Sunday, March 30, 2008

National Cartoonist Society nominations online

And our own Richard Thompson's name can be seen on the site. The very last name, it's true...

For the main Reuben, it's an odd group - two single panel cartoonists even though no single panels where nominated for an award, and a grand old man of MAD Magazine, Al Jaffee, who should win. There's a good article on Jaffee in "A Veteran MAD Man Remains in the Fold,"By NEIL GENZLINGER, New York Times March 30, 2008.

April 4: Stephen King at Folger

April 4, 2008 8 P.M. PEN/Faulkner winds up its 2007-08 season with a reading by "The Three Kings": bestselling novelist Stephen King, his wife, Tabitha King, and their son Owen King at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. A reception and book signing follow. Tickets are $30; RSVP at 202-544-7077 or

April 1: Marjane Satrapi in Baltimore; April 2 in McClean

She's well worth going to hear.

April 1, 20087 P.M. Iranian-born writer and artist Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis (her memoir of Iran's Islamic Revolution told in graphic novel form and the basis for an Oscar-nominated animated film), delivers the 2008 Baldwin Lecture in Humanities at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, 4701 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md. A book signing follows. For details, call 410-532-5516 or visit

She will also speak on Wednesday, April 2, at 7 p.m. at the McLean Community Center, Alden Theatre, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean, Va. Admission to this event, sponsored by the Fairfax County Public Library (part of its "Perspectives" series), is free. Tickets will be distributed (limit four per person) beginning at 7 p.m.; call 703-324-8428 for details.

OT: New Marvel book by buddy

Rob Weiner who I've corresponded with off and on for years has a specialized book for librarians coming out that may also appeal to the hardcore Marvel fan. Here's the details.

Marvel Graphic Novels and Related Publications
An Annotated Guide to Comics, Prose Novels, Children's Books,
Articles, Criticism and Reference Works, 1965–2005
Robert G. Weiner
Foreword by John Rhett Thomas

ISBN 978-0-7864-2500-6
appendices, bibliography, indexes
399pp. hardcover (7 x 10) 2008

Available for immediate shipment

This work provides an extensive guide for students, fans, and
collectors of Marvel Comics. Focusing on Marvel's mainstream comics,
the author provides a detailed description of each comic along with a
bibliographic citation listing the publication's title,
writers/artists, publisher, ISBN (if available), and a plot synopsis.
One appendix provides a comprehensive alphabetical index of Marvel and
Marvel–related publications to 2005, while two other appendices
provide selected lists of Marvel–related game books and unpublished
Marvel titles.

About the Author
Robert G. Weiner is a reference librarian at the Mahon Library in
Lubbock, Texas. His works have been published in the following
journals: Journal of Popular Culture, Public Library Quarterly,
Journal of American Culture and Popular Music and Society. He lives in

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Foreword by John Rhett Thomas 1
Preface 3

Section I. Background Highlights
1. Graphic Novels and Literature, Then and Now 5
2. Marvel Comics, Then and Now 11

Section II. Marvel's Superheroes
3. Major Characters, Teams, and Team-Ups
Avengers, Black Panther/Black Widow, Hawkeye, Hercules, Thunderbolts,
and Ultimates 19
Captain America, Fury, Human Torch, Namor, and Golden-Age Characters
Conan/Kull 34
Cosmic Heroes and Supernaturals/Blade, Captain Marvel, Dr. Strange,
Dracula, Ghost Rider, Silver Surfer, Thanos, et al. 37
Daredevil and Elektra 44
Fantastic Four/Dr. Doom and Inhumans 50
Hulk and She-Hulk 55
Iron Man and War Machine 60
Punisher, Shadowmasters, and The 'Nam 62
Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Spider-Girl, Venom, and Carnage 67
Thor 86
Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Death's Head 90
Wolverine, Deadpool, Sabretooth, and Weapon X 96
X-Men/Mutants and Related 104
4. Minor Characters and Minor Character Combos
Minor Characters 131
Minor Character Combos 143

Section III. Special Volumes and Series
5. Special Hardbacks and Marvel Masterworks
Special Hardbacks 151
Marvel Masterworks 168
6. Marvel's Essential Series
Avengers, Ant-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor 180
Daredevil 184
Fantastic Four, Dr. Doom, Human Torch, and Inhumans 185
Hulk 187
Spider-Man 187
Wolverine 189
X-Men 191
Essential Monsters 193
Other Essentials 194
7. Epic Comics Graphic Novels 197
8. Marvel and Marvel-Related Paperbacks 215

Section IV. Selected Marvel Publications
9. Marvel/DC Crossovers 227
10. Children's Books 232
11. Movies and Television 245
12. Classical, Esoteric, Historical, Music-Related, and Religious
Works 252

Section V. Selected Marvel-Related Publications
13. Prose Novels
Avengers 257
Blade 257
Captain America 258
Daredevil and Elektra 258
Fantastic Four 259
Hulk 260
Iron Man 262
Spider-Man 262
X-Men/Wolverine and Related 268
Team-Ups 276
Other Characters and Novels 279
14. Articles, Books, Guides, and Indexes
Articles and Books 282
Guides and Indexes 298
15. Children's Books 305
16. Scholarly Publications 311

Appendix 1. Marvel and Marvel-Related Publications, 2005 325
Appendix 2. Selected Marvel-Related Game Books 332
Appendix 3. Unpublished Books 335
Title Index 337
Artist and Author Index 354
Subject Index 364

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Zadzooks on Justice League

See "Justice series is packed with star-filled action," By Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times March 29, 2008

In Saturday's Post ... Toles criticism, Superhero Movie, Candorville

Ok, I can't find it online just like last week as the Free For All section doesn't appear in searches or on the opinion webpage, but there's a letter to the editor criticizing Tom Toles for this cartoon. Surprise, surprise.

Also, Superhero Movie got a lousy review in "Spoofs Like 'Superhero' Make Anyone Climb the Walls," By John Anderson, Washington Post Saturday, March 29, 2008; C01.

Finally, Darrin Bell in Candorville is definitely criticizing the Post in Friday and Saturday's strips for not running his strips about Obama's security.

Mark Chiarello interview

I saw the Mark Chiarello "Heroes of the Negro Leagues" exhibit today at ArtInSights Gallery and enjoyed it, as well as meeting the artist. I'll post a review of the exhibit (and the whole store actually) here soon as IJOCA's deadline isn't remotely close, but you can read an interview done by the gallery owner starting here and continuing here.

There's a book that the artwork came from too so I picked up a copy of it as well.

Here's a picture of the gallery owner co-owner Leslie Combemale (red hair) and Chiarello (center with beard).100_4922

More on Wertham by Beaty and Jeet Heer

My friend Bart's got a response to Jeet Heer's review of Hajdu's new book on Wertham and 50s comics censorship and Jeet responds to Bart as well. See "SYMPOSIUM: CULTURE WARS: Comic books were criticized not because they possessed the 'unruly spirit of youth' but because they were emblematic of the worst aspects of a widely disparaged mass culture," Bart Beaty writes," by BART BEATY AND JEET HEER, Globe and Mail March 29, 2008. I'm of two minds about Bart's argument, but I will accept that Wertham was acting as a concerned psychiatrist. Unfortunately the most-well meaning people can do the most damage.


By John Judy

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #555 by Zeb Wells and Chris Bachalo. Gorgeous art, ninjas, Wolverine, and an official Marvel No-Prize challenge for all you kids who think you're smarter than a Marvel Editor. Start slamming your head into a brick wall to make it fair...

AMERICAN SPLENDOR SEASON TWO #1 of 4 by Harvey Pekar and Assorted Talents. The J. Alfred Prufrock of comics returns with his autobiographical shorts illustrated by Chris Weston, David Lapham, and other gifted collaborators. Recommended for teens and up.

ANGEL: AFTER THE FALL #6 by Joss Whedon, Brian Lynch, and a bunch of artists. A two-parter finally giving with the scoop about what exactly happened after the final scene of the TV series. Way cool. Recommended.

ANNA MERCURY #1 of 5 by Warren Ellis and Facundo Percio. Warren’s new superwoman who makes Jet Li and the Shadow look like Laurel and Hardy! Recommended!

BOYS #17 by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. Wee Hughie starts to live again. Sadly so does his old foe, The Blarney Cock! Vicious, soul-to-hell-condemning fun from Belfast’s Favorite Son. Not for kids.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #13 by Drew Goddard and Georges Jeanty. Buffy and the Scoobs fight uber-vamps in Tokyo. From the writer of “Cloverfield.”

CABLE #2 by Duane Swierczynski and Ariel Olivetti. Mutant cyborg time-travelin' action with a baby. This is what Sweeps Week looks like in Hell.

ESSENTIAL IRON MAN VOL.3. SC by Archie Goodwin, Gene Colan, and Many Others. Collecting issues #12-38 and DAREDEVIL #73. Time to get psyched for next month’s movie and bargain-priced reprints are the best place to start. Enjoy!

HOLMES GN written and illustrated by Omaha Perez. Author Perez explains it best: “What if Sherlock Holmes is constantly out of his head and Watson’s not much better off, the Dr. Gonzo to Holmes’s Raoul Duke?” This week’s “Gotta-look!”

KICK ASS #2 by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. Okay, the first issue saw our hero essentially beaten to death, sans mutant healing factor, which is good enough for me to want to read issue two! Definitely too rough for younger kids. Twisted fun for all others.

LOGAN #2 of 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Eduardo Risso. Wolverine’s back in Japan which is always good for few sword and barbed arrowhead induced laughs. Beautiful art by Risso and a comforting fix of Vaughan for those of us who still miss Y THE LAST MAN. Recommended.

PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #2 of 6 by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, and Carlos Paul. The most interesting thing about this series is the fact that its cast of heroes is in play due to copyright expiration. At least one of them (Dynamic Man) is also appearing in THE TWELVE over at Marvel. And it’s tough to overcome the fact that one of the main protagonists in this “serious” adventure story is repeatedly addressed as “Yank.” Just sayin’…

SCALPED #16 by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera. Dash and Red Crow butt heads with a Nebraska sheriff. This is the title Garth Ennis calls “like a comic book written just for me!” The hardest of hard stuff for fans of westerns and noir. Highly recommended. Not for kids.

SECRET INVASION #1 of 8 by Brian Bendis and Leinil Francis Yu. SKRULLS!!!! Shapeshifting, concentric circle-eyed, ridgey-chinned !@$^@#$!!!! Time to start collecting on those bets you made with your friends. Geeky fun!

SHAZAM: GREATEST STORIES EVER TLD SC by Bill Parker, C.C. Beck, Dennis O’Neil, Gil Kane, Jack Kirby and many more. The best of the past 60+ years of the Big Red Cheese! Highly recommended for all ages!

THE TWELVE #4 of 12 by J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston. More murders and back-biting among our time-lost Golden Age heroes! Plus, the origin of Rockman! Appointment reading, highly recommended!

WALKING DEAD #48 by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard. The bloody aftermath of the Governor’s raid. As Kirkman has proven: “No one is safe.” Not for kids. Recommended for older teens on up.

YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS #3 of 6 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Alina Urusov. Wiccan and Speed search for their lost mama, the Scarlet Witch!

YOUNG X-MEN #1 by Marc Guggenheim and Yanick Paquette. Cyclops is gettin' the band back together. If you liked "Young Justice", "Young All-Stars", "Youngblood", "Young Guns", "Young and the Restless", and Young MC.... well, you have OCD and you're not going to feel right if you don't buy this comic. PS - The kitchen floor is covered with germs.

ZORRO #2 by Matt Wagner and Francesco Francavilla. “The Fox” versus the brutal Gonzales in the new adventures of the original Man in Black!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ullman back in City Paper

Rob's illustrated the Eats food column for 3/28/08 - no cute girl though!

Hellblazer writer Denise Mina at Borders

Actually she was there to talk about her new mystery book. I happened to notice this article by Arion Berger, "Plaid, the New Black: Crime fiction writer Denise Mina on the gritty side of Glasgow," Express (March 27): E10 and had a vague idea that it would be interesting so I drove on over. I was the only comics fan in the audience so I didn't ask too many questions especially since I hadn't read her Hellblazer run. DC came to her to write it, and she said that she was surprised because Ian Rankin, Scotland's most famous crimewriter said to her, "How the f-ck did you get that? I want to write comics." Comics are still apparently declasse in Glasgow, and she said, "I also write comics and usually when I say that, one person in the audience kind of goes like that (lifts chin knowingly) because that's what they're interested in. If I was trying to be fancy I'd say graphic novels or something like that, but it's comics I write. I think we should just be out and proud - I write comics."

She was thrilled to be asked she says. She's a Grant Morrison fan and also recommended Sebastian O (that's going back a few years). She gets a comp box from DC and is now reading Love & Rockets as well. Meanwhile Rankin's writing a stand-alone Constantine story (which should be good).
She was very nice and very funny and is doing a new graphic novel for DC on ... high real estate prices. I think we'll have to wait and check it out before seeing how much we can relate to it around here.

Now a pet peeve - these chain stores never get any of the writer's comic book collections nor publicize to the comics community. Borders had one of her two collections and somebody had to hunt for it for me. As I said, I was the only comics fan in the audience (which wasn't large unfortunately0. They had plenty of signed copies of Jodi Picoult's new book for sale from last month, but none of her new Wonder Woman collection at all on the shelves, let alone signed. Is there any wonder that Borders is in financial trouble? But it's not just them - Gene Yang's two earlier books are still available from Slave Labor - why not slap golden stickers on like First Second did and market them as "National Book nominee Gene Yang's..."

4 new interviews on cIndy Center UPDATED

Local podcaster Chris Shields has 4 interviews up this spring at cIndy Center - DC Comics writer Mike Carey, Mike Gallagher talks about his co-created comic "Ruin" at Alterna Comics, Chad Lambert talks about his upcoming projects at Ape Entertainment and Digital Webbing, and Hardway Studio's Chris Carpenter.

Here's an email Chris sent in last night:

We have had several comic interviews lately including, they listed below. Upcoming guests include Xeric winning artist Sonny Liew (My Faith in Frankie & SLG/Disney's Wonderland), legendary artist Joe Staton and writer Christopher Mills. They work together on Ape Entertainment's Femme Noir

The interview with Mike Carey is available in two parts:

Interview with writer of kill the revisionist, CHAD LAMBERT. More information available at:

Mike Gallagher talks about his co-created comic "Ruin" at Alterna Comics. Check-out Alterna's website for more information about "Ruin".
For more information about Mike, please visit Listen to the interview with Mike @

New Keith Knight book out

Keith, who's been to DC many times for the Small Press Expo, has an excellent new book out - "I Left My Arse in San Francisco". I started it the day I got it and finished it at one go. He's got some of his hardest hitting political work in here too - just what one needs when one gets the Washington Post delivered. You can only buy this on his website; probably to avoid competing with the Omnibus that's coming from Dark Horse via Diamond this summer. I'm going to buy that too, of course.

Gene Yang interview

Our buddy Scott Rosenberg interviewed him for "A.B.C.: Gene Yang's 'American Born Chinese'," at on March 26, 2008.

March 29: Mark Chiarello exhibit in Reston

For Immediate Release
Contact: Leslie Combemale


Reston, VA- ArtInsights Gallery in Reston Town Center has secured exclusive rights to exhibit and sell the original watercolor art used for the bestselling book "Heroes of the Negro Leagues" by illustrator and DC Comics Art Editor Mark Chiarello. Many of these illustrations were used for the first color baseball cards for the Negro Leagues. The exhibit will include images of famed Negro Leaguers Satchel Paige, Rube Foster, Josh Gibson, Buck O'Neil, and many others. Mr. Chiarello will be appearing in person in the gallery opening weekend of Major League Baseball, opening day of the new exhibit, Saturday, March 29th, from 2 to 5 pm. The show will run through May 30th, or as sales allow.

The publication of the original baseball cards that inspired the "Heroes of the Negro Leagues" book marked the first time most of the players ever appeared on a baseball card. Mark Chiarello says he and writer Jack Morelli were inspired to create the cards when they visited the National Baseball Museum in Cooperstown, New York where they saw a plaque for a player they'd never heard of, Judy Johnson. After some research, they resolved to correct the fact that they and other hardcore baseball fans knew so little of these great athletes. The cards were expanded into a book that was rated 2nd of all sports books on in 2007, with watercolors the New York Times called "evocative". Los Angeles magazine said of the book, "Mark Chiarello's dreamy watercolor portraits transport us back to a league that time (and most everyone else) has conveniently forgotten".

Mark Chiarello is an award winning artist and the art editor of DC Comics, and has done illustration for LucasFilm, Disney, Universal Pictures, Topps, and Universal Pictures, to name a few. He has won the comic book industry's Eisner, Harvey, and Reuben awards. He is also creating art for instillation in the new Gaylord National Resort in Maryland's "National Pastime."

Says ArtInsights co-owner Michael Barry, "We've carried illustration art for quite some time, but never anything sports related. Mark's Negro League watercolors are so beautifully executed, it was a perfect fit. He is more than just a skilled watercolorist, with these pieces he's captured so much more". A great deal of research was required for these portraits, and artist Chiarello says he often looked at more than 200 pictures of a player to find the perfect reference to use. Barry's partner, Leslie Combemale, adds, "Of course they are historically important, but they definitely stand alone as great art. Many know the more famous Negro Leaguers, but these illustrations allow collectors to connect with some of the many unsung heroes who deserve more recognition. These watercolors offer an opportunity for baseball fans, art collectors, and history buffs to expand how they see the world, as the best art always does, and Mark has an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject. We're proud to have his art in the gallery."


ArtInsights, established in 1994, is a privately owned business located in Reston Town Center, Virginia. In addition to specializing in creating and developing collections of animation art from Disney, Warner Brothers, Hanna Barbera, and all other major studios, The gallery is constantly looking for new and important artist of illustrative, animation, and film art to add to those they currently represent. Their roster includes Chuck Jones, John Alvin, Toby Bluth, Tim Rogerson, Mary GrandPre, and Jim Salvati. They recently had the international exclusive first release of limited editions of the Harry Potter book covers by Mary GrandPre.

With more than 30 combined years of experience in these art genres, owners Michael Barry and Leslie Combemale work closely with individuals and corporations to ensure the integrity of their clients' collections. ArtInsights is the only art gallery in the Washington Metropolitan area authorized to represent Warner Bros., Hanna Barbera, and Disney interpretive art to the public.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gene Yang at Big Planet Comics and beyond

Gene Yang says he's in town to speak to schoolchildren at the Kennedy Center tomorrow which will apparently also go out over a webcast. Details desired.

Quick notes - he used the Monkey King because the character was in lots of childrens books his parents had. He read superhero comics, not manga (Dragonball is based on the Monkey King, so I asked). He's working on a new book with Derek Kirk Kim which First Second will publish. His Slave Labor books - Loyola Chin and the San Peligran Order and Gordon Yamamoto And The King Of The Geeks are still available from that publisher.

Here's some pics.

100_4832Gene Yang and Joel Pollack at Big Planet Comics in Bethesda, Maryland.

100_4828Randy T getting a sketch from Gene Yang.

You can see the sketches here and here.

100_4825Gene Yang signing his book American Born Chinese at Big Planet Comics in Bethesda, Maryland.

100_4830Gene Yang doing a sketch at Big Planet Comics in Bethesda, Maryland.

More, similar pictures on flickr.

April 21: Stan Lee at National Press Club POSTPONED

In spite of these flyers, Stan Lee will NOT be appearing at the National Press Club on Monday April 21st. Hopefully he'll be able to reschedule.



Folger Shakespeare Library presents Shakespeare + Manga

March 7, 2007

Press Contact:
Tim Swoape, 202.675.0344 / tswoape
Teri Cross Davis, 202.675.0374 / tdavis

Folger Shakespeare Library presents Shakespeare + Manga as part of the Words on Will lecture series

Shakespeare’s plays adapted into Japanese-style illustrated books

(WASHINGTON, DC) The plays of William Shakespeare meet the highly stylized Japanese illustration form known as manga (Japanese for “whimsical pictures”) in The Manga Editions. Writer/adaptor Adam Sexton and illustrator Yali Lin discuss their work on The Manga Editions during Shakespeare + Manga at Folger Shakespeare Library on Monday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m. They will be joined by moderator Marc Singer, a comics scholar and assistant professor of English at Howard University. Their discussion is the final installment of this season’s Words on Will, a lecture series in which luminaries from across the world of arts, letters, and other fields discuss the role Shakespeare has played in their lives and work.

Tickets, which include the discussion and a reception, are $12 for adults and $6 for students. Tickets may be purchased at the Folger box office, 202.544.7077, or online at

Published by Wiley, The Manga Editions present four newly adapted and fully-illustrated editions of Shakespeare’s plays: Macbeth, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, and Romeo and Juliet. The Manga Editions are the latest in a 400-year tradition of translating and adapting Shakespeare’s plays into different languages and multiple media.

In order to fit their adaptations into books of less than 200 pages, the writers and editors of The Manga Editions have cut words, lines, speeches, and even entire scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, a practice almost universal among stage and film directors. However, they never paraphrased Shakespeare’s language or summarize the action. Every word in The Manga Editions was written by William Shakespeare himself.

According to the publisher, manga is potentially more visual than a theatrical production of Shakespeare’s plays. Unbound by the physical realities of the theater, the graphic novel can depict any situation, no matter how fantastical or violent, that its creators are able to pencil, ink, and shade.

Writer/adaptor Adam Sexton is author of Master Class in Fiction Writing and editor of the anthologies Love Stories, Rap on Rap, and Desperately Seeking Madonna. He has written on art and entertainment for The New York Times and The Village Voice, and he teaches fiction writing and literature at New York University and critical reading and writing at Parsons The New School for Design. He is a graduate of Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Manga illustrator Yali Lin was born in southern China and moved to New York with her family in 1995. She earned a BFA in Cartooning from the School of Visual Arts in 2006. Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, The Manga Edition is her first published work. She currently teaches cartooning and manga courses to young teens in Manhattan.

Moderator Marc Singer is an assistant professor of English at Howard University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Singer regularly reviews new works of comics scholarship for the International Journal of Comic Art, and he is the former chair of the International Comic Arts Forum, an academic conference on comics. His own research on comics has twice won the M. Thomas Inge Award for Comics Scholarship.

DATE & TIME: Monday, March 31, 2007 at 7:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Folger Theatre at Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC
TICKETS: $12 adults / $6 students; Purchase at Folger box office, 202.544.7077, or online at
METRO: Capitol South (blue/orange lines)
PARKING: Street parking in neighborhood. Please read and obey all posted signs.

Cartoonists at Politics and Prose bookstore pictures

Politics and Prose has started a flickr site. So far they have pictures of

- Scott McCloud

- Myla Goldberg, the novelist who's married to cartoonist Jason Little

- Neil Gaiman

and their main page.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shakespeare, comics and Star Trek

After yesterday's post on Shakespeare manga at the Folger, I was emailed a press release about a British Shakespeare comic series which was blurbed by Patrick Stewart. Stewart's on Broadway now in Macbeth, but I saw him two decades ago in DC talking about Shakespeare. Here's a letter that I sent the NY Times that they didn't run:

I was very glad to see the long Arts article, "To boldly go where Shakespeare calls" (January 27, 2008) on Patrick Stewart's return to Shakespeare. As an undergrad at George Washington University in Washington DC, I saw Mr. Stewart give a lecture on Shakespeare around 1985. The event was sponsored most likely by the English department and was in a small room in the student union. It was probably underpublicized and Mr. Stewart had not yet become famous as Capt. Picard, but his talk, "Iago and Other Strangers" was one of the best lectures on Shakespeare I've seen. It ranked favorably with Ian McKellan's one-man Shakespeare show which I saw a year or so later. I rode the elevator down with Mr. Stewart and told him how much I enjoyed it, but it still strikes me as a shame that so few saw his talk. I have often wished that he'd put out a cd of that talk.

Shakespeare adapted in comics has appeared off and on for a few decades now - mostly with uninteresting adaptations - but I've got high hopes of some of these new ones, and will try to review a series of them in the International Journal of Comic Art. I've got a bibliography of earlier attempts around somewhere too that I can post if there's any interest.

And, since they made me think about this again, here's the full PR on the British Shakespeare books:

Patrick Stewart applauds Classical Comics’ pioneering three-tier dialogue graphic novel adaptation of Macbeth

I’m fascinated by your approach... I find them gripping, dramatic and, although for me the original Shakespeare is always my reason for turning to these plays, I think that what you are doing in illuminating and making perhaps more lucid, especially for young people, is clever and meaningful - Patrick Stewart

The internationally respected actor, known for successfully bridging the gap between the theatrical world of the Shakespearean stage and contemporary film and television, has given his seal of approval to Classical Comics’ pioneering three-tier dialogue approach, in particular its forthcoming graphic novel adaptation of Macbeth. Patrick Stewart’s recent stint in Macbeth at the Gielgud Theatre in London garnered him several awards - including Best Actor at the Evening Standard Awards, and the prize for Best Shakespearean Performance at the 19th annual Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards (which he shares with Chiwetel Ejiofor for Othello) - and the production transferred to New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music on 12 February.

With its revolutionary three-tier dialogue approach, Classical Comics presents a brand new and inclusive view of the sheer genius of Shakespeare’s storytelling. Macbeth, arguably Shakespeare’s most dramatic tragedy, certainly one of his greatest works, features stunning artwork from Marvel/Spider-man illustrator Jon Haward and comic strip illustrator Nigel Dobbyn, and script adaptation by author John McDonald.

Each of Classical Comics’ graphic novel adaptations of literary classics is published in three versions: Original Text – the full, unabridged script; Plain Text – a modern English version of the original script; and Quick Text – with reduced, simplified dialogue for easier and faster reading. Classical Comics’ Clive Bryant explains the thinking behind this: ‘We wanted to spread a joy and appreciation of literacy, and particularly to target readers in key stages 2 and 3. Often children of that age are forced to read Shakespeare, but they struggle to get past the language. The comic book format and three text versions will undoubtedly help with their understanding. By providing these three text versions, which are all on the same artwork, we allow a reader to absorb the story at Quick Text level, proceed onto Plain English, and then onto the Original script. That way, they understand the play and can appreciate the beautiful language that Shakespeare used. We believe that we’ve created a way for readers to enjoy these fantastic stories regardless of their age or their reading ability’.

Having been told by young readers that they were bored by the Bard, Classical Comics set out to make Shakespeare as energetic and colourful as Spider-man. With its new series of graphic novel adaptations of literary classics, Classical Comics has succeeded in bringing Shakespeare to life, with striking full-colour artwork depicting the drama, emotion and action scenes in an exciting, captivating way.

Macbeth was published on Monday 25 February 2008

Macbeth and Henry V are Classical Comics’ first books in its range of graphic novel adaptations. Other great literary novels receiving the Classical Comic treatment include: Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (Spring 2008), Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations (Summer 2008), and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (Summer 2008),

The books retail at £9.99 each, and are available from Amazon, and all good bookshops nationwide.

press enquiries to: Helen Maleed
tel/fax: 020 7732 4624 mobile: 07986 235 855

Review copies available

Artwork samples available

Following the success of its pioneering three-tier dialogue treatment of Henry V, Classical Comics publishes Macbeth, its graphic novel adaptation of, arguably, Shakespeare’s most dramatic tragedy, certainly one of his greatest works. With stunning artwork from Marvel/Spider-man illustrator Jon Haward and comic strip illustrator Nigel Dobbyn, and script adaptation by author John McDonald, Classical Comics’ presents a brand new and totally fulfilling view of the sheer genius of Shakespeare’s storytelling.

Classical Comics has devised a revolutionary three-tier dialogue approach; each book is published in three versions: Original Text – the full, unabridged script; Plain Text – a modern English version of the original script; and Quick Text – with reduced, simplified dialogue for easier and faster reading. Clive Bryant, of Classical Comics, explains the thinking behind this: ‘We wanted to spread a joy and appreciation of literacy, and particularly to target readers in key stages 2 and 3. Often children of that age are forced to read Shakespeare, but they struggle to get past the language. The comic book format and three text versions will undoubtedly help with their understanding. By providing these three text versions, which are all on the same artwork, we allow a reader to absorb the story at Quick Text level, proceed onto Plain English, and then onto the Original script. That way, they understand the play and can appreciate the beautiful language that Shakespeare used. We believe that we’ve created a way for readers to enjoy these fantastic stories regardless of their age or their reading ability’.

Monday, March 24, 2008

OT: Von Allan interview

Von Allan, one of the first people to write into this blog, and thus an honorary Washingtonian, was interviewed today at "Walking the road to god knows ... Von Allan," By Katherine Keller, Sequential Tart March 24, 2008.

Plastic Farm booksigning report

From the past weekend in Frederick, MD - "Descent into madness: Jefferson artist holds comic book signing," by Nicholas C. Stern, Frederick News-Post March 23, 2008. Note that one of his artists is from Takoma Park, right close to DC.

92 years yesterday ... the SHOC of McCay!

Another Secret History of Comics entry by Warren Bernard:

92 years ago this past Sunday, March 23, 1916, the members of The Albany Legislative Correspondents Association got together for their annual dinner. Not unlike the Gridiron Club, it was a boys night out to rib and celebrate the then occupants of the New York State Legislature and the sitting Governor, Charles Whitman.

The program for this event features a Winsor McCay drawing that to my knowledge, has not been reprinted before. This dinner and its associated program was done for over 60 years, and each year political cartoonists did both the covers and in some years, up to a half dozen specialty pieces for the inside text.

How many more did Mccay do? For what other obscure organization did he do such material? The former I do not know the answer to, the latter, one day soon this question will be at least partially answered.

So stay tuned to the SHOC...


I had to reduce the image dpi from 300 to 150 to get a reasonable size to post - if anyone wants the supersize original, click here.

March 26: Gene Yang booksigning at Big Planet Comics

On Wednesday, March 26, from 7-8, Gene Yang will be signing copies of his award-winning American Born Chinese at Big Planet Comics, 4908 Fairmont Ave., Bethesda, MD, 301-654-6856.

I'll be in Bethesda for dinner early, probably meeting with tipster Randy T. If anyone else is interested, let me know.

3/31: Manga Shakespeare at the Folger

Words on Will: Shakespeare + Manga

Shakespeare meets manga, a stylized Japanese comic form, in four new editions of Macbeth, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, and Romeo and Juliet. Writer/adapter Adam Sexton, faculty member at Parsons The New School for Design, and the manga artists discuss their work on these unique and beautifully illustrated new works.

Dates & Times:
March 31, 2008 7:30pm


About Manga:
Manga can mean Japanese graphic novels or comic books, typically intended for adults, characterized by highly stylized art.

About the writer Adam Sexton :
Adam Sexton is author of Master Class in Fiction Writing and editor of the anthologies Love Stories, Rap on Rap, and Desperately Seeking Madonna. He has written on art and entertainment for the New York Times and the Village Voice, and he teaches fiction writing and literature at New York University and critical reading and writing at Parsons School of Design. He is a graduate of Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania.

About the artist Yali Lin:
Yali Lin was born in southern China and moved to New York with her family in 1995. After earning her BFA in Cartooning from the School of Visual Arts in 2006, Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet Manga Edition is her first book. She teaches Cartooning/Manga courses to young teens in Manhattan, NYC.

I'm going - my friend Marc Singer might be moderating, but this should be interesting anyway even if he's not. Anybody else?

OT: Beaty on Wertham ratified by New Yorker

My revisionist Canuck buddy Bart Beaty's book on Fredric Wertham, which you should all own, is cited approvingly in this article "The Horror: Congress investigates the comics," by Louis Menand, New March 31, 2008.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

More Sunday bits

The cover to the Book World is a Jack Kirby homage - there's two reviews in it, as mentioned yesterday - Hadju's 1950s censorship book and Evanier's Kirby book.

Also, Randy T. pointed out

"Making It: No News Is Good News For Cartoonist," By Elizabeth Chang, Washington Post Magazine Sunday, March 23, 2008; W04 which profiles former Journal political cartoonist Mike Jenkins who is now doing caricatures on demand.

And they've got this tiny repro of Richard's cover for the mag.

Filling in for Doonesbury

The Post is trying out new strips where Doonesbury runs in at least the Sunday page - Trudeau's on a 3-month break. The first is the brand-new Daddy's Home by Anthony Rubino Jr. and Gary Markstein. Let us note though, it continues to be beyond comprehension that they won't run the strip THEY INCUBATED - Cul de Sac - on a daily basis.

Other papers will - "Special guests are coming your way," Ocala Star-Banner March 23, 2008 means that they're seeing it as the first test strip in Ocala.


By John Judy

ALL-STAR SUPERMAN #10 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. This comic won the 2007 Eisner Award for “Best Continuing Series.” Next issue will win the award for 2009. Technically that counts as “Continuing.” The trick to enjoying Grant Morrison comics is to treat the existence of each issue as an unexpected delight and never expect another one. It works, so help me.

APOCALYPSE NERD SC written and drawn by Peter Bagge. Kim Jong Il has nuked Seattle (just go with it) and now software engineer Perry and his friend Gordo struggle to survive in the aftermath. Dark humor and adventure from the creator of HATE and THE BRADLEYS. Recommended.

ASTERIX OMNIBUS VOL. 1 & 2, HC & SC by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. Have you ever wished you could have three of those skinny ASTERIX books bound into one volume? How about six into two? Well this is your week, my friend. Recommended for all ages. Enjoy!

BLACK PANTHER #34 by Reginald Hudlin and Francis Portela. T’Challa and Storm leave space behind to settle some business at home. Battles Royale ensue.

CLOUDS ABOVE SC written and illustrated by Jordan Crane. A book-length, all-ages adventure of a boy and his cat. Originally a HC release in 2005 this paperback edition contains five pages of new material. Very cool. Recommended.

DAN DARE #5 of 7 by Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine. As the Mekon makes his move Dan takes command of the fleet. Great stuff for fans of space opera, war comics, and Ennis/Erskine.

DAREDEVIL #106 by Ed Brubaker and Paul Azaceta. DD grapples with the finality of his wife's madness. Punks beware! Recommended.

GRAVEL #2 by Warren Ellis Mike Wolfer, and Raulo Caceres. Combat Magician versus stampeding, blood-thirsty ghost horses! Didn’t Casper have one of those? Yeah, “Nightmare the Ghost Horse.” She was sweet….

GREEN LANTERN #29 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis. A flashback to the early days of Hal Jordan’s GL career and the beginnings of Sinestro’s obsession with “Darkest Night.”

HELLBLAZER #242 by Andy Diggle and Leonardo Manco. Constantine’s enemies team up to get him! Will they ever learn…?

JACK KIRBY’S FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS VOL. 4 HC written and illustrated by The King! The final volume of the Forever People, New Gods, Mister Miracle, and lots of extras!

MIGHTY AVENGERS #11 by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley. It’s Bagley’s last issue featuring a diabolical dust-up with Doctor Doom!

NEW AVENGERS #39 by Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack. KABUKI creator David Mack illustrates Echo versus the Skrulls.

PREVIEWS from Diamond and Marvel Comics. Who knows where we’ll all be in three months? Only Marvel and Diamond Comics.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS: BOOSTER GOLD VOL. 1 SC by Dan Jurgens, John Byrne and others. Collecting the first 25 issues. Why not?

SPIDER-MAN: WITH GREAT POWER #3 of 5 by David Lapham and Tony Harris. The early days of Spidey’s wrestling career when Uncle Ben still lived and life sucked anyway. This comic doesn’t. Great art. Great fun.

SPIRIT #15 by Mark Evanier, Sergio Aragones, and Mike Ploog. Featuring action, laughs, and diamond smuggling! Recommended!

TRANSHUMAN #1 of 4 by Jonathan Hickman and Jm Ringuet. A mockumentary-style comic about the creation and marketing of the world’s first superhumans by the creator of NIGHTLY NEWS, PAX ROMANA, and RED MASS FOR MARS. “Spinal Tap” Meets Supers! Yowza!

ULTIMATE HUMAN #3 of 4 by Warren Ellis and Cary Nord. More sock ‘em ups with Ultimate Cannibal Hulk and Ultimate Drunk Iron Man!

WOLVERINE FIRST CLASS #1 by Fred Van Lente and Andrea Di Vito. Could the co-creator of ACTION PHILOSOPHERS possibly be giving us that rarest of creations, a WOLVERINE comic that does not suck? Signs point to “Maybe.” Guest-starring Kitty Pryde and the X-Men.

WORLD WAR HULK: AFTERSMASH: DAMAGE CONTROL #3 of 3 by Dwayne McDuffie and Salva Espin. This has been a funny, clever little mini-series even if the title screams "Marvel Zombies Only!" Worth a read now or in trade.

X-MEN LEGACY #209 by Mike Carey and Scot Eaton. Formerly known as just plain old "X-MEN" this issue features another philosophical tete-a-tete between Magneto and Professor X. There's fights and lasers too.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thompson nominated for award by peers that doesn't come with $10 grand attached

Richard's written in to say that he's been nominated for the National Cartoonists Society's Division Award for Comic Strips, colloquially known as a Reuben (of which he's won two in the past, I note parenthetically) for his new strip Cul de Sac. The award will be given in May in New Orleans. Congratulations, Richard!

A comic strip?

Brian, a friend at work saw this in an antique store in New Orleans and took this picture for me.

After mulling it over for a week and talking to two other historians of medicine who write on comics, I called up and ordered it. I haven't printed it yet, but flopping and inverting the picture lets you see it:

So it's a printing block for a fundraising ad campaign for the March of Dimes to conquer polio. Pretty neat especially the iron lung in the center. I'm going to try to ink it and print it, and we'll see what results I get. Perhaps we can make prints as write-in prizes!

Dilbert, Gorey via Staake and Thompson in Saturday's Post, Sunday book reviews

It doesn't appear to be online, but the Post ran a letter to the editor - "Dilbert's 'Jesus'is offensive" by Earl H. Foote of College Park.

Also, the Style Invitational Contest is poetry couplets ala Edward Gorey ...

You know - the Post's website sucks as far as linking up with the print version. The Washington City Paper ran a good article a few weeks ago as to why that is - the two operations have nothing to do with each other and aren't even in the same state.

Here's the Gorey contest with the excellent Staake parody cartoon.

Finally Richard Thompson's got one of his excellent Spring cartoons in the Poor Alamanac, but I'm not even going to look for it. And Get Fuzzy complains about the comics page being stuck in 1954.

Tomorrow's book reviews are online as well - The Ten-Cent Plague is reviewed in "Horror! Suspense! Censorship! A cultural critic recounts how comics were ripped out of kids' grubby hands." Reviewed by Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post Book World Sunday, March 23, 2008; Page BW08. The new Kirby book is reviewed in "The Fantastic One: The father of so many superheroes could never conquer the forces of corporate America." Reviewed by Glen David Gold, Sunday, March 23, 2008; Page BW08.

As a reminder, Ann Telnaes cartoons keep appearing.

Thompson covers Post magazine

For you collectors, Richard Thompson's done the cover caricatures for the March 23 Post magazine.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cul de Sac lack puzzles columnist at mag back

Gene Weingarten took the following question on his Post chat this week:

Cul de S, AC: Hi Gene -

Sorry if you've already discussed this, but who do we write at the Post to (politely) ask the paper to add the daily version of Richard Thompson's Cul de Sac to the comics page?

I only found out today that there IS a daily version (bwuh?).

I know the comics page is precious real estate, but it seems like the Post of all papers ought to carry the strip. Plus, it's great. Thanks.

Gene Weingarten: I know. I cannot understand why we are not carrying it.

You write to Deborah Heard, Assistant Managing Editor/Style.

March 22: Plastic Farm signing in Frederick

Colin S. sent in a notice that Danielle Corsetto, Jack Warrenfeltz and Rafer Roberts will be signing the new Plastic Farm paperback collection at Beyond Comics in Frederick, MD from noon until 7 pm.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Herblock award - more pictures of John Sherffius

Photos by Thuy Dong and Woody Woodis at the reception that followed the award.

Sherffius being stalked by Richard Thompson (in red shirt) and Rhode (in background).

Sherffius and Thuy Dong.

Thompson, Rhode (looking rather limp-wristed, but it was a manly shake - really) and Sherffius.

And a few pictures more...

And Alan Gardner of the Daily Cartoonist pointed out that Daryl Cagle's site has the submitted cartoons.

South Park interview in this week's Onion

And an expanded version online. I like having the printed copy too though.

There's a brief review of Chip Kidd's new book in there too.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another Batchelor VD poster

This one wasn't in the National Museum of Health and Medicine's collection, so when I spotted it on ebay I bought it. I scanned it yesterday and added the e-version to the Museum's collection; since we don't have an acquisitions budget to buy things, there's no conflict of interest. I'll probably donate it someday, but at the moment I'm enjoying ownership.

Herblock award presented to John Sherffius

Last night editorial cartoonist John Sherffius was presented with the fifth annual Herblock Award. Richard Thompson and I were fortunate enough to be able to attend.
The Herblock foundation fellow introducing Sherffius quoted our link buddy Dave Astor's interview with the cartoonist. She also noted that Sherffius had resigned from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at the end of 2003 over editorial interference, an account of which can be found in the New York Times. She noted that he had 'entered a body of work' all of which was critical of George Bush, the current.
Sherffius introduced his family and then made some excellent remarks (which should be on the Herblock award site someday) saying, "I am angry..." at the Bush administration for a litany of failures and malfeasance including "outright contempt for our Constitution..." I would have voted for him right then, but he followed up with "This is not the America I want for my children; this is not the America I know." He carried onto note journalism's problems, stating, "it is grimly ironic that [while] we have one of the most abusive administrations in power, the press is withering within."
Tim Russert spoke for almost 45 minutes after Sherffius, telling Herblock anecdotes while musing on the role of a free press and its current failures. I'll try to recall some of the anecdotes, but one concerned Russert's predecessor on Meet the Press interviewing Herblock's nemesis Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy had brought a handgun to an interview, and when Russert was telling Herblock about it, Block interrupted to ask "What kind of gun?"

...Maybe you had to be there.

Richard and I accidentally closed down the place while waiting to meet John, who was very pleasant, so we gave him a ride to his hotel and tried to convince him to do some reprint books.

Library cartoon cataloger Woody Woodis, ace blogger Richard Thompson and ComicsDC public face Mike Rhode. Photo by Thuy Dong.

Sherffius wins another award to be presented in DC

Religion Communicators Council Announces Wilbur Award Winners
Posted : Mon, 17 Mar 2008 17:45:55 GMT
Author : Religion Communicators Council

CHANTILLY, Va., March 17 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 2008 Wilbur Awards recognizing outstanding work in the secular media that addresses religious issues, themes and values are being presented April 5 at the Westfields Marriott Hotel Washington Dulles.

The annual awards are presented by the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) and named for Marvin C. Wilbur, a pioneer in the field of religion public relations.

The Wilbur Awards banquet and recognition ceremony will conclude the annual RCC national convention April 3-5. RCC, based in New York, is a 79-year-old interfaith organization of professional communicators working in the field of religion. It is the oldest and largest organization of its kind.

The awards being presented, for work completed in 2007, are:

Newspaper (National/Top 15 markets): "Blood and Faith: In Turkey, A Judge's Murder Puts Religion in Spotlight," Philip Shishkin, The Wall Street Journal.

Newspaper (Other Markets): "Lifetime Calling," Jennifer Garza, The Sacramento Bee; Rick Rodriguez, editor.

Magazine (National/Top 15 markets): "A Mile in His Shoes," by Kate Braestrup; Jane Chesnutt, editor, Woman's Day.

Magazine (Other Markets): "Leaps of Faith," by Paul Singer and Brian Friel, National Journal, Charles Green, editor.

Editorial Cartoon/Comic Strip: John Sherffius, Boulder, Colo., Daily Camera.

Books Non-Fiction: "A Match Made In Heaven," Zev Chafets, HarperCollins Publishers.

Television Drama: Saving Grace, "Bring It On Earl," Nancy Miller, writer and executive producer; Gary A. Randall and Artie Mandelberg, executive producers; Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, director, Turner Network Television (TNT).

Television News (Network or National Syndication): "In God We Trust," CBS News, Sunday Morning, Rand Morrison, executive producer; Martha Teichner, correspondent; Brian H. Healy, Jason Schmidt, producers; Estelle Popkin, senior broadcast producer.

Television Documentary: "In God's Name," CBS News - 48 Hours, Jules and Gedeon Naudet, filmmakers.

Radio (Single Program): Tapestry: "Rumi," Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Hosted by Mary Hynes; Erin Pettit, producer.

Feature Film (Drama): "Amazing Grace," Walden Media, Ken Wales, producer.

Web-Based Communications (Blogs): Faith & Works, "Is Civil Rights History Wrong?" Peter Smith,, Louisville, Ky.

The awards banquet this year is being hosted by Mary Jacobs. She is a longtime freelance writer for the Dallas Morning News' award-winning Religion section and has also written for Religion News Service. In 2004, Ms. Jacobs was named Religion Communicator of the Year by the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Religion Communicators Council. With an English degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, she has worked in communications for Bain & Company in Boston, and was news producer for WJW-TV, a CBS affiliate in Cleveland.

Each Wilbur Award recipient receives a handmade stained glass trophy in recognition of the honor.

For more information and details about the 2008 Wilbur Awards banquet, visit the RCC Web site at

Religion Communicators Council

OT: Annual King Kong (1933) plea for stuff

My friend Miron Murcury, who's guest-blogged here, has a request:

Simply put, I fan-aticly collect all things related to Willis O'Brien's masterwork: King Kong.

I am always searching for new old material. You'd have a grateful friend by sharing any The Lost World (1925), King Kong (1933), etc. ephemera.

I'd love to be shown early newspaper strips with Kong-like creatures or similar situations such as characters climbing a tall building.

Especially interesting would be European and South American cartoon interpretations of 'The Lost World.' A. Conan Doyle's original 1912 novel was also the first paleontologicly accurate dinosaur adventure film and introduced the motif of giant monsters loose in a city to film audiences.

The best pre-1933 creature-on-the-loose cartoon is, hands down, Winsor McCay's 'The Pet.' To your knowledge has anything been written about this early animated cartoon short?

'The Lost World' and 'King Kong' references in comicbooks and editorials are legion. The iconic King Kong has been employed from New York to San Francisco. Has he ever been used in your local newspaper? Please save copies for me if you see them.

I wish to reemphasize how ridiculously important this is to me: nothing is to small or trite to escape my magnetic interests.

Oxymoronishly yours,

Email him at

Ellen Berg's Miss Columbia research

Ellen Berg is one of the Library of Congress's Swann Fellows this year and spoke there recently on her research on the missing Miss Columbia. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette interviewed her about her project as well as other political icons.

Baltimore City Paper reviews GEM's Scrooged exhibit UPDATED

Read "One Quack Mind: Good Duck Artist Carl Barks' Best Work Sadly Lost to The Dustbin," by Christopher Skokna, and then go see the exhibit and make up your own mind.

UPDATE: Andy H of GEM wrote in to note, "The two Carl Barks non-Disney series we have representations from are:

Famous Figures of History as They Might Have Looked Had Their Genes Gotten Mixed with Waterfowl

Kings and Queens of Myth and Legend

While I agree with the Baltimore City Paper review that these aren't great works of art for all time, I do think for the student of comics or Carl Barks, they're very interesting and rarely seen. So there.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Progress on my Pekar book

I got a letter from the University Press of Mississippi today telling me that they'd be sending the page proofs soon! Whoo-hoo! And thanks to Randy Scott of Michigan State U's Comic Art Collection for doing the index for me.

Nate Beeler wins Virginia Press Association award

Today's Examiner is reporting that Nate Beeler won the the Virginia Press Association's first place in editorial cartooning on Sunday. The formal award appears to be "Best in Show for Daily Art" but I can't find it on either the Examiner or the VPA website. In any event, congratulations, Nate!

Darrin Bell's Candorville appears to chastise Post

Darrin Bell in today's Candorville appears to chastise the Post for dropping his strip two weeks ago. His main character Lemont Brown says "I wrote a series of posts satirizing how the Secret Service isn't diligent enough in protecting presidential candidates, and the Chronicle wouldn't run it!" Methinks he wrote chronicles that the Post wouldn't run.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Tom Toles video on Post website

See Tom Toles in timelapse photography from sketch to finished drawing in "Timelapse: From Sketch to Cartoon."

Onion swings at Marmaduke

This article's in the paper edition that's out now too - Some Old Man Still Churning Out Marmaduke, Onion March 14, 2008 | Issue 44•11.


By John “I get paid $5500 an hour to do this!” Judy

AL CAPP’S COMPLETE SHMOO: THE COMIC BOOKS HC written and illustrated by Capp Studios. Featuring Super Shmoo, Frankenshmoo, and Fu Manshoo! If you have to ask…

ALL WE EVER DO IS TALK ABOUT WOOD GN written and illustrated by Tom Horacek. A collection of Horacek’s morbidly funny single panel cartoons. Definitely for fans of Charles Addams, Edward Gorey, and Ivan Brunetti. Recommended.

ANGEL: AFTER THE FALL #5 by Brian Lynch and Franco Urru. So he’s not a vampire anymore….?

BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE SPECIAL EDITION by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. A special hardcover 20th anniversary edition designed to torture Alan Moore by reminding him of how tied he remains to DC even though he refuses to cash their checks. Of course some of us are tortured by the knowledge that it’s been 20 years since we bought this book new on the stands… Also contains the story “An Innocent Guy” from BATMAN: BLACK & WHITE.

BRAVE AND BOLD #11 by Mark Waid and Jerry Ordway. Superman and Ultraman team up to save the day. Sorry manga fans, it’s a different Ultraman.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #36 by Ed Brubaker, Butch Guice, and Mike Perkins. Bucky continues making the role of Captain America his own. Hard.

EX MACHINA #5 by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris. Mayor Hundred is haunted by the ghosts of African slaves. And metaphors.

GHOST RIDER #21 by Jason Aaron and Roland Boschi. Pure, out of control motorcycle madness, reminiscent of the best of Garth Ennis's PREACHER. Highly recommended, even though you hated the movie.

GRENDEL: BEHOLD THE DEVIL #5 of 8 written and illustrated by Matt Wagner. Gee fights monsters! Recommended.

IMMORTAL IRON FIST #13 by Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker, Tonci Zonjic, and David Aja. Okay, when the "What Has Gone Before" page starts reading like a novella you may be getting a tad challenging for new readers to get on board. Just sayin'... Pretty good comic anyway.

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 4 HC by Stan Lee, John Buscema, Gene Colan, and John Romita Sr. Collecting CAPTAIN AMERICA #114-124, featuring the Red Skull, the Falcon, MODOK, Nick Fury, AIM, and the cosmic cube! The more things change…

OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE VOL. 38 HC & SC with your choice of covers: Marvel Villains by Mark Sparacio or Star Wars by Doug Wheatley. For some reason there also seems to be a Joe Shuster Superman cover being advertised on the net but there’s no mention of this from the publisher. Weird.

SUPER FRIENDS #1 by Sholly Fisch and Dario Brizuela. Fun for all ages, featuring smiling Batman with the yellow oval on his chest!

TANGENT: SUPERMAN’S REIGN #1 of 12 by Dan Jurgens and Friends. It’s trademark renewin’ time, kids! Alternate universe super-heroes meet their namesakes. Personally I wanna see the Just Imagine Stan Lee and Realworlds versions roll in! If you get these references you’re old.

THOR #7 J. Michael Straczynski and Marko Djurdjevic. A really great issue, among the high points for JMS and Thor in general. Setting up what will no doubt be some very interesting stories in months to come. Highly recommended.

WAR IS HELL: THE FIRST FLIGHT OF THE PHANTOM EAGLE #1 by Garth Ennis and Howard Chaykin. A heavy-hitting creative team tackles the World War I aviator’s adventures in “graphic” style. Not for kids. Highly recommended.

WOLVERINE ORIGINS #23 Daniel Way and Steve Dillon. Okay, Daniel Way is starting to win me over now that he is writing a Three Stooges comic with blood. He’s found a groove that works for him. Now let's make this non-continuity and have a ball. Not for younger kids. Seriously.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Picoult booksigning CANCELLED for this Saturday

I called Borders today to check on the availability of her Wonder Woman story arc and was told that she had to cancel her appearance.

Washington Times comics survey

The Times actually has a pretty good comics page. I frequently pick it up in Walter Reed's lobby and tear it out for Michigan State's collection. Harry Bliss' panel is particularly interesting since he'd been known as a New Yorker cartoonist before starting this, but also has been doing children's books. I don't know why they put this on their website, but not in the paper though. Seems to defeat the purpose of it...

Calling all funnies afficionados

The Washington Times is evaluating the items on our Comics page, and we'd like your input.

As it stands, we've got 17 comic strips running on our page. We want to know what you like, what you don't like and even what you feel we're missing.

Our collection ranges from a playful pair of fraternal twins and their grandmother in Grand Avenue to the saucy quips of Fred Basset and the motherly musings of Rose is Rose.

We've also got the indomitable Crankshaft, the geeky but genial Monty and the lovable pup Buckles.

And of course, we've got the daily high school dramas in the long-running Funky Winkerbean, The Buckets' family foibles and the good-natured ribbings of Herb & Jamaal .

The dashing Dick Tracy sniffs out criminals on our page, and the characters of Crock lampoon society and each other out in the desert while the cavemen of B.C. escape the jaws of dinosaurs.

Our Rubes strip is biting but side-splitting, and Bizarro is, well, bizarre.

Rounding out our team is the intrepid maid Hazel, the self-titled strip of Harry Bliss and feline frolicking in Cats With Hands.

For the next two weeks, we're asking our readers to e-mail us the names of their four favorite comic strips. We'd also like to know which ones don't tickle your funny bone and even the names of 'toons we aren't running but are worth a look.

Please send your comments to We look forward to hearing from you.

--Carrie Sheffield, Web editor, The Washington Times

Posted on March 11, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March 26: Gene Yang booksigning at Big Planet Comics

On Wednesday, March 26, from 7-8, Gene Yang will be signing copies of his award-winning American Born Chinese at Big Planet Comics, 4908 Fairmont Ave., Bethesda, MD, 301-654-6856.

Post censors Candorville again

Gene Weingarten posted the information about the Post censoring Candorville again on his chat - again the Post didn't tell us that they were keeping us safe from thinking on the comics page.

Weingarten wrote, Once again, The Post dropped a few Candorvilles because they (see them online here) dealt with security for Barack Obama. I am beginning to think this is a mistake by The Post. Darrin Bell has a point he wants to make: This one is based on stories in the Dallas paper that security was not as tight as it should have been for an Obama visit, given the unusual threats he faces.

They appear to have dropped the whole week of March 3rd strips.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

March 15: Jodi Picoult signs

March 15th, 7:30 P.M. Jodi Picoult reads from and signs her new novel, Change of Heart, at Borders Books-Baileys Crossroads, 703-998-0404.

I'm sure she'd sign the collected Wonder Woman arc that came out recently too.

Thanks to Randy T for the tip.

That Thurber anecdote redux

Richard's got a longer and better version on his blog now.

"All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why." – James Thurber, writer and cartoonist.

ICAF moves to Chicago; Rhode refuses to attend

This will be the first one that I've missed. Bah.

October 9-11, 2008

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (

The International Comic Arts Forum invites scholarly paper presentations for its thirteenth annual meeting, to be held at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, from Thursday, October 9, through Saturday, October 11, 2008. The deadline to submit proposals is May 1, 2008 (see below for proposal guidelines and submission information). Proposals will be refereed via blind review.

We welcome original proposals from a variety of disciplines and theoretical perspectives on any aspect of comics or cartooning, including comic strips, comic books, albums, graphic novels, manga, webcomics, political cartoons, gag cartoons, and caricature. Studies of aesthetics, production, distribution, reception, and social, ideological, and historical significance are all equally welcome, as are studies that address larger theoretical issues linked to comics or cartooning, such as image/text relationships. In keeping with its mission, ICAF is particularly interested in studies that reflect an international perspective.

ICAF is proud to be hosted this year by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a leader in art education and a vital part of Chicago's arts community. In order to create a conference program that reaches out to that community and reflects Chicago's rich heritage of comic art, we particularly invite proposals which touch on cartoonists and publications from the city and surrounding region. Chicago is a major hub of American cartooning, the wellspring of a tremendous variety of work: from the political cartoons of John T. McCutcheon and Bill Mauldin, to the pioneering comic strips of the Chicago Tribune, to the seminal underground cartooning in the Chicago Mirror, Chicago Seed, and Bijou Funnies, to the "independent" comics boom of the 1980s, to contemporary alternative comics by Chris Ware and a host of others. In hopes of building a conference that responds to this important heritage, ICAF invites proposals with special interest in comics and cartoons from Chicago and the American Midwest.

PROPOSAL GUIDELINES: For its refereed presentations, ICAF prefers argumentative, thesis-driven papers that are clearly linked to larger critical, artistic, or cultural issues; we strive to avoid presentations that are merely summative or survey-like in character. We can accept only original papers that have not been presented or accepted for publication elsewhere. Presenters should assume an audience versed in comics and the fundamentals of comics studies. Where possible, papers should be illustrated by relevant images. In all cases, presentations should be timed to finish within the strict limit of twenty (20) minutes (that is, roughly eight to nine typed, double-spaced pages). Proposals should not exceed 300 words.

AUDIOVISUAL EQUIPMENT: ICAF's preferred format for the display of images is MS PowerPoint. Regretfully we cannot accommodate non-digital media such as transparencies, slides, or VHS tapes. Presenters should bring their PowerPoint or other electronic files on a USB key or CD, not just on the hard drive of a portable computer. We cannot guarantee the compatibility of our equipment with presenters' individual laptops.

REVIEW PROCESS: All proposals will be subject to blind review by the ICAF Executive Committee, with preference given to proposals that observe the above standards. The final number of papers accepted will depend on the needs of the conference program. Due to increasing interest in the conference, in recent years ICAF has typically been able to accept only one third to one half of the proposals it has received.

SEND ABSTRACTS (with COMPLETE contact information) by May 1, 2008, to Prof. C├ęcile Danehy, ICAF Academic Coordinator, via email at .

Receipt of proposals will be acknowledged immediately; if you do not receive acknowledgment within three days of sending your proposal, please resubmit. Applicants should expect to receive confirmation of acceptance or rejection by May 16, 2008.

Monday, March 10, 2008

C.D. Batchelor's anti-VD campaign

C.D. Batchelor was a Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist whose career lasted for almost 50 years in New York. One can see similarities in the 1937 Pulitzer winning cartoon and the anti-venereal disease cartoons reproduced below from the collections of the National Museum of Health and Medicine.

"Warning: these enemies are still lurking around. Syphilis.
Gonorrhea." Cartoon by C..D. Batchelor of the New York Daily News for the American Social Hygiene Association, 1790 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Reeve79101-67)

"Two girls I know want to meet you in the worst way." C.D. Batchelor, American Social Hygiene Association. (Reeve79101-62)

"The glory of manhood is strength. Keep clean for the heritage of the cleanly is strength." Cartoon by C..D. Batchelor of the New York Daily News for the American Social Hygiene Association, 1790 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Reeve79101-52)

"Boys your sweetheart, your wife or your parents may never know it if you contract a venereal disease - but I'll know it and I'll suffer from it." Cartoon by C.D. Batchelor of the New York Daily News for the American Social Hygiene Association, 1790 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Reeve79101-11)

"Enemy agent. U.S. War Effort. Venereal Disease." Cartoon by C.D. Batchelor of the New York Daily News for the American Social Hygiene Association, 1790 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Reeve79101-16)

"'My boy was wounded in the African landing.' 'Mine was wounded in this country by a street walker.'" Cartoon by C..D. Batchelor of the New York Daily News for the American Social Hygiene Association, 1790 Broadway, New York, N.Y. (Reeve79101-31)

Note the difference in quality between Batchelor's original above, and the Army's copy below:

"My boy was wounded in the African landing. Mine was wounded in this country by a street walker." World War 2. "Cartoon by C.C. Batchelor of the New York Daily News for the American Social Hygene Asociation, 1790 Broadway, New York, N.Y. Reproduced by Div. S.S.C. for distribution by Surgeon 3rd Armored Div." (Reeve74964-6.jpg)

Collections of his papers are in Witchita State University's Library in THE CARTOON COLLECTION OF C. D. BATCHELOR, MS 90-16 and C. D. Batchelor Papers - An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University.

JICC show of of paintings by manga artist Shigeru Mizuki.

The Japanese Information and Culture Center downtown has a show of paintings by manga artist Shigeru Mizuki. See "Iconic Edo Landscapes? Not Quite," By Lavanya Ramanathan, Washington Post Saturday, March 8, 2008; C12.

April 24: Poe in Comics exhibit opening (revised date)

The Incredible Mr. Poe: Edgar Allan Poe in the Comics
An Exhibition

In 1941, Russian immigrant Albert Lewis Kanter tried to introduce young people in the United States to fine literature by incorporating the classics into something they were already reading—comic books. In 1944, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” appeared in Kanter’s Classic Comics series, and ever since adaptations of both Poe and his works have been regular features in comic books and graphic novels, many of which will be on display April 24 to October 31 at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond ( Poe has even appeared as a comics hero himself alongside Batman and Scooby Doo.

M. Thomas Inge, Blackwell Professor of Humanities at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, and Poe Foundation trustee, has studied comic art for over forty years and published several books on the subject. His collection of comic books from childhood will form the core of the upcoming exhibition which is curated by Richmond artist Chris Semtner.

Also featured will be original artwork by such comic artists and illustrators as Rick Geary, Richard Corben, Gahan Wilson, Gris Grimly, Bill Griffith, and Patrick McDonnell, as well as proof sheets and original pages for some of the Classics Illustrated and other comic book versions loaned by collector Jim Vacca of Boulder, Colorado. An illustrated book and catalog will be available for purchase from the Museum Gift Shop with proceeds going to the Museum.

This will be the first exhibition ever devoted to the comic books and graphic narratives that have helped keep Poe’s name and works in the public eye for over sixty years. An opening reception will be held Thursday evening April 24, 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., with an Unhappy Hour, food, and music, free and open to the public. The Edgar Allan Poe Museum is located at 1914 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23223, phone 804 648-5523. For more information contact Rebecca Jones at or call toll free 888 21EAPOE.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Greg LaRoque article in Sun

Greg LaRoque, who lives outside Baltimore is featured in "LaRoque: Quick on the draw; Illustrator to put his touch on Velocity miniseries," By Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun Movie Critic, March 9, 2008.

I always enjoyed his work and got to tell him so and buy some original art at last year's Baltimore Comic-Con.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

James Thurber anecdote courtesy of Richard Thompson

Richard reports, "So at my neighbor's daughter's Bat Mitzvah I was chatting with one of his co-workers, a guy who'd grown up around here. He told me that James Thurber had his childhood bow and arrow eyeball accident at a farm that used to be off Rte 7 in Falls Church, and there's even a James Thurber Court there now that marks where the farm stood. I thought it all happened in Columbus OH."

Me too! Who knew a famous cartoonist almost blinded here?

Adrian Tomine "Shortcomings" signing pictures

Here's some photographs from Adrian Tomine's signing of Shortcomings at Politics and Prose. He spoke for about 45 minutes and you can buy a cd recording from the bookstore.

100_4718 Adrian Tomine
This slide shows a page of original art that he sketched and then changed when inking it. Previous to "Shortcomings" he wrote a full script before drawing anything.

100_4718 Adrian Tomine
This and the next slide show real buildings he drew.

100_4720 Adrian Tomine

100_4721 Adrian Tomine

Tomine's been asked if this is autobiographical, partly due to the resemblance you can see between him and his main character Ben Tanaka, "who's a prick".

100_4722 Adrian Tomine

There have been a lot of Tomine interviews done lately (list available on request) and you can see a link to Scott Rosenberg's on this blog. Tomine specifically singled out an NPR one as asking him a question he hates - why he hasn't done more "Asian-American experience" comics. That would probably be this interview -

Gross, Terry. 2008.
Adrian Tomine, Drawing Delicately from Life.
National Public Radio and WHYY's Fresh Air (January 31).
online at

Movie-theater owner Ben Tanaka is having relationship issues; his girlfriend, Miko, suspects he's secretly attracted to white women. (She's right, but he won't admit it.)

In Shortcomings, Asian-American graphic novelist Adrian Tomine (Scrapbook, Summer Blonde) has finally done what many fans and critics have suggested he should: addressed race in his work.

Tomine is celebrated for the grace and sophistication of his work; novelist Jonathan Lethem says that "his mastery of literary time suggests Alice Munro," and Junot Diaz says Tomine's "dramatic instincts are second-to-none."

- and of course, one of the four or five questions he got at P&P was this question too.

Other countries have cartoon stamps too

Here's the stamps from a package a French friend sent with Tintin and other cartoon stamps. Unfortunately, when I mailed a package in return to him, the clerk didn't hear when I asked for $36 worth of stamps and instead gave me a printed postage label.

Material like this will appear on my new Cartoonphilately blog.

Richard Thompson finger puppet

Today's puppet in the Post was McCain. I'm sure Richard will put it on his blog later this week. If you make it, hold it under some running water and see if it seems tortured.

Sports cartoonist Willard Mullin original art viewing

100_4726 Warren's Willard Mullins collection

Today, I saw more of Willard Mullin's art than I ever will again. Politico editorial cartoonist Matt Wuerker, Washington Examiner editorial cartoonist Nate Beeler and myself admired Warren's collection of sports cartoonist Willard Mullin's work, including pages of original art. Here's some pictures.

100_4723 Warren's Willard Mullins collection
Warren, Matt and Nate look at published advertising works.

100_4724 Warren's Willard Mullins collection

100_4725 Warren's Willard Mullins collection

100_4727 Warren's Willard Mullins collection

100_4728 Warren's Willard Mullins collection

100_4729 Warren's Willard Mullins collection

100_4731 Warren's Willard Mullins collection
Washington Examiner editorial cartoonist Nate Beeler admiring sports cartoonist Willard Mullin's original art. That's a Washington Senators baseball caricature that Nate's peering at.