Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Comic Riffs on Stan Lee obituary cartoons

Two viral cartoons capture how we all feel about Stan Lee

New local fandom book - Tales from the DMV

I often... well, every other week... get a book promo in the mail. I'm way behind on reviewing them, but I've got good intentions.

I don't want to wait to mention this latest book:

TALES FROM THE DMV: The Origins of Comic Book Fandom in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia: True Tales of Carl Bridgers' Barbarian Book Shop, ... & the Yancy Street Gazette (Volume 1)

It's a self-published (through Amazon) history of local fandom and I see a lot of familiar faces and places just on the cover. There was no press release with it, and I hadn't heard anyone talking about it before, but I think it's probably of interest to the hardcore ComicsDC audience. Big Planet Comics in Bethesda has a couple of copies I'm told.

Here's the Amazon description:

Featuring over 500 pictures, TALES FROM THE DMV: THE ORIGINS OF COMIC FANDOM IN WASHINGTON D.C, MARYLAND, AND VIRGINIA showcases firsthand stories from comic book fans of the 1930s through the 1970s, who tell what it was like being a comic collector in the hobby's earliest days: the first comic book stores, the first conventions, and, best of all, the other fans. Be amazed as you read about the Muller brothers and Carl Bridgers and Ted White and Fred von Bernewitz buying comics off the stands in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Read about the first comic stores in the DMV: Central Books, which opened in D.C. in the 1940s and burned to the ground in the 1968 riots; Carl and Janice Bridgers' Barbarian Book Shop - which opened in 1969 and still operates today as the longest-surviving comic book store in the world; Geppi's Comic World, a chain of eight stores that began in 1974; and Joel Pollack's Big Planet Comics, which has been open for over thirty years. Coverage and pictures of all the early conventions in the DMV are provided as well: Gary Groth and Michael Catron's Metro Cons, Mark Feldman and John Taylor's Maryland Funnybook Festivals, and the University of Maryland's Minicons. Presented also is Bernie Wrightson's early life in Baltimore before he became a world-famous artist, with pictures of him from the early days along with an unedited interview from 1969 and over twenty pieces of his earliest art -- and this includes his very first published art ever, in addition to art he drew for THE BALTIMORE SUN in the 1960s, and the very first story he ever illustrated (the 12-page "Michael Clayton of Galvan" from NOZDROVIA #1), and that story is reprinted in its entirety for the first time. Just as amazing are the publications produced by DMV fans. While in junior high in Virginia, Gary Groth began his 15-issue run of FANTASTIC FANZINE (all issues pictured), and in its pages he gained the skills needed to eventually create THE COMICS JOURNAL, the world's most prestigious professional comic-related publication. Also presented are the complete cover galleries and fanzine careers of Mark Feldman (I'LL BE DAMNED) and Doug Fratz (COMICOLOGY) and the Yancy Street Gang (YANCY STREET GAZETTE), which consisted of Steve Zeigler; Jan Bertholf; and Amy, Jane, and John Hoecker - all of whom were in high school when they created the most popular Marvel fanzine of the 1960s and whose Marvel fan club ranked second in membership only to Marvel's own MMMS fan club at the time. Told here also are the spectacular visits by DMV fans Ted White and Fred von Bernewitz to the EC offices in the 1950s and the visit by Joel Pollack and Al Allenback to the Marvel offices in 1968 to pitch the idea of the first African-American super hero to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Their comic, created in 1968 and submitted to Marvel, is published in its entirety (17 pages) for the first time. Presented in this book also is the untold story of Hal and Jack Schuster, two kids from Maryland who formed Irjax Enterprises, a publishing empire and comic book distribution network. In addition, this book traces Steve Geppi's rise to prominence: from his beginnings in Baltimore to his time as a convention dealer and the opening of his first comic book store in 1974 and to the theft of his collection in 1977, and, most importantly, how he became a sub-distributor for the Schusters' Irjax Enterprises, whose company he eventually purchased and transformed into what is now Diamond Comic Distributors, the world's largest distributor of comic books. If that were not enough, the book concludes with a wild firsthand account of a group of Woodward High School students attending the premiere of STAR WARS on opening night at the Uptown Theater on May 25, 1977, an amazing, true story that shows how STAR WARS changed everything. All of these events happened in the DMV, but they are all events that had national significance and that changed the world of comic books and comic fandom forever.

Cavna's 10-best graphic novel list

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

NPR on Stan Lee

A Marvel Of A Man: Stan Lee Dead At 95

Editorial Cartoon by artleytoons

My cartoon with the Hemingwayesque title, "The Snowflake in the Rain." concerns the embarrassing conduct (surprise, surprise) by our extreme leader at the Armistice centenary commemoration (click on image for larger view).
    —Steven G. Artley, artleytoons

©2018 Steven G. Artley • artleytoons • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Post's Act Four on Stan Lee

Thank you, Stan Lee, for She-Hulk, a superhero who is beautiful when she's angry

Michael Uslan on Stan Lee for Smithsonian

A Letter to Stan Lee, Comic Book Legend, Written by One of His Biggest Fans

Movie producer and instructor Michael Uslan eulogizes his hero and mentor, whose superheroes taught him countless life lessons

Betancourt on Stan Lee

Stan Lee called his fans 'true believers.' But Stan the Man was the truest believer of all.

Monday, November 12, 2018

PR: Inaugural Issue of The Incredible Hulk Comic Book From 1962 to be Auctioned Thursday

A Silver Spring, MD auction house has sent out this press release. Local news!

Inaugural Issue of The Incredible Hulk to be Auctioned by Huggins & Scott


LOS ANGELES,  November 12, 2018 –A high-grade issue of The Incredible Hulk #1 from May 1962 will be auctioned by Huggins & Scott Auctions from November 2- November 15. Interested bidders may participate in the auction online.

This first issue is considered one of the most valuable and prestigious comics of the Silver Age. Marvel Comics published the inaugural issue of the Incredible Hulk in May 1962, which was part of an enormous resurgence of super-hero comics in the early 1960's. This comic book earned a Universal Grade of  8.5 from the leading comic book grader CGC.

The consignor read this 56-year old Hulk Comic once as a youth and kept it in storage since 1962. 
Well known to be a super tough comic to find in upper grades, this high-demand pivotal issue continues to show astonishing sale price increases, reaching a Fair Market Value of $175,000 in recent years for the few known examples that have been graded at the 8.5 level.

The popularity of the Incredible Hulk comic series led to Marvel Studio producing a superhero film The Incredible Hulk in 2008. The film starred Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/Hulk. Mark Ruffalo replaced Norton as the Hulk in the 2012 film The Avengers. Ruffalo reprised the Hulk role in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War.

The comic book is estimated to sell between $125,000 to $175,000.

Additional information on the comic book can be found at

About Huggins & Scott Auctions

Huggins and Scott, based in Silver Spring MD and founded in 2002, is a leading catalog auction company specializing in sports and Americana collectibles.  The company was founded by current president Bill Huggins, who has been in the collectibles business since 1976 when he opened his baseball card store. Specializing in vintage sports and non-sports cards, autographs, memorabilia, and a wide range of collectibles for every level of collector, Huggins and Scott runs four online Masterpiece Auctions per year.

The Post on the passing of Stan Lee

Stan Lee, creator of superheroes, dies at 95

Remembering Stan Lee, godfather to all Marvel superheroes
David Betancourt
Washington Post November 12 2018

Stan Lee became one of pop culture's greatest showmen — by making fans feel like part of the club

Washington Post Comic Riffs blog November 12 2018

'There will never be another Stan Lee': Comics world, celebrities mourn the legendary creator

A guide to Stan Lee's movie cameos, from 'X-Men' hot dog salesman to 'Deadpool' strip club DJ

Washington Post Comic Riffs blog November 12 2018

[He's also in Venom (2018) as a bystander walking his dog.]

Comic Riffs on Blitt's latest New Yorker cover

The New Yorker's cover is a tribute to the women and people of color elected to Congress

Washington Post Comic Riffs blog November 9 2018

RIP, Stan Lee.

RIP, Stan Lee.

Many years ago my not-yet-wife Cathy stood in line on a rainy day at Crown Books on K St NW in DC and got a book signed for me.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Editorial Cartoon by artleytoons

Meanwhile, back at the Border, an invasion ensues... (click on image for larger view).
    —Steven G. Artley, artleytoons

©2018 Steven G. Artley • artleytoons • ALL RIGHST RESERVED

Friday, November 09, 2018

Nora Krug author of the book Belonging

... Is speaking now at Politics and Prose Union Market. The book is about German identity after World War II.

Is XKCD's climate change comic the only one Congress can see?

So it's rumored. Check out @neurovagrant's Tweet:

Tonight: Nora Krug at Politics and Prose at Union Market

Nora Krug - Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home — in conversation with the Washington Post's Nora Krug — at Politics and Prose at Union Market

Like Art Spiegelman's Maus, Krug's graphic memoir centers on events she experienced at one remove, by inheritance—and that for that reason may have marked her all the more deeply. A member of the second generation of Germans born after World War II, Krug draws on letters, photos, flea-market artifacts, and archival materials for a powerful exploration of Heimat, the place that first forms us. Now an award-winning artist and member of the faculty of the Parsons School of Design, Krug researched her grandparents' role in the Third Reich, and her sifting of layers of history is as vital a story as what she discovered. Krug will be in conversation with Washington Post "Book World" writer and editor Nora Krug.


This event is free to attend with no reservation required. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis.
Click here for more information.

Politics and Prose at Union Market   1270 5th Street NE   Washington   DC    20008

Former Washingtonian Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa profiled in NYT

He Makes Archie Deep and Sabrina Dark. Meet Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

By Alexis Soloski

A version of this article appears in print on Nov. 11, 2018, on Page AR1 of the New York edition with the headline: Meet Archie's Best Pal, Roberto

Nov 16: Lights: Skin & Earth Signing!

NOV 16 Lights: Skin & Earth Signing!

· Hosted by Fantom Comics

In conjunction with LIGHTS' concept album SKIN & EARTH, the indie pop musician has published a comic based off of the album!

Come through to Fantom Comics to get a copy signed and meet LIGHTS at our store before they perform later at their concert at The Anthem!

  • Friday, November 16, 2018 at 12 PM – 2 PM

  • Fantom Comics
    2010 P St NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, District of Columbia 20036

The Post reviews the latest Grinch

You'd have to be a Scrooge to resist the new animated 'Grinch' [in print as Resisting this one would be sheer Scroogery].

Editorial Cartoon by artleytoons

My cartoon concerning what other Supreme Court choices might be available for our illustrious President 45. (click on image for larger view).
    —Steven G. Artley, artleytoons

©2018 Steven G. Artley • artleytoons • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Jarrett Krosoczka is at West End Library right now

He's speaking about his biography Hey, Kiddo.

Nov 17: Mohammad Sabaaneh in DC (RSVP required)

Mohammad Sabaaneh "Linocuts and History From Palestine"

Gallery Al-Quds invites you to the exhibition

Black and White / Thoughts in Cartoon

original linocuts by 

Mohammad Sabaaneh

Meet artist Mohammad Sabaaneh in conversation with

Robert  "Bro" Russell, Executive Director of Cartoonists Rights Network International

Reception, talk and book signing

Saturday November 17, 5-7 pm

Live Auction Saturday December 15, 3-5 pm!

Exhibition Dates: November 17-— December 15, 2018

Jerusalem Fund Gallery / Palestine Center, at 2425 Virginia Ave NW, in Foggy Bottom, DC.

RSVP: 202-338-1958 or

More information lifted from JWE's newsletter:

Mohammad's show features numbered pulls of 16 of his evocative linocut images, all of which he has produced only in very limited editions. It also features a large-scale giclee (high-quality) print of his iconic "History of Palestine" mural-- the same image that won an award at the recent conference of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

The Nov. 17 event starts with a reception, which will be followed by a discussion between Mohammad and Robert ("Bro") Russell, the director of the NoVa-based organization Cartoonists Rights Network International, for which Mohammad serves as a key Middle East Ambassador.

Mohammad Sabaaneh, as I'm sure you know, is the Ramallah-based cartoonist who's the lead political cartoonist for the Palestinian daily Al-Hayat al-Jadida. His book White and Black: Political Cartoons from Palestine was published by Just World Books last year to much acclaim.

While he maintains a hectic output of gripping images in his daily cartoon work, Mohammad has also been intent on developing his capacities as an artist in a range of different media-- as well as sharing his signature artwork with audiences around the world.

Last November, he was one of four high-achieving Palestinians from around the world who were brought to New York by the UN's Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People" to be honored in a ceremony at UN Headquarters that marked the 70th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

All the works being hung in the Jerusalem Fund Gallery's exhibition will be available for sale. The proceeds will be divided between the Palestine Center's humanitarian projects in Palestine, Just World Ed's educational projects here in North America, and the artist himself.

At the Nov. 17 event, the de-luxe new hardcover edition of White and Black will be debuted, and smaller giclee  prints of some of the images in it will also be available.

The exhibition, titled "Linocuts and History from Palestine" will continue until December 15, culminating in a fun, exciting live auction of any works remaining unsold.


New paper on webcomics archiving

Done by two local people, but unfortunately it's not free to read.

Panel Problems: Issues and Opportunities for Webcomics Archives
Megan Halsband, Stephanie Grimm
Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America
Volume 37, Number 2 | Fall 2018 pp. 119–140

Webcomics are an increasingly popular format for comic artists and creators that should be collected by libraries and archives to both complement and expand existing comics and artist collections. The unique nature of webcomics production requires that libraries and archives consider the ways in which these materials intersect with current collections. This article presents both the opportunities and challenges of collecting webcomics materials, situating the argument within the larger context of web archiving and evolving collection practices.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Editorial Cartoon by artleytoons

My cartoon. "Paradise Glossed" concerns Trumps claim he won huge in last night's midterm elections (click on image for larger view).
    —Steven G. Artley, artleytoons

©2018 Steven G. Artley • artleytoons • ALL RIGHST RESERVED

Book Review: Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka (updated)

by Mike Rhode

Jarrett Krosoczka is probably best known as the cartoonist for the Lunch Lady graphic novels for children. I hadn't run across his work before, but I was pleased to make his acquaintance with this book.

Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father and Dealth with Family Addiction (Scholastic Graphix, 2018; $25/$15) is definitely aimed at an older audience than his other books. The marketing material suggests a young adult audience, but I think it can enjoyably be read by adults as well. Krosoczka tells the story of his childhood and teen years, in a muted palette of browns and oranges. He was raised by his grandparents when his young mother mysteriously kept disappearing from his life. His father was never mentioned or featured in his life. Krosoczka tells his story chronologically, which keeps some suspense for anyone who hasn't read the promotional material or interviews.

He begins with his grandparents meeting and marrying and raising a family of five children after his grandfather Joe Krosoczka returned from World War II and convinced Shirley Olson to marry him. Joe began his own business making a particular piece for plumbing and seems to have been a success, but Shirley had difficult times with her children, especially Jarrett's mother, her daughter Leslie.

 Krosoczka recounts staying with his mother in a house that his grandfather provided for them, but she continues to shoplift and run around with less-than-admirable men, including two who come in one night covered in blood. His mother disappears after that and the preschooler moves in with his grandparents that raise him.

For the next few years (and chapters), Leslie pops in and out of his life, and as a young boy, after a trip to Disneyworld, his grandparents reveal that his mother is a drug addict and in jail. She's been addicted to heroin since she was a teenager. Eventually the teenage Jarrett uses his talent for cartooning to escape from working in the family factory, and reconnects with his long-missing father.

Throughout the book, his grandparents are presented as real people with some serious flaws revealed especially about his grandmother. However the author is adamant that they did give him a good life, and he has no regrets about the way things turned out.

Due to Krosoczka's cartooning ability, the story works as a graphic memoir. As a prose piece, it would be about 10 pages long. It held my attention, and I definitely felt for the young boy, so I would recommend this to people interested in memoirs. It was a National Book Finalist this year, and is available online and in most bookstores.


Krosoczka spoke about the book at DC's lovely West End Library on November 8, 2018 and took questions from his friend, children's book authority Mindy Thomas. Here are some pictures from the event.

Watercolor backgrounds for the line art
Grandfather Joe, Grandmother Shirley and young Jarrett

The photo is the complete stack of art for the book

Nov 17: Ed Brisson & Matt Rosenberg Uncanny X-Men signing!

Ed Brisson & Matt Rosenberg Uncanny X-Men signing!

Big Planet Comics of
426 Maple Ave E, Vienna, Virginia 22180

Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 2:30 PM – 3 PM
Big Planet Comics is happy to welcome the writers of the new Uncanny X-Men #1, Ed Brisson and Matt Rosenberg, for a whirlwind appearance on Saturday November 17!

Get your copies of Uncanny X-Men #1 signed, and ask them about the secrets of the X-Men universe.

Uncanny X-Men is a new ongoing series kicking off with a 10-part weekly epic. It starts with a mysterious and tragic disappearance, and then the X-Men are drawn into what might be... their final adventure?! X-Fan favorite writers Ed Brisson, Matt Rosenberg, and Kelly Thompson with all-star artists Mahmud Asrar, R.B. Silva, Yildiray Cinar, and Pere PĂ©rez join forces on this epic relaunch.

Comic Riffs talks to Bob Mankoff about his new cartoon licensing site

Esquire humor editor Bob Mankoff launches a site that he hopes will be the main destination for cartoons

Washington Post Comic Riffs blog November 7 2018

New York Times on Geppi donation to Library of Congress

G.I. Joe, Mickey Mouse and Captain America Walk Into … a Display

Heroes come to life at the Library of Congress this week by way of a major comics, toys and memorabilia collection.

Jamie Noguchi address racism on The Nib

My Chinese-American Aunts Voted For Trump

The racist GOP's base isn't faceless—it's people you know.

November 5th, 2018

Steve Geppi's collection goes on display at the Library of Congress

by Mike Rhode (more photographs here)

The Library of Congress put a small fraction of items from Steve Geppi's donation on display on Election Day. The timing was probably a coincidence, and not an attempt to remind Americans of their shared love for popular culture including icons Superman, G.I. Joe, Mickey Mouse, Captain America, and Popeye, that brings the country together and drives the economy.

As previously noted here throughout the summer, Geppi's Entertainment Museum (GEM) closed in Baltimore and the Library was offered a choice of items from it. Exhibit director David Mandel introduced Geppi at a press preview, noting "Steve has donated over 3,000 items from his personal collection of comic books and popular art, the largest donation of its kind in the Library's history. The multi-million dollar gift includes comic books, original art, photos, posters, newspapers, buttons, pins, badges and related materials."

"It is really an honor to donate this collection because quite frankly it belongs here," noted Geppi as began his remarks. He continued, "Going forward this is not a matter of me donating my collection, dropping it off and saying goodbye. I have plans to be involved going forward because who knows what evolves from this one event?" Geppi continually invoked nostalgia and childhood memories as the reason he collected, and that people visited his museum. "We don't know what triggers our memories. And yes, these comic books are valuable, but what the Library of Congress represents is the recognition and acceptance of them as fine art."

2018 is the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse, and Geppi owned the storyboards for the cartoon Plane Crazy. "These are the first drawings of Mickey Mouse. in 1927, Walt Disney was on a train with [animator] Ub Iwerks and Lindbergh had just crossed the Atlantic. Walt said, 'You know the whole world is plane crazy right now. We need to do a cartoon short.' Most people when asked what was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon say Steamboat Willie, but that was the first cartoon released. There were two before it. The first one was Plane Crazy. They chose to release Steamboat Willie first because talkies were coming out [and it had whistling and music].
The original art on display for another first appearance is of Captain America. "Martin Goodman, who owned Timely Comics, which is now Marvel Comics, said to Joe Simon, of Simon and Kirby, "Go draw me a character called Captain America." The inscription on the drawing reads, "Martin - Here's the character. I think he should have a kid buddy, or he'll just be talking to himself all the time. I'm working up a script. Send schedule. Regards, Joe." The original model for G.I. Joe, the first action figure is also included in the exhibit's Patriotism case.
When asked if there's anything he's hoping to find and donate in the future, Geppi said, "In comics and animation, things were thrown away. I doubt seriously that the original art or cover to Action Comics #1 exists, but every time we say that, we find something that no one thought existed. As they say, it's the thrill of the hunt. I think from the Library's perspective, it will encourage more people to donate material that they think belongs. In addition, it will probably spook more stuff out of attics and hopefully whatever ends up here will be the best of the best. I still have a few more secrets that I have yet to give."

Obviously the entire GEM display, a full museum with multiple galleries, couldn't be replicated in the Library. Initially, five small cases of material are on display in the historic Jefferson building, although Geppi repeatedly mentioned that a room would be forthcoming, presumably similar to the Bob Hope or Gershwin galleries. The cases are organized thematically by Patriotism, Early Comics Materials and Marketing, Mickey Mouse, Exploration, and About the Geppi Entertainment Museum. Early Comics features an 1818 comic magazine, The Idiot, or, Invisible Rambler as well as other nineteenth-century material including a printing block for the Yellow Kid, and oddly enough, boxes for Quick Mother's Oats and Kellogg's Rice Krispies which have no characters on them (and seem more appropriate for the National Museum of American History's food exhibit). Exploration has science fiction themes including a Superman Krypto-Raygun. About GEM ranges all over including a Captain Marvel Club code letter, a ticket to Woodstock, Pac-Man cereal, the packaging for McDonald's Star Trek Meal (1979), and a toy Beatles guitar.

At the conclusion of the press conference, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, the former Baltimore librarian who agreed to accepting Geppi's collection, stopped in and the two posed for pictures.

 The following is material that will not be on display including a Maud the Mule comic strip by Opper, a Cathy comic strip by Cathy Guisewite, Big Little Books, buttons and pins, and more pages from Mickey Mouse in Plane Crazy.