pieces. I don’t do just lists however; I have to read, or watch the piece and then annotate or critically judge it.

Why comic books?

Well, when I a little boy growing up in Michigan I remember certain images... I remember the image from Silver Surfer 1 and Tales of Suspense 39 (with the gray Iron Man)! I was mesmerized by those images. They stick with me today. I can’t say where I first saw them or how I started to read comics, but I remember those two covers specifically. I also remember I had a Batman bow tie that I was very proud to wear around at events. By the time I was around 10 or so I started actually collecting and reading comics. I was fascinated by characters like the Human Fly (I wish Marvel would do an Essential collection), 3-D Man (one of my ALL TIME favorites and one of the coolest characters Roy Thomas ever created), The Beast fascinated me (just his look), Nova the Human Rocket, Moon Knight, the Black Panther. It was these “secondary” characters that caught my eye more than the Big Guns (like Spidey / Thor / even Cap) at first. I was also fascinated by the Legion of Superheroes and those early adventures of Superboy. You know how a lot of people remember the "Death of Gwen Stacy" (which was a BIG BIG deal when it came out), for me it was the death of Chemical Boy. I cried and cried over that. (I loved Bouncing Boy also,) I have not read those 1970s Legion stories SINCE I was a kid. I would love to re-read them. I also went through a period of rediscovery when the first Tim Burton Batman movie came out and started collecting again, but then life / school / marriage got me busy again and I got out of the comic world for awhile.

It was in the late 1990s while working at the public library that I started to rekindle my love for comics through reading Graphic Novels. It occurred to me that perhaps we should try ordering some Spider-Man, Batman, and Superman books for the Public Library. I asked my library director about this and she said sure, let’s give it try. Well, that inspired ten years of collecting graphic novels for the Lubbock Public Library System. I helped build one of the best graphic novels collections in the country. There was some resistance to this as some people (on staff) did not want that sh**t in the library, but the director was always like “Do they circulate?” If they do, then let’s get more. Adults, kids, teens, all loved these books so we just kept buying more and more and built a great collection of over 4,000 items. At first, I tried reading EVERYTHING that I ordered or came in. This proved to be too daunting after awhile. There is a TON of stuff and more all the time being produced, so one has to pick their favorites and stick with them, occasionally reading something new and critically acclaimed of course.

Why Marvel?

I’ve always loved the Marvel characters. After reading Alex Ross’s Marvels I just became inspired. I realized that one could tell a story with Spider-Man that was equal to Shakespeare / Tolstoy etc. Although I had previously read The Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, and the Crow, it just did not “hit” me until I read Marvels. The combination between the awesome art and the great storytelling just changed me (I was also highly impressed with DeFalco’s Spider-Girl). I thought wow, I should try to do something like the Grateful Dead bibliography with Marvel Graphic Novels and document and annotate them. Although some critics have pointed out that much of the info in my book is online, my book as “value added” material in that the annotations are fun to read and they provide at times a critical perspective to certain works. Frankly, I do document material that is not documented in quite the same way elsewhere, including online. Although Marvel Graphic Novels is a reference work, it is a fun book that anyone including fans, scholars, historians, librarians, should get something out of that they cannot get out of websites. For example did you know Marvel published a guide to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, or about all those weird children’s books they published in the 1980s? None of that is documented in all one place. Are there things I missed? Of course. Is the book perfect? No, of course not. I find mistakes all the time, but I hope that it provides a great service to the sequential art community as a whole.

It took me six years to read and annotate all this material which is why it stops at 2005. Working full time, teaching, and trying to have a life is very difficult, but McFarland never gave up on me. I also have a second book, an edited collection on Captain America (my all time favorite character), coming out soon and that is in the can. Two more books are forthcoming as well. One is an edited collection looking at how Graphic Novels have affected libraries and archives and another documents Marvel on Film/Video.

Do you anticipate updating your Marvel book? Perhaps online for collectors of Marvel?

At this point no, I have no plans for that. I suppose in a few years I could do a sequel and update the book with all the items that have been published since then and perhaps have an annotated list of Marvel-related websites as well. There are some things I missed too that I could add. I wish someone actually associated with Marvel would see and appreciate this. That would be great. I know some reviews have lamented the fact that I stop at 2004-2005, and it just got published in 2008, but I just could not read and annotate everything. Much of the recent material is online (such as the Trade Paperback website and so forth), but again not all of it. Keep in mind too that it is also available as an e-book which you can download to your device. So I think this shows that reference books are not just dry and boring, but can provide something useful for the fan, scholar, professional, artist etc.

Can you talk more about the new books you've mentioned?

I have an edited collection on Captain America coming out soon. It is called Captain America and the Struggle of the Superhero: Critical Essays which should be out soon. Cap is my favorite character and after they killed Steve Rogers, I wanted to do something to honor Cap. Since similar collections like Batman and Philosophy , Man from Krypton, and Unauthorized X-Men are all edited collections, I wanted to do the same for Cap. The difference is that scholarship in my book is all over the map, from fields as diverse as Geography, History, Cultural Studies, Psychology, etc. The scholarship is a little more intense in my book than in most books I’ve seen about particular characters. The book also has some well-known scholars in the field of comic book/sequential art studies including Jason Dimitter, Cord Scott, Mark McDermott, John Moser and Mike Dubose among others. They all have a previous publishing track record, but there are those getting published for the first time in the book as well. I hope that it won’t be so deep that regular Cap fans will be put off by the book and there is a wide variety of ideas (not all of which I agree with). But I hope it will provide a good solid example of the various ways in which one can produce sequential art scholarship. I have no idea how the critics are going to view the book. The only thing missing is a detailed look at the late forties Cap comics when he got rid of Bucky and had a girl sidekick and the “commie smasher” version. Apparently those three comics published in the 1950s are nowhere to be found. I hope they turn up someday as Marvel really needs to reprint those as Atlas Era Captain America Masterworks (along with that single issue of Captain America Weird Tales which did not have a Cap story. For historical and cultural value those books are priceless.

As a librarian and someone who help build a big collection of Graphic Novels when I worked at the public library, I want to give something back to the profession. So I am also in the coming year going to be working on a book of collected essays that shows with how libraries and archives have dealt with Graphic Novels in their collections. I think this would be a very good book for professionals in the library and archival fields to have and use. I even talk about Digital Comics and the changing of the industry as well. I mean it really has been only in the last 10 years that libraries have taken note of graphic novels as a way to get folks to read and not poo-pooed it. There have been libraries that have collected comics (such as Michigan State and Randall Scott for years), but they are the exception. I went through some growing pains with my library as well, with folks skeptical about having them in the collection. I think there is less and less of that because, just like the Internet, patrons demand graphic novels in their libraries. I mean graphic storytelling is as old as humanity! Nothing to be ashamed of in that. BTW your comics’ web bibliography is an amazing resource, as is your comic to film adaptations book! Speaking of which, I am also going to do a project documenting Marvel on Film and video etc., all in one place which will be pretty cool. And I am trying to finish and editing volume on Exploitation/Horror/Grindhouse/Arthouse cinema. I am working on with a PhD student at University of Texas and I have my regular job duties at the University, so I have my hands full for at least the next few years and beyond.

[9/26/08, 5:21 pm - copy edited after initial posting - MR]

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cartoonists at Politics and Prose and Crafty Bastards

Politics and Prose press release had this in it. Note Our Man Thompson in Adams Morgan this Sunday!

Small Press Expo 2008 will be held the weekend of October 4-5 at the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center in Bethesda, MD. Now in its 13th year, SPX is the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comic books and the discovery of new creative talent. More information is available at www.spxpo.com.

In conjunction with SPX, P&P is hosting three events. On Friday, October 3, at 7 p.m.Lynda Barry (WHAT IT IS) and at 9 p.m. Tom Tomorrow (THE FUTURE’S SO BRIGHT I CAN’T BEAR TO LOOK) will be appearing at the bookstore.

Politics and Prose is also participating in Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair, on Sunday, September 28, at Marie Reed Learning Center in Adams Morgan. Come by the P&P booth at 1 p.m. to meet Richard Thompson, who will be signing copies of his CUL DE SAC.
For more information, see www.washingtoncitypaper.com/craftybastards/2008. .

Mr. IS, the advertising webcomic, continues

The Story of Mr. Is - Episode 3: "The Reveal", 24 Sep 2008.

SPX political cartoonists appearances

“Outside Looking In: Alternative Political Cartooning in 2008” Announces Guests Jen Sorensen, Keith Knight and Nate Beeler

For Immediate Release
Contact: Warren Bernard

Phone: 301-537-4615


Bethesda, Maryland; September 9, 2008 - The Small Press Expo (SPX), the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comic books, graphic novels and alternative political cartoons, is proud to announce Jen Sorensen, Keith Knight and Nate Beeler as guests for the SPX 2008 special event, “Outside Looking In: Alternative Political Cartooning in 2008”.

Jen, Keith and Nate join the prestigious and street cred ready talents of Tom Tomorrow (Saturday, October 4 only), Lloyd Dangle, Ruben Bolling, Matt Wuerker and Ted Rall for a special symposium on political cartooning in this most political of election years.

Jen Sorensen (“Slowpoke”) - http://www.slowpokecomics.com – Jen is now the political cartoonist for The Village Voice, as well as being syndicated nationally and is (unfortunately) one of the few women political cartoonists. She will be at SPX to sign her latest book, One Nation, Oh My God.

Keith Knight (“The K Chronicles”, “(th)ink”) - http://www.kchronicles.com/ - Keith Knight is an the creator of the syndicated daily and Sunday strip “The Knight Life”. His latest books are The Complete K Chronicles from Dark Horse books and his self published I Left My Arse In San Francisco. He draws regularly for Mad Magazine and ESPN the Magazine

Nate Beeler – http://www.dcexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/NateBeelerToons - Nate is the syndicated political cartoonist from The Washington Examiner. He won the John Locher Memorial Award as The Best College Political Cartoonist and will be making his first appearance at SPX.

Be sure to stop by the Cartoonists With Attitude booth at SPX, where many of the announced political cartoonists will be available to sign books and pontificate on the latest news from this historic election year.

The events surrounding “Outside Looking In: Alternative Political Cartooning in 2008” is included with the SPX admission fee of $8 for a single day and $15 for both days.

October 1: Nina Paley animation at Women in the Arts

Rick Banning pointed this out - "An Ancient Tale, Newly Animated," By Lavanya Ramanathan, Washington Post Thursday, September 25, 2008; C13. Nina Paley's "Sita Sings the Blues," fresh from the Ottawa Animation Festival will be shown at the National Museum of the Women in the Arts. 1250 New York Ave. NW. 202-783-5000, $5. 8:30 p.m. October 1, 2008.

Paley is better known as a comic strip cartoonist - this is her third and longest (corrected from first) foray into animation. Here's an article with more information on the film - "A Filmmaker’s ‘Blues’ Prompts Traditionalists To See Red," by Eric Kohn, Forward Web date May 29, 2008 appeared in June 6 issue, p.16

We Need Another Hero or 2: Baltimore ComicCon


In today's Print and On-Line editions of the Washington Post Express, by former Washingtonian, Scott Rosenberg, who will also be at SPX.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Baltimore Comic-Con Announces Panels for 2008!

Baltimore Comic-Con Announces Panels for 2008!

Baltimore, Maryland - September 24, 2008 - The Baltimore Comic-Con is proud to announce programming for panels at the 2008 show! Panels will occur both Saturday and Sunday upstairs from the main convention floor.

Once again, we have a panel for all tastes. A highlight this year includes the first public face-to-face discussion between Brian Michael Bendis and Robert Kirkman since each voiced dissenting opinions about work-for-hire and the future of comics. Guests who want to learn more about the graphic crafts can join Jose Villarubia and Bernie Wrightson, or see the Web Comics panel. Also, attendees will receive publishing updates from Dark Horse, DC, Kingdom Comics, Marvel, Image, Top Cow, and Visionary Comics Studio, and an exclusive art seminar by Jim Lee for eight hand-selected fans.

Without further ado...the panels!

Saturday, September 27, 2008
DC Nation
Oa room (upstairs, room 307)
Join DC editor Dan Didio as he and special guests, discusses the current DC Universe, as well as hints to the future of the DC Universe.

Web Comics
Tarnax IV room (upstairs, room 302-303)
Funny, timely, exciting, biting -- all words that can describe the Web Comic, the most widely-available of the comic art form. Join Scott Kurtz, Danielle Corsetto, Scott Sava, and others as they discuss the ins, outs, ups, downs, and overall variety of this forum.

Marvel Q&A: A Cup of B
Oa room (upstairs, room 307)
Tom Brevoort and Brian Michael Bendis answers questions about the Marvel Universe. You should join them. He loves you.

Silent Devil/Ahmet Zappa
Tarnax IV room (upstairs, room 302-303)
Kingdom Comics, a new division of the Disney film studio, showcases their upcoming projects as they bring back some of Disney Studios classic characters!

Top Cow
Oa room (upstairs, room 307)
Join Filip Sablik as he talks Dragon Prince (did you get your Baltimore Comic Con exclusive yet?) Witchblade, Darkness, and all things Top Cow. Moo.

DC Comics presents -- The Return of Sgt. Rock! With Billy Tucci
Tarnax IV room (upstairs, room 302-303)
DC Comics is proud to present the return of Easy Company with the six issue miniseries, "Sgt. Rock - The Lost Battalion." Join Sgt. Rock writer/artist and Shi creator Billy Tucci and special guest WW2 veterans Grant Hirabayashi, Joe Kelly Kuwayama, and Terry Shima for an intimate story and art preview of salute to the American soldier. Billy and Terry's discussion and photos will also show the incredible lengths the creator has gone to uphold Rock's honorable legacy by interviewing actual veterans, partaking in a massive World War II re-enactment, and visiting the beaches of Normandy!

Kirkman vs. Bendis: The Future of Comics
Oa room (upstairs, room 307)
What began as an open letter on the future of comics has turned into one of the hottest topics to hit the industry in decades. Now, the two main opposing forces in the discussion get together as Robert Kirkman and Brian Michael Bendis come face to face in a no-holds-barred debate! Don't miss out on what promises to be the most talked about panel of the year!

Dark Horse
Tarnax IV room (upstairs, room 302-303)
Join Dark Horse Director of Publicity Jeremy Atkins and Senior Managing Editor Scott Allie for a first hand look at the future of comics. You will be given insight into the next chapter of the breakout hit series, The Umbrella Academy, as well as a look at what the future holds for all of your other favorite series and characters. With exciting announcements and inside info, you won't want to be anywhere else.

DC Comics Presents: Men of Steel
Oa room (upstairs, room 307)
What is the future of the Superman Family? Join Geoff Johns, James Robinson, Sterling Gates, Jamal Igle, and Superman editor Matt Idelson as they give you a peek at what the next year holds for the Man of Steel and his family.

Comic Book Restoration and CGC
Tarnax IV room (upstairs, room 302-303)
Should restoration be considered for a comic? What does restoration do to the value of a comic? How will CGC grade a restored comic? These questions and more will be answered by Matt Nelson (Classics Incorporated) and Richard Evans (Bedrock City) as they give you insight into the do's and don'ts of comic book restoration.

Sunday, September 28, 2008
Jim Lee Art Seminar
The Batcave (upstairs, room 301)
Eight lucky fans will be hand-picked by Jim Lee to attend his one hour art seminar! A contest will determine the lucky participants. During the day Saturday, you will turn in a piece of original art at a designated area. Then, on Sunday at 10:30am, Jim will choose eight artists from the entrants who will follow him to the seminar room for this unique experience.

Earth 53 (upstairs, room 307)
VCS just announced the new Headlocked: The Tryout 3-Issue series, with covers by Ron Wilson, John Hebert and Jerry "The King" Lawler in his first comic work. They also just launched their digital publishing arm on Wowio and have even more news in the wings! Check out this panel with a bunch of VCS professionals to find out what this up-and-coming studio has planned into 2009! This will also include a focus on Visionary's new submissions, and discussion of how to break into comics...the Visionary way.

The Savage Land (upstairs, room 302-303)
Join Boom! Studios Editor-In-Chief, Mark Waid, as he discusses the INCREDIBLE new projects coming soon from Boom!

Image Comics Show
Earth 53 (upstairs, room 307)
The Image Comics Show hits Baltimore as Robert Kirkman (WALKING DEAD, INVINCIBLE), Erik Larsen (SAVAGE DRAGON, IMAGE UNITED), Jimmy Palmiotti (Back to Brooklyn, The Pro), Richard Starkings (ELEPHANTMEN), and more give an exclusive glimpse into the future of Image Comics, featuring the public debut of all-new IMAGE UNITED art, along with many other announcements, surprises, and giveaways!

Spotlight on Wrightson (Villarrubia)
The Savage Land (upstairs, room 302-303)
Jose Villarrubia presents a Spotlight on his good friend, Living Legend, and Baltimore Comic-Con Guest of Honor, Bernie Wrightson!

Marvel: Your Universe
Earth 53 (upstairs, room 307)
Will you Embrace Change? Join the Marvel crew and accept your new Skrullian Overlords as you find out all you want to know about Secret Invasion and the rest of the Marvel Universe.

The Savage Land (upstairs, room 302-303)
Howard Chaykin and Adam Hughes. Need we say more?

For the Love of Comics
Earth 53 (upstairs, room 307)
Dan Didio talks comics! Join Dan in this unique forum to discuss what he likes about comics in general.

Turner - In Memoriam
The Savage Land (upstairs, room 302-303)
Join Frank Mastromauro as he hosts a tribute to Michael Turner, a truly singular talent and an all around great guy.

Panel topics, descriptions, and creator participants are subject to change.

Crock writer Don Wilder has died

Kevin Rechin, the son of Crock comic strip creator Bill Rechin, says that Crock co-creator Don Wilder passed away this morning. Crock is carried by the Washington Times. Brant Parker, credited by Don Markstein as another creator of the strip, also passed away recently.

The tip is thanks to Richard Thompson.

Pekar book available in this month's Previews

In case you do all your comics shopping at a comics store through Diamond's Previews, here's the ad.

Oddly enough, I ordered nothing beyond my usual pull list out of the December Previews. Given that I spent $250.00 at Big Planet at lunchtime today, this doesn't bode well for the comics industry.

Some nice stuff was out today though - Moomin vol. 3, the 2nd Aya book, Garry Trudeau by Soper, Terry and the Pirates vol. 4, Derf's Trailer Parks, Sub-Mariner Marvel Masterworks... one can see where the money goes.

Neil Gaiman was on Post chat earlier today

Too late to ask questions, but you can read it at "National Book Festival: Novelist and Comics Author Neil Gaiman; Science Fiction, Fantasy, Film and More" Wednesday, September 24, 2008. Gaiman will be down on the Mall for the Library of Congress book festival on Saturday, but his line is usually hundreds of people long.

Weingarten likes F-Minus

In his Tuesday chat, Weingarten was asked about F-Minus:

Providence, R.I.: The best comic strip in the Boston Globe, which I read as a poor shadow of a substitute for my native Post, is Tony Carrillo's "F-Minus." Are you familiar? What do you think, and can you get this brilliant man in the pages of the WaPo?

Gene Weingarten: I like it a LOT. I will see what I can do, which isn't much.

Are YOU Going to Baltimore Comic-Con This Weekend?

I am! I know Mike and family (or at least daughter) are. Chris Shields from cIndy Center is. Joel Pollack from Big Planet Comics will be there on Sunday. Local yokels John K. Snyder III and Pop Mhan will be guests, and Jo Chen will be there (but not as an exhibitor at the show -- just socializing!).

I actually am part of Baltimore Comic-Con's Executive Staff, maintaining their MySpace and ComicSpace webpages, creating and issuing press releases, and a bevy of other random acts of miscellania. I'll probably be wearing a Staff shirt at the show, but it'll have my over-loaded backpack over it, as I intend to attend for my own entertainment. You may see me working before doors open both days as well, so if you do, say "hi." If you don't know if it's me, ask!

I'll have my "Anything Marvel" and "Least Expected" sketchbooks with me in the hopes of filling them up, which you're welcomed to peruse while they're not in use!

I have no gauge who all looks at this blog (maybe Mike does!), so if you're going, post a Comment and let us know! I'll (hopefully) see you there!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Jeff Kinney, former U of Maryland cartoonist, on YouTube

This has been linked to from all over (Dirk Deppey, Brian Fies), but I'll toss it up here too. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid author, Jeff Kinney, a former U of Maryland cartoonist, is interviewed on YouTube by the Borders bookstore chain. Kinney will be at Baltimore Comic-Con this weekend much to my daughter's interest. Here's the interview and his talk for the kids in the audience.

BTW, Fies' book on his mother's cancer is very good. Buy it.

Post religious blog on Oliphant cartoon

Gabriel Salguero, Pastor and Executive Member, Latino Leadership Circle, takes Oliphant to task in "Stereotyping Palin and Pentecostalism," Newsweek / Washington Post On Faith blog (September 22 2008).

He says, "Certainly, Mr. Oliphant is free to have an opinion concerning "tongue-speaking." I understand the genre of political cartoons, but I just think this is applying an old and unnecessary stereotype. To imply or even hint that good Christians who speak in tongues are naive or not able to lead is truly a leap to judgment. This may not have been Mr. Oliphant's intent but it has been construed in this way by some who have viewed his cartoon post. Certainly, very few would dare argue that the personal prayer practices of other religious groups makes them ill-equipped to lead."

Small Press Expo Announces New Yorker Illustrator and Syndicated Cartoonist Richard Thompson as a Guest for SPX 2008

Oh yeah, and I'll be interviewing him on Sunday I'm told...

Small Press Expo Announces New Yorker Illustrator and Syndicated Cartoonist Richard Thompson as a Guest for SPX 2008

For Immediate Release
Contact: Warren Bernard
Phone: 301-537-4615

Bethesda, Maryland; September 23, 2008 - The Small Press Expo (SPX), the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comic books, graphic novels and alternative political cartoons, is proud to announce New Yorker illustrators Richard Thompson as a guest for SPX 2008.

Richard Thompson is a long time contributor to The New Yorker and a first time guest at Small Press Expo. Richard contributes a weekly political/social strip to The Washington Post called Richards Poor Almanac. Richard is also a contributor to The Atlantic Magazine, National Geographic and U.S. News and World Report and won the National Cartoonists Society's Magazine and Book Illustration Award. He is also a syndicated cartoonist, whose strip Cul De Sac is now in over 100 newspapers. Richard will be signing copies of Cul De Sac: This Exit, the first Cul De Sac collection at SPX.

Richard Thompson is in addition to previously announced guests Joost Swarte, a fellow New Yorker contributor, Ben Katchor, Bryan Lee O’Malley and Hope Larson.

Please stay tuned for additional announcements about SPX 2008.

This year, SPX will be held Saturday, October 4 from 11AM to 7PM and Sunday, October 5 noon-6PM at The North Bethesda Marriott Convention Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Admission is $8 for a single day and $15 for both days.

For further information on the artists or to request an interview, please contact Warren Bernard at webernard@spxpo.com.

SPX, a non-profit organization, brings together more than 300 artists and publishers to meet their readers, booksellers and distributors each year. Graphic novels, political cartoon books and alternative comics will all be on display and for sale by their authors and illustrators. A series of panel discussions will also be held of interest to readers, academicians and creators of graphic novels and political cartoons.

SPX culminates with the presentation of the 12th Annual Ignatz Awards for outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning that will occur Saturday night, October 4. The Ignatz is the first Festival Prize in the US comic book industry, with winners chosen by balloting during the SPX.

As in previous years, all profits from the SPX will go to support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), protecting the First Amendment rights of comic book readers and professionals. For more information on the CBLDF, go to their website at


Founded in 1994, SPX is North America's premier alternative comic-book and graphic novel festival. This annual event brings together comic creators, publishers and fans together to celebrate the art of visual storytelling.

Steve Dillon at Beyond Comics in Frederick, MD

In my opinion, if you want to see Dillon, this would be the place to do so, as I'm guessing he'll be busy in Baltimore!

Acclaimed artist Steve Dillon (Preacher, Wolverine, Punisher) will be hosted by a number of ComicsPRO member stores from September 22–October 1, 2008. Dillon’s tour is done in conjunction with The Hero Initiative, and Hero benefit events will be featured at each stop. ComicsPRO is the trade association for comics specialty retailers, and The Hero Initiative is the charitable organization dedicated to helping comic creators in financial need.

The tour coincides with the artist’s visit to the United States for the Baltimore Comic-Con on September 27-28. Store stops include:


Thursday, September 25th 6PM-9PM
5632 Buckeystown Pike
Frederick, MD
Event: A pub night in honor of Steve will be held, with donated items offered by Beyond Comics as well.


“I’m looking forward to a fun and productive trip, which helps out The Hero Initiative all at the same time.” said Steve Dillon. “A splendid time is guaranteed for all.”

“ComicsPRO is happy to welcome artist Steve Dillon into a number of our member stores, especially for such a good cause as The Hero Initiative,” said Joe Field, ComicsPRO president.
And be on the lookout: ComicsPRO and The Hero Initiative will be hosting another fundraising tour with Jimmy Palmiotti and Darwyn Cooke in the first quarter of 2009. Exact schedule to be announced.

Monday, September 22, 2008

New acquistions of Michigan State's Comic Art Collection

Randy Scott, the librarian at Michigan State University's Comic Art Collection, puts online new catalogue records and new acquisitions for the collection so that a Google* search will find them (as opposed to them being buried in the dark web of the Library's catalogue). He's updated his list with new material from February through September. I find it interesting to stroll through and go "Never heard of that. Hmmm. Got that. Hmmm. Who'd want that? Hmmm...."

In February alone, we find some items of interest. Here's one by a friend of mine that Randy beat me out on when we were visiting Big Planet Comics Vienna:

Un Mode de Transport / Brian Biggs. -- Rodez : Editions de
Rouergue, 2004. -- 32 p. : all col. ill. ; 22 cm. --
(Touzazimute ; no. 18) -- A children's book. -- Call no.:
PN6727.B46M6 2004

and one from the M. Rhode clipping service, now safely filed under "pigs":

"At Least He's Not a Chauvinist"* (Postage Stamp Funnies, Jan.
10, 2008) / Shannon Wheeler. -- Summary: A woman is dating
a pig. -- Clipped from The Onion, A.V. section (Washington,
D.C.) -- Call no.: PN6726 f.B55 "pigs"

Something to make one wonder. I'll have to pull out Rob Weiner's Marvel bibliography to see what this really is:

Break the Chain! -- New York : Marvel Music, 1994- . -- ill. ;
26 cm. -- Vol. 1, no. 1 accompanied by a music cassette. --
LIBRARY HAS: v. 1, no. 1. -- Call no.: PN6728.6.M3B72

A Zapiro collection for those following the current South African controversy:

Take Two Veg and Call Me in the Morning : Cartoons from Mail &
guardian, Sunday times and Independent Newspapers / Zapiro.
-- Auckland Park, South Africa : Jacana Media, 2007. -- 160
p. : chiefly ill. ; 20 x 24 cm. -- Call no.: DT1975.Z37T3

March's listing includes a bunch of comics that the DC Conspiracy donated.

And look what snuck in and was catalogued in September:

"This Hole Would Be More Interesting if it had a Windmill, a
Lava Pit and a Giant Robot with a Baseball Bat"* (Cul de
Sac, Aug. 28, 2008) / Richard Thompson. -- Call no.: PN6726
f.B55 "miniature golf"

and this:

Film & TV Adaptations of Comics / Michael Rhode & Manfred
Vogel. -- 2007 ed. -- Arlington, Va. : through Lulu.com,
2007. -- 149 p. ; 23 cm. -- Contents: Adaptations ; Live
action adapations from animation ; Films and TV shows with
superhero themes but not based on comic books ;
Cartoonist's appearances & work in movies and television ;
Documentaries & promotions ; Sources & bibliography ;
Index. -- Call no.: PN1995.9.C36R47 2007

Boy, I've got to visit there one day. In the meantime, I encourage all my readers to send their unwanted comic books, clipped strips, tearsheets about comics articles and the like to:

Randy Scott
MSU Libraries
East Lansing, MI 48824-1048

*I'm sure any search engine will work as well, but MSU uses Google to search all of its websites.

A couple of postcards

I had a truncated look at some paper ephemera while at the Farmer's Market this weekend and bought two postcards.

Carr - 4th of July

The first is by Gene Carr, who did various comic strips, as well as postcards. This one is 4th of July.

Aint' my flag a beaut

The second is Ain't My Flag A Beaut! postcard, a caricature of Old Man Winter or Jack Frost holding an American flag based on Robert Peary's trip to the North Pole in 1909.

Click through either one to see a larger version.

National Book Festival, Library of Congress and Small Press Expo news

Librarian Sara Duke's sent in some schedule information.

National Book Festival, September 27th, on the Mall

Neil Gaiman
Teens & Children Pavilion

11:45-12:15 pm
Book Signing

1-3 pm

For more than 20 years, Neil Gaiman has been a top writer of modern comics and a best-selling novelist. His work has appeared in translation in more than 19 countries, and nearly all of his novels, graphic and otherwise, have been optioned for films. He was the creator-writer of the monthly cult DC Comics series Sandman, which won many awards, including a World Fantasy Award. He is the author of the critically acclaimed American Gods, awarded the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, SFX and Locus awards, and his novel Stardust was a winner of the American Library Association’s Alex Award as one of 2000’s top 10 adult novels for young adults. His children’s books include the international best-selling novel Coraline (2002), a winner of the Bram Stoker Award and the Hugo Award. His latest novel for young readers is The Graveyard Book (HarperCollins, September 2008). He lives near Minneapolis.

Brad Meltzer
Fiction & Mystery Pavilion

11:10-11:40 am
Book Signing

12:30-1:30 pm

Brad Meltzer earned credit from Columbia Law School for writing his first book, The Tenth Justice (1997), the first in a line of New York Times best-sellers. His books have a total of almost 3 million copies in print and have been translated into more than a dozen languages. His latest thriller is The Book of Lies (Grand Central, September 2008). He is also the author of the critically acclaimed comic book Identity Crisis and the first author to ever reach the No. 1 spot on both the New York Times and the Diamond comic book best-seller lists simultaneously. He lives in Miami.

Small Press Expo overflow:

Oct. 3: Lynda Barry & Tom Tomorrow at Politics & Prose.

Small Press Expo:

Georgia Higley & Sara Duke will be manning a Library of Congress table at SPX. This is your chance to donate a copy of your comic book to the Library! (If you see me, you can give me one to give to Michigan State University's Comic Art Collection too).

Late posting of Baltimore Comic-Con guest PR

There's a few cancellations, so I rescued this from my list of 11,141 unread emails (seriously).


Baltimore, Maryland - September 15, 2008 - The countdown has begun! In just under two weeks, the 9th annual Baltimore Comic-Con kicks off, starting Saturday, September 27th! Do you have your tickets yet?

We've spent the past few months telling you about our guests, exclusives, vendors, and exhibitors, and we're not done yet!

We've announced guests from all walks of the industry already, including stars such as Brian Michael Bendis, Jeff Kinney, Jim Lee, Bernie Wrightson, Tim Sale, Darwyn Cooke, Mike Mignola, Steve Dillon, Guy Davis, and Geoff Johns, just to name a handful.

We regret to announce a few cancellations: David Finch (whose wife is having a baby), Gene Colan (back problems), John Romita Sr. (conflict), and Mike Grell (conflict) are unable to attend this year.

But don't despair! The Baltimore Comic-Con is proud to welcome Mike McKone (Fantastic Four, Green Lantern), C.B.Cebulski (X-Men: Divided We Stand, Avengers Fairy Tales), Dan Slott (Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers: The Initiative), Tom Brevoort (Marvel Comics editor), Walt Simonson (Thor, Fantastic Four), Bernard Chang (Wonder Woman, The Rules of The Game), Sean Chen (Iron Man, Salvation Run), Mike Hawthorne (Salem, American Splendor), Paul Storrie (Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, Star Trek: Aliens), Nelson Blake II (G.I. Joe, The Ride), Jamal Igle (Superman's Reign, Supergirl), Greg LaRocque (Power Man and Iron Fist, Marvel Team-Up), Afua Richardson (Pilot Season: Genius), Richard Starkings (Elephantmen), Andy MacDonald (NYC Mech), and Allison Sohn (Star Wars trading card artist).

"What an unbelievable group!" beamed show promoter Marc Nathan. "Mike McKone will be over from England for his first trip to our show. It's always great to have Walt, Bernard, Sean, Paul, Mike, Andy, and the Marvel gang in as well. We'll see some more new faces in Nelson, Afua, and Jamal (who had to cancel last year), and Greg and Allison are back too! Where are we going to put them all?!"

Jim Lee, the Baltimore Orioles, and Baltimore Comic-Con Team-Up

Jim Lee, the Baltimore Orioles, and Baltimore Comic-Con Team-Up

Baltimore, Maryland - September 19, 2008 - Comic book super star, Jim Lee, will help kick off the 9th annual Baltimore Comic-Con at Oriole Park at Camden Yards Friday, September 26th. Jim will throw out the first pitch before the Orioles meet the Toronto Blue Jays and then sign autograghs for fans at the ballpark to help awareness for the weekend convention next door.

"We know how well he can draw Batman -- let's see if he can throw a strike," promoter Marc Nathan said.

Fans for the convention can witness this themselves, as the Orioles are offering a discounted group rate for visitors coming into town for the Baltimore Comic-Con. Tickets begin as low at $8 for both Friday and Saturday nights' games.

On Friday night, the game will begin at 7:05pm, so fans who wish to see Jim deliver that first pitch should be in their seats 20 minutes ahead of time, at 6:45pm.

"The Orioles recognize how many people come to our event downtown," continued Marc, "and they wanted to enhance everyone's experience. All you have to do is mention that you are with the Baltimore Comic-Con group, and the discounts will apply. They have also made an easy-to-fill-out form to help chose which kind of seat you prefer."

Please go to Gate "H", the Orioles Main Box Office, to present your completed form. See our website for more details about the event and the show, and for copies of the form - http://www.baltimorecomiccon.com/.

There will be fireworks at the end of Friday's game to celebrate the weekend.

Baltimore Comic-Con Announces 2008 Exclusives!

Baltimore Comic-Con Announces 2008 Exclusives!

Baltimore, Maryland - September 20, 2008 - As we get closer to the show, we are proud to announce this years set of Baltimore Comic-Con show exclusives! Our selection has grown from previous years, and we are sure everybody can find something to love!

The Baltimore Comic-Con, held at the Baltimore Convention Center on September 27-28, 2008, is offering 7 show exclusives this year from Aspen, Marvel, PopFun, Top Cow, and 3 Finger Prints.

"This is beautiful stuff," said show promoter Marc Nathan. "We've just finalized details on a few of these items, and we're really proud to be able to offer them to attendees this year. The Jim Lee Batman Toon Tumbler looks gorgeous, and the exclusive covers are all spectacular."

Show exclusives will be sold at a dedicated booth this year. Items are available while supplies last, and overall quantities and availability will vary by provider.

The details on the exclusives this year are as follows:

* Aspen - Michael Turner variant cover for Fathom #2.
* Marvel
o Frank Cho Secret Invasion #6 variant cover
o Mike Wieringo HERO Initiative: Marvel Apes cover
o John Romita, Jr. U.S. Exclusive Amazing Spider-Man #568 variant cover
* PopFun - Exclusive Batman Toon Tumbler
* Top Cow - David Finch Dragon Prince #1 Baltimore Comic-Con variant cover
* 3 Finger Prints - The 3 Geeks: Can Anyone Stop the Slab Madness?! variant cover

For details on show exclusives, please visit http://www.comicon.com/baltimore/exclusives.htm. Further information on the show, guests, exhibitors, retailers, Artist's Alley, and more can be found on our website or our MySpace page.

Date Correction for 2009!
We had an error in our previously-announced show date for 2009. Next year's 10th anniversary show will be held on October 10-11, 2009. (Re-)Mark your calendars!


By John Judy

ABSOLUTE RONIN HC written and illustrated by pre-psychotic Frank Miller. It’s awesome! The savage six-issue story of a psychokinetic, cyborg samurai, first published in 1983 back when Miller was only 26. What happened? Oh yeah….

ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN #10-B by Frank Miller and Jim Lee. Well it took ‘em two weeks but they finally got enough soap to wash out Frank Miller’s mouth. What a (redacted)!

AVENGERS INITIATIVE #17 by Dan Slott, Christos Gage and Stefano Caselli. The Skrulls get their big green heinies handed to them by the good ol’ U.S. Avengers!

BACK TO BROOKLYN #1 of 5 by Garth Ennis and Jimmy Palmiotti. How would you kill every crime crew in Brooklyn if you absolutely had to? This is a PUNISHER story so gruesome Marvel wouldn’t publish it. Recommended but not for kids or before meals.

BLACK PANTHER #41 by Jason Aaron and Jefte Palo. The Skrulls have T’Challa right where he wants them. Time to serve it up Wakanda-style!

CAPTAIN AMERICA #42 by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. The Red Skull just can’t get good help these days. It’s an on-going problem when the only people who will work for you are drug-addled white supremacists and Scientists who are, technically, well y’know “Mad.” Anyway, the adventures of Bucky America continue to entertain. Recommended.

DAREDEVIL #111 by Ed Brubaker and Clay Mann. In which we meet Lady Bullseye and it’s a lot less horrible than that sounds. Also Matt does something so wrong it’s right. Good stuff.

FANTASTIC FOUR #560 by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch. Some time-travel business supposedly tied into the “death” of the Invisible Woman. Who even knew she was sick?!

HELLBOY: THE CROOKED MAN #3 of 3 by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben. In which we learn that hillbilly country is about the last place in the world where people are still dumb enough to sell their souls to the Devil. Do they not get “Twilight Zone” reruns up there?

HULK #6 by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness. Red Hulk! Green Hulk! Smash! Man, this thing writes itself!

IMMORTAL IRON FIST: ORSON RANDALL AND THE DEATH QUEEN OF CALIFORNIA #1 by Duane Swiercynski and Guiseppe Camuncoli. Yeah, I dated her… Recommended.

NEW AVENGERS #45 by Brian Michael Bendis and Jim Cheung. In which we learn what happened to the Secret Invasion Skrulls during the House of M. And possibly Heroes Reborn, Operation Galactic Storm and Atlantis Attacks. But not Countdown. IT NEVER HAPPENED!

NORTHLANDERS #10 by Brian Wood and Dean Ormston. A young boy gets to live his dream of watching Vikings destroy his hated hometown. A must for everyone who was ever The Last One Picked for Kickball. No, seriously, this series is a gem and you should give it a read. Highly recommended.

PREVIEWS by Marvel and Diamond Comics. Find what you want for the holidays here!

RUNAWAYS #2 by Terry Moore and Humberto Ramos. Karolina Dean like, gets totally blamed for like, eradicating a whole planet of aliens which she like, totally did not do! Duh, angry space people! I am totally flaming you on MySpace about this!

SOLOMON KANE #1 of 5 by Scott Allie and Mario Guevara. A really well-drawn revival of Robert E. Howard’s other famous pulp creation, a tough as nails 17th century Puritan who mows through evil like a pinch-faced terminator. Definitely worth a look.

SUPERMAN #680 by James Robinson and Renato Guedes. Krypto vs. Atlas! Arf!

THUNDERBOLTS #124 by Christos Gage and Fernando Blanco. The T-Bolts fight the Skrulls for control of Washington D.C. But where do they stand on flag-burning?! Ya remember flag-burning?! Ah the good old days…

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #126 by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen. Ultimate Spidey-Venom fights the Ultimates and tries to eat them. Big, hungry fight.

ULTIMATES 3 #5 of 5 by Jeph Loeb and Joe Madureira. In which we finally learn who killed the Scarlet Witch. Featuring robot duplicates and revolting plot points involving Quicksilver and SW engaging in the West Virginia State Sport. Yuck.

WOLVERINE: ROAR #1 by Duane Swiercynski and Mike Deodato. A stand-alone story about Wolverine and a vicious animal. But I repeat myself…

WOLVERINE ORIGINS #28 by Daniel Way and Mike Deodato. A story which firmly establishes Wolverine as a mass murderer of innocents and Professor X as a guy who looks the other way. Gee, now if only the X-Men can be ret-conned into Satanist pedophiles Mr. Way’s work will be complete.

X-MEN LEGACY #216 by Mike Carey and Phil Briones. Emma Frost psychically violates Professor X’s mind because she’s a twisted, sadistic witch. Pardon me. “Because it’s for his own good.” Pots and kettles all around! Hoo-ha!


Brad Melzer Chat at 3pm Today!

From our friends at The Washington Post:


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Comic bits in the NY Times

There are two good pieces in today's NY Times. Superhero fan Lethem returns from media purgatory in Maine and maps The Dark Knight onto American Politics in - "Art of Darkness," By JONATHAN LETHEM, New York Times September 21, 2008.

In a story that ties in locally, the Muppets are featured in the paper (much as they are in the Smithsonian for another month) in
"Fuzzy Renaissance,"
By BROOKS BARNES, New York Times September 21, 2008. I'm sure Barnes' story about Disney attempting to rejuvenate the characters is tied into the traveling exhibit - many of the video clips on the Times' website are the same ones running in the Smithsonian exhibit - and we're talking fifty year old commercials.

Mr. Trail comes to Washington

Following hot on the heels of the Family Circus, Mark Trail is visiting Washington to see the Smithsonian and meet with Christian Samper, the head of the Natural History Museum. Meanwhile, in Doonesbury, NPR host Mark Slackemeyer has a Library of Congress archivist on his show to talk about a new document she's acquired. Unfortunately last week the Post laid off reporter Rick Redfern... well, they offered him a buyout. Perhaps he can work for them on contract!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

That darn Toles, continued

Political Bias Seen, One Way or Another
Washington Post Saturday, September 20, 2008; Page A17

Ideally, a newspaper's cartoonist would show some degree of nonpartisanship and address topics with an even hand. Not so in the case of Tom Toles. He wears his Democratic Party hat almost every time he picks up his pen.

Once in a while it would be nice to see him sling a little mud in the other direction, let's say, maybe one out of five cartoons, or would that result in his being drummed out of the party?

-- Jack McIntyre


NY Times on Watchmen movie rights confusion again

I'm slow in getting the papers read this morning, but here's one article - "Battle Over ‘Watchmen’ Surrounds a Producer," By MICHAEL CIEPLY, New York Times September 20, 2008.

I must say I have no real interest in this movie, especially since the comic has apparently been used to make something close to a one-to-one adaptation. When I was younger, strict adaptations were appealing (and my young daughter has issues with the liberties taken with the Harry Potter movies), but the older I get, the more I feel that one should do something different.

GEM curator continues to discuss comics course

Arnold Blumberg, the curator at Geppi's Entertainment Museum, has another column online talking about designing his University of Maryland comics course. I mentioned the first and linked to it in this post.

Zadzooks on Star Wars video game

Zadzooks seems to be bouncing all over the Times lately so I keep missing it. Here's the latest which is videogame animation and the adaption into a comic book - "ZADZOOKS: Star Wars, The Force Unleashed review," Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times Monday, September 15, 2008.

Online is "Bennett's Best for the week of September 14," By Greg Bennett, Zadzooks blog September 18 2008 in which the Big Planet owner recommends two comics, one of which I've never heard of and the other is a cheap attempt to cash in on current events that DC should be commended for. Like Dell in the 1960s - give the people what they want, even if it is Gunsmoke adaptations!

Comic Riffs quotes Trudeau

Comic Riffs quotes Trudeau in "The Morning Line: "Doonesbury" Sings the Newspaper Blues," By Michael Cavna, September 16, 2008.

I read this earlier in the week, but the quotes didn't click until Brian Steinberg blogged about it in his Comics Examiner.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Derf's got a new book out and will be at SPX

One of the things I miss the most (besides Rob Ullman) from Creative (HAH!) Loafing's takeover of the City Paper is Derf's strip, The City. Here's an article about his new book - "DERF HOPES FOR A HIT WITH PUNK ROCK & TRAILER PARKS," Jennifer M. Contino, Comicon's The Pulse 09-18-2008.

Comic Riffs interviews animator

The Interview: HBO Animator Steve Dildarian, By Michael Cavna , Washington Post Comic Riffs blog September 19, 2008.

This was also published in September 21st's paper.

An embarrassingly positive Pekar review...

...sure Mike Everleth's in the book, but you can trust his opinion. He's only got five pages and the book's more than 200!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Favorite comic of the summer

I just read Guy Delisle's Burma Chronicles and enjoyed it immensely. This is the Canadian animator's third travelogue, and is his most polished yet. It's from Drawn and Quarterly.

Marc Singer on All-Star Superman #12

All-Star Batman's getting all the media attention this week due to last week's dirty words, but Marc Singer's got a lovely appreciation of Morrison and Quitely's All-Star Superman 12.

I'm glad to see that he's as puzzled about the final page as I am.

My only complaint about this series is that DC released half of it as a collection. I hate collections of halves of series. I bought it, but I hate halves.

OT: Dave Astor online on Friday

Dave Astor of Editor and Publisher, who I've swapped a few tips with, and who kindly points people here, will be interviewed online at 8:15 am on Friday at Ray Hanania's site.

Ted Rall's political animation

Ted Rall, whose hard-hitting and vicious cartoons are sadly missing from the City Paper, sent in this press release today. Rall will be at SPX next month, as he usually is, and I've bought his books from him regularly there. I'm not all that keen on political animation for some reason, but I understand the need to keep current.


September 18, 2008 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Outrageous political cartoonist Ted Rall has released his first animated editorial cartoon. "President Obama's First Day," which depicts the Democratic hopeful taking the oath of office, dumping billions of dollars out of an airplane, and shooting rays of sweet, sweet love at the Taliban, is available at YouTube and at Rall's website, tedrall.com.

Rall wrote, drew and designed the characters for "President Obama's First Day," a tongue-firmly-in-cheek look at liberal Democrats' fantasies of how an Obama Administration would instantly change things for the better. The video can be seen at the following YouTube link:


The animation was done by David Essman (see biography below).

"There are some great Flash-based edittoons out there, but they take a different approach than I do. I see each animated cartoon as a skit, as a mini TV show," Rall said. "I hope people enjoy watching 'Obama's First Day' as much as David and I enjoyed making it."

Rall and Essman plan to continue releasing Web-based animated cartoons.


Ted Rall, 45, is President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. A nationally-syndicated editorial cartoonist for Universal Press Syndicate, Rall's cartoons have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Village Voice, Los Angeles Times, Time, Newsweek and more than 200 other publications. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1996, and twice won first place in the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards.

David Essman is a 22 year old animator, currently studying at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His films have been screened across the country at film festivals including San Francisco Shorts, Animation Block Party, and the St. Louis International Film Festival.

Contact: Ted Rall, ted@rall.com

Oliphant and the Pentecostals continued

In a post with a lot of comments, Alan Gardner quoted my earlier post on this and linked to a letter to the Post from a Pentecostal minister: Pastor Bernard's Response to Washington Post Cartoon, Tuesday, September 16th, 2008.

Small Press Expo Announces its Slate of Discussion Panels for SPX 2008

Bill Kartalopoulos has set up a rich set of programs for SPX. These all look good, darn it.

I appear to be interviewing Our Man Thompson, probably on Sunday I'm told. I've started the pre-interview and can confidently report that his favorite desserts are "either a canoli or Amy's cherry pie." Look for detailed discussions about our children still to come. If one has any questions one wants answered, let me know.

Small Press Expo Announces its Slate of Discussion Panels for SPX 2008

For Immediate Release
Contact: Warren Bernard
Phone: 301-537-4615

Bethesda, Maryland; September 18, 2008 – Small Press Expo (SPX) 2008 announces its slate of panels, creator Q&As and Spotlight sessions for SPX 2008. This year we feature Joost Swarte, Ben Katchor and Richard Thompson in one on one interview’s along with a diverse series of panels on all aspects of comics.

SPX will be held on Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5 at the North Bethesda Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, across form the White Flint Metro stop. Admission is $8 per day and $15 for both days.

For more information on SPX and the Ignatz Awards, please visit our web site at www.spxpo.com.

Below are the discussion panels for SPX 2008. See our web site above for times and locations of the panels.

Q+A and Spotlights

Joost Swarte Q+A

Joost Swarte has produced comics, illustrations, graphics and architectural designs that have made him a legend in his native Netherlands. His clear line-influenced avant-garde comics were introduced to American audiences in RAW and his illustrations have graced the covers and pages of The New Yorker. Cartoonist, teacher and editor Paul Karasik will moderate a special spotlight session with the artist.

Ben Katchor Spotlight

Ben Katchor has long chronicled the pleasures of urban decay and small-scale ambition in comic strips including Julius Knipl: Real Estate Photographer, Hotel and Farm, and The Cardboard Valise. He is also the author of the graphic novel The Jew of New York and has collaborated on theatrical productions with musicians Bang on a Can and Mark Mulcahy. Today he will present full-color strips from his monthly series in Metropolis Magazine and answer questions moderated by comics scholar Mike Wenthe.

Bryan Lee O’Malley Q+A

Bryan Lee O’Malley has gained an enormous audience as the author of the multi-volume “Scott Pilgrim” series, combining manga-influenced artwork with contemporary pop culture motifs to spin a bubblegum saga of youth’s modern pursuit of romance and rock. Comics critic Joe “Jog” McCulloch will lead the discussion.

James Kochalka in Conversation

Alt-comics perennial James Kochalka will reflect on his career to date in a wide-ranging conversation with Heidi MacDonald, covering his whimsically semi-autobiographical Magic Boy character, his online autobiographical comic strip American Elf, children’s comics, and, of course, Super F*ckers.

Richard Thompson Spotlight

Richard Thompson is an illustrator whose work has appeared in The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly and a cartoonist whose weekly strip Richard’s Poor Almanac appears in the Washington Post and whose daily strip Cul de Sac is syndicated nationally. In this special spotlight presentation Richard will discuss his work and career with comics scholar Mike Rhode.


CCS Workshop

Join faculty members Robyn Chapman and Alec Longstreth join CCS graduate Joseph Lambert for a presentation on The Center for Cartoon Studies' unique curriculum and a hands-on cartoon workshop. Robyn will present some of CCS's most successful classroom exercises, including a comic book revision of the classic fable, Tortoise and the Hare. Audience members will be invited to join in a cartooning exercise and make their own page of comics. No matter how much or little experience you have, you will leave this workshop having drawn a comics page!

Critics’ Roundtable

A panel of comics critics will consider crucial topics facing the art form and industry in a special roundtable session. Panelists will include Rob Clough, Gary Groth, Tim Hodler and Joe “Jog” McCulloch in a session moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos.

Cartooning in Collaboration/Collaboration in Cartooning

Co-moderators and mini-comics collaborators Isaac Cates and Mike Wenthe will lead this unique panel discussion on the challenges, problems, and pleasures of collaborative comics making. Panelists Becky Cloonan, Mike Dawson, Jim Ottaviani, Frank Santoro and Dash Shaw will discuss their varying experiences with the collaborative process.

The Page as Canvas

Alongside the word balloon, the formal device most closely associated with comics is the panel grid itself, the framework that provides structure and sequence to most comics pages. What happens when artists break the grid and use the page more broadly as a narrative canvas? What problems and opportunities does this approach present? Moderator Austin English will explore this topic with panelists Molly O’Connell, Juliacks, Jillian Tamaki, and Lauren Weinstein.

Background, Setting and Subject

Sometimes considered a separate element – and even a separate craft – in commercial comics, the rendering of background or setting is often itself a major subject in auteurial comics. Moderator Rob Clough will delve into this topic with panelists Kevin Huizenga, Jason Lutes and Ben Katchor.

Hergé and the Clear Line

In 1977 Joost Swarte coined the term “clear line” to describe the style employed by Tintin creator Hergé. Since then Swarte has been one of several artists to employ elements of that style to vastly different ends. Moderator Bill Kartalopoulos will narrate a slideshow presentation about the clear line style, followed by commentary and discussion by Jason Lutes, Swarte, and Kim Thompson.

The Kramers Ergot 7 Panel

One of the most hotly anticipated (and occasionally controversial) comics projects in recent years is Kramers Ergot 7, the forthcoming installment of the landmark contemporary comics anthology series, which offers contributing cartoonists the opportunity to produce new work at Little Nemo-scale in a deluxe full-color hardcover format. Moderator Bill Kartalopoulos will discuss the project with publisher Alvin Buenaventura and contributing artists including CF, Kevin Huizenga, Ben Katchor and Matthew Thurber.

Kim Thompson: Vingt Sur 20

Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thomspon presents "Vingt sur 20: French Comics from Goscinny to Satrapi," a slideshow lecture on the twenty men and women who, over a generation, redrew la bande dessinée française from a children's medium into le neuvième art.

Children’s and YA Comic Books

Comics were long considered a children’s medium before ambitious cartoonists began making comics for an adult audience. More recently, good work for children had nearly become an endangered species before a contemporary resurgence in comics for younger audiences. Panelists Frank Cammuso, Hope Larson, Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier will discuss issues related to making comics for children and young adults.

Small Press Publishers’ Roundtable

A group of small press comics publishers discuss the opportunities and challenges of publishing comics and reaching audiences today. Moderator Rob Clough will lead a discussion with publishers including Leon Avalino (Secret Acres), Alvin Buenaventura (Buenaventura Press), Randy Cheng (Bodega), and Dylan Williams (Sparkplug).