Friday, February 24, 2017

Darrin Bell returns to DC

Darrin Bell accepts the Berryman Award for Editorial Cartoons

His reflections on visiting DC -

A video of his remarks -

Ann Telnaes also cartoons for The Nib

The Post reviews Rock Dog

Animated 'Rock Dog' obeys every last command of a movie-by-committee [in print as Obeys every command of a formulaic kids' tale]

Washington Post February 24 2017, p. Weekend 30.

Pet sounds: Bodi, left, wants to ditch the family business to be a rock legend like Angus Scattergood. (Lionsgate Premiere)

Katsucon in Photos

Katsucon in Photos
by Gemstone's Assistant Editor Carrie Wood.

Katsucon returned once again to the picturesque Gaylord National Harbor Resort in Oxon Hill, Maryland, for another weekend of anime, manga, video games, and of course cosplay. Anime fans from around the country packed the resort hotel and convention center from February 17-19, 2017, with many cosplayers bringing out their best work for the event.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

How one school created its annual Graphic Novelists Workshop

 by Matt Dembicki

Powhatan School in Boyce, Va., will host its 4th Graphic Novelists Workshop on Friday, March 3, from 12:30 to 4:30 pm. The workshop costs $25 per participant and is open to all students in grades 3rd through high school are invited to attend. Participating students will attend sessions with each of the presenting graphic novelists and have the opportunity to use what they have learned to create their own graphic novelette. Registration for the workshop is online at 

Presenting graphic novelists include Hobbes Holluck, Carolyn Belefski and Art Hondros.

Below, we chatted with Tracie Chloel Lane, library media specialist at Powhatan, who has spearheaded the annual workshop.

How did the idea for these comics workshops originate?

Several years ago, one of my students came across Trickster, and bought a copy for our library. The donation was quickly followed with a “Ms. Lane, you should get this guy to come visit our school.” Engaging my investigative skills, I logged into Facebook, and typed Matt Dembicki into the search feature, thus beginning my side job stalking graphic novelists and authors so I could lure them to our school. The resulting author visit ignited our students. Our graphic novel collection was born. And an idea formed. The following year, we invited Matt back and asked him to bring a couple friends. It was our first Graphic Novelist Workshop @ Powhatan School.
 Tracie Chloel Lane

The workshop format is really great for the participants. Author visits are wonderful. They give students the opportunity to meet and learn about the authors of the books they read and love. A workshop takes that visit to a deeper level. It gives young people the opportunity to learn from people who are writing the stories that feed their brains and fires up their imaginations. The workshop gives them the opportunity to see themselves as the writer, the illustrator, the creator of books. It demystifies the experience of having a byline on the cover of a book. It gives our children and teens the opportunity to see themselves in that role.

Our Graphic Novelist Workshops spawned our writing workshops that take place in the fall.

What’s been the reaction among the students, teachers, parents?

This is the fourth year we have hosted the Graphic Novelist workshop at Powhatan School. Every year, we have more students and alumni coming than the year before. Several of our students have produced their own graphic novels. One of our young novelists has gone on to sell his work and another is heading off to Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall to study Communication Arts. Our parents and teachers love anything that gets kids reading more, writing more, and enthusiastic about the process.

You always look for ways to add a new spin to the program. Can you briefly outline what you’ve done in the past and your ideas for the upcoming program in March?

Art by Carolyn Belefski
Our base group of participants come every year. A new spin on the workshop is essential. Our participants want to build on the skills and knowledge they’ve gained. We host different novelists each year. The novelists are active participants in determining what skill will be shared and how it will be taught. We coordinate this through a private Facebook group that gives current and previous presenting novelists and editors the opportunity to communicate ideas and experiences with each other. That helps mix things up a bit.

This year, I want to take it a step farther. I want to publish a collection of the works of the children and teens that participate in the workshop. To facilitate this goal, we’ve invited a former editor of the Magic Bullet to participate this year.

If other teachers and librarians might be interested in adapted a similar program at their school or library, what advice would you give them on how to get started?

First, they need a Matt. Matt helps me find the up-and-coming (and already there) graphic novelists and editors that I invite to our workshop each year. Visit another graphic novelist workshop. Our program is open to our students and the community at large. Visiting teachers and librarians are welcome at our Workshop (though I may put them to work).

What has been the most challenging part of the program?

Art by Hobbes Hillock
Funding. For the first three years we offered the workshop free or with a small fee for expenses. This year, funding has made it necessary to charge a $25 registration fee to cover the costs.

Dick Bruna's obituary in The Post

Dick Bruna, illustrator who delighted young readers with Miffy the white rabbit, dies at 89 [in print as  Dick Bruna, 89; tales of  Miffy the bunny sold millions of copies].

Washington Post February 23 2017, p. B6.
online at

New interview with Jason Rodriguez on Colonial Comics

History, Comics, and Representation: An Interview with Jason Rodriguez

Sami Yuhas

Comics in the Classroom blog February 23 2017

Orsini on Cosmunity

Herblock prize awarded to Ruben Bolling

'Tom the Dancing Bug' creator wins 2017 Herblock Prize for his original spoofs of Donald Trump

Washington Post Comic Riffs blog February 23 2017

Local writer Ted White needs financial help

Local writer Ted White of Falls Church, VA needs financial help. He's got a GoFundMe campaign up to pay his taxes on his house at

Regarding comics, he edited Heavy Metal and wrote a Captain America novel.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

International Journal of Comic Art 18-2 Fall / Winter 2016 is out

See for ordering details. On a personal note, I have a remembrance of my friend Richard Thompson in it.


Vol. 18, No. 2 Fall/Winter 2016


Pioneers in Comic Art Scholarship

My Drifting Manga Life

Frederik L. Schodt


Pioneers in Comic Art Scholarship

I Am Just a Comic Book Reader Who Became Curious ...

Waldomiro Vergueiro


Heroism Reversed: Graphic Novels About the Great War

Sylvain Rheault


A Collaborative Journey: Malcolm Whyte, Troubador Press, and the Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco

Kim Munson


How the French Kickstarted the Acceptance of Comics as an Art Form in the US: the Books and Exhibitions of Maurice Horn

Kim Munson


A Brief History of the Translation of American Comic Strips in Pre-World War II Japan and the Origins of Contemporary Narrative Manga

Eike Exner


Gene Luen Yang's Graphic Bi-Bye to China/town

Sheng-Mei Ma


From Phylacteries to Balloons: Consequences of Epistemological Evolution in Pictorial  Representation of Discourse Support

Fabio Mourilhe


Food in Post-Soviet Russian Comics

Jose Alaniz


The Influence of Cartoon and Animation for the Elaboration of Visual Art in the Electronic Dance Music Genre

Citlaly Aguilar Campos


Hippies, Rogues, and Urban Losers: Subjects of the Indian Graphic Novel

Preeti Singh


Graphic Adaptations of Pride and Prejudice: Pastiche, Parody, and Intertextuality

Kirsten Mollegaard


Comics Journalism: An Interview with Josh Neufeld

Dominic Davies


Poetics of Sound and Death: The Function of Nature and Effects in Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service

Kay K. Clopton


I Will Not Bow: Analysis of the Feminine Refusal of Hegel's Master-Slave Dialectic in Jnuyasha

Robyn Johnson


An Interview with English Comic Book Artist Arthur Ranson

Jeffery KJaehn


Remembering Her 50 Years in Japanese Girls' and Ladies' Comics: An Interview with Chikae Ide

Kinko Ito


The Neurotic Gaze: Jules Feiffer Seen Through a Feminist Lens

Amadeo Gandolfo


Violence Representation in Horror Comic Books

Edilaine Correa


Remembering Richard Thompson (1957-2016)

Mike Rhode


How Realism is Shaping Korean Webtoons

Alyssa Kim


"YES SIR!" 50 Years of Nationalism and the lndo-Pak War in Narayan Debnath's Bnatul the Great

Sourav Chatterjee


Fiction, Transmedia Storytelling, and Cartoons: The Life and Death of Re Bordosa

Luiza Lusvarghi


How a Shojo (a Japanese Girl) Transcends National Borders Through an Incestuous Body: Shojo Manga from the 1970s to the 2000s

Fusami Ogi


An Interview with Comic Book Artist Paul Gulacy

Jeffery KJaehn


Writing the Picture: Ramayana Narrative in a Graphic Novel Form

Varsha Jha (Singh)


The Next Generation of Comics Researchers

The Visual Ideograph: The Advent and Departure of the Abu Ghraib "Hooded Specter"

Joseph Hancuch


(YA)ru, (O)kasu, (I)kaseru: Do Him, Rape Him, Make Him Cum: Rape, Loss, and the Silence of Queer Identity in Boys Love Manga

Zac Clifton


The Printed Word

John A. Lent


Book Reviews

Jose Alaniz

John A. Lent




Feb 26: Neal Adams in Tysons Corner

Tom King interview on Marvel's site

A Vision of the Past:Tom King opens up on his acclaimed comic book series!

Game-On Comics delivery service profiled

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

New Kickstarter from J. Robert Deans

Crass Fed Kids and Shakes the Cow Return With TWO New Books!

CFK returns with TWO new children's books! Shakes the Cow and the Bear From AUNT go racing in their latest adventures!

About this project

HI!  My name is J. Robert Deans, basically known online as "That Penguin Guy."  About two years ago, I ran a campaign to start a new series of children's books, CRASS FED KIDS, with the printing of MOO THOUSAND AND PUN.  MOO featured Shakes The Cow on an adventure in Space, and thanks to my wonderful 83 supporters, Shakes came to life!

Since then, I printed three more books using a preorder system to pay for printing. First was another Shakes adventure, TEMPLE OF MOO'D.  The other two books feature Stanley, The Bear From A.U.N.T., in the young reader spy adventures THE HONEY DON'T CASE and THE CASE OF THE PUSHY OCTOPUS.  When I wrote THE CASE OF THE PUSHY OCTOPUS, I combined the characters from both series when Shakes' friend Percie showed up to help Stanley during a mission under the sea.  (You can't read that without hearing Sebastian, can you?  Neither can I.)

My books.
My books.

My newest books, scheduled for release this Summer, tell one story, from two perspectives, for two different reader levels.  Shakes is a Formoola One racing driver in MOO FAST, MOO FURRYOUS, and in the latest Bear From A.U.N.T. book, Stanley and his friends investigate Formoola One race fraud in THE CASE OF THE CHICANE MUTINY.

The new books!
The new books!

(Yeah…I still like my puns.)



My campaign for MOO THOUSAND AND PUN included several bells and whistles, like prints and coloring books.  This time, my campaign simply covers printing a modest number of both new books.  Included with the cost of printing, taxes and fees, and shipping, are funds to advertise my catalog with libraries and bookstores across the world.  I will also print extra copies to send out packages to a few agents and publishers to begin the process of moooving Shakes and Stanley to a greater stage.  This will hopefully get me closer to being a full-time writer of puns.  And books.  Not just puns, I swear.

Printing the books will cost about $1500, with the remaining funds covering promotion, shipping, and Kickstarter fees.  Stretch Goals will be determined shortly, but extra funds raised will at the very least mean printing extra books (woohoo!).

Monday, February 20, 2017

'Comics Studies Comes of Age'

Comics Studies Comes of Age

By Lee Konstantinou February 19, 2017
Chronicle of Higher Education

The year 1986 was a turning point in the history of comics. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons began publishing their acclaimed limited series, Watchmen. Frank Miller released his four-issue miniseries reimagining the Batman story, The Dark Knight Returns. And the first volume of Art Spiegelman’s comics memoir, Maus, was published by Pantheon Books. A year earlier, while it was still being serialized in RAW magazine, the critic Ken Tucker suggested that Maus’s existence might help "expand the very notion of what a comic strip can do, to make intelligent readers reconsider — and reject — the widespread notion of … ‘comics-as-kid-culture.’"

Read the full article

Lee Konstantinou is an assistant professor of English at the University of Maryland at College Park and author of Cool Characters: Irony and American Fiction (Harvard University Press, 2016).


Joe Simon's granddaughter on Captain America for The Post

My grandfather helped create Captain America for times like these

I used to think of Cap as all mine. Now I want to share him with the world.

[in print as My grandfather's superhero was made for times like these: Megan Margulies on the renewed relevance of Captain America].

Washington Post February 19, 2017, p. B2
online at

Library of Congress comic book collection mentioned by New Yorker magazine

The Librarian of Congress and the Greatness of Humility

The values of Dr. Carla Hayden, the first woman and the first person of color in the position, can be seen in every aspect of the institution she runs.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Legion'

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Legion' And 'Planet Earth 2'

Syd Barrett (Rachel Keller) and David Haller (Dan Stevens) in the FX series Legion.
Chris Large/FX
This week's show brings a new voice to our fourth chair: Alan Sepinwall, TV critic at Uproxx and author (of The Revolution Was Televised and, with Matt Zoller Seitz, of TV (The Book)), is with us to talk about two new shows.

First up is Legion, the FX adaptation of a somewhat lesser-known Marvel story compared to some that have come to the screen. The show stars Dan Stevens, whom you may remember as Matthew on Downton Abbey, and was created by Noah Hawley, who most recently did FX's adaptation of Fargo. We talk about its structure and characterizations, and its combination of psychiatric questions and superpower ones.

March 6: Curatorial Display - Will Eisner Centennial at Library of Congress

Monday, March 6, 2017


Curatorial Display - Will Eisner Centennial: Discovering His Legacy in the Library's Collections.

Join curators from the Prints & Photographs Division and the Serial & Government Publications Division in a celebration of noted cartoonist, comic book publisher, and graphic novelist Will Eisner. A selection of comic art and comic books will be on exhibit.


This event is co-sponsored by Prints & Photographs Division and the Serial & Government Publications Division.


Where: Room 139, Madison Building, 1st floor, Madison Building

When: Monday, March 6, 2017, 11:00-1:00 PM


Feb 22: Library of Congress Gallery Talk Wednesday, World War I Artists

On Wednesday, February 22 at noon please join curators Katherine Blood and Sara W. Duke in the exhibition World War I: American Artists View the Great War  to discuss highlights from a new rotation of artwork chronicling the First World War. The exhibition includes posters, photographs, cartoons, fine art prints, and drawings from the Library's Prints and Photographs Division and is located in the Graphic Arts Galleries, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building.

Sara Duke will be mentioning McKee Barclay, a Baltimore cartoonist.

Feb 18: Bmore Into Comics

The quarterly Bmore Into Comics hold "Issue 12" on Saturday, February 18, from 1-7 pm at the Windup Space in Baltimore.

Feb 17-19: Farpoint Con in Baltimore

"FARPOINT is an annual gathering for fans of all genres of imaginative fiction – Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, SuperHeroes – in all the media formats in which they might appear – Cinematic Movies, Television, Direct to DVD , Books on Tape, Podcasts, Web Video – you name it, we want to celebrate it!

The con was established in 1993, by a committee led by Bev Volker and Steve Wilson. Our focus is on Fandom, and all the wonderful, creative people who comprise it. Our mission is to encourage, to educate, to enable. So, while we certainly bring in some exciting professionals from the industries which bring imagination into the mainstream, our real goal is to give you the opportunity to meet others like yourself, to forge friendships, and to develop your own creative gifts."

Comics creators Peter David and David Mack are among the guests.

Feb 17-19: Katsucon at National Harbor

The anime and cosplay show opens today -

"An annual 3-day fan convention held in the D.C. metro area for multicultural enthusiasts and entertainment."

Here's the schedule -

Thursday, February 16, 2017

NPR on Neil Gaiman

Looking For Thor's Hammer: Neil Gaiman On 'Norse Mythology' February 13, 2017

The Post reviews Tower

[This is showing on PBS' website]

'Tower' is a well-crafted documentary that deliberately leaves out a major detail [in print as Missing story would have given 'Tower' more statue]

A bystander rushes to help Claire Wilson in this scene from "Tower." (Tower Documentary/PBS)

Auction of John Fantucchio's comic collection begins with Spider-Man 1-50

From his widow, Mary, "The first group of John's comic books are now up for auction - Spider-man 1-50.  You can see it at  Also - for any of you who are interested, some of his superhero toys are being sold at"

Dirda on Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman's suspenseful and surprising 'Norse Mythology' [in print as From Neil Gaiman, Norse tales as bracing as the north wind].

Washington Post (February 15 2017), p. C1, 3:

Herblock coined today's Word.A.Day

A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg features McCarthyism today - credited to Herb 'Herblock' Block.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Rep. John Lewis discusses "MARCH: Book Three" with Kojo Nnamdi at the Library of Congress

Rep. John Lewis discusses "MARCH: Book Three" with Kojo Nnamdi at the Library of Congress

 Feb 14, 2017

The Young Readers Center at the Library of Congress presents U.S. Representative John Lewis and co-author Andrew Aydin in conversation with Radio Host Kojo Nnamdi about "MARCH: Book Three." Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, welcomes the award-winning "MARCH: Book Three" authors in a presentation to 7th grade students from School Without Walls at Francis Stevens in Washington, D.C.

March 10: Brian Biggs in Takoma Park

Mac Barnett and Brian Biggs - Noisy Night — at Takoma Park Library (MD)

Friday, March 10, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Takoma Park Library (MD)   101 Philadelphia Ave   Takoma Park   MD    20912

Brian is more than happy to sign the comics he did earlier in his career, such as Dear Julia.