Friday, December 06, 2019

Off Panel podcast talks to Jonathan Luna

The Post's obituary for Howard Cruse

Howard Cruse, underground cartoonist and 'godfather of queer comics,' dies at 75 [in print as Pioneering chronicler of LGBTQ life in comics].

Bloom makes Powell's best of 2019 list

Liz at Large comic's 2nd week in City Paper

This is in the print paper as well.

Liz At Large: "Now"

Week two of our new cartoon series is here.

Liz Montague
Dec 5, 2019

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Government-produced comics in the Library of Congress

How the Government Connects through Pop Culture: From Comics to Memes

Frankenstein Zombie launch page

From Springfield's David Miller: "Just thought I'd share the launch page for The Frankenstein Zombie on the Markosia site. It has links to where the Frankenstein Zombie can be bought and you can see a dramatic reading of the text by me if you wish. "

Photos of Cartoons, Controversy and Caricatures (w/Matt Wuerker and Kevin Kallaugher)

Cartoons, Controversy and Caricatures: Political Cartooning in the Age of Trump
Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Join POLITICO's Matt Wuerker and The Economist's Kevin Kallaugher for a workshop and open discussion on the theory and practice of political cartoons. Attendees will participate in the conversation and even learn to draw some famous politicians.

Library of Congress' Swann Foundation is accepting fellowship applications

The Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, administered by the Library of Congress is accepting applications for its graduate fellowship, one of the few in the field, for the 2020-2021 academic year. Deadline for applications is February 14, 2020. Please see the following for criteria, guidelines, and application forms:

Please email or call (202) 707-9115 if you have questions.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

NPR talks to Lynda Barry

Cartoonist Lynda Barry: Drawing 'Has To Come Out Of Your Body'

The Post releases The Mueller Report as graphic journalism today

The Mueller Report Illustrated

About The Book

Written and designed by the staff of The Washington Post and illustrated by artist Jan Feindt, The Mueller Report Illustrated: The Obstruction Investigation brings to life the findings of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in an engaging and illuminating presentation.

When it was released on April 18, 2019, Mueller's report laid out two major conclusions: that Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election had been "sweeping and systematic" and that the evidence did not establish that Trump or his campaign had conspired with the Kremlin. The special counsel left one significant question unanswered: whether the president broke the law by trying to block the probe.

However, Mueller unspooled a dramatic narrative of an angry and anxious president trying to control the criminal investigation, even after he knew he was under scrutiny. Deep inside the 448-page report is a fly-on-the-wall account of the inner workings of the White House, remarkable in detail and drama. With dialogue taken directly from the report, The Mueller Report Illustrated is a vivid, factually rigorous narrative of a crucial period in Trump's presidency that remains relevant to the turbulent events of today.

About The Author

The Washington Post has built an unparalleled reputation in its coverage of the Special Counsel's investigation and related topics. The paper's circulation, prominence, and influence continue to grow.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner (December 3, 2019)
  • Length: 208 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982149277

Monday, December 02, 2019

The Post on a year and a decade of live-action superheroes

2019 was a rocky year for superheroes — until 'Watchmen' raised the bar for the genre

The 11 superheroes who defined the decade onscreen, from Iron Man to one of the Watchmen

Pioneering Gay Cartoonist Howard Cruse Dies at 75 (posted by request)

Howard Cruse's family sent out this press release and asked for coverage of his passing. I have a great deal of respect for his work, and haven't seen anything yet in local media although the area has a large LGBTQ population. I definitely recommend reading Stuck Rubber Baby.

Pioneering Gay Cartoonist Howard Cruse
Dies at 75

(WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS., Nov. 26 2019) -- Howard Cruse, a pioneer in the LGBTQ cartooning movement and the author of Stuck Rubber Baby, an award-winning graphic novel about the intersection of race and sexuality in the South, died on Tuesday, November 26. He was 75.

His husband of 40 years, Ed Sedarbaum, said that Cruse succumbed to complications from lymphoma at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, MA. Cruse, who lived in Williamstown, Ma., had been diagnosed in August.

Cruse’s masterwork, the bold graphic novel Stuck Rubber Baby, was published in 1995. It was based on Cruse’s interior struggles as a closeted gay man during the civil rights era of the 1960s. Widely translated, Stuck Rubber Baby has won numerous awards, including a critics prize at the Angoul√™me International Comics in France, the Harvey Award, Eisner Award and United Kingdom Comic Art Award for Best Graphic Album.

Stuck Rubber Baby will be reissued in a 25th anniversary edition by First Second Books in May 2020.

Howard Russell Cruse was born May 2, 1944 in Birmingham, Alabama, as the younger of two sons born to Clyde and Irma Cruse. The family moved to Springville when his father, a photojournalist, was ordained as a Methodist minister and assigned to Springville Methodist Church. Cruse's creative talents were encouraged by both his parents. His first published work was a 1959 comic strip called “Calvin” in the St. Clair County Reporter. Young Cruse also had cartoon art published in the humor magazines Fooey and Sick. He was mentored through an ongoing correspondence with famed cartoonist Milton Caniff, the creator of “Terry and the Pirates” and “Steve Canyon” newspaper comic strips. At age 16, Cruse was invited to visit Caniff in New York City.

At Birmingham Southern College, Cruse became involved in the theatre program, designing sets and appearing In several productions. He wrote and directed his own play during his senior year. For the college literary magazine, Quad, Cruse satirized the conservative organization the John Birch Society. The controversial work appeared in print, but the faculty advisor insisted on running a full-page disclaimer.

After graduating from BSC in 1968, Cruse joined Birmingham’s WBMG-TV as art
director and a puppeteer on “The Sergeant Jack Show.” At this time, he became
romantically involved with a man, Don Higdon, for the first time.

During this time, Cruse created “Tops & Button,” a cartoon panel about two
squirrels, which ran daily in The Birmingham Post-Herald from 1970 to
1972. He also created the subtly subversive comic strip “Barefootz,” which
debuted in the University of Alabama's newspaper Crimson White. “Barefootz” would appear in several Birmingham-area publications during the decade, and later in underground comic books.

In 1977 Cruse relocated to New York City to make cartooning his full-time profession. In 1979, he met Eddie Sedarbaum and they moved in together. The couple was married in 2004.

Cruse’s career reached a personal and professional breakthrough in 1980 when he was founding editor of Gay Comix, an underground anthology for lesbian and gay cartoonists. Cruse’s own work, exploring his conflicted childhood and repressive Southern upbringing, appeared in these comic books.

In an era before the formal passage of LGBT rights, these frank cartoon explorations of gay culture, politics, sex, and camp had a huge influence on young people in the closet. During the four years of his editorship, Cruse received letters of gratitude from readers all over the country, many who had considered suicide. During this period, Cruse did many pro bono illustrations to support fledgling LGBT organizations, as well as mentoring of young queer cartoonists. Cruse created a high-profile poster about gay male safe sex practices in 1985 for New York City’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis.

Cruse’s profile as a cartoonist grew with the debut of “Wendel,” a comic
strip about a gay everyman, his lover, friends and family. It appeared in the national newsmagazine The Advocate from 1983 to 1989. He also contributed frequently to The Village Voice. Cruse and Sedarbaum became active in LGBT and AIDS grass-roots politics, joining the direct-action organizations ACT UP and Queer Nation.

Cruse and Sedarbaum left New York City in 2003 and moved to Western Massachusetts, settling first in North Adams and then Williamstown.

Cruse frequently appeared at comic book conventions over the decades, and was the guest of honor at academic and fan conferences, especially those addressing the subject of queer comic art. His final published comic work appeared this year in Northwest Press's horror anthology “Theater of Terror: Revenge of the Queers.” Cruse was among LGBT cartoonists and illustrators appearing in the documentary “No Straight Lines,” scheduled for a 2020 release.

Cruse’s work has been collected in several books, among them, Barefootz Funnies (Kitchen Sink, 1975-79), Wendel (Gay Presses of New York, 1986), Dancin’ Nekkid with the Angels (St, Martin’s, Kitchen Sink, 1987) and Wendel on the Rebound (St. Martin’s Press, 1989).

In addition to his husband Ed Sedarbaum, Cruse is survived by his daughter, Kimberly Kolze Venter, and his brother, Allan Cruse.

Donations in his memory can be made to New York City’s LGBT Community Center, the Queers & Comics Conference, and Rainbow Seniors of Berkshire County.

Memorial services, open to the public, will be held in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and New York City in the near future. Exact information will be posted on
     Obituary compiled by Richard Goldstein and Jay Blotcher

Friday, November 29, 2019

New National Museum of African Art exhibit has a comic book flavor

by Bruce Guthrie

The National Museum of African Art (that's the one you don't need timed tickets to get into -- it's the one by the Castle) has a new exhibit "Heroes: Principles of African Greatness".  

The artifacts are from the museum's permanent collection so you may have seen some of them before.  What's different is that they're trading on the popularity of Black Panther.  All of the signage is in a comic book font and you'll see a few word balloons and such.  

They have a copy of the Black Panther comic in the display as well as some comics published in Africa.  It's not a major part of the exhibit though.  

Their brochure for the exhibit, although it's folded like one of those easily-ripped pocket-sized maps, also reflects the comic book design motif.

You might not want to make a special trip to see it but if you're going to the Freer's Hokusai exhibit, you definitely should pop in.  

The museum's description of the exhibit is on

My pictures from my Thanksgiving visit are on

Bruce Guthrie
Photo obsessive

Gahan Wilson speaks at the 2009 Small Press Expo

Gahan Wilson speaks at the 2009 Small Press Expo

Published on Nov 22, 2019

On Saturday, September 26, 2009, I attended SPX (the Small Press Expo), and the most important thing I did that day was listen to "Gahan Wilson in the Spotlight." I recorded his hour-long talk, and to honor his memory on this day of his passing, I've uploaded the audio so you can learn more about this wonderful man. It's audio only, so you'll miss out on the rubber-faced cartoonist's body language as he hams it up, but I think you'll find the sound of the master's voice worthwhile all by itself. R.I.P.

The Post reviews White Snake, a Chinese animation

Seventh-century Chinese folk tale takes on vivid new life in the CGI 'White Snake' [in print as Seventh-century Chinese folk tale gets vivid and thrilling new life]

Washington Post November 29 2019, p. Weekend 37

Awesome Con and Baltimore Comic-Con tickets on sale today

Thursday, November 28, 2019

SPX 2019 Panel - Image, Activism and Autobiography online now

SPX 2019 Panel - Image, Activism and Autobiography

Published on Nov 25, 2019

For many autobiographical cartoonists, the personal truly is political. From direct participation in protests and political unrest, to suffering the effects of gentrification, to horrifying encounters with the police, to exploring self-image, each of the cartoonists on this panel has a unique perspective on recording these narratives. Moderator and scholar Francesca Lyn discusses these issues with Ben Passmore (Your Black Friend And Other Stories), Ebony Flowers (Hot Comb), Bianca Xunise (Say Her Name), Sylvia Nickerson (Creation), and Halfdan Pisket (Deserter).