Showing posts with label Free Comic Book Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Free Comic Book Day. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Meet a local comics writer: A chat with Jaron Johnson

by Mike Rhode

This past weekend was Free Comic Book Day, and I swung by Victory Comics in Falls Church, VA. They've had cartoonists set up for the past few years, and I got to meet a few new people and ask them our standard questions. Jaron Johnson, a comic book writer, was giving out copies of his Centerpiece "an illustrated anthology of poems written between the ages of 17 and 19. Through these pieces of prose and imagery, Centerpiece tells the story of Nomad a young man just trying to find his way in the world."

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I am a comic author and filmmaker, so my creation spreads across a few spectrums. The comics I've written span several art styles, but our current project employs a fun and unique blend of hand-drawn elements superimposed over still photography.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination? 
My illustrator, the incredibly talented Clark Campbell, draws with pencil, pen, and paper. He scans this at a high resolution to maintain the texture of the medium, then uses digital image editing software to combine our characters with still photography.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born? 
I was born in Cambridge, Ohio, in January of 1994.
Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in? 
I moved to the NoVA area a year and a half ago to grow and learn and improve my life. I was feeling a bit trapped and enclosed within the three towns I grew up in. Life afforded me a window of opportunity, and I leapt through it.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning? 
I cannot draw to save my life. All of the art education, writing and filmmaking, has been learned in the field.

Who are your influences?
This current project, Centerpiece, is heavily inspired, visually, by Don Hertzfeldt's animations. He is a brilliant animator and independent filmmaker. My writing influences are largely Kevin Smith, Woody Allen, and Zach Braff.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change? 
I am honestly quite satisfied with the direction my art is heading. There have certainly been bumps along the road, but these are most often opportunities to learn. We should seize and embrace these failures, and define ourselves not by the failures themselves, but by what we learn from them.

What work are you best-known for? 
I am best known for my writing as a whole, i suppose, but mostly my film work with Clark. I have also made awful music, and I've begun publishing my alternative forms of art.

What work are you most proud of? 
I am absolutely most proud of Centerpiece. But this remains to be the case, that I am always most proud of my recent works, because I view them as improvements on prior work.

What would you like to do  or work on in the future? 
I have several larger budget films that I would love to do. I also have two ongoing comic scripts which I would love to see illustrated and distributed.

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block? 
Forcing a muse is nigh impossible, but if I've gone a long period of time and remained uninspired throughout, I will often exercise an internal rebel nature. I'll act recklessly for a while to remind myself of the power we all have, yet choose not to exercise each day. This is empowering and uplifting to me.

What do you think will be the future of your field?  
Tom DeLonge, who is an inspiration of mine, has been bridging several mediums of art together. He has spoken at length about how, with advances in technology, one can use the same computer to construct an award-winning album, edit together an action film, write a novel, and build a comic from the ground up. To illustrate that, he has since started creating multimedia projects. One fictional universe told through novels, comics, music - every form of art he has access to, he utilizes to tell a single story. I firmly believe this is the future of our artistic endeavors.

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them? 
I have actually never attended a con in my life. Not to sound cliche, but I have struggled greatly with anxiety since high school, and the prospect of being any level of spotlighted makes me uneasy to say the least. I am not opposed to the idea, of course. I imagine it is something I will have to learn to overcome in time.

What's your favorite thing about DC? 
I really love the wonderful blends of cultures here. Where I'm from, we mostly have farm culture and small-town culture. I have learned a vast amount about outside cultures since moving to the DC area, and every time I learn something new I just get giddy in my garter.

Least favorite?
Admittedly, the social atmosphere here is colder than I'm used to. I come from an area with a population beneath 2,000, so I am used to warm smiles and waving to each other, wishing one another a good morning or evening. Everybody here, before you really get to know them, has a tendency to kind of give you a cold stare and an absence of words. It makes me feel an awful lot like an outsider.

What monument or museum do like to take visitors to? 
The National Building Museum and The Lincoln Memorial are my two favorites, so that's usually where I take folks who come to see me.

How about a favorite local restaurant? 
Charbroil Grill in Woodbridge is a fantastic place, and I eat there frequently. However, my favorite place is 29 Diner in Fairfax. This hole-in-the-wall has the nicest staff you could ever meet, and they're open 24-7, which is convenient for me because I work the night shift. The owner is incredibly involved in the local community, and so it reminds me a bit of home. Its a slice of small-town living orbital to one of the busiest places in the nation.

Do you have a website or blog? 
Certainly! You can find more about all of the creative work I and my colleagues do at
We are also on Facebook, of course, at My personal Facebook page, where I talk about personal elements of my creative process, can be found at

Monday, May 05, 2014

Free Comic Book Day photos

Victory Comics in Falls Church:

Tangent cartoonists

Monica Marier

Big Planet Comics Vienna (Curls Studio aka Carolyn Belefski and Joe Carabeo):

Big Planet Comics Bethesda (with Joe Sutliff):

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Big Planet Comic's Free Comic Book Day 2014

FCBD seems to have sunk into the public's conciousness.

Joel Pollack provided these pictures of the Bethesda store and notes, "...every BPC store had its best day ever. I'm guessing that's true for every participating store in the country. Photos by Stuart McIntire, a customer (box #6) and friend since day one (04/11/86)."

Darn, I'm box #45. It'll take me years to move up!

I'll have some more photographs soon.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Free Comic Book Day pre-planning

1. Here's my City Paper bit with some recommendations.

In preparation for the "Cartoonists Draw Blood" blood drive we are putting on with the American Red Cross later in the month (May 31 at Seekers Church near Takoma Metro), several of the contributing artists will be making appearances at local comic stores to promote and encourage people to sign up to donate blood.
Visit these fine creators on May 3 for FCBD:

Joe Carabeo and Carolyn Belefski at Big Planet Comics 
426 Maple Avenue E., Vienna, VA
Teresa Roberts Logan at Big Planet Comics 
1520 U Street, NW, Washington, DC
1PM to 3PM
Joe Sutliff  at Big Planet Comics 
4849 Cordell Avenue, Bethesda, MD
1PM to 3PM
Troy-Jeffrey Allen and Matt Rawson at Fantom Comics 
50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC


Beyond Comics,18749 B North Frederick Rd, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879 says
Of course...Free comics! Get additional comics with a non-perishable food donation. Meet comic artists Rafer Roberts, Carl Yonder and John Watkins-Chow!

Fantom Comics' Free Comic Book Day

Under new manager, Esther Kim, Fantom Comics has an ambitious FCBD schedule.
Fantom Comics Free Comic Book Day 2014!
Saturday, May 3rd, 10am-9pm
Union Station, 50 Mass Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002









Friday, May 03, 2013

Game On Comics - Free Comic Book Day

From Louis the Magician and Game On! Comics

free comic book day 2

Wolverine wants you to come to Free Comic Book Day!  

Free Comic Book Day - Hugh Jackman 2013
Our friend, Hugh Jackman, wants you to come to our store tomorrow!
OK, maybe we don't actually know Mr. Jackman but he does want you to come to our store anyway!

Accross the nation all comic book stores are celebrating Free Comic Book Day, tomorrow, May 4th.

Our store will have over 60 comic titles for FREE!  From comics for kids to comics for adults, we have everything you need.  
We open our doors at 11am and close at 8pm.  BUT COME EARLY!  Last year we gave away all of our titles.

Game On! Comics
310 Dominion RD NE
Vienna, VA 22180

We love Free Comic Book Day!
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310 Dominion RD NE, Vienna, VA 22180 - 703-242-3838

Fantom Comics: Free Comic Book Day

Come visit us at Fantom Comics on Saturday... May the 4th be with you.
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Fantom Comics

Costume Contests

Featuring cosplay chameleon
Pastel Moon
as a guest judge!

DC Conspiracy Creators

Troy-Jeffrey Allen & Matt Rawson:
Members of local comics collective DC Conspiracy will talk with fans and hand out free copies of Magic Bullet #6.

Glen Weldon

Author of Superman The Unathorized Biography will be on hand to celebrate Free Comic Book Day with Fantom

What? Did you say "Free Comics"????

That's right. Check out the schedule of events throughout the day to celebrate the greatest comic book holiday ever invented. Come visit Fantom Comics, walk away with a bunch of free comics, and take advantage of our fantastic sale!!!

Save 10% on all Graphic Novels!
(except Volume 1's of GN series - on those you save 20%!!!)

Copyright © 2013 Fantom Comics, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have supported Fantom Comics in the past by purchasing digital comics through our website.
Our mailing address is:
Fantom Comics
50 Massachusetts Ave NE
Union Station - Mezzanine Level
Washington, DC 20002

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Free Comic Book Day and more this weekend

After the success of Awesome Con, we've still got a lot of comic-related events going on this weekend too. Iron Man 3 opens on Friday, and it's already been bigger than The Avengers in Europe.
Free Comic Book Day is on Saturday, and local comic book stores will have a selection of the 52 comics that were published this year. Big Planet Comics, our largest local chain, will have eight cartoonists spread between its four locations including Steve Artley, Michael Cowgill, Matt Dembicki, Andrew Cohen, Evan Keeling, Art Hondros, John Gallagher, and John Staton. Most of the cartoonists are in the DC Conspiracy co-op or have work in the book District Comics and the new free comics newspaper, Magic Bullet #6. Other cartoonists from the two publications include Troy-Jeffery Allen and Matt Rawson (along with Superman historian Glen Weldon) at Fantom Comics in Union Station and Rafer Roberts and John Shine at Beyond Comics in Gaithersburg. According to editor Carolyn Belefski, the issue is almost 'sold-out' so pick one up this weekend and get it signed as well.  Carolyn and her co-author Joe Carabeo will be at Laughing Ogre comics in Fairfax. Local comic critic Glen Weldon has suggestions about the comics for you on NPR.

Ranging a bit further afield Jacob Warrenfeltz will be at Third Eye Comics in Annapolis. Jacob had planned to have a special new publication, but now tells us "'Bella & Bunny Man Bridge' is a short 8-page mini comic that Zarmina Sulaiman and I  came up with.  It's a cute, kid friendly story about a fluffy white dog and her cool cat sidekick as they brave the adventure of investigating Clifton VA's "Bunny Man Bridge".  Our plan was to have this ready for Free Comic Book Day.  Unfortunately we aren't going to have the book back from the printer in time, so the next opportunity to get your hands on this new mini comic will be the DC Zine Fest, which is happening on July 20." Rounding out our list of local cartoonists, Steve Conley and Frank Cho will be appearing at Cards, Comics & Collectibles in Riestertown, Md along with Adam Kubert.

On Sunday, you can attend the world premiere of the musical Big Nate at Adventure Theater in Glen Echo, MD. Lincoln Peirce, the comic strip creator (and a close personal friend of Wimpy Kid's Jeff Kinney) will be at the play and signing books.

Also on Sunday, Marc Tyler Nobleman will be speaking about Batman co-creator Bill Finger at the Washington Hebrew Congregation (3935 Macomb St, NW) from 10:30-12:00 and signing copies of his book Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman.

Again, further afield, Kevin 'Kal' Kallaugher will be speaking at the Walters Museum in Baltimore at 2 pm to launch his new book, Daggers Drawn. The Express has an interview.

And I've interviewed most of the cartoonists mentioned here (and many others) if you want to study up before meeting them.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

May 4: Free Comic Book Day - Big Planet Comics plans

May 4 – Free Comic Book Day – With EIGHT creators!

Saturday, May 4 is the 11th annual Free Comic Book Day! There are around 50 comics being given away this year, and we are proud to have EIGHT comics creators as guests this year!
All four stores! All day! (College Park is open til 7)
Bring your friends!
A list of the comics this year:

Vienna store –
S. G. Artley (Exiles of Nod)
Michael Cowgill (Lil' P.I.)
Matt Dembicki (XOC)

U Street store –
Andrew Cohen (A Mutual Feeling)
Evan Keeling (Codename: Fifinella)

Bethesda store -
Art Hondros (Notes from the Cave Walls)
John Gallagher (Buzzboy)

College Park store -
John Staton (Empowered)

(Due to a family conflict, Ben Hatke will not be appearing)
For more information and a list of what comics we will be giving away for free, please check out the Free Comic Book Day webpage!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Free Comic Book Day was major success for Big Planet Comics

Ghostbusters at Big Planet Comics Vienna for Free Comic Book Day

In their recent podcast (#44), Jared Smith, one of the chain's owners said, "Of the four Big Planet stores, almost all of us ran out of almost every book we had. We certainly got more people than we expected, based on our ordering numbers, and College Park and Vienna both had their best sales days ever. So it wasn't just like we gave away a lot of free stuff - we sold a huge amount of stuff to people."
According to Joel Pollack, Big Planet Bethesda had a line of people waiting when the store opened at 11 am, and the line wrapped through the store for over an hour. By mid-afternoon, he was out of free comics.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

May 5: Free Comic Book Day in the DC-area

Free Comic Book Day Approacheth!

Next Saturday, May 5, is the annual Free Comic Book Day! As always, all of our stores are participating, so stop by and get some free comics! It's also a great time to bring your friends or children in too! We have been receiving our free comic books over the last few weeks, and there are a LOT this year. Avengers, DC New 52, Simpsons, Mega Man, a HARDCOVER from Archaia, Serenity, Star Wars, Yo Gabba Gabba, Adventure Time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spider-Man, and more! You can see the full list of free comics at

We are also having signings at two of our stores in conjunction with Free Comic Book Day. Jeremy Whitley and Jorge Aguirre, who both write great all ages comics (Princeless and Giants Beware!) will be at our Vienna store from 11-1 and our College Park store from 3-5. They will be signing copies of their comics, and happy to talk to young fans and readers too! More information is below.

We might also have a few special guests (like the Ghostbusters!)

- the Big Planet Comics kids

UPCOMING May 5 - Free Comic Book Day & Jeremy Whitley & Jorge Aguirre Signing

Free Comic Book Day is just a few weeks away! Bring your friends, we have a lot of great comics to give away this year! To see the complete list, go to!

In addition, we are proud to present 2 great comic book writers, who have just published some great all-ages fantasy adventure comics! Jeremy Whitley writes Princeless, and Jorge Aguirre writes Giants Beware! They will be appearing at our Vienna and College Park stores.

11 am-1 pm
Big Planet Comics of Vienna
426 Maple Ave. East
Vienna, VA 22180

3 pm-5 pm
Big Planet Comics of College Park
7315 Baltimore Ave.
College Park, MD 20740

From Beyond Comics:

This year’s Free Comic Book Day will be Saturday, May 5th.

We will be giving away tons of comic books and other freebies. Meet comic book artists including Dean Haspiel, Mark Whealty, Carla Speed McNeil, Rafer Roberts, Terry Flippo, Megan Steckler and Nathan Richardson.

Also meet an abundance of costumed heroes! Fun for kids of all ages!

Gaithersburg Artists:  Dean Haspiel, Carla Speed McNeil, Casey Jones and Nathan Richardson from 11am to 4pm.

Frederick Artists:  Mark Wheatley, Rafer Roberts, Megan Steckler, and Terry Flippo.

Gaithersburg Store

18794 B North Frederick Rd
Gaithersburg, MD
(301) 216-0007
Hours: M,Tu 11-8; W-Sat 10-9; Sun 12-6

Frederick Store
5632 Route 85
Frederick, MD
(301) 668-8202
Hours: M,Tu 10-8; W-Sat 10-9; Sun 12-6

From Game On! Comics

Saturday, May 5th from 11am to 6pm

Come out to Game On! Comics for Free Comic Book Day! Once per year, comic shops around the country give out comics for free.

We will have a great selection of comic books for you and your friends, for FREE. LOTS of children's comics!

Over 40 titles! One Free Thor Heroclix! Widest variety of comics available in our area!

Super-Hero appearances throughout the day!! Starting around 12 noon till 3ish

A G.I. Joe

Artist Appearance: 11am to 6pm

Tim Dzon!
Tim has worked on many comics over the years including these:
Avengers West Coast
Avengers Spotlight
What If..
Marvel Comics Presents
Fantastic Four Unplugged
Spiderman Unlimited
Hawkeye Mini-Series
Northstar Mini-Series

Tim will be here to sign autographs and even draw commisioned pieces just for you, for an extra cost.

Louis the Magician

11:30am to 12:30pm
Louis the Magician will be performing close up magic in the lobby for the kids!

BAMN Comics - free downloadable comic from local creators Jay Payne, Troy Jeffrey Allen and David Dean on May 5th at

From Third Eye Comics in Annapolis:

Yes, it's our favorite day of the year, in fact, this is why we chose it as the day of our big grand opening celebration. FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. Every year, we work hard to bring you guys the best Free Comic Book Day on the East Coast, and this year, we've pulled out all the stops. A huge sale, loads of special guest creators, Stormtroopers!, and so much more!

Click here to get the full rundown of what we have shaking at BOTH Third Eye locations this Saturday for FCBD 2012!

Friday, May 06, 2011

PR: Free Comic Book Day & Nat'l Train Day Coincide at Fantom Comics!

Fantom Comics - Where there is a comic book for everyone

This Saturday, May 7, is National Free Comic Book Day (! From 10am til we close at 9pm, we'll be handing out 39 different free comic book titles and a free heroclix figurine in the thousands to anybody who stops by. We're also having sales on Hard Covers that go as low as $6! And we made sure to have plenty of our $1 comic books in stock for the occasion.

Fantom Comics believes FREE COMICS should be more than enough to get you out, but just in case you need more, Free Comic Book Day also happens to coincide with National Train Day ( at Union Station, from 11-4. Among other highlights of Train Day:

    * Gladys Knight will be hosting the event
    * Amtrak High Speed Rail Display
    * K-9 Unit Demonstrations
    * AmtraKids Depot

So Fantom encourages you to come for what matters: free comics! But if you really need that extra push to head over to Union Station, we're hoping that whole train hoopla will put you over the edge.

See you Saturday!

Union Station - 50 Massachusetts Avenue NE | Washington, DC 20002 | 202-216-9478


Monday, April 26, 2010

Free Comic Book Day - cartoonists at Beyond Comics

From Beyond Comics website:

at the Frederick store

Micah Gunnell
Artist of Aspen Comics Dellec.

Like most artists, I've been drawing almost non-stop since I was young. I discovered comics at 14 and decided at that point that was what I wanted to do as a career. After attending community college for a bit and taking a few art courses, I decided to go to the Joe Kubert School. I only attended the first year because I didn't want to take out any more loans and also because people kept telling me I was ready for pro work. The summer following my year at Kubert's I was selected as one of the ten finalists competing in's "Comic Book Idol" contest, and from there was noticed by Aspen Comics, where I have been working for the past 3 years on titles like 'Soulfire: Dying of the Light','Shrugged', and also doing many short stories for NBC's Heroes.

Danielle Corsetto
Artist/Writer of internet sensation Girls With Slingshots.

Danielle has been making comic strips since she was 8 and hasn't stopped. Her comics have been featured on the web - thus making them, you got it, WEBCOMICS - since 2000. She's a fully self-employed cartoonist working on several projects including the comic strip "Bat Boy" for The Weekly World News. She lives in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, loves traveling, and drinks just about anything fruity + vodka. She misses painting and photography, a lot.

Michael Imboden
Writer/Creator of Maryland's own Fist of Justice.

Mike is the co-creator and writer of Digital Webbing's "Fist of Justice". In addition to 'Fist of Justice', Mike has written stories that appeared in DW's anthology book, "Digital Webbing Presents". It was one of these stories that lead him to L. Jamal, Inc. and "Warmageddon" where he helped to create and write some of the more popular characters that live in the world of "Warmageddon". Mike also created "Dr. Brainchild", a villain that appeared in the second issue of "The Living Corpse", which Mike guest-wrote. Mike is currently concentrating on FoJ, but has a few other irons in the fire including a return to "The Living Corpse" with a sequel to the Dr. Brainchild story. There's also more Warmageddon work coming, including a weekly strip so top secret that we can't tell you it involves "Izzy & Gunnar, Monster Hunters". Mike once wrestled a bear, winning by DQ when the bear used a foreign object to gain the advantage.

Rafer Roberts
Artist/Writer of self published Plastic farms.

is the creator of the comic series Plastic Farm. Plastic Farm was originally a self-published series, first appearing as oversized mini-comics in 2001 and then in traditional comic book form in 2003.

Terry Flippo
Artist/Writer of self published Big Headz comics and drawings.

Terry Flippo has been drawing his own comic books for over 6 years. From Axel and Alex to his current work with the Big Headz, his style has made him a fan favorite to comic book readers of all ages. Featuring two Big Headz collections to date.

at the Gaithersburg store:

Monica Ghallagher
Artist/Writer of Lipstick & Malice.

Monica Gallagher is a graphic designer during the daylight hours and a comicker at night. While an animation major in college, Monica first tiptoed onto the comics scene with her webcomic Gods & Undergrads, following the awkward adventures of a girl transitioning into college life while simultaneously discovering her connection to Greek gods. Once her eyes had been opened to the online comics scene, Monica couldn't help herself and continued to produce more work.

A short stint in amateur modeling led Monica to create both an autobiographical story dealing with her struggles with self-esteem (titled Boobage) and a fictional series dealing with a professional model who works part-time as an assassin (titled Lipstick & Malice). Luckily, Monica emerged from modeling with both her boobs and her criminal record intact. She then discovered something else to become obsessed with and inspired by -- Roller Derby. Bonnie N. Collide, Nine to Five is the result of her inspiration -- a weekly webcomic that combines the superhero side of being a rollergirl with the Clark Kent side of working a day job. Monica was just drafted by the Junkyard Dolls, one of the four teams of lovely ladies of the Charm City Roller Girls, and she is getting ready for her first bout in 2010.

Monica continues to create short stories, contribute to anthologies, and tackle illustration work from her home in Baltimore, where she lives with her boyfriend and their dueling cats. Check out her art and news pages for the latest dirt - you never know where she'll pop up next!

Matt Dembicki
Artist/Writer of the award-winning nature parable Mr. Big.

His work has appeared in numerous comics anthologies, including Bash Magazine, and the recently released Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection. He’s currently working on his new project, an ecological tale about a great white shark called Xoc.

Andrew Cohen
Artist/Writer Howzit Funnies.

Andrew Cohen is a Washington, D.C. creator. His current projects include Howzit Funnies and Law Monger. He is a contributor to Trickster.

Friday, April 23, 2010

PR: Fantom's Free Comic Book Day

I'm not familiar with Jeff Howe, and haven't mentioned him here yet, so if anyone could pick up a comic of his comic for me, it would be appreciated.

Fantom Comics - Where there is a comic book for everyone
Just a note before we get into the April Previews that Free Comic Book Day is next Saturday! Both Fantom Comics stores will be carrying the full run of free comics, but our flagship FCBD store will be at our Pentagon City Mall location. Please check our website for more details, which will be forthcoming over the next few days. But here's a brief summary of what's going on:
-Free comics!
-Tons of $1 comics (almost literally true)
-Local creator Jeff Howe signing and giving away the first issue of his to-be-released comic: Polis
-Around a dozen Star Wars characters courtesy of the 501st Legion and the Rebel Legion (with a photo op mid-day)
-Prize wheel running at least once an hour, from 11-8
-2 classes on making your own comic book (including actually making one on the spot) by Marvel editor and sequential art guru Mike O'Sullivan
See you there!

Pentagon City Mall - 1100 South Hayes Street | Arlington, VA 22202 | 703-415-2094
Union Station - 50 Massachusetts Avenue NE | Washington, DC 20002 | 202-216-9478