Monday, February 06, 2012

PR: Small Press Expo Announces Dan Clowes and Chris Ware as Special Guests for SPX 2012

Small Press Expo Announces Dan Clowes and Chris Ware  as special guests for SPX 2012

For Immediate Release                  Contact: Warren Bernard

Bethesda, Maryland; February 6, 2012 – The Small Press Expo (SPX), the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comics, graphic novels, and alternative political cartoons, kicks off 2012 with our official announcement that cartoonists Dan Clowes and Chris Ware will be attending this year's festival as special guests. 

Superstar cartoonist Dan Clowes was awarded the 2011 PEN Center Literary Award for his "Outstanding body of work in graphic literature." He received the Independent Spirit Award and an Academy Award nomination as writer for the movie Ghost World, based on his graphic novel, and he has published in the New YorkerTimeNewsweek, and GQ. He was the first cartoonist selected for inclusion in Esquire's prestigious fiction issue, and he drew the backgrounds for The Ramones' video "I Don't Want to Grow Up." But for cartooning cognoscenti, he is perhaps best loved for Eightball, the ambitious and groundbreaking serialized anthology in which he premiered most of the stories eventually collected in his graphic novels.  The most recent issue of Eightball contained the entire story "The Death Ray", published in 2011 as a standalone graphic novel and selected by The Onion's AV Club as one of "The Best 25 Comics of the '00s."

Graphic novelist, gallery cartoonist, strip cartoonist -- Chris Ware is one of the best known and most respected independent American cartoonists. He has guest edited McSweeney's Quarterly and The Best American Comics and published cartoons in the New Yorker as well as the Virginia Quarterly Review. He was the first cartoonist to serialize a story in The New York Times Magazine, and has had his work included in the Whitney Biennial. His graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan – the Smartest Kid on Earth received the Guardian First Book Award, the American Book Award and the prestigious French comics award "L'Alph Art." Fans are eagerly anticipating Volume 21 of his Acme Novelty Library comic strip series and his new compendium, Building Stories, will be released this Fall from Pantheon.

Details of events featuring Ware and Clowes will be released as planning is finalized. Pre-expo interview opportunities may be available. Please contact the SPX press office at the number above.

About SPX

SPX is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit that brings together more than 300 artists and publishers to meet their readers, booksellers and distributors each year. Graphic novels, mini comics, and alternative comics will all be on display and for sale by their authors and illustrators, as well as a series of panel discussions and interviews with this year's guests. 

SPX also preserves the works of the creators in the indie comics community through the Small Press Expo Collection at the Library of Congress, a first of its kind relationship with a major institution in the United States. 

As in previous years, profits from the SPX will go to support the the SPX Graphic Novel Gift Program, which gifts graphic novels to public and academic libraries, as well as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), which protects the First Amendment rights of comic book readers and professionals. For more information on the CBLDF, go to their website at

SPX 2012 will be held Saturday, September 15  and Sunday, September 16, with the  Ignatz Awards festival prize ceremonies occurring Saturday September 15 at 9PM.  For more information on the Small Press Expo, please visit

Truitt on Batman; Cavna on Doonesbury

'Batwoman' series finds real life amid the supernatural
By Brian Truitt, USA TODAY February 6 2012

'DOONESBURY' PULLED BECAUSE OF CHARITY: Trudeau responds to Chicago Tribune's decision not to run DonorsChoose cartoon
By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog February 6 2012

Feb 24: Nate Powell Signing - The Silence of Our Friends

Nate Powell, Eisner Award winning creator of Swallow Me Whole and Any Empire, will be appearing at Big Planet Vienna store on Friday, February 24, from 6:00 to 7:30, to celebrate the release of his new book The Silence of Our Friends.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Rob Anderson's Rex, Zombie Killer appearing soon

Rob Anderson here --  I'm still living in Alexandria and have been hard at work making comics. I'm writing because my first comic book is FINALLY in the Diamond Previews catalog this month, published by a company called Big Dog Ink. It's an "animals vs. zombies" tale called REX, ZOMBIE KILLER -- sort of like THE WALKING DEAD meets HOMEWARD BOUND, if either of those stories had a gorilla with a baseball bat. In a nutshell, it's about a small pack of animals trying to cross the country after a zombie apocalypse. 


Get Ready for a Gorilla with a Baseball Bat!

In April 2012, comic book publisher Big Dog Ink will release the hounds, as three dogs, a cat, and a gorilla with a baseball bat battle the walking dead in REX, ZOMBIE KILLER #1. 

In the wake of a zombie apocalypse, a hyper-intelligent Golden Retriever named Rex, a sign language-speaking gorilla, and a small pack of animals begin a perilous cross-country journey to find safety...and a home.

"I've always wondered what happens to pets when the zombies arrive," explained writer Rob Anderson. "And I've always loved stories that show the heart and tenacity of animals, like WE3 and HOMEWARD BOUND / THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY. In REX ZK, the animals are trying to make their way across California to an underground government bunker where the scientist who raised Rex is now in hiding. But Rex isn't necessarily revealing everything he knows about the situation to his pack."

"This is a story I've been wanting to tell since at least 2008, because it combines three of my big passions: animals, zombies and comic books," Anderson said. "My constant writing companions are my dog and cat, and they're well trained for the coming zombie apocalypse with their patented 'play dead' routine."

The book was also a perfect fit for cover and interior artist DaFu Yu. "From an artistic standpoint, I love drawing monsters, and zombies fit in that category," Yu said. "I'm already detail-oriented in my style, but I go a little crazy when I draw zombies!" 

Big Dog Ink Publisher, Tom Hutchinson, added, "This giant-sized one-shot is the latest addition to our creator-owned titles, and it's a unique, high quality story at a special price. We're very excited to add it to the BDI catalog!"

REX, ZOMBIE KILLER #1 is written by Rob Anderson (ANIMAL CONTROL: SPECIAL CREATURES UNIT, GREAT ZOMBIES IN HISTORY) with interior and cover art by DaFu Yu (GRIMM FAIRY TALES, WONDERLAND ANNUAL), colors by Kevin Volo, letters and design by E.T. Dollman, and edited by Paul Allor (CLOCKWORK).

The double-sized, 56-page one-shot ships in April at a special price of only $3.50, and will be available for pre-order in the February 2012 Diamond PREVIEWS catalog. (Order Code: FEB12 0806) The comic book will be in full color in standard comic book format. It is rated TEEN+ for mature themes and violence. Additional one-shots are planned for the future.

About Big Dog Ink
Founded in 2009, Big Dog Ink ( is the publisher of comic book properties such as PENNY FOR YOUR SOUL, CRITTER, and the upcoming werewolf/vampire horror series, URSA MINOR. Big Dog Ink's new hit series, THE LEGEND OF OZ: THE WICKED WEST, charted in the "Diamond Top 300" list in November of 2011.

For more information on REX, ZOMBIE KILLER, visit:



Cho preview

Frank Cho art on Avengers vs X-Men preview.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Truitt on Suicide Squad

Harley Quinn embraces wild side in 'Suicide Squad' series
By Brian Truitt, USA TODAY February 2 2012

"Astro Boy and the God of Comics" and '‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’" previews

Child's play: Find family-friendly theater in unexpected places
By Stephanie Merry
Washington Post February 3 2012


Need cover image of Weekend

Jon Krause depicts Charlie Brown, Astro Boy and Disney's Captain Hook on today's Weekend cover.

March 29: Richard Thompson strip at Art for Humanity Auction

Art for Humanity Auction & Cocktail Reception - The Art for Humanity Auction & Cocktail Reception 2012 is the first annual fundraiser to support the work of Habitat for Humanity in Washington, D.C.

Richard Thompson is donating a comic strip.

Local collector Mark Zaid featured at Scoop


Art Cloos

Scoop February 3 2012

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators in Library of Congress going out of print

Excuse my whipsawing you on this, but I'm going to remove Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators in the Swann Collection of the Library of Congress from sale in the next couple of days. For a good reason - Joe Procopio of Lost Art Books is going to do a professionally typeset and illustrated version instead. And I know which book I'd rather own...

So if you need the information sooner rather than later, or you're a completist, buy a copy in the next day or so. At the end of the weekend, I'm going to set it back to invisibility as a private project.

The two people who bought a copy should update the entry for John Celardo to read "died 2012". Mea culpa.

Seriously, Joe does nice work, as does Sara, so I'm looking forward to seeing the 'ultimate'* edition.

*except one could hope that some cartoonists in LoC's prints and photos collection, but not in the Swann collection could be added to a new edition which could have an even longer title...

NPR on Watchmen prequel

'Before Watchmen,' Apocalyptic Tales, And Leaving Well Enough Alone
by Marc Hirsh
February 1, 2012

Big Planet Comics Orbit Newsletter - February 2, 2012

Big Planet Comics

February 2, 2012

So Many Events!

We are going heavy with the events this year!

First, with the upcoming release of the DC area free comics anthology Magic Bullet #4, we will be having a Magic Bullet Release Party at our Vienna store March 3. Magic Bullet is free, so come in and grab a copy and see the original art of many of the contributors and some of their other comics work will be for sale!

We also have upcoming signings for several great comics, including The Strange Talent of Luther Strode (now set for Saturday April 14), Princeless, and Xoc!

Feel free to forward on our newsletter, and please send us any comments or mailing list requests to

- the Big Planet Comics kids

February 4 - Magic: The Gathering Dark Ascension Tournament

Big Planet Comics in College Park will have a Magic: The Gathering tournament for the launch of the new Dark Ascension set this Saturday, February 4, starting at noon. For more information please contact Peter at our College Park store.

Big Planet Comics of College Park
7315 Baltimore Ave.
College Park, MD 20740


NEW! July 28 - Matt Dembicki Signing

Matt Dembicki, creator of The Brewmaster's Castle and editor of Trickster will be appearing at both our Vienna and College Park stores for his new book Xoc on Saturday, July 28.

11 am-1 pm
Big Planet Comics of College Park
7315 Baltimore Ave.
College Park, MD 20740


3 pm-5 pm
Big Planet Comics of Vienna
426 Maple Ave. East
Vienna, VA 22180


Dance Class 1: So You Think You Can Hip Hop? HC

by Béka and Crip

The great cartoony art in this series tells the fun and funny tale of a group of young kids taking dance classes. Each page or two is a single short story that slowly builds more on their efforts to become better dancers and deal with other things like getting to class on time and cute dancers in their class!
(all ages)

Rat Catcher SC

by Andy Diggle and Victor Ibañez

One of the best of Vertigo's crime fiction line is finally out in softcover. The boogeyman for snitches is the Rat Catcher, and when FBI agents guarding a safe house are murdered, the myth seems to be coming true! A great cinematic tale of twists and double crosses, full of intense action and surprises with great art.

Kramers Ergot 8 HC

by Robert Beatty, Gabrielle Bell, Chris Cilla, Anya Davidson, Ron Embleton, Frederic Mullalley, C.F., Sammy Harkham, Tim Hensley, Kevin Huizenga, Ben Jones, Takeshi Murata, Gary Panter, Johnny Ryan, Leon Sadler, Frank Santoro, Dash Shaw, and Ian F. Svenonius

Another cutting edge issue of the Kramers Ergot anthology seems even tighter than previous issues (though maybe not as big as the last one!) Although there is still some pushing the envelope Picturebox/Fort Thunder type stuff in here, there is also a lot of great stories and art from some of the best of the alternative comics scene. An amazing package!

Winter Soldier #1

by Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice

The blank parts of the Winter Soldier's time as a brain-washed assassin for the Soviet Union is slowly revealed as he investigates with the Black Widow rumors that other agents were trained to infiltrate America. Great intrigue and action with great Guice art.

Big Planet Comics Podcast #31

In this week's podcast Kevin, Nick and Jared discuss Jersery Shore for 30 minutes, then spend an hour reviewing all the new stuff. Download this week's now or subscribe on iTunes! Send us questions to

2/4 - Magic TG Tournament

4/14 - Justin Jordan & Tradd Moore

Signing The Strange Talent of Luther Strode 11am-1pm
426 Maple Ave. East
Vienna, VA 22180


4/14 - Justin Jordan & Tradd Moore

Signing The Strange Talent of Luther Strode 3pm-5pm
7315 Baltimore Ave.
College Park, MD 20740



5/5 - Free Comic Book Day

All stores!

5/5 - Jeremy Whitley

5/5 - Jeremy Whitley

Action! Mystery! Thrills! Covers SC
A collection of some of the best comics covers of the '40s and '50s.

Alpha Girl #1
by Jeff Roenning/Jean-Paul Bonjour and Robert Love

A cosmetics firm accidentally sets off a zombie apocalypse.

Fatale #2
by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

Detective Booker gets pulled deeper into this horror crime story.

Jennifer Blood 1 SC
by Jennifer Blood and Adriano Batista

A housewife plans secret revenge on the mob.

John Carter: A Princess of Mars SC
by Roger Langridge and Filipe Andrade

A great adaptation of the scifi adventure on Mars!
(all ages)

John Romita Amazing Spider-Man Artist Edition HC
by John Romita Sr.

A deluxe reprint of the original art from Spidey.

Madman 20th Anniversary Monster HC
by Mike Allred and various

A giant oversized homage to Madman by many, many artists!

Magic: The Gathering #1
by Matt Forbeck and Martín Cóccolo

A Planeswalker thief gets caught up in his old quest for revenge.

The Monkey in the Basement and Other Delusions
by Corinne Mucha

A new Retrofit of short stories, like when a monkey is in her basement!

Richie Rich Gems Winter Special
by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón

A reprint of some classic Richie Rich winter adventures.
(all ages)

Strikeforce: Morituri 1 SC
by Peter B. Gillis and Brent Anderson/Whilce Portacio

Humans are given powers that will kill them to fight an alien invasion.

Warriors of Mars #1
by Robert Place Napton and Jack Jadson

Lt. Gullivar Jones also travels to battle on Mars!

Xombi SC
by John Rozum and Frazer Irving/Scott Hampton

A super strange adventure with amazing art!
Copyright © 2012 Big Planet Comics, All rights reserved.
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OT: Osler Library Prints Collection now online

This came through the Archivists & Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences List today. It's notable because 117 images, or about 5%, is tagged as caricature or cartoon and of that, a lot of it is French comic strips from the 1930s collected and donated by William Helfand which probably aren't very common in North America.

Osler Library Prints Collection

The McGill Library is pleased to launch the Osler Library Prints Collection, a searchable and browsable website of 2,500 visual documents related to the history of medicine that spans several centuries, countries, and artistic media. Ranging from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, the collection consists predominantly of prints, though it also includes some photographs, drawings, posters, and cartoons. Medical professionals throughout history are represented largely through portraiture, as well as through caricatures and scenes. The images in this collection, acquired from various donors at different times, are fascinating for both their historical significance and their artistic merit. Straddling the disciplines of art and science, the collection is a valuable resource for the history of medicine and the history of portraiture.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact me at

Chris Lyons

Acting Head

Osler Library of the History of Medicine

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

New book: Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators in Library of Congress

I've known Sara Duke since the early 1990s, and have always been impressed with her scholarship and breadth of knowledge. At some point, when I was complaining to her about the lack of a cartoonist biographical dictionary, such as had been done in the UK, she replied that she had a draft of one that had never been published. Terry Echter had begun the project, and Sara took it over in 1993 and completed it by 1995 when the Swann Collection became publicly available (although no additions were made to the collection after 1983). She was kind enough to forward a copy to me, as it is in the public domain.  I have edited and updated it slightly, but this volume remains overwhelmingly the 1995 version that Sara wrote. 

Now available at cost: (print) or (pdf) or a free download at

Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators in the Swann Collection of the Library of Congress
by Sara Duke, 340 pages

Inside this book are short biographical sketches about the many artists represented in the Library of Congress' Swann Collection compiled by Erwin Swann (1906-1973). In the early 1960s, Swann, a New York advertising executive started collecting original cartoon drawings of artistic and humorous interest. Included in the collection are political prints and drawings, satires, caricatures, cartoon strips and panels, and periodical illustrations by more than 500 artists, most of whom are American. The 2,085 items range from 1780-1977, with the bulk falling between 1890-1970. The Collection includes 1,922 drawings, 124 prints, 14 paintings, 13 animation cels, 9 collages, 1 album, 1 photographic print, and 1 scrapbook.

UPDATED 2/22/2017: A new printing has been uploaded with a correction - deleting TE Coles and adding in CE Toles.  You can print out the following and insert it in your first printing -

Biographical Sketches of  Cartoonists & Illustrators in the  Swann Collection  of the
Library of Congress - Errata sheet for first edition, first printing (2012)

Delete the entry for T.E. Coles.

Insert instead


American cartoonist, who was born and grew up in Elmira, New York and worked as a cartoonist for the Elmira Telegram in 1893 after starting his working career as a clerk. Editorial cartoonist for the Washington Post in 1894. His work appeared in the Texas Sandwich a humorous periodical, as well as the Canadian magazine Toronto Saturday Night. He returned home in 1895 to recover from pneumonia. Cartoonist who worked for the New York Herald as a freelance cartoonist in 1896. In 1898, he went to Baltimore to work for the International Syndicate which distributed his work nationally. He joined the Baltimore Sketch Club while there. His work was distributed to the Philadelphia Press between 1899 and 1901. He soon rose to the position of art director. He created The Reverend Fiddle D.D. for the New York Journal in 1898. He also contributed cartoons to Puck and Judge. He drew under his own name and several aliases, including Hugh Morris. At the time of his death, he had formed the Baltimore Illustration Syndicate. He died of Bright’s Disease – kidney failure – on December 16, 1901 in Cornwall-on-the-Hudson, New York, while visiting his in-laws. He was buried in Elmira, New York. Editorial cartoonist Tom Toles is not related.

Info from: “Guide to the SFACA Collection: Newspaper Comic Strips, series II: comic strips – Philadelphia Press,” Ohio State University, , 10/04/2011 {See Swann Collection}; “Claude Eldridge Toles Collection (1875-1901), , 06/11/2013; “News of Yore: The Life and Times of C.E. Toles,” Stripper’s Guide Blog, entry for March 3, 2012, , 06/11/2013: “Wellknown Cartoonist Dead,” Westfield (N.Y.) Republican, December 18, 1901, p. 2; Mike Rhode, “Claude E. Toles exhibit at the Cosmos Club,” ComicsDC Blog, entry for October 25, 2016, , 10/25/2016

Truitt on Watchmen reboot and Red Lanterns

A cynic would say... or I would say... that both of these only lessen their source material. Fortunately, I don't have to buy or read them.

DC gives Watchmen a graphic past
By Brian Truitt, USA TODAY February 1 2012

Peter Milligan makes 'Red Lanterns' series more human
By Brian Truitt, USA TODAY January 30 2012

Vess art in Library of Congress

Tom Spurgeon caught the story.

Jim Hunt and the Patriots who like him

From: Jim Hunt

Annapolis, MD.  410.990.9494

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Comic Riffs on Cagle's cartoon journalism

OCCUPY OAKLAND: After 2nd arrest, comics journalist Susie Cagle shares her on-the-ground experience
By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog January 30 2012