Friday, November 30, 2007

Comics, comics everywhere

click on the image for a larger, readable view.

I was with my daughter's 4th grade trip to Jamestown today and saw the accompanying editorial cartoon on display in the museum. It's the original for "How Jamestown Was Saved For Posterity" by Fred O. Seibel, Richmond Times-Dispatch May 13, 1938. I don't know Seibel's work, but it's certainly competent enough and it was nice to see the art prominently displayed.

We'll flag this one with a SHoC label as I imagine Seibel's mostly forgotten.

Toles smacks Post 's Obama coverage

See "'Wash Post' Cartoonist Mocks Own Paper Over Obama Story," By Greg Mitchell, with Dave Astor, E and P Online November 30, 2007.

This was actually useful as I had no idea what today's cartoon referred to before reading this. However, it's worth noting that last week's Doonesbury strips referred to the same issue, and might be useful to look at for anyone interested in this issue.

Ullman dropped by City Paper - time to write in! UPDATED

Rob Ullman's posted on The Comics Journal message board and on his own blog that he's been dropped from illustrating the Washington City Paper's Savage Love column. Rob's cute drawings are one of the best things about the City Paper and I encourage you all to write to them. All of these illustrations are from recent issues of the CP - great, aren't they?

The following is the letter I sent to them at earlier this evening:

I am very sorry to hear about the decision to stop using Rob Ullman to illustrate the Savage Love column. Ullman's illustrations are a large reason that I pick up the City Paper and recommend it on my blog about comics in Washington. Combined with the much smaller size of the remaining columns, this gives me much less reason to read the Paper or to recommend it to people. I hope you will reconsider this decision promptly and return Rob's illustrations - they make a column that can be a bit over the top much more amusing.

The managing editor has written in with a comment below, and suggests you write your own letter to have more of an impact so please follow his advice. Hopefully Rob will be back with no interruption and we can raise a glass in thanks.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Schulz bio cartoon in The Onion

"Kelly" (aka Ward Sutton) has a cartoon in the Onion on the stands now, "Happiness is a warm dose of truth (at last)" about the Michaelis biography of Schulz. Couldn't find it online though... I'll describe it. People are throwing copies of Peanuts books in the trash can while Charlie Brown says "Suddenly I don't feel like such a LOSER after all," while holding up a newspaper headlined, "New Schulz Bio exposes cartoonist to be a lonely, pathetic philanderer" while 'Kelly' says, "Mr. Success, the original blockhead," in the lower right corner.

Secret History of Comics with Richard Thompson's mother

Seriously. Richard's mother Anne Hall Whitt wrote an autobiographical book The Suitcases, a moving story about being orphaned with her two sisters during the Depression. I read it over Thanksgiving weekend, and found it very touching. I don't think I'm giving anything away when I say it all appears to have worked out well in the end, but it was pretty harrowing getting there. It was a good book to read around Thanksgiving since she gave you something to think and be thankful about. Copies of the book can be found on Amazon and other book sites. Oh, and it's illustrated by Richard, but in a non-cartoony art style that you wouldn't recognize.

Actually, this might make a good graphic novel, Richard...

Gurewitch and Perry Bible Fellowship in Express

See "Fellowship of Absurdity: Nicholas Gurewitch releases a new volume of comic strip-oddities [online title - Fellowship of Absurdity: Artist Nicholas Gurewitch]." by Scott Rosenberg, Express (November 29, 2007)

Gurewitch will be appearing at Atomic Pop in Baltimore tonight. If anyone goes to this, I'd like a signed copy of the book and will reimburse you. Late notice, I know.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

OT: New Yorker cartoon issue out and going...

The November 26th issue turned out to be the Cartoon Issue which gets earlier every year. I just got the first December issue in the mail, so if you want the Cartoon one, better go to a newsstand soon. It's got a nice Bruce McCall cover gag on recycling, Gahan Wilson, and "how do you get your ideas" cartoons.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Secret History of Comics courtesy of Warren Bernard UPDATED

Here's two pieces in three images from Warren's collection that deal with forgotten works by famous cartoonists.

Percy Crosby for the January 1924 Telephone News from the Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania

A Bill Mauldin booklet.

The Mauldin booklet should be reproduced in one of the new Fantagraphics books, courtesy of Warren.

Randy T finds more local creators and their websites

Randy T's found more local creators and their websites for us somehow (I have no idea how he did this) but cautions: Please note though that this was based on information available some time ago and creators do tend to lead a nomadic life, so some of these folks might not still be in the area!

Anthony Flamini (Writer for Marvel Comics)

Sara Grace McCandless (Writer for Dark Horse)


Katie Bair (Writer/Penciller/Inker for Antarctic Press)

Pat Carlucci (Penciller for Angel, Entity Comics)

Frank Cho (Writer/Penciller for Marvel, Image, Small Press Expo, Caliber, Insight Studios, Dark Horse, DC, AAA Pop Comics, America's Best Comics, Exhibit A Press, NBM, Dynamite Entertainment)

Brian Clopper (Writer/Penciller for Alternative Comics, Small Press Expo, Caliber, Fantagraphics, Amazing Heroes Publishing, Slave Labor)

Michael DeVito (Colorist for Arcana Studios)

Scott Edelman (Writer/Penciller for Marvel, Charlton, DC)

Lurene Haines
(Writer/Penciller for Marvel, Malibu, DC, Caliber, Fantagraphics, Literacy Voluteers of Chicago)

Mike Imboden (Writer for Digital Webbing Presents)

Alfred T. Kamajian (Penciller for DC)

Sunny Lee (Penciller for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, AiT/Planet Lar)

Jamie Noguchi
(Colorist for Marvel)

Saul D. Orihuela (Colorist for Marvel, Image, DC, King Syndicates, Hasbro)

John Harris Staton (Writer/Penciller for Alternative Comics, Insight Studios Group, Fantaco)

Jim Warden
(Writer for Marvel)

John Watkins-Chow (Writer/Penciller for Blink Comics, Lightning Comics)

Lawrence Watt-Evans (Writer for Marvel, Palliard Press, TeknoComix, DC)


Marty Baumann (Writer/Penciller for Day One Comics, Image, Cartoon Books)

David Bovey (Penciller for Labyrinth)

Jerry Carr (Penciller for NBM)

Steve Conley (Writer/Penciller for Image, IDW, Day One Comics, Bardic Press, Small Press Expo, Peregrine, Funk-o-Tron)
(Boy, Astounding Space Thrills was a great comic - bring it back, Steve!)

Otis Frampton (Writer/Penciller for Viper Comics)

John Gallagher (Writer/Penciller/Inker for Dark Horse, Eternity (Malibu), Sky Dog Press, Small Press Expo, Peregrine)

Khalid "Iszy" Iszard (Penciller for NBM)

Mal P. Jones (Writer/Inker for AiT/Planet Lar, Speakeasy)

Laurie J. Kronenberg (Colorist for Marvel, DC, CrossGen)

Jonathan Luna (Writer/Penciller for Marvel, Image, Desperado)

Josh Luna (Writer for Image)

Nathan MacDicken (Penciller for Jitterbug Press, Small Press Expo)

Shawn Martinbrough (Writer/Penciller/Inker for Marvel, DC, Comico, Dark Horse)

Ken Meyer, Jr.
(Writer/Penciller/Inker for Marvel, Entity Comics, Caliber, DC, Amazing Heroes Publishing, Avatar, Comic-Con Int'l, Megaton, Visual Anarchy (CFD), Fantagraphics, Image, Desperado)

Pop Mhan (Writer/Penciller/Inker for Marvel, Maximum Press, DC, Image, Dark Horse, TokyoPop)

David Napoliello (Writer/Penciller for Peregrine, Small Press Expo, Exiled Studio)

George T. Singley (Writer for Image, Speakeasy)

A Charlie Brown Christmas reflections in Times

See "An enduring Christmas gift," by J.T. Young, Washington Times November 27, 2007. The family's watching it right now, of course.

Futurama bits in today's papers

Both free papers ran articles on the direct to dvd return of Futurama. Scott Rosenberg wrote one for the Express - see "Back to the Drawing Board: 'Futurama'." The one in the Examiner was an AP story. The Express also ran a little feature on A Charlie Brown Christmas which is on in seven minutes.

Bruce Guthrie on Mid-Ohio Con

Hellboy, photo by Bruce Guthrie

Guest columnist Bruce Guthrie has written a report on Mid-Ohio Con:

I attended the Mid-Ohio-Con in Columbus, Ohio last weekend. I used to go to the show a decade or more ago when it was in Mansfield, Ohio and I hadn't been back since then but they still send me postcards.

If you've never done the Mid-Ohio-Con, it's a nice little show. It doesn't have that many special guests but it's low-key enough that you can actually talk to them.

This year, one of the guests of honor was to be Margot Kidder, who had played Lois Lane in the Superman movies, and that sounded pretty cool given what I had heard about her bi-polar issues. Other people I was looking forward to were Sergio Aragones (Groo, MAD Magazine), Tom Batiuk (Funky Winkerbean), Noel Neill (the original "Lois Lane"), Mark Goddard (from "Lost In Space"), Dave Dorman, Mark Evanier, and Steve Rude.
Tom Batiuk of Funky Winkerbean, photo by Bruce Guthrie

There was no appearance by local boy Jeff Smith ("Bone") but I did get lost in his neighborhood one night...

As far the convention itself was concerned, they thought their headliners were Doug Jones (who played Silver Surfer in the most recent Fantastic Four movie), Arthur Suydam, Rich Buckler, Gary Friedrich, Michael Golden, Arvell Jones, Tony Isabella, Keith Pollard, Roger Stern, Herb Trimpe, and Rob Wilson.

Well, long story short, Margot Kidder didn't make it. They said she was working that weekend up in Canada. Anyway...

The two-day ticket to the show was all of $15. Columbus is pretty quiet over Thanksgiving so I got a Motel 6 room for about $35/night. I was willing to walk a couple of blocks for parking -- parking on Saturday cost me $2 and parking on Sunday was free. And gas at the local Costco was $2.78.9. Okay, so I'm cheap. Deal with it.

All right, so back to the show. It featured two program tracks -- 10 sessions on Friday and 8 on Saturday. Being photo-obsessive, I hopped around to most of the sessions. (Pictures from the weekend are on my web site at ) [editor's note - 6 pages of them!]

Sergio Aragones, photo by Bruce Guthrie

Over a quarter of the sessions involved Mark Evanier. He handled a birthday interview with Noel Neill, a panel discussing reprinting all of the comic strips from Pogo (Carolyn Kelly -- Walt Kelly's daughter -- was there for that), a Groo panel (with Sergio Aragones), an interview with Steve Rude, and a roast for Maggie Thompson (editor of the Comics Buyer's Guide). He's working on a biography of Jack Kirby who Evanier had served as an assistant to. You check out his Wikipedia entry and he's written for a number of television series -- including the third Bob Newhart series "Bob" and a variety of, well, kind of crappy cartoons. He's got Emmy nominations for that but he's on strike now along with the other TV writers. This is one interesting guy! He's got a wonderful, dry sense of humor and an amazing memory.

I ended up chatting with quite a few of the people including Mark,Sergio Aragones, Steve Rude, Noel Neill, etc. If you've never met Sergio before, do so! He's got a sparkling personality. And he draws so quickly and with such detail -- truly a marvel to watch.

One conversation was with Craig Boldman who was manning a booth for the National Cartoonists Society (Great Lakes Chapter) and the OSU Cartoon Research Library. In that capacity, he had been involved with the 2007 Festival of Cartoon Arts which our own Mike Rhode had attended just last month. A friendly guy, Craig's someone who likes to know everyone's name and home city when he talks to you. I told him I was from Silver Spring and he said Kim DeMulder was from around there too (Bethesda). He also told me there was an artist at the show who was from around me. It turned out she was from Harpers Ferry. Well, no, not *that* near me...
Craig Boldman of NCS, photo by Bruce Guthrie

Some of the panels were better than others. The most popular ones -- "Horror you? Fine by me!", "Superhero Trivia Challenge", and "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" -- were the least appealing to me. Most of the remaining panels were half-filled at best. I think all of Mark's fit into this category. This isn't a criticism of Mark.
Realistically, he represents the old guard in comic-dom -- Wikipedia mentions he's "the documented administrator for the official Walt Kelly Pogo site" -- and at San Diego, he often chaired sessions for golden age comic book folks. I asked him if he liked newer comics and he said, except for the ones he writes, he doesn't read them at all anymore. I asked if that was because he was stuck on the comics he grew up on. He said that might be part of it but he said most of the comic books these days have lost their emphasis on storylines. He also says they're too hard for most people to pick up anymore since they're usually confined to specialty shops. I'm a little younger than he is but I agree with him -- all of his panels were of interest to me.

There was a panel with three science fiction-related performers -- Mark Goddard (Major Don West in "Lost In Space"), Sarah Douglas ("Ursa" in Superman II), and Scott L. Schwartz ("bad guy" in a variety of shows -- even his web site promotes him as the ultimate bad guy -- including Bruiser on the three Oceans Eleven films). Mark and Sarah commented a lot about why you should pay them for their autographs because they don't make residuals for
their shows. Well, sorry folks, but you're not making buckets of money in part because you're mostly doing bit parts, often in shows that weren't that great in the first place. Personally, I used to watch "Lost In Space" as a kid but, unlike "Andy Griffith", "Gunsmoke", and "Combat", I don't think the show holds up very well and I have zero interest in watching the episodes again.

Sarah Douglas talked about working with Marlon Brando and how he never remembered lines. They'd put his scripts within eye shot using teleprompters and text stuck on fence posts, foreheads, etc. She said for "Last Tango," his lines were written on the naked body of the actress he was making love to. I know George Clooney is similar -- doesn't remember lines -- and Noel mentioned that the Perry White actor usually had the lines written on the papers he was always shuffling on his desk.

Bruce with Sergio Aragones

Anyway, that's about it. I enjoyed the show. I don't know what the attendance was -- after San Diego, everything is small. There were a higher percentage of people in costume than I'm used to seeing at the Baltimore and San Diego cons. I can't say much about the dealer room since I don't shop for comic books anymore -- they looked pretty busy so I guess things were good in that department.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Comics Reporter reviews Cul de Sac strip of it at least. Tom Spurgeon's got a good book of criticism in him waiting to get out.

Gobbledygook by Coulter

As part of the Secret History of Comics (SHoC), I present the book, Gobbledygook Has Got To Go, published by those wild humorists in the Bureau of Land Management, circa 1970. They credited the writer, John O'Hayre, but not the cartoonist who signed some of the following drawings as 'Coulter.' Anyone know who that is? There's a William Coulter (b. 1946) listed in one National Cartoonists Society album.

I didn't have access to a scanner today, so these are shot with a camera - the quality of the originals is much better.

I'm not quite sure why the Bureau of Land Management ends their booklet with a picture of an astronaut.

Cartoons Magazine from 1918 online

This is not the REAL SHoC (Secret History of Comics) promised yesterday, but it's a pretty good one. It's a scan on Google Books of Cartoons Magazine from 1918 - actually it's over 500 pages long so it must be most of the year's issues! Hoo-hah!

These are pretty well-known to hardcore collectors, but out of the price range of ordinary guys like me. Let's give a moment to appreciate the bequest of John Amory Lowell.

Now... to print or not to print...

Here's a 1920 Keeping Up with the Joneses from Pop Momand...

...Winsor McCay's Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend...

...Thomas Masson's 1922 Our American Humorists has a chapter on comics artists - with few kind words...

...and a microfiche version of The Good Things of Life, Sixth Series, which is early gag cartooning.


By John Judy, WGA-Wanabee

(NOTE: This week comics are shipping one day later than usual due to that thing with the turkeys and the people who buckled their hats. Look for ‘em Thursday, not Wednesday.)

ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN THE BOY WONDER #8 by Frank Miller and Jim Lee. Which iconic DC heroine will be rendered as an unstable slut this issue? The latest milestone in Frank Miller’s ongoing mental collapse! Ho-ho-ho!

AVENGERS INITIATIVE: BASIC TRAINING VOL. 1 PREMIERE HC by Dan Slott and Stefano Caselli. Collecting the first six issues of this smart, funny adventure series. Recommended.

BATMAN #671 by Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel. Bats versus Sensei versus Ras al Ghul. Could be a short resurrection for The Ras.

BLACK PANTHER #32 by Reginald Hudlin and Francis Portela. Fun and games on the Skrull Gangsta Planet. Also featuring a nefarious frog. Oddly recommended.

CRIME BIBLE: THE FIVE LESSONS OF BLOOD #2 of 5 by Greg Rucka and Jose Saiz. Featuring “The Lesson of Lust.” This Religion of Crime is sounding better and better…

DAN DARE #1 of 7 by Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine. A classic British science-hero as written by Garth Ennis. To be read with tongs and blast goggles. Thank-you, Virgin Comics.

DAREDEVIL #102 by Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark. Mister Fear is having way too much fun making DD’s life difficult. It’s good to be Mister Fear. Recommended.

ESSENTIAL X-MEN VOL.8 SC by Chris Claremont, Marc Silvestri, and Rick Leonardi. Collecting a buncha stuff from Claremont’s 100-year run on the Uncanny X-books. Issues #229-243, plus Annual #12 and some X-FACTOR to boot.

IT ATE BILLY ON CHRISTMAS HC by Roman Dirge and Steven Daily. From the creator of LENORE, a little seasonal fun in the vein of “Little Shop of Horrors meets all those Rankin-Bass Christmas specials of days gone by.” Gotta look!

MARVEL ZOMBIES 2 #2 of 5 by Robert Kirkman and Sean Phillips. Forty years after the zombie plague turned Earth’s mightiest heroes into glowing-eyed ghouls with no lips, strange alliances are forming. Recommended. Absolutely not for kids.

SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN #41 by J. Michael Straczynski and Joe Quesada. “One More Day” part 3 of 4, in which Aunt May takes her shot at the Lingering World’s Record. What is it with Aunt May? She’s had more heart attacks than Cheney, been shot by a sniper and pumped full of radioactive Spidey-blood, but she still won’t die! What is she, some kind of passive-aggressive Wolverine? Does her healing power only get her well enough to be a 1000-pound guilt-anchor on her nephew? Die or get off the pot, Aunt May! And get me some wheat cakes!

SHAZAM ACTION FIGURES featuring Cap, Billy, Junior, Mary, Sivana, Mr. Mind, and Hoppy the Marvel Bunny! You want these. Don’t pretend you don’t.

SUB-MARINER #6 of 6 by Matt Cherniss, Peter Johnson, and Phil Briones. Namor makes some cold, hard decisions and renews an old business relationship. Not bad.

SUPERMAN ANNUAL #13 by Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco. The long-awaited conclusion to “Camelot Falls” in which Supes and Arion duke it out. Recommended.

WARREN ELLIS BLACK GAS SC by Internet Jesus and Max Fiumara. If the holidays make you want to eat people until civilization falls to ruin this is the book for you.

WORLD WAR HULK FRONT LINE #6 of 6 by Paul Jenkins and Ramon Bachs. Answering the musical question “After the Hulk and the Sentry turn New York into New Orleans what’s a drunk reporter to do?” Better than it sounds.

X-MEN #205 by Mike Carey and Chris Bachalo. “Mutant Killer Jesus-Baby” Part 5 of 13. Big fights.

X-MEN FIRST CLASS #6 by Jeff Parker and Roger Cruz. A story that appears to be about the early X-Men losing their powers because of something from space. The preview copy looked like a lot of pages were printed out of order. Maybe the X-books are all mangas now?

Plus, PREVIEWS from Diamond and Marvel!

Metalocalypse in Express, Homer Simpson in Post

An extended version of Christopher Porter's interview with animation writer Brendon Small "Brutally Hilarious: 'Metalocalypse' is a double-devil-horns delight on Adult Swim," Express (November 26): 20, is online as "Brutally Funny: 'Metalocalypse'"

Also, in yesterday's paper, Christopher Healy reviews YouTube parodies of Homer Simpson wrestling matches in "Taekwond'oh!," Washington Post Sunday, November 25, 2007; Page N04.

Danny Helman seems to have gotten a gig illustrating The Three Wise Guys column for the Post's Source section on Sunday - he's been in there for two consecutive weeks. The Post doesn't seem to have bought online repro rights though.

Comics arrive on Thursday this week

According to Joel Pollack of Big Planet Comics who notes these will be what arrives:

SPECIAL NOTE: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, new comics will be delayed 24-hours, and will be on sale THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29th this week. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

New comics arriving this THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29TH


X-MEN #205



Sunday, November 25, 2007

Color Cul de Sac two-fer

The Post had two magazines this week, one a special for Thanksgiving, and they both had Richard Thompson's Cul de Sac in them. The Thanksgiving one, which can be seen on Richard's blog, probably wasn't syndicated so it's a Washington special. Except that it's on the web so everyone can enjoy it. Kind of takes the fun out, doesn't it?

This barely qualifies as Secret History of Comics except when Fantagraphics tries to put together the complete CdS in 2072...

...tune in tomorrow for a REAL SHoC (hmmm, not a half-bad acronym).

Zadzooks comic book reviews

Joseph Szadkowski reviews a few comic book titles this week in "Silly space adventures with alien odd couple," Washington Times November 24, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Matt Dembicki and Mr. Big profiled in today's Examiner

Chris Klimek has an article on northern Virginia's Matt Dembicki and his comic book, Mr. Big. It's not online, but it's "Serious Talk with Local Comics' 'Mr. Big'" Washington Examiner (November 24-25, 2007). Steal a copy off your neighbor's lawn, or look for the red boxes.

Friday, November 23, 2007

DC's homegrown real superheroes

The Post had this bit about people that dress up as superheroes to distribute food. In the end, I'm still not quite sure what the costumes add to the experience on either side, but more power to them. See "Public Service With a Side of Spandex," by Delphine Schrank, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, November 23, 2007; B03.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

OT: Posy Simmonds interview in the new Comics Journal

Posy Simmonds is one of my favorite cartoonists who should be better known in the States (along with Raymond Briggs). My friend Paul Gravett has an excellent interview with her in the new Comics Journal.

Buy it today, and then order Gemma Bovary and preorder Tamara Drewe.

Blake Gopnik on Beowulf

I can't really decide if motion capture computer animation is really animation or not, so I'm not really posting about it or tracking it for the Comics Research Bibliography (link found to the right). However, in this article 'Beowulf' Movie Magic Can't Conjure The Poem's Bare-Bones Enchantment" by Blake Gopnik, Washington Post Staff Writer, Thursday, November 22, 2007; C01, Gopnik, one of the Post's best art critics also confesses his love for the Spider-Man movies and X-Men III. So I'll put the link up here and you can make up your own mind.

Animation leads Bomani Armah to fame and infamy

This article, "His Punch Line Smarts: Hip-Hop Parodist Bomani Armah Juggles Sense of Humor and Identity," by Kevin Merida, Washington Post Staff Writer, Thursday, November 22, 2007; C01, is about a DC man who wrote Read a Book, a satirical hip-hop song, but when it was animated and put out in the big world via BET, he got a lot of grief. It's an interesting article - it reads here like some of the choices made by the animators compounded the mixing of his message.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Post on Enchanted

In a move not seen in quite a while - Roger Rabbit, I'd guess, and before that the currently-supressed Song of the South - Disney's mixed live-action with animation, to generally excellent reviews. For the Post's take, see "Princess Power: In Charming 'Enchanted,' Once Upon A Time Is Right Now" By Ann Hornaday, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, November 21, 2007; Page C01

Marc Singer on Moore's Black Dossier

Marc's one of the keener observers of superhero comics, so his post on Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neil's League of Extraordinary Gentleman: Black Dossier is worth reading.

A couple of sites for local creators

Randy T sent these in and will hopefully return to give more framing info:

Pop Mhan's website

Jo Chen's blog

Von Allan to be published by webcomics site

off-topic, but VA was one of our first readers - and look at those pseudonymous intials! Congratulations Von!

Von Allan to be published by webcomics site

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (November 19, 2007) – Webcomics have, over the past ten years, become a phenomenon and are read by people of all ages. This popularity has greatly increased both the diversity and sheer amount of high quality comics that might not have been able to find an audience in a traditional print format. Coinciding with this growth has been the development of a number of webcomic publishing sites that collect similarly themed webcomics under one roof. One of the most notable is, primarily due to its focus on comics that would appeal to female readers both young and old. Canadian graphic novelist Von Allan’s original graphic novel the road to god knows… has recently been accepted into and will launch as a webcomic on December 3rd, 2007. The story will update four times per week (Monday through Thursday).

“Comics are a wonderful and diverse medium that can showcase stories from any particular genre. This is often forgotten due to the overwhelming market presence of both Marvel and DC’s superhero comics in print format. As a result of this, comics have traditionally been considered a ‘boys club’,” says Allan. “Most comics, especially in North America, tended to exclude women and girls by creating characters and stories that few female readers would ever identify with. Which, of course, is an odd thing to say but it can still occur even in this day and age. GirlAMatic has tried very hard to change this by creating a home for stories that, while running the gamut in terms of genre, can all be considered female friendly. Webcomics have managed to become a great leveler when it comes to genre and it’s fascinating to see how many readers of webcomics are female. When one combines that with the phenomenal growth of manga, driven primarily by female readers, comics of all forms are seeing a remarkable equalization in readership that they’ve never experienced before. And I’m pleased as punch to be a part of that.”

The road to god knows... is the story of Marie, a young teenage girl coming to grips with her Mom’s schizophrenia. As a result, she’s struggling to grow up fast; wrestling with poverty, loneliness, and her Mom’s illness every step of the way. Betty, Marie’s Mom, can’t help; she’s living with an illness that’s slowly getting worse and increasingly frightening. With her Mom absorbed in her own problems,
Marie is essentially alone while she learns to deal with the chaos in her young life.

The road to god knows… is expected to be printed in 2008 and has an ISBN of 978-0-9781237-0-3.

About Von Allan: Von Allan was born red-headed and freckled in Arnprior, Ontario, just in time for Star Wars: A New Hope. The single child of two loving but troubled parents, Von split most of his childhood between their two homes and, consequently, spent a lot of time in the worlds of comics and wrestling. He managed Perfect Books, an independent bookstore in Ottawa, for many years while working on story ideas in his spare time; eventually, he decided to make the leap to a creative life, and
the road to god knows… was the result. Additional information about the graphic novel can be found at

About GirlAMatic: Launched on March 31st 2003, has become the home for a variety of female-friendly webcomics. Perhaps more importantly, the site has been the home for multiple award winning comics creators, including Leigh Dragoon and Raina Telgemeier (Kim Yale Award Winner for Best New Female Talent 2006 and 2003 respectively), Hope Larson (Ignatz Award Winner 2006), and Donna Barr (Xeric Winner 2002).


Von Allan
P.O. Box 20520, 390 Rideau Street,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. K1N 1A3
Phone: 613-236-9957
Editor-in-Chief: Lisa R. Jonté

NEXT Sun, Dec 2 - Comic & Pop Culture Show

Randy T. forwarded this Con announcement.

This show features a special guest appearance by John K. Snyder, III, courtesy of John K. Snyder, III, is a writer/illustrator whose work has been published by D.C. Comics (The Green Lantern, Dr. Mid-nite and an upcoming Batman mini-series) and many independent comic book publishers (The Duckberg Times).

- If you receive a postcard in the mail before the show, PLEASE BRING POSTCARD TO THE SHOW.

Our next Tysons Corner Monthly Comic & Pop Culture Show will be on Sun, December 2, 2007 at the Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department. The show is open to the public from 10 am - 3 pm.

Buy, sell and trade: gold, silver age and new comics; Magic and other gaming cards; non sport cards; videos and DVDs; anime; Horror; Sci-Fi; figures, toys; Star Wars and Star Trek memorabilia; original artwork, posters, T-shirts and various other comic related items.

Vendors confirmed for this show include:
All-American Comics
Cards Comics & Collectibles
Doug Cheshire
Michael Creager
Everyday Comics
Jerry Flynn
Gold Coast Collectibles
Damion Hill
Koop's Comics
Jim Montgomery
Outpost Station
Silver Fox Comics
TNT Comics
Tomorrow's Treasures
Steven Wagner
Brian Weinshenker
Welcome Back Comics
Zeno's Books
and more!

The Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department (directions - please see below) has a 70-space parking lot. Plus, there is a school behind the fire department with hundreds of parking spaces that are rarely used on the weekends.

To get to the Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department (located about 20 minutes west of Washington, D.C.). Take I-495 (DC/Capital Beltway) to Exit 47A (Rt 7 West). Go 1/2 mile, Take a Left on Gallows Rd and proceed 1 mile to 2148 Gallows Rd.

Or visit our website for detailed directions and Mapquest directions:

Venue Address:
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department
2148 Gallows Road
Dunn Loring, VA 22027

We no longer require the Door Prize winner to be present to claim their prize. The door prize winner will be drawn after the show and the prize will be sent to the winner and announced in the next show's email.

Also, if you receive a postcard reminder for the event, PLEASE BRING THE POSTCARD TO THE SHOW. This will allow you to enter the door prize drawing without taking the time to fill out a new form.

If you do not receive a postcard before the show and would like this reminder, please visit our website and sign up for our mailing list:

Or print out the following form, complete it and bring it to the next show:

If you have any other questions, please visit our website:

Or send us an e-mail at:

Hope to see you soon.

*Capital Associates does not guarantee the arrival, arrival time or
departure time of the artist(s)/writer(s)/other guest(s) attending our
shows or attending on behalf of another group.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Nov 28: Shrek the Halls?

During the Peanuts' Thanksgiving show, we just saw an ad for what appears to be a made-for-tv movie, Shrek the Halls. I'm sure this has potential - remember the Star Wars Ewok holiday special?

Nate Beeler congratulated by Examinerr

The Examiner ran this thingie (I'm sure it has a technical name) congratulating Nate for getting syndicated today.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dec 12-13: South African artist William Kentridge

South African artist William Kentridge's animated "9 Drawings for Projection" at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, 202-467-4600, with original music by Philip Miller. 7:30 pm for $38.

Nov 20: Peanuts cartoons on tv

Peanuts cartoons are on tv at 8 pm. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is followed by He's A Bully, Charlie Brown. Writer's strike? What writer's strike?

Nov 21: Ben 10 movie on Cartoon Network

AT 8 pm, Cartoon Network's Ben 10 animated series converts to a live action movie in Ben 10: Race Against Time.

Zapp! Comic Books and the Arts exhibit, Jerry Robinson and Lee Marrs photos

Jerry Robinson and me; photo by Bruce Guthrie

Bruce Guthrie was up at the VisArts at Rockville building this weekend and took some shots of the Zapp! Comic Books and the Arts exhibit that was closing on November 18th, as well as pictures of Jerry Robinson and Lee Marrs in the convention space. Ms. Marrs gave a talk on webcomics and Bruce got pictures of that as well. I did too, and I'll try to post mine soon.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Zadzooks mostly on Dr. Who, but also Spider-Man hi-def dvds

See Joseph Szadkowski's "Doctor Who treats fans to more sci-fi humor," Washington Times November 17, 2007

Dove McHargue of SCAD's class in Arlington

On Friday night, my daughter and I got over to the Arlington Art Center about an hour after Dove McHargue started his class, Black and White Sequential Art -- The placement of compositional blacks. I had just planned to introduce myself and leave, but the class was well underway with about 10 students, including one dad who was there with his son. Dove was under the weather with a cold, but struggling through it as he showed several powerpoints on using inking to accent art. A lot of examples came from DC's Batman: Black and White books so I picked up volume 2 at a con yesterday. I think I had v.1 already. Dove gave the kids, who were all in high school, (and two dads) four pages from a Disney coloring book and suggested highlighting an element of each of the artwork. This was a very simple exercise to give out, but one that really made the kids (and me) think. There were a bunch of different solutions and Dove pointed out what worked and what didn't, talked about lighting, and was really very instructive. I personally found this absolutely fascinating and I have no desire at all to be a cartoonist. His explanation of how things work on the page was just really interesting. As the kids were working on their pages, he showed one of his black and white comic strips projected, and then how to color it with Photoshop - light dawned for me. If you have a chance, sit in on one of his sessions.

IJOCA's editorial

Some changes need to be made in IJOCA's distribution thanks to the Post Office's new rates for magazines. Here's what editor-in-chief Lent had to say. Write to him at john.lent at if you have an opinion, especially on the overseas issues. Click on the page to make them larger and legible.

Nov 18: Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman and Dan Clowes on Simpsons

I'm not usually a Simpsons viewer (oddly enough - I could never get past a dislike for Life in Hell), but some of the greatest cartoonists will be on it tonight. Alan Moore discusses his appearance here.

And his League of Extraordinary Gentleman's Black Dossier came out this week. This is the real thing, not that Hollywood abomination.

Vip, Bok, Ware and Fish N Chips

A few new acquisitions can also make points about the Secret History of Comics.

The first is a set of three in-house books by CACI, a defense contractor. While these types of companies aren't usually known for their sense of humor, CACI's had the good sense to have their books initially illustrated by 'Vip' aka Virgil Partch. He was followed by gag and Playboy cartoonist John Dempsey and then most recently by editorial cartoonist Chip Bok.

Front cover to one of the three books with art by Vip.

Vip interior art.

John Dempsey cartoon.

Chip Bok cartoon.

Back cover of boxed set with art by Bok.

All three of these are major cartoonists, but I don't think their work here would be easily found.

The next item is the interior cover page of Chris Ware's Quimby the Mouse.

This is actually what a book signed by Chris Ware looks like - it's so subtle it's not something you'd really notice if you were in a hurry. Chris signed this for me at PENFaulkner, so I guarantee this is what you should be looking for.

Finally, at the Small Press Expo, I picked up Fish N Chips by Steve Hamaker. This book's apparently available now since I bought it two months ago, so one could ask 'what's it doing in a secret history post?' Steve's book, nominally from Vigil Press, is apparently self-published and there's no info in the book on how to order it. These days, Google tosses up his website with more information on the book, but parts of it appear to be last updated in 2005 and there's no guarantee that he'll keep the site up and a library or collector of the future might be confused by the lack of information in the book. Buy a copy from him to help comic scholars of the future and because he's a nice guy who did a fun fish sketch for me. BTW, he's coloring Bone for Jeff Smith.

KISS and Superman in Post

For Gene Simmons' take on Superman, see Sridhar Pappu's interview "I was immediately drawn to the idea of the cape and fancy outfit."; Kiss Man Gene Simmons Comes Out of the Phone Booth, Washington Post Sunday, November 18, 2007; M02.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


By John Judy
(Support striking writers! Buy ‘em turkey AND comics, especially “Scalped” from Vertigo!)

52 VOL. 4 SC by Johns, Morrison, Rucka, Waid, and Friends. Concluding the epic weekly series in trade format. If you’ve forgotten how impressive this was try reading COUNTDOWN. On second thought, don’t.

ANGEL AFTER THE FALL #1 by Brian Lynch, and Franco Urru. Angel Season Six anyone? Ya gotta look! Whedon-approved and recommended!

ACTION COMICS #859 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. Supes and the Legion in a time-twisting adventure that promises lots of non-suckiness!

BOYS #12 by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. Something about sending The Boys into the mob-ruled kleptocracy of modern Russia just feels… right. Recommended. Absolutely NOT for kids.

BRAVE AND BOLD #8 by Mark Waid and George Perez. The Doom Patrol and the Flash. Between this and the creative team, who could ask for more?

CAPTAIN AMERICA #32 by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. Picking up where there are so many hangers one can hardly see the cliff. Recommended.

CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 1 DEATH OF CAPTAIN AMERICA PREMIERE HC by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. Collecting issues 25-30 of the story so well told it’s hard to remember it’s the cheapest ploy in the super-hero comics bag-o-tricks. “Death.” Feh…

DETECTIVE COMICS #838 by Paul Dini and Ryan Benjamin. Batman and…. I-Ching. He’s a guy named… “I-Ching”… Look it’s a long story, it goes back to the 70s when everyone was doing a lot of… Hey, it’s part of the Ras al-Ghul story, okay?!

EX MACHINA #32 by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris. The super-hero Mayor of New York meets the Pope. No rabbis, dogs, or bars involved. And they don’t go golfing. Honest.

GOON: CHINATOWN AND THE MYSTERY OF MR. WICKER HC written and drawn by Eric Powell. Powell’s first original graphic novel providing 128 uninterrupted pages of the Goon’s formative years. A must-have for all fans.

GRENDEL: BEHOLD THE DEVIL #1 of 8 written and drawn by Matt Wagner. An untold tale of novelist/assassin Hunter Rose in his prime. You need this.

HELLBLAZER #238 by Andy Diggle and Danijel Zezelj. Imagine a London where every urban legend is real and (GASP!) smoking is outlawed in pubs!!! It cannot be emphasized enough how much this title doesn’t suck anymore. Highly recommended.

JACK KIRBY’S FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS VOL.3 HC by “The King.” Third of four volumes, kids! Featuring more re-drawn faces than Carmine Infantino ever thought we’d notice.

MAD ARCHIVES VOL.2 HC by Harvey Kurtzman and Artists Whose Names I Am Unworthy to Type. Collecting issues #7-12. You must own this or be forever diminished as a human being. Highly recommended.

SHE-HULK #23 by Peter David and Shawn Moll. Shulkie takes on Titania (the Marvel one) and the Absorbing Man, despite being at least partly…dead?

SPIRIT #11 written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke. Featuring Denny Colt’s continuing battle with “El Morte!” Awesome cover by Cooke. Highly recommended.

UMBRELLA ACADEMY APOCALYPSE SUITE #3 of 6 by Gerard Way Gabriel Ba. Featuring robot crime-sprees, dead musicians, and the apocalypse! Big fun from that guy in My Chemical Romance!

WALKING DEAD #44 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard. The Governor is just gonna kill all kinds of people now. The most suspenseful title on the market today. Never for kids. Always recommended.

PS – Buy SCALPED by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera every month or you’ll go blind and sterile. It’s noir on an Indian reservation and that’s just for starters. Not for kids or the delicate of spleen. It even comes with this money-back guarantee from the creators:

Guéra and I really want you to read SCALPED. We want you to have no excuse for not trying SCALPED. To that end, we're now offering a money-back guarantee on the first trade paperback collection, "Indian Country." If you buy a copy and don't like it, just mail it back to us and we'll refund the price, plus the cost of your shipping. It's as easy as that. Here are the details:

Tell your friends.

Listen to Garth Ennis: The best new series in years. Spread the word. Tell your friends. Talk about it. Blog about it.

Listen to Ed Brubaker: Read SCALPED and love it, or your money back! Jason Aaron is going a different route to try to get more readers for his excellent Vertigo book - SCALPED. This is one of my very favorite comics right now, and I highly recommend you all take him up on his offer. Please give a great book a chance. Drop some superhero book (not one of mine, of course) that you've been buying out of habit and not enjoying and try something new.

ICAF and OSU's Festival - another blog

My buddy Charles Hatfield stayed with me for ICAF and then we drove to Ohio for OSU's event. If you click those preceeding sentence's links, you'll see he's put up blog entries on the two with many more links than I ever bother with. He did note that OSU's put up highlight photos so I'll steal that link from him.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Nov 16-17: Jerry Robinson, Lee Marrs in Rockville

Late-breaking news - Jerry Robinson's in town. Saturday Lee Marrs speaks at 4 pm. No time to link but here's Marrs' website - I'm going to try to make it up there for Marrs talk.

This is their event description:

Come see our new building, and this Comic Book exhibition and convention, and our inaugural exhibit, Zapp! Comic Books and the Arts. Fun for the whole family begins with a free talk Friday night from 7 to 8 by authority Jerry Robinson, who wikipedia notes began work on Batman and Joker beginning in 1939! Activities continue through the weekend with guest artists, special costume events, prizes, commemorative t-shirts, dealers and collectors. Saturday, 10 to 5, and Sunday 11 to 4. For more information, call 301-315-8200.
Nov. 16-18 - VisArts at Rockville, 155 Gibbs St., Rockville, Md. 20850

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bush Leaguers editorial cartoon exhibit review

Here's the review I wrote for the exhibit, from the new issue of IJOCA.

Nov 16: Fantom Comics grand opening ad

Scanned from the paper, since they don't send me press releases.

Latest Marvel comic for the military

I was able to pick up a copy of this at work. I find these all mawkish, rather than inspiring. And silly. The plot to this makes no sense at all. AIM devotes millions of dollars to keeping a brother and sister in the military from communicating with each other?

new International Journal of Comic Art's Table of Contents

We're still having website problems, but here's scans of the table of contents for the new issue. You can order a copy by clicking on the link in the column on the right and sending a check to John Lent at the address on the website. Note there's articles on Spiegelman's 9-11 comic book, Egyptian comics, Art Gallery comics, Brazilian comics, French prints, World War I cartoons... and all for $15!