Friday, May 30, 2008

Illustrators Club exhibit reviewed in Post

See "Who Needs Words? The Pictures Say It All," By Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, May 30, 2008; WE31.

The exhibit info is:

On the Wall: 14th Juried Exhibition of the Illustrators Club of Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia Through June 27 at Edison Place Gallery, 702 Eighth St. NW (Metro: Gallery Place-Chinatown) Info:202-872-3396. Hours: Open Tuesday-Friday noon to 4. Admission: Free.

NY Times (and New Yorker) on Iranian cartoonist

I must confess that I was completely unfamiliar with Mohassess's work, but there's an exhibit of it in New York city. See Life in Iran, Etched With Suspicion and Humor By KAREN ROSENBERG, New York Times May 30, 2008. In Ardeshir Mohassess’s drawings, the coded beauty of traditional Persian art comes face to face with the ugliness of successive autocratic regimes.

and "Satire, Iranian," by Ben McGrath, New Yorker June 2, 2008

Baltimore area county intros comics to elementary classes

Actually, Hartford County's school system comes off rather sadly as the report implies that the students can only read at a comic book level (whatever that might mean), "School has been so traditional for so long. This is providing an outlet for a different kind of learner," said teacher Alana Cassedy. Read it yourself at "Comics Add Excitement To Classroom Reading," Gigi Barnett, WJZ May 30 2008.

Richmond's AdHouse Books publisher Chris Pitzer

See Indie Spinner Rack Issue #125 from Monday, May 26, 2008 for Part One of our look at the state of comics distribution! Retailer Andrew Neal, owner of Chapel Hill Comics and publisher Chris Pitzer of AdHouse Books join us to discuss Diamond Comic Distributors - how the system works, what works well, what doesn't, and how can it be improved?

OT: Warren Ellis' FREAKANGELS comes out each Friday

I've been enjoying Warren Ellis' webcomic FREAKANGELS, so when he asked bloggers today to mention it ... well, I just did.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

June 21: Pixar book author at Politics and Prose

Bruce Guthrie sent in this tip. At the moment I'm planning on going.

Saturday, June 21, 6 p.m.

DAVID A. PRICE, author of THE PIXAR TOUCH (Knopf, $27.95)

Before the success of Toy Story, Pixar Animation Studios was a struggling computer company. What happened to turn computer animation from an unprofitable fringe industry into the entertainment dynamo it is now? Price has interviewed dozens of company insiders, from executives to animators.

May 31 update - Here's a review of the book by a noted animation historian: "How Pixar got to be the best in the business," Charles Solomon, page M - 4 of the San Francisco Chronicle, Friday, May 30, 2008.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

OT: June 22: Superhero fashion conference at the Met

Pete Coogan, who's been studying comics for years, wrote that he's participating in this event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City:

Sunday at the Met-Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy
This special one-day lecture and panel event, held in conjunction with the exhibition Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, brings together leading international scholars, critics, and designers to discuss the world of costumes and comics. Themes include the appropriation of the uniform, the adaptation of superhero costumes for the screen, the creation of modern mythologies, and the role of the superhero as metaphor in contemporary society.

Reservations and tickets not required. For more information, contact or call 212-396-5460.
Free with Museum admission
10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Pete can be contacted at if anyone would like to discuss the event with him.

May 29: Meet Author D.J. MacHale

This is at a good bookstore in Arlington, and here's more about MacHale and his graphic novel which is illustrated by local cartoonist Carla Speed McNeil.

Meet Author D.J. MacHale
Thursday, May 29, 2008
at 4:00 p.m.

D.J. MacHale, author of the popular Pendragon fantasy series, will introduce and give a talk about the newest, and final, volume of the series, Pendragon Book Nine: Raven Rise. In Raven Rise, Bobby Pendragon is missing, and Mark Diamond and Courtney Chetwynde must hold off their enemy long enough to reach Bobby, and bring him back for the final, epic battle readers have been anticipating for so long. MacHale also will introduce his first graphic novel, Pendragon Graphic Novel Book One: Merchant of Death. MacHale is a writer, director and producer of several popular television series and movies that include Flight 29 Down; Are You Afraid of the Dark?; Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective; Tower of Terror; and Ghostwriter. A book signing will follow. Please call to register. Ages 10 and up.

Alina Gawlik
Aladdin's Lamp Children's Books and Other Treasures
2499 N. Harrison St.
Arlington, VA 22207
Tel 703-241-8281
Fax 703-241-8283

STORE HOURS: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday 10 am to 6 pm, Tuesday & Thursday 10 am to 8 pm, Sunday 11 am to 5 pm

PSA for Harvey Pekar

Have you contacted Harvey Pekar recently about an exhibit in New York of his work? If so, he's lost your contact information and would like you to call him again. Feel free to repost this so it gets wider circulation, please. This has been a Pekar Service Announcement.

Besides that, he read me a couple of the short strips he's writing now. I had a total fanboy moment - Harvey Pekar's reading me his scripts and asking what I thought. For the record, I honestly liked them. Buy his new comic book from DC - it's excellent.

John Held Jr. postcard

I ran across this postcard left where it was piled waiting to be filed. So just for fun, here's John Held Jr's late style on an advertising card.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cartoonists Rights Network PR on Dutch cartoon issues

Live from Northern Virginia...

May 27, 2008 11:19 ET
Cartoonists Rights Network, International: CartoonBombing of the Dutch Ministry of Justice
Hundreds die of laughter!

Freedom of expression buried in the ridiculous.

BURKE, VIRGINIA--(Marketwire - May 27, 2008) - Following the arrest in Holland of a free lance cartoonist last week, the head of the Federation of Cartoonists Organizations (FECO), the largest cartooning organization in the world, called on cartoonists all over the world to send their cartoons, all their cartoons new and old, to the Dutch Ministry of Justice. Since the arrest it has come out that the Dutch Secret Service apparently have a division dedicated to checking all the cartoons being published in the country for their political correctness. Responding to heated complaints from some extremist Muslims, the Dutch police last week arrested cartoonist Gregorious Neskschot ("shot in the back of the neck") for cartoons considered "offensive to Muslims and other people of dark skin".

With his arrest, the Minister of Justice revealed the existence of a heretofore secret working group that has been screening cartoons in Holland since 2006. At the same time, the Minister revealed the cartoonist's identity (Nekschot is a pen name) exposing him to the real possibility of assassination, a long standing threat against cartoonists made by various militant groups. Dutch film maker, Theo Van Gogh, was stabbed to death in November 2004 for a film that offended some Muslims. Three men were arrested in Denmark earlier this year when a plot to assassinate one of the 12 Danish cartoonists was uncovered by Danish police.

The campaign to drown the so-called Cartoon Police of the Ministry of Justice with hundreds and thousands of cartoons from all over the world is the brain child of Dutch cartoonist Peter Nieuwendijk, founder and present Secretary General of FECO. The viscous cartoon attack on the Ministry is now supported by the Dutch Cartoons Association, the Dutch Foundation Pers and Prent (Press & Print), FECO International and Cartoonists Rights Network, International.

In a letter to the Minister, dated May 21, 2008, Nieuwendijk factiously asks the Minster to appoint a few of the working group members to sit on an international cartoon competition jury for the Dutch Cartoon Festival of 2009, "in order to alleviate any fear of reprisals and/or uninvited police raids!"

Cartoonists Rights Network International asked all of its affiliate organizations around the world to join the fray, encouraging cartoonists to send their cartoons to the Dutch Ministry of Justice for their considered approval.

To read the email to the Dutch Minister of Justice and the email addresses to send the cartoons, please visit:

For more information, please contact
Cartoonists Rights Network, International
Dr. Robert Russell
Executive Director
(703) 543-8727
Email: or

OT: the late Ted Key

Ted Key died a few weeks ago, and his obituary ran in the NY Times. Coincidentally I was looking at material to send to MSU's Comic Art Collection and found his work in the February 1963 Jack & Jill.

Note the runner-up kids got an autographed copy of a drawing by Key - I'd rather have had that than what the 'winners' got.

OT: In Burbank, Gris Grimly will be having a book signing party

The following came over the e-transom today. I'm posting it because 1.) in my friend Tom Inge's book on Poe, Tom thanks Mr. Grimly for loaning artwork and 2.) Grimly's book with Neil Gaiman is coming out on Thursday and was one of John Judy's recommendations from his Quick Reviews this week.

Illustrator and storyteller Gris Grimly will be having a book signing party for “Where Madness Reigns”, at Halloween Town in Burbank, CA on June 7 from 7pm – 9pm.

“Where Madness Reigns”, the first book to showcase the art of Gris Grimly, we be released as a limited edition hardcover. There will also be limited edition silk screened posters, exclusive event t-shirts and one-of-a-kind items in addition to a gallery display of prints and original art for sale, some of which has never been on display or available to the public before. Props from Gris Grimly’s film “CANNIBAL FLESH RIOT!” will be on display as well as some three dimensional sculptures.

Who: Gris Grimly

What: Book Signing Party for “Where Madness Reigns”

Where: Halloween Town, 2921 W. Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA

When: June 7 from 7-9pm


GRIS GRIMLY can be best described as a storyteller. His distinctive style and wide selection of mediums have captivated a variety of loyal fans and fine art collectors. Originally recognized for his dark yet humorous illustrations for young readers, Mr. Grimly’s interpretive visions have now captured the attention and recognition for his full resume of work. Check out to see examples of his work.

Monday, May 26, 2008


By John Judy

(Did I mention everything’s shipping a day late because of Memorial Day?)

ACTION COMICS #865 by Geoff Johns and Jesus Merino. Featuring the return of the original Toyman. Not a hoax, not a dream!

ALL-STAR SUPERMAN #11 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Superman is dead, but I’ll bet there’s more to it than that. This series is Pure Fun. Recommended!

ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN #6 by Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard. Have you ever lost control of your powers, accidentally killed a beloved superhero and then that beloved superhero’s team-mates find out? Does Hallmark even make a card for something like that? Recommended.

BATMAN #677 by Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel. “Batman R.I.P. the storyline that will change the Dark Knight forever” continues. And by “forever” we mean “not forever.” It’s Grant Morrison so you have to look.

DAN DARE #6 of 7 by Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine. It’s Dan and the Royal Space Navy versus that dirty Mekon and his black hole! Get your mind out of the gutter and place yer bets! Recommended.

THE DANGEROUS ALPHABET HC by Neil Gaiman and Gris Grimly. A dark romp through the alphabet with pirates, sewer-monsters, and organs in jars! Highly recommended for fans of Charles Addams, Edward Gorey and the like. Great for kids who need literacy and a good scare!

DAREDEVIL #107 by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark. A new four-parter begins as DD must make his peace with his failure to save his wife from madness. Highly recommended.

ESSENTIAL RAMPAGING HULK VOL. 1 SC by Lotsa Seventies Marvel Bullpenners. Okay, all you really need to know is that the Hulk had a black & white magazine back in the day and this book collects those issues. Sadly this volume does not include issue #23, the infamous “Bruce Banner almost gets raped in a YMCA group shower” issue. It does include RAMPAGING HULK #1-9, THE HULK #10-15, and for some reason INCREDIBLE HULK #269. We’re gonna see a lot of this stuff for the next few months so brace yourselves.

FINAL CRISIS #1 of 7 by Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones. Not a lot of detail on this other than it’s by Grant and the guy who did all the great covers on “52.” Oh, and it involves a lot of redesigns on Kirby’s Fourth World characters. Worth a look anyway.

GIANT-SIZE ASTONISHING X-MEN #1 by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday. The grand finale of the Whedon/Cassaday run in which some will live, one “won’t walk away”, and the denizens of Breakworld finally start spinning on their heads and moonwalking! Recommended!

GREEN LANTERN #31 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis. Yet another re-telling of Hal Jordan’s early training by Sinestro, but this one’s by Geoff and Ivan so it should be good.

IMMORTAL IRON FIST #15 by Matt Fraction and Khari Evans. Another done-in-one Tale of Iron Fists Gone-By. I kinda like these. Recommended.

JACK KIRBY’S OMAC: ONE-MAN ARMY CORPS HC by Da King! Collecting the entire eight-issue series for the Kirby Kompletist on your list! With a forward by Mark Evanier, author of “Kirby: King of Comics.”

JUDENHASS GN by Dave Sim. The creator of “Cerebus” takes on the holocaust and its cultural and historical roots. There’s a preview on-line at and it looks extraordinary. Highly Recommended, but probably too intense for younger readers. Far and away the pick of the week.

KING-SIZE HULK #1 by Jeph Loeb, Art Adams, Frank Cho and Others! Not “Economy-Size!” Not “Family-Size!” And especially not “Super-Size!” It’s “King-Size Hulk #1” and three new tales and a bunch of reprints all to help the current Red Hulk storyline make sense! Gotta look!

MARVEL 1985 #1 of 6 by Mark Millar and Tommy Lee Edwards. It’s complicated but evidently a bunch of super-villians have invaded our world and now it’s up to a 13 year-old boy to get the heroes to saddle up after ‘em! But it’s 1985 so they’re all too busy listening to Falco and getting their MBAs! Zoinks!

NEARLY COMPLETE ESSENTIAL HEMBECK ARCHIVES OMNIBUS SC by Fred Hembeck. Thirty years of work, 900 pages, and a forward by Stan “Da Man” Lee make this a Must-Have for fans of Comicdom’s most prolific cartoon humorist.

NEW AVENGERS #41 by Brian Michael Bendis and Billy Tan. The New Avengers are doomed unless Ka-Zar can save them from 1980s Skrull versions of themselves! It’s come to this….

NORTHLANDERS #6 by Brian Wood and David Gianfelice. Prince Sven builds alliances against his Uncle. Unfortunately it involves Saxons. Recommended.

SHE-HULK #29 by Peter David and Val Semeiks. In which we learn why She-Hulk was disbarred! She authored the White House torture memo! Kidding. It was nothing that bad. If it was she’d be teaching law at Berkley…

STARMAN OMNIBUS VOL.1 HC by James Robinson, Tony Harris and Others. A hardcover edition of issues #0-16 of the series that started the Great Revival of the Golden-Age DC heroes. Highly recommended.

THOR #9 by J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel. More of Straczynski’s stories of Asgardian Gods adjusting to their new lives in Midgard. This one gets better each month. Highly recommended.

TRUE STORY SWEAR TO GOD ARCHIVES VOL. 1 SC by Tom Beland. The collected autobiographical adventures of a free-lance cartoonist living in Puerto Rico.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #122 by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen. Quite a good little story about Ultimate Shocker. I’m not kidding.

UNCANNY X-MEN #498 by Ed Brubaker and Mike Choi. In which we discover the source of the psychedelic disturbance in San-Fran and a bunch of Russkies learn it’s never a good idea to mess with the X-Men. Fun stuff.

WOLVERINE FIRST CLASS #3 by Fred Van Lente and Salva Espin. Some early “untold” adventures of Kitty Pryde and Wolverine. Featuring funny animals that talk.

X-MEN LEGACY #212 by Mike Carey and Scot Eaton. The untold origin of Professor X, guest-starring Gambit. Someday X-continuity will be figured out by someone. That person should be President of the World. Forever.

All this and PREVIEWS from Marvel and Diamond Comics to boot!

3 comics articles in Monday's New York Times

One is probably bad news:

"Warner Tries a New Tactic to Revive Its DVD Sales," By BROOKS BARNES, New York Times May 26, 2008

LOS ANGELES — Retail’s love affair with the DVD is on the rocks and Warner Brothers Entertainment would like to patch things up.

Faced with a decline in DVD sales, Warner Brothers, part of Time Warner, is planning an unusual effort around its upcoming adaptation of the popular graphic novel “Watchmen.” Directed by Zack Snyder and set for a March 2009 release, the big-budget movie tells the story of a group of retired superheroes who are tied to a conspiracy that could change history.

The twist is that Mr. Snyder, known for turning the Spartan comic book series “300” into a global hit movie, is also directing a separate-but-related picture that Warner plans to distribute exclusively on DVD.

The second film, tentatively called “Tales of the Black Freighter,” follows a side “Watchmen” storyline about a shipwreck and will arrive in stores five days after the main movie rolls out in theaters. The DVD will also include a documentary-style film called “Under the Hood” that will delve into the characters’ backstories.

The second, also in the business section, is on a webcomic that I hadn't heard of, and won't be reading:

This Is Funny Only if You Know Unix
Published: May 26, 2008 is serving up an online comic strip with jokes for a very specific audience: techies.

and the third is on Jamie Hewlett's post-comic book career in animation and is interesting:

Opera Meets Animation to Tell a Chinese Tale
Published: May 26, 2008
“Monkey: Journey to the West” is a newfangled sort of opera that is making its American debut at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A.

The Post covered this as well, although in less detail - "It's the Year of the 'Monkey' at Spoleto USA: Reinvigorated Festival Casts a Spotlight on Circus-Opera Hybrid," By Anne Midgette, Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, May 26, 2008; C01.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday NY Times on comic art

Actually both of these are animation -

"Resistance Is Futile" By SETH SCHIESEL, New York Times May 25, 2008, is on Nintendo videogames and begins "It's O.K. to liken Shigeru Miyamoto to Walt Disney."

and those of us raised Christian and of a certain age will relate to this obituary: Dick Sutcliffe, 90, Dies; Began "Davey and Goliath", By BRUCE WEBER, New York Times May 25, 2008. They used to show these shorts at Sunday School once in a while around 1973 or so... I don't remember how as that was before VCRs, but I don't recall a film projector being hauled in either.

Comics on sale at Shakespeare Free For All

Liz, our gal on the ground, was volunteering at the Shakespeare Free For All and reported that two comic book versions of Hamlet were available last night. Coincidentally, the manga version was reviewed yesterday in Scotland in "Comic superhero muscles in on Macbeth," By Marc Horne, Scotsman 25 May 2008.

Still to come (someday) are my reviews of the Shakespeare comic books that have been appearing this year. Liz also picked up both of last night's books for me so they'll be in the mix as well.

Hopes and dreams dashed in New Orleans

Our Man Thompson lost the National Cartoonist Society award to Jim Meddick and Monty. A cabal of DC-area lawyers are already planning on taking this to the Supreme Court for a ruling on a recount of hanging chads, I hear.

In the meantime, we congratulate Meddick - his strip runs in the Washington Times. Al Jaffee took home the deserved Reuben award, and Wiley's strip today makes sense. All the winners were posted by Alan Gardner on his Daily Cartoonist site.

And here's the Non Sequiter fold-in linked to above, folded and rotated 180 degrees, for those who couldn't quite picture it:

Friday, May 23, 2008


Nobody asked me to run this one, but it also sounds like a worthy cause.


Frazetta books and amazing Tom Beland sketchbook included!

LOS ANGELES (May 23, 2008)-Artist Josh Medors is fighting a rare form of cancer in his back, and The Hero Initiative, the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need, is aiding in that fight.

Hero is currently running three eBay auctions with net proceeds benefiting Josh, the artist of Frank Frazetta's Swamp Demon. Included are:

. A copy of EC Comics' legendary Weird Science-Fantasy #29, AUTOGRAPHED by Frank Frazetta and graded 5.5 in CGC's Signature Series.

. A copy of Ghost Rider (Magazine Enterprises, 1951) #4 AUTOGRAPHED by Frank Frazetta and graded 5.0 in CGC's Signature Series.

. An incredible sketchbook from Tom Beland, writer/artist of True Story, Swear to God. This book contains over 60 pages of Tom's roughs from True Story, and represents months of work from him. It's a rare look inside the heart, mind, and process of an artist!

These auctions can be found at:

And further auctions benefiting Josh can be found by searching "Josh Medors benefit auction."

In addition to these auctions, The Hero Initiative will be taking additional measures to help Josh in his convalescence.

"Having an organization like the Hero initiative is a blessing," said Josh Medors. "Even when things are going great, trying to make it as a freelance comic illustrator can be tough. The support the comics community has shown has been amazing. Now having the Hero initiative involved has made it possible for me to focus on what is important, getting better. They are a wonderful, caring organization, and their help has given me a hope and made it possible for me to focus on something I love very much-creating comics."

"Anyone who's read my stuff knows how cancer has affected myself and my family," said Tom Beland. "Fighting the disease is one nightmare, figuring out how to pay the bills is another nightmare in itself. I've never met Josh. But when I heard his story, I immediately thought of my parents and how tough it was on them financially. This is what we do in this business. We group together to help one another. Owning this sketchbook is like owning one of my personal diaries. If you're a fan of comics, or a fan of my work, then do me a favor. Get off your ass and bid like a crazy person. Step up and make me proud of you."

The Hero Initiative is the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays' creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It's a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment. For more information, call 310-909-7809 or visit


Janine Bielski

Hero Initiative


More Gene Colan fundraising info

Rufus Dayglo writes in again:

Cliff Meth's started auctioning stuff to help Gene Colan, our friend and fellow Artist!

Check out his blog for amazing signed stuff and original art!


Also on Ebay, more items will be added soon! Bid and help Gene! User name on EBAY is genecolanbenefitauction


I'm donating Tank Girl and Metal Gear Solid Art and signed books, if any artists or writers are reading this please contact Cliff Meth through his blog and donate.

Also, if you can make a cash donation contact Cliff Meth through his blog..

Time for us to give back, and help one of the greats of the Comic Book Industry!

Thanks everyone, every little bit helps!

Rufus Dayglo (Team Tank Girl)

Thompson chat on Post

Richard 'Cul de Sac' Thompson and Scott 'Argyle Sweater' Hilburn successfully navigated the Washington Post chat software today at 1 pm with Suzanne Tobin, even though Hilburn said he didn't make it to the NCS con in New Orleans. To read what they said, see "Meet the Comics Pages: Scott Hilburn and Richard Thompson, Cartoonists, "Argyle Sweater" and "Cul de Sac", Friday, May 23, 2008.

Herblock exhibit sort of covered by Wash Times

Actually, although the exhibit is about three miles from their main building, they ran an AP article yesterday. See "Herblock lampoons the presidents again" By Brett Zongker - ASSOCIATED PRESS, Washington Times May 22, 2008.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

OT: Ed Stein and Denver Square

Ed Stein pulled the plug on his strip Denver Square this week. The strip was a hyper-local one, set in Denver and by a Denver area cartoonist. Mark Wolf interviewed Stein this week. The reason I link to this is that Stein's first collection of the strip was an early book review I did for IJOCA -- so early that I can't even find it on my computer. But if you see a Denver Square collection, pick it up - you'll enjoy it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May 23: Our Man Thompson on Post chat

So, Richard leaves town on a 26-hour (hahahahahaha!) train ride... just to be interviewed by the Washington Post! Man, he apparently just lives Richard's Poor Almanack. The damn thing must write itself...

Scott Hilburn who does Argyle Sweater will also be fighting for keyboard space.

Friday, May 23 at 1 p.m. ET
Meet the Comics Pages
Scott Hilburn and Richard Thompson
Cartoonists, "Argyle Sweater" and "Cul de Sac"
Friday, May 23, 2008; 1:00 PM

Join Washington Post Comics page editor Suzanne Tobin on Friday, May 23 at 1 p.m. ET at the National Cartoonists Society convention in New Orleans for a discussion with Scott Hilburn, creator of "The Argyle Sweater," and Richard Thompson, creator of creator of "Cul de Sac."

I guess the Ms. Tobin wanted to justify that travel budget, and rather than take a $10 cab ride to Arlington got this through the Post's accountants. I think I need to meet her - take notes, that sort of thing...

Our Man Thompson in New Orleans for NCS award showdown

Richard's up for a best strip award - see his blog for details - and says he will also be chatting on the Post's website on Friday.

Toles goes MAD

Tom Toles' editorial cartoon today is based on the fold-in by famed MAD cartoonist Al Jaffee. Here's a good article on Jaffee from the NY Times, and some online fold-ins.

Jaffee is nominated for the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben award this weekend (and Richard Thompson's up for best strip) and I believe he will win it. I don't know if Toles was making a prediction, or just was reminded of Jaffee's work, but according to Dave Astor, Wiley's made a bet who'll win by doing an early Sunday strip - check the Post on Sunday and see if either of us was right.

And for those reading it online, with less fold-in experience than us long-time Mad readers, here's what it looks like folded:

June 11-12: Bleach anime showing

At area theaters...

May 21: Death Note anime showing

Tonight at 7:30!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Weingarten corrupted three comic strips for Post Hunt

Gene Weingarten's May 20th chat had some comments about a 'comics' clue to the Post Hunt.

Arlington: G-Dub. How in THE hell can anyone claim that the "Comics" clue was hard? The comedians made it obvious what the topic was, Liz and Ginger walking around with the comics pages made it obvious where to look (not to mention that everyone was reading the Comics section) and the numbers weren't terribly hard to find. What was hard about it?

(Every other clue was @#$! impossible, btw.) And yet there were people who -- when offered a Comics section -- declined, saying "I have one at home."

Gene Weingarten: Heh heh.

As Tom said yesterday, the monitors at the fortune cookie site watched several times as small children were tugging at parents' clothing saying, "It tastes like coconut!" and the parents said, "Ssh. We're trying to solve the puzzle."

and later...

Consiracy Theories: It's bad enough that clueless Post readers may be misled by the clues planted in the magazine and comics, but what about the rest of the country? Is there an army of folks coming up with diabolical explanations for the numbers appearing in the three comics? Or do they get an explanation somewhere somehow (without stumbling on the Post)?

Gene Weingarten: Yeah, I owe a great thank you to Stephan Pastis, Jef Mallett, and Berkeley Breathed. They were great sports about it. I'm sure they're getting dozens of letters from elsewhere in the country asking, yknow, what that "nine" was about.


Opus Hunt: Gene,

A friend was telling me about Hunt (she went, I couldn't) and when I looked at the Opus strip, the first thing I thought of when she pointed it out was Al Hirschfeld. Did Breathed do that on purpose? And were the other numbers in the strip used as decoys?

Gene Weingarten: Yep, it was an homage to Hirschfeld, I believe. "Nine" was done exactly the way Hirschfeld did "Nina."

The other numbers were coincidence! He wasn't trying to be deceptive.

...with some debate over that...

Washington, D.C.: Did you notice that both Breathed and Mallet hid other numerals in their strips? The s in the title "OPUS" was a 5. In Frazz, the word "school" had both a 5 instead of an s, and an 8 instead of the two o's. The second occurrence of that word didn't have the 5, but it did have the 8. So we weren't sure which hidden numbers to use, until we finally noticed the "nine" on the doctor's coat, and decided to use the spelled-out numbers "six," "eight," and "nine," and ignore the hidden numerals 5, 8, 8 and 5.

Gene Weingarten: I disagree about the S being a 5.

But we noticed the "oo" looking like an eight. We noticed this at the very last minute. It turns out that is simply how Patty Mallett (who inks Jef's art) makes a double o! If the hidden number had been anything but eight, we'd a been scrood!

This is all nonsensical, until you go to the Post website. This video explains that Weingarten's friends Stephan (Pearls Before Swine), Berkeley (Opus) Breathed and Jeff (Frazz) Mallett snuck in clues for the Post Hunt.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Who donated Spider-Man to the Library of Congress?

It's a new parlor game! One blogger guesses Stan Lee although he was going by memory rather than rereading my original post. I don't think he's right as the art probably sat around for years after it was first published, and as one of his commenters also noted, Sara Duke says it was given to the donor as a gift that he's now passing on. Blake Bell for example has demonstrated that the artwork was reshot again years later for reprints in Marvel Tales, for instance. Also it wouldn't have to be one of the original bullpen members as it wouldn't have been considered that important until the Marvel offices had grown a lot.

Wow, Sara Duke is the new version of Woodward and Bernstein. Who is DEEP POCKETS?

Cul de Sac marches into Maryville

Our Man Thompson's picked up a paper with a space vacated by Preteena's cessation - "Cul De Sac comic debuts today," Maryville TN Daily Times May 19 2008. Today Maryville... tomorrow Knoxville!

Gene Colan charity benefit book

I was sent the following email today from Rufus Dayglo. Gene Colan's one of the greats of Marvel Comics. I just sent in my $23.00 via Paypal -

Gene Colan, the legendary Marvel Comics artist is ill in hospital with a failing liver, and his family need financial help.

My good friend, the writer Cliff Meth has done a book with Gene Colan, and Cliff sent me the following info.

PLEASE buy this book. The money will immediately help with Gene's medical bills.

From Cliff...

"Gene and I are doing for Aardwolf Publishing.

It is called METH, COLAN & OTHER THEOLOGIANS and will include everything that was in our PERVERTS, PEDOPHILES & OTHER THEORLOGIANS (a Barnes & Noble "Horror Pick of the Week" from 1997 that saw multiple printings) as well as new stories by Gene and I, along with introductions by several of the comic industry's noted luminaries.

People can order the signed/numbered limited edition now by sending $20 + $3 shipping to [via Paypal] -- proceeds directly and immediately benefit Gene."

Again... buy this book. help Gene.

Thank you!

Rufus Dayglo (IDW Artist)


By John Judy

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #560 by Dan Slott and Marcos Martin. Starring Peter Parker: Paparazzi! Fun stuff!

AVENGERS INITIATIVE #13 by Christos Gage and Steve Uy. Following in the large footsteps of Dan Slott/ the new creative team hands in a worthy first effort. Recommended.

BLACK PANTHER #36 by Reginald Hudlin and Francis Portela. The Panther’s back in his kingdom of Wakanda to clean house!

BRAVE AND BOLD #13 by Mark Waid and Jerry Ordway. Batman and the Golden-Age Flash fight a samurai. This could be a really short comic…

CAPTAIN AMERICA #38 by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. In which we learn the identity of “Steve Rogers.”

CASEY BLUE: BEYOND TOMORROW #1 of 6 by B. Clay Moore and Carlo Barberi. Typical teenager discovers she’s humanity’s salvation after killing a stranger with her bare hands. How many times has this happened to you?

DEAD SHE SAID #1 by Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson. The noir-horror tale of a dead detective who has to figure out who killed him. It’s Wrightson so you’d need it even if it didn’t sound this cool. Recommended.

FANTASTIC FOUR #557 by Mark Millar and Brian Hitch. Big robot fights and romance!

GHOST RIDER #23 by Jason Aaron and Roland Boschi. The author of SCALPED, WOLVERINE (the one that doesn’t suck), and THE OTHER SIDE is writing this book so you know you got to have it! Find out who gets the burning chain this issue! Recommended!

GRENDEL: BEHOLD THE DEVIL #7 of 8 written and drawn by Matt Wagner. The penultimate issue in this untold tale of crimelord/novelist Hunter Rose. A great week for Wagner fans since we’re also getting the DEVIL CHILD HC and DEVIL QUEST HC. Nice!

HELLBLAZER #244 by Andy Diggle and Giuseppe Camuncoli. Constantine’s in the Vatican. Hijinks ensue. Recommended!

INCREDIBLE HULK OMNIBUS VOL.1 HC by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and a Who’s Who of Sixties Marvel Bullpen Greatness. Collecting every Hulk story up through Hulk #102, plus extras! Highly recommended!

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #21 by Dwayne McDuffie and Carlos Pacheco. Introducing Libra and the Human Flame from FINAL CRISIS. They will be on the test.

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #15 by Geoff Johns, Alex Ross, and Dale Eaglesham. The guy behind all the hero-killings is revealed.

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: MIGHTY THOR VOL.7 HC by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Collecting THOR #153-162, featuring Loki, Galactus, Ego the Living Planet and lots more from the Silver Age of Comics!

MIGHTY AVENGERS #14 by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev. Nick Fury’s ramping up to stomp some Skrull patootie! Avengers appear also!

SCALPED #17 by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera. Bad Horse versus Diesel, Round Two as “Dead Mothers” wraps up. Highly recommended, too rough for kids.

WAR IS HELL: FIRST FLIGHT OF THE PHANTOM EAGLE #3 by Garth Ennis and Howard Chaykin. The P.E. continues to discover that World War I is not all it’s cracked up to be. Recommended.

WOLVERINE: ORIGINS #25 by Daniel Way and Steve Dillon. The final chapter of the big Deadpool fight. Plus a bonus reprint of the first appearance of Deadpool, just to remind us how completely comics can suck.

X-FACTOR #31 by Peter David and Pablo Raimondi. Mutant-Town is burning. On the plus-side a comedy club is destroyed.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Otis Sweat cartoon artwork in Post mag

Today's Post Hunt contest was started in the Post Magazine which had a ton of artwork by Otis Sweat and it's online too. Sweat's done cartoons for the early Florida-based hunts.

Elder obituary in NY Times

Will Elder, Cartoonist of Satiric Gifts and Overpopulated Scenes, Dies at 86
New York Times May 18, 2008

Mr. Elder, whose frantic, gag-filled illustrations helped to define the comic identity of Mad magazine, was also a creator of the Playboy cartoon serial “Little Annie Fanny.”

Usually the Times beats the Post on national obits, especially ones from their area...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Zadzooks on Indiana Jones UPDATED

"Bonanza of Indy toys and adventure games," By Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times May 17, 2008. Back in the day, I bought the Marvel Comics series, which had art by one of my favorite teams, John Byrne with one of comics greatest inkers every, Terry Austin.

Sunday's Post had an article about Indiana Jones, the character, which was interesting even if not comics-focussed: "Indiana Jones and the Meaningless Void: If You Really Want a Quest for The Holy Grail, Try Looking for Significance in an Indy Adventure," By Hank Stuever, Washington Post Staff Writer, Sunday, May 18, 2008; M01.

Image from Grand Comics Database.

Keith Knight starts in Post on Sunday

Keith's new strip appears as third of the trial ones in the Sunday comics section on May 18th. Write into the Post to support it! He's got a child on the way! And he's funny! And, apropos of the controversy over the number of cartoonists of color earlier in the year, he's of color! But the important thing is that Keith's funny and an excellent cartoonist. I've bought every one of his collections at SPX and will keep buying them as long as he keeps doing them. And I've got his coffee mug with a (Th)Ink panel of Bush's Shadow(y) Government showing Bush with a shadow of Darth Vader displayed prominently on one of my comics shelves.

Keith (or Keef as he prefers, but I don't know him that well) must be reading this as he just emailed the following information:

I'll be up in the Bay Area in late May for a couple of events. On Sunday, May 18th, I'll be the guest cartoonist at the Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, from 1-3pm. I'll be signing copies of "I Left My Arse in San Francisco". If you've never been there, go!! It's a really swanky place.

On Tuesday, May 20th, I'll be sharing the stage with co-horts Miriam Libicki, Ariel Schrag and Jaime Cortez for a panel discussion about graphic storytelling as part of a month-long series of comic strip and cartoon based events put on by the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. It takes place from 7-9 pm at the Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia St. (between 15th and 16th) San Francisco.

Show up to both events and I'll give you something nice.

You can now go to my website and pre-order the upcoming 500-page K Chronicles Omnibus Collection (being published by Dark Horse this summer). It collects the first four books (including the out-of-print "Dances with Sheep", "Fear of a Black Marker", and "Passion of the Keef"), sketches, notes and a foreword by Kyle Baker!! Click on the link below to got to the pre-order:

Corcoran graduate Roy Delgado publishes cartoon collection

Corcoran School of Arts graduate Roy Delgado has published a gag cartoon collection. See "Petersburg artist publishes cartoon collection," Cumberland Times-News May 16 2008.

Toles video on Post site

See "Timelapse: From Sketch to Cartoon," by Whitney Shefte, May 15 2008. Watch as today's cartoon by Tom Toles, the Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, takes shape.

This is of the May 16th cartoon.

Will Elder obituary in Post

A truly great cartoonist is gone - "Will Elder, 86; Zany Cartoonist for Mad and Playboy", By Adam Bernstein, Washington Post Staff Writer, Saturday, May 17, 2008; B06.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Marvel business story in Wash Post? Nah.

Dirk Deppey over at Journalista had linked to what he said was a Washington Post story, which made me wonder how I missed it. Actually, it's a wire story on the Post's site - "Marvel Entertainment: Super Hero Stock?" Anne Kates Smith, Senior Associate Editor,, Thursday, May 15, 2008. We'll note it here for posterity.

Also this story was in the paper today, although I can't decide if it's comics or not: "Kid e-Land: Disney's DGamer Enters the Crowded Virtual World," By Mike Musgrove, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, May 16, 2008; D01.

RFK Journalism Award to Signe Wilkinson

Alan Gardner broke the story, but here's the citation from the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial's press release:

Cartoon Winner: Signe Wilkinson’s editorial cartoons from The Daily News were instrumental in moving the issue of violence in disadvantaged neighborhoods and schools to the top of the city’s agenda. Her cartoons offer a “steady drumbeat of funny, moving and shocking images”. The RFK Cartoon Judges write, “Her series attacking gun violence in Philadelphia spared no one and drew complaints from everyone- the hallmark of any good cartoonist”.

Some DC-area cartoonists are usually on the awards panel - perhaps they'll chime in.

Also note, "All recipients of the 40th Annual Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards will be honored at a ceremony on Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 6:30 PM at the Newseum in Washington, DC."

Mauldin's Willie and Joe

Longtime readers may recall that last summer I was trying to help out Todd DePastino and Gary Groth with scanning images for Fantagraphics' reprint project on Mauldin's Willie & Joe: The WWII Years. In the end I didn't accomplish much, although I did find a picture of a meeting between Mauldin and Sad Sack's Baker that Todd had missed. Fantagraphics kindly gave me an acknowledgement (another 15 seconds of fame!) and sent me a comp copy of the book - which is just lovely. Raise a glass to Gary and Kim Thompson and Eric Reynolds and the rest of the Fantagraphics crew - the books they're doing with Peanuts money are astounding. And Todd's work on this and the biography of Mauldin that came out earlier is fantastic as well.

For a good review of the book, see "'Willie & Joe': Bill Mauldin's Wartime Classic: Ken Tucker cracks open this newly released two-volume compilation of landmark cartoons about WWII grunts," May 13 2008.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Feiffer interview at Cosmos Club coming to IJOCA

I just finished transcribing Alan Fern's interview of Jules Feiffer at the Cosmos Club in Washington last year, on the occasion of the McGovern award. It will appear in the Fall 2008 issue of the International Journal of Comic Art. Subscribe now!

Here's a sample, with Feiffer talking about bringing his portfolio to show to Will Eisner and being told his art was no good:

...But I had long ago established a habit of responding to unpleasant truths by not hearing them, or changing the subject, and I sure as hell was not going to walk out of this meeting with Will Eisner, my hero, with my tail between my legs, being told I had no talent. This was not the way this was going to end, so I started improvising and the only thing I could think of talking about was him and his work. Now here was a guy who had revolutionized comic book art and he had three highly crafted professionals in the other room who didn’t give a damn about his work. Who thought he was kind of out of date, and didn’t know anything about his career, and then he met me and I had a whole dossier. I knew everything he ever had done. I could talk about it not just as a little boy, but as a knowledgeable fan. He had no choice but to hire me as a groupie.

[audience laughs]

That darn Toles

Another letter to the editor...

Deserving of Impeachment
Washington Post Thursday, May 15, 2008; Page A14

I applaud Tom Toles for his May 9 cartoon on the Bush White House's illegal destruction of e-mail records. This makes Mr. Toles the first of The Post's editorial commentators to take seriously the array of impeachable offenses with which President Bush could be charged.

Impeachment has been attempted at the presidential level three times in the nation's history. Two -- of Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton -- were patently political. The attempt to impeach Richard M. Nixon was appropriate, to protect us from an out-of-control presidency, and it would have gone further had it not been for his resignation and pardon.

Mr. Bush's tenure has been marked by high crimes and misdemeanors far more extreme even than President Nixon's. The Post has taken note of many of them, but never, until now, has one of its commentators seen the matter to its appropriate conclusion.

Garrett Park

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Weingarten on Argyle Sweater, Ted Key and best strip cartoonists

From the May 6th chat:

Comi, KS: The current Doonsbury replacement strip, despite the fact that I can't remember its name, has been pretty good. I thought this week's strip was hillarious -- but I'm 39 and I'm barely barely old enough to remember the "Hey, Kool-aid!" ad campaign. Was there a later resurgeance that I missed out on? Or does nobody under 35 stand a prayer of understanding that joke? Seems like the punch line--so to speak--would have worked a lot better in 1978 than 2008.

Gene Weingarten: Yeah, I barely remembered it. I like this strip, though it is one of the more blatant Far Side ripoffs around.


and later in the chat,

The Four To, PS: OK, how about the Mount Rushmore of cartoonists?

I think Walt Kelly and Charles Schultz have to be there, but then it gets harder. I have to go with Watterson next, but then that last spot is very, very tough -- my list of possibles includes Feiffer, Trudeau, Breathed, Larson, Hollander, Adams, and MacGruder, all of whom were groundbreaking in different ways.

Who goes on your mountain?

Gene Weingarten: I take Schulz off the list and put Larson and Trudeau up there, but you won't get that many to agree. I don't think you can take Kelly off the list, but both Larson and Trudeau belong there. I am in the minority in my views on Schulz.

Re: Mount Rushmore of Cartoonists: Which weighs more heavily in your decision on this: artistic or writing talent?

Gene Weingarten: Writing. Though Kelly may have been the best cartoon artist ever.

Larson couldn't draw. He still needs to be there.


Palookaville: Hey, Gene, can we have a moment of silence for Ted Key, who died recently at 95? Key created Hazel (the Saturday Evening Post cartoons from which the TV show was spun), Diz and Liz and -- which I hadn't realized -- Sherman and Mr. Peabody. An American giant.

Gene Weingarten: I didn't know he did Sherm and Peabody! And Hazel was good, too. Very dry humor. Hazel, as I recall, was a maid with a dry, cynical sense of humor, who basically controlled the household.

Post Hunt cartoonist revealed

In Gene Weingarten's May 13th chat, the question was raised and answered:

Bethesda, Md.: So who drew that Post Hunt logo, with the ruddy-cheeked Metro train and all the D.C. landmarks pointing in different directions? It's really good.

Gene Weingarten: The artist for this and all previous Hunts is a talented man named (I swear) Otis Sweat.

Tom Shroder: And his beautiful wife Barbara. I haven't seen her in years, but I know she's beautiful because Otis is constantly drawing her.

Gene Weingarten: Okay, I am probably going to get in trouble for this, but Otis also does some excellent, hilarious x-rated cartoons, and I once asked him if he used any particular, like, models, for his superior reproduction of various types of human genitalia, and he very specifically refused to say, so really, when you think about it, I am not imparting any useful or titillating information here. At all.

Dave Barry: For the record, Otis has never seen me naked.

OT: New book of interest

My friend Comics-Dr. Gene Kannenberg's new book with Tim Pilcher is out - Erotic Comics: A Graphic History, vol. 1. I bought my copy today at Big Planet Comics, but you can get one by ordering through Gene's website which has more details on it. It's a lovely book, although not for everyone, and I contributed one of the McGill postcards; that was $1 well spent!

International Museum of Cartoon Art (IMCA) Moving to Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library

Here's a press release from OSU Cartoon Research Librarian Jenny Robb with interesting news. I covered the closing of the IMCA in Florida for the Comics Journal and more recently had heard hints from Brian Walker that something like this might happen, so I'm glad it's come to fruition. OSU takes good care of their massive collections, but they'll be expanding their mission with the IMCA's three-dimensional artifacts. I hope that OSU will be able to provide space for regular exhibits beyond their reference room -- Mike

The collection of the International Museum of Cartoon Art (IMCA) is moving to The Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library. The union of these two institutions will create the largest collection of original cartoon art in the world.

IMCA was established in 1973 by Mort Walker, the creative force behind Beetle Bailey, as the first museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting cartoons. The museum opened in 1974 in a converted mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. Two years later, the museum relocated to a renovated castle in Rye Brook, New York, where the collection was displayed until 1992. At that time the city of Boca Raton, Florida invited the museum to construct a 52,000 square foot facility as part of an effort to attract cultural institutions to Palm Beach County. The museum was a very popular attraction with highly acclaimed exhibits, events, and functions for the public. It was still paying off the cost of its construction when two of its financial backers went bankrupt creating a $5 million loss and causing the museum to close.

IMCA's collection consists of approximately 200,000 works, including original drawings from all genres of cartoon art (comic strips, comic books, animation, editorial, advertising, sport, caricature, greeting cards, graphic novels, and illustrations), display figures, toys and collectibles, and works on film and tape, CDs, and DVDs.

Lucy Shelton Caswell, professor and curator of the Cartoon Research Library, said, "We are honored that the IMCA's board has placed its treasures in our care." Efforts are underway to provide increased space for the Cartoon Research Library that will include museum-quality galleries. "It is critical that we have state-of-the-art gallery space to display IMCA's collection appropriately," notes Caswell. A gallery in the new facility will be named in honor of IMCA founder Mort Walker.

Joe Branin, Director of The Ohio State University Libraries, issued the following statement: "Special Collections, original manuscripts, photographs, and other rare or unique items so necessary for scholarship, are one of the critical identifiers of any research library. Universities point to their special collections as distinctive points of pride, those things that make their libraries unique. In receiving the collection of the International Museum of Cartoon Art, the Cartoon Research Library has substantially enhanced its standing as one of the premier research libraries. We are excited to make this outstanding collection available for scholarly study and for general appreciation in exhibits and other public programs."

Contact the Cartoon Research Library for an image to accompany this release.

About the Cartoon Research Library: The Cartoon Research Library's primary mission is to develop a comprehensive research collection of materials documenting American printed cartoon art (editorial cartoons, comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, sports cartoons, and magazine cartoons) and to provide access to these collections. The library is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. See for further information.

Graphic Novel Primer at Takoma Park, MD Library

A press release passed along to us reads:

The Takoma Park Maryland Library has a great upcoming program -- an introduction to graphic novels, with an emphasis on those for kids and teens -- on Tuesday, May 20th at 7:30pm. The library is located at 101 Philadelphia Ave. in Takoma Park, MD.

At the program, Dave Burbank, their library assistant and graphic novel expert, and Karen MacPherson, children's/teen librarian, will offer a primer on this literary form, illustrating their talk with examples of graphic novels for kids, teens, and adults. They will give a brief overview of the history of graphic novels, discuss why they are so popular with children and teens, and show how they can inspire an interest in reading among reluctant readers as well as help develop key literacy skills among all kinds of readers. Participants will take home a reading list of suggested graphic novels for various ages.

Although this program is aimed at parents and other interested adults, school-age kids also are welcome to attend. You can now sign up on-line at their website ( -- click on the word "events," just under the logo) or call 301-891-7259.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

OT: Rusty Witek's Spiegelman book

My buddy Rusty Witek could help me out with my Pekar book because he was doing his Art Spiegelman: Conversations which appeared last fall. Here's a review of it: "Books about Comics #2: Spiegelman and Spandex," by Peter Sanderson, PW Comics Week May 13, 2008. I don't think Rusty's the one in the spandex though...

OT: New York Times cartoon journalism wrap-up

Campbell Robertson ended up doing three pieces that the Times chopped up and put on their website as slideshows:

"Primary Pen & Ink: Asheville, N.C.," April 30 2008

"Primary Pen & Ink: Whiteville, N.C.," May 2 2008

"Primary Pen & Ink: Raleigh, N.C.," May 5 2008

These weren't too big and were nice pieces of cartoon journalism - it's too bad the Times couldn't squeeze them into print. Oddly enough, at this point I think the Times has the most mainstream coverage of comic art. Including their animation reviews, it's almost daily.

And thanks to PW Comics Week, here's an interview with him:

"Campbell Robertson, Sometimes Cartoonist; The New York Times does non-fiction, political, comics," by Clint Hendler, Columbia Journalism Review Fri 9 May 2008. And serendipity strikes! Robertson went to school in DC! "I did some cartooning in college. I did some stuff for the college paper, the Georgetown Hoya, but very little. I was an English major, and my thesis—and maybe this reflects badly on Georgetown—was a fiction comic book. But I hear they’re still accredited."

It's ComicsDC territory after all...

Here's the earlier article referenced in the CJR: "Yes, But Where's the Nut Graf? The New York Times does comics -- for a day, at least," By Robin Sloan, November 19 2003 and the first NYT piece on a paparazzo from November 2003.

Philadelphia's Mike's World

Ok, we're into Mission Creep here, just as Our Man Thompson foretold, yet asked for, but I couldn't pass this one up.

"An Artist’s Concocted World, Starring Himself, Is Too True to Be Real," By KEN JOHNSON, New York Times May 13, 2008.

“Mike’s World: Michael Smith & Joshua White (and other collaborators)” is a terrifically entertaining and philosophically compelling survey, at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, of Mr. Smith’s 30-year career.

And why bring it up, beyond the bond of Mike-ness? "In [Mike Smith's] inventive engagement with diverse forms, including drawing, comic books, sculpture, photography, musical theater and puppet shows as well as installations and video, he has followed a determinedly unpredictable, exploratory course." So there you have it - somewhere in this exhibit, are faux fine art comic books, presumably one of a kind - on display in Philadelphia, through August 3rd.

OT: Free Moebius history of the Red Cross comic

Moebius' The story of an idea is available on the Red Cross' website as either a pdf download, or you can request a copy (which is sent express from Switzerland!)

Their website describes it as: The story of an idea, is an exciting new publication which brings to life the story of the birth of the Red Cross, Red Crescent Movement and its history to date. This comic strip was created by the world renowned artist Jean Giraud, alias Moebius.

ICRC/International Federation of the Red Cross, 2008, A4, comic strip, 10 pp., English, French, Spanish / Free of charge / ref. 0939

It includes the history and meaning of the Geneva Conventions - always a useful thing to have in Washington!

Politico cartoonist Wuerker on Oliphant exhibit

The Politico's editorial cartoonist Matt Wuerker has got an excellent review of the Pat Oliphant show in Woodley Park in today's paper. It runs two pages with color photographs. Those not in DC can see it on the web at "Political Ink: Oliphant shares cartoons," by Matt Wuerker, Politico May 12, 2008.

OT: Where in the world is Dean Haspiel?

My New York buddy Dean Haspiel, who suggested me for the Harvey Pekar SPX panel interview that led to the Conversations book, is keeping busy. Here's a note from him listing his projects:

1] my webcomic, BILLY DOGMA in "Immortal," got nominated for an Eisner award for 'best digital comic'. Link to IMMORTAL: [Mike's note - this is available in print now as well]

2] I finished THE ALCOHOLIC, the original graphic novel I illustrated in collaboration with writer, Jonathan Ames, for Vertigo/DC Comics, which is slated to come out in September. I'll be doing lots of press for that book soon. Here's a recent article from PWCW:

3] MO & JO: FIGHTING TOGETHER FOREVER, my kids book collaboration with underground comix legend/writer Jay Lynch, will also be coming out in September from Francoise Mouly's Toon Books [Raw Jr.]:

4] DC Comics' webcomix wing, Zuda, just announced STREET CODE, the new series I'm writing/drawing for them come early summer:

5] ACT-I-VATE, the webcomix collective I founded [and where I do BILLY DOGMA], finally launched an official website after two years utilizing Live Journal: Check out, FEAR, MY DEAR:

6] I launched a webcomix anthology that I'm also editing called NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOR at Smith Magazine:

7] I just finished drawing some more AMERICAN SPLENDOR stories for Harvey Pekar [at Vertigo].


As always, interested folks should regularly check my blog: for alerts and news and occasional, actual real-life blogging!

OT: Would you pay a half of a million dollars for Green Lantern?

The New York Times had an ad last week for an auction at Bonhams for Mel Ramos' 1962 painting The Green Lantern with a pre-sale estimate of $600-800K. Obviously influenced by Gil Kane, the painting sold today for $500,000. Bonhams site has more details including the painting's history.

Washington Examiner starts Sunday edition

The Examiner sent out an email today saying "is launching a new home-delivered Sunday edition. The Examiner is also doubling the newspapers we distribute weekdays through our street agents and our news racks to upwards of 100,000 copies. I hope you are as excited as we are! Look for your home-delivered Sunday edition to start arriving July 13." The Washington Times had mentioned the Sunday edition last week, but also said that fewer copies would be delivered during the week, and the Saturday edition was being dropped.

Apropos of our purposes, I have no idea if they will have a Sunday comics section. They dropped all of their daily comic strips months ago, although editorial cartoonist Nate Beeler is doing nice work for them when he's not busy having babies.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Vexille review apropos of May 29th DC showing

Here's the information on the DC Anime Club-sponsored showing again, and here's a review: "Robotic future", By ELIZABETH TAI, Malaysia Star Sunday May 11, 2008. A Japan that turns reclusive after a technological ban by the world sets the background for this futuristic tale.

KAL photos from Archives

Bruce Guthrie, amateur paparazzi extraodinaire, has put a ton of shots of Kal's talk at the National Archives online.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Former DC resident Brad Meltzer writing for DC

See Matt Brady's "BACK TO COMICS: BRAD MELTZER," Newsarama 05-09-2008.

And since Brady mentioned Brad's loss of his mother as being public knowledge, we send our condolences as well.

3 other cartoonists in Sunday's NYTimes

David Chelsea illustrated the Modern Love column as he's been doing for several years.

Emily Flake illustrated an editorial.

A book review shows how comics are seeping into children's books - "Cracking the Comics Code," By LARRY DOYLE, New York Times Book Review May 11, 2008 on SIMON’S DREAM: The Fog Mound, Book 3, By Susan Schade, Illustrated by Jon Buller. 198 pp., Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

And best of all is "Remembering Nana on Mother’s Day," by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki.

Zadzooks - more on Iron Man merchandise

"Iron Man gamely plays against Stark weaponry," By Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times May 10, 2008.

Lynda Barry in NY Times

Lynda Barry's got a new book out, What It Is. I've just called Big Planet to have set aside for me as Rick Banning just told me it was out. I met her last year at the PEN event and she was absolutely fascinating to talk to about her working style and subject matter. Here's a NY Times story on her: "How to Think Like a Surreal Cartoonist," By CAROL KINO, New York Times May 11, 2008.

May 29: Vexille anime screening


CONTACT: Chris Wanamaker, (202) 262 2083

Vexille to be screened at the Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan.

The Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan in collaboration with the DC Anime Club Present screen Vexille Thursday May 29,2008 6:30 pm as part of inaugural showing for a new film series based on both Anime (Japanese Animation) and Manga ( Japanese Comics).

About Vexille: 2067: Isolation - Japan seals herself off from the eyes of the world in the face of unilateral international policy setting strict limits on the use of robotic technology. The island nation exists only behind a veil of seclusion. No soul shall enter. No soul shall leave.

2077: Revelation - The veil is breached. Japan is infiltrated by agents of the organization S.W.O.R.D., a fighting force operating outside of the protection of the United States and her allies. Their mission: Determine if the Japanese are developing banned robotic bio-technology, forbidden due to its threat to humankind.

In the battle between machine and man, humanity stands to suffer most.

Directed by Fumihiko Sori (PING PONG, Producer - APPLESEED

In Japanese with English Subtitles 90 minutes.

This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required.


Seating is limited and granted on a first come, first served basis.

For more information please visit the Japanese Information and Culture Center website at or visit the DC Anime Club website at

About DC Anime Club:

DCAC was established in 2003 to introduce and educate people in the Washington,DC area about East Asian culture, through viewing and discussion of Japanese animation (also known as anime) and Japanese comics (manga). DCAC is a501(c)(3) not for profit organization, contributions to DC Anime Club are taxed deductible to the extent allowable under the law.

The club also works to provide a positive, alternative activity to the youth in the area by exposing them to foreign culture, encouraging artistic expression and creativity, and providing opportunities for participation in community activities and leadership.

In addition to our weekly meetings, the club holds an Annual Art Show, an Annual Costume fundraising event, and visits local schools to do presentations on anime. The club also works with the Smithsonian Freer Gallery and DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival on their anime screenings, and has helped locally promote performances for Japanese bands such as Puffy Ami Yumi and Pine am. DC Anime Club was founded by Chris Wanamaker (President), Jules Chang (Vice President) and Craig Vaughn (Sgt in ARMS) on Saturday June 5, 2003. We have a strong membership that continues to grow -- most of which are teenagers.

About Japan Information and Culture Center:
The Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) is the cultural and public affairs section of the Embassy of Japan in Washington D.C. Our primary role is to promote better understanding of Japan and Japanese culture by providing a wide range of
information, educational services and programs to the public. The JICC is located on the lower level of the glass-enclosed Galleria at Lafayette Centre III in downtown Washington, D.C. Its facilities include a research library, a 152-seat auditorium, and a 1,500-square-foot exhibition gallery where a wide variety of events sponsored by the JICC are hosted throughout the year.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It's not DC, but any interest in NYT stories?

I read a lot of newspapers each day. The physical ones. In addition to the Washington Post, I read the Express and the Examiner every day, the Washington Blade and the City Paper once a week, the Politico when I can pick one up and whatever else I find in the city. However I also get the New York Times every day. Any interest in stories from that? They've gotten to the point where they've been running something on comics and cartoons about every day. Let me know in the comments section.

Today's example:

New York Times May 10, 2008
Return Laps for the First Voice of Speed Racer

Telnaes animation continues on Post website

Just a reminder that other cartoonists in the area besides KAL are doing regular animation.

That darn Toles

Another letter to the editor...
Bush Was Right
Washington Post May 10 2008, p. A13

Does Tom Toles know what a recession is? His May 1 cartoon depicted President Bush denying the existence of a recession.

The president is correct. Economists' definition of recession is two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Our economy has not even come close to that.

It would behoove Toles and the media to stop using terms irresponsibly.

-- David Sherer


Click here for sweet cover art:

By John Judy

ALL-NEW IRON MANUAL #1 by Eliot Brown and Various Writers. Everything you ever wanted to know about Tony Stark and his suits of armor, right down to the schematics! Kids, don’t try this at home!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #559 by Dan Slott and Marcos Martin. The always-readable Mr. Slott is back in the spider-rotation so this issue is filled with action and jokes that actually work. Add to that an artist who appears to have studied his Darwyn Cooke and you’ve got a very respectable issue, despite the whole Spidey re-boot being more aggravation than renovation. Recommended anyway.

BATMAN #676 by Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel. “Batman R.I.P.” begins here. I believe it stands for “Rolling In Profit.”

BOOSTER GOLD #9 by Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz, and Dan Jurgens. The return of the Justice League International! Too bad Kevin Maguire couldn’t guest-pencil. So awesome you almost don’t mind the OMACs. Stupid OMACs…

CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI: 13 #1 by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk. How do Limeys fight the Skrulls? With a stiff upper lip, boiled food, and bad dentistry! “Surrender, you rotters or we’ll thrash you with pictures of Princess Diana!” Pip-pip!

FINAL CRISIS SKETCHBOOK by Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones. A peek into what’s coming. Potentially very cool. Worth a look.

GOON #24 written and drawn by Eric Powell. In which we learn how Horse Eater’s Woods got its name. Amazing stuff. Recommended.

NEWUNIVERSAL: SHOCKFRONT #1 of 6 by Warren Ellis and Steve Kurth. Admit it, you forgot Warren Ellis was still working on the New Universe, didn’t you? It’s okay. So did he. Anyway, it’s coming out again and Ellis is writing it. Recommended.

PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #3 of 7 by Alex Ross, Jim Kreuger, and Carlos Paul. Like Straczynski and Weston’s “The Twelve” without all that pesky story and character development.

PUNISHER #57 by Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov. As of last issue the Punisher knew he was up against U.S. Special Forces. Now we find out if they know what they’re up against. Recommended. Not for kids.

SERENITY: BETTER DAYS #3 of 3 by Joss Whedon, Bret Matthews, and Will Conrad. Mal’s getting’ tortured. Again. Stupid Fox TV.

SUPERMAN #676 by Vito Delsante and Julian Lopez. The first encounter/fight between Supes and the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott. Features an Alex Ross cover. A gotta-look for geeks like me.

THUNDERBOLTS #120 by Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato. The Green Goblin works out some of his frustrations with the help, courtesy of that nice Mr. Ellis. Recommended for older teens and up.

THE TWELVE #5 of 12 by J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston. (See “Project Superpowers” above. On second thought, don’t.) “The Origin of The Witness.” Highly recommended.

WACKY PACKAGES HC by Topps. A tribute to the product parody stickers that outsold baseball cards for a while back in the seventies. Featuring an interview with artist/fan/legend Art Spiegelman. Recommended.

WALKING DEAD #49 by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard. In the aftermath of the prison massacre “everything is different now.” Great, devastating stuff. Recommended. NEVER for kids.

WOLVERINE #65 by Jason Aaron and Ron Garney. The conclusion to the best Wolverine story in many a moon as Logan finally catches up to Mystique. Hijinks ensue. Highly recommended.

WOLVERINE: THE AMAZING IMMORTAL MAN & OTHER BLOODY TALES #1 by David Lapham, Kelly Goodine, and Johnny Timmons. Three stories of Marvel’s most ubiquitous mutant, featuring occasional gouts of dialogue!

WONDER WOMAN #20 by Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti. Wonder Woman meets an ancient hero and it ain’t John McCain!

X-MEN LEGACY #211 by Mike Carey and Scot Eaton. Professor X delves into his own past in an effort to reconstruct his memory. Think “Memento” without all the ink.

YOUNG LIARS #3 written and drawn by David Lapham. Out of control Laphamesque mayhem. For all of us who miss “Stray Bullets!” Recommended.

Tara McPherson Coming to Town

Tara McPherson (Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall) will be in DC with her band, New York Times, on Saturday, May 10th at The Velvet Lounge with Koko and Nerd Parade. Doors 9pm/Show 10pm/21+/$8.

Not exactly a comics event, but kindasorta...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Jason Rodriguez interviewed by The Pulse

Arlington's own comic writer and editor Jason Rodriguez is featured in a new online interview - "For Your Consideration: Postcards: True Stories that Never Happened," By Chris Beckett, Comicon's The Pulse May 8 2008. life would be easier if you guys would just email me about these things... really, not all self-promotion is a bad thing...

Wash Post on Met's superhero costume exhibit

See "Do the Clothes Make the (Super)Man?," By Robin Givhan, Washington Post Staff Writer, Sunday, May 11, 2008; Page M08.

Wash Post doesn't like Speed Racer...

...although to be fair, so far none of the reviews I've seen have liked it. Here's the Post's - "'Speed Racer' Is Stuck on A Fast Track To Nowhere," By Ann Hornaday, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, May 9, 2008; Page C01.

America's first political cartoon appeared today

According to the Associated Press's Today in History, Ben Franklin's 1754 cartoon of the thirteen colonies as a cut-apart snake appeared with the caption "Join or Die" appeared today in his newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette. Why are mention it here? There's an original on display in Baltimore in Geppi's Entertainment Museum. It's tiny, but cool. If you don't live around here, an easy place to see it was in the intro credits to HBO's John Adams miniseries. Special update: Also Richard Thompson redrew it and posted it on his blog.

Speaking of Geppi's, curator Arnold Blumberg and Geppi both appeared in the Free Comic Book Day Jughead issue from Archie. The whole comic is set in the museum.

Cartoonists Join Third Annual "Science Idol"

The following press release was received in the opulent ComicsDC offices at the suggestion of KAL...

May 9, 2008
CONTACT: Meghan Crosby, 202-331-6943


WASHINGTON (May 9, 2008) - Six of America's top cartoonists arejoining the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) to kick off theorganization's third annual "Science Idol" scientific integrity cartoon contest to draw humorous attention to a very serious issue: political interference in science.

The judges for this year's contest include cartoonists featured in someof the nation's leading news publications including "Speed Bump"creator Dave Coverly, Kevin Kallaugher of The Economist, "Non-Sequitur"creator Wiley Miller, Mike Keefe of the Denver Post, Signe Wilkinson of the Philadelphia Daily News, and graphic designer Jesse Springer, winner of last year's contest.

Amateur and professional artists are welcome to submit cartoons that address the abuse of science in general or highlight one or more of the ways in which science has been misused; the consequences of political interference in science; or solutions to restore scientific integrity to federal policy making. The deadline for submissions is June 11. For contest rules and submission guidelines, go to:

"The absurdity of political interference in science is fertile ground for satire," said Michael Halpern, program manager of the UCS Scientific Integrity Program. "We're sure the creativity of cartoonists can match the wiliness of those politicizing science and help us tell this story."

The judges along with UCS staff will narrow the pool to 12 finalists and post the cartoons on the UCS Web site July 10. Over the following four weeks, the public will be able to vote for the grand prize winner, who will receive $500 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. The 12 finalists' cartoons will also appear in a 2009 calendar, with the grand prize winner's cartoon featured on the cover.

For information on political interference in science, go to


The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit organization working for a healthy environment and a safer world. Founded in 1969, UCS is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has offices in Berkeley, California, and Washington, D.C. For more information, go to