Showing posts with label Arlington. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arlington. Show all posts

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Jim Scancarelli, Arlington high school cartoonist

Yesterday, we reprinted a piece about Gasoline Alley cartoonist Jim Scancarelli being selected for Arlington's Wakefield High School's Hall of Fame. Today we present some of the cartoons he did for the school newspaper, again courtesy of the Alumni group which also sponsors scholarships.

The Signal, November 10, 1955
The Signal, November 21, 1955

The Signal, December 7, 1955

The Signal, February 9, 1956

The Signal, March 28, 1956

The Signal, May 17, 1956
The exhibit at Wakefield High School featuring the original art for Gus Todian's return to comics in Gasoline Alley.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Jim Scancarelli, Class of 1959 in Wakefield High School's Hall of Fame

Reprinted with permission from Warrior News, Fall 2017. For information on alumni from Wakefield High School (Arlington,VA) and the scholarship program, click here.

2017 Inductees into the Hall of Fame

Jim Scancarelli, Class of 1959

Provided by David Mitchell '65,
Hall of Fame Committee, Chair

Jim is a cartoonist who writes and draws the syndicated comic strip "Gasoline Alley". He is also a well-known and prize-winning bluegrass fiddler.

Jim's cartoon career started at Wakefield. The student newspaper and literary magazine of his era are filled with his drawings. The student newspaper featured a cartoon "Gus Todian", about a Wakefield custodian. Fifty years later, Jim revived Gus, the custodian at Wakefield, in "Gasoline Alley". During his time at Wakefield, Jim says "Comics were my escape ... The characters became my friends." He says he wasn't a good student and it was the work of several teachers who channeled his desire to draw and taught him the skills he needed to be successful.

From the November 10, 1955 Signal, Wakefield's Student Newspaper
Jim has been a freelance magazine illustrator, wrote and acted in radio programs, and was even the Art Director for "The Johnny Cash Show" in the early 1960s. Jim began his work on Gasoline Alley in 1986, and has collaborated on the Mutt and Jeff comic strip, as well.

From the December 7, 1955 Signal, Wakefield's Student Newspaper
His comic strip often has social and community meanings. Through his comic strip, he brought attention to the construction of the World War II Memorial and the National Museum of the United States Army. In 1988, he received the National Cartoonists Society's Story Comic Strip Award. As a bluegrass fiddler, he founded the Kilocycle Kowboys and was a prizewinner at the Old Fiddlers Convention. The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress has his fiddle recordings. He jokingly says "I've been playing the fiddle too long to be bad at it."

Jim donated the original boards for the Gasoline Alley Gus Todian strips he did in 2015 and they are on display at school.  Photo courtesy of  Conchita.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

More on the new Cul de Sac play by Amy Thompson and Encore Stage

by Mike Rhode

Yesterday, the Washington City Paper posted my interview with Amy Thompson and Sara Duke on the new Cul de Sac play coming to Encore Stage and Studio next month. They didn't use all of the photographs that Amy provided, or a couple of little bits from the interview, so we present them here for the world's rabid Cul de Sac fans.

Mike Rhode: Richard’s characters are children, but sometimes they are Peanuts-like children, wise beyond their years, as opposed to actual children. Having met people in his family, I can definitely see some of the sources for the strip. Amy, you neglected to mention that you’re often the model for the mom.

Amy Thompson: [laughing] Sometimes…

MR: Did you take inspiration from any previous strip adaptations like the Peanuts cartoon shows or Annie the musical?

AT: I don’t think they’re comparable in the same way. There’s You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, but that’s a musical and I knew I didn’t want to do this as a musical for children’s theater. If I was doing this for professionals who could sing and dance, I think it would make a great musical. This has a couple of random songs, but isn’t a musical. One thing that I did think about is a stage adaptation of Maurice Sendak called Really Rosie. It was based on The Sign on Rosie’s Door and The Nutshell Library. They took the words from Nutshell Library and had ready-made songs. He did it with Carole King and that was a Broadway show. They also did it as an animated special, and I researched it more and read the script and heard the cast recording. That had the same kind of resonance because the main character Rosie is a drama queen. It’s all about “me and you’re going to be part of my little show.” That was something that I thought about.

Sara Duke: I love the detail she put into this. The plates look right. Everything on their kitchen table is perfect.

MR: Could you see using older people in it?

AT: It could be played by people of any age. The main drawback would be that it is for a very large cast the way it’s written right now. You couldn’t do it with a professional theater because it would cost way too much money. It would have to be reworked.

MR: What are you plans for the play in the future?

AT: There are no plans. I hope to publish it. If everything goes well, I would like to approach somebody about publishing it so it could be done anywhere.

SD: The production team discussion about the toad zombies was really amusing and included: how do they move, what do their costumes look like, can they crawl on top of each other, how do they interact…?

MR: Did Richard ever draw them?

AT: He drew one. There was one picture of a toad zombie, and there was one picture later that his artist collaborator Stacy Curtis drew of a bunch of them. You don’t really know what happens with the toad zombies, so I got to make that up.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Comic Strip Hate in Arlington (contains morally-offensive images)

Randy Scott of Michigan State University's Comic Art Collection posts a list of material he's catalogued each week and I usually browse it on Friday evening.

This description caught my eye recently:

Buy Aryan : Boycott Jew Stores. -- Arlington, Va. : National Socialist White People's Party, 1973. -- 1 leaf : ill. ; 28 cm. -- A white supremacy leaflet describing the program of the political party, in comic strip format on one side and text on the verso. -- Call no.: HS2330.N39B8 1973

Yes, Virginia, Arlington had a headquarters for George Lincoln Rockwell's American Nazi party. Thanks to MSU, we can see this comic strip abuse of Uncle Sam in favor of ridiculous anti-Semitism. Thankfully, these days - 40 years later - Rockwell would be run out of Arlington on a rail. His former headquarters is now a coffee shop. As a corrective to these images, ComicsDC recommends a visit downtown to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, where one can see the consequences of rhetoric such as this. (We do of course recognize and support the First Amendment and Rockwell's right to speech like this, even as we despise his views).

ComicsDC comic strip hate

ComicsDC comic strip hate001

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Feiffer play onstage in Arlington

A revival of Jules Feiffer's dark play Little Murders opens tomorrow Friday January 13th (hmmm) and runs to Feb. 11 at Gunston Theatre Two, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington, 703-998-4555, .
and here's the Post's favorable preview:
Death and mayhem: Gadzooks! In 'Little Murders,' making dark comedy of exaggerated violence [online title: "Backstage: Death and mayhem in 'Little Murders'"
By Jessica Goldstein
Washington Post (January 11 2012)
online at


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Post editorializes in favor of cartoon dog mural

Arlington County's hounding of a dog-care business makes no sense
December 10, 2010

and in the print paper today. One of the website commentors notes that there is a back door to the store in the mural, with the name of the store painted over the door.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Arlington cartoonish dog mural, continued.

A few days ago, I mentioned a mural of dogs in Arlington, and the battle over whether it's advertising a business or brightening up the adjacent dog park. Today's Washington Examiner reveals that the artist is Mark Gutierrez. The story says "The mural looks just like her logo," [Zoning administrator] Artman explained. "If you consider that the Mercedes Benz or Lexis logo is not advertising, then I suppose Ms. Houghton is correct."

So let's check that out:

Here's the top of Wag More Dogs website:

Looks like the same artist to me. Whether or not the mural is advertising for the business around the corner? I have no opinion, except that even if it is, I'd rather look at a piece of art than a blank wall. Gutierrez's painting is at least fun.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sept 27: Animania Press Release.

CONTACT: Chris Wanamaker, 202 262 2083

FYE and DC Anime Club Present: Animania

FYE in Collaboration with DC Anime Club present Animania on Sunday September 27,2009 11am-4pm at FYE in Ballston Mall 4238 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA 22203.Activities such as Anime Trivia, Cosplay (Japanese term meaning costume play) contest and  anime screenings will take place during Animania.

Animainia is not only held at the ballston mall fye location but in FYE Stores all over the

US. This event is free and open to the public. Age range 13 and up.

For more information please contact FYE at (703) 528-6940 or dc anime club at

 202 262 2083.

About DC Anime Club: DCAC was established in 2003 to introduce and educate people in the Washington, DC area about East Asian culture, through viewing and discussion of Japanese animation (also known as anime) and Japanese comics (manga). DCAC is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization, contributions to DC Anime Club are tax deductible to the extent allowable under the law.

The club also works to provide a positive, alternative activity to the youth in the area by exposing them to foreign culture, encouraging artistic expression and creativity, and providing opportunities for participation in community activities and leadership.

In addition to our weekly meetings, the club holds an Annual Art Show, an Annual Costume fundraising event, and visits local schools to do presentations on anime. The club also works with the Smithsonian Freer Gallery and DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival on their anime screenings, and has helped locally promote performances for Japanese bands such as Puffy Ami Yumi and Pine am.

DC Anime Club was founded by Chris Wanamaker (President), Jules Chang (Vice President) and Craig Vaughn (Sgt in Arms) on Saturday June 5, 2003. We have a strong membership that continues to grow -- most of which are teenagers.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fantom Comics launches at Pentagon City!

Matthew Klokel has written in with some exciting news about Fantom Comics. Arlington will have a comic book store again.

He writes,

Fantom Comics was approached late August by the Pentagon City Mall about taking on a lease in their shopping center (their rep saw our Union Station shop and liked it).

·We’d had no immediate plans to open up another store, as Union Station is making record profits and we were taking the time to implement our new online ordering system, but a shot at Pentagon City was too cool to pass up.

·After several weeks of running the numbers and negotiating the lease, I signed the lease today.

·We’re scheduled to open on the 3rd floor of the Pentagon City Mall (next to the entrance to Nordstrom) on October 1st.

I've been going to Big Planet for 23 years and they treat me well, so I'm afraid I'm not going to switch stores, but I'll make a point of stopping in. Fantom definitely has a good store and good stock and I'm glad to see them sticking around. I find something to buy every time I go in.

I used to shop at Collector's Comic Shop in Paramus, NJ at a store in the Bergen Mall there since they opened in 1978. The whole family would go to the Mall on Friday nights, deposit Dad's check, have some dinner, walk around. Another mall, the Garden State Plaza, is now a megamall, but at the time they had a local bookstore that handled fanzines, and books like the Shadow (covered by Jim Steranko) and comics. Malls have gotten too homogeneous and need comics stores, I declare.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Feb 24: Clarendon Mardi Gras parade features Thompson figures

At 8 pm on February 24th, Sarah Palin and Obama puppets based on Richard's designs will be in the Clarendon (of Arlington, VA) Mardi Gras parade on Wilson Boulevard. Cool, huh? Last year was great fun.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

February 13-15: Katsucon 15 anime and manga festival

On February 13-15th, Katsucon 15 anime and manga festival is in Arlington's Crystal City at the Hyatt Regency. As of this writing, they have slightly less than 3,000 spaces open, or half what they started with, so get cracking! The cost appears to be $50.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New online comic story by Harvey Pekar and Rick Veitch

My book collecting interviews from twenty years of Harvey's career should be out in a couple of months. In the meantime, here's a new story - Exclusive: A New Comic by Harvey Pekar and Rick Veitch. At some point, I heard that Veitch's family was from around here, and there's a Veitch street that intersects Columbia Pike in Arlington.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Comics in Crystal Flight

Claire and I checked out Crystal City's answer to DC's pandas, donkeys and elephants today. Crystal Flight's a show of painted airplanes. Here's some more shots of Politico cartoonist Matt Wuerker's plane.


PBS had one that highlighted their animated kids shows.


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wuerker takes flight

Matt Wuerker, cartoonist of The Politico, has painted a plane sculpture for Crystal Flight, in Crystal City, Arlington.

The event, running through is described on Crystal City's webpage:

In Spring 2008, Crystal City will celebrate its long-standing connection to flight when 50 airplane statues (25 fighter jets and 25 vintage planes) land on the streets of Crystal City. Each Crystal Flight plane is sponsored by an area business, designed and decorated by talented local artists, and then placed throughout Crystal City beginning April 2008. Aimed to attract visitors from all over, this series showcases
Crystal City's integral relationship with the concept of "Flight," as illustrated by the proximity to Washington National Airport and the local presence of the United States Air Force, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and more. Come see the fun, the creative, the whimsy.

There's also a map to the statues on that page. Matt's plane is right outside the subway station.

Kjscrafts describes Matt's plane as "This is a fun plane statue with an Uncle Sam looking pilot added to it. It red and white stripes on the body of the plane. The tail has a star and the word Politico (the sponsor for this particular statue)."

Anyone know if these will be for sale after the event? Anyone got a picture of Matt's plane?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Local Arlington paper notes Zippy's visits

We had it first, thanks to my civic association's keen eyes, but here's the bigger picture, or at least more background - "Arlington Gets Zippy: A strange comic strip character has been making appearances in the diners of our fine county" by David Schultz, The Connection September 11, 2007.