Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Michelle Delgado writes on Lisa Hanawalt

Lisa Hanawalt: Drawing Progressive Westerns from the Horse's Perspective

The Visual Mind Behind BoJack Horseman is Having a Busy Year

Michelle Delgado is a journalist in Washington, DC. Her culture reporting has been featured in The Atlantic, CityLab, VICE, and others.

Comic Riffs talks to Rebecca Sugar

Sept 29: ΘeoCon: Where Theology Meets Pop Culture


ΘeoCon is a one-day convention in which participants will be introduced and invited to explore themes of theology and morality in pop culture. Pop culture mediums include, but are not limited to: comic books, graphic novels, gaming and science-fiction(sci-fi) films. Methods of exploration include: guest speakers, panel discussions, exhibits, reflection spaces, and cosplay.

ΘeoCon is a welcoming event, that invites people from diverse faith affiliations, races, abilities, gender identities, and ethnicities. In order to offer a safe and welcoming space, we invite all ΘeoConers/con participants to review our no-harassment and safety policy. *There are a number of great sites that speak to "Cosplay Is Not Consent."

Doors open at 8am for admission. Event begins at 9am.

Free parking is available on the campus, but limited. Carpooling or using the metrorail is suggested.


Date and Time


Virginia Theological Seminary

Addison Hall

3737 Seminary Road

Alexandria, VA 22304

Book Review: Out Of The Woods: A Journey Through Depression and Anxiety

Williams experiments with alternative medicine
reviewed by Mike Rhode

I recently got an email from a publicist noting that they had sent me a book eleven months ago and I hadn't reviewed it yet. Whoops! When you buy as many books as I do, this happens all too frequently, but in this case it was also a big mistake. Out Of The Woods: A Journey Through Depression and Anxiety by Brent Williams and illustrator Korkut Oztekin (Educational Resources, 2017; ISBN 978-0473-39006-8; $28) is an excellent book and a worthy addition to the burgeoning field of graphic medicine.

'Graphic Medicine' refers to comics about illness or medicine, and are more and more often being done by cartoonists who suffer from the illness. The three main strands of the works are cancer, mental illness, or traditional educationally works (that aren't usually done by patients). This past weekend's Small Press Expo (SPX) had a panel devoted to the topic of bipolar disorder (details below)* which also highlights another aspect of the field - the comics are usually done by a single cartoonist with some experience of the disease.

Out Of The Woods is not. New Zealand's Brent Williams is a human-rights lawyer and filmmaker, who "in his late forties he found he could no longer do this work. It was like he had hit an insurmountable wall. That wall was depression and anxiety. Denial, shame, and a misguided belief he had to fight these illnesses on his own made Brent's situation worse."  His co-author, Turkey's Korkut Öztekin "has worked as editor and chief writer for The Turkish Graphic Design Magazine and freelanced as a comic book artist, cover artist and illustrator for several literary works.Korkut is known for his work on Deli Gücük, a Turkish comic series of ghost stories from rural Ottoman Anatolia. He worked on Clive Barker's Hellraiser: The Dark Watch series as support artist to Tom Garcia, and recently was the lead artist in Frank Miller's RoboCop: Last Stand series." The two men with very different backgrounds, experiences and lives build a surprisingly strong work.
Williams is diagnoses by a family practitioner.

Collaborative works of autobiographical graphic medicine are very rare. Our Cancer Year by Brabner, Pekar and Stack is one of the few that comes to mind, perhaps because it is also successful. Öztekin and Williams work well together and Out of the Woods is a generally seamless telling of Williams leaving his family, quitting his work, and hitting bottom, suffering anxiety attacks and being unable to get out of bed, while half-heartedly trying a variety of self-help meditation and alternative medicine cures, while generally refusing antidepressants and therapy. A major part of this must be due to Öztekin's art, which is clear, understated, but also poetic at times.

The book's oddest note comes from what I can only call Williams' 'spirit guide'. A middle-aged white man appears throughout the story, in William's thoughts, and offers support and good advice to keep him on a path towards wellness and health. I'm unsure who this person represents, unless it's supposed to be his better self; however, it doesn't look like him. Notwithstanding that, the spirit guide serves as a useful foil showing the reader how Williams' self-destructive impulses can be tamed and how his physical and mental state can be improved.

Williams' 'spirit guide' explains depressions effect on brain cells.
Williams eventually meets a therapist who helps him realize that his father was a controlling, insensitive (but rich) self-made man who treated his wife and children badly, and that Williams needs to move past thinking of him as a role model and loving father to get well again. The art and writing remain extremely clear, the causes and treatment of depression are examined, the various ways it affects one are effectively shown - in short, this book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in, suffering from, or trying to understand loved ones who have depression. It's one of the best works of graphic medicine that I've read.
Physical activity is always recommended to help with depression.

*Writing About Bipolar

As mental health is becoming a subject that's more openly discussed than ever, comics narratives are emerging about personal experiences with mental illness. Moderator Rob Clough will discuss with Lawrence Lindell (Couldn't Afford Therapy, So I Made This), Ellen Forney (Rock Steady), and Keiler Roberts (Chlorine Gardens) their  struggles with Bipolar Disorder, the choices they make they make in writing about it, and how this process affects how they think about it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

New Book Features 24 Cartoonists That Lampoon Trump Administration

'Who's That Man with Mr. Lincoln, Mommy?' 
by John Darrin

First there was ‘Fire and Fury.’ Then ‘Fear.’ And now, FUN! ‘Who’s That Man with Mr. Lincoln, Mommy?’ is a humorous and biting catalog of the Trump administration wrapped in a children’s book parody and illustrated by satirical cartoons from twenty-four American premier editorial cartoonists. These never-seen-before illustrations were created exclusively for this book. To get your copy(ies):
(click on images for larger view)

The Post's Magazine did a comic strip Date Lab

NoVA's Ron Evry reviewed Jason Lutes' Berlin in 2002 for the Comics Journal

Berlin: City of Stones

This review by Ron Evry was originally published in The Comics Journal #242 (April 2002).

SPX 2018 Panel - The Universes of Rebecca Sugar

SPX 2018 Panel - The Universes of Rebecca Sugar

Ryan Sands
Rebecca Sugar is a cartoonist, writer, and ukuleleist currently living in Los Angeles. She is the author of the comics Pug Davis, Margo in Dread, and Don't Cry For Me I'm Already Dead, among others. In her free time, Rebecca is also a multiple Annie and Emmy Award-nominated storyboard artist, and creator of the groundbreaking television show, Steven Universe. In this spotlight panel, Rebecca is interviewed by Youth in Decline publisher Ryan Sands. They discuss her groundbreaking series, "Steven Universe," as well as life in the animation industry, representation in children's television, and her own personal history with comics & zines.

Sept 20-21: Learn drawing from Robin Ha in Northwest DC

Sept 20:


Musical Chairs Art Workshop

· Hosted by Violet Red Studio and Robin Ha
Ticket: $30

No Experience needed
All supplies (& HAPPY HOUR) included

A collaborative workshop where you start with a canvas and when the music stops, you move on to your neighbors'.

Have a drink, paint some canvases, and take a unique piece of art home.

Workshop lead by Violet Red's Studio, Sentient Beings Art, and Robin Ha.

Sept 21

Figure Flow


Remove the cap we subconsciously put over our minds and tap into that creative flow we all have within us by getting it all out onto a canvas. There will be models and props to observe and reference, but don't let your inner critic stop your momentum. Rather, let your intuition guide your strokes. This is the perfect place to experiment with new mediums, styles and colors.

The instructors will provide short demos for each activity and will be there for any technical advice should you want it, but the main purpose of this gathering is to play and express. Let's revel in the joys of simply creating for the sake of creating!

Activity examples: Blind Contour, Rainbow Portraits, Pattern Play, Musical Canvases, Costumed Figure Drawing

Tickets available at:

All levels, genders, and whatnot welcome!
BYO materials, although some will be available.
*suggested donation of $10, no one turned away for lack of funds*
Held at the Femme Fatale DC art lounge.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Brigid Alverson on SPX's ComiXology ties

SPX, TCJ, OMG: A Hot Take

Brigid Alverson responds to a recent opinion piece on and shares her thoughts on comiXology/Amazon's presence at this weekend's Small Press Expo.

SPX's Ignatz Award brick winners...

Comic Riffs on Our Archie at War

Archie Comics' newest idea? Putting its beloved characters on the front line of war.

The Post on Baby Shark animation, Spider-Man video game, and racist cartoons

The story of 'Baby Shark': How toddlers around the world made a K-pop earworm go viral [in print as Know this? If you have a toddler you doo doo doo doo doo doo].

Finally, Sony's 'Spider-Man' is the game Marvel cinematic fans deserve

Washington Post Comic Riffs blog September 4 2018

'Marvel's Spider-Man' is breathtaking, electrifying, and a tad too predictable [in print as Marvel's spider-Man is breathtaking but a bit predictable].

Washington Post September 16, 2018, p. E16.

A racist Serena Williams cartoon went viral. Here's how to caricature her the right way.

SPX 2018 day 2 in photos

Here's some more local people as well as others I bought from.

Dana Jeri Maier

Chris Artiga-Oliver

Nate Powell and Erin Nations at Top Shelf booth

Mollie Ostertag

Mike Holmes

Aminder Dhaliwal
Matthew Thurber

Matthew Thurber drawing

Maki Naro

Rebecca Sugar

Ellen Forney

Der-shing Helmer

Teresa Roberts Logan

Charles Fetherolf

Josh O'Neill, publisher of Locust Moon Press

Erin Lisette

Shan Murphy

Saturday, September 15, 2018

SPX 2018 day 1 in photos

SPX was completely unaffected by the hurricane, but the hotel renovation did mean the restaurant was closed. I began the morning interviewing Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock whose series The Silent Invasion is reissued from NBM with new material being done to bring the story to the present. The interview will appear later this week. The con seemed to be well-attended to me (although I did get at least one comment from an artist that it seemed slow). I appreciate receiving a press pass, and plan to be back tomorrow to see what I missed. It's always fun to see people again too. I'd also recommend stopping by Lost Art Books and picking up the Incomplete Art of Why Things Are, a collection of Richard Thompson's Washington Post cartoons that I edited last year.

Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock with The Silent Invasion from NBM. 

The floor minutes after the doors opened

Chris Pitzer of Adhouse Books

John Patrick Green and Dave Roman

Jason Rodriguez and Liz Laribee

GE Gallas

Dale Rawlings' t-shirt at DC Conspiracy taable

Andrew Cohen, Mike Cowgill and Evan Keeling of DC Conspiracy

Art Hondros

Terry Nantier of NBM, Hancock and Cherkas

Megan Kearney

Jamie Noguchi

Jared Smith of Retrofit / Big Planet

Liv Stromquist

David Small
My friend Chris and Eric Colossal

Friday, September 14, 2018

Comics Journal on atypical SPX issues arising this year

"How Do We Cope with Something Like That?": SPX and the CBLDF Confront Defamation Lawsuit Aimed at The 11

A Plague Comes to SPX

Today at noon: Carol Tyler at Library of Congress

The Triumphs and Troubles of Telling the Tyler Story

Carol Tyler will discuss her creative life in Comics to a 'T': The Triumphs and Troubles of Telling the Tyler Story. A pioneer of the "autobiographical" comics genre, she uses her own experience to tackle the complex issues of the human experience. With grace, humor, and style, her work has helped shape the direction of comics. This includes "The Hannah Story," a powerful story about loss, which was named one of the Top 100 Cartoons of the 20th Century. Carol was recently given the title 'Master Cartoonist' by CXC, at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Art Museum in Columbus.

Tyler's 2015 book Soldier's Heart, about her Dad's trauma from WWII and its impact on her family, received a Gold Medal Award from the Society of Illustrators, the Cartoonist Studio Prize from Slate Book Review, eleven Eisner Award nominations, two Ignatz Award nominations, and was twice a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Carol's latest book, Fab4Mania, details her personal obsession with the Beatles and her concert-going experience as told from her thirteen-year-old self's point of view.

Join us for an engaging talk by one of the comics industry's finest!

This is the 6th annual SPX festival program sponsored by the Serial & Government Publications Division.

Friday, September 14th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
West Dining Room, 6th Floor, Madison Building
Library of Congress

Sponsored by the Serial and Government Publications Division
For further information contact: Georgia Higley or 202-707-2963
Please request ADA accommodations five days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or

PR: Teresa Logan at SPX


Teresa Roberts Logan
Syndicated Cartoonist and Standup Comic

Bruce Guthrie's photos of French cartoonist Jérémie Royer (Royer will be at SPX this weekend)

Takoma Park Community Center and Politics & Prose -- Jérémie Royer ("Audubon: On the Wings of the World"):
  • Bruce Guthrie Photos Home Page: [Click here] to go to Bruce Guthrie Photos home page.
  • Description of Pictures: Jérémie Royer - Audubon: On the Wings of the World — at Takoma Park Library (MD)
    He was a man of many names and many lives, some invented and some embellished. But one thread followed John James Audubon through his life: a love of nature and an unquenchable thirst for adventure. This graphic novel depicts an eccentric character who became one of the fathers of modern-day ornithology, revered even today for his paintings of the birds of North America. Paging through the chapters of Audubon's storied life, illustrator Royer gives a sense of the American wild, as well as Audubon's wild desire to document it. Ages 13 and up.

Saturday is apparently Batman Day? Beyond Comics PR

Batman Day 2018
Saturday, September 15th
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Gaithersburg - Frederick