Showing posts with label Magic Bullet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Magic Bullet. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Vanessa Bettencourt

by Mike Rhode

Last weekend, I briefly stopped in the Hooray for Books bookstore in Alexandria on Saturday to meet Portuguese cartoonist Vanessa Bettencourt who was doing a drawing workshop for children, and I enjoyed seeing her interact with the kids in the audience. She agreed to answer our usual questions about her journey from Europe to northern Virginia.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

My comics have a lot of humor and fantasy and a mix of manga and Disney styles together. When I'm not working on commissions for business, websites or people who want their portraits as comic characters, I work diligently on my personal projects.

I work daily on my free webcomic series,

It started as an effective way to communicate with Jon, my fiancé in a long-distance relationship, and became a way to share my life with those who stayed behind at home after I moved from Portugal to the USA. Now I share my daily adventures as a freelance artist in the USA.

In 2015 I set a goal of a year to write, illustrate and completely finish a graphic novel on my own. I accomplished the goal. Polly and the Black Ink is 520 full-color pages that I divided into five paperbacks. The first three volumes are already available.

Sometimes I take commissions to do political cartoons (as happened with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence), but between social and political I favor social issues.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

For Polly and the Black Ink, I drew and wrote it all in paper for a few months first, then I scanned it and edited before the digital process of inking, coloring and adding the text. I write the text as I draw the scenes, instead of having a script. This way I have a better sense of space and where the text will fit in each panel.

This is my first graphic novel and I learned a lot, especially about writing short but meaningful sentences when sometimes I feel the character has so much more to say. For I only work digitally. I have my format and I stick to it. Commissions can be digital or traditional. I use Photoshop and I recently upgraded from an Intuos3 to a Cintiq 13HD.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

I was born in December, 1979 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Why are you in Washington now? What neighborhood or area do you live in?

I moved to the USA in 2015. I met my fiancé in 2012 when he hired me to draw all the covers for his epic fantasy series Heir of Scars, including chapter illustrations and maps. A few years later we started the K1 Visa (fiancée process), which I describe with a lot of humor in He was currently working in DC so we decided to stay. I'm a freelance artist so it's easier to adapt. We live in Alexandria near the Potomac river. As a Portuguese soul, I miss the ocean a lot, so the river is nice to have nearby.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I have a degree in Portuguese and English literature. I became a teacher and worked for publishers as a fantasy illustrator Then, I returned to college for Fine Arts while I worked. I'm self-taught when it comes to comic books and cartoons. I started drawing this style for fun. A simple away to share my day with Jon then it became more serious. I intend to continue to learn, share and create more stories and worlds.

Who are your influences?

For fantasy illustration: William Bouguereau, Larry Elmore (and all D&D art), Luis Royo, Donato Giancola, Prince Valiant by Hal Foster…

For comics and cartooning: Calvin and Hobbes’ Bill Waterson, Bones by Jeff Smith, Asterix, Turma da Monica by Mauricio de Sousa, Hagar the Horrible by Chris Browne, W.I.T.C.H fantasy series, Naoko Takeuchi (Sailor Moon), Akihiro Yamada (Junni Kokki - The Twelve Kingdoms artist), all Disney, many manga, anime and fantasy books.

And for the surreal humor with a lot of nonsense: Mortadelo & Filemon by Francisco Ibanez Talavera, Guillermo Mordillo, Janguru wa Itsumo Hare Nochi Guu manga.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

Sometimes I want to go back and retouch finished work. In the beginning, I wished I had more time to finish a cover or a project, but to get the commission we have to go with the publisher's schedule.

What work are you best-known for?

Notfrombrazil, because for the past two years I’ve been uploading thrice a week online, on the usual social media and in platforms such as tapastic and LINE Webtoon.

What work are you most proud of?

Polly and the Black Ink. I am really happy that I was able to create a compelling world, story and characters with a lot of adventure, action, mystery and fantasy parallel worlds that children, teens and adults feel compelled to read and discover. Also, the new art for the Heir of Scars book series.

What would you like to do or work on in the future?

Continue to get as many commissions as possible so I can make my dreams come true. HaHa!
I will focus on finishing my epic novels so there’s not a gap between publishing Polly’s 5th volume and my next project. I will continue to work on the next covers for the Heir of Scars book also. My husband and I decided to agglomerate our projects under the same name, Violet West Entertainment, as we build our brand together.

I want to be proud of my projects, control the outcome as much as possible and be sure it's something memorable. I might return to Polly and the Black Ink for a second arc too later.

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

Because I work in so many different projects and styles I got used to having an escape, but there are times that I can't work at all and I need to watch animation, movies, read, learn a new technique, go to a museum or a park, do something completely different from my daily routine and refill my batteries.

What do you think will be the future of your field? 

Things change so quickly now. Everything has an up and down side. The system or the rules change without notice, and we're forced to go with the flow or stay behind. Artists and authors will always create and try to reach their audience.

The Internet allows us to publish our books, to see people engage daily with our process and become part of the process. What we do is starting to be seen more as a job. We are professionals.

Also, the audience is starting to learn how to give back. It balances all the free entertainment or work they've been having access to. That's why it's important to support artists. Kickstarter and Patreon are good examples of making it possible for an artist to work full time on their craft and support themselves.

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

I attended Katsucon last February as an artist with Polly and the Black Ink debut. I got a table and it was a great experience. The audience reacted very well to the books. We'll be attending Awesome Con DC again in June with Polly and the Black Ink and the Heir of Scars books and art. I will have book III available at our table.

Next event will be Small Press Expo. We've attended it as visitors before, but this time in September we will be managing a table with our books, including Polly and the Black Ink volume IV. The downside of having a table is to be stuck behind it and miss the panels, the contests, etc.

I also attend local events as much as possible, from bookstores to street art festivals when schedule allows. I had a great opportunity to publish one comic page on the Magic Bullet #14 and I intend to keep going.

I also have an invitation from Alexandria's Duncan Branch Library, where I taught a comic book workshop last year. I will be drawing people's portrait in my cartoonish style on the street and raise money for the library during the Del Ray Street Art Festival next September 7th, 2017.

Polly and I are available to attend schools, libraries and other events to share my experience as an independent author, but also to share my process and give some tips (ages 5 up). You can reach me on my official website or contact me at

What's your favorite thing about DC?

I love the free museums and the food diversity.

Least favorite?

The business, political stiffness and mood of the city.

What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to?

The Lincoln Memorial. The size of the sculpture helps, but the entire area has soul. There are many good museums. The National Museum of Natural History is my favorite to visit over and over. I get so much inspiration from it to draw and come up with new storylines. And I have to visit the Zoo. I haven't had the chance.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

I love food. It's hard to pick. Each day is a different mood. From Asian to Americana. There are good seafood places in Old Town, but being Portuguese, I also miss some of the fresh and diverse seafood that we don’t have here.

Do you have a website or blog?

I keep two websites. One as an artist and another for the free webcomic series notfrombrazil.
My website has a blog where I share news of my creative process, tutorials, articles with events and book releases.

People are free to subscribe to get news of the next events or book releases.

For those who wish to get a weekly reminder of subscribe to the website I add new episodes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

You can also find the following pages on Facebook: @pollyandtheblackink, @notfrombrazil, @vanessabettencourtart and @heirofscars up to date.

On Instagram: @vanessabettencourtart where I host giveaways.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Andrew Cohen's studio

Last night I dropped by the O Street studio of Andrew Cohen, editor of the comics newspaper Magic Bullet, to pick up bundles of the newest edition that hits the streets in time for the inauguration. I also enjoy seeing where the creators works.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Michael Brace

by Mike Rhode

Michael Brace is a member of the DC Conspiracy comics co-op.  He was at DC Zinefest this summer, and finally agreed to answer our standard questions. He will be at SPX next month if you'd like to meet him.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I just finished my second black-and-white comic book its in a realistic style. I also contribute one-page stories to a local newspaper comic Magic Bullet and those tend to be a little more cartoony.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

Mostly traditional pen and ink. I used a computer for lettering and occasionally for adding color.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?


Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?

Long-time Foggy Bottom resident. I came here to pursue an illustration career.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

Took a one-year commercial art vocational training class back in 1973.

Who are your influences?

Too many to name. I'm a big fan of turn-of-the-century book illustration (I should say turn-of-last-century book illustration) and woodblock prints.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

Would have focused more on writing skills.

What work are you best-known for?

Pages in Magic Bullet and artwork for District Comics.

What work are you most proud of?

Managing to finish two comic books.

What would you like to do  or work on in the future?

I would like to expand on my last comic "Never Rescue an Octopus from a Tree".

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

I try to have a couple of projects going so I can switch off to keep things fresh.

What do you think will be the future of your field?

I think independent comics will continue to expand on both the web and in print. Flexibility is key.

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

Zine Fest and Small Press Expo this year. Great to have an alternative to superhero cons.

What's your favorite thing about DC?

Don't need a car to get around.

Least favorite?

The local neighborhoods are being gobbled up.

What monument or museum do like to take visitors to?

Air and Space Museum and National Cathedral.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

No longer around "Dove and Rainbow." Made their pizzas with Greek cheeses, they were great.

Do you have a website or blog?

Not at this time.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

New DC Conspiracy anthology at DC Author Fest

The DC Conspiracy members will among the featured speakers at D.C. Author Festival Oct. 24-25 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. On Saturday, Andrew Cohen and Evan Keeling will be talking about the DCC's Magic Bullet comics newspaper at 2 p.m.

DCC will also be premiering a new comics anthology published in partnership with the DC Public Library system. DC Conspiracy, 2015: Comics from the Nation's Capital is 76 pages packed with mostly four-page comics by local creators (The cover is by David Ross). Proceeds from the sales of the book will go toward publishing Magic Bullet.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Meet a Local Cartoonist: Dennis Johnson and Dedsquad

by Mike Rhode
Scott McCloud and Dennis Johnson at Politics and Prose

Dennis Johnson, Jr. tabled at Smudge with his minicomics last month. I was dashing out to check the parking meter and missed a photograph (so all images are from his blog), but I did buy his minis before leaving. Priorities!

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I am a self-taught artist, and have tried to learn everything about making comics. Currently I am doing a little bit of everything. I am working on writing, drawing, inking, and coloring my own original comics such as “The Ded Squad”, and “The New Frontier.”  My stories tend to range from slice of life, to superheroes. I am very versatile, and have also learned other types of art forms such as acrylic painting, and digital art.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

When creating comics I use a combination of techniques but most of the time I start with traditional pencil and paper. I am a huge fan of using brush and ink because the lines come out livelier. Afterwards, I scan my artwork into Photoshop and digitally color it.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

I was born December 6, 1988 in Maryland.

Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?

I have lived most of my life in Maryland. Currently I reside in Gaithersburg.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

Most of my education in cartooning came from reading and practicing. I never was able to go to school for it so I tried to learn from everything I could get my hands on.

Who are your influences?

My biggest influence has to be Scott McCloud. He was a crucial part of why I am committed to comics. Through reading many of his books, I realized that comics aren’t just great art or a great story, they are a form of communication. He made me realize that comics are more than just superheroes. After I read his books everything about comics and life just clicked. I also tend to draw inspiration from cartoons, manga, and animated movies.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

If I could roll back the hangs of time to improve my career I think I would have started to practice making comics earlier. Since I am a self-taught artist, a lot of my work has been trial and error. If I had taken more time to learn more about making comics when I was younger, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble.
What work are you best-known for?

 At this point in my comic book life I’m not sure if anyone knows my work. I am working on self-publishing my comics, and networking at conventions to get myself out there. In the future I hope to be known for my comic “The Ded Squad.”

What work are you most proud of?

 Not too long ago I submitted a very personal piece to the 10th edition of the Magic Bullet newspaper. The one-page comic illustrated depression, stress and anxiety to the best of my ability. It was tough for me to write about the pains that I have experienced for years, but the comic turned out to be a great release for me. When it was completed I was so proud of the piece, and it felt like I reached out into the world. Although it did not get accepted, I have displayed the comic at various conventions. I decided that I wanted to connect to those struggling with the same disorder. I feel like this work could really make people think about mental illness and how they can help someone else or help themselves.

What would you like to do or work on in the future?

My future plan is to cultivate and continue to grow the art community that I’m trying to build. I believe that comics have a great healing power within them just like any other creative art. It also wouldn’t hurt to get “The Ded Squad” underway!

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

When a creative block hits I normally just take a break. I try to switch up my routine to try to break the cycle. Often times I turn to other mediums when I have a block or I try to learn new tricks. I have learned that trying to push through a creative block normally only causes frustration.

What do you think will be the future of your field? 

I think that comics will continue to grow in popularity. Especially the indie comic scene because right now publishing is the easiest it’s ever been. It seems like artists and writers are popping up everywhere. It’s only a matter of time before indie publishers like Retrofit and Koyama Press begin to acquire more talent and begin to compete with companies like Darkhorse and Image. The world also seems to take to movie or show adaptations of comics like The Walking Dead. Other industries seems to be taking more comic book writers and illustrators seriously because they are seeing that their work is no different from the work of a novelist or fine artist.

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

So far I have exhibited at DC Zinefest 2014, SPX2013, Awesome-Con 2014, UFB-Con and Smudge Expo 2015. I will be exhibiting at Awesome-Con 2015 and Creator-Con 2015.

What's your favorite thing about DC? Least favorite?

I love how diverse the DMV is. D.C. is an amazing place to get to know many different people. My least favorite thing about D.C. is driving. The traffic lights, speed cameras, and one-way roads drive me crazy.

What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to?

I love to visit the Hirshorn and the National Art Gallery. It’s fun to see the contrast of styles and ideals.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

My favorite restaurant in the DMV is a little sushi place called Yuraku in Germantown. Everything always tastes exquisite!

Do you have a website or blog?

My website is or you can find me on

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Catching up with comics writer Michael Cowgill

Michael Cowgill (pronounced CO-gull) is one of the mainstays of the DC Conspiracy comics co-op. He's appeared regularly in the Magic Bullet free comics newspaper, including the new issue #10 out now. He also wrote stories in the District Comics and Wild Ocean anthologies that Matt Dembicki edited. While he defines himself as a writer, he draws minicomics too, which you can buy from him at the annual Small Press Expo. Michael tells me he will be appearing next week at Fantom Comics on February 21st for the DC Conspiracy's 10th anniversary bash.

Mike Rhode: What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

Michael Cowgill: I mostly consider myself a writer and have a background in prose fiction writing, which I still work on, too.  That said, I've done nonfiction/educational work for books like District Comics and Wild Ocean, and from issue 6 on of Magic Bullet, I've written and drawn my pages, featuring my characters Lil' P.I. and Trina Trubble and have done mini comics featuring them.  There, I'd say I use a style in the Charles Schulz school (but in no way mean to compare myself to him!)

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

"Skip Dillon: Son of the B.E.F." from District Comics, art by Rand Arrington
For writing, I might start in a notebook or on scrap paper or the occasional napkin with some notes and sketchy drawings if I need to think out a page.  There, I just outline or maybe write dialogue and very brief descriptions ("Fight!" "Pie in the face," etc.)  Then I'll write a script in Scrivener, a cool and inexpensive word processor that features templates for all kinds of formats, including a comics script template created by Antony Johnston (The Fuse, Wasteland, The Coldest City). It has a lot of automated features that speed things along and allows you to quick rearrange scenes without having to update page numbers and so on.

For art, I create panels in Manga Studio and print them to a board in blue line (so they won't scan later), then draw with a blue pencil and ink with various pens.  I'm still trying figure all that out and should probably teach myself to draw on the computer, but I find the inking stage particularly satisfying and relaxing.  I scan that back in and then letter, color, and fix everything in Manga Studio.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

1973 in south Jersey, but we moved to the Atlanta area (a planned community called Peachtree City) when I was 3.

Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?

I moved here in 1997 to attend the MFA fiction program at George Mason University and ended up sticking around.  I live in Falls Church.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

In cartooning, reading a lot of comics and books about comics. I don't have any formal art training.  In writing, I have a BFA in creative writing from the University of Evansville (in Indiana) and an MFA in creative writing (fiction) from George Mason.

Who are your influences?

Growing up, Chris Claremont's X-Men and the Star Wars movies and toys were huge influences, as well as Bill Watterson, Berke Breathed, and as a kid from the eighties, I'm sure Garfield's in there somewhere. In late elementary school and junior high, serious young adult fiction like Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia and Virginia Hamilton's books caught my attention, and in high school, less serious fiction like Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels influenced me, especially his dialogue.  From literature, Shakespeare, Steinbeck, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, William Maxwell, some Hemingway, Colum McCann, Michael Chabon, Ross Macdonald, poets like Seamus Heaney and Stephen Dunn, many of my teachers. Musicians like Bruce Springsteen, The Band, The Beatles, Dylan sometimes, R.E.M., Tom Petty, Scott McCaughey. All sorts of movies and TV have infected my brain from all the dumb crap I watched as a kid to comedies like Seinfeld, NewsRadio, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Community to dramas like Homicide, The Wire, Breaking Bad, etc.

From current mainstream comics, writers Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction have influenced me.  Bendis especially.  In my prose fiction, I like to use a lot of back-and-forth dialogue, something that can get tricky in comics because of visual aspect and space limitations, and seeing Bendis' work showed me that you can accomplish that.  Brubaker has influenced things like tone and pacing, and I admire Fraction's swing-for-the-fences attitude.  Some artists that inspire me include Walt Simonson, Paul Smith, and Chris Samnee. My colleagues in the DC Conspiracy inspire me. I probably wouldn't be doing this without their support.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

Maybe start earlier--I didn't know about Eisner's instructional books, and we didn't have things like script books or Understanding Comics when I was finishing high school and first entertaining the mysterious idea of writing comics.  If you look at a novel, you might not be able to see how the writer did it it, but the book you have ultimately represents that work in a way a comic, especially one done by multiple creators, doesn't.  With a comic, you see the house but not the blueprint.  Also, I would have taken some art classes.  I drew a lot as a kid but never had any training, and now I'm playing catch-up.  Especially in terms of my prose writing, I'd be more aggressive about getting my work out there.

The first Lil' P.I. story from Magic Bullet #6
What work are you best-known for?

I suppose Lil' P.I. since it appears in Magic Bullet, which has a nice big print run.

What work are you most proud of?

Lil' P.I. means a lot to me and makes my friends and me laugh at the very least, and I've done it all on my own.  I'd say it's a tie between that and my story in District Comics with Rand Arrington. It comes closest to what I'd like to accomplish.  It has an emotional arc and a voice and uses the comics medium to accomplish its goals rather than just telling a story I could have written in prose.

How long have you been a DC Conspiracy member?

About 4 1/2 years.

Tell us about your Abstract Garage comic book...

"Night of the Jackalope" art by Art Hondros
I put together Tales From the Abstract Garage last year for SPX. I wanted it to serve as a showcase for some different styles of writing. I also wanted to work with artists I picked and write to their strengths. It features a few framing pages of Lil' P.I. and Trina Trubble introducing and closing the book and two stories. I wrote "Duet" in a literary style. It focuses on a moment when two strangers make a potentially romantic connection, and it's probably closer to a poem or song than a full-on narrative. I asked Jacob Warrenfeltz to draw this because he has a fairly realistic and humanistic style, and I decided to put one character on a motorcycle because Jake likes those and likes to draw them. For the second piece "Night of the Jackalope," I wanted to write an action-style piece and chose to avoid narration. It plays as a supernatural western, where a mysterious stranger faces off with a giant jackalope but discovers a secret. For this, a chose Art Hondros, whose great use of black white and crosshatching fits the mood and the old timey feel of the story. I know both artists through the DC Conspiracy, and they brought a lot to their stories. Jake did things with the layout that added a sense of weightlessness an floating to the dancing and motorcycle elements, a sense of what the characters feel physically and emotionally. Art added a lot to the design of the stranger, most notably the snake hatband and rougher look. I'm hoping to do more of these.

What would you like to do  or work on in the future?

Maybe get better at drawing so I can do something long form on my own, even though I like collaborating with other artists I'd really like to do something like This One Summer from last year.  I love quiet grounded fiction that still has a lot of emotion, and if I can do something along those lines that uses the medium to accomplish things I couldn't in prose, then I'd like to do that.
What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

Take a break.  Work on something else, play guitar, watch TV, spend time with friends or family.  From writing novels, I can say it also helps to have a long-term project because you have something to work on each day, as opposed to, say, poetry, where you might just tinker with a few words for weeks at a time.  I believe in the just write it, then fix it method of writing.  It helps you keep momentum.  It sometimes helps to leave yourself problems to solve or a cliffhanger of some kind.  After feeling the sting of rejection in the prose world, delving more into comics reinvigorated me. Having friends and colleagues to commiserate with helps, too, or a good editor.  For Wild Ocean, I couldn't quite get the script down and alive, and Matt Dembicki suggested I just write it as if writing an article first and not worry about the comics part of it, and that helped a great deal.  A good editor can do that, send you in the right direction without doing the work for you or making you feel like you're failing.

What do you think will be the future of your field?

It's hard to tell.  I've more or less embraced digital books, but I still buy and prefer comics in print and like the communal aspect of going to the comics shop.  We're in a period where more people are embracing the medium, and I like that, and I think using the medium more for educational purposes, not just to educate about a topic but to encourage literacy by having fiction and nofiction comics about all sorts of things, has a lot of potential.  I've come to enjoy the DIY aspect of comics, and given that we live in that kind of world with e-books and YouTube and web comics, it makes sense that that could spread even more in comics as the kids that are reading graphic novels now grow up.

Awesome Con comics convention in Washington, DC. District Comics panelists - Art Haupt, Rafer Roberts, Mike Cowgill, Andrew Cohen, Jacob Warrenfeltz, Mike Rhode, Carolyn Belefski and Troy-Jeffrey Allen.
What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

I've attended Baltimore just as a fan and had a good time.  I like its comics-centric nature.  I've spent time on both sides of the table at SPX now, but I missed the early years, which sound a little more fun and unpredictable than the institutional role it plays now. I'll be exhibiting at Smudge this year and have exhibited at Bmore Into Comics in Baltimore a couple times, which is small and a good place to get some con experience.  Awesome Con has potential, but ultimately, I wonder where comics fit into that.

"Duet" art by Jacob Warrenfeltz
What's your favorite thing about DC?

Probably the people or more specifically the people I know and that it does have some kind of scene for literature and comics at least, and even though it takes a while to get places, I like the proximity to the city itself from places like Falls Church.  I also like the reasonable proximity to places like Philadelphia and New York.  The two weeks of spring we get.

Least favorite?

Traffic and what happens to it the day before holidays, when the weather gets a little cranky, etc.  I'd like to like and use Metro more, but I can't say that I do. I probably would if I lived in the city itself.

What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to?

I guess one of the Air and Space museums, mainly because my dad was a pilot and we would visit the main museum when we came through D.C.  FDR and Jefferson memorials work, too.

 How about a favorite local restaurant?

Hmm. I'm enjoying Ted's Bulletin a little too much right now.

Do you have a website or blog?

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Keeling on 'Student Exposure'

"Student Exposure" interviews Evan Keeling about the D.C. Conspiracy, Dr. Dremo, Magic Bullet and self-publishing. Click on photo to see the video.

Monday, July 14, 2014

‘Magic Bullet’ #9 premieres July 20

The new issue of the D.C. Conspiracy’s ‘Magic Bullet’ comics newspaper premieres July 20 at the SuperNova Comicon in Leesburg, Va. The cover of issue #9, which has a Western theme, is by Nick Galifianakis.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Sneak Peek at SPX guests

The Small Press Expo has an ad in the new issue of the D.C. Conspiracy's semi-annual comics newspaper Magic Bullet (#8), which hits the streets today. SPX notes a few of the special guests for its Sept. 13-14 show, including Jules Feiffer, Michael DeForge, Renee French, Tom Tomorrow, James Sturm, Lynda Barry and Box Brown (who did the art for the ad).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

'Nightmare the Rat' is coming to the web

Cartoonist Rafer Roberts is taking his “Nightmare the Rat” cartoon from the pages of the Magic Bullet comics newspaper to the web, beginning Jan. 1. It will be updated weekly.

According to Roberts on the D.C. Conspiracy Tumblr, the first few weeks will reprint the strip up to date, and around mid-May the comic will start to publish a year’s worth of all new made-for-the-web content. ("It won’t be the larger 'Sunday' strips but a 'weekday' style adventure serial," he writes.) Roberts added that he will continue with the larger strips for Magic Bullet as well work on his comics series Plastic Farm.
Nightmare the Rat, courtesy of Rafer Roberts

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October owl

Cartoonist Andrew Cohen is back to occasionally drawing some feathered friends. His most recent post on his blog is a dark-eyed owl, just in time for Halloween. BTW, Andrew will be at the Artisphere this Thursday as the final artist in resident for the Comics Making Workshop/Magic Bullet exhibit in the Works in Progress Gallery.

Courtesy of Andrew Cohen

'Magic Bullet' thank-you card

The D.C. Conspiracy mails thank-you cards to folks who advertise its semi-annual Magic Bullet comics newspapers. For the current issue, MB #7--which has a Halloween theme--local cartoonist Matt Rawson did a Halloween illustration for the thank-you card. (It is loosely based on the Universal monsters chalk wall drawing he did this fall at Artisphere in Arlington, Va., as part of the D.C. Conspiracy's Comic Making Workshop and MB exhibit, which ends next weekend).

Courtesy of Matt Rawson and Joe Carabeo (photo)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Crafty Bastards this weekend

The annual Crafty Bastards show is this weekend at Union Market and it will have a couple of comics folks as well as fan-favorite local graphic artists. Baltimore comics creators include Ben Claassen III (Dirtfarm) and Michael Bracco of Spaghetti Kiss (Novo; The Creators; Adam Wreck). Printer Anthony Diehl of Fire Studio (Diehl did the cover of the the free D.C. comics newspaper Magic Bullet #5) and Jeffrey Everett of El Hefe Design (Everett designed the Magic Bullet logo gracing the covers of #6 and #7). TinaSeamonster will be there, too (Tina created the time-traveling squid character in Magic Bullet #7).