Monday, July 16, 2018

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "Blue Plate Special"

From DC's anarchist cartoonist, Mike Flugennock:

"Blue Plate Special"

A little over a month ago, Democratic Party "rising star" (spit) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted "this is a massacre", referring to the Israeli slaughter of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza. Needless to say, as soon as the establishment pushed back, she immediately started waffling her ass off and folded faster than Superman on laundry day, saying that she posted that tweet "as an activist" and not a Congressmember. However, now that she's a member of Congress, she's apparently willing to "learn and evolve" -- which, as someone who grew up in Washington DC, I understand to mean "flip-flop", or "do an Obama" as we say these days.

Granted, the focus of her activism was on economic issues, but still -- if you're going to run for Congress, you also need to keep up on lots of other issues as well, such as the 70 years of brutal occupation of Palestine and the Gaza Strip by Israel, and the ongoing mass murder of Palestinians in Gaza.

What especially galled the hell out of me is that initially, Ocasio belted out the straight, raw truth -- but when the pushback hit, her first instinct was to backpedal rather than show some backbone and stand her ground in solidarity with the people of Gaza against Israeli barbarity. All the walking back, backpedaling and explaining she can possibly do now will do her no good because, as the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

At least we found out early.

"Ocasio-Cortez hedges criticisms of Israel– 'I may not use the right words'", Mondoweiss, 07.15.18

"NY insurgent who said 'Dems can't be silent anymore' about Palestine clips AIPAC poodle in primary shocker", Mondoweiss 06.27.18

The Post on ‘The Dark Knight’ and Heath Ledger’s Joker

'The Dark Knight' and Heath Ledger's Joker were a prophecy of our troll culture [in print as Prophet of the trolls].

Washington Post July 15 2018, p. E2

online at

This Joker Holds All the Cards

By Stephen Hunter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Post on Akira anime

Why the pioneering Japanese anime 'Akira' is still relevant 30 years later [in print as How 'Akira' rewrote the rules for anime].

Washington Post July 15 2018
, p. E3, 5
online at

'Akira' (NR)

By Richard Harrington
Washington Post Staff Writer
December 25, 1989

John Siuntres talks to Tom King

Tom King Q&A The Bat(Man) Is (Heart) Broken

July 13, 2018

Batman #50 . Wow . Tom King joins us to pick up the pieces of Batman's jilted heart and gives us clues to look for as Bane gathers a strange anti-bat family to torture the caped crusader.

Members of the League Of Word Balloon listeners ask Tom about the firts 50 issues of his Batman run, Collaborations with Adam Kubert on The Wal-Mart Exclusive Superman story, Heroes In Crisis with Clay Mann Mister Miracle with Mitch Gerads and Joelle Jones . Lots of info on many current past and future projects, plus the passing of Steve Ditko and other comic creator encounters.

Ann Telnaes on Trump and Russia in The Post

JULY 21: DC Zinefest 2018


DC Zinefest 2018

· Hosted by DC Zinefest and Art Enables

  • Saturday at 11 AM - 5 PM

  • Art Enables
    2204 Rhode Island Ave NE, Washington, District of Columbia 20018

    Come see us at our NEW location at *air-conditioned* Art Enables in NE DC! The 8th Annual DC Zinefest features self-published zinesters from DC and beyond. The Fest is a one-day independent event designed to provide a space for zine-makers, self-published artists, and writers to share their work with each other and the Washington, D.C., community.

    FREE & Open to the Public! All Ages!

    The DC Zinefest is a safer space, which means that it is intended to be a welcoming, engaging and supportive environment free of oppressive actions, behaviors, and language. Participants and attendees are asked to consider how their language and behavior impacts others in attendance. Racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated, in tabling material or at the Fest itself.

    *Accessibility: The building is two stories. Both entrances are accessible by an outside street, but to go from the first floor to the second floor you will need to exit the building and enter via the other entrance. There are 15-20 stairs with handrail inside to go between floors.

    *We suggest bringing CASH (and smaller bills are better!) for buying awesome zines. We'll have a list of ATM locations in the area, but know that some tablers won't be taking credit/debit cards.

    *How do I get there? Where can I park?

    Wednesday, July 11, 2018

    William L. Brown: Sucker

    Local cartoonist/illustrator William L. Brown issues a weekly wordless commentary.

    John K Snyder III on ‘Eight Million Ways to Die’

    Images from Eight Million Ways to Die courtesy of John K Snyder III and IDW
    By Matt Dembicki

    Comics creator John K Snyder III spent much of his early career in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., but these days lives in western Virginia. He occasionally visits the area for local comics shows and to catch up with friends. John will be in town Saturday, July 14, at Big Planet Comics in Bethesda to sign his new graphic novel Eight Million Ways to Die, an adaptation of the Lawrence Block detective novel.(See info, below.)

    Below is a Q&A we did with John about the new book ahead of this weekend’s signing.

    What was it about Eight Million Ways to Die — Lawrence Block’s fifth book featuring the gumshoe Matthew Scudder — that you thought would be ideal to adapt into a graphic novel?

    I thought Block's study of the human condition told through the detective/mystery genre lent itself to do something other than the typical slam-bang action sometimes associated with pulp fiction comics, though there's certainly enough of it in the story as well. Also, Block's work is very much dialogue-driven, which makes it a natural to adapt to the panel-to-panel format of comics storytelling.

    What was your approach to adapting the book? Was Block involved in the process, or did he just hand it off to you? How involved were IDW editors?

    I worked solo on the adaptation, and Lawrence was shown pages from time to time by my editor, Tom Waltz. It was always great to get a short note back he was pleased with how it was progressing, that's all I needed to hear to keep moving on. My adaptation process was to keep Block's writing as close to the original as possible, and to focus on the key points of the story to mirror as much of the feel and pace of the original novel. It was a very involved and fluid process, I had to be open to revise and cut sequences all the way through to the end. My gracious editor, Tom Waltz, gave me a free hand to tell the story my way, for that I'll always be grateful. Lawrence Block read and approved of the book once it was completely adapted, illustrated and lettered (by Frank Cvetkovic). Lawrence Block's enthusiastic response to the final product was just wonderful.

    The story takes place in the early 1980s, but it’s not stylized in a 1980s kind or way, nor is it overloaded with cultural references that might date it. How did you balance that?

    I thought of it in real time, how do we experience our day-to-day lives now? What marks the time period we are in? Our own daily cultural reminders are subtle, in the clothing, the technology, what's in the background. In this graphic novel, it's 1982 New York City—the characters use land line phones, answering services, and phone booths, read newspapers, people look for people by going to their familiar hangouts on the notion they'll be there, not by texting in advance. So the period is defined enough by the characters' actions, how they get around—there's not too much of a need to layer on top of that with additional symbols of the period. I did throw in a concert poster of The Who at Shea Stadium, with opening act, The Clash. That's a cultural moment that was a sign of the changing times, and in fact, The Clash weren't around long after that. It's good to throw in some specific references, but to choose ones that count.

    The book has an incredible gritty atmosphere, conveyed through the way you illustrated it. Can you briefly outline your approach? I believe you drew and colored it by hand? How long did the project take, including the writing and illustrating?

    I wrote a detailed explanation of my process in a recent article. But for the somewhat shorter version, the pages are all done by hand, fully penciled, sometimes inked, and light to solid color rendering over the pencil/ink, then all adjusted in photoshop, making multiple scans of the pages in different stages and layering them in portions, fusing them all together for the final effect. I guess you could say it's a little like old school animation, laying different animation cels one atop another to create depth. Being the first time adapting Block's work and also developing this illustration process, it took a considerable amount of time to figure it all out, but by the time it got to the last third or so of the book, I had it down to a rhythm of regular production.

    Although the story takes place in New York City, did you look back to you time living in D.C. in the ‘80s (which itself was rather gritty at that time) for particular influences?

    Absolutely! The book takes place in fall of 1982, at that time, I was living on King St in Old Town Alexandria, pre-Metro Station, and it held its own kind of dystopian vibe, though certainly not on the epic scale of New York City. I would regularly head down to DC Space at 7th and E streets NW and the original 9:30 Club at the Atlantic Building at 930 F Street NW, all of which was just a short drive away from Alexandria. And Old Town had its own little dive club, The Upstairs 704, directly on 704 King St. There was plenty of past inspiration to draw on between all of those locations alone, believe me. And I was quite enamored of New York City, my first time there was in the summer of 1981 — it was a brief visit, but I kept that in mind as well. All in all, it was quite an era. I hope readers will get some of the vibe of that period while reading the adaptation as well.

    Aug 4: Bizhan Khodabandeh at Fantom Comics

    Bizhan Khodabandeh will be signing the The Once Upon a Time Machine Anthology on August 4th at Fantom Comics in DC.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2018

    July 21: DC Zinefest

    DC Zinefest

    The 2018 DC Zinefest will be held on Saturday, July 21, 2018, at Art Enables (2204 Rhode Island Ave NE) from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    This year's Zinefest will feature:

    • 50+ zine-makers sharing their writing, art, prints, and more
    • air conditioning!
    • 2 panel discussions
    • exclusive posters designed by Toni Lane
    • awesome buttons designed by Moose Lane