Friday, December 13, 2013

Fantom Comics' Holiday Picks: The Best of 2013

2013 has been an INCREDIBLE year for comics.

Fantom has great graphic novel gift ideas for the holidays!


One of comics' greatest storytellers, Paul Pope brings you Battling Boy GN, a brilliant and kinetic take on the hero's journey that practically dares ALL that enter its world not to become a comics fan.

A 13 year old boy is thrown from the heavens armed with little more than heritage, an invisible credit card, a traveling cloak, gauntlets and twelve t-shirts that imbue him with the strength, cunning and prowess of the creatures of earth and legend. With these things, a young god boy must find what he's made of in a world of monsters and men.

The Four Horsemen roam The Earth, ready to lay waste to all that is.

Death has gone missing, pursuing a mission of his own. Death has gone on to reclaim the one thing he can't live without: his only love, Xiaolian.

To quote series writer Jonathan Hickman (Avengers), "She is Xiaolian. And you should fear her as much as you fear (Death). For this is the woman who conquered (him)."

Congressional Medal of Freedom recipient & civil rights champion Congressman John Lewis brings his incredible story to the medium of comics.

John Lewis with co-writer Andrew Aydin (A Fantom customer) and artist Nate Powell, chronicle his journey from son of a sharecropper, to a young man ready to change history marching with Dr. Martin Luther King and beyond.

MARCH isn't just one man's story; it's a story of change and growth. 

MARCH is truly America's story.

From writer Brian K. Vaughan, the mind that brought you Vertigo Comics' Y: The Last Man, comes SAGA, an all-new series guaranteed to capture your mind.

Two soldiers on opposite sides of a universal conflict manage to fall in love and get swept into webs of intrigue, scandal, political and racial strife; all while trying to raise a baby.

Gorgeously illustrated by Fiona Staples, SAGA is a sci-fi/fantasy successfully blending elements of Star Wars, Game of Thrones and miraculously, television's How I Met Your Mother.

Purchase any of these in-store and we'll be glad to gift wrap them for you, free of charge!

As always, you can subscribe these to your Fantom Comixology pull list yourself or have us do it by simply emailing us at

Our mailing address is:
50 Massachusetts Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20002

Fox Guy by Art Hondros online now

Fox Guy

Takoma Park Voice DECEMBER 13, 2013 


Walt Rave, Takoma Park resident, animal-rights activist and Tool Librarian died two years ago in December. He died as a result of burns suffered in a house fire, as reported in The Takoma Voice Dec. 11, 2011.

Rave was the subject of "Fox Guy," an 8-page graphic-novel style piece by Takoma Park comics-artist Art Hondros in the Washington Post Magazine last March.  The artist and the Washingon Post Magazine have granted permission to reprint "Fox Guy" in The Takoma Voice.

The City Paper and The Post review the new movie with Walt Disney

Girls to the Front: In two films, Kathleen Hanna and Mary Poppins creator P.L. Travers fight the good fight.

By Tricia Olszewski • December 13, 2013

'Saving Mr. Banks' review: The affecting story of how 'Mary Poppins' reached the screen

François Duhamel - Tom Hanks turns on the charm as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson is practically perfect in every way as P.L. Travers in "Saving Mr. Banks."

By Washington Post December 13 2013

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Jerry Gaylord

101_5742 Jerry Gaylord and Brian Turner
Jerry Gaylord & Brian Turner at ANS Sci-Fi & Comic Con,   May 11, 2013.
Jerry Gaylord can be found at many local cons on the Maryland side of town, along with his colleagues at Identity Comics Studios, one of whom is his wife Penelope. After self-publishing his book, TheFranchize Vol I: Start Up Capital, Gaylord penciled BOOM!'s Fanboys vs. Zombies. That title has been cancelled at #20 and he's moving onto Loki: Ragnarok and Roll.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I draw mostly super hero or action/ adventure comics.

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

I work both traditionally and digitally. It really depends on my mood and how much time I have for the project.

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

I was born in Washington, DC in 1980.

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

Right now I live about an hour outside of DC on Maryland's eastern shore. I've lived in and around the DMV all my life.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

For the most part I'm a self-taught artist. I've known I wanted to work in comics since I was just a little boy.

Who are your influences?

101_5743 Jerry & Penelope Gaylord and Brian Turner
Jerry & Penelope Gaylord and Brian Turner
My biggest influences are Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Ryan Ottley, Joe Mad, Sean Galloway, Penelope Gaylord and Bryan Turner.

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

If I could do anything over it would probably be to have gone to a good art school. It would have gotten me further faster.

What work are you best-known for?

Right now I am best known for being the artist on Fanboys vs Zombies for Boom! Studios.

What work are you most proud of?

I'm pretty proud of being nominated for a Harvey Award (for Most Promising New Talent) this year.

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

I would love to work on Superman at some point and I'm looking forward to doing more creator-owned work.

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

I either take a day off or if time is a factor, I just grit and fight through it.

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

I think the future is in creator-owned works. I think more and more artists will be working on their own projects.

What's your favorite thing about DC?

That's easy... it's home.

Least favorite?

Another easy one... traffic.

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

I love the Air and Space Museum.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

Mike's Grill in Springfield, VA.

Do you have a website or blog?  and

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Milestones: African-Americans in Comics, Pop Culture and Beyond opens at GEM


November 20, 2013                CONTACT:    Tatiana EL-Khouri
                                                                                                Creative Force Group
                                                                                                Geppi's Entertainment Museum



November 18, 2013 (Baltimore, Maryland): Geppi's Entertainment Museum President Melissa Geppi-Bowersox announced the Museum's collaboration with Inkpot Award recipient Michael Davis of Milestone Media on a historical exhibit featuring numerous artistic examples of African-Americans' contribution to pop culture throughout America's cultural revolution.  

The invitation-only opening night gala has been set for Friday, December 13, 2013 from 7pm- 10pm. The exhibit will officially open to the public on December 14th and run through April 2014. "We are thrilled to be showcasing such an extraordinarily diverse collection of artistic pieces in so many different mediums within the Museum," comments Melissa Geppi-Bowersox. "There are some truly amazing comics, designs, drawings, paintings and programming that have been set for this exhibit, and Geppi's Entertainment Museum is proud to be the sole exhibitor for such a terrific group of artists." 

Milestones: African-Americans in Comics, Pop Culture and Beyond will feature not only the work of mainstream Black creators, but also the work of those who are considered outside the mainstream and even some who actively avoid the spotlight. Milestones "offers many different examples of profound contributions to the comic book medium by showcasing the vital roles that Black superheroes have played in shaping the unique narrative thread of so many ongoing narratives," comments Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso.  "The true beauty of this exhibit is the moment when race and color become obsolete, and you see the creative genius of the amazing worlds established that are mainstream." Not only will the exhibit focus on the comic and art world; it will also be dedicated to the internet market, today's newest medium. Says actor/producer Orlando Jones (currently starring on the hit FOX TV show Sleepy Hollow):

"African-Americans have made an indelible mark on the pop culture and entertainment landscape in front of the camera, behind the scenes, on the stage and in the recording booth. Although not as widely known, this is equally true in the world of comic books, where a renaissance of Black writers and artists are creating new characters and telling unique stories that are reaching larger audiences than ever before. As a lifelong comic book nerd, it's my greatest pleasure to showcase the art from my digital graphic novel Tainted Love within the Milestones exhibit at Geppi's Entertainment Museum. This labor of love has enabled me to bring together some of my favorite artists who are leading the charge in creating increased diversity within the industry."

Adds director/producer/comics writer Reggie Hudlin (Django Unchained): "If comics are modern mythology, then Black participation and representation is crucial. The Milestones exhibit will document on paper those dreams through the years and give all Americans a chance to see them up close."

The exhibit will offer patrons a full spectrum of Black historical contributions made throughout comic book and graphic novel history. "From movies to film, from music to art, from graphic novels/comic books to TV, and from politics to sports, all aspects of America's pop culture contain different aspects of the African-American viewpoint," says Exhibit Curator and Milestone Media co-founder Michael Davis.  "America has changed, and the attitudes about Black people and their limitless creativity touch, embrace, or lead all aspects of culture."

"I'm especially excited that young people of color will see themselves represented in so many different ways," added Tatiana EL-Khouri, Co-Curator. "This show may well influence future careers in comics, and perhaps even fine art. We have significantly made enormous strides to find a place within society, and I'm so excited to be in these times where we are now being nationally recognized in every field. In so many ways, African-American culture has always been a part of pop culture, and curating this exhibit will be one of the most significant things that I do in my lifetime."

Adds Museum President Melissa Geppi-Bowersox, "Honestly, this is exactly what Geppi's Entertainment Museum is all about. Our focus on American pop culture really showcases one of the youngest nations in the world and shines a light on our history as well as our contributions to the international community. Milestones: African-Americans in Comics, Pop Culture and Beyond is a very important part of the fabric which makes up our country.

"With America being a dominant force in the world, we strive to continue with our exhibits highlighting every aspect of American culture—and will continue to be the leading museum in America showcasing not only who we are, but where we came from and where we're going."

For more information visit:

Ben Hatke interviewed on podcast

Jan 15: Magic Bullet #8 deadline

Submit Your Comic

Magic Bullet is Washington, D.C.'s free comics newspaper published by the D.C. Conspiracy, a comics creators' collective in the capital region established in 2005. The group has published themed anthologies, hosted five D.C. Counter Culture Festivals, coordinated comics exhibits, lead panel discussions, and more.

Magic Bullet is primarily distributed in the D.C. area, but with many of our contributing artists attending various shows across the country, Magic Bullet has a growing readership, as well as a growing print run of 5,000. 

Magic Bullet will be distributed at major east coast comic conventions in addition to area restaurants, shops, and venues. In addition, issues 1-7 of Magic Bullet are included in the U.S. Library of Congress permanent collection.

Deadline for Magic Bullet #8 Submissions: January 15, 2014 

My pick of 2013 local comics for the City Paper, with an addendum

Scrawl Minded: The Year's Best Local Comics

by Mike Rhode on Dec. 12, 2013 

This had to be trimmed significantly to appear in print. This lost paragraph in particular I'd like to use the infinite space of the internet to supplement the published version.

 In 2013 some of our best local cartoonists such as Pulitzer Prize winners Ann Telnaes and Matt Wuerker, or the prolific natural historian Matt Dembicki didn't have books out. And a few other books beyond my main list are worth noting. Carla Speed McNeil didn't release another Finder book this year, but did the art for Sara Ryan's Bad Houses ($20) and has a story reprinted in Smoke / Ashes by Alex de Campi ($30). Richard Thompson's publisher put together another Cul de Sac collection, Mighty Alice Goes Round and Round ($10) for young readers. Joe Procopio's Lost Art Books continues to rediscover comics history, and The Lost Art of Matt Baker Vol. 1: The Complete Canteen Kate ($20) is a lovely example of 1940's good girl art. Other local cartoonists self-published comic books and collections, and you can seek these out at conventions such as the Small Press Expo (SPX) and Awesome Con. Full disclosure: I know most of the people in this article.


The Express on Bob's Burgers cartoon

'Bob's Burgers' has fun with puns [in print as It's a Punderful Life].
Express December 11 2013. p. 22

City Paper reviews Chomsky cartoon

Michel Gondry injects humor, lightness into Noam Chomsky's heavy-lidded ideas.
By Tricia Olszewski • December 6, 2013

Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?
Directed by Michel Gondry

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Rajan Sedalia

Sedalia working on a caricature.
Rajan Sedalia was a volunteer caricaturist at the Cartoons and Cocktails fundraiser this fall, donating the cost of a sketch to the charity. A cartoon he donated also raised additional money. Sedalia has some creative urges beyond cartooning - recently The Washington Post outed Rajan as a yarn-bomber.

ComicsDC: What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I have an egg & sperm comic strip. It started because I am fascinated by the things we do, and things we say to camouflage those feelings.

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

I always start with a pencil or prismacolor pencil. Then, I'll add black ink and go digital from there. I've been sketching on tablets, as well.

What neighborhood or area do you live in? 

I live in Brookland, and will be opening my studio within a few months. It will hold graffiti classes, live art and English as a third language class for dogs.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I attended art schools and university in Ohio and Michigan.

Who are your influences? 

Chuck Jones and James Brown.

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

I would be born from wealthy, and well-connected parents.

What work are you best-known for?  

I don't know.

What work are you most proud of? 


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

I would like to continue doing with I'm doing.

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

Exercise and take a nap.

What do you think will be the future of your field? 
His finished caricature of our beloved founder.

What future?

What's your favorite thing about DC? 

It's getting bike friendly.

Least favorite? 

De facto segregation.

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

I enjoy them all, particularly in the warm weather.

Do you have a website or blog?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

More photos of Geppi's Entertainment Museum


Original Clifford Berryman cartoon on display - note the Teddy bear.

Rob Steibel's latest Kirby column

"And the Danger's Even Larger…"


Meet a Local Comics Writer: A Chat with Davy Shian

I noticed an different-looking comic on the counter of Big Planet Comics Bethesda this fall. When I asked about it, it turns out it was written by a man working in the florist shop around the corner. I made it over there a couple of weeks later and met Davy Shian, the author of Cicada: Exotic Views. He kindly answered my interview questions.

ComicsDC: What type of comic work or cartooning do you do? Or rather, why did you decide to write a comic book?

Davy Shian: I love cicadas. When I learned that so many Americans had misgivings on cicadas, I decided to write something about the cicadas that would help them see the beauty and wonder in the little bugs. I’ve chosen a cartoon format to keep it light and humorous. If I can’t change people’s views, I hope I would at least entertain them. In addition, I would like to use the opportunity to show some differences in cultures, and show that people see things differently.

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

I did not do the drawing because I was not trained for it. I gave the opportunity to an art student in China* and let her show what she could do. I used PowerPoint and email to communicate what I would like to show and the student would draw based on it.  

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born? 
I was born in Taiwan in 1953. 

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

I came to the D.C. area in 1967 and lived in Montgomery County since 1968.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?
I had no training in arts. I majored in Computer Science. I had a strong background in Quality and Project Management. I used my Project Management skill in creating this book.

Who are your influences?
No one in particular influenced me. It was the ordinary people around me that influenced me. I like to watch people around me.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?
I liked my career and there was no thought of changing it.

What work are you best-known for?
My only book so far is “Cicada: Exotic Views.”

What work are you most proud of?
My programming work for the “bubble chart,”  My program instructed the computer to draw a computer network chart based on the network configuration. My other accompishment was my Quality Management duty that got my company to obtain the ISO9001 certification.

What would you like to do  or work on in the future?
I am thinking of producing another comic book.  It will not be based on drawing though; it will be based on photos. This time the subject will be more interesting; it is about a baby.  I would love to find a partner to produce this book.

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

I spent most of time doing things my wife asked me to do, like cleaning the house.
What do you think will be the future of your field?

My wife has a flower shop, and I will do what ever she wants me to do there.

What's your favorite thing about DC?

I like the weather in DC and seeing different cultures in DC.

Least favorite?

I do not like the traffic, and not finding a parking space.

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

Every time when friends and relatives visited, I became a tour guide.   I would take them to all monuments and museums so that they could take all the photos they could and said “being there”.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

My wife loves to try on different restaurants, and I just follow her.  I love basic Chinese food and American food.

Do you have a website or blog?

I have a website on my cicada book.  It is

*CORRECTION: The student that did the artwork was previously misidentified as being from Taiwan; she is from China. ComicsDC regrets the error.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Reuel Smith

Reuel Smith was at Intervention con this fall with his all-ages comic book. Branching out like his animation heroes, he already had some neat little figurines based on the characters for sale too.

ComicsDC: What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

Right now I’m working on a manga-styled comic for all ages called ThunderKid.  It’s a story about a group of kids and their adventures in a world of weather.

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

Actually I use a healthy blend of the two.  I still do all of my pencil work by pencil and paper.  Then I scan the drawing into the computer and ink and edit using a computer tablet.

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

I was born on November 13th, 1980 right here in the DC/Maryland area.

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

Well mostly because I’m still doing my PhD in Engineering at the University of Maryland, but primarily because I still live at home where my family still lives.  I actually live in Gaithersburg Maryland where I do most of my work.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I’m mostly a self-taught cartoonist.  I picked up on it by drawing my favorite characters from comics, manga, cartoons, and anime and developed my skill as I grew.

Who are your influences?

I have a lot really: God, my family, Joseph Hanna, William Barbara, Walt Disney, Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass, Naoko Takeuchi, Hayao Miyazaki, and many more people.

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

I tend to believe that everything that happens to you happens for a reason, good or bad.  However if I could change something or do-over anything, it would probably be to get a firm handle on my message of reading a lot earlier than I did at first.

What work are you best-known for?

Currently I’m known for my first really big work, ThunderKid

What work are you most proud of?

Again that would be ThunderKid.  It has been my first project that I pursued on a professional level.

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

The ThunderKid story has only begun and I would like to keep going with it until it’s completed.  I would however like to work on an animation project within that time, like short or an episode about ThunderKid.

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

Well, my dad often tells me I work too hard sometimes so just resting my brain often helps when I am in a rut.  Though I feel restless when I’m not doing something active so I often doodle or sketch during my breaks.

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

I honestly don’t know.  I’d like to believe that with some education among authors, there will be a resurgence of all-age comics and comic authors, which is something that I’d love to see again.  There are already signs of this in recent years though, from efforts by DC and Marvel to create all-ages content to more attention to the family at comic and anime conventions.

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

In recent years, since mid 2011, I had pulled away from the convention scene in favor of more traditional marketing scenes where there’s more attention to the family.  These include the Fenton Street Market in Silver Spring, Maryland and the annual Montgomery County Agricultural Fair held during the summer in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  Fenton Street Market is a very friendly group of vendors and craftspeople and I’ve had good times there.  The same goes for the Montgomery County Fair where I have recently concluded my third outing.  Though there’s a good following from those events, I have recently decided to reintegrate the convention scene back into my current arenas starting with Intervention.  We had a good outing this year and met and reconnected with a lot of great artists.  I’m looking into attending some Comic Cons in the near future such as New York Comic Con as well as anime conventions Katsucon (DC) and Otaku Fest (Ellicott, MD) next year. At every event we attend I consider it a success when we can educate any number of people about ThunderKid and connect with fellow vendors.

What's your favorite thing about DC?
My favorite thing about DC is the history within its architecture, monuments, and museums.

Least favorite?

I would have to say that getting lost in DC is my least favorite thing.

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

The Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

I have a couple including Red Robin and Hakubas.

Do you have a website or blog?

I do.  My main website is at and my blog is at

Monday, December 09, 2013

Academic book on superheroes published in DC in 2007

This is on Michigan State's Comic Art Collection page 
for new additions. I've never heard of it, nor the publisher. 
Amazon has it for sale though.

Super/Heroes : from Hercules to Superman / edited by Wendy
Haslem, Angela Ndalianis, Chris Mackie. -- Washington, DC : 
New Academia Publishing, 2007. -- 416 p. : ill. ; 23 cm. -- 
"The current anthology is the culmination of the 'Men in 
Tights' Superheroes conference, which was held at Melbourne 
University, Australia between 9th-12th June 2005." -- 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 369-411) and index. 
-- Contents: "'True-Lies' Superhero : Do We Really Want Our 
Icons to Come to Life?" / Louise Krasniewicz. p. 12-20 ; 
"The Definition of the Superhero" / Peter Coogan. p. 21-36; 
"Superheroes, Moral Economy, and the Iron Cage : 
Morality, Alienation and the SUper-Individual" / Robert M. 
Peaslee. p. 37-50 ; "El Santo : Wrestler, Superhero and 
Saint" / Gabrielle Murray. p. 51-64 ; "Homer and Rap : Epic 
Iconographies" / Erin O'Connell" p. 65-79 ; "Men of 
Darkness" / C.J. Mackie. p. 83-96 ; "'Restlessly, 
Violently, Headlong, Like a River that Wants to Reach Its 
End' : Nihilism, Reconstruction and the Hero's Journey" / 
Raymond Younis. p. 97-110 ; "My Own Private Apocalypse : 
Shinji Ikari in Hideaki Anno's Neon Genes Evangelion as 
Schreberian Paranoid Superhero" / Paul M. Malone. p. 
111-126 ; "Shamans vs. (Super)heroes" / Lucy Wright. p. 
126-138 ; "Dreaming Superman : Exploring the Action of the 
Superhero(ine) in Dreams, Myth, and Culture" / Jamie Egolf. 
p. 139-151 ; "The Superhero Versus the Trouble Teen : 
Parenting Connor, and the Fragility of Family in Angel" / 
Gwyn Symonds. p. 155-166 ; "Gibson's The Passion : the 
Superheroic Body of Jesus" / Peter Horsfield. p. 167-180 ; 
"'Perception is Reality' : the Rise and Fall of 
Professional Wrestlers" / Wendy Haslem. p. 181-196 ; "'No 
Apologies, No Regrets' : Making the Margins Heroic on Queer 
as Folk" / Joanna Di Mattia. p. 197-210 ; "Gods Amongst 
Us/Gods Within : the Black Metal Aesthetic" / Aleks 
Michalewicz. p. 211-222 ; "Harry Potter and Oedipus : 
Marked Men with Strong Characters" / Babette Pütz. p. 
225-238 ; "Hercules Psychotherapist" / Ruby Blondell. p. 
239-250 ; "Someone to Watch Over Me : The Guardian Angel as 
Superhero in Seicento Rome" / Lisa Beaven. p. 251-262 ; 
"Smack-Head Hasan : Why are All Turkish Superheroes 
Intemperate, Treacherous, or Stupid?" / Claire Norton. p. 
263-274 ; "Conqueror of Flood, Wielder of Fire : Noah, the 
Hebrew Superhero" / Estelle Strazdins. p. 275-287 ; "Ripped 
Off! Cross-Media Convergence and  The Hulk" / Gareth Schott 
& Andrew Burn. p. 291-306 ; "Transforming Superheroics 
Through Female Music Style" / Kim Toffoletti. p. 306-320 ; 
"Check the Use-By Date : Shelving an Icon as Superheroes 
Become Super-Brands in Advertising to the Junior 
Generation" / Holly Stokes. p. 321-334 ; "I Outwit Your 
Outwit : HeroClix, Fans, and the Politics of the 
Collectible Superhero Tabletop Combat Game" / Michael G. 
Robinson. p. 335-346 ; "Cyborg Girls and Shape-Shifters : 
The Discovery of Difference by Anime and Manga Fans in 
Australia" / Craig Norris. p. 347-361 -- Call no.: 
P96.H46S88 2007

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Monica Marier of Tangent Artists

Monica Marier, co-founder of Tangent Artists was at Intervention con this fall. The con website describes the studio members as  "Rachael Hixon works on Story, Inks and Colors. David Joria does Story and Script. Monica Marier does Story, Script, Pencils and Colors. She has also written a book series based on CRIT, “The Linus Saga" published through Hunt Press."

ComicsDC: What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

Monica Marier: I primarily do webcomics, but I have been contracted to do a few covers and character designs as well as the occasional commission or filler strip for other artists.

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

I like the newfangled gadgets we use now-a-days, like the Wacom tablet and Adobe Photoshop to make everything shiny, but there's something very satisfying about covering a sheet of blank paper with pencil. I love working with pencils best, I switch between digital and "analog" (pen) inking, but I'll always start with a good ol' messy pencil sketch.

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

I was born in D.C. in the 80's (the part of the 80's that was still the 70's if you want to get more specific).
"Great Scott!" "Wyld Stallions!" "Don't cross the streams!" "Make it so!" "It's over 9000!"

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

I live out in Warrenton, VA, but my husband works in Sterling. We can't really afford to live in NoVA, but we have to live where the jobs are, even if those jobs are 70 minutes away. I like it out here in the country, though. I have a garden and fruit trees and a lawn gnome named David the Gnome.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I graduated from George Mason University with a BA in Digital Art and Animation. My favorite part of animation was storyboarding, so it lent itself quite well to the sequential art of comics. I started doing comics professionally in 2005 and never looked back.

Who are your influences?

They are legion for they are many. I'm a fan of western comic people like Mark Waid, Mike Mignola, Colleen Doran, Wendy and Richard Pini, Bruce Timm and Paul Dini. I'm also a fan of Japanese mangaka like Rumiko Takahashi and Akira Toriyama. And then there's the webcomic pioneers like Pete Abrams, Greg Dean and Bill Holbrook.

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

I wish I had a time machine so I could tell my high school self, "Look—the music thing is NOT going to pan out. You don't have a tough enough skin for music school. Enroll in art classes instead—trust me. And, for God's Sake, LISTEN to the artists when they tell you to practice drawing from real life. You're not as good as you think you are so suck it up and take the hints they're giving you."

Humility is a hard thing to foster in a kid who is stubborn and convinced that she's a genius.

What work are you best-known for?

Hard to say really. I get different answers every convention I go to, but in general I think I'm most well know for creating Linus Weedwhacker, the main character of CRIT! and my novel series, The Linus Saga published through Hunt Press. It also spawned our company's best-seller, "The Miles Reyner Handbook for Saucy Bards," joke book. We have a hard time keeping that in stock.

What work are you most proud of?

All artists think their own stuff is crap. It's a temperament thing, I think, but I think CRIT! is slowly building into something big. I'm seeing some of the signs of potential greatness and the enthusiasm of the other Tangent Artists is starting to infect me. I get excited about it sometimes and I don't know why.

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

The ultimate goal one day was to be a creator and main writer of an animated series for a big house like Nickelodeon or Disney. I have no idea if that will ever happen, but I'm still young. We'll see.

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

I clean. You can tell when I'm stuck on something when my house is sparkly clean and smells of bleach and lemons. if I'm still stuck after cleaning, I listen to the Alan Parson Project and make home-made jam. I'm notorious for my jam.

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

The more digitized the world becomes the more people can put their thoughts and ideas into web medium—look at rage comics and Tumblr. I think it will be harder to separate the wheat from the chaff in many cases, but I think the ones that will really shine will be the ones that stick with it and stay consistent. Thanks to the internet people have a chance to reach out to a world that would have never seen them 20 years ago via traditional publishing. Copyright wars will ensue, the popular kids will still win, but we still have a voice and a chance.

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

Tangent Artists attends anime cons like NekoCon, KatsuCon and IkasuCon as well as SciFi/Fantasy cons like MarsCon and RavenCon and web-media Conventions like InterventionCon. We also have done outreach stuff at local libraries and charity functions to encourage youths to get started putting their ideas on paper. We love every one of these Cons. It's just such a rush to go out to these venues and meet and greet new faces and catch up with old faces. We love our fans so much.

What's your favorite thing about DC?

The nerd ratio in the DC area is HIGHLY in our favor. We always feel like everyone out here "speaks our language" as it were. We can jump into a conversation about Batman, Dr Who, Supernatural, or Gravity Falls with other educated adults without the need for preamble or explanation. Since humor is our primary genre, it helps to have that even playing field.

Least favorite?

(Here I sigh tragically) Why do things cost money?

Rachel Hixon of Tangent Artists
What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to?

I'm always bats about dinosaurs. I love the dinosaurs at the natural history museum. My first drawn comic issue (Skeleton Crew Issue 5, "Fright at the Museum") took place at "the Schmitzsonian Museum of Natural History"). My brother, Dave, who co-wrote it with me, is a huge history buff like me.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

Kind of silly, but for the last two years at Intervention, we'd get together with other webcomic artists and hit up the Lebanese Taverna for shawarma. In our heads, it's like we're The Avengers, after a long hard battle, relaxing and eating hummus. I hope this tradition never goes away.

Do you have a website or blog?

You can read all three of our Comics for free online here at

Skeleton Crew is our Horror/Comedy
Donuts for Looking is Nerd Life
CRIT! is a Fantasy/Comedy

We update every Monday (Barring Major Holidays) and you can purchase full issues at our store. Please follow our Facebook Page to get more info on updates, conventions and store sales!