Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Geri E. Gallas has a new webcomic

Today, I posted the first five pages on and will be updating with a new page every Wednesday. Lilith is a sin-eater: someone who is paid to take on the sins of those who have recently died. One day, she is hired to pawn her soul for Old Man Jasper by his son Thomas. From that point on, she becomes irreversibly involved in Jasper family affairs, which ultimately leads to tragedy.

John Kelly on DC's Jewish cartoon card game

A D.C. rabbi enlists some comic book collaborators for a blessed project [in print as D.C. rabbi enlists TV animators to create a card game stacked with blessings].


Washington Post September 20 2017, p. B3

online at


Politics Take Center Stage at the Small Press Expo 2017

Kenny Park in the Washington Post

Kenny Park, an illustrator and comic book artist out of Canada, has a very nice piece in the Washington Post on September 17. 2017, illustrating Ken Burn's Vietnam documentary. See a sadly cropped version half-way down the page here.

The original took up 90% of the Arts & Sciences front page on Sunday.

An SPX Interview with Jeremy Whitley

Whitley at Big Planet Comics in 2012
by Mike Rhode

Jeremy Whitley has been writing his comic book Princeless for a few years now, and along the way, it's picked up Eisner and Glyph Awards. I personally enjoy it very much, although it's not aimed at me as you can see from Wikipedia's description: "Princeless tells the story of Princess Adrienne, a strong-minded, brave, and intelligent black princess who questions and challenges expectations and stereotypes associated with princesses. From a young age, Adrienne resents any limitations placed on her as a princess and struggles against them in order to define her own role. On her 16th birthday she is tricked into imprisonment in a tower, as is the expected fate of any princess in the land. Instead of waiting for a prince to rescue her, Adrienne escapes from her tower with the aid of her guardian dragon, trades her dress and crown for armor and sword and sets out to rescue her six sisters from their own prisons." I had the first trade collection from when he signed it at Big Planet Comics Vienna a few years back, but just bought another complete set so I can read it from the beginning.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I am a comic book writer.  I am the writer/creator of "Princeless" and its sister book "Raven: The Pirate Princess".  I also write for Marvel's "The Unstoppable Wasp" and "Hulk Vs Thor: Champions of the Universe" as well as IDW's "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" and it's many offshoots.

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

Well, as a writer I generally start in a notebook or if I don't have one on me, by making notes in my phone.  Slowly those ideas grow and connect into something a little more substantive and I start script writing on my computer.  Sometimes I have to go back to the notebook to hash some things out, but I try to do everything I'm going to need to save on my computer, because it's much easier to keep track of and move around.

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

1984, Southern California

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I went to college for English and Creative Writing.  I never had any training or education that formally related to comics.  All of that I picked up from reading comics and scripts, as well as the occasional  book on how to write comics.

Who are your influences?

Kelly Sue Deconnick, Matt Fraction, Gail Simone, Brian K Vaughn

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

I would have started writing comics sooner.  I had a period of a couple of years after college where I basically sat on my hands and waited for something to come to me.  I feel like that's lost time.

What work are you best-known for?

Probably "Princeless" as it's a creator owned property that myself and my illustrators brought up from nothing.  "Unstoppable Wasp" probably had a wider distribution though, because it's a Marvel comic.

What work are you most proud of?

Princeless. I've been working on it for six years now and it's like a child to me.  Every time I get some hyperventilating little girl run up to my table to tell me it's her first or favorite comic, it does my heart good.

How did you end up writing for Marvel?

Persistence.  I emailed a lot of editors and sent them pdfs of or links to comics I had been working on.  I listened to suggestions they had and kept working on other books while I was waiting for opportunities to become available.  Once I had one, I got stories turned in in a timely fashion and was receptive to any suggestions editors gave me.

How has the experience been?

Overwhelmingly positive.  Everybody I've worked with at Marvel has been wonderful and there's a real sense they want you to succeed.  We don't always agree about every turn a story should take, but they're always respectful of my ideas and happy to talk things out.

Do you have a future project for them?

Well, right now I'm working on Hulk Vs Thor: Champions of the Universe, which is a six-issue mini-series which just released its second issue today.  After that, there's nothing I can announce, but we're always talking about ideas for future books.

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

Well, there's always more Princeless and Raven coming and right now I'm hard at work on Vampirella at IDW.  Beyond that, I'd love more chances to work with both Marvel and Dynamite.  I'd really love to work on a book with Misty Knight over at Marvel.  And there are a number of characters over at DC I'd love to get my hands on.  I've also got several creator owned projects in the works, so I guess the answer is everything.  I hope to work on everything.

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

Edit.  I got back and look at what I've got already.  I find that often if I have writer's block on a story that the problem is that I've already messed up.  A character is doing something out of character or has made a misstep in the plotting.  Sometimes you can find what you did wrong and the story just opens up in front of you.

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

Just saying "diversity" is a cliche, but it's a true one.  Diversity of characters and creators, diversity of experience on and behind the page. diversity in genre and tone, diversity in format and experience.  I think comics is at a very similar point to where the book market was only a few years ago.  It's a question of finding the new inroads without necessarily closing off the existing ones.  Comics has had a boom recently and we're in a natural period of contracting, but it's not going away.  Libraries and schools are really starting to get a feel for how valuable comics and graphic novels can be for them and I think they're going to be a lot more of the future market for comics.

How was your SPX experience? How often have you attended it?

SPX was fantastic as always.  I love SPX and try to come every year.  Last year was the first year in a while I've missed and being back this year was a rejuvenating experience. It always gives me an insight into what comics could be like and makes me wish it was like that all the time.

Do you have a website or blog?

I do, but it's fairly useless at the moment.  It's but my twitter @jrome58 and my tumblr are much more informative. 

What's your favorite thing about DC? 

It used to be the monuments and those are still great, but the older I get, the more I have to say "the food". The food in DC is amazing.

Least favorite?

Is it ever not muggy in DC?  I mean, I live in the south so I'm equated with humidity, but it seems like it's always muggy in the summer and icy in the winter.  A dry and temperate day or two would be nice.

What monument or museum do you like?

I like the FDR monument.  I'm a sucker for a water feature on a monument to begin with, but the feeling of peace and calm in that monument really appeals to me.  Not to mention I love that ol' progressive dude.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

Oh!  Now that's hard.  I've been to a half dozen restaurants in Chinatown alone that I would easily put into my all time top 20.  Overall, though, I think I have to go with Busboys and Poets.  The combination of art, literature, and atmosphere with great food is my ideal. Who can pass up a restaurant with a book shop?

Those darn doodles ... er, comics

Calm down about the comics [in print as Save the outrage over doodles].

Thomas Taylor,

Washington Post September 16 2017, p. A23

online at

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sept 23: Batman Day at Fantom Comics

  • Saturday at 10 AM - 9 PM

  • Fantom Comics
    2010 P Street NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20036

    To celebrate Batman Day 2017 (and Harley Quinn's 25th anniversary!) we'll be giving out a selection of FREE comics all day while supplies last on September 23! PLUS: keep your eyes peeled for sales and promotions--everyone's encouraged to dress in their best Bat-gear.

An SPX Chat with French Cartoonist Anais Depommier

by Mike Rhode

Anais Depommier is a young woman illustrator who has just had Sartre, her first graphic novel (really a graphic biography) come out in English from NBM Publsihing. She attended the 2017 Small Press Expo and I got the opportunity to interview her there.

Her NBM biography is charmingly translated rather literally (and a little outdated as you'll see later in the interview): Anaïs Depommier was born in the late 1980s in a small village in the Southeast of France. Growing up a close friend of Mathilde Ramadier, they can't do enough sleepovers from one's house to the other. Inseparable at school, they spend their weekends building huts in the bush, watching the gendarmes go by, playing "Mouse Stampede" on a Macintosh Classic, and reading many comics. When it becomes time to prepare for the entrance exam to art school, they meet later in the evenings at the painter Jean-Michel Pétrissans' workshop in Valence.

Anaïs studied drawing for four years, then co-created the OneShot workshop where regular life drawing classes and other exhibitions are held. She now lives in Paris and works in comics, graphics and animation design. 

For those not familiar with the French philospher Sartre, NBM's blurb for the book reads: For some he was the philosopher of existentialism, for others the constant provocateur, the politically engaged author, the uncertain militant, the repenting bourgeois, the life companion of Simone de Beauvoir… From his first readings in the Luxembourg Garden to his refusal of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Jean-Paul Sartre was all of this at the same time.

Mike Rhode: So SPX is your first American show... is it a little overwhelming?

Anais Depommier: Absolutely.

MR: And Sartre is your first book in English?

AD: Yes, and also my first graphic novel. And also for the writer Mathilde Ramadier, actually. It was our first book.

MR: Did you propose the book together to the publisher?

AD: We've known each other for a long time, so we created the project together and then asked some editors [if they would be interested in it].

MR: Biographical comics are fairy popular in France?

AD: Yes, that is true.

MR: You didn't serialize this in a newspaper first; this is an original graphic novel.

AD: Absolutely, we started everything through a contract with our French editor. Dargaud is our publisher; it's one of the main and oldest ones in France.

MR: Did you have the book already put together, or was it just a proposal when you approached them?

AD: It was just a proposal. Works like this in France are usually [done this way now].

MR: So they gave you an advance?

AD: Absolutely.

MR: Moving on from the business side to the subject, so why did you pick Sartre?

AD: At the beginning, it was the writer's idea. She got her masters degree in philosophy, writing about Sartre, and she's passionate about comics (like I am). She thought it would be a good idea to depict him in comics, so she asked the artist that she knew - me - and I totally agreed with her. We started like this.

MR: Did she give you a script that you then broke down?

AD: Absolutely. In the beginning, she explained to me in conversation what she wanted to say about him, and then she wrote all the script. I made my own layout. She didn't really criticize the scenes - I decided the layout myself.

MR: Right, so she didn't give you thumbnails or sketches?

AD: That's true.

MR: This is a fairly substantial book... how long did it take you?

AD: Oh, a little time. Two and a half years, more or less. 135 drawn pages, and [an appendix] at the end to explain who is who in the book, for 160 pages in total.

MR: Did you have a hard time illustrating any action in a philosopher's life? I saw in the early pages that he was a rough-and-tumble school boy.

AD: Absolutely. It was kind of fun actually to draw that part. [laughs] It was interesting to show this man not just as an intellectual philosopher, a serious guy, because he had a lot of humor. I liked the pages where there was more action, and all his travels, all the trips he made. It was interesting to read the documentation and get the atmosphere.

MR: Did you work from photo references?

AD: A lot. And also from videos. We still have some interview videos of him. He died in 1980. In his last fifteen years, he was not that active outside his house. He was really sick.

MR: Who is the audience for this in France? Is this an all-ages book in France?
AD: Yes, and that's interesting. In festivals, we meet a lot of professors who don't really read comics, but they are curious about it, so that's great for us. Also, the opposite - comics lovers who know Sartre by name but don't know his books and they buy our book because they are curious.

MR: Were you influenced by any of the other biographies that came out? Anne Simon was here last year [at the Alliance Francais] to talk about her books that had been published in English.

AD: Yes, Einstein and Freud... I met her because we have the same French publisher. I think her first book, Freud, was published during the time we were doing the first pages of our book. So she's not really an influence because she has a totally different point of view. I really like her work - it's totally another thing, another approach.

MR: So what's next?

AD: Right now, I'm just starting to work on another story. It's still really, really beginning. It's fiction, and kind of dark.

MR: Your own characters?

AD: Yes. I will work with another writer, an Italian one, and we'll see how it goes.

MR: Is this your first time in America?

AD: Yes it is, and it's really exciting.

MR: Where are you going next?

AD: Before I was in Baltimore at MICA and I met some students, and it was really interesting. Tomorrow I will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival, and then next week I will be in Miami in an art school and then a book store.* The counrty is really different already even between Bethesda and Baltimore so I cannot imagine New York and Miami.

MR: I'm sorry you don't have the time to see Washington while you're here since it was influenced by Paris. Any thoughts about the Small Press Expo? Have you been able to walk around?

AD: Just a little bit this morning, and I will go again now. It seems to have really cool work; so many different comics and illustratioins. It's full of variety and I love it. It's a little underground and I really like that.

SPX floor by Bruce Guthrie
MR: SPX isn't a normal American superhero convention. In France, do you usually attend Angouleme or other festivals?

AD: I've been there twice, but always just to visit. It's a huge festival, and editors send their author with a new book, but Sartre was published in March, and the festival is in January, so it didn't match. Still, it's a crazy festival and a really interesting place to go.

MR: Have you done other French shows then?

AD: Yes, in France - a lot. In Paris, a lot, in Lyon, a lot and so many in little cities.

MR: Do you see a difference about a show in France and one in America?

AD: Here in America everything is bigger. Also the buildings too. It's impressive. I can find the same family atmosphere, a relaxed and fun atmosphere is a common point, for sure.

MR: I should ask you about your background before we end...

AD: What I did before my book? I was in university, in École Émile Cohl, a traditional school with an academic program, and I studied comics and illustration there. After that, I created a studio with friends, and did exhibitions and drawing classes, still in Lyon. Then I went to Paris and I started this book. I've made a lot of little works for newspapers, and been a graphic designer for lawyers,. This book took me so much time. I'm also doing work in Lyon Capitale, a French newspaper that has several pages a month about the history of the city. It's not really serious. There's always a historical background, but the story can be fictional. I'm still working for newspapers as a graphic designer, and I'm starting a new book, but I've also moved to Rome. I don't live in France anymore.

MR: Why Rome?

AD: It's a personal choice, not a business choice. It's a gorgeous city and I really love the Italian south.
The drawing she did in my book

*If you're in Florida tomorrow:
 Anais Depommier Book Signing
Books & Books / September 20 at 8PM
265 Aragon Ave Coral Gables, FL

3 Women in a Hotel Room podcasts on SPX

Four Women in a Hotel Room SPX 2017 - Ep. 1

Brigid, Deb and Heidi are back! And they're joined by Johanna Draper Carlson (Comics Worth Reading) as they preview this year's SPX, talking about comics styles, badge artwork, Tillie Walden, Eleanor Davis, where to eat in North Bethesda and more! They call SPX "Camp Comics" and this is where it all begins.

SPX 2017 Episode 2

We're finish up our SPX - Brigid and Johanna talk about books they found, including new talent, Ulli Lust's Voices in the Dark, European biographies, Dates, Elements: Fire, Heidi talks about the day in panels and the emotional and fiery Ignatz Awards.

This is the last 3 Women podcast of the year but we'll be back when you least expect it!

Heidi MacDonald's SPX report

SPX 2017: The year of getting woke

by 09/18/2017

Our Comics, Ourselves exhibit at GMU going on now

Our Comics, Ourselves

Our Comics, Ourselves: Identity, Expression, and Representation in Comic Art

August 21 – October 6, 2017

About the Exhibition
Related Events, Lectures, and Workshops
Sponsors and Contributors

About "Our Comics, Ourselves"

Fenwick Gallery at George Mason is pleased to host "Our Comics, Ourselves: Identity, Expression, and Representation in Comic Art," an exhibition of comic books and graphic novels.

Curated by Jan Descartes and Monica McKelvey Johnson, "Our Comics, Ourselves" includes comic books, graphic novels, DIY comics, and various comics paraphernalia primarily from the United States, from 1945 to present. The works range from autobiographical to sheer fantasy, and explore feminism, abortion, racism, cultural identity, social activism, labor unions, veterans of war, sexual abuse, student debt, immigration, public health, civil rights, gender and sexual identity, and more. "Our Comics, Ourselves" presents the graphic stories that describe the complexity and diversity of our collective experience, and examines the social and historical contexts within which they emerged.

"Our Comics, Ourselves" is an independent traveling exhibition that originated at  Interference Archive (Brooklyn, NY) in 2016, and is supported by faculty partners and departments across George Mason University.

Related Events, Lectures, and Workshops

Visual Voices: Simon Schwartz
Thursday, August 31, 7:30pm
Harris Theater, George Mason University
Visual Voices: Mason School of Art

Our Comics, Ourselves: Craft, Process, and Community with Jim Rugg
Thursday, September 14, 2:00pm
Fenwick Library Room 4010 (4th floor)

Letter Writing Support for LGBTQ Prisoners Workshop
Friday, September 15, 1:30pm
Special Collections Research Center (2400 Fenwick Library, 2nd floor)
Jan Descartes leads a workshop and letter-writing session for incarcerated persons, in partnership with Black and Pink.

Minicomics Workshop with Jan Descartes and Monica Johnson
Friday, September 15, 3:30-4:30pm
Art & Design Building, Print Shop (Room 1009) – Directions / Map
In this workshop, we will learn about why comics is a uniquely powerful medium, and how to create a 8 page mini-comic.  We will learn about creating a character, a narrative, drawing and inking our comics.  This class is for beginners and experienced drawers alike – no experience with comics is necessary, only excitement to tell your story!  The goal is to leave with a mini-comic, drawn on letter sized paper, that will be ready for you to Xerox and distribute!

Our Comics, Ourselves: Curator's Talk, Opening Reception, and Print Shop Jam
Friday, September 15, 6pm
Fenwick Library Reading Room / Art & Design Building (Room 1009, Print Shop)
Join us for an open discussion with Jan Descartes and Monica McKelvey Johnson, curators of Our Comics, Ourselves. Event to be followed by a reception and print shop jam at the Mason School of Art. Make a comic, print a t-shirt, or stay for conversation and snacks!
Reception sponsored in part by Giant Foods (University Mall, Braddock Road) and Safeway (Twinbrook Shopping Center, Braddock Road)

Small Press Expo
September 16-17
Marriott North Bethesda Hotel & Conference Center

Our Comics, Ourselves: Comics for Breakfast with Ed Luce
Monday, September 18, 10:00am
Fenwick Library Reading Room
Coffee and donuts sponsored in part by Dunkin Donuts, University Mall (Braddock Road)

D.I.Y. Comics Workshop with INTO Mason
Wednesday, September 20, 8:30am
Mason Global Center Room 1316A (Small Ballroom)

Our Comics, Ourselves: Art World/Comic World with Edie Fake
Thursday, September 21, 2:00pm
Fenwick Library Reading Room
Co-sponsored with Mason LGBTQ Resources Group

Our Comics, Ourselves: D.I.Y. Comics & Zines Workshop
Thursday, September 28, 2-4pm
Gateway Library, Johnson Center

Fantom Comics: Local Authors Reading
Saturday, September 30, 7:00pm
Fantom Comics, 2010 P Street NW, Washington D.C.

Comics Book Club: Reading and Discussion
Wednesday, September 20, 7:00pm: Not Funny Ha-Ha, led by Brianna Burke
Thursday, September 28, 5:00pm: American Born Chinese, led by Ayesha Gill
Thursday, October 5: On Loving Women, with LGBTQ Resources (time TBA)

Our Comics, Ourselves: Spike Trotman and Ariell Johnson in Conversation
Tuesday, October 3, 6:00pm
The HUB Ballroom (Front), George Mason University
Co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME)


Fall for the Book
October 11-14
George Mason University

Sponsors and Contributors

"Our Comics, Ourselves" is generously supported by the George Mason University Departments of Women & Gender Studies and History and Art History, the African and African American Studies Program, the School of Art, the Film and Video Studies Program, the College of Visual and Performing Arts; the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution; the Honors College, INTO Mason, the University Curator, University Libraries, and University Life.

A special thank you for support and contributions:
Grey Cohen, Edie Fake, Stephanie Grimm, Christopher Kardambikis, Angela Hattery, Mika'il Petin, Josh MacPhee, Interference Archive, and all the guest curators on our Tumblr at, and contributors to the Our Comics, Ourselves catalog.

Programming and arrangements for this exhibition at Mason were organized by Stephanie Grimm, Art and Art History Librarian; Christopher Kardambikis, Assistant Professor of Printmaking; Angela Hattery, Professor and Director, Women & Gender Studies at Mason; and Mika'il Petin, Professor, African and African American Studies.

Printing services generously sponsored by Canon. Additional support for refreshments provided by Giant Foods (Braddock Road, Fairfax), Safeway (Twinbrook Shopping Center, Braddock Road, Fairfax) and Dunkin Donuts (University Mall, Braddock Road, Fairfax).

This exhibition is made possible in part with support from Interference Archive, an all-volunteer organization in Brooklyn. The mission of Interference Archive is to explore the relationship between cultural production and social movements. This work manifests in an open stacks archival collection, publications, a study center, and public programs including as exhibitions, workshops, talks, and screenings, all of which encourage critical and creative engagement with the rich history of social movements.

For more information go to

Monday, September 18, 2017

SPX: The Bruce Guthrie photos

Sept 22: Kazu Kibuishi at Baltimore Comic Con

Kazu is a really sweet guy and a great talent. This should be really worth stopping in for.

Amulet Creator Kazu Kibuishi Comes to BCC as part of Kids Love Comics

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - September 18, 2017 - Returning to the Baltimore Convention Center in the beautiful Inner Harbor, the 2017 Baltimore Comic-Con takes place this weekend, September 22-24, 2017Online ticket sales are available through Thursday, September 21.

Kazu Kibuishi, creator of the Amulet graphic novel series and the cover artist for the anniversary edition of Harry Potter, comes to Baltimore Comic-Con as part of Kids Love Comics.

New York Times bestseller Kazu Kibuishi's magical graphic novels have taken the book world by storm, and now that magic is coming to the Baltimore Comic-Con September 22-24! Mr. Kibuishi will be on hand all weekend (Booth #3013 in the Kids Love Comics Area) to meet his fans, sign his books, and share his process in creating graphic novels. Copies of Mr. Kibuishi's books will be available for purchase if anyone forgets to bring a copy to have signed!

Ask any class of kids across America about the graphic novel series Amulet, and you will probably hear an excited description of adventure, kid heroes, and amazing creatures, all said with a big smile. Featuring magic, elves, robots, demons, and anthropomorphic animals, Amulet has become a bright light for reluctant readers and excited book lovers alike.

Kibuishi will be giving FREE talks on his process of creating comics on Saturday at the Baltimore Comic-Con, as part of the perennial convention's Kids Love Comics educational and entertainment initiative.

"Baltimore Comic-Con is not only a wonderful comic convention," said John Gallagher, Kids Love Comic Executive Director, "it's an incredible, family-friendly event. Kazu's inclusion at the show is a natural progression of BCC's dedication to inspiring young people to read and enjoy the magic of comics."

Mr. Kibuishi's programming (just a part of the weekend-long kids programming and classes) at the show is as follows:


Kids Love Comics Area

1:00-2:00 - Panel Party with Mark Mariano and Kazu Kibuishi

You are cordially invited you to the Panel Party, where your imagination, storytelling ability, and art skills will be welcomed and celebrated. Simply put, we are going to have a blast making comics together! Warning: attending this party may result in you throwing your own Panel Party at home!


Room 345-346

2:45-3:45 - Amulet Graphic Novel: Behind-the-Scenes

Presentation and Q&A with author Kazu Kibuishi on the creation of the Amulet graphic novel series for Scholastic Graphix. Explore the process of creating adventures for all ages!



Room 347-348

11:00-12:00 - Writing for Young Readers

How is writing for young readers unique? What are the rewards and challenges? Are any themes off limits? Join Kazu Kibuishi, Barry Lyga, Andy Runton, Hope Larson, Louise Simonson, and moderator Charlie Kochman as they explore writing for young readers.

Limited copies of Kazu Kibuishi's books will be on hand for purchase, courtesy of Captain Bluehen Comics, Newark, DE and Kids Love Comics (


To get all of the details about the ev

Sept 21: "Rendez-Vous avec Pénélope Bagieu" - Renowned French graphic novelist in DC

Date and Time


Alliance Française de Washington DC

2142 Wyoming Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC 20008


French author Pénélope Bagieu will discusses her work at the Alliance Française de Washington!

About the author:

Pénélope Bagieu was born in Paris in 1982, to Corsican and Basque parents. She is a bestselling graphic novel author and her editorial illustrations have appeared all over the French media. She blogs, drums in a rock band, and watches lots of nature shows. Her books with First Second include Exquisite Corpse and California Dreamin'.

About the moderator:

Michael Cavna is an American columnist and cartoonist for The Washington Post. His favorite interviews have included Neil Gaiman, Art Spiegelman, Marjane Satrapi, Sylvain Chomet, Tim Burton, Bill Watterson and Garry Trudeau.

This event will be in English

The book will be available for purchase the evening of the event.

AFDC Member / Culture Pass: $10 + Processing Fees
General Admission: $15 + Processing Fees

An SPX interview with TJ Kirsch

by Mike Rhode

T.J. Kirsch was tabling at SPX for his new book,  Pride Of The Decent Man, which is getting some very nice reviews. I had actually made an appointment to interview French NBM cartoonist Anais Depommier  (which will appear later this week after I transcribe it), but Mr. Kirsch kindly agreed to do an interview by mail.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I'm a writer and illustrator of comics, webcomics, and graphic novels - or any combination of those three. I've illustrated comics for Oni Press, Archie, Image, NBM and others.

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

For all of my recent books I've drawn and colored digitally using a Wacom tablet.

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

I was born in 1981 in Albany, NY.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I completed a year of art school at Savannah College Of Art And Design, and then finished my training at The Kubert School, graduating in 2005. 

Who are your influences?

My big ones are Dan Clowes, Chester Brown, and Gilbert Hernandez.

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

I wish I would've had more confidence to start writing my own projects earlier. But along the way I've worked with many very talented writers and learned so much from each of them.

What work are you best-known for?

I co-created and illustrated a webcomic-turned-graphic novel called She Died In Terrebonne, written by Kevin Church. It's been highly acclaimed by critics and often cited as one of the best Noir comics ever published.

What work are you most proud of?

The comics I'm most proud of are all the minicomics that were eventually collected in Teej Comix, and the new book, Pride Of The Decent Man. I made them all in a similar process, using loose outlines and giving myself some room to change things on the page as I went along. Some things work better as comics if you stay flexible with the final product rather than sticking with a set script.

How did your new book end up with NBM?

Terry Nantier, the founder and publisher of NBM Graphic Novels, saw something he liked in my initial proposal submission, and made me an offer quite early in the process. I thought it was a good fit for their catalog, and seeing it finished and in book form, I feel that even more. There's a sensibility to all their books of trying to elevate the art form of comics, while also bringing in a general crossover audience. I like graphic novels I can hand to any random book or art lover on the street, and have them get something out of it - and maybe seek out other comics after that. I think many of the NBM graphic novels have that quality.

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

I'd like to do more original graphic novels as well as shorter comics. Right now I'm in the very early stages of a nonfiction graphic novel project.

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

As an artist, my recent solution to getting out of a rut is to redraw very old work of mine. It's great for self confidence, in that you see your improvement since the earlier version of the piece. 

As far as writer's block - I haven't been in this situation much yet, having worked with writers more than not - but I try to take breaks and let ideas come to me when I'm relaxed and daydreaming.

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

Hopefully it will be more innovative comics being made, and respect for the work by the general public, but who knows? 

How was your SPX experience?

SPX was great, as always. It's a very inspiring atmosphere. I've been coming since 2008 and it's been my favorite show ever since - no contest. I've met several of my cartooning heroes, and made some great friends I see every time I come back. 

When you've been at SPX previously, have you been selling self-published books?

 My first time exhibiting I was with Oni Press, debuting a comic called Uncle Slam Fights Back. Most other times I shared space with Jonathan Baylis, who writes an autobiographical comic series called So Buttons. It's in the same vein as Harvey Pekar's work - only a bit more upbeat. I've been contributing art to that series since the first issue ten years ago. But yes, sometimes I'll be showcasing self published minis, or other work I'd done for Oni Press and others. 

Is the experience different when at a table of a mid-level publisher?

It's always easier, and far less stressful, when you can just show up and start signing books, rather than worrying about shipping your own or coordinating everything that goes along with exhibiting.

If you've been coming since 2008, any thoughts about how it's grown and changed?

I can say it's grown every year I've gone. More lines out the door for star cartoonists, more congestion in the aisle, but also the exhibitors all make amazing work and that never changes.

What's your favorite thing about DC?

My favorite things about DC are the closeness to SPX ( of course ), the fast, efficient and clean Metro system, and the fact that I have family there.

Least favorite?

It gets wayyyyy too hot in the summer! Maybe I just need to visit closer to the colder months.

What monument or museum do you like?

I like them all, but the Lincoln Memorial is one I always need to see. The Holocaust Museum is something everyone needs to see.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

There's a small place in Bethesda called the Lilit Cafe that has the most amazing gluten free crabcakes. I didn't have enough time this year to go since I was only around for a day, but that always a necessary stop. There's also Ella's Wood-Fired Pizza across from the National Portrait Gallery that has great gluten free pizza. I've got Celiac disease so these stand out for me.

Do you have a website or blog?

You can find out more about me and my work at - and you'll find links to all my various social media, info about my books and more.

Memories Through Lunch and Art: Dad decorates daughter’s lunch bags

Memories Through Lunch and Art: Dad decorates daughter's lunch bags

Maureen Umeh

Fox5's Good Day DC Sep 18, 2017

Arlington cartoonist Mike Jenkins has made lasting memories with his daughter -- one lunch bag at a time.

SPX's Ignatz Award winners

Emil Ferris's graphic novel 'Monsters' tops diverse slate of 2017 Ignatz Award winners

By Michael Cavna

Washington Post Comic Riffs blog September 18 2017

Sept 29: Animezing!: Kimba the White Lion

Join us for a FREE classic anime film at the JICC!
Join us for a FREE classic anime film at the JICC!
Kimba the White Lion
Journey Through Anime: Celebrating 100 Years
2017 marks the 100-year anniversary of Japanese animation. In celebration, the JICC is presenting a retrospective of animated films!
Don't miss this rare film based on the popular series by legendary artist and "God of Comics," Osamu Tezuka!
Caesar, a white lion, is king of the jungle. His dream is to bring peace among the animals of his kingdom. Unfortunately, his reign is cut short and his consort, Snowene, is captured and sent to be sold off overseas. While on board, she gives birth to a single white cub, Kimba.
Kimba manages to escape from the ship and returns to the jungle in order to fulfill his father's dream. Although his arrival brings joy to the jungle's inhabitants, not all share Kimba's vision of a peaceful and harmonious existence. Now, young Kimba must prove himself worthy of being King of the Jungle!
In Japanese with English subtitles | Not rated | 1966 | 75 min | Adventure | Directed by Eiichi Yamamoto
Registration is required.
You are invited to
Friday, September 29th, 2017
from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)
Japan Information & Culture Center, Embassy of Japan
Event venue map
This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
In the event of a cancellation, please contact us at

Doors open 30 minutes before the program. Program begins at 6:30PM.
No admittance after 7:00PM or once seating is full.

Registered guests will be seated on a first come, first served basis. Please note that seating is limited and registration does not guarantee a seat.

The JICC reserves the right to use any photograph/video taken at any event sponsored by JICC without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video.
Facebook Instagram YouTube

© 1981-2017 Japan Information & Culture Center, Embassy of Japan