Showing posts with label Art Hondros. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art Hondros. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

A chat with Art Hondros

by Matt Dembicki

Local comic artist Art Hondros, whose work occasionally graces the pages of the Washington Post Magazine and other local publications such as Magic Bullet, recently won a grant from the Montgomery County Arts Council to work on a graphic novel. Art agreed to a brief Q&A about the project and the process in competing for the grant. (He also drew exclusively for ComicsDC a nifty illustration related to the upcoming project.)

What can you tell us about the project you pitched?

I'll be doing an adaptation in graphic novel form, of a lost silent feature film from the 1920s about a pilot squadron in WWI.

What was the inspiration for it?

Like most ideas, it seemingly came out of nowhere. I was watching the Turner Classic Movies channel one night, and the late host, Robert Osborne, mentioned the film as it was tangentially related to another movie they were about to show. Archivists estimate that about 75% of all films made before 1930 are lost forever, with no known surviving copies in existence. This particular movie had two leads who went on to become pretty major stars in the subsequent decades, so I thought that was pretty intriguing too.

Is this the first time you applied for a grant? What made you think the project could be eligible? What do you think was key to winning it?
By Art Hondros, for ComicsDC

Yep, first time, and I feel pretty lucky. The aspect of reviving a lost sort of cultural humanity artifact in a different visual medium must have appealed to the Montgomery County Arts Council, I suppose. I have good source material to work from, including a novelization from the screenplay, and a cutting continuity, which is a sort of script, from a museum in L.A. I'd like to think the idea is somewhat original, or at least a different spin on how Hollywood tends to dredge up every cultural thing from the boomer and X'er years and rehash them as feature films nowadays. Plus, World War nostalgia seems big these days. The grant application is pretty involved, with lots of summarized answers and explanations, a timeline, and so forth. But if you give yourself lots of time before the deadline, it's a fair game.

How do your plan to distribute the book?

The grant will cover self-published printing costs. Small Press Expo in Bethesda and whichever other comic cons I can make it to will be good venues, as well as independent book and comics shops. Probably an online order option as well, but that part is a year away (per the grant agreement, I have until June 30, 2018 to complete the project).

Can you talk briefly about your creative process for this project, such as research, writing, drawing, etc.?

My plan is to read the material and thumbnail sketch in a small sketch book by chapters, then go to the inking.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

How one school created its annual Graphic Novelists Workshop

 by Matt Dembicki

Powhatan School in Boyce, Va., will host its 4th Graphic Novelists Workshop on Friday, March 3, from 12:30 to 4:30 pm. The workshop costs $25 per participant and is open to all students in grades 3rd through high school are invited to attend. Participating students will attend sessions with each of the presenting graphic novelists and have the opportunity to use what they have learned to create their own graphic novelette. Registration for the workshop is online at 

Presenting graphic novelists include Hobbes Holluck, Carolyn Belefski and Art Hondros.

Below, we chatted with Tracie Chloel Lane, library media specialist at Powhatan, who has spearheaded the annual workshop.

How did the idea for these comics workshops originate?

Several years ago, one of my students came across Trickster, and bought a copy for our library. The donation was quickly followed with a “Ms. Lane, you should get this guy to come visit our school.” Engaging my investigative skills, I logged into Facebook, and typed Matt Dembicki into the search feature, thus beginning my side job stalking graphic novelists and authors so I could lure them to our school. The resulting author visit ignited our students. Our graphic novel collection was born. And an idea formed. The following year, we invited Matt back and asked him to bring a couple friends. It was our first Graphic Novelist Workshop @ Powhatan School.
 Tracie Chloel Lane

The workshop format is really great for the participants. Author visits are wonderful. They give students the opportunity to meet and learn about the authors of the books they read and love. A workshop takes that visit to a deeper level. It gives young people the opportunity to learn from people who are writing the stories that feed their brains and fires up their imaginations. The workshop gives them the opportunity to see themselves as the writer, the illustrator, the creator of books. It demystifies the experience of having a byline on the cover of a book. It gives our children and teens the opportunity to see themselves in that role.

Our Graphic Novelist Workshops spawned our writing workshops that take place in the fall.

What’s been the reaction among the students, teachers, parents?

This is the fourth year we have hosted the Graphic Novelist workshop at Powhatan School. Every year, we have more students and alumni coming than the year before. Several of our students have produced their own graphic novels. One of our young novelists has gone on to sell his work and another is heading off to Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall to study Communication Arts. Our parents and teachers love anything that gets kids reading more, writing more, and enthusiastic about the process.

You always look for ways to add a new spin to the program. Can you briefly outline what you’ve done in the past and your ideas for the upcoming program in March?

Art by Carolyn Belefski
Our base group of participants come every year. A new spin on the workshop is essential. Our participants want to build on the skills and knowledge they’ve gained. We host different novelists each year. The novelists are active participants in determining what skill will be shared and how it will be taught. We coordinate this through a private Facebook group that gives current and previous presenting novelists and editors the opportunity to communicate ideas and experiences with each other. That helps mix things up a bit.

This year, I want to take it a step farther. I want to publish a collection of the works of the children and teens that participate in the workshop. To facilitate this goal, we’ve invited a former editor of the Magic Bullet to participate this year.

If other teachers and librarians might be interested in adapted a similar program at their school or library, what advice would you give them on how to get started?

First, they need a Matt. Matt helps me find the up-and-coming (and already there) graphic novelists and editors that I invite to our workshop each year. Visit another graphic novelist workshop. Our program is open to our students and the community at large. Visiting teachers and librarians are welcome at our Workshop (though I may put them to work).

What has been the most challenging part of the program?

Art by Hobbes Hillock
Funding. For the first three years we offered the workshop free or with a small fee for expenses. This year, funding has made it necessary to charge a $25 registration fee to cover the costs.

Friday, October 14, 2016

ReDistricted: 'Suffragist City'

There's a new installment of the serial online anthology ReDistricted featuring "Suffragist City" by local creators Tabitha Whissemore and Art Hondros.
Art by Art Hondros

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Part 2 of 'Terrible: Tsar Ivan IV'

Study Group Comics has published online the next chapter of Terrible: Tsar Ivan IV by local cartoonist Art Hondros and former Maryland writer/cartoonist Scott Mills.

Click here to read it.

First page from chapter 2

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hondros' Hometown of the 50 Foot Woman

Allison Hayes: The actress who got the FDA's attention … too late

A graphic tale of how Allison Hayes, star of the 1950s B-movie "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman," created a legacy with the FDA. Text and graphics by Art Hondros.

Washington Post Magazine (January 25 2015).

Monday, December 15, 2014

Art Hondros demonstrating on Capitol Hill

Art Hondros is demonstrating against gun violence in schools right now, on Capitol Hill. Swing by for a free copy of his comic book, if you prefer not to read his sandwich board.

Updated - here's more pictures of Art's anti-gun violence protest.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hondros changes career for comics

Local cartoonist Art Hondros is making a career change, ditching his job of more than 15 years at an iconic nonprofit scientific and educational institution in D.C. to focus more on making comics (He'll also work part time at a local hardware store). It's particularly gutsy for a 53-year-old man with a family. At the same time, Art's been garnering kudos for his work on various mini comics and submissions to the likes of Magic Bullet and the Washington Post. He's working with former Maryland writer/cartoonist Scott Mills on a webcomic/minicomic about Ivan the Terrible, and Art has also teamed with a local journalist on another project they are preparing to pitch to a publisher. Still, Art says he knows it won't necessarily be an easy transition. "I'll be living leaner by doing so. In other words, I don't expect my income to go back up right away by doing this," he tells ComicsDC.

In case you missed it, here's an interview with Art by ComicsDC editor Mike Rhode in the Washington City Paper last summer.

Courtesy of Art Honduras

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Oct. 17, 19: Hondros at Artisphere

Cartoonist Art Hondros is this week's resident artist at the D.C. Conspiracy's Comics Making Workshop at the Artisphere in Rosslyn, Va. He will be at the Works In Progress Gallery Oct. 17 from about 6:30-9:30 p.m. and on Oct. 19 from 1-4 p.m. Art has had a hot year, having self-published several comics, contributed a comic to the Washington Post Magazine, illustrated the cover to Magic Bullet #6 and most recently started working with former local cartoonist Scott Mills on an online comic about Ivan the Terrible.
A page from Hondros' Song of Sandy Hook

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Mills/Hondros team to tell a tale of a terrible tsar

Local cartoonist Art Hondros has teamed with cartoonist/writer Scott Mills (a former Marylander) on a historical comic about tsar Ivan Vasilyevich, aka Ivan the Terrible. "In an effort to combine my love of Russian history and old Gold Key comics I’ve joined forces with artist Art Hondros to create Terrible: Tsar Ivan IV," Scott writes on the blog he created for the comic. The book will comprise 10 six-page chapters "detailing what I see as the most salient–or at least most interesting–aspects of history’s most notorious tsar." The first chapter is up online today, and Scott also posted some of Art's black-and-white drawings for the project. 

Image courtesy of Scott Mills/Art Hondros

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Art Hondros' Song of Sandy Hook part 1

Art Hondros, a local cartoonist based in Takoma Park, has just finished "Song of Sandy Hook," a comic strip on gun control. You may have seen his story "Fox Guy" in the Washing Post Magazine this March. He also did the cover to the latest free Magic Bullet comic.

When asked why he's done a comic book about gun control, Art says, "During the holidays last winter, I tried to keep my focus on comics projects I had currently in the works, but my mind kept going back to what it must've been like in the halls and classrooms at Sandy Hook Elementary School on that wretched day. Finally I realized I couldn't work on anything else but what follows here. Call it a process of dealing with the collective grief of that news. But I also felt that, as an illustrative storyteller, I could attempt something, just one more thing besides voting to keep someone in or out of office, or donating money to a cause one might think useful. No matter how feeble it may turn out, "Song of Sandy Hook" is that attempt."

An interview with Art should be up later this week at the City Paper. He's also agreed to let ComicsDC run his strip as a webcomic, although you can buy a hard copy at the DC Conspiracy store, and the money will be donated to the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation.

Here's the cover and page 1 of Song of Sandy Hook