Friday, January 21, 2011

Comic Riffs profiles Team Cul de Sac

TEAM CUL DE SAC: Richard Thompson launches cartoon campaign to fight Parkinson's
By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog January 21 2011
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/comic-riffs/2011/01/team_cul_de_sac_richard_thomps.html

Caro on Saul Steinberg

In praise of Saul Steinberg

 by Caro
Hooded Utilitarian January 21 2011

Apparently Cul de Sac is controversial in the Deseret News...

...but the light is dawning!

Comic not funny
Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700069170/Comic-not-funny.html

--
Cul de Sac comic smart, upbeat
Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700071061/Cul-de-Sac-comic-smart-upbeat.html

--
Love Cul de Sac strip
Friday, Jan. 21, 2011
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700102586/Love-Cul-de-Sac-strip.html

Tea Partier swears off Wash Post in spite of losing Prince Valiant

The Newspaper Enemy
by Bill Colley WGMD Host
Jan 20, 2011
http://www.wgmd.com/?p=16141

There's not much you can say about a value system so skewed it allows someone to turn away from Prince Valiant.

Donna Lewis' art style comments?

Donna Lewis' art style for her new web comic 'Reply All' generates some negative comments from Scott Kurtz at the Daily Cartoonist. Donna, who's a lawyer, immediately threatens to sue them everyone into oblivion.


Ok, she doesn't really. Check out the link.

Nick Galifianakis booktour schedule

Nick Galifianakis' first book tour schedule is online now. In Washington, he'll be at Politics and Prose on Friday, February 11th - and his book is a perfect Valentine's gift.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Carla Speed Mcneil interview online

McNeil Talks "Finder" at Dark Horse
by Shaun Manning,
Wed, January 19th, 2011
http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=30401

Reason looks at cartoon porn sentencing

The Simpsons, Skins, and Child Porn
Jacob Sullum
Reason's Hit & Run blog January 20, 2011
http://reason.com/blog/2011/01/20/the-simpsons-skins-and-child-p

Herblock exhibit in Kentucky

Powerful doodles in KGMC exhibit
WENDY MITCHELL
Ledger Independent January 19, 2011
http://www.maysville-online.com/news/local/article_7e9f40dc-241e-11e0-8123-001cc4c002e0.html

and

Cartoonist Herb Block to featured [sic] at KGMC
Ledger Independent January 20, 2011
http://www.maysville-online.com/lifestyles/article_1dddbdc6-24b6-11e0-a328-001cc4c002e0.html

Weldon rambles on about Buffy comic

Apocalypse? We've All Been There: Comic-Book Buffy Gets a Season Finale
by Glen Weldon
National Public Radio's Monkey See blog January 20, 2011
http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2011/01/20/133053159/apocalypse-weve-all-been-there-comic-book-buffy-gets-a-season-finale

I'm afraid I have to agree with his paragraph on when REDACTED and REDACTED created a new universe by REDACTING... This post of his may have gotten the most comments too...

Donna Lewis profiled in Baltimore paper

Spankin'-new syndicated Washington cartoonist Donna Lewis is profiled... in a Baltimore paper! Oh, the shame. I did interview her on the City Paper blog before she was syndicated. Anyway, check this out -

Donna Lewis' A Comic Life
Rochelle Eisenberg
Baltimore Jewish Times January 21, 2011
http://www.jewishtimes.com/index.php/jewishtimes/news/jt/cover_story/donna_lewis_a_comic_life/22699

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kill Shakespeare at the Folger Shakespeare Library?

Yes, Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery, the creative team behind the comic book Kill Shakespeare will be at the Folger Shakespeare Library on Tuesday, February 15 at 7:30pm and tickets are $15. More information here, but basically the comic's premise is that Shakespeare's characters get tired of being jerked around, and decide to take out the creator. There's a collected edition of the first comics out now.

Carla Speed McNeil blogs on her Finder artwork

Carla Speed McNeil is putting her Finder series in the new Dark Horse Presents and she's got a couple of posts about doing the artwork on her blog now. The first deals with penciling and inking.
The second that went up today is on coloring instructions.

I was a big fan of DHP back in the day, and I'm glad to see it relaunching and Carla being in it. I'll be doing a Washington City Paper interview with her soon.

Comic Riffs talks to Dick Tracy's Locher

'DICK TRACY': Writer-artist Dick Locher hangs up his fedora after 32 years
By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog January 19 2011


The Hill looks at editorial cartoonist's constant-yet-every-changing problem

Drawing Boehner: Cartoonists work on Washington's new power player
by Kris Kitto
The Hill's The Washington Scene blog January 18, 2011,

 

Joe Fournier political cartoon in Sunday's Post

For the record, Joe Fournier had a Sarah Palin political cartoon "You Betcha" in Sunday's Washington Post from January 16, 2011.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Reason magazine slaps around editorial cartoonist Steve Benson

The Dupont Circle iconoclasts go after the Arizona Republic's editorial cartoonist Steve Benson -

The Giffords Shooting, as Only a Pulitzer Prize-winning Cartoonist Could Render it
Nick Gillespie
Reason.com January 17, 2011

Comic Riffs interviews Steve Breen

BORDER LINES: Why a third Pulitzer might be in Steve Breen's future
By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog January 18 2011

PR: WashPost's Cartoon Caption Contest

The Post has joined the caption-writing contest world...

Readers will have a chance at writing a cartoon caption with The Washington Post's caption-writing contest with Tom Toles.

 

WashPost editorial Cartoonist Tom Toles sketched a State of the Union cartoon here, but there's no caption: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/tomtoles/2011/01/state_of_the_union_cartoon_cap.html

 

Readers can post their suggested caption(s) in the comments section until 11:59 p.m. ET Monday, Jan. 24. The winner gets a print of the cartoon, with their suggested caption, signed by Tom Toles. The winner will be announced before Obama begins his State of the Union address that Tuesday evening.

 

For official rules, go here: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/tomtoles/tom-toles-cartoon-caption-cont.html

 

Feb 9: Kal is keynote speaker

In an event that must have Willie Don Schaeffer spinning in his grave (except he's still alive), Kal notes that he's the keynote speaker at Maryland Arts Day in Annapolis Wednesday February 9, 2011.

And, making it tough on Kal collectors, he's done two cartoons for the Economist cover this week - one for the US and one for Europe.

Team Cul de Sac launches for Parkinson's Disease fundraising

Chris Sparks, Cul de Sac's webmaster, has launched Team Cul de Sac to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Parkinson's Disease research. You can read Richard Thompson's take on it or just go right to the charity's main page and pledge some money. If you're a cartoonist, rather than contributing money, you may wish to participate in an art auction. Chris wants to raise $250,000 and has gotten commitments from excellent artists already (some of whom aren't even Richard's friends!), and Andrews McMeel will be publishing a collection of the artwork which I'm really looking forward to.

Thank you all for any support.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Comics Comics on Lost Art Books's Zim

Dan Nadel of Comics Comics has reviewed Joe Procopio and Lost Art Books's Zim reprint.

Truitt on Green Hornet, again

Inside the geek life of 'Green Hornet' star Seth Rogen
By Brian Truitt, USA TODAY January 17 2011.

My daughter, of all people, saw this today, and liked it ok.

Comicsgirl reviews Remake by Lamar Abrams

Comicsgirl reviewed Remake by Lamar Abrams, published by Chris Pitzer's Adhouse Books (from Richmond) and revealed that he's a local comics creator. Apparently I knew that at one time, but spaced out about it. A link to Mr. Abrams' site is being added to the list on the right, now.

Ruffin's Party Crashers exhibit review part 2

Out of print: comic book art reaches exhibition in Arlington part 2
Mark Ruffin
DC Comic Books Examiner January 13th, 2011

PR: Art Whino Now Offering Classes


Does your New Year Resolution's include taking classes
to sharpen your arsenal of skills?
Then you are in luck!

Art Whino is proud to announce it will now
start to offer unique and fun art classes



Image

We begin our line up of classes with four workshops. Please email us at classes@artwhino.com with your favorites and classes will begin once they are filled up.

Classes will be held at the gallery
122 Waterfront St
National Harbor, MD
20745

Classes will be in the evening Tues-Thurs starting at 8pm.
Monday class will begin at 6pm

1. CREATING YOUR ALTER-EGO AND YOUR DREAM ENVIRONMENT

30 dollars per session
4 sessions per month
Each session is 2 hours

The workshop will focus on the idea of alter-existence and fantasy. Participants will learn aspects of visual character development and how they relate to the persona of specific characters common in the graphic novel: Superman, Aeon Flux, and Dr. Manhattan, are some examples of iconic character personas that will be discussed. All of these characters' physical personas can be directly translated to their behavioral personas. We will analyze how the behavior of each character manifests itself in their physical being and expression, and then based on our behavioral states, each student will create our own alter ego, representative of the way they behave—rather than the way they look. Each student will then create a fantasy environment for his or her alter ego that will serve as its habitat. The alter ego can be anything from a 5-legged reptile to a working class male.

Materials: Canson Vellum, Black Micron Ink pen set of 3, Stabilo Marker Set of 12, N. 2 pencil, eraser, ruler.

Optional: Watercolor, colored pencil.

*Student is responsible for purchase of materials prior to first session.


2. ILLUSTRATING THE NARRATIVE

30 dollars per session
4 sessions per month
Each session is 2 hours

Students will learn the fundamentals of narrative structure used in telling the short story. They will read from the short stories of Donald Barthelme and Ernest Hemingway and will create a short story of their own. They will learn how to transfer their story from written word into visual depiction.

Materials: Canson Storyboard, Micron Ink Set of 3, Stabilo Marker Set of 12, N. 2 pencil, eraser, ruler.

Optional: Watercolor, colored pencil.

*Student is responsible for purchase of materials prior to first session.


3. PAINT THE SANDMAN FOR THE GAIMAN

30 dollars per session
4 sessions per month
Each session is 2 hours

Students will review Neil Gaiman's The Sandman Series for inspiration on how a serial narrative works. Students will begin drafting compositions using pencil, gridded paper, and tracing paper. These compositions will be loosely inspired and individually re-interpreted using Gaiman's Sandman Series as visual reference. The final product will be a series of narrative panel paintings loosely inspired from Neil Gaiman's serial comic The Sandman Series.

Materials needed: 4 Frederick pure linen canvases 11x14, N. 2 pencil, Micron black pen set of 3, Art Tin Watercolor set, Crayola Brush set of 4.

*Student is responsible for purchase of materials prior to first session


4. CREATING MAGIC FROM MINIATURE

50 dollars per session
4 sessions per month
Each session is 2 hours

Students will be taught techniques in storyboarding, miniature set building, and 3D character development. The resulting end product will be a short stop-motion animated video based on each student's own narrative.

**Prerequisites: None. Students must have a digital camera and Mac laptop.

Materials needed: Shoebox, Klutz Create with Clay, Cardboard, Sharpie black marker, Colored construction Paper.

Optional: Colored pencil, Stabilo Marker, Art Tin Watercolor set and crayola brushes.

*Student is responsible for purchase of materials prior to first session.


Tables available for Small Press Expo

The Small Press Expo is selling tables as of Friday. Click here for the details. SPX is Sept 10-11, 2011 in the North Bethesda Marriott Hotel and Convention Center.

Meet a Formerly Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Bebe Williams online at City Paper

Meet a Formerly Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Bebe Williams

Posted by Mike Rhode on Jan. 17, 2011
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/books/2011/01/17/meet-a-formerly-local-cartoonist-a-chat-with-bebe-williams/

Friday, January 14, 2011

Truitt interviews Green Hornet

Seth Rogen: Hollywood's latest comic book hero
BRIAN TRUITT
USA Weekend January 16, 2011
http://www.usaweekend.com/article/20110114/ENTERTAINMENT03/101160315

City Paper on Green Hornet

Don't see it in 3-D.
The Green Hornet Directed by Michel Gondry
By Tricia Olszewski
Washington City Paper January 14, 2011
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/40249/the-green-hornet-reviewed-dont-see-it-in-3-d/

Cul de Sac for FREE

...if you're a newspaper, and want to buy it for six months, you get one month of Richard Thompson's Cul de Sac for free. Alan Gardner caught the story at his Daily Cartoonist site.

Ruffin on Party Crashers exhibit

Out of print: comic book art reaches exhibition in Arlington

By Mark Ruffin, DC Comic Books Examiner

http://www.examiner.com/comic-books-in-washington-dc/torn-out-of-pages-part-1-review

Post review of anime "Summer Wars"

A visit to Oz, but no Dorothy
By Stephanie Merry
Washington Post January 14, 2010
http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/movies/summer-wars-sama-wozu,1178158/critic-review.html

A mom on 'Cars' and a for the record item

Today's Express also has an article about a two-year old's love of Pixar's Cars, -
 
Kristen Page-Kirby
Express January 14, 2011, p. 29
 
Yesterday the Post ran a wire story on a Captain America educational comic -
 
Moore, Matt / Associated Press.  2011.
Suicide help is comic's aim.
Washington Post (January 13): C6

Summer Wars anime interview in today's Express

Destruction of Oz: Mamoru Hosoda's anime 'Summer Wars' illustrates the perils of a networked world.
Written by Express contributor Ryan Little
January 14, 2011
http://www.expressnightout.com/content/2011/01/mamoru-hosada-summer-wars.php

Washington Examiner on Green Hornet

'Green Hornet' falls short of expectations
 Sally Kline
Washington Examiner January 14 2011, p. 29
http://washingtonexaminer.com/entertainment/movies/2011/01/green-hornet-falls-short-expectations

The Express ran the Post's review by Kois to.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Flugennock cartoon online

Flugennock checks in on Wikileaks and Twitter.

Kois on Green Hornet in Post

Harnessing the power of humor
By Dan Kois
Washington Post January 14, 2010
http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/movies/the-green-hornet,1158839/critic-review.html

He appears to like it, for the most part.

Post blogger recommends 'Paper Doll Orgy' collection

By Ezra Klein, January 12 2011.

The webcomic is by Ted McCagg.

USA Today on King!

'KING!' lays a rock and roll smackdown on evil
By John Geddes, USA TODAY January 13 2011
http://www.usatoday.com/life/comics/2011-01-13-king-blacklist13-ST_N.htm


SF Examiner on KAL's exhibit

Prime political cartoons from KAL
Cathy Bowman
San Francisco Examiner 01/12/11
http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/fine-arts/2011/01/prime-political-cartoons-kal

Beeler cartoon questioned on something called Sodahead

Nate's Beeler recent vulture cartoon is questioned on something called Sodahead. There's over 400 opinions logged now, if you can't get enough of that type of thing.

Third Eye Comics explains green superheroes

Green Good Guys: Steve Anderson on Green Superheroes

 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Truitt and USA Today on comics

Mission creep alert!

On the assumption that USA Today is based in northern Virginia, and it's reporters probably are too, I'm going to expand to listing all their comic articles, and not just the ones by ex-Washington Examiner reporter Brian Truitt.

Captain America puts focus on suicide prevention
By John Geddes, USA TODAY January 12 2011

Take a trip to alternate realities with 'The Infinite Vacation'
By Brian Truitt, USA TODAY January 12 2011

Archie to go day-and-date digitally with titles in April
By Brian Truitt, USA TODAY January 12 2011

Weldon on new comics news

Tonight, tomorrow: Brad Meltzer in town

I'm going to the one at Borders which is close to my house if anyone wants to meet up. For the record, many years ago I worked at the National Archives. Mike

Brad Meltzer
The Inner Circle


January 12, 2011 7:30 PM

Baileys Crossroads - Borders
5871 Crossroads Center Way
Baileys Crossroads, VA 22041

There are stories no one knows. Hidden stories. I love those stories. And since I work in the National Archives, I find those stories for a living. So says Beecher White, a young archivist who spends his days working with the most important documents of the U.S. government.

January 13 at 7 pm, at Politics and Prose.

Brad's site

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Comic Riffs on cartoons about Arizona murders

TUCSON TRAGEDY: Cartoonists diverge on whether to go partisan
By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog January 11 2011

Local cartoonist Nate Beeler is interviewed.

Fairfax Times on Party Crashers exhibit

Comic book art gets its due: Artisphere's ‘Party Crashers' exhibit ties two worlds together
by David Hoffman | Fairfax Times January 11 2011

I'm afraid I haven't made it to this half of the exhibit yet. Maybe this weekend!

The Reply All Blog

Donna Lewis, Washington's latest syndicated cartoonist, emailed today about her blog:

It's here.....
 
The Reply All blog (aka "In Case I Forget to Tell You Later...")  is a collection of observations based on best intentions and worst utterances.  Yes, the blog will celebrate - and satirize - the things we say, should have said and wish we had said.
 
 
Enjoy....and comment!

 
 

"In case I forget to tell you..."

www.crazedangels.com
www.replyallcomic.com

Comix Talk on Facebook

Robert / Xavier says "Comix Talk <finally!> on FB -- updates from the site + news on some of the special projects I've got in the works for this year. If you like the site I'd appreciate you adding the FB page too!  Thanks and happy new years!"

To see more details, follow the link below: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Comix-Talk/148676071845727

He's got a bunch of interviews and photos from SPX up already.

Comic Riffs interviews Barry Blitt

IMAGE OF THE DAY: New Yorker cover artist sends Spider-Man to the hospital
By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog January 11 2011
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/comic-riffs/2011/01/art_of_the_day_new_yorker_illu.html

Some more Richard Thompson book dedication drawings

My buddy Doug has four shots of drawings in Cul de Sac books up at his Dougintology blog. The drawings appear to be by Richard Thompson, but if he offers them on e-bay, I'd ask for a certificate of authenticity.

Hey, readership, what's the word for 'book dedication drawings' in French?

University of Maryland's Jerry Lee On-Line Photo Archive at the Library of American Broadcasting

I just found out about the University of Maryland's Jerry Lee On-Line Photo Archive at the Library of American Broadcasting. There's a few photographs of interest on cartoons and comics.
 
 
The cartoon search produces more hits, mostly Ripley of Ripley's Believe or Not, but there's also a couple of Green Hornet shots. The new movie opens this week, but I think this 1930's Hornet looks tougher.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Caro doesn't get Love & Rockets' Human Diastrophism

http://www.tcj.com/hoodedutilitarian/2011/01/form-fetish-and-diastrophism/

But who really does?

Cartoon anarchist Mike Flugennock interview online at City Paper

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat With Mike Flugennock
Posted by Mike Rhode on Jan. 10, 2011
 
This one is well worth checking out - when's the last time you heard about a cartoonist slapping posters up on walls?

Ricky Gervais Show interview in the Examiner

Morrow, Terry / Scripps Howard News Service.  2011.
'The Ricky Gervais Show' returns to HBO.
Washington Examiner (January 20): 20
 
It's an interview with Karl Pilkington, the foil on the show, and not very interesting.

Swann Fellowship at Library of Congress

Applications for the Swann Fellowship in Caricature and Cartoon, one of the few in the field, are due Feb. 15, 2011. For guidelines, requirements, and application form, please see following in Library of Congress web pages: http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/swann/swann-fellow.html

 

Jan 12, 13: Brad Meltzer at Borders, Politics and Prose

Brad Meltzer
The Inner Circle


January 12, 2011 7:30 PM

Baileys Crossroads - Borders
5871 Crossroads Center Way
Baileys Crossroads, VA 22041

There are stories no one knows. Hidden stories. I love those stories. And since I work in the National Archives, I find those stories for a living. So says Beecher White, a young archivist who spends his days working with the most important documents of the U.S. government.

January 13 at 7 pm, at Politics and Prose.

Brad's site

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Truitt on comic writer Nick Spencer

These are the Glory days for writer Nick Spencer
By Brian Truitt, USA TODAY January 8 2011
http://www.usatoday.com/life/comics/2011-01-09-morning-glories_N.htm

Carolyn Belefski's recent podcast online now

Carolyn Belefski is reporting that her recent appearance on the You, Me, Them, Everybody podcast is online now.

Magic Bullet #2 newspaper fundraising at Kickstarter

The Rafer Roberts-led, DC Conspiracy free Magic Bullet #2 cartoon newspaper is fundraising at Kickstarter now, with lots of neat rewards. I've just pledged.

Big Planet Comics pictures on Facebook

100_5802
Greg Bennett, Gary Panter, Steve Niles and Joel Pollack at Big Planet Comics, July 20, 2008.

Big Planet Comics has put pictures of cartoonist appearances at the stores on Facebook.

You can see more, and mostly different pictures on my Flickr site.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Zadzooks reviews comics

Zadzooks: Star Wars Blood Ties & Superman vs. Muhammad Ali
Big, bad and funny with lots of punch
By Joseph Szadkowski
The Washington Times January 7, 2011
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/7/zadzooks-star-wars-blood-ties-superman-vs-ali/

Stuever's review of Bob's Burgers

TV review: 'Bob's Burgers,' another gross cartoon where the laughs are burnt to a crisp
By Hank Stuever
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 7, 2011
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/07/AR2011010702663.html

For some reason, this isn't actually in the print paper.

New superhero TV show The Cape reviewed in Express

It's a generally positive review:
 
McDonough, Kevin / United Features Syndicate.  2011.
New High-Flying Hero: A cop transforms into a caped crusader in a new NBC drama.
[Washington Post] Express (January 7): 35

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Comic Riffs 'best in comics' contest open now

THE BEST IN COMICS: Time to vote from these nominees...

Todd Webb illustrates Pluto killer article in Express

Todd Webb illustrates an article about Pluto killer (or downsizer rather) in today's Express with a comic strip.

January 8: Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro showing

On January 8th at 2 pm, the Library of Congress is showing Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro, one of the great director's most acclaimed anime films. It's free.

Navy World War 2 cartoon by Hotchkiss online now

MIS 09-7914-1"He had his heart set on pate de foie gras. Navy chow is the best!
Take all you can eat, eat all you can take! Don't be finicky!"
[Nutrition.] [Propaganda.] [World War 2.] [Illustration by "Hotchkiss USNR".] World War II. Cartoon.
1944; Bureau of Supplies and Accounts: Navy; U.S. Government Printing Office; U.S. Navy BUMED Library and Archives

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Mike Lupica's Hero novel

Mike Lupica was inspired by comic books to write 'Hero,' about a boy with super powers
by Tracy Grant
Washington Post January 5, 2011
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/04/AR2011010403727.html

Comic Riffs talks to Stan Lee, AGAIN

STAN LEE gets a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog January 4 2011
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/comic-riffs/2011/01/stan_lee_gets_star_on_hollywoo.html

Weldon on being scarred by the Teen Titans letter column, and other news

New Year, New Changes; Also, FLEX MENTALLO! HERO OF THE BEACH!
by Glen Weldon
National Public Radio's Monkey See blog January 5, 2011
http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2011/01/05/132672533/new-year-new-changes-also-flex-mentallo-hero-of-the-beach

Comic book reviews on City Paper

International Ink: France, Canada, England, New York, and New Haven
Posted by Mike Rhode on Jan. 5, 2011

 

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Kal on PBS NewsHour's ArtBeat

Kal writes in:

I wanted to alert you that PBS NewsHour's ArtBeat has just posted a 5 minute video interview they conducted with me at my recent cartoon exhibition in San Francisco.

You can view it here:


or at my Sketchblog

Also, due to the success of the 2011 Economist Wall Calendar, The Economist has commissioned me to create the 2012 edition. Get your orders in now! 

January 6: Carolyn Belefski at Looking Glass Lounge

Saw this on Carolyn's Facebook page:

LIVE Talk Show - You, Me, Them, Everybody

@ The Looking Glass Lounge


You are invited to join the live taping of "You, Me, Them, Everybody" hosted by Brandon Wetherbee. Guests include cartoonist Carolyn Belefski, stand up comedian Jeff Maurer, a special set from Armida Lowe, music from Ian Walters and more.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Looking Glass Lounge
3634 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

Show at 8:30 PM, 21+, no cover

http://www.youmethemeverybody.com/events

Fred Harper illustrated Barry's year-end column in Post Magazine

Caricaturist Fred Harper illustrated Dave Barry's year-end humor column in the Washington Post Magazine this year. It was the January 2, 2011 issue.

90 Years Ago....

A guest post from  Warren Bernard:

Almost to the day 90 years ago, the now under-appreciated Art Young penned this cartoon for his short-lived, self-published magazine Good Morning.

Given current events, enjoy it for its timelessness!!


Amusing blurb on Newseum and National Archives program on Civil War cartoon online at City Paper

"Thursday: The Cartoons of the Civil War at the Newseum," January 4, 2011, http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/visual-arts/2011/01/04/thursday-the-cartoons-of-the-civil-war-at-the-newseum/

DC Comics letter page to return, says Post wire story

At DC Comics, readers' letters to make a return
By MATT MOORE
The Associated Press Monday, January 3, 2011
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/03/AR2011010303437.html

Monday, January 03, 2011

OT: Food fluffer Lisa Cherkasky featured on Arlington county website

My friend and neighbor, food fluffer (ie stylist) Lisa Cherkasky is being featured in a "Food for Thought" video on Arlington County's main web page: http://www.arlingtonva.us/default.aspx or you can go directly to Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIOBmqyxk0E

More Comic Riffs year in review columns

'Riffs in Review: Top OBAMA cartoons from 2010 By Michael Cavna, and 'RIFFS IN REVIEW: The Top Comics Quotes of 2010 also by Michael Cavna.

2010 comics deaths Comic Riffs and guest post

Comic Riffs is getting back in the swing, and has "'Riffs in Review: Remembering 10 cartooning greats who died in 2010," By Michael Cavna, 01/3/2011, online now. I would quibble with some choices, but it's a good starting list of 'big name' cartoonists lost in 2010.

A few days earlier, D.D. Degg had posted a his list of losses in comic art to a Comic-Strip-Classics, a comic strip history email list that I'm on, so I asked his permission to repost it. Here it is, with suprisingly little overlap with Cavna's list:


These are cartoonists who had a connection to comic strips, editorial cartoons and magazine cartoons.

Someone else will have to add those who didn't drift into those genres from animation (Rudy Larriva, Alex Anderson) or comic books (Valerie Barclay, Vic Dowd) or elsewhere.

If someone wants to post it elsewhere, they have my blessing.

The following cartoonists passed away in 2010:

CHARLES J. (CHUCK) THERRIEN
April 16, 1918 - January 4, 2010
editorial cartoonist: Curry Coastal Pilot 1990s-2000s (15 years)
aeronautical operations analyst

EDWARD LAMAR SPARKMAN
July 11, 1921 - January 6, 2010
sports cartoonist: Tampa Tribune 1947 - 1987

CALVIN C. MAGLINGER
December 5, 1924 - January 20, 2010
art director/illustrator: Evansville Courier Press - 21 years circa ?
painter

REVEREND APOLINARIO ELLIOT MARIANO (BAT) BATIANSILA, JR.
February 29, 1932 - January 31, 2010
comic: Amen
Lutheran minister

FRANK INTERLANDI
March 10, 2010 - February 4, 2010
comic: Interlude with Interlandi (Daily Iowan -college paper)
comic panel: The Cynics Corner
comic panel: Below Olympus
editorial cartoonist: Des Moines Register/Tribune 1953-1962
editorial cartoonist: L. A. Times 1962 - 1981
twin brother: cartoonist Phil Interlandi
painter

MARVIN STEIN
February 11, 1925 - February 11, 2010
comic strip: Funnyman
comic strip: Sky Masters
comic strip: Steve Canyon
comic strip: McGurk's Mob
comic books

CHARLES JERRY GRANDENETTI
April 15, 1926 - February 19, 2010
comic strip: The Spirit
comic books, tv storyboards, advertising

HERMAN GUTIERREZ
April 13, 1924 - March 5, 2010
editorial cartoonist: Corpus Christi Caller-Times
art teacher

DONALD W. (DON) SHERWOOD
September 12, 1930 - March 6, 2010
comic strip: Cotton Woods
comic strip: Will Chance
comic strip: Captain Flame
comic strip: Terry and the Pirates
comic strip: Dan Flagg
comic strip: Deadline
comic panel: Return With Us To...
comic strip: Sergeant Preston of the Yukon
comic strip: I Love a Mystery
comic strip: The Flintstones
comic strip: Tom and Jerry
comic panel: Dick Clark's Rock, Roll and Remember
comic books

JOHN M. KANE, JR.
February 9, 1935 - March 10, 2010
magazine cartoonist: New Yorker 2003 - 2010
advertising

WILLIAM STEPHEN (BILL) MURPHY
February 9, 1931 - March 15, 2010
magazine cartoonist: Esquire, Playboy
book illustrator, graphic designer, art director, painter

RICHARD JOSEPH (DICK) GIORDANO
July 20, 1932 - March 27, 2010
comic strip: Friday Foster
comic books

HENRY SCARPELLI
July 30, 1930 - April 4, 2010
comic strip: Little Sport
comic panel: TV Tee Hees
comic strip: Archie
comic books

THOMAS ARCHER (TOM) RAY
August 2, 1919 - April 6, 2010
comic strip: Starlight
animation

RAY BARTON
December 23, 1929 - April 18, 2010
cartoonist, illustrator, advertising
Minnesota Twins logo

THEODORE M. (TED) PETOK
April 4, 1917 - April 20, 2010
cartoonist: Stars and Stripes (World War 2)
magazine cartoonist and illustrator
animation, advertising and commercial artist

PETER O'DONNELL
April 11, 1920 - May 3, 2010
comic strip: Modesty Blaise
British comic: Belinda
British comic: Garth
British comic: Tug Transom
British comic: For Better or Worse
British comic: Eve
British comic: Romeo Brown
British comic: James Bond
British comic books
author

BERNARD ARTST SCHOENBAUM
August 8, 1920 - May 7, 2010
magazine cartoonist: New Yorker, Saturday Review
magazine cartoonist: True, Wall Street Journal
portraitist, fine art

FRANK A. FRAZETTA
February 9, 1928 - May 10, 2010
comic strip: Flash Gordon
comic strip: Li'l Abner
comic strip: Johnny Comet/Ace McCoy
comic books, book illustrator/cover artist,
movie posters, artist

HOWARD W. (HOWIE) POST
November 2, 1926 - May 21, 2010
comic strip: The Dropouts
comic books, animation

ARTHUR GORDON (ART) LINKLETTER
[nee: Gordon Arthur Kelly]
July 17, 1912 - May 26, 2010
comic panel: Art Linkletter's Kids
radio and tv personality, author

ANTHONY LOUIS (TONY) DI PRETA
July 9, 1921 - June 2, 2010
comic strip: Tim Tyler's Luck
comic strip: Mickey Finn
comic strip: Joe Palooka
comic strip: Rex Morgan, M.D.
comic books

ALFONSO (AL) WILLIAMSON
March 21, 1931 - June 12, 2010
comic strip: Tarzan
comic strip: Ace McCoy
comic strip: Flash Gordon
comic strip: Rip Kirby
comic strip: Dan Flagg
comic strip: Big Ben Bolt
comic strip: Secret Agent Corrigan
comic strip: Star Wars
comic books, illustrator

KENNETH HOWARD (KEN) MUSE
April 28, 1925 - June 19, 2010
comic strip: Wayout
cartoonist, author (how-to cartooning books),
tv clown/artist

JOSEPH HUGH (JOE) MESSERLI
November 18, 1930 - June 23, 2010
comic strip: Ella Cinders
comic strip: Napoleon and Uncle Elby
comic strip: The Flintstones
comic books, animation, freelance illustrator

EDWARD J. (ED) ASHLEY
May 5, 1922 - June 26, 2010
editorial cartoonist: Toledo Blade 1972 - 85

WALTER R. (WALT) STEINSIEK
November 1, 1926 - June 27, 2010
"The World's Greatest Bowling Cartoonist"
columnist

ROBIN KING
August 31, 1919 - July 12, 2010
comic strip: The Spirit
comic books, children's book author/illustrator,
radio personality, tv voiceovers

MICHAEL GLEN (MIKE) GAULDIN
November 13, 1954 - July 22, 2010
editorial cartoonist: Arkansas Times 2005 - 09
Governor Bill Clinton's press officer,
U.S. Geological Survey public affairs officer

JOHN MICHAEL CALLAHAN
February 5, 1951 - July 24, 2010
comic panel: Callahan
cartoonist

ALFRED (AL) CABRAL
February 28, 1925 - August 7, 2010
comic strip: Dr. Pett the Vet
sports cartoonist/illustrator: Standard Times
photographer

EDWARD GEORGE (EDDIE) KEAN
October 28, 1924 - August 13, 2010
comic strip: Howdy Doody
tv writer/composer/lyricist
creator of the word "kowabunga"
stock broker

WILLIAM LARRY HOLLOWAY
October 22, 1937 - August 14, 2010
editorial cartoonist: Orlando Sentinel (freelance)
architect, artist

RONALD PAUL OVERMYER
July 18, 1948 - August 27, 2010
comic strip: Hollywood Dog
cartoonist

PAUL FRANCIS CONRAD
June 27, 1924 - September 3, 2010
editorial cartoonist: Denver Post 1950 - 64
editorial cartoonist: L. A. Times 1964 - 93
editorial cartoonist: syndicated 1993 - 2010
Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist (1964, 1971, 1984)

HOWARD JOSEPH BRODIE
November 28, 1915 - September 12, 2010
sports cartoonist/illustrator: San Francisco Chronicle
combat artist
courtroom artist
Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame

STUART ERTZ (STOO) HAMPLE
(aka Joe Marthen)
January 6, 1926 - September 19, 2010
comic strip: Long Sam
comic strip: Robin Malone
comic panel: Children's Letters to God
comic strip: Rich and Famous
comic strip: Inside Woody Allen
comic strip: The Islander
studio assistant to Al Capp (Fearless Fosdick Wildroot advertising strips)
author, tv writer/performer, advertising

EDWARD M. (ED) HECHTMAN
September 19, 1922 - October 4, 2010
comic strip: Tommy Gun (Stars and Stripes)
comic strip: The Best Years
cartoonist, advertising, painter

CONRAD E. DAY
May 6, 1920 - October 5, 2010
comic strip: By Ned
grocer

JAMES EDWARD (JIM) SEED
April 14, 1927 - October 9, 2010
comic strip: Cranberry Bogg
comic strip: Dr. Guy Bennett
comic strip: Jane Arden
comic strip: Steve Roper
comic strip: Judge Parker
comic strip: Rex Morgan, M.D.

EUGENE GRAY (GENE) PAYNE, JR.
January 29, 1919 - October 14, 2010
editorial cartoonist: Birmingham News 1959
editorial cartoonist: WSOC-TV 1971 - 78
editorial cartoonist: Charlotte Observer 1958, 1960-71, 1978-2009
Pulitzer prize-winning editorial cartoonist 1968

LEO ALOYSIUS CULLUM
January 11, 1942 - October 23, 2010
magazine cartoonist: New Yorker 1977 - 2010 (gagman earlier)
magazine cartoonist: others (his last published cartoon may be
the one published in the December 26, 2010 edition of Parade)
airline pilot

MICHAEL R. (MIKE) ESPOSITO
July 14, 1927 - October 24, 2010
comic strip: Terry and the Pirates
comic strip: Apartment 3-G
comic strip: The Incredible Hulk
comic strip: The Amazing Spider-Man
comic books

PATRICK WESSEL
July 16, 1985 - October 24, 2010
cartoonist: The (St. Louis) University News
model, actor

DAVID SCULL BIDDLE
April 23, 1925 - November 10, 2010
comic strip: Biddle's Birdcage
illustrator, painter, sculptor,
high school English and history teacher, banker

ADRIENNE ROY (TOLLIN)
June 28, 1953 - December 14, 2010
comic strip: The World's Greatest Superheroes/Superman
comic strip: Batman
comic books

WILLIAM T. (BILL) KEOUGH
October 7, 1936 - December 17, 2010
editor: The Gag Recap
editor: Cartoon Opportunities
editor: The Directory of Cartoonists and Gagwriters
newspaper reporter/columnist/headline writer/editor
stand-up comedian

RICKY GENE (RICK) HUPKA
July 9, 1953 - December 21, 2010
cartoonist: amateur
associated with: North Central Chapter of National Cartoonists Society
phone company, hardware

Corrections and additions encouraged
D.D.Degg

Robert Steibel interview online at City Paper

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Rob Steibel

January 6: Civil War political cartoons at Newseum

Here's a tip from Warren Bernard. This is a National Archives event and hopefully will be free, but it doesn't specify on their calendar yet.

Thursday, January 6, at 7 p.m.

Presented at the Newseum's Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater

555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C.

Political Cartoons of the Civil War and Their Role in Shaping History

How do political cartoons from the Civil War era reveal what Americans thought about the war and how they participated in the politics of the day? Join us for an illustrated discussion focusing on political cartoons—whether humorous, clever, or scathing—and their role in providing insight into the economic, political and moral issues surrounding the Civil War. Featured will be both Union and Confederate political cartoons. Moderated by Harold Holzer, co-author of The Lincoln Image: Abraham Lincoln and Popular Print, panelists include Joshua Brown, author of Beyond the Lines: Pictorial Reporting, Everyday Life, and the Crisis of Gilded Age America, John Adler, who compiled for the online resource HarpWeek, Illustrated Civil War Newspapers and Magazines, and Richard West, co-author of William Newman: A Victorian Cartoonist in London and New York.

The National Archives Experience is pleased to present tonight's program in partnership with the Newseum.



Sunday, January 02, 2011

Beeler's top 'toons of 2010 in Washington Examiner today

Six (!) of "Beeler's top 'toons of 2010" are in the Washington Examiner today.  This link spawns an external viewer and sort of works - you want page 16; otherwise the paper's at http://www.washingtonexaminer.com

But six?!  For a four-times a week cartoonist?

Comic Riffs notes its most notable stories

By Michael Cavna
January 1, 2010

Michael's done some good stories this year, and the list is worth examining to see if you missed any of it.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Carla Speed McNeil's Finder to appear in Dark Horse Presents

Richardson on the Return of "Dark Horse Presents", by Shaun Manning, Fri, December 31st, 2010 has a paragraph of the details.

Post on horror comics anthologies

Fright from the '50s, on sturdy modern paper
By Dennis Drabelle
Washington Post January 1, 2011; C03
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/31/AR2010123103529.html

Fredric Wertham Papers opened at Library of Congress - the author's cut

This was shortened drastically when it appeared in the Washington City Paper's print version and online as "Hate Comic Books? Library of Congress Opens Papers of Comics Opponent Fredric Wertham," Aug. 11, 2010, http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/artsdesk/books/2010/08/11/hate-comic-books-library-of-congress-opens-papers-of-comics-opponent-fredric-wertham/ last year. Completely understandable, as I turned in 3,500 words when they asked for 2,000 and had space for 1,000. Starting a new year, I'll assume ComicsDC readers may be interested in the longer version. My thanks again to everyone who helped me out and cooperated with writing this. Except for the first 3 words, this is as I wrote it last August.


This past summer, the Library of Congress opened a collection of papers from the man who almost singlehandedly destroyed comic books in the 1950s. Or perhaps they instead opened the collection of one of the first psychologists to be concerned with children's mental health and pop culture's possible effects. Opinions vary, and people of good faith disagree, but this past May, the Library of Congress quietly opened 222 containers of psychiatrist Fredric Wertham's papers. While the great majority of Americans haven't heard of the man, for a select few, the ability to read through his letters will be a big deal. That's because Fredric Wertham wrote a book about comic books and juvenile delinquency. Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent came out in 1954 as a culmination of a decade-long campaign against comic books, and quickly became a rallying point for Cold War concerns about teenage culture. Although the Library has had the records since 1987, they've been sealed except to people approved by Wertham's estate—and in that time, only two people were allowed to use them.  

 

 "For comic-book fans, Fredric Wertham is the biggest villain of all time, a real-life bad guy worse than the Joker, Lex Luthor, and Magneto combined," comics historian Jeet Heer wrote for Slate's review of David Hajdu's book, The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America. "For Wertham, even the most beloved comic-book heroes were suspect: Superman reminded him of Nazi Germany's SS (a cadre of self-styled supermen), the adventures of Batman and Robin had homoerotic overtones, and Wonder Woman threatened to turn healthy young girls into lesbians." Many comic book collectors believe that Wertham almost destroyed comics, as after being hauled before a Congressional investigation, publishers created a Comic Code Authority to self-police themselves and began selling the bland superheroes that the 1960s Batman television show would mock. Amy Nyberg, author of Seal Of Approval: The History Of The Comics Code, places a good bit of the blame on Wertham. She wrote, "The key witness at the Senate hearings and the leader of the crusade against comics was Wertham. He took the position that comic books were harmful, and he pressed for legislation restricting the sale of comic books to children under age sixteen." In Nyberg's work, we see the first signs of rehabilitating Wetham's reputation and she continued, "But Wertham's argument was much more complex than the idea he was often accused of perpetrating: that there was a direct causal link between comic book reading and juvenile delinquency. The problem of juvenile delinquency, he believed, stemmed from the fact that society was trapped in a 'cult of violence' of which comic books were simply a manifestation."

 

Bart Beaty, one of the two people permitted to use the collection before this summer, has probably done the most to renovate the reputation of Wertham with his book, Fredric Wertham and the Critique of Mass Culture.  At its core, Beaty's book argues that Wertham was right and comic books should have been regulated; however it is worth noting that Beaty, as a Canadian, has no First Amendment rights or protections in his own country. It is also notable that Wertham's crusade against comic books was replicated in many other countries – John Lent's book Pulp Demons: International Dimensions of the Postwar Anti-Comics Campaign details a similar story in Canada, Germany, Australia, Britain and Asia.

 

Wertham's research wouldn't be accepted by most today, as it relied on anecdotal evidence from youngsters he saw in his Harlem practice, where he ran the Lafargue Psychiatric Clinic. However, in an online debate with Craig Fischer posted at The Comic Reporter as 'Let's You and Him Fight: Fredric Wertham and the Critique of Mass Culture Day One,' Beaty wrote "A great many of the things that Wertham believed are things that I believe today, and in his writings and papers what I found was not some crazed loon, but a highly intelligent and highly principled man unafraid to take unpopular stands in troubled times. When comic book fans tell me that Wertham should rot in hell for criticizing EC Comics I am mystified. Here's a man who opened a free psychiatric clinic in Harlem at a time when he was one of a small handful of doctors who would even treat black psychiatric patients, working there no less than two nights each week as a volunteer, and providing testimony that was important to overturning American school segregation, and we're worried about the fact that he didn't like EC? Talk about missing the forest for the trees."

 

Among the 88,000 items in Wertham's papers are "notes, drafts, and related materials for Wertham's major works including Seduction of the Innocent (1954)." In Seduction, Wertham showed multiple examples of disturbing scenes reprinted from comics, including torture and murder. According to Sara Duke, the librarian who mentioned the opening of the collection on the Comix-Scholar's e-mail list, rather than sending the comics to be housed with the rest of the library's collection, "The Manuscript Division is keeping the comic books [Wertham used] because he made notations on onion skin paper and inserted them in his comic books." Wertham's papers add another important component to the library's comic-art collection, which includes comic books in the Serials Department and original comic art in the Prints and Photographs Division (including the original artwork to the first Spider-Man appearance).

 

Beaty's devoted a significant portion of his life to studying comic books – an avocation that he feels that Wertham probably wouldn't appreciate. In the third day of his debate with Fischer, Beaty noted, "…[I]n Seduction Wertham sees absolutely no value in comic books. It's hard to find a single approving thing he has to say about comics in the entire manuscript (whatever exceptions exist are sarcastic). On the other hand, he does seem to find some value in them in The World of Fanzines, his last book. I sometimes wonder if this is a drastic late career shift in belief (as many argue) or a natural continuation and logical extension of his existing thinking. It seems to me that Wertham did recognize some value in comics - particularly comic strips. He was friendly with people like Milton Caniff (and owned a Caniff original) and Al Capp, for example.  I think that The World of Fanzines sheds some light on the reasons: Wertham didn't hate the form so much as the industry (though, clearly, he was no fan of the form). Some of the excised material from Seduction would have made this even more clear. Wertham spoke with a number of cartoonists who told him that it was the publishers who required more blood, guts and gore in the book, and many of these whistleblowers saw Wertham as someone who could help end a practice that they themselves were uneasy with. The draft that Wertham sent to the publisher, for example, contained revelations about DC's treatment of Siegel and Shuster that came right from the source, and would have blown the lid off the shoddy treatment that they received decades before it became a cause celebre in fandom. The lawyers, however, thought it would be actionable and that entire chapter becomes a series of unnamed sources, which considerably dampens its impact (it's so gutted and toothless that I sometimes wonder why he even bothered to retain it)."

 

Charles Hatfield, author of Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature says he had "never heard or read a defense of his work until 1995, when I attended a conference panel in comics studies that happened to include Wertham scholar James Reibman. To say that I was surprised to hear Reibman defend Wertham, and endorse some of the findings of Seduction, would be a pitiful understatement. I was shocked, frankly, and I remember discussing that panel with my wife and others afterward and trying to grapple with the possibility that there could be a reading of Wertham other than the comic fan's usual demonization. I would soon learn that Wertham was a progressive intellectual, that his expert testimony played a part in dismantling legal segregation in this country, and that he provided low-cost or free mental health care to the disenfranchised and neglected.  While I don't endorse Reibman's interpretation, it's hard not to admire, and to be fascinated by, a figure such as Wertham, one who defied many of the prejudices of his time and took such forward-looking and liberating positions."

 

 

"I still believe that Wertham was wrong about comics: not necessarily about the content of the most retrograde and vicious of the comics of that era (there was indeed some hateful material in those comics), but about the supposed impact of the form on literacy and reading habits, which he saw as uniformly detrimental. The larger literacy argument that Wertham tried to make was and still is generally neglected, as opposed to the moral hygiene and social justice arguments, and I think on the literacy question he was dead wrong. After more than fifty years we are still obliged to reference Seduction in much of our comics scholarship, and so the opening of Wertham's papers to more researchers should be celebrated. This is a very important resource!"

 

Joseph Witek is the author of the groundbreaking study Comic Books as History: The Narrative Art of Jack Jackson, Art Spiegelman, and Harvey Pekar. He's undertaken a project where he is now reading a lot of pre-Comics Code books and notes, "One thing that gets lost in the demonization of Wertham  is something that has become clear now that digital scans of pre-Code comics are becoming widely available:  his characterization of those comics is often absolutely accurate.  To a large extent, later comics readers have been misled by the narrow selection of reprinted crime and horror comics that were previously available--EC comics were not "average" in taste or quality by a very long shot.  You don't have to agree with Wertham's ideas about the social or moral consequences of reading such comics to see that many of them contain depictions of violence, sex, and to some extent, racism that go far beyond anything shown in most other media of the day.  Many comics were available to anyone big enough to put a dime on the counter that certainly would have "Mature readers" or other content warnings today. "

 

"The question of whether Wertham was "right" depends on what he is supposed to have been right about--he made a lot of sweeping statements about a number of complex issues, and it's obvious that the main question of media effects has yet to be resolved, if indeed it ever could be. Comics of the day often: Were more graphically violent than almost any other popular media; were extremely racist and sexist; were poorly drawn, written, and edited; were shoddily printed; contained manipulative and arguably fraudulent advertisements;  were available to readers of all ages; and contained story content and ads aimed at readers of wildly different ages. How such content actually affected the behavior of different readers and what, if anything, should be done about such comics are different matters."

 

Joel Pollack, owner of the local Big Planet Comics store, came to comic books as Wertham's crusade was fading a bit. "I discovered comic fandom (and Wertham) at the age of 14. I assumed the popular belief that Wertham had tainted comics, and peoples' opinions of comics, in an irreparable manner. I regularly borrowed Seduction of the Innocent from the Silver Spring Public Library, but never read it fully cover-to-cover. Nonetheless, I felt Wertham was wrong, and that he never recognized comics as an art form. Of course, by the time I discovered Wertham, TV was established as the dominant corrupter of youth, and comics were already becoming a very minor player in youth media. However, I believe the CCA did stifle creativity. Seeing what EC Comics accomplished, even with all of their excesses, made me realize how soporific comics became once the code was installed. As a retailer, I like to know what to expect in the comics I sell, but I'm not sure a ratings system is necessary, as they tend to be inconsistent and often unpredictable."

 

The Library didn't actually collect Wertham's papers for his comic book work. Len Bruno, Manuscript Historian, is a specialist in science and technology collections at the Library. He's one of ten specialists in different fields that break up the responsibility for collections between them. When one specialist retired, Bruno noted, "I got all the Shrinks. Sigmund Freud's papers are a magnet that bring in other collections. Having the Freud papers here is the lodestone, the foundation for other collections to come in and build upon. The Library documents any and all aspects of American life." The opening of the collection after 23 years doesn't surprise him. "It's not an unusual situation. A lot of collections come with "ten years after my death" provisos.  It's business as usual for us. " Personally I feel that Beaty's sympathetic reading of Wertham's lifework, in contrast to much else written about him, was the key to the estate's changing its terms of access.

 

Bruno described the process that a typical collection goes through before the public can access it easily. "It was processed and put in some kind of order. We're really blessed that we have a bunch of archivists that are schooled on how to do this and follow classical and traditional ways and respect original order. They look at every piece of paper and spread everything out and once they understand the person and his or her career and why it's here, they put like with like. To them it's business as usual. It's amazing what they do. It takes a certain type of person who can see both the forest and the trees. You see just one and you're unable to do the job. The average person would look at it and just throw up their hands. They have to respect the details, but not get overwhelmed by them. And once they do it all, the finding aid really is literally that - it tells you need to go to a box to find a particular thing without wasting your time. They prepare the finding aid, right a biography of the person, and a little scope note. They produce a complete package when they're done - really essential when you want to use a big collection like that. To use it, you register with the Library, and get a reader card, and then show up, and be over 18 and behave yourself. You can have four boxes at a time, and check with us before photocopying.  It's stored offsite and we've been calling in boxes so there's next-day service."

 

Bruno  says, "Yes, there have been a number users already. I thought there would a waiting line, and fortunately there weren't. It's been steadily, but not heavily used. I'm not in the reading room so I don't always know when something's been used.  Casual readers are welcomed at the Library – "European researchers always mention that they didn't have to demonstrate credentials or have an interview, and they're very happy at the way we run things. We're geared to do one thing, and that's to serve readers." One restriction does exist though – "We're required to segregate patient records. There were the equivalent of four boxes of obvious patient records so they were physically removed and put in a closed box at the end of the collection. We had the feeling that Wertham, the way he did things, may have patient information that didn't jump out at you so there's a requirement that researchers agree that they not disclose patient information or names they come across."

 

When asked if he had any plans for the collection, Bruno replied "No, given that it just opened, it's only come to the forefront for us and we've only started recently thinking about it. It's just business as usual." Bruno's not a comic book reader now, but "When I was a kid I was; I grew up in the 50s, I had Daffy Duck and Scrooge McDuck... I grew up in a blue-collar household and money was a little spare, so comic books were exceedingly a luxury. When I was very sick at home for more than a few days, my dad would drop off one or two, and for me that was very thrilling." Bruno also noted the Manuscript Division had a couple of other collections of interest – "Jules Feiffer's papers, he's a top of the line cartoonist whose a curious, biting intellect, interested in lot of things. Herblock too - 205 boxes of his papers for a total of 75,000 items."



Other divisions of the Library have records that may mesh well with Wertham's papers. Georgia M. Higley, Head, Newspaper Section of the Serial & Government Publications Division is responsible for the Library's comic books. She tells us, "The Comic book collection is one of the largest in the United States, comprising over 120,000 issues. It is mainly, but not exclusively, a product of copyright deposit over the decades. We have original print issues as well as color microfiche comprising several thousand issues. Also, the library recently acquired the Underground and Independent Comics, Comix, and Graphic Novels database produced by Alexander Street Press. Over the past seven years or so there has been increased interest in comic books by both the Library and researchers. The Library has invested considerable resources to inventory, deacidify, rehouse, and preserve the comic book collection—they are stored in acid free containers in a climate controlled facility. In part due to our inventory efforts as well as increased interest in popular culture by researchers, our comic book collection is being used in greater numbers and with a diversity of titles and subject interests. It is my hope that we will have more interest in the collection, especially since holdings are available through the library catalog giving researchers a good idea of what they can expect to find when they get here."



Sara Duke, Curator, Popular and Applied Graphic Art, Prints & Photographs Division, is in charge of another big collection – "The Prints and Photographs Division has about 128,000 works of cartoon art on paper, dating back to the 16th century. We have some exceptional comic book works that have come in by gift -- an R. Crumb page, the Steve Ditko art for Spider-Man's first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15, and works produced in reaction to 9/11. However, the Library never had a full-scale collecting effort, soliciting works from individual creators, the way it did with editorial cartoons, comic strips, New Yorker cartoons and illustration." In response to my question as to why not, Duke responded, "I have never seen any written record of any decision-making regarding comic book illustrations. In my personal opinion, it would be easy to draw the conclusion that the Library was affected by Wertham. Perhaps it was because the artists who worked for the comics publishers were treated like work-for-hire and their original art was retained by the publishers. Now, we're preparing for a collecting effort, but of course we're not in the forefront and so it's harder to collect. We can't hope to compete with private collectors at auction. Everyone thinks the Library has deep pockets, but because we're collecting in so many different directions - even within Prints & Photographs we're acquiring architectural and engineering works, photographs, fine prints, posters, illustration and cartoon art. For me, it doesn't make sense to spend my portion of the budget on one comic book page - because I'm not serving researchers well. So I have to think about all the ways researchers approach the collection and look to fill in gaps the best I am able. However, I do approach comic artists for gifts and so far have been well received. Perhaps someone who has collected comic book illustration will feel moved, as Erwin Swann, Art Wood and the Herb Block Foundation have done, to make their collection part of the Library of Congress in the future."



Duke's colleague Martha H. Kennedy, also Curator, Popular & Applied Graphic Art, feels, "The release of Wertham's papers will make possible careful study of the questionable research methods on which he based his publications, which had such a devastating impact on the comic book industry. This material will hopefully generate much needed reassessment of Wertham's motivations underlying his work on comic books, the child rearing climate in which he produced it, and his place in the cultural and social landscape of 1950s America."



Duke realizes "Comics haven't been "just" about superheroes for a long time, but now they have an impact on almost every field of study imaginable. We are in the process of developing a game plan so that we may collect more systematically.  I hope the opening of the papers has a huge impact on my department - that researchers will be drawn into the Library to access the Wertham papers and then avail themselves of the opportunity to look at original cartoon art. The mission of the Library is to make its collections available to researchers, both via the Internet and in person, and if the Wertham Papers increase scholarship here, it's all to the good."

1934 Saturday Evening Post cartoon ads or illustrations




I had three decomposing issues of the Saturday Evening Post from 1934, so I've photographed the cartoon advertisements or illustrations in them and put them on my Flickr site (click through the link because they're not all posted here).



Among others are William Steig:
100_0768 Steig closeup SEP341013

Fontaine Fox:
100_0770 Fontaine Fox SEP340901

The now forgotten Wyncie King (who, for a Washington connection, has some papers in the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art):
100_0782 Wyncie King SEP341013 pt3

Ripley's Believe It or Not:
100_0771 Ripleys SEP340901

...and other including Tony Sarg, Raeburn Van Buren and Herbert Johnson (and doesn't this cartoon still apply?)

100_0774 Herbert Johnson SEP340616

Happy New Year from ComicsDC!