Sunday, June 24, 2018

From the Artleytoons Vault


From the Vault of Artleytoons

Spats between our biggest trade partner is nothing new. Though perhaps not as seismic as current rumblings, a particularly quarrelsome interaction between Canada and the U.S. was reflected in my 1987 cartoon, “Hoarse Traders” (click on image for larger view).

See more recent work by Steve Artley at Artleytoons



Thursday, June 21, 2018

PR: SPX 2018 Announces Special Guests


For Immediate Release

Contact: Eden Miller

 
Small Press Expo Announces Special Guests Roz Chast, Derf, Ellen Forney, Ron Wimberly, Anders Nilsen, Rina Ayuyang and Lawrence Lindell for SPX 2018
 
Bethesda, Maryland - June 21, 2018
 
Media Release - Small Press Expo is proud to announce the first group of Special Guests for SPX 2018. The festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 15-16, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center and will have over 650 creators, 280 exhibitor tables and 22 programming slots to introduce attendees to the amazing world of independent and small press comics. Additional Special Guests will be announced shortly.
 
SPX 2018 is honored to have the following creators as Special Guests to this year's show:
Roz Chast
Roz Chast is a long time cartoonist for The New Yorker who wrote and illustrated the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? from Bloomsbury. It won a National Book Critics Circle Award, a Kirkus Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent book is GOING INTO TOWN: A Love Letter to New York. She has published eight collections of her cartoons, illustrated several children's books and received honorary doctorates from the Pratt Institute and Dartmouth College. Photo courtesy of Bill Hayes.
Derf
Derf is the author of My Friend Dahmer (Abrams Comicarts, 2012), the haunting account of his teenage friendship at Revere High School with the future serial killer. It has been hailed as one of the finest graphic novels in recent memory by Slate, The Plain Dealer, Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Kirkus Reviews, Le Monde, El Mundo, The Guardian and many more. The film adaptation of My Friend Dahmer premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and played in cinemas in the US and abroad throughout 2017 and 2018.

SPX is honored to show a screening of My Friend Dahmer, after which Derf will talk about the book and movie.
Ellen Forney
Ellen Forney authored her 2012 graphic memoir, Marbles for which she was the 2012 recipient of The Stranger Genius Award for Literature as well as the winner of the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis 2013 Gradiva Award.

Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life is the eagerly awaited companion book to Forney's 2012 best-selling graphic memoir, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me.
Ron Wimberly
Ronald Wimberly is a cartoonist/designer. He's worked with The New Yorker, Dargaud, DC, Marvel, Image, Darkhorse and many others. He's exhibited his comics in New York, Tokyo, and Paris. Ronald was the 2016 Columbus Comics resident and two time resident cartoonist at Angoulême Maison des Auteurs.


Anders Nilsen
Anders Nilsen is the author of nine books including Big Questions, Don't Go Where I Can't Follow, Poetry is Useless and the forthcoming Tongues. His work has appeared in Kramer's Ergot, Mome, the New York Times and elsewhere and been translated widely overseas. Nilsen has garnered three Ignatz Awards and the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize.

Anders will be debuting the latest volume of his acclaimed series Tongues at SPX 2018.
Rina Ayuyang (Saturday Only)
Rina Ayuyang has been nominated for the Ignatz and Eisner Awards, and she was honored with a MoCCA Arts Festival Awards of Excellencez Silver Medal. Her comics have appeared in Mutha Magazine and The Comics Journal. She is also the publisher of the micro-comics imprint Yam Books. Her first book was Whirlwind Wonderland.

Rina Ayuyang's latest from Drawn & Quarterly, Blame This on the Boogie, is the true story of how Hollywood musicals got one person through school, depression, and the challenges of parenthood.
Joshua Cotter
Joshua W. Cotter is the author of Skyscrapers of the Midwest, Driven by Lemons and the Nod Away series. He lives in rural northwest Missouri with his wife, children, cats and an acute sense of impending mortality. They keep him making comics.

Joshua will be at SPX 2018 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the release of Skyscrapers of the Midwest from Adhouse Books.
Lawrence Lindell
Lawrence Lindell is a cartoonist, author and teacher from California. He created From Black Boy With Love, Hey, People of Color, Couldn't Afford Therapy, So I Made This and the webcomic The Section. When he's not drawing/writing comics, he is usually buying/reading them.

Small Press Expo (SPX) is the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comics, graphic novels, and alternative political cartoons. SPX is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings together more than 650 artists and publishers to meet their readers, booksellers, and distributors each year. Graphic novels, mini comics, and alternative comics will all be on display and for sale by their authors and illustrators. The expo includes a series of panel discussions and interviews with this year's guests.

The Ignatz Award is a festival prize held every year at SPX recognizing outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning, with the winners chosen by attendees at the show.

As in previous years, profits from the SPX will go to support the SPX Graphic Novel Gift Program, which funds graphic novel purchases for public and academic libraries, as well as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), which protects the First Amendment rights of comic book readers and professionals. For more information on the CBLDF, visit their website at http://www.cbldf.org. For more information on the Small Press Expo, please visit http://www.smallpressexpo.com.
Small Press Expo
P.O. Box 5704
Bethesda, Maryland
20824
STAY CONNECTED




Paul Merklein's 'exit interview'


by Mike Rhode

Paul Merklein wrote in to say that the cartooning course he's been teaching for Arlington County needs a new teacher because he's leaving the area for Wisconsin. I last interviewed Paul in 2015 - http://comicsdc.blogspot.com/2015/04/paul-merklein-dabney-and-dad_10.html (where the images seem to have broken - sorry!). With three cartoonists departing the area  in a month (Jason Axtell is also moving for family reasons, and Vanessa Bettancourt also did so recently), I suggested we do an 'exit interview' with Paul to ask about his plans for the future.

MR: Why are you moving?

PM: My family and I moved to Silver Spring in 2009, and we're moving back to Wisconsin for a variety of reasons that involve being closer to our family there.

MR: Are you continuing the Dabney and Dad strip after you move? Is Facebook still your distribution method for it?

PM: I consider Facebook to be the most effective platform to deliver your cartoons to your audience.  Newspapers and magazines are going the way of the dodo, and books might be right behind them.  That said, my first "Dabney and Dad" book should be published before the end of the year.  You can see my cartoons at https://www.facebook.com/dabneyanddad

MR: For the past few years, you taught cartooning in Arlington? What did that entail?

PM: I was hired to do two things I love to do - draw cartoons, and talk about cartooning.  My students were teens and tweens - some just beginners, and some who were already skilled.  I enjoyed the conversations and questions.  Many of the students have never read a newspaper, and only know cartoons from book collections.  "Calvin and Hobbes" is still incredibly popular.

MR: Is there anything in particular you'll miss about DC?

PM: I love the people in DC, our neighborhood in Silver Spring, crab shacks on the eastern shore, and more places than I can count.  We already miss Obama in the White House.

MR: What's your favorite cartoon-related memory or event or place?

PM: I met a lot of famous cartoonists at Comic Cons - Stan Lee, Jeff Smith (Bone), Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Frank Cho, Jules Feiffer, and Liza Donnelly and Sam Gross from The New Yorker.  I also met cartoon editors like Amy Lago, and Bob Mankoff and Emma Allen at The New Yorker.  They all said they liked my cartoons and wanted to see more.

I still enjoy writing and drawing cartoons, and I believe the digital world is an ideal place for them.  People's attention spans keep getting shorter, and cartoons are a perfect way to tell a very short story.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Arlington adult cartooning teaching job opening

Paul Merklien wrote in to point out that he's leaving the area and this job is becoming available. We'll have our first 'exit interview' with Paul soon.

TEACH CARTOONING THIS FALL

Attention all adult cartoonists in the DMV area!

Arlington Parks and Recreation is looking for a qualified and experienced  cartoonist to teach Cartooning this fall.

Do you draw cartoons?  Do you have experience teaching teen and tween students?

Hours and pay are flexible, and the job could not be better.  You get to talk about cartoons, draw cartoons and teach cartooning.  And get paid for it!

Contact Dawn Benedetto at 703-228-5922
email: dbenedetto@arlingtonva.us


Glen Weldon recommends Wallace the Brave

Comics Journal profiles Fantom Comics

Sara Duke discusses Steve Geppi's Museum donation to the Library of Congress


By Mike Rhode

Shortly after the announcement that Steve Geppi of Baltimore would be closing his Geppi’s Entertainment Museum in Baltimore and donating its holdings to the Library of Congress, I reached out to Library of Congress graphic arts curator Sara Duke (a personal friend of mine) for her thoughts on the donation.

MR: Whose idea was this donation? Did it come from the top down?

SD: My understanding is that Dr. Hayden and Steve Geppi have been long-term friends going back to her days at the Enoch Pratt library. The directive from inside the Library came from her, but the staff in the Prints and Photographs and Serials divisions were enthusiastic about the opportunity.

MR: Do you know what the offer consisted of originally? Was it the entire contents of the Geppi’s Entertainment Museum (GEM)?

SD: Yes, we were told that we could have whatever we wanted from the museum. We don’t collect many three-dimensional objects, even though we’re in the process of building three more storage modules at Fort Meade to store our book collection, but even with that we don’t have sufficient space to store objects properly. So the decision was made to be very selective about 3-D works of art, but to be inclusive of works of arts on paper, photographs, newsprint, comic books, Big Little Books, sheet music and even some recorded sound.


MR: How was material selected? Did each department in the Library handle its own specialty?

SD: Teams of people from the Prints & Photograph and Serials divisions went to Baltimore. We were provided with a spreadsheet from the Museum, probably created by an appraiser, and from the inventory list, we worked room by room deciding what was wanted, what was actually on the walls or in the cases but not on the inventory list, and trying to ascertain what would come to the Library. It took several trips to do that as you would imagine. We sat down as a team and we reached out to colleagues in other divisions about what they would and would not take. We created a list of desiderata to give to Mr. Geppi’s representatives.

MR: Was material that was not on display included as well?

SD: No.

MR: Where is some of the non-art or serial material such as the Big Little Books going?

SD: They’ll go to Rare Books. They already have a collection.
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MR: Are they taking all of them or cherry picking?

SD: I believe they’re cherry picking so they don’t create a duplicate set. But the Serials division decided they would be inclusive and make the Geppi comic book set the exhibit-only set, while the existing comics in the Library would be the reference collection that researchers could handle. It’s been a research collection, and people have been looking at them… it’s a double-edged sword. If we never let anybody look at them, they’d be pristine, but we’re a research institution and people are supposed to look at and handle things.
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MR: I’ve seen some lists of the donation in various press releases. What are the highlights for you or your department?


SD: There are memorable pieces like the nine-sheet Bambi poster. We have a few nine-sheet posters in our collection, some attached and some detached, but that’s in spectacular condition. I know we have the display space for it at the Library of Congress, but it’s never going to look like it did in Geppi’s Entertainment Museum. That makes me sad. It was an over-the-top lovely gem (pun intended) of a museum. What stood out to me beside that? There’s some great comic strip drawings, an overwhelming number of posters -- some of which may be duplicates of what we have, but without taking a photograph of every one on the wall and comparing them against our collection, we just don’t know, and we didn’t have time to do that. So we’re taking every single poster that was on the wall.

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And just because something wasn’t on the walls doesn’t mean it’s gone from the collection. Michael, the curator there, said he was forever moving art in and out. Between the times we went out during a snowstorm in March and then again in April, he had rotated things from the warehouse and the Museum.

MR: What does that mean for you guys? If you get to pick from the Museum, does that include the warehouse too?

SD: That has not yet been offered to us.

MR: When did this start? Obviously it would be a complex negotiation.

SD: Late last year, or very early this year. Mr. Geppi came to visit the Library two or three times last year. One time he saw the original art for Amazing Fantasy #15 (aka the first appearance of Spider-Man – MR). He came back down for a private conversation with Dr. Hayden and then we started talking about going up to Baltimore to figure out what it would mean as an institution to absorb his collection. For a lot of institutions, absorbing 3,300 items would be overwhelming but for us it’s routine.

MR: The material is going to be divided by divisions when stored in the Library?

SD: Right. There’s some pressed records that are quite rare that are going to Recorded Sound. There are some videogame sets that the Motion Pictures Division has expressed interest in. The Rare Book Division is in charge of the Big Little Books and maybe some of the early bound volumes. Prints & Photograph and Serials are the benefactors, overwhelmingly.

MR: Will there be a Geppi Collection, or is the material being integrated into existing material? Is there going to be an organizing principle so someone could rebuild the collection?

SD: That will depend, division by division. We’ll be sitting down to hammer out a plan, but Prints & Photographs will record the provenance to the nth degree and it will be known as the Stephen A. Geppi Collection of Comics and Graphic Arts.

MR: Is he giving you any money to catalog the material?

SD: No.

MR: Do you have any more personal favorites besides Bambi?

SD: It’s a sweet poster, but there’s some spectacular early Yellow Kid material, there’s some really great trading cards, some patches minor league baseball teams and a poster marketing them… What’s really intriguing in the ability with this acquisition to tell a story that you would think we could tell through copyright deposits, but cannot. Some of it is so ephemeral that I don’t think people thought to copyright it and some of it, more recent material, hasn’t been required to be deposited for copyright so we just didn’t acquire it. As an institution that has been so dependent on copyright deposit for its growth, until 1978 when the rules about what was required to be deposited changed, it’s really refreshing to have a popular culture collection come into the institution. It resets that type of collection and gives us what we’re lacking.

MR: I’ve heard that the Copyright department doesn’t necessarily keep a lot of what comes in…

SD: The majority of material sent in is reproductions, so if it’s not up to a standard that we consider acceptable, such as color photocopies, we are selective about what we acquire for the permanent collections. We want as original and as best an edition as we can possibly have. The changes in copyright law meant that people have copyright protection from the moment of creation so they no longer have to pay a fee to protect their interest and copyright, so we just don’t get the volume that we got 100 years ago.

MR: Did you take the Yellow Kid buttons?

SD: We’re intending to. We’re also getting the Mickey Mouse animation drawings for Plane Crazy, so sitting next to the ‘birth certificate’ for Spider-Man will now be the ‘birth certificate’ for Mickey Mouse and that’s a pretty enormous acquisition for the Library.

MR: The ones he donated to Mort Walker’s museum and then had to buy back when they auctioned them off to keep their doors open?

SD: It’s sad [when you consider] the number of cartoon museums that have closed in the last twenty years. Art Wood’s to Mort Walker’s to the Toonseum in Pittsburgh, and now Geppi. It’s a hard economy for something that’s so popular with America. It’s interesting that George Lucas is now opening an entertainment museum in California, but it seems like it’s a hard sell. Why is that? Is it that people of a certain income are willing to patronize fine art, but are not willing to patronize cartoon art? Is it just not enough of a draw to make people go back again and again? I certainly went to the Geppi Museum several times, and my son always had it on his required activity list for Baltimore. But apparently it wasn’t on enough people’s required activity list unfortunately. So who has benefited? It’s been larger repositories. 
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MR: My suspicion is that most mid-size cities have a comprehensive art museum, such as Indianapolis or Omaha, that covers 1000 years of art history without anyone thinking twice about it, but a standalone specialty museum probably always have more trouble than any other type. You can have a science, or natural history, or art museum and people can find enough different things to keep coming back for. When it’s a specialized museum that doesn’t change, or not as often, it probably affects attendance.

SD: For small museums, with small staffs, I think it’s hard to build programming to get people in the door consistently. And for all museums, they’ll never make more than 15% of their revenue in admission fees. They’re dependent on grants, memberships, special events, things like that.

MR: What else should I have asked about?

SD: What I try to make clear to everybody, is that while the Library is honored to have this collection, we are very saddened by the circumstances that led it to coming here. They did the right thing. The museum code of ethics says you don’t sell your collection, but you donate it to another institution. It’s a magnanimous gift. It really is. Quite frankly, it blows my socks off. We could never afford to buy or build this collection. People think the Library of Congress has bottomless pockets, but we don’t. We can’t afford to compete at auction for comic books and cartoon art and posters. We can buy selectively, but very few items come to us each year by purchase compared to what we get from gifts. This gift is amazing.

I think we can do it justice. There will be people that will resent that we can’t recreate GEM in its entirety and we can’t, but anybody with a reader’s card is welcome to come in and make use of the collection.

MR: There’s always going to be a difference between a museum, a library, and an archive, and no museum can put everything on display anyway.

SD: Right, and our exhibit space represents the wealth of the Library’s collections, so the graphic arts display is always going to be much smaller than GEM’s footprint. We will start exhibiting selections later this summer and we have every intention of creating a space in which comics and other works from the collection are featured prominently. It’s going to be very difficult to get it down to the Library. The Bambi and Ten Commandments posters are 90 x 90 inches. Finding physical room to store it and make it accessible to researchers is going to be challenging to say the least, but it’s a labor of love.

There were about 125 pieces of ‘original art’ – hand-drawn comic strips and animation cels – but we consider the posters and ephemera to be original art, so what’s coming to Prints & Photographs is probably equal to the number of comic books. It might not be equal in monetary value, and people would argue if it’s equal in historical value, but I make a case that it is. Monetary value aside, original art, posters and ephemera are equally important in understanding American popular culture. It’s a very, very generous gift and not one that we could replicate any other way.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Post talks to Incredibles 2's Dash

'Incredibles 2' is a super first acting job for 10-year-old

Huck Milner joins the cast of the animated sequel as Dash, the boy with lightning speed.


Washington Post June 19 2018, p. C6
online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/10-year-olds-acting-career-takes-off-with-incredibles-2/2018/06/18/610c0656-6802-11e8-bf8c-f9ed2e672adf_story.html

Comic Books May Be Shipping Later in the Day - Beyond Comics


This Week's Shipment Could Be Late!
UPS had problems and our shipment may not be ready until afternoon.
Please feel free to contact your store for updates.

Gaithersburg - (301) 216-0007

Frederick- (301) 668-8202

We will update our Facebook page as soon as we get them in.

Frederick gets their shipment earlier so they may be on time.