Thursday, July 31, 2008

Comic Riffs interviews Stephan Pastis

Online today - "Interview With the Artist: "Pearls Before Swine's" Stephan Pastis," By Michael Cavna, Washington Post's Comic Riffs blog July 31, 2008.

And note this teaser at the end:

COMING SUNDAY IN THE POST'S STYLE&ARTS SECTION: We chat up some of the nation's leading political cartoonists.

Weingarten's clarification of Post's non-censorship of Candorville

From his July 31 chat update:

Third, I misrepresented The Washington Post's degree of guilt in the egregious Candorville affair. It turns out it the blame was more evenly shared between newspaper and cartoonist. Yes, The Post DID object to the suggested profanity that, in the readers' minds, would have transformed into "nuts." They asked Darrin Bell for a replacement strip. Instead, HE capitulated and transformed $#*! to "ears," thereby killing his gag on his own. He was Abraham, the joke was Isaac, and God (The Post) never said "stop."

BASH Magazine Premiere Issue Arrives Early

The August 1, 2008 release of BASH! Magazine arrived early today at the Vienna Metro station, so I picked up an issue (plus 5 for Mike, as requested!).

I don't typically read comic strips, nor do I tend to pick up alternate comics, but I do occasionally pick up something here or there, and am always curious on Free Comic Book Day, so I was similarly curious about this publication.

BASH! is about the same size as the daily free Express and Examiner publications on slightly better paper. All of the strips are in black and white, though there is color on the cover and in the ad content. It is published out of Lexington, KY by John Van Meter, with editor Jonathan T. Hampton, printed by The Carroll County Times, and distributed by Take One USA.

It says:

"The first copy of Bash Magazine is free. Additional copies are one dollar ($1.00) each. Checks payable to Bash Magazine, LLC, P.O. Box 2220, Lexington, KY, 40588."


"BASH BOX EMPTY?!? WHAT?!? Let us know. We'll fill'er up."

The first issue includes:
- Slow Wave by Will Nicholes and Jesse Reklaw
- Onionhead by Bryan Stone
- Limbs of the Megalith by Eamon Espey
- Coffee a l'American by Pascal Blanchet
- Slowpoke by Jen Sorenson
- Something Happens by Thomas K. Dye
- Cuba Libre by Dan Archer
- Invisible Escape by Theo Ellsworth
- Steve & the Sky Full of Stars by Morgan Pielli
- K Chronicles by Keith Knight
- Tiny Sepuku by Ken Cursoe

I definitely felt like I had picked up a Fantagraphics/Alternative Comics/Drawn & Quarterly sampler. Some of the strips were interesting. Some were humorous. Some were political. Some were just weird, in my humble opinion.

But the price is right (free), and I'll definitely be picking up issue #2 to see what they have to offer. It is interesting to note that a good handful of the creators in the first issue will be at the Small Press Expo (SPX) this year, so if you're looking for something to have Eamon Espey or Keith Knight sign, there ya go!

New Mr. IS story online

Those crazy realtors have another episode of their MR. IS webcomic online at Episode 2: "The Aftermath", July 30, 2008.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Comics in the World photographs - Rehoboth Beach, Deleware

I've got a folder on my harddrive labeled "Comics in the World" where I've shot pics of comics-related items in the wider world. Here's a selection from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

beach 2008 012
Louie's Pizza interpreted a Mad magazine cover from June 1976 for decoration.

HPIM0209 Disney Cheshire Cat car
HPIM0210 Disney Cheshire Cat car
Disney's Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland on a car hood.

HPIM0218 Seuss in Rehoboth
Dr. Seuss prints on sale in a gallery. Supposedly signed, they weren't. I'm sure these were printed after his death.

HPIM0232 Simsons pinball
HPIM0233 Simpsons pinball
HPIM0234 Simpsons pinball
Simpson's Kooky Carnival pinball game.

Danny Hellman edits new anthology

This electronic press release rolled over the transom. Hellman's been illustrating a column in the Post's Source section for months, and has also done work for the Washington City Paper.

Announcing the publication of TYPHON Vol. 1, a new comics anthology

DIRTY DANNY PRESS is proud to announce the publication of a new, full-color, 192 page comics anthology called "TYPHON," available now.

TYPHON Vol.1 features new work by forty-two talented cartoonists from across the US, Canada, South America and Europe. TYPHON's contributor list includes many favorites of the alternative comics scene, as well as a number of exciting talents who will be new to most readers.

You can preview thirteen art samples from TYPHON Vol.1 here:
You can also preview TYPHON Vol.1 using's Search Inside The Book feature:

Readers in the United States can order TYPHON Vol.1 securely via PayPal for $24.95 (price includes shipping and handling) here: (for orders outside the US, please email Danny Hellman for international shipping rates)

Individual copies of TYPHON Vol.1 can also be purchased from Last Gasp:
and from

Retailers can order TYPHON Vol.1 through Last Gasp, Diamond, and indy sales rep Tony Shenton.

Retailers, please check out the TYPHON Vol.1 Staff Pick in Diamond's July Previews:
Diamond's Order Code Number for TYPHON is: JUL083935

Don't miss critic Rod McKie's rave review for TYPHON Vol.1 at the Forbidden Planet blog:


TYPHON is edited and published by Danny Hellman, who brought readers the acclaimed comics anthologies LEGAL ACTION COMICS Volumes 1 & 2 in 2000 and 2003.

"TYPHON is a departure from my previous projects, " says editor Hellman. "I'd initially set out to do a third volume in the Legal Action series, but as the contributions started coming in, I realized that I was looking at a far more ambitious book than what I'd done previously. The work presented in TYPHON covers a wide spectrum of what's possible in comics, from zany, offbeat humor to unnerving existential angst, and on to chilling horror, all of it brought to life with breathtaking, cutting-edge artwork."

Hellman comments, "as a comics reader, I'm a big fan of the anthology format. I first came across the work of many of my favorite cartoonists in anthologies like ARCADE, WEIRDO, RAW and DRAWN & QUARTERLY. I'm proud to carry on in the tradition of those legendary titles, and I believe that TYPHON will stand shoulder-to-shoulder on the bookshelf next to them."

Hellman adds, "anthologies give us the opportunity to enjoy work by talented cartoonists who, for whatever reason, don't produce enough material to fill out solo books. As an editor of anthologies, I'm excited to provide a showcase for artists and work that we might not see otherwise. Diversity makes for a richer comics scene."

Danny Hellman is an internationally-published illustrator whose drawings have appeared in Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, the Village Voice, and in countless other publications.

For review copies and interviews, please contact Danny Hellman
By email:
By mail: TYPHON c/o Danny Hellman P.O. Box 901 Old Chelsea Station New York, NY 10113-0901 USA

ISBN: 978-0-9709363-3-2
Price: $24.95 US
For mature readers

Here is a complete list of TYPHON's contributors:
Ken Avidor, Derek Ballard, Gregory Benton, Rupert Bottenberg, DJ Bryant, Mark Campos, David Chelsea, Chris Cilla, Max Clotfelter, Patrick Dean, Bald Eagles, Chance Fiveash, Richard Gagnon, Nicholas Gazin, Robert Goodin, Glenn Head, Danny Hellman, Hugo, Hawk Krall, Tim Lane, Jeff LeBlanc, Pat Moriarty, Cliff Mott, David Paleo, Lorenz Peter, Grant Reynolds, Hans Rickheit, Pshaw, R. Sikoryak, Doug Skinner, Fiona Smyth, Steak Mtn., Takeshi Tadatsu, Tobias Tak, Eric Theriault, Matthew Thurber, Motohiko Tokuta, Rich Tommaso, Rick Trembles, Henriette Valium, Dalton Webb, & Chris Wright.

Post doesn't really "censor" Candorville, just asks for alternative strip created specially for them

Yesterday, I quoted Gene Weingarten about the Post altering a Candorville strip. Today Dave Astor, a real reporter, has the larger story - "UPDATED: A 'Candorville' Comic Is Changed for 'The Washington Post'," By Dave Astor, Editor and Publisher Online July 30, 2008.

You know, honestly I think this is worse: "[Washington Post Writers Group comics editor Amy] Lago told E&P: "In Gene's chat yesterday, he made it sound like the Post had changed the July 25 'Candorville' strip. In fact, they asked for a sub. We offered them an alternate version, approved by Darrin, which they okayed."

What they asked to have changed was the "word" '@#$!,' which was standing in for 'nuts' as Jesse Jackson actually said (although readers of the Post are apparently too sensitive to read that and it makes one wonder what they reported about Jackson's comment on Obama) to 'ears,' which makes no sense whatsoever.

So the Post, rather than running a nonsense word, which in-the-know readers will understand is 'nuts,' as it's actually quoting Jesse Jackson, instead asked put in 'ears' which we should read as 'horse's ass.' Especially since their website ran the original, not the 'alternative' version.

OT: Bruce Guthrie's photos of San Diego Comic-Con

Bruce usually photographs in the DC area, but he's gone to San Diego quite a few times. Here's links to his latest pictures:

San Diego, CA -- Comic-Con International 2008 -- Panels (day 2 of 4) part 1

(1) Batman: Brave & Bold— Join producers Sam Register (Teen Titans) and James Tucker (Justice League Unlimited) as they discuss their latest take on the Dark Knight from their new show premiering this fall on Cartoon Network. Show story editor Michael Jelenic (The Batman), directors Brandon Vietti (Superman Doomsday), Ben Jones (Teen Titans: Trouble In Tokyo), Michael Chang (Teen Titans), voice director Andrea Romano (Superman Doomsday) and the new voice of Batman, Diedrich Bader (Surfs Up), will join Sam and James for an exclusive first look at the series, a brief discussion, followed by a Q&A session!

(2) Stargate Continuum— Following on the heels of the hit DVD release Ark of Truth, the next full-length feature will be released Tuesday, July 29, with principal cast members returning for the biggest adventure of them all! This panel features Brad Wright (series co-creator and Continuum developer, executive producer and writer), Martin Wood (director), and (subject to availability) stars Richard Dean Anderson (General Jack O'Neill), Amanda Tapping (Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter), Ben Browder (Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell), Michael Shanks (Dr. Daniel Jackson), and Christopher Judge (Teal'c).

(3) Stargate Worlds— After nearly 15 years on the air, the Stargate franchise is launching its first-ever multilevel online game, with all the elements—and more!—fans expect from the Stargate family. The key creative team from Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment and FireSky Studios present a compelling sneak-peek and answer questions. Panelists include Brad Wright (Stargate series' co-creator, executive producer and writer) plus Dan Elggren (FireSky Studio head), Chris Klug (creative director), Howard Lyon (art director), and Demetrius Comes (director of technology).

(4) Stargate Atlantis— With new allies and new challenges, Stargate Atlantis is making big waves in its action-packed fifth season. Be on hand for this exclusive panel discussion with the cast and creators of SCI FI's hit series. Panelists include cast members Joe Flanigan, Robert Picardo, and Jewel Staite, co-creator and executive producer Brad Wright, and , Chris Sanagustin, VP original programming SCI FI. Moderated by Martin Gero, executive producer.

San Diego, CA -- Comic-Con International 2008 -- Artists (day 2 of 4)

Artists include: Megan Franich, Mick Foley, Virgil, Lori Petty, Jane Wiedlin, Gordon Kent, Steve Leiahola, Scott Shaw!, Dean Yeagle, Dean Haglund, Jim Balent, Brian Laub, Jim Starlin, Kevin Eastman, Bill Willingham, Joshua Ortega, Marc Andreyko, Jonathan Wayshack, Mike Carlin, and Jonathan Frakes.

San Diego, CA -- Comic-Con International 2008 -- Panels (day 2 of 4) part 2

(5) Joss Whedon— Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and the writers and cast of his new short film, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, will show never-before-seen clips while Joss also discusses Buffy Season Eight, the Fray crossover, and the upcoming Serenity comic focusing on Shepherd Book.

(6) American Dad— Seth MacFarlane and the cast of the Fox animated hit reunite at Comic-Con to read a never-before-seen episode and take questions from the audience.

(7) Family Guy— Stars Seth MacFarlane and Seth Green and the producers of the Fox animated hit give fans a sneak peek at a never-before-seen episode and discuss the highly anticipated spinoff The Cleveland Show.

(8) Bones— Join the entire cast (David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, Michaela Conlin, Tamara Taylor, John Francis Daley) and creators Hart Hanson and Barry Josephson for an hour of behind-the-scenes secrets and the chance to ask them everything you always wanted to know about the hit Fox drama.

San Diego, CA -- Comic-Con International 2008 -- Miscellaneous (day 2 of 4)

San Diego, CA -- Comic-Con International 2008 -- Panels (day 1 of 4) part 2

(5) Robotech Industry Panel— Tommy Yune, director of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, covers the history of the animated series that introduced a generation to anime and discusses upcoming new releases in the wake of the announcement of the live-action feature film.

San Diego, CA -- Comic-Con International 2008 -- Panels (day 1 of 4) part 3

(6) Lionsgate and Marvel: Punisher: War Zone!— Producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Incredible Hulk) and stars Ray Stevenson (Rome) and Julie Benz (Rambo, Dexter) take you into the world of the Punisher for an exclusive first look. You won't be prepared!

(7) Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures: Saw 5— Join director David Hackl, along with the filmmakers and cast for an exclusive first look at the latest terrifying installment of the most successful horror series in history!

San Diego, CA -- Comic-Con International 2008 -- Panels (day 1 of 4) part 4

(8) Repo! The Genetic Opera First Look— See what director Darren Lynn Bousman has been up to since directing the last three Saw movies: Repo! The Genetic Opera. Check out the phenomenon that is this Goth Rock musical with sneak peeks and the new trailer plus stories from Darren and the actors themselves, including Alexa Vega (Spy Kids), Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects), and Ogre (the band Skinny Puppy), among others.

(9) Warner Premiere and Warner Home Video: World Premiere of Lost Boys The Tribe— Prepare to sink your teeth into the long-awaited and highly anticipated next chapter of the cult phenomenon started by the 1987 cult classic, and be the first to see Lost Boys The Tribe before its July 29 DVD release at this special world premiere. More than 20 years in the making, Lost Boys The Tribe is an homage to the original 1987 cult hit and stars Corey Feldman as vampire hunter Edgar Frog, along with Tad Hilgenbrinck, Angus Sutherland, and Autumn Reeser, with appearances by Jamison Newlander and Corey Haim. Meet the cast and filmmakers as director P J Pesce and original Lost Boys star Corey Feldman are joined by Tad Hilgenbrinck, Angus Sutherland, and Autumn Reeser to answer questions and talk about the making of this new horror classic.

San Diego, CA -- Comic-Con International 2008 -- Miscellaneous (day 0 of 4)

San Diego, CA -- Comic-Con International 2008 -- Artists (day 0 of 4)

Artists include: Darwyn Cooke, Jerry Robinson, Adam Hughes, Dave Dorman, Michael Golden, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jimmy Palmiotti, Matt Wagner, Arthur Adams, Amanda Conner, Kevin Eastman, Steve Rude, Phil and Kaja Foglio, Greg Evans, Mike Royer, William Tucci, Lou Ferrigno, Jim Balent, Becky Cloonan, and J. Scott Campbell.

Eddie Campbell interview

Our old buddy Scott Rosenberg's picked up and gone to the big city, where's he's interviewed Eddie Campbell on "The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard," - "Step right up for an old-time circus," By Scott A. Rosenberg, AM New York July 29, 2008.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Feiffer calls Toles "brilliant"

Brian Heater interviewed Jules Feiffer for his Daily Cross Hatch and has put it up in two parts, the first of which is here. In part 2, Feiffer said, "Though there are still some brilliant political cartoonists. There’s my friend Tony Auth, for The Philadelphia Inquirer and Tom Toles in The Washington Post and Pat Oliphant in syndication. These guys are extraordinary. They’re brilliant."

Feiffer is one of the great political cartoonists of the twentieth century, although most wouldn't categorize him that way.

Post censors Candorville again, again

From Gene Weingarten's chat earlier today:

Philadelphia, Pa.: I like how "Sally Forth" discovers that their 10-year-old daughter is really 36. This proves so many theories of alternate universes.

Gene Weingarten: I meant to add this to the comic picks. It's terrific. I am pretty sure I was the inspiration for this. Last week, in the Gene Pool, I noted Hilary's real age. Marciuliano mentioned this in his blog. I think he got that strip in in a hurry.

This also reminds me of an awful thing. Last Friday's Candorville contained some awful editing by The Post. In the version as drawn, and as appears online, the last panel contains comics-curse symbols to mean, obviously, "nuts." In The Post, they reworded it to say "ears."

Blogging? Fun for how long?

The Post had an interesting article about how something, like blogging on comics, becomes no fun if one is paid for it. Some sites have gone pro and been sold like Comics2Film or Newsarama, while Heidi MacDonald moved herself over to Publishers Weekly. Perhaps one of my colleagues would like to comment on if the fun remains - here's the article. "When Play Becomes Work," By Shankar Vedantam, Monday, July 28, 2008; Page A02. ComicsDC has been ad-free since its inception, much to my wife's dismay.

Dark Knight in Smithsonian IMAX theater

The Express is recommending that one drive out to Dulles to see the Dark Knight in the Air and Space's Museum's annex's IMAX theater. I've got some friends who did it and thought that it was only so-so because the movie was so dark and focused so much on actor's faces which don't need to be 3 stories tall. Speaking as a museum professional, I'm appalled that the Smithsonian shows stuff like this in what was built to be an educational facility. I guess they've got bills that no honest man can pay. But here's the story if you want to check it out.

KAL blogs on China trip

Kal went to China recently as part of a animation and comics festival. He reported on his trip with pictures here.

Borrowing from Beeler? Hope loses job

Clay Jones of the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star has written up what either is a case of really similar cartoons or plagiarism. The original cartoon is by Nate Beeler of the Examiner, while the similar one is by Jim Hope, a freelancer for the Culpeper (VA) Star Exponent. Jones linked to a story at the S-E as well, where in the comments Hope maintains it was a coincidence, writing:

The incident of two pieces of art work done by Nate Beeler of the Washington Examiner and the one done by myself was truely coincidental. I had know previous knowledge of Mr. Beeler’s work till I was notified by the Star-Exponent.

After locating Mr. Beeler’s work, I was dumbfounded in the similarities. I contacted Mr. Beeler explaining to him the situation and claimed no right to nore did I plagiarize his work. Mr. Beeler responded, stating, ‘No worries, I’m surprised more people didn’t use that image.’

In my own defense, people in all lines of life come up with the same ideas and concepts, especially in this line of work. I sincerely hope you, the readers understand.

Jones comes down on the side of plagiarism. I honestly have no opinion on this - Nate's a friend, this wasn't a great idea for a cartoon, and I'm not a cartoonist so it's hard to know how inspiration may or may not strike. Certainly I think one can unconsciously borrow an idea that one saw briefly - and the Internet makes it much easier to do that, but also to spot said borrowing. Jones posted the two cartoons as a pdf file as well.

Dave Astor's got this story as well (I didn't get it from him!) - "Cartoonist Loses Freelance Job After Plagiarism Allegation," E&P July 29, 2008.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Frederick, MD library hosts anime meetings

This is a pretty common story these days, but here's a local example - "Japanese craze lures teens to library," by Stephanie Mlot @ The Frederick News-Post, July 28, 2008.

Bash, alt-comics newspaper to debut on Friday

Bash, an alt-comics newspaper will debut on Friday, August 1st. The Washington City Paper's website has the story - "Talkin’ Bash," by Andrew Beaujon on Jul. 28, 2008. A pdf will be on their website, but if anyone can grab me a copy or five, I'd appreciate it as I'll be traveling that day. I am very interested in how this works out - I've thought for some time that an alternative approach to newspaper comic strips would be a good idea. The Simpsons is now the longest-running sitcom, the major movies this year are based on comic books, Jim Davis (happy birthday!) sold his jet, but is still a millionaire - there's money in comics.

BTW, I'm not quite sure how I keep getting scooped by every paper in DC, but it's getting embarrassing...


By John Judy

BLACK PANTHER #39 by Jason Aaron and Jefte Palo. Okay, much as I like regular PANTHER scribe Reginald Hudlin, the thought of Jason Aaron, the creator of SCALPED, writing the issue in which the Panther and his kingdom throw down with the Skrull army… Let’s just say it was a “Ledger as Joker Moment.” Highly Recommended.

DOOM PATROL ARCHIVES, VOL. 5 HC by Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani. The final adventures of the Silver-Age’s strangest team. Collecting issues #114-121. Six-hundred bucks in Near-Mint. A lot cheaper here. Highly Recommended.

ELEPHANTMEN VOL. 1: WOUNDED ANIMALS SC by Richard Starkings and Moritat. Collecting the first seven issues of what Publisher’s Weekly calls a “superior dystopian sci-fi tale” and “a lightning-fast but addictive read.” Recommended.

ESSENTIAL FANTASTIC FOUR VOL. 7 SC by The Guys Who Did FF When I Was a Kid. Collecting issues #138-159, plus two Annuals and more. This one has the first appearance of Madrox the Multiple Man and the wedding of Quicksilver and Crystal. Fun stuff, hours of entertainment, dirt cheap!

GREEN LANTERN #33 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis. The adventures of Hal Jordan and his good buddy Sinestro continue. For realz.

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA ANNUAL #1 by Geoff Johns and Jerry Ordway. Power Girl gets her dream come true: Earth-2 lives again! Works for me.

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: DEFENDERS VOL. 1 HC by Roy Thomas, Steve Englehart, Ross Andru and Sal Buscema. Collecting SUB MARINER #34 & 35, MARVEL FEATURE #1-3, and DEFENDERS #1-6. These comics would set you back almost 800 bucks if you bought them from the back issue bin. Cheaper here. Featuring Doc Strange, Sub-Mariner, the Hulk and the Silver Surfer! Evil don’t stand a chance! Recommended.

NEWUNIVERSAL: 1959 by Kieron Gillen and Greg Scott. Warren Ellis’s “hand-picked” protégé writer takes on the history of the New New Universe, making it, in theory, the New New Universe of Old. Anyway, if you can still remember the last issue of NEWUNIVERSAL (early May 2008), there was a guy named Philip Voight who killed superpeople back in the 50s. This is his story.

NORTHLANDERS #8 by Brian Wood and Davide Gianfelice. No Skrulls! No Mutants! Just good old fashioned Vikings and Violence! Highly recommended!

PREVIEWS by Marvel and Diamond Comics. Start making your holiday wish lists!

PROJECT SUPERPOWERS # 5 of 7 by Alex Ross and Company. Souring people on the Golden Age of Comics one issue at a time.

REIGN IN HELL #1 of 8 by Keith Giffen and Matt Clark. It’s a battle for the rulership of Hell in the DC Universe. I nominate whoever thought it would be a good idea to keep doing year-long weeklies after “52.”

SKRULLS VS POWER PACK #1 of 4 by Fred Van Lente and Cory Hamscher. Wow. Who do you root for here? I root for Van Lente because he did ACTION PHILOSOPHERS!

THOR #10 by J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel. If the pay-off to this story is not something along the lines of “Loki, how stupid do you think we are?” I for one am going to feel let down. Good stuff. Also out this week is the first trade collection featuring issues #1-6. Enjoy!

TRINITY #9 by Various Creators. Okay, I hate to say this because some of the creators involved are very talented and/or nice people, but this series is Not Good. DC is asking fans for a total of $155.48 plus local sales taxes over the course of a year for this book and …. No. “52” was worth it. COUNTDOWN and now TRINITY are not. Take the three bucks a week and try a new series, kids. Or save up for a trade collection. SCALPED, NORTHLANDERS, CRIMINAL or (heck, if it has to be capes) why not ASTRO CITY? These are all great books that deserve more support. DC should wrap up TRINITY ten months early and blame the Time-Trapper or something. Un-Recommended.

TRUE BELIEVERS #1 of 5 by Cary Bates and Paul Gulacy. A veteran creative team brings us a super-team for the Information Age, a crazy bunch of kids who expose evil on the internets, kind of like MoveOn.Org but with skimpier outfits. There’s a preview on Marvel’s website. Worth a look, but not for younger kids.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #124 by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen. Ultimate Beetle, I swear to god…. Plus Ultimate Venom is naked.

WOLVERINE #67 by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. The imaginary story “Old Man Logan” continues as Hawkeye and Logan head East and Logan tries not to kill people. It’s very entertaining but I still want my money back for “Wanted”, Mr. Millar. Recommended.

WOLVERINE ORIGINS #27 by Daniel Way and Stephen Segovia. Balancing out the quality of the main Wolverine title is the transcendent suckiness of this one. Like Yin and Yang, for every Wolverine story employing subtlety and nuance in his character, there is another which invents tranny clones and long-lost sons who are able to have tattoos despite an inherited healing factor which would make tattoos impossible. What is the sound of one hand ripping a bad comic to pieces? Cleansing breaths now. Ommm….

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Annapolis comic book collectors featured in paper

"Local comic fans have Marvel-ous collections," By THERESA WINSLOW, Staff Writer, Annapolis Capital July 27, 2008

Hellboy game review in Onion UPDATED

This is in the physical paper this week - "Hellboy: Science Of Evil," Reviewed by Scott Jones, Onion July 21st, 2008.

Other items on comics are appearing on their website:

Jeff Smith
Interviewed by Tasha Robinson
Onion July 28th, 2008

Jules Feiffer
interviewed by Sam Adams
Onion July 29th, 2008

Mike Mignola
Interviewed by Jason Heller
July 24th, 2008

The Luna Brothers
Interviewed by Tasha Robinson
Onion July 25th, 2008

San Diego Comic Con, Day 0: July 23, 2008
By Keith Phipps
Onion July 24th, 2008

Your guide to the WALL-E controversy
posted by: Sean O'Neal
July 10, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

New book of wordless graphic novels by David Berona

Some years ago, I worked on a wordless comics bibliography - "Stories Without Words : A Bibliography with Annotations" compiled by Michael Rhode, Tom Furtwangler, and David Wybenga, International Journal of Comic Art,v. 2, no. 2 (Fall 2000), p. 265-306.

David Berona's done more than anyone else to bring some forgotten works back to public view. Here's a profile of him: "Central alum writes the book on wordless books; David Berona links wordless books of '30s to today's graphic novels," By Andrew McGinn, Springfield News Sun Thursday, July 24, 2008.

Needless to say, the bibliography's out of date. Lio's my current favorite wordless comic strip.

Zadzooks on Hellboy book

"ZADZOOKS: Hellboy: Behind the scenes," Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times Thursday, July 24, 2008.

Animation Show review

The Animation Show, Mike Judge's animation shorts program, has made it to NYC - here's a review - "Life in Motion," By NATHAN LEE, New York Times July 25, 2008.

Matt Dembicki featured on Fairfax Library podcast

Matt just wrote in to say, "[Sam Clay,] the director of the Fairfax County Library System did a recent podcast interview wih me." Cool! Matt's been teaching cartooning classes in the system off and on, I believe. Here he talks about Mr. Big, the graphic novel about a snapping turtle he did with his wife. Matt revealed he's influenced by Wally Wood, Steve Bissette, Alan Moore, and Frank Miller. The link will take you to a whole page of interviews.

John Hefner's one man show

John Hefner used to work at Big Planet Comics. He's been doing a one-man show recently and unfortunately I just found this DCist post by Chris Klimek to realize I missed his recent appearances in town.

Tracking Jason Rodriguez, part 4

Jason's got a new post up taking him through Arizona and New Mexico - July 24, 2008 - Coast-to-Coast Comicdom: Sweating the Southwest.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

DC Anime Club cosplay in Silver Spring

Details at "Dressing in character is part of ‘Cosplay’ fun," by Aaron Kraut, Montgomery Gazette Wednesday, July 23, 2008. The Alliance Comics and Games store used to be one of Geppi's stores, way back in the early mists of the direct market.

AO Scott is tired of comic book movies

And he'll tell you why in "How Many Superheroes Does It Take to Tire a Genre?" By A. O. SCOTT, New York Times July 24, 2008.

Kal on Kojo Nnamdi Show

Here's the link to the online version - "Politics, Satire and Editorial Cartoons," National Public Radio and WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show (July 24).

Kevin "Kal" Kallaugher is probably best known as the editorial cartoonist for the Economist magazine. He's also pushing the boundaries of technology and political cartoons with new interactive animation projects. Kal joins Kojo to talk about politics and satire on the editorial page.

Fantom Comics employee on Hispanic superheroes

Fantom Comics had a link to this story about their manager on their website - "A growing demographic: Hispanic superheroes," by Hallie D. Martin, Northwestern University's Medill Reports July 22, 2008.

July 26: Comic book presidential debate at Fantom Comics

This press release rolled in today from Fantom Comics, which is located in both Tenleytown and Union Station. My daughter Claire voted in this on Free Comic Book Day. I didn't realize they had a blog, but will add the link to their store site on the side.

Local Comic Book Store hosts Super-Hero Presidential Debate

Washington, DC – It's not Gotham, where Batman hangs his hat, or New York, the city Iron Man calls home. Nonetheless, this Saturday, July 26, DC is where the two men will meet to debate which of them should be the next president of the United States.

Nearly 3 months ago Fantom Comics asked its customers: If super-heroes were running in the 2008 presidential election, who would earn your vote? The primaries offered people the option of 8 Marvel Comics heroes (Ms. Marvel, Nick Fury, Daredevil, Green Goblin, Mr. Fantastic, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Professor X) and 8 DC Comics heroes (Commissioner James Gordon, Steel, Lois Lane, Dr. Will Magnus, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Batman, Amanda Waller). Voters were asked to chose one favorite from each publisher to run for President.

Bruce “Batman” Wayne and Tony “Iron Man” Stark came up on top. Said Fantom Comics employee Jimmy Meritt, “Interesting election. Two fascists going up against each other for president.” This view isn’t held by all comic book fans, however. Fantom Comics owner and former think tank employee Matthew Klokel feels the candidates come from two very different places. “Iron Man generally wants to get things done within the system, while Batman typically wants to work outside it.” Even Meritt, a professional comedian who will be playing Tony Stark at this Saturday’s debate, gives the comic book characters a break. “When I said fascists, I was being a bit facetious. These are good guys, after all.”

Over the past 3 months debates have raged between fans over who would make the better Chief Executive of the USA. Op-eds were written on the Fantom Comics blog and fiery debates ensued at the Fantom Comics stores. Said customer Brandon Baker-Rice, “Who’d have thought Batman/Iron Man would be more decisive than Obama/McCain? Maybe it’s because we’ve known the comic book characters so much longer than we’ve known the politicians.”

At 12 O’clock noon this coming Saturday, July 26th Fantom Comics Tenleytown will host a town-hall style debate between the two super-heroes whose playboy lifestyles make them seem outwardly similar, but whose approach to policy differs so greatly. Fantom Comics manager Jordan Kessler urges attendees to bring along questions for the heroes. “Got a pet policy issue? Ask Batman how he’d handle it.”

Klokel points out that "between Batman and Iron Man, you’ve got a combined experience of well over 100 years. These characters have touched on a lot of subjects over the years, so the guys playing them have a pretty good idea how they’ll react to security, privacy, and a host of other issues.” There are other areas in which the debate might break new ground, though. Says Klokel with a shoulder shrug, “How does Iron Man feel about welfare reform, or Batman about free trade? I guess we’ll just have to find out on Saturday.”

Further information on the Fantom Comics super-hero debate can be found on the Fantom Comics 2008 Super-Hero Presidential Election blog.

Media Contact: Matthew Klokel, Owner, Fantom Comics, 949-278-3466,

Comic Riffs interviews Marvel EiC Joe Quesada

The Comic Riffs blog third interview (after Trudeau and McGruder) is a comic book one - "The Interview: Marvel Comics' Joe Quesada," by David Betancourt. The blog has otherwise been doing a lot of reading of the day's comics and commenting on them.

Kal on WAMU

Kal writes in to say:

"Friends and colleagues
I will be the featured guest on WAMU's Kojo Nnambi show at 1PM today. You can tune into 88.5 FM this afternoon or listen in live (or later) on their website
Kevin Kallaugher"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tom Inge interview on Poe in Comics exhibit

You can hear Tom Inge interviewed by Nancy King on the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities website on June 13 2008 in "The Incredible Mr. Poe." There's a downloadable mp3 file and also the script for the story. Tom's exhibit on Poe in comics is up in Richmond for the rest of the summer.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

OT: British radio interview with Garry Trudeau

I'm sticking this one up because it's only available for 4 more days. Click on the link to listen to it. Lynn (For Better or For Worse) Johnston, Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, Garry (Doonesbury) Trudeau, the Cartoonists with Attitude (including Jen Sorensen) and Bill (Zippy) Griffith were interviewed for:

Phill Jupitus' Comic Love, BBC Radio 4 Saturday 19 July 2008 10:30-11:00 (Radio 4 FM).

Phill Jupitus offers some personal insights into the world of the satirical newspaper comic strip.

Contributors include the Daily Telegraph duo who lampoon the City in Alex and the American right's nemesis Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury fame. They discuss the impact and political significance of their work.

Jupitus wrote about it at "Blood, sweat and ink: Phill Jupitus has loved comic strips all his life. Would their creators live up to his expectations?" Phill Jupitus, The Guardian, Tuesday July 22, 2008.

Obama and McCain comic books press release

Hmmm, somehow I got on the mailing list for this press release - perhaps because the two candidates are DC personalities no matter how much a politician may attempt to deny that when running. Or maybe because I went to see Andy Helfer in Charlottesville when he spoke about his Malcolm X biography... it's probably not the number of readers here!

So without further ado, or editing, here's the PR:


GoComics Will Bring Comic Books To Mobile Users Worldwide

(San Diego, CA; July 22, 2008) -- Seldom has there been a presidential election year as momentous as this one. The larger-than-life personal stories and come-from-behind political victories of the presumptive candidates, Senator Barack Obama (Dem; IL) and Senator John McCain (Rep; AZ), have electrified the political discourse in this country and around the world. Now IDW Publishing ( is pleased to present an extraordinary venture in this political year: a pair of biographies, PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL: BARACK OBAMA (Author: Jeff Mariotte/Artist: Tom Morgan) and PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL: JOHN MCCAIN (Author: Andy Helfer/Artist: Stephen Thompson) presented in one of the true American art forms, the comic book. These graphic novel biographies are painstakingly researched with beautifully drawn depictions highlighting key incidents in the lives of the two men. Sure to be a hot collector’s item, the books can be pre-ordered starting today at in advance of the October 8 publication date. In addition to the separate tomes, the two issues will also be available in a special trade paperback flip-book edition.

“We’re tremendously proud of these books,” says IDW president Ted Adams. “Comics and graphic novels speak to millions of people encompassing all demographic, social, cultural and economic stripes. It’s a great way to get beyond the headlines on these two candidates.”

In addition to the print versions, mobile phone users can purchase the books for downloading through uclick’s GoComics mobile comic book reader at The books will be available on phones through top U.S. carriers and on the mobile Internet at A leading digital entertainment provider offering a broad mix of popular products for the Web and mobile phones, uclick’s content lineup includes other IDW properties, among many other leading brands.

“The Presidential Material books are the latest example of why IDW is considered one of the most innovative comic book publishing companies,” said Jeff Webber, Uclick Vice President of Product Development. “The simultaneous release of these books in print and on mobile phones has never been done in the U.S. before. We’ve seen a lot of new ground broken so far in this presidential contest, so it’s fitting that these books should be released in a way that’s unprecedented.”

The powerful cover art illustrations for both books were created by fan favorite J. Scott Campbell. His first book was the popular Gen13, which he followed with Danger Girl, a runaway bestseller that spawned a video game as well as a series of toys. More recently he has been working on a Spider-Man series that will debut in 2009.

Senator Barack Obama’s meteoric rise to the top of the Democratic Party is the stuff of political legend. His epic battle with Senator Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic Party’s nominee has ensured, regardless of outcome, a historic election in November. Obama author Jeff Mariotte is an award-winning, bestselling writer of more than 30 novels, including original supernatural thrillers River Runs Red and Missing White Girl, horror epic The Slab, and Stoker Award nominated teen horror series Witch Season, as well as books set in the universes of CSI: Miami, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Supernatural, Spider-Man, Superman, and Star Trek. He is a veteran comics author, including his original Western series, Desperadoes.

Senator John McCain comes from a family steeped in public service—both his father and grandfather were Admirals in the U.S. Navy—and he has followed in that tradition. His Navy tenure included an extended period as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and he has been a longtime member of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Andy Helfer, author of the John McCain bio, has been one of comics’ most innovative forces since 1980. During his tenure in charge of Paradox Press, an experimental imprint of DC Comics, he published the original graphic novels Road to Perdition and A History of Violence, both of which became major feature films. He is also the author of well-received and critically lauded graphic novel biographies of Ronald Reagan and Malcolm X.

BARACK OBAMA: PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL: 28 pages of story and art, plus annotations. $3.99 cover price. JOHN MCCAIN: PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL: 28 pages of story and art, plus annotations. $3.99 cover price. FLIP-BOOK encompassing both titles: $7.99 cover price.

About IDW: IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, Calif. As a leader in the horror, action, and sci-fi genres, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry including: television's #1 prime time series CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Paramount's Star Trek; Fox's Angel; Hasbro's The Transformers, and the BBC's Doctor Who. IDW's original horror series, 30 Days of Night, was launched as a major motion picture in October 2007 by Sony Pictures and was the #1 film in its first week of release. In April 2008, IDW released Michael Recycle, the first title from its new children's book imprint, Worthwhile Books. More information about the company can be found at

Press Contact: Maggie Begley Communications
Office: 310-301-1785
Mobile: 310-749-3055

McGruder, McCain, Obama, Kirkman and True

A roundup from today's papers -

"The Interview: 'Boondocks' Creator Aaron McGruder," By Michael Cavna, Comic Riffs blog July 22, 2008;

I'm not sure what this is about - "Meeting Every Superhero's Needs In Brooklyn," By Jennifer 8. Lee, New York Times City Room blog July 22 2008.

McCain and Obama will appear in IDW comic books - "The Candidates, Comically Drawn," By George Gene Gustines, New York Times July 22, 2008.

Robert Kirkman becomes one of the partners in Image Comics - "Writer of the Undead Is Reborn as a Partner at Image Comics," By GEORGE GENE GUSTINES, New York Times July 22, 2008. I think he'll be at the Baltimore Comic Con again this year.

Finally, the comics editor of True has died - "Roger Hall; Memoirist of World War II Espionage," By Adam Bernstein, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, July 22, 2008; B06.

Wash Post letters on Blitt's caricature

Uncovered by the New Yorker, Washington Post Monday, July 21, 2008; A14 features letters on Philip Kennicott's July 15th article, "It's Funny How Humor Is So Ticklish."

Heroes to return to tv

Oddly enough, I've never watched this... perhaps because I'm doing projects like this...
"‘Heroes’ Is Ready for Its Rebound,"
By BILL CARTER, New York Times July 21, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Niles, Panter and the Big Planet

Microsoft and Zune have published a comic book, The Lost Ones, to advertise the Zune, an ipod like device. They got Steve Niles to write the comic and Gary Panter to draw part of it, and sent them to a few comic stores on the east coast - Midtown Comics in NYC, a store in Philly, Atomic Comics in Baltimore and Big Planet Comics in Bethesda.

Richard Thompson and I rode up together. Richard also had a portfolio of his artwork to show Joel. I peeked too and it was very cool - lots of lovely, and some unlovely, caricatures although none of Obama.

100_5789We also got to see Art Harrison performing on his homemade Theremin in the little veterans park up the block.

Both creators were quite pleasant to talk to and seemed happy enough to be doing a signing. The crowd was okay, but not as overwhelming as I thought it would be. Panter's a major art-crowd cartoonist who was in the Masters of American Comics exhibit and has appeared in the New Yorker. Niles' 30 Days of Night comic book about vampires in Alaska was made into a hit movie (that's probably too violent for me). And the comic book, a real square bound book, was free!

Greg Bennett, Gary Panter, Steve Niles and Joel Pollack.

Big Planet still has copies of some of the other books they've done signed and available for sale - Batman and 30 Days from Niles, and some of the big new Picturebox artbook sets from Panter (who did a sketch in everything he signed). I got him to sign the two big Jimbo books from Fantagraphics, Purgatory and Inferno. Panter said he and his wife designed the whole books, including the endpapers. They're lovely objects in themselves. He showed me how Purgatory features a wordless version of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales introduction as a page border on the first page. Niles is originally from Reston, VA and his sister and her family came by for the event. His niece isn't allowed to watch the movie either so I'm in good company.

Richard and I hung around the whole time, and saw some other familiar faces - Randy who posts on this blog, Chris Shields of cIndy, Larry Rodman formerly of the Comics Journal and now fledgling art teacher, local book collector Rick Banning, Christian Panas who helped put SPX together for a while and now does Big Planet's website...

Here's some photos of the event, as I'm tired and babbling.

Gary Panter signing a book for famed local cartoonist Richard Thompson with Big Planet comic book store owner Joel Pollack and writer Steve Niles in background.

Steve Niles and Gary Panter signing The Lost Ones at Big Planet Comics. And the Zune. And a neat tablecloth decorated with the book's logo. Microsoft should publish more comic books, I'm thinking.

Panter showing the difficulty of being a left-handed artist in America.

Gary Panter signing a book for Our Man Thompson with Big Planet comic book store owner Joel Pollack and writer Steve Niles in background.

Panter starting a Jimbo sketch in Thompson's book.


Tracking Jason Rodriguez

Jason's got three posts up at the DCist about his drive to San Diego's ComicCon.

July 14: The Plan

July 15-18: DC to Tennessee

July 19-21: Tennessee to New Mexico

This is still an insane idea, although it looks like he's having fun, of a sort.

OT: Dennis the Menace exhibit in North Carolina

This one's off-topic, but at Heroes Con I had lunch with Marcus Hamilton who does the daily Dennis the Menace. He's a real nice guy, and he's got an exhibit up now - the details are from the Charlotte Observer July 20 2008 and the exhibit “Illustrating: A Career and Drawing Dennis,” is up from July 28-Aug. 28 at the Cabarrus Arts Council Galleries in the Historic Cabarrus Courthouse in downtown Concord.

July 21: Jeff Smith interviewed on PBS Newshour tonight and website later

This one comes in from Arlingtonian Herschel Kanter - you can watch the Newshour on WETA, WMPT or WHUT tonight or send questions in for Jeff Smith to answer later online, ala the Washington Post's chats. Here's the details:

Jeff Smith and the Bone Comics

Jeff Smith, the artist who draws the wildly popular "Bone" comics says he grew up hiding his drawings in math books.

Now, after launching his first issue in 1991, Smith's drawings have sold over four million copies and have been published in multiple languages. They are on display at the Wexner Center For the Arts at Ohio State University.

"Bone" is an epic fantasy featuring three cousins - Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone - who get lost in a strange world.

He takes your questions on the world of comics and the inspiration behind his series.

Answers will be posted Wednesday, July 30.

Catching up with cIndy podcast interviews

I ran into Chris at Big Planet this weekend, and realized I hadn't been checking his cIndyCenter podcasts as often as I should this spring. I had missed Christopher Mills, J.H. Williams III, Joe Staton, Sonny Liew, Alan Kupperberg and Herb Trimpe. Check them out!

Joss Whedon Talks 'Dr. Horrible,' 'Dollhouse' and More

The transcript for this is online now - it's the shortest chat I've seen and only is about the two new projects -- Mike

Joss Whedon, Creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel" and "Firefly"
Monday, July 21, 2008; 12:00 PM

Television writer, producer and director Joss Whedon will be online
Monday, July 21 at Noon ET to take your questions about "Dr.
Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," his new show "Dollhouse" and more.

Whedon is the creator of the TV shows "Buffy the Vampire Slayer,"
"Angel" and "Firefly." "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," is a musical
superhero spoof starring Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion. It
was freely available streaming online through July 20, and will be
available for download and on DVD.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


By John Judy

AMBUSH BUG: YEAR NONE #1 of 6 by Keith Giffen, Robert Loren Fleming and Al Milgrom. Remember how we all laughed back in the 1980s? We had these funny Presidents who never knew what they were talking about and one of them liked jelly beans an awful lot, maybe too much and… Well, if you’d like to relive those days at roughly ten times the price then this book is for you!

AMERICAN FLAGG DEFINITIVE COLLECTION VOL. 1 HC written and illustrated by Howard Chaykin. Collecting the legendary first 14 issues of the series that put Howard Chaykin on the map. Twenty-five years in the making this one’s finally coming out from Image. Recommended.

AVENGERS INITIATIVE #15 by Dan Slott, Christos Gage and Harvey Tolibao. Skrull-kickings galore! What more could anyone ask?

BLACK PANTHER #38 by Reginald Hudlin and Francis Portela. T’Challa vs. Killmonger, the final round. Look whose name is on the comic, kids. Good stuff.

BLACK SUMMER #7 of 7 by Warren Ellis and Juan Jose Ryp. It’s crazy John Horus vs. Everyone in the mushroom cloudy finale! To take the edge off Ellis dumping THUNDERBOLTS. Not for kids.

BRAVE AND BOLD #15 by Mark Waid and Scott Kolins. Okay, would ya believe Nightwing and Hawkman? I think Frank Miller should make money every time a superhero jumps through a hail of ninja arrows in a comic book. Just puttin’ it out there…

BROKEN TRINITY #1 of 3 by Ron Marz and Stjepan Sejic. At first I thought this was some sort of a confession from DC but then I looked and saw it was from Top Cow and involved Witchblade, The Darkness and an Angelus that had nothing to do with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Okay.

DAN DARE #7 of 7 by Garth Ennis, Gary Erskine, and Gary Leach. The double-sized final issue as Dan and the Mekon throw down hard. Stiff upper lips all around! Think of England! Recommended!

DAREDEVIL #109 by Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark. Matt starts using his head to figure out why the feds want the wrong man executed. This has to involve Cheney…

FLASH COMPANION SC by Keith Dallas. If you’re a fan of any of the four men to wear the lightning then you’ll want this collection of interviews, articles and never before seen artwork from Two Morrows Publishing. Recommended.

GRAVEL #3 by Warren Ellis, Mike Wolfer and Oscar Jimenez. Quick! An issue of GRAVEL has escaped from Avatar Press! Somebody catch it!

IMAGE MONSTER PILE-UP #1 by Many People. A sampler pack of Image monster characters, including the Astounding Wolf-Man, Firebreather, Perhapanauts, and Proof. Four new stories for the curious and the obsessive. Dirt-cheap!

IMMORTAL IRON FIST #17 by Duane Swierczynski, Russ Heath and Travel Foreman. The first issue by the new creative team, but is it the last for Danny Rand? All-new adventures of the toughest guy ever to wear yellow slippers.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #23 by Dwayne McDuffie and Ed Benes. Wonder Woman fights Amazo. See if I’m lying.

LIBERTY COMICS: A CBLDF BENEFIT BOOK by Various Creators including Brubaker, Ennis, Cooke, Evanier, Phillips and Millar. Featuring all-new stories from the worlds of CRIMINAL and THE BOYS with lots of other goodies from today’s top creators. Not for kids but essential reading. If you love comics and hate censorship this is your book! Highly Recommended x Infinity.

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: GOLDEN-AGE CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 2 HC by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Collecting CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #5-8. If you don’t have $46,000 on you for the original books give this a read. Classic stuff.

NEW AVENGERS #43 by Brian Michael Bendis and Billy Tan. Further explorations of the Skrull-kickings motif.

SCRAMBLED INK HC by A Bunch of Dreamworks Animators. A collection of stories illustrated by the folks who brought you “Shrek” among other things. There’s a preview over on the Dark Horse website and it looks beautiful. Gotta look!

SCUD THE DISPOSABLE ASSASSIN: THE WHOLE SHEBANG SC by Rob Schrab, Dan Harmon, Mondy Carter, and Jack Grey. Collecting SCUD #1-24, the whole magilla right here in one book. “If ya have to ask….”

SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY ARCHIVES, VOL. 3 HC by Joe Samachson and Arthur Cazeneuve. The final volume collecting LEADING COMICS #9-14 from the closing years of WWII. In original form these comics would cost you around $6,000. This book is cheaper.

SHE-HULK #31 by Peter David and Vincenzo Cucca. Guest-starring X-Factor and lots of Skrulls, who I daresay shall experience the kickings.

SKRULLS ONE-SHOT by John Rhett Thomas and Alan Smithee. Who are these Skrull people anyway and why do they merit the kickings?

SPIRIT #19 by Sergio Aragones, Mark Evanier and Paul Smith. More adventures of Eisner’s classic gumshoe, almost certainly better than the upcoming movie.

SUPERMAN #678 by James Robinson and Renato Guedes. Superman dukes it out with Atlas. Place yer bets!

TRINITY #8 by Kurt Busiek and Everybody. New drinking game: Every time the word “trinity” appears in this comic you have to drink. If tarot cards appear you have to drink. If the pictures on the tarot cards change to Superman, Batman and/or Wonder Woman you have to put down the comic and go for a walk (not a drive!). If you’re DC editorial and you’re running this title every week for a year while simultaneously trying to re-launch Madam Xanadu you have to stop drinking forever.

TWO-FACE: YEAR ONE #1 of 2 by Mark Sable and Jeses Saiz. The origin of the coolest, scariest Bat-villain EVER!

UNCANNY X-MEN #500 by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Greg Land and Terry Dodson. Okay, how about this: Every time Greg Land draws a character smiling really broadly you have to drink. If you can see both rows of teeth you have to drink twice. Don’t play this game if you’re pregnant or want to get more than five pages into the comic.

WAR HEROES #1 of 6 by Mark Millar and Tony Harris. Let us consider this book Millar’s apology for the movie “Wanted.” As long-time collaborator Bryan Hitch says: “Millar, you fool. We should have done this as ULTIMATES 3!” (Anyone who has read ULTIMATES 3 would have to agree.) With art by the wonderful Tony Harris of STARMAN and EX MACHINA fame. Recommended.

X-FILES SPECIAL #0 by Frank Spotnitz and Brian Denham. I’m told this used to be on that box with the little people in it.

X-MEN LEGACY #214 by Mike Carey and Scot Eaton. Wrapping up the battle between Professor X and the X-villain with the name so stupid I can’t bring myself to type it. Rhymes with “Sister Minister” which is actually a much better name for an X-villain.

(Enjoy Comic-Con, everybody! If you see Jerry Robinson in Artists Alley be sure to thank him for co-creating the Joker!)

Panter and Niles at Big Planet Comics

Here's a link to a set of the photos - I'll clean this post up tomorrow.

New comic book title set in DC might be unspeakable,

For information on the anti-stereotype graphic novel "Mr. Spic Goes to Washington" by Amherst College professor Ilan Stavans, see "Professor takes Latino stigmas to D.C. in new graphic novel," By Mary Carey, Amherst Bulletin July 18, 2008.

Al Hirschfeld artwork on new stamp

Today's Washington Post reports that Al Hirschfeld's artwork will be featured on a stamp again - "First- Class Act: The Postal Service Puts Black Film History In a Starring Role," Sunday, July 20, 2008; Page M06. The article says:

The last stamp is the work of the famed Al Hirschfeld for "Hallelujah," a 1929 film made by MGM with an all-black cast and directed by King Vidor. Nina Mae McKinney, another talented beauty who was known as "the Black Garbo," was a co-star. The film itself has been debated for years for including both the reality of rural life and stereotypes. The poster shows a stylized flapper raising her yellow-gloved arms.

The Spirit of Eisner, and Miller, and Neil Young's Vertigo

Frank Miller is interviewed for his adaptation of Will Eisner's The Spirit comic into a movie at "Artist-Director Seeks the Spirit of ‘The Spirit’," By ANDY WEBSTER, New York Times July 20, 2008. The Times also put audio files up on challenging scenes and movies from comics.

An article on Neil Young reveals that the rock musician's work is being adapted into both an opera and a comic book from DC's Vertigo imprint. In "Morphing Neil Young for the Stage and Page," By TOM SELLAR, New York Times July 20, 2008, Sellar wrote:

...Vertigo, the art-house arm of DC Comics, is turning Mr. Young’s material into a graphic novel. Karen Berger, the imprint’s executive editor, said the idea came from Mr. Young... Ms. Berger assigned the project to the artist Cliff Chiang, and the writer Joshua Dysart. “Josh established this wonderful, modern Southern Gothic approach to the tone of his writing,” Ms. Berger said. “He looked at a lot of Neil’s lyrics and tried to find ways to utilize them where it worked.” And, she added, Mr. Dysart was sympathetic to the work’s underlying vision of social redemption.

Like the Undermain stage collaborators, Vertigo’s team is digging deep into mythologies that Mr. Young has created about the fictitious town. So “Greendale” the graphic novel will feature concepts and characters beyond those introduced in the original recording. The 160-page volume will likely be released in fall 2009.

New York Times columnist on Blitt's Obama

The Times has run an op-ed piece which finally puts the Blitt caricature in the context of Daumier and George Grosz - see "We’re Not Laughing at You, or With You," By LEE SIEGEL, New York Times July 20, 2008.

Amusingly enough, Blitt regularly illustrates Frank Rich's column and today about two pages later, he had a nice caricature of McCain for an article about his economic ineptness.

Finally, the Business section has a good article on Conde Nast, the New Yorker's corporate parent.

Back to the future in Disney's Tomorrowland

I've seen a couple of articles before this on Disney's reworking of Tomorrowland, but this is the first I've thought worth pointing out - "The Future Is So Yesterday: In the World of Tomorrow, There's a Very Familiar Feeling," by Joel Garreau, Washington Post Staff Writer, Sunday, July 20, 2008; M01. Garreau's got some interesting points to make and has thought about these issues before as he was an early writer (and coined the term I believe) about 'edge cities' -- the conglomerations of places like Tysons Corner or Bethesda -- not classic suburbs, but not cities either.

Complete K Chronicles gets A- from Post

The Source section had a little bit on Keith Knight's Complete K Chronicles book in which Evan Narcisse gave it an A- grade.

Kung Fu Panda's reception in China, part 2

The NY Times follows the wires and the Post and runs a story about China's conflicted views on Kung Fu Panda - "The Panda That Roared," By RICHARD BERNSTEIN, New York Times July 20, 2008. Click the label under this post to see the earlier bits I've put up on it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Space Chimps and Airbenders

The Post didn't like Space Chimps - "'Space Chimps': Your Inner Child Won't Go Ape for This One," By John Anderson, Washington Post Friday, July 18, 2008; C06.

But the NY Times did saying, " This movie has been designated a Critic's Pick by the film reviewers of The Times." See "Plucky Apes Help to Save the Planet of the Humans," By NEIL GENZLINGER, New York Times July 18, 2008.

And the Times also liked the new Avatar movie - "Television Review | 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' - Though Raised by Pacifists, Destined to Battle for Peace," By SUSAN STEWART, New York Times July 19, 2008.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Batman reviews and what-have-youse in the DC papers

Couldn't get into the 8 pm showing, so we went to a bar instead. The NY Times's extremely favorable review is added to the bottom of this post.

Nate Beeler had a funny Batman editorial cartoon in Friday's Examiner.

Now showing: Batmania as 'The Dark Knight' opens

"The Dark Knight Owns Midnight,", by JULIE BLOOM, New York Times July 19, 2008.

"Gotham City's war on terror: Christopher Nolan takes Batman in a darker direction," by Sonny Bunch, Washington Times Friday, July 18, 2008

"This Joker Holds All the Cards; Heath Ledger's Clown Gives 'The Dark Knight' Its Power," By Stephen Hunter, Washington Post Staff Writer, Thursday, July 17, 2008; C01.

And, like Space Chimp, "This movie has been designated a Critic's Pick by the film reviewers of The Times." "Showdown in Gotham Town," By MANOHLA DARGIS, New York Times July 18, 2008.

Zadzooks on Batman movie toys

"ZADZOOKS: Batman goes after the Joker," Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times Thursday, July 17, 2008.

Links to reviews from the DC papers to follow soon.

Blitt's Obama caricature - more Post commentators

I guess the Obama caricature by Blitt is a Washington story by virtue of Obama's position, so the Post covered it pretty hard at least in their blogs. Here's more:

An article in the Post:

It's Funny How Humor Is So Ticklish
By Philip Kennicott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 15, 2008; C01

and the following chat:

The New Yorker Cover and the Challenge of Satire
Philip Kennicott
Washington Post Culture Critic
Tuesday, July 15, 2008; 2:00 PM

A blog post by one of their 'futurist' type writers:

Achenbach, Joel. 2008.
New Yorker Cover Not So Funny
Washington Post's Achenblog (July 14):

- note Our Man Thompson's drawing for the blog header.

and their Media correspondent's chat (there are three relevant posts here):

Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Columnist
Media Backtalk blog Monday, July 14, 2008;

and Dave Horsey did a really funny cartoon that someone linked to in Weingarten's chat.

Weingarten opines on Blitt's Obama

Gene Weingarten, in his Tuesday chat, addressed the breaking 'story' of Barry Blitt's caricature of Obama for the New Yorker:

New Yorker: Isn't it disingenuous (at best) for the editor to say his mag is NOT written for the upper-west side? I love the mag and still feel at least that that socio-economic group is its target. Sure, WE don't need an explanation; plenty of others might.

Thoughts, o' arbiter o' humor?

Gene Weingarten: Yeah, I don't want to speak at enormous length about this, because you've already heard from Kurtz and Achenbach and today, a very thoughtful piece from Kennicott.

To be brief: Of course it was a mistake. A minor mistake, but a mistake nontheless. The New Yorker has no words on its cover, meaning the cover art alone must carry its message. Obviously, the devoted reader of this particular magazine is going to understand this is satire; but this is a magazine sold on newsstands, and a lot of eyes might look at it without the benefit of background.

I disagree with Achenbach on one point: I think the image is pretty funny, particularly the depiction of Michelle Obama as though she were Angela Davis. It actually took me a second to get that joke, and then I laughed.

Those who are trying to make this out as a big deal, a gigantic blunder, are political zealots trying to make a point. Once explained, The New Yorker's intent was clear, and benign.

and the new Comic Riffs blog was noticed:

Springfield, Va.: Have you "had your way" with the Comics Riff blog meister yet? Comic Riffs

Gene Weingarten: I am watching with interest. He has my support. I thought his first post, expressing exhaustion with meta-gats in strips, was a smart idea.

And Cavna's new Comics Riff blog got some notice:


McLean, Va.: Gene, Did you have any role in the creation of the Comic Riffs blog?

Gene Weingarten: Nope. Not even a heads up. So I can't answer for it, but I'm happy it's there. Can't overcover the comics.

July 18 at 1: DC Comics publisher Paul Levitz on Post chat

DC Comic's Paul Levitz Talks 'Dark Knight'
Paul Levitz
President and Publisher, DC Comics
Friday, July 18, 2008; 1:00 PM

Paul Levitz, president and publisher of DC Comics, will be online Friday, July 18 at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight," the cultural role and impact of the hero and his archenemy, the Joker, and the current boom in movies based around superheroes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hero Initiative Presents Steve Dillon at the Baltimore Comic-Con!

The whole of their latest press release...

Hero Initiative Presents Steve Dillon at the Baltimore Comic-Con!

BALTIMORE, MD - July 17, 2008 - Steve Dillon, the British star artist of Marvel's Punisher and Wolverine: Origins titles, as well as DC's Hellblazer and Preacher comics under their Vertigo imprint is making his way to the Baltimore Convention Center on September 27-28, 2008, courtesy of the Hero Initiative.

"Steve Dillon has created such a significant body of work," said show promoter Marc Nathan, "especially his work on Preacher for Vertigo at DC. He's left such a high watermark on everything he does, and we are excited to have him at the show for the Hero Initiative!"

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

The Baltimore Comic-Con is also pleased to announce the return of past guests Michael Bair (Identity Crisis, 52), Ivan Brandon (NYC Mech, Marvel Comics Presents), Buzz (JSA), Tommy Castillo (Grimm Fairy Tales, Kong: King of Skull Island), Dennis Calero (X-Factor, Countdown), Bryan J.L. Glass (Mice Templar), Rich Koslowski (Marvel Comics Presents, Sonic the Hedgehog), Norman Lee (Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane), Mark McKenna (Banana-Tail, Annihilation: Conquest), Bob McLeod (New Mutants, Spider-Man), Pop Mhan (Blank, Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), Mark Morales (Civil War, Secret Invasion), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Andy Runton (Owly), John K. Snyder III (Grendel), Mark Sparacio (Heroes for Hire, Captain Action), Billy Tucci (Shi, Sgt. Rock - The Lost Battalion), and Thom Zahler (Love and Capes).

Swamp Thing co-creator and Frankenstein artist Bernie Wrightson will be the show's Guest of Honor.

He headlines a guest list that includes, in alphabetical order, Kyle Baker (Nat Turner, The Bakers), Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man, Secret Invasion), Jim Calafiore (Exiles, Countdown), Howard Chaykin (Wolverine, American Flagg), Cliff Chiang (Green Arrow & Black Canary), Darwyn Cooke (New Frontier, The Spirit), Frank Cho (Liberty Meadows, Mighty Avengers), Steve Conley (Star Trek, The Escapist), Amanda Conner (Green Arrow/Black Canary, JSA Classified), Todd Dezago (Perhapanauts, Tellos), David Finch (World War Hulk, New Avengers), Ramona Fradon (Aquaman, Mermaidman and Barnacleboy), John Gallagher (Buzzboy, Roboy Red), Ron Garney (Wolverine, Skaar: Son of Hulk), Michael Golden (Micronauts, The 'Nam), Mike Grell (John Sable, Iron Man), Cully Hamner (Blue Beetle, Black Lightning), Dean Haspiel (American Splendor, Brawl), Adam Hughes (Catwoman), Stuart Immonen (Ultimate Spider-Man), Geoff Johns (Green Lantern, Action Comics), J.G. Jones (52, Wonder Woman), Robert Kirkman (Invincible, Ultimate X-Men), Barry Kitson (Amazing Spider-Man, Empire), Scott Kurtz (PvP), Erik Larsen (Savage Dragon, Image EIC), Jim Lee (All Star Batman & Robin, Wildcats), the Luna Brothers (The Sword, Girls), David Mack (Kabuki, Daredevil), Mike Mignola (Hellboy, Disney's Atlantis), Phil Noto (Danger Girl, Jonah Hex), Michael Avon Oeming (Mice Templar, Powers), Mike Okamoto (Hellraiser, Chaos! Quarterly), Jimmy Palmiotti (Painkiller Jane, Jonah Hex), Brandon Peterson (Ultimate X-Men, Strange), Eric Powell (The Goon), Tom Raney (Annihilation: Conquest, Ultimate Secrets), James Robinson (Superman, JSA), John Romita Sr. (Amazing Spider-Man), Don Rosa (Uncle Scrooge), Craig Rousseau (Perhapanauts, X-Men: First Class), Tim Sale (Batman: The Long Halloween, Heroes), Alex Saviuk (Web of Spider-Man, Feast of the Seven Fishes), Jim Shooter (Legion of Super-Heroes), Robert Tinnell (EZ Street), Peter Tomasi (Nightwing, Green Lantern Corps), Herb Trimpe (Incredible Hulk), Timothy Truman (Conan, Grimjack), Neil Vokes (The Black Forest, The Wicked West), Matt Wagner (Zorro, Grendel), Mark Waid (Flash, Boom! Studios), Mark Wheatley (Frankenstein Mobster, Mighty Motor Sapiens), and Ron Wilson (The Thing).

The Harvey Awards will return to the Baltimore Comic-Con for the third consecutive year. The awards dinner and ceremony will be held Saturday night, September 27, 2008, following the convention's normal hours. As in 2007, the first 300 paid attendees and honorees at the 2008 Harvey Awards Ceremonies will receive a Hollywood-style bag of swag. Last year's bag included The EC Archives: Two-Fisted Tales - Volume 1 from Gemstone Publishing, a complete base set of the soon-to-be-released Jericho Season One trading cards from Inkworks, an exclusive pin from AdHouse Books, a Comic-Con exclusive edition of 30 Days of Night: Red Snow 1 from IDW Publishing, a Toon Tumbler from Popfun Merchandising, and an exclusive Harvey Awards keychain from LaserMach. Nominating ballots are presently online at Kyle Baker will return as Master of Ceremonies for the evening's events.

For more information about the Baltimore Comic-Con, e-mail or call (410) 526-7410. The guest list and other information can be found on the convention's website or on its MySpace page.

For more information about the Harvey Awards, including sponsorship opportunities, e-mail

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cavna's Wednesday blog, quickly

Celebrates Batman: The Killing Joke, one of my least favorite Alan Moore stories. I left a snarky comment.

Takes a shot at Sally Forth's artwork.

And asks "The E-Mailbag: When to Hold a Feature's Funeral?" Or should a comic strip die with its creator?, which has 43 comments as of this writing.

Olsson's bankruptcy press release

They sent this along to their newsletter subscribers today. I spent $55 in the Clarendon one last night! Unfortunately, it's much diminished with a bakery taking 2/3 of the space and the shelves looked a bit picked over too. Not much comics stuff, although they had plenty of copies of Wolk's book.

Olsson Enterprises Inc. T/A Olsson's Books & Records files for Chapter 11 Protection.

Olsson Enterprises Inc., trading as Olsson's Books & Records, Record & Tape Limited and Olsson's Books, announced it has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in order to reorganize the company and return to profitability. Olsson's filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Maryland.

The reasons given for filing were a combination of the continuing weak retail economy, rising rents and property taxes, competition from large box stores and the Internet, and an accelerated drop in the music CD business.

Olsson's was established in 1972 and grew to as many as nine retail stores in the Washington DC metro area with sales over $16 million a year and as many as 200 employees. Currently there are five retail stores: Reagan National Airport, Alexandria, two in Arlington, and one in Northwest Washington DC. Olsson's earned a reputation as a locally-owned community-oriented retailer with a knowledgeable staff selling a good selection of books, music, video and gifts.

John Olsson, the principal owner, a Washington native and graduate of Catholic University, stated, "Olsson's could not have made it past 35 years without the great work of many employees, the loyalty of wonderful customers and the many friends of Olsson's who saw a value in the business and helped it along the way. Although the company has attempted to manage the situation to remain solvent, regrettably after considering all available alternatives, the company determined Chapter 11 was the best way to maintain operations while implementing a plan for successful restructuring."

Terence McCann, Controller since 1989 and a graduate of the University of Maryland, stated, "There is a plan for Olsson's to continue. It involves raising working capital, seeking investors, reducing overhead costs, adding new merchandise, refurbishing stores, retaining leases where achievable or relocating to communities that will support the concept of an independent bookstore. We still think that Olsson's has something to offer and can do business in this market."

Steal This Job: Premier Careers

Today's Express has a profile of Politico cartoonist Matt Wuerker.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

July 20: Steve Niles and Gary Panter at Big Planet Comics

This press release just rolled in. Note the book is FREE, FREE, FREE.


Select City National Tour To Promote Graphic Novel Produced By Zune Arts

In anticipation of the upcoming Zune Arts graphic novel, author Steve Niles and illustrator Gary Panter will be making an appearance and signing of their latest collaboration, The Lost Ones at Big Planet Comics (Bethesda, MD) July 20th from 2PM – 4PM.

WHO: Steve Niles and Gary Panter

WHAT: Appearance and signing of Zune Art’s graphic novel The Lost Ones

WHEN: Sunday July 20, 2008, 2pm – 4pm

WHERE: Big Planet Comics, 4908 Fairmont Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814

Steve Niles teams up with four visual artists to bring you a graphic novel that will challenge what you think about time and space travel. DR. REVOLT, an original member of the historic New York City graffiti crew The Rolling Thunder Writers, Gary Panter, an illustrator known for his surreal and raw style, Morning Breath, Brooklyn-based art and design duo, and emerging painter/fashion designer Kime Buzzelli - each bring a remarkable and unique drawing style to the project.

“The Lost Ones” tells the story of Duncan, Roxy, Rasheed and Cynthia, who leave their Earth and get swept up in an epic intergalactic adventure. What starts out as a harmless day of extreme planet jumping turns into a mind-blowing, white-knuckle race for their lives to get back home.

The Zune Arts program brings the best creative minds together to collaborate on inspiring works of art. With “The Lost Ones,” Zune Arts expands beyond videos and posters and makes it first foray into this art medium featuring a writer as the lead artist. Collector’s and paperback editions of “The Lost Ones” will be available for free in early July 2008 at select comic book stores nationwide.

About Zune Arts:

Zune Arts is a program that offers emerging and established artists a unique collaboration opportunity and platform to share their work with a broader audience. At the heart of Zune Arts are ideas about friendship, sharing, connecting and discovery that serve as both a guide for artists’ work and an ethic for the art that’s produced through this program.

4908 Fairmont Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814

Also affiliated with:

3145 Dumbarton St. NW
Washington, DC 20007

426 Maple Ave. East
Vienna, VA 22180

7315 Baltimore Ave.
College Park, MD 20740

Cavna blogs Trudeau, Joker, rise-and-shine comic strips

That new Comic Riffs blog at the Post is busy, might busy today, July 15 2008.

Today's stories:

Garry Trudeau: The Interview, by Michael Cavna.

The Countdown: The Joker Gets The Last Laugh - about Frank Miller's bringing an aging Joker back and having him kill David Letterman's entire audience. Boy, was that refreshing in its day (1986) and tiresome now.

The Morning Line: The Cat Also Rises compares storylines from Zits to Garfield.

Blitt-zing Obama

Hah! Nice headline, heh?

I'm bored with this non-story about Barry Blitt's caricature of Obama and his wife, but here's the Post and NY Times on it.

"It's Funny How Humor Is So Ticklish," By Philip Kennicott, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, July 15, 2008; C01.

"Want Obama in a Punch Line? First, Find a Joke," By BILL CARTER, New York Times July 15, 2008.

I will say that I would think a lot more of Obama if he had looked at it and said, "hey, that's funny!"

Echos of comics past

Another ad from the bottom of the Examiner brings to mind... Anyone? You in the back?

How about John Held, Jr's cartoons?

Poet Laureate on Looney Tunes in the Wall Street Journal

For some reason, the Washington Times' Culture page keeps going back to quoting bits of a Wall Street Journal (of all places) article by the former Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, on his interest in Warner Bros' Looney Tunes cartoons. They've done it at least twice on July 9th and 14th. A quick look at the Journal's website revealed the original - "Inspired by a Bunny Wabbit: The freedom in cartoons to transcend the laws of basic physics, to hop around in time and space, and to skip from one dimension to another has long been a crucial aspect of imaginative poetry," By BILLY COLLINS, Wall Street Journal June 28, 2008; Page W1.

Wertham records at Library of Congress followup

A discussion on the comix-scholars list generated a note from Bart Beaty, author of Fredric Wertham And The Critique Of Mass Culture.

Just for the record, [no access to medical records] is exactly the arrangement that I made in 2002 when I was granted access.

However, do bear in mind that the LoC does not have the power to implement any policy with regard to these papers and that all decisions are made by the executors of the Wertham estate. I can assure you, having worked very closely with the LoC's extraordinary staff over a period of several years, that the librarians at the LoC would like nothing better than to make these papers available. But the decision is ultimately that of the executors, who have their own reasons for making their decisions.

Also, the way that the papers are organized, medical records are not all in one place, so they're not so easily redacted.

Ah, those extraordinary manuscript librarians - hear, hear!