Showing posts with label Richmond. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Richmond. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Meet a Richmond Comics Writer - A Chat with Gary Cohn

Mark Lindblom (l) and Gary Cohn
by Mike Rhode
Gary Cohn co-wrote two of my favorite 1980s DC Comics, Blue Devil and Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld. I recently got to meet him at Heroic Aleworks Brewery's minicon, and he answered my usual questions.
What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?
A: I’m a writer. I work with artists.
How do you do it? Thumbnails? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?
A: I work in either of the standard comics writing styles. I can write full scripts when I don’t know or don’t trust the artist; I write plot/dialogue when I trust the artist and when we’re full collaborators. I’m happiest when I can give an artist an outline, and then the artist throws me some visual surprises that I need to integrate into my original conception of the story. In the early part of my career when I was writing stories and often didn’t know who would draw them, I did thumbnail sketches of pages to accompany my scripts. They were the crudest of cartooning, and I was disappointed when some artists chose to follow my thumbnail layouts completely instead of taking them for the suggestions they were meant to be. I assumed that an artist would have a better visual imagination than I have, and would be able to take my suggestions and run with them, not just follow them slavishly.
When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?
A: I was born in NYC in 1952—I’m a child of the 50s and 60s, and all the pop culture of that era.
Why are you in Richmond now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?
A: It took me twenty years to realize that I wasn’t going to make a living writing. So I became a NYC high school English/social studies teacher and did that for 14 years. When I retired I realized that a “short” pension was not going to keep me going in NYC, and after 30 years there I wanted a change of venue. I had an artist friend living in RVA (ie Richmond, VA), I’d visited her a number of times over the years, and when I was considering new places I narrowed it down to RVA and St. Petersburg, FL. I wanted someplace a lot cheaper than NYC, warmer, with some history and culture and a creative community. Since my 90-year-old mom still lives in NY, I decided on the place where I could get to NY more quickly and easily. Roads not taken… I still wonder about St. Pete. I live in the oldest neighborhood in RVA, Church Hill. It’s been a very good move.
What is your training and/or education in cartooning?
A: Choose-your-own-major BA degree from Michigan State (defunct residential Justin Morrill College allowed us to design our own major: mine was creative writing/science fiction and fantasy lit); MA from the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State in Ohio; course work completed towards a doctorate in US History (US naval history, esp 1880-1900). Basic teaching certification courses from NYS.
Who are your influences?
courtesy of the Grand Comics Database
A: Nothing. Everything I come up with is sui generis and without compare. Joking, of course. My influences are six decades of reading, watching, consuming American popular culture, “serious” literature, academic history and the range of liberal arts subjects. I was a guy who thought he disliked school… so of course I’ve spent my entire life as a student and a teacher.
If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change? 

A: Amethyst would have been developed as a toy line by Kenner when they were planning to do it, BEFORE She-Ra came out, and I’d have made a fuck-ton (that’s a technical term) of money; and spent most of it on motorcycles, adventuring, and wild women. There’s been a fair amount of all three in my life, but I’ve never really been able to afford to fully indulge myself.
What work are you best-known for?
A: Amethyst and Blue Devil from DC in the early ‘80s. My standard line is that for a short while I was a little bit famous and successful in a relatively obscure pop sub-culture.
What work are you most proud of?
A: Demon Gun, published by Crusade about 20 years ago, which is the only piece of my published work that I actually own--well, co-own with artist Barry Orkin. I understand that there are comics writers who claim sole ownership over properties. I’ve always believed that anything I create in comics is co-created by the artist, because I can’t make comics without one. If I wanted sole ownership, I’d write prose exclusively.
What would you like to do or work on in the future?
courtesy of the Grand Comics Database
A: Blue Devil artist Paris Cullins and I have been slowly developing our own property, New Devil. It’s unrelated to DC’s BD, except that it’s a “devil,” but it has that spirit and bounce. With NY artist Ray Felix I’m getting ready to self-publish the first issue of “NYX, Daughter of Night.” I’ve got a zillion ideas, as always, and I hope to be able to get some of them out there before…well, you know.
What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?
A: I’ll tell you when I’ve solved that problem. While I was a teacher I wrote very little. Since I’ve been on my own I’ve been struggling to find the old mojo. A deadline and a paycheck were always good incentive. Right now I have neither from writing.
What do you think will be the future of your field?
A: No idea.
What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

A: Until I have something to peddle, some new wares to spread out on a table, I’m staying close to home. Any Con in Richmond that will let me in for free, I’m there. Beyond that, I went to the Baltimore Con last fall and liked it, I stopped in at Tidewater this year to see Paris and a few other folks and because it made a nice motorcycle run, I’ll probably head down to some other Cons in VA and NC in the next year, and if one of Mike Carbonaro’s NYC cons is going on when I’m visiting, or Eternal Con on Long Island, I try to stop in to schmooze with old industry buddies.

What's your favorite thing about Richmond?

A: Hard to say. It’s a very nice small city. I’ve met a lot of great people, I’ve connected with the thriving comics community here, found the perfect motorcycle shop and car repair place, discovered terrific restaurants… I’m thinking the answer is, my apartment and neighborhood. It’s a great space in a great location.

Least favorite?

A: The wannabe Confederates. I’m a carpetbagger Yankee.

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

A: The VMFA (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts) is a very good small-city art museum; then there’s Monument Ave (or as we carpetbaggers like to call it, “Losers’ Lane”) with all the ridiculous Confederate statues and one very badly designed but well-intentioned Arthur Ashe statue.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

A: This town is full of very good restaurants; but Lemaire in the Jefferson Hotel is an amazing experience and a world-class dinner. I let a visiting stockbroker friend pay for it.

Do you have a website or blog?

A: Nope.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Jan 17 in Richmond: Leading Illustrator's Poe Art Surveyed in Major Exhibit

1914-16 E. Main St.
Richmond, VA 23223

News Release
Contact: Chris Semtner


Exhibit Surveys Four Decades of Richard Corben's Poe Artwork
From January 17 until April 19, 2015, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia will host Reimagining Poe: The Poe Illustrations of Richard Corben a major exhibit surveying forty years of illustrations to Poe's works by Eisner Award-winning artist Richard Corben. This, the first retrospective of Corben's Poe illustrations, will feature several original drawings from the artist's personal collection.  The exhibit will open with a lecture about Corben's illustrations by Randolph Macon College professor M. Thomas Inge on January 17 at 5p.m. The exhibit opening and lecture will be part of the Poe Museum's annual Poe Birthday Bash, the world's largest celebration devoted to the nineteenth century author's birthday.

Richard Corben (born 1940) is a comic book artist and illustrator named   Corben began his career in animation before turning to underground comics. In 1976 he adapted a Robert E. Howard story into what is considered the first graphic novel, Bloodstar. He is best known for his comics appearing in Heavy Metal Magazine. His illustrious career has included work in album covers and movie posters, collaboration on a graphic novel with rock musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie, and an award-winning short film Neverwhere. He is the winner of the 2009 Spectrum Grand Master Award, and he was elected to the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2012.

For over forty years, Corben has established himself as one of the most extraordinary illustrators of Poe's works. His Edgar Allan Poe adaptations have appeared on the pages of the comic books Creepy, Edgar Allan Poe's Haunt of Horror, and Edgar Allan Poe's Spirits of the Dead. Among his dozens of comic book adaptations of Poe's tales and poems are popular favorites like "The Raven" and "The Cask of Amontillado," as well as little known classics like "Alone" and "Israfel." Not content with literal illustrations of Poe's words, Corben's exquisite artwork is often paired with his own unusual and innovative reinventions of the stories. In the introduction to Corben's latest collection of Poe adaptations, Edgar Allan Poe's Spirits of the Dead, Dr. M. Thomas Inge states, "Corben has proven to be the most acute and creative interpreter of Poe in comics history."

Edgar Allan Poe is the internationally influential author of such tales of "The Raven," "The Tell-Tale Heart," and "The Black Cat." He is credited with inventing the mystery genre as well as with pioneering both the modern horror story and science fiction. Poe died under mysterious circumstances at the age of forty. Although much of his life is known through contemporary documents, some areas of his life remain shrouded in mystery.

Opened in 1922, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum of Richmond is the world's finest collection of Edgar Allan Poe artifacts and memorabilia. The five-building complex features permanent exhibits of Poe's manuscripts, personal items, clothing, and a lock of the author's hair. The Poe Museum's mission is to interpret the life and influence of Edgar Allan Poe for a global audience. Edgar Allan Poe is America's first internationally influential author, the inventor of the detective story, and the forerunner of science fiction; but he primarily considered himself a poet. His poems "The Raven," "Annabel Lee," and "The Bells" are classics of world literature.

For more information, contact Chris Semtner at the Poe Museum at or 888-21-EAPOE. More information and a complete list of Poe-related activities can be found at

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Animator in Richmond

A bit far to the south perhaps, but we can drive there fairly quickly, so check out "Saxton Moore Gets Richmond Animated," By Andrew Cothern, March 15, 2010.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Baltimore Comic-Con at the VA Comicon

Richmond, Virginia - November 17, 2009 - The Baltimore Comic-Con is passing along the following press release from our friend and Harvey Awards sponsor VA COMICON, as we will be making a panel appearance during the show! Please join us at 2:30pm on Saturday, November 21st as Marc Nathan, founder and promoter of the Baltimore Comic-Con joins Shelton Drumm of Heroes Con to discuss inside information about comic conventions as well as surprise announcements!

The VA COMICON comes to Richmond, VA November 21-22, 2009 with 6 different GI JOE artists! This will be the first two-day comic book show in the state of Virginia in over 25 years, and will take place across 10,000+ square feet at the Crowne Plaza West (6532 W Broad Street in Richmond, VA).

With Guests of Honor Larry Hama (the creator of the Modern Day GI JOE franchise) and Chris Claremont (the #1 best-selling writer of X-Men), the event will be a blast for the whole family! These guests will be joined by dozens of top comic artists and writers including 6 different creators behind GI JOE, three different creators behind Deadpool, Alex Saviuk, the artist behind Stan Lee's The Amazing Spider-Man in the newspaper, and more!

Other Exhibitors include CGC comics grading services, the Hero Initiative, Regal Cinemas, Brick Weekly, The Wieringo Scholarship, multiple small press vendors, Nascar Comics, and MORE!

FREE for ALL children, FREE if you come in Full Costume, and FREE if you have a Student or Military ID! All other tickets are just $10 for the entire weekend! The first 750 paid admissions will receive a FREE VA Comicon holiday variant of Witchblade #132 by guest Randy Green! Art Auction Saturday, Costume Contest Sunday! Much more information at the VA Comicon website at!

Artist list:

LARRY HAMA (GI JOE, Wolverine, 'Nam)
KEVIN SHARPE (Nova, Army of Darkness)
CHRIS CLAREMONT (All things X-Men)
BILLY TUCCI (Sgt. Rock, Shi)
ADAM LUCAS (Zuda Winner)
ALEX SAVIUK (Spider-Man Sundays)
JOHN GALLAGHER (Nascar Heroes)
KELLY YATES (Dr. Who, Amber Atoms)
RICK KETCHAM (Amazing Spider-Man)
MIKE McKONE (Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, JLI)
JAMES KUHORIC (Dead Irons, Battlestar Galactica)
DAN PARENT (Betty and Veronica)
RANDY GREEN (Witchblade, Tomb Raider)
REILLY BROWN (Cable and Deadpool)
JIM CALAFIORE (Batgirl, Deadpool)
MARK McKENNA (Exiles, Countdown)
J.C. VAUGHN (CSI, Shi, Battlestar Galactica)
BUDD ROOT (creator of Cavewoman)
ANDY SMITH (Weapon X, Deadly Duo)
STEVE BIRD (Hard Time, Blue Beetle)
BRIAN SHEARER (Marvel Trading Cards)
KEN MARCUS (Super Human Resources)
LOUIS SMALL JR (Lady Death, Vampirella)
STEVE CONLEY (Bloop, Star Trek)
RICK SPEARS (Teenagers from Mars)
JAMES CALLAHAN (Strange Detective Tales)
....and MORE!

We look forward to seeing you there! Tickets available online! All online ticket holders get in ½ hour early each day! Show hours are 12p-7p on Saturday, November 21, and 10-4pm on Sunday November 22! Free Bowling Party on Saturday Night! FREE Parking! Go to for info and to RSVP!
See you there!

Next Year's Baltimore Comic-Con
Please mark your calendars now to join us in 2010 on August 28th and 29th for the Baltimore Comic-Con's 11th year. Confirmed guests include Michael and Laura Allred, Howard Chaykin, Frank Cho, Amanda Conner, Dan DiDio, Al Feldstein, Ron Garney, Michael Golden, Geoff Johns, Michael Lark, Phil Noto, Jimmy Palmiotti, Eric Powell, James Robinson, Jim Starlin, Mark Texeira, and Marv Wolfman.

Details on guests, the Harvey Awards, industry exclusives, and programming leading up to the show can always be found at our website, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and ComicSpace pages.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oct 27: Crumb and Mouly at VCU in Richmond

Genesis: A Conversation with R. Crumb and Fran├žoise Mouly
Sponsored in part by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation

Presented in partnership with the Department of Art & Art History, University Museums, Velocity Comics and VCU Libraries Special Collections

“Crumb doesn't posit answers to the human mess; instead he affirms it, in all its craziness, and invites us to laugh at the spectacle.” – The Boston Globe

“Robert Crumb . . . is the one and only genius the 1960s underground produced in visual art, either in America or Europe.” – The Guardian (UK)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009
7:30 pm
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond CenterStage
A Modlin Downtown Event

R. Crumb, regarded as the founding father of underground comics, got his first taste of fame, as well as notoriety, during the 1960s – his “Zap Comix” rapidly attracted the attention of a fan base whose members dwelt well beyond the geographical parameters of San Francisco’s Bay Area. Crumb, whose cartoons are controversial, funny, at times bizarre and always idiosyncratic, today occupies a place of honor in the world of high culture and art. His graphic narrative Genesis, scheduled for release in the fall of 2009, has generated more-than-eager anticipation. For his Richmond engagement, one of only five appearances nation-wide, Crumb will participate in a conversation with Fran├žoise Mouly, art editor for The New Yorker since 1993. She is also the founder, publisher, designer and co-editor along with her husband, cartoonist Art Spiegelman, of the avant-garde comics anthology RAW.

Audience Advisory:
Mature audiences only; contains sexual content.

Public Tickets: $19-$38 with discounts for seniors & children; through Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or Patrons requesting accessible seating should contact the Modlin Center Box Office at (804) 289-8980. Tickets for this and all Modlin Downtown events go on sale through Ticketmaster on August 24, 2009.

Campus Tickets: $30 employees (limit 4), FREE for students (limit 2); the campus community should contact the Modlin Center Box Office for premium tickets.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Richmond's Velocity Comics top 10 picks for 2008

"Top 10 Comics of 2008 - Velocity Comics," Brick Weekly January 02, 2009. I haven't been to this store? Anybody have? The list is much lighter on superheroes than I'd expect at a mainstream store.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Virginia Comic-Con in Richmond, November 23, 2008

The upcoming Virginia Comic-Con (or Central Virginia Comic-Con, depending on where you look on their web pages) will be on November 23rd, 2008 (the weekend before Thanksgiving). It's out of the DC metro area proper, but still within reasonable driving distance (depending on where in the region you are, I suppose!). I've never been, but it looks to be a reasonably small show, but with a decent guest list this year!

Special Guests include the Tsunami Studios gang (Rick Ketcham, Randy Green, Steve, Bird, John Wycough, Kelly Yates, and Brian Shearer). James Kuhoric (his only convention appearance this year), local yokel Steve Conley, Jason Craig, Louis Small Jr., and small press creators Martin Krause, Brian Vissagio, and Dan Nokes of 21st Century Sandshark Studios.

Their vendor list looks similar to the one you find at the Capital Associates show in Tyson's Corner -- Tomorrow's Treasures, Cards Comics and Collectibles, Richmond Comix, Dino Thore, Guy Rose, Dave Shankle, FanData Comics, Banks' Comics, Rick Fortenberry, Battlefield Comics, Brett's Comic Pile, New World, Kuti's Comics, All-American Comics, West End Comics, Heroes Aren't Hard to Find, Kupinski's Comics, Wonder Wares, Zeno's Comics, and Dominion Comics. Some names there that don't ring a bell though, so you're bound to find something you haven't seen before or are looking for that the "usual suspects" haven't had.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Medical editorial cartoons scanned in Richmond

"Protect Yourself Against Malaria"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 14, #6 Extra, May 1922

Virginia Commonwealth University's Tompkins-McCaw Library Special Collections' photostream has a mixture of photographs, artifacts and scans from books. I liked the editorial cartoons, but the photographs of medical school dissections probably get more viewers. Since this is a comics blog, here's some of the cartoons which all seem to come from the Virginia Health Bulletin.

"Virginia Health Almanac, 1914"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 5, #10, October 1913, p. 174

"Typhoid Fever: A Disease That Can Be Prevented"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 1, #3, September 1908, p. 120

"Typhoid: Beware the Black Hand"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 15, #9, September 1923

"Scarlet Fever, Diphtheria, and Disinfection"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 1, #6, December 1908, p. 216

"Summer Health Edition"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 12, #7, July 1920, p. 80

"Typhoid Fever And Its Prevention In Town and Country"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 3, #6, June 1911

"Consumption or Tuberculosis"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 1, #4, October 1908, p. 144

Friday, May 30, 2008

Richmond's AdHouse Books publisher Chris Pitzer

See Indie Spinner Rack Issue #125 from Monday, May 26, 2008 for Part One of our look at the state of comics distribution! Retailer Andrew Neal, owner of Chapel Hill Comics and publisher Chris Pitzer of AdHouse Books join us to discuss Diamond Comic Distributors - how the system works, what works well, what doesn't, and how can it be improved?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Poe catalogue for Richmond exhibit is out

Tom Inge's got another very interesting museum catalogue out to go with his show on Edgar Allan Poe in the comics which just opened at the Poe Museum in Richmond. Click here and go halfway down the page to order The Incredible Mr. Poe: Comic Book Adaptations of the Works of Edgar Allan Poe 1943-2007.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Eisner's PS Magazine scanned and online at VCU Library

Virginia Commonwealth University of Richmond has scanned and posted 162 issues of PS Magazine, Will Eisner's military training comic book.

Bob Andelman will be interviewing the librarian in charge of the project Cindy Jackson, as well as the author of the upcoming book, Will Eisner & PS Magazine, Paul Fitzgerald, on FRIDAY, APRIL 18 at 1 p.m. The URL is: and you can participate in a simultaneous web chat or call in and ask the experts your own questions at (646) 595-3135.

VCU's library is also the home of Tom Inge's comic book collection.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Incredible Mr. Poe exhibit - new opening date

The Incredible Mr. Poe: Edgar Allan Poe in the Comics
An Exhibition

In 1941, Russian immigrant Albert Lewis Kanter tried to introduce young people in the United States to fine literature by incorporating the classics into something they were already reading—comic books. In 1944, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” appeared in Kanter’s Classic Comics series, and ever since adaptations of both Poe and his works have been regular features in comic books and graphic novels, many of which will be on display April 24 to October 31 at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond ( Poe has even appeared as a comics hero himself alongside Batman and Scooby Doo.

M. Thomas Inge, Blackwell Professor of Humanities at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, and Poe Foundation trustee, has studied comic art for over forty years and published several books on the subject. His collection of comic books from childhood will form the core of the upcoming exhibition which is curated by Richmond artist Chris Semtner.

Also featured will be original artwork by such comic artists and illustrators as Rick Geary, Richard Corben, Gahan Wilson, Gris Grimly, Bill Griffith, and Patrick McDonnell, as well as proof sheets and original pages for some of the Classics Illustrated and other comic book versions loaned by collector Jim Vacca of Boulder, Colorado. An illustrated book and catalog will be available for purchase from the Museum Gift Shop with proceeds going to the Museum.

This will be the first exhibition ever devoted to the comic books and graphic narratives that have helped keep Poe’s name and works in the public eye for over sixty years. An opening reception will be held Thursday evening April 24, 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., with an Unhappy Hour, food, and music, free and open to the public. The Edgar Allan Poe Museum is located at 1914 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23223, phone 804 648-5523. For more information contact Rebecca Jones at or call toll free 888 21EAPOE.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Chris Pitzer and AdHouse Books

One of the interesting people I met at the Matt Wagner signing at Big Planet Comics was Chris Pitzer, publisher of AdHouse Books. He's got an absolutely lovely, and giant, James Jean art collection out now - the thing is enormous. Chris is based in Richmond - local enough for this blog! Check out his blog and publishing sites.