Friday, October 31, 2008

Good stuff in today's papers

"Godzilla's Older, Creepier Cousins: Beings Such as Filth Licker Haunt Japanese Culture," By Blaine Harden, Washington Post Foreign Service, Friday, October 31, 2008; A01. This is about creatures called yokai, who are apparently roughly equivalent to goblins and boggarts. Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt are a married couple have written a book about them, when not translating manga.

The animated movie Fear(s) of the Dark was also reviewed in "Gripped (at Times Loosely) by Fear," By Neely Tucker, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, October 31, 2008; Page C06.

Meanwhile in the Post's Comic Riffs, Michael Cavna's interviewed a bunch of cartoonists about the election including locals Telnaes, Sorenson, and Wuerker in "Who'll Win the White House? Cartoonists Issue Their Predictions" as well as decidedly non-local Garry Trudeau in "Obama Wins? Yes, 'Doonesbury' Calls the Election!"

And on Disney's direct to video movie and Fairies product line is "Disney Hoping 'Tinker Bell' Spreads Fairy Dust on Sales" By BROOKS BARNES, New York Times October 31, 2008.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Comics articles in Thursday's papers

The Washington City Paper has reviewed the film Fear(s) of the Dark - it's animated, and based on the works of famous cartoonists Blutch, Charles Burns, Marie Caillou, Pierre di Sciullo, Lorenzo Mattotti, and Richard McGuire.

Steve Niles' Cal McDonald and Criminal Macabre artist is interviewed in "ZADZOOKS: Nick Stakal's lifelong love of art," Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times Thursday October 30, 2008.

New Ware and the Joker are "Bennett's Best for the week of October 26," Zadzooks Blog October 30 2008.

The Onion has a hilarious article on Bazooka Joe which is now online, and an interview with comic book store owner, writer and filmmaker Kevin Smith which is.

OT: Phil Jupitus' latest BBC interview with Zippy

Since I've linked to the others, here's Phil Jupitus' October 28th interview with Zippy's Bill Griffith.

Eiserike on Ultimate Spider-Man

I owe Josh a review of his comic book that I picked up at SPX but haven't had a chance to read yet. In my defense, I haven't read anything I picked up at SPX yet, including athe minicomics. So instead of the review, read "Column: For the love of Spider-Man and Mary Jane," By Josh Eiserike, October 30, 2008.

Someday soon I hope to get around to reading and reviewing some of the books from SPX including Josh's and some manga from Fanfare that I both bought and was kindly given by Deb Aoki who writes about manga for

Chance visit in DC causes lifetime of collecting

See "Political cartoons inspired alumnus; Michael Kahn, a UCLA graduate of 1970, boasts an extensive collection of more than 75,000 images," by Max Schneider, Daily Bruin Tuesday, October 28, 2008.

The article begins, "Michael Kahn remembers the moment he fell in love with political cartoons... The UCLA alumnus, who graduated in 1970, was studying in Washington D.C. and while visiting his professor’s apartment with his class, he saw something that struck a chord."

OT: Ask Bob Mankoff, the New Yorker cartoon editor a question

The New Yorker cartoon issue is shipping now, although I haven't looked at mine yet. They've got some online features including a selection of Luckovich cartoons and a Bob Mankoff Q&A. I had a drink with Mankoff once, along with some other cartoonists. He's got a keen appreciation of humor and cartooning as well as a very good grasp of the economics of cartooning.

Questions for Bob Mankoff

Bob Mankoff, The New Yorker’s cartoon editor, takes questions about the November 3, 2008, Cartoon Issue, the Cartoon Caption Contest, and drawing for the magazine.

Submit questions for Mankoff here; he will post his answers later in the week. Your questions may be edited for length and clarity, and
will be answered at The New Yorker’s discretion.

Gaiman's The Graveyard Book - Politics and Prose book of the week.

Politics and Prose's BOOKS OF THE WEEK
(20% off through 11/5)

“It is going to take more than just a couple of good-hearted souls to raise this child. It will…take a graveyard.” And so the living baby, Nobody (Bod) Owens, is adopted and raised by the folk of the graveyard. They grant Bod “Freedom of the Graveyard,” teaching him to pass through walls and see in the dark, just like the dead do. Bod encounters adventures and dangers in the graveyard, but the greatest danger lurks just outside its gates: the man, Jack, who murdered Bod’s family and intends to finish the job. Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman weaves a creepy tale for all ages and any time of year in THE GRAVEYARD BOOK (HarperCollins, $17.99). Ages 9 and up. • Heidi Powell

Nov 23: David Rees at Busboys and Poets

Here's the slightly edited (to take out a review copy offer and modify an F-word that a filter might choke on) - I plan on going to this. Rees has been in DC a lot, but I've never been able to make it to see him. Busboys and Poets is a cool place too. And note that bit about Rees putting his profits into land mine removal - wow.

Are you planning your post-election elegies for the Bush regime yet?

David Rees, creator of the infamous Get Your War On cartoon, will be making people laugh at Busboys and Poets (1025 5th Street, NW (5th and K), Washington DC) on Sunday, November 23, at 6pm.

Check out the latest animated strip at the Huffington Post blog:

In the aftermath of 9/11, when experts and citizens rallied behind President George W. Bush and his worldwide "War on Terror," a scrappy internet comic called "bullshit" on the whole undertaking and never looked back.

It's taken years for conventional wisdom to catch up to Get Your War On.

David Rees's infamous cartoon—which went on to be serialized in Rolling Stone, adapted for the stage, and animated—isn't just a caustic analysis of American foreign policy. It's also an emotional kaleidoscope of American life and absurdity, from October 9th, 2001, when American bombs first fell in the poverty-stricken, terrorist safe haven of Afghanistan, to 2008, when bombs continue to fall in the poverty-stricken, terrorist safe haven of Afghanistan. (There's some stuff about Iraq in the middle, too.)

Get Your War On: The Definitive Account of the War on Terror, 2001-2008 illustrates better than any artist, politician, or pundit the true state of America's soul--its violence and its compassion.

And it's f*cking hilarious.

"Riotous and principled."--Washington Post

"Brilliant."--USA Today

"[T]he Thomas Nast of the internet."--Comedy Central

"[H]ilariously deadpan fatalism . . . a surprisingly articulate expression of our anxieties."--Newsweek

"Rees [is] a phenomenal cult hero."--Variety

"A glorious excoriation of our post-9/11 loony bin."--New York Times

"The most original cartoon to emerge since . . . well ever. Raw, enraged, sardonic, hilarious, despairing, and impossible to pigeonhole."--Rolling Stone

About the Author:
David Rees was working a crummy magazine job when Operation: Enduring Freedom inspired him to make his cartoon Get Your War On. The satire about the war on terrorism became an Internet phenomenon—sales of the two GYWO books have raised almost $100,000 for land mine removal in western Afghanistan, it has been published in British, French, Spanish, and Italian editions, and it has been adapted for the stage by the Austin theater company the Rude Mechs. His comics have appeared in Rolling Stone, GQ, the Guardian, the Village Voice, and the Nation. He currently lives in Beacon, NY.

Sun, Nov 23, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Busboys and Poets
1025 5th Street, NW (5th and K), Washington DC
Come Get Your War On with David Rees at the 5th and K location of Busboys and Poets (DC). David Rees will presumably be reading from his newly released book, Get Your War On, or he could also be talking to us about... whatever he wants. You'll never know unless you check it out! It's at Busboys and Poets @ 5th & K 1025 5th Street NW Washington, DC 20001 for more info, the Busboys' website:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dec 6: Grave of the Fireflies anime at Freer

Gorgeous Entertainment Presents New Anime Masterpieces Film
"Grave of the Fireflies" at the Freer's Meyer Auditorium

Washington, DC-Anime Masterpieces, a new series highlighting the best in Japanese animated feature films, presents "Grave of the Fireflies," Saturday, Dec. 6, 2 p.m., in the Freer Gallery of Art's Meyer Auditorium. The film is followed by a panel discussion with leading authorities on the subject of Japanese animation, or anime.

Produced by New York-based company Gorgeous Entertainment, the series is aimed at enhancing the understanding and appreciation of the Japanese art of anime. At each screening, audience members are given study guides containing essays by eminent scholars of Japanese pop culture and animation, which are supplemented by numerous images from the film.

Major support for the series is provided by the Japan External Trade Organization. Arrangements for the screening are also made possible by Central Park Media, the U.S.-based distributor for the film.

The winner of several international film awards, "Grave of the Fireflies," written and directed by Isao Takahata, chronicles the experiences of two children as they valiantly struggle to survive amidst the ravaged landscape of Japan during World War II. It is considered by many critics as one of the most moving anti-war films ever made. Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert calls the film "an emotional experience so powerful it forces a rethinking of animation."

The panel discussion features Pulitzer prize-winning historian John W. Dower, author of "Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II"; Japanese literary authority Susan J. Napier, author of "Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle"; and manga and anime historian Frederick L. Schodt, author of "Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics."

The next scheduled screening of "Grave of the Fireflies" is Feb. 11, 2009, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

The next film in the Anime Masterpieces series is "Tekkonkinkreet" and is available for screenings courtesy of Sony Home Entertainment beginning January 2009. For more information, visit or contact Kenji Kono at (212) 398-7145 or e-mail at

Up to two free tickets per person to the "Grave of the Fireflies" screening at the Meyer Auditorium will be distributed one hour before show time. For a listing of all featured films, please visit

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, located at 1050 Independence Avenue S.W., and the adjacent Freer Gallery of Art, located at 12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W., are on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day, except Dec. 25, and admission is free. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the National Mall. For more information about the Freer and Sackler galleries, the public is welcome to visit For general Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.

# # #

1050 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20013
Metro: Smithsonian

Editor and Publisher on what a great guy Dave Astor is...

...isn't it a shame they had to lay him off? Here's the article - "Astor Hailed on Departure from 'E&P' After 25 Years," By Greg Mitchell, October 29, 2008. No word yet on whether or not they gave him a gold watch along with the push.

Washington after a new young President, almost 50 years ago

Ger Apeldoorn has posted Washington Frontier Sketches by Ed Fisher reporting on DC after Kennedy's election from Help #10... ...the more things change...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NY Times article suggests cutting newspaper content may not help circulation

Those who aren't just downloading the Joker pumpkin pattern may recall that in reporting on Dave Astor's firing I suggested that reducing the content of a publication wasn't a good way to keep readers. Here's a NY Times article in which that point is made by people paid to know these things:

Analysts have warned in recent years that by offering steadily less in print, newspapers were inviting readers to stop buying. Most papers have sharply reduced their physical size — fewer and smaller pages, with fewer articles — and the newsroom staffs that produce them.

“It just seems impossible to me that you’re cutting costs dramatically without having some impact on the editorial quality of your product,” said Peter Appert, a newspaper analyst at Goldman Sachs. “I can’t prove that this is driving circulation, but it’s certainly something that if I were a newspaper publisher would keep me up at night.”

Knight Life hits the Sunday Post

Comic Riffs has the story of how it's replacing Opus.

The incredible shrinking Examiner cartoon

The Washington Examiner, Nate Beeler's home paper, has cut the size of its editorial cartoons in half again to about 3" x 4" - tiny in other words. They've got Nate doing a full cover color caricature for the front of the Sunday tabloid (and two other editons), but inside you can barely see the cartoon. When the paper started a few years ago, Nate's cartoon ran at about 1/3 of a page and they had two pages of comic strips which are now gone. I'm sensing a trend...

KAL illos in Washington Post Health section

Our Man Thompson may be gone from the Post's Health section, but today they've got two illustrations by the incomparable KAL. One is online.

Weingarten on Doonesbury and judging people by their comic strips

Two weeks of the Chatalogical Humor chat by Gene Weingarten leads to a couple of interesting observations on comics.

From Tuesday, October 14, 2008:

Gimmeabre, AK: I agree that Sarah Palin is singularly unqualified to be Vice President, let alone President. And I also grit my teeth whenever some yahoo starts spouting off about the sanctity of "family values." But I think Gary Trudeau went waaaay over the line in Sunday's "Doonesbury." Now, I know you are a regular worshiper at the Church of St. Gary, but since when is "stay-at-work mom" (which I think most people call, "working mother") pejorative? And who told Trudeau that Palin's last pregnancy was unplanned? And was the shot at Palin's pregnant daughter really warranted? Come on, Gene; man up, and admit that your hero blew it this time. Doonesbury, (Oct. 12)

Gene Weingarten: I had no problem with the shot at Bristol; Palin made Bristol a subject of public discussion, and the "family values' Republican mantra makes it germane. I wondered about the other things, too, though. And after I saw your posting, I emailed Garry about it. Here is his answer:

I believe that Palin has said herself that Trig was a surprise. Certainly her choosing to hide her pregnancy for many months suggests she didn't find it convenient. But planned or not, I regret including that detail for another reason; since Palin is married, it has no bearing on "family values". It's value-neutral, and I should have left it out.

"Stay-at-work Mom" is just a play on the "Stay-at-home Mom", once viewed as morally superior in family values universe. The general point, of course, is that conservatives have used family values as a bludgeon against liberals for many years, and that the general messiness of Palin's family life has complicated that line of attack. What Mark is saying is that despite our best intentions, life DOES happen, and as he makes clear in the last panel, he doesn't exempt himself. To him, the death of sanctimony is something to be celebrated.

and from October 28:

Washington, D.C.: My friends and I have been discussing: Is there any one book, movie, or TV show, that having as a favorite is an automatic deal breaker? What interests would prove to you that someone is totally unfunny, has a different worldview, and that this relationship would never work?

Some say "Da Vinci Code" as a favorite book is a deal breaker. The best example I've come up with is ruling out someone whose favorite television show is "Everybody Loves Raymond."

Gene Weingarten: Dan Quayle's favorite movie was, famously, "Ferris Beuller's Day Off."

I judge people by their taste in comic strips, where there are obvious and cliched deal breakers. But there are also subtle red flags. I'm worrying about someone who claims to like "Prickly City" or "Mallard Fillmore."

DowntheDrai, IN: Gene --

What was your reaction to Sunday's "Doonesbury?" I have trouble with this whole "attack Joe the Plumber" thing. For all you, I or Trudeau knows, Joe's a great plumber -- or maybe a terrible one -- but why should we care? The cartoon comes across as just a vicious personal attack on the guy for having the temerity to disagree with Obama.

So I figured there must be a deeper point being made -- some metaphor about the candidates -- but if Trudeau is trying to suggest that one of them will prove to be an inept bumbler who doesn't know what he's doing -- well, Obama's the one without the track record of accomplishment, but somehow I don't think that's where Trudeau was going.

Was this funny and I just missed it? Doonesbury, (Oct. 26)

Gene Weingarten: Yes, it was funny and you just missed it. First off, you need to understand that because of Sunday comic deadlines, Trudeau must have punched this out in minutes, the day after the last debate, when it became manifest that Joe the Plumber was not a licensed plumber.

Is this fair satire? Yep. Why? Because Trudeau knows exactly as much about Joe the Plumber as McCain apparently did before he hauled him out to be the CENTERPIECE of his failing, desperate campaign. McCain had already created this ridiculous stalking horse, and Trudeau is doing exactly what his job is: Exposing the hypocrisy behind it.

It doesn't matter whether Joe is a competent, unlicensed plumber. He's a caricature, and McCain made him one.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Louts on Onion AV Club comment board attempt to tear down Cul de Sac

Noel Murray reviewed Our Man Thompson's first collection in "Comics Panel: October 27, 2008," concluding "Once Thompson gets into a groove, he produces one of the few strips around where nearly every individual panel is standalone delight… A-"

The first comments bash the strip around, but then more literate defenders come on strong. Although really, who cares? Besides Richard, that is. Don't read the first comments, Richard!

Catholic University has a comics collection... who knew?

Of course, they're all issues of a Catholic comic - Treasure Chest, which had some pretty good art. See "CUA Archives Holds Comic Book With First Known Depiction of Black President," by Justine Garbarino, Catholic University's The Tower October 27, 2008 for the link between Obama and Nostradamus.*

*A new rumor! You heard it here first!

That darn Washington Post

Even its Sunday comics are liberal! if only it's editorial page (with the notable exception of That Darn Toles) was...

Check out Tuesday's Comic Riffs

I hear there will be news on the Post's Sunday Comics Section on Comic Riffs on Tuesday morning.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Great Pumpkin resonates in comics

Two strips in the Post today, Lio and Little Dog Lost, both tipped a wink towards Peanuts and Linus' search for the Great Pumpkin. If Dave Astor still was at E&P, I wouldn't have to write posts like this.

In the USA Weekend magazine including in the Examiner, there's a funny Walmart ad for the video of the Incredible Hulk movie. A family is watching the Hulk movie, and the Hulk himself has busted through the wall of their house and is crunching one side of their sofa as he settles in to watch himself on the tv. The paper also included a trick-or-treat bag for Halloween with ads for animated movies Madagascar 2 and Monsters vs. Aliens.

Art of Political Cartooning in an Election Year photographs

The event at the Writer's Center was a lot of fun. KAL showed print cartoons of the last few presidential elections and then demonstrated several of his projects including Democrazy and his live poltical animation. Richard followed his with drawing caricatures - he marveled that people think it's 'magic' that he can draw a recognizable face, but then again so do I. Matt wrapped up and talked about doing political cartoons for Politico. Links to the websites of all three can be found on the right.

All the pictures I shot can be seen on my flickr site, but here's a few. You can also download an audio recording of indifferent quality.

Richard Thompson caricaturing Sarah Palin. Lipstick courtesy of KAL.

Matt Wuerker showing his Politico home page.

KAL's cartoon journalism on attending a presidential convention.

Post's review of Philly's Crumb exhibit

This review is more for someone with no familiarity with Crumb - "Digging 'Underground': In a Temple of High Art, the Lowbrow Work Of R. Crumb Certainly Rises to the Occasion," By Paul Richard, Washington Post Sunday, October 26, 2008; M06.

Signed copies of Harvey Pekar: Conversations for sale at Big Planet Comics

I signed a few copies of Harvey Pekar: Conversations that are for sale at Big Planet Comics in the Bethesda and Georgetown stores. It would make a lovely Christmas present!


By John Judy

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 by Marc Guggenheim and Mike McKone. In which we finally learn who Jackpot really is. Hope this issue comes with aspirin…

ASTONISHING X-MEN: GHOST BOXES #1 of 2 by Warren Ellis, Frank Cho and Alan Davis. A tie-in series to the current Ellis AXM storyline, chiefly interesting for the artists involved. Guaranteed pretty!

ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN #9 by Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard. Wolf-Man on the run? Always fun! And what about this “Elder Brood” business? It’s the old Hulk TV show done right!

AVENGERS INITIATIVE #18 by Dan Slott, Christos Gage and Stefano Caselli. Scrappy kids still fightin’ Skrulls because that never gets old!

BOYS #24 by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. This issue has an “Animal House” tribute cover. Why did nobody think of this before? “In your face, first issues of Action Comics and Fantastic Four!” Highly recommended. Not for kids.

DC UNIVERSE: DECISIONS #4 of 4 by Bill Willingham, Judd Winick and Howard Porter. An evil entity is taking over Presidential candidates and forcing them to self-destruct. (Insert Sarah Palin joke here.)

ELEKTRA BY FRANK MILLER OMNIBUS HC by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz. Lots of ninja super-action from early (pre-insane) Frank Miller. This stuff is great! What happened…?

EMPOWERED, VOL. 4 SC written and drawn by Adam Warren. Kind of like a bawdy HBO comedy built around a super-hero awards show and the personalities involved. Manga-style art, salty dialogue, for older teens and up.

ESSENTIAL MARVEL HORROR, VOL.2 SC by Various Creators. “Boo!”

FINAL CRISIS: RAGE OF THE RED LANTERNS #1 by Geoff Johns and Shane Davis. Okay, the Lantern spectrum so far is Green = Will Power. Yellow = Fear. Red = Anger. Of course the ones you really need to watch out for are the Plaid With Stripes Lanterns. Get offa their lawns!

GARTH ENNIS’S BATTLEFIELDS: NIGHT WITCHES #1 of 3 by Ennis and Russ Braun. 1942. Commie women pilots drop bombs on Nazi invaders. This is so Grindhouse!

GREEN LANTERN: IN BRIGHTEST DAY SC edited by Geoff Johns. A bunch of old GL comics selected and introduced by the guy who revitalized the franchise. A chance to peek behind the curtain.

HELLBLAZER: FAMILY MAN SC by Jamie Delano and Many Great Artists. Collecting eight issues from the early days of HELLBLAZER in which John Constantine had to contend with a completely non-mystical serial killer. Still one of the best Constantine stories ever done. Highly recommended.

IMMORTAL IRON FIST #19 by Duane Swierczynski and Travel Foreman. In which Danny tries to learn why all previous Iron Fists have died at age 33. Did someone let it slip that that’s when your life as a man peaks, never to get that good again? Oops…

JOKER HC by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo. An original graphic novel focusing on the Batman’s Big Bad. Mr. J decides to take control of the Gotham underworld in his own inimitable style. Guaranteed oogies!

KILL YOUR BOYFRIEND GN by Grant Morrison and Philip Bond. A third printing of the Vertigo cult classic from 1995. Exactly what it sounds like. Fun stuff, especially when you consider the original target audience is probably having their second kids by now.

MAN OF ROCK: A BIOGRAPHY OF JOE KUBERT SC by Bill Schelly. Tracing the life and work of the 82 year-old living legend of comics. Includes interviews with the artist, his family and colleagues going back to 1938 when he got his first job in comics at age twelve. Recommended.

MARVEL APES #4 of 4 by Karl Kesel and Ramon Bachs. The final issue! Yes, it really made it all the way to number four! Your favorite Marvel heroes as apes! Some as vampire apes! Ook!

MISTER X ARCHIVES HC by Dean Motter, Los Bros Hernandez and Others. It’s 25 years old and really, really weird. But Important! If you like noir, art deco and German Expressionism this one’s for you!

NO HERO #2 of 7 by Warren Ellis and Juan Jose Ryp. If you want to be a super-hero you have to take dangerous drugs. That nice Mr. Ellis tells me so and he’s got an honest face. Not for kids.

NORTHLANDERS #11 by Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly. A tale set in the closing days of the Viking rule of Ireland. Vikings fighting Irish. Will this title ever stop being completely awesome? Highly recommended.

PREVIEWS by Marvel and Diamond Comics. See what you’re getting tomorrow today!

SOLOMON KANE #2 of 5 by Scott Allie and Mario Guevara. Starring the only Puritan that Ed Brubaker’s ever been a fan of! This series had a very strong first issue and appears to be maintaining its high quality. Recommended.

STREETS OF GLORY #6 of 6 by Garth Ennis and Mike Wolfer. Wrapping up Ennis’ oater epic in a fashion to be expected by Fans of Garth. Not for kids.

SUPERMAN #681 by James Robinson and Renato Guedes. One Hundred-Thousand Kryptonians hit the third rock! What could go wrong?

THOR #11 by J.Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel. Believe it or not, Loki is up to something…

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #3 by Brian Michael Bendis and David Lafuente Garcia. Ultimate Peter and Ultimate Mary-Jane appear headed to an ultimate experience, sans purity rings. Tsk-tsk, are these kids from Ultimate Alaska or something?

UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION GRAPHIC ADAPTATION HC & SC by Jonathan Hennessey and Aaron McConnell (with a little help from James Madison). What it says: A graphic exploration of the document that made us a pretty amazing country up until the age of signing statements, extraordinary rendition and warrantless wiretaps. A worthy addition to any library and an appropriate parting gift for various Congresspersons, Senators, etc. Highly recommended.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tonight! Matt, Kal and Richard at the Writers Center

7:30 in Bethesda - I'll be there too.

Geppi's Entertainment Museum rent continued

Here's an update on the unpaid rent issue at Geppi's Entertainment Museum - "Geppi’s Entertainment Museum owes $600K in rent and other fees," LIZ FARMER, Maryland Daily Record Business Writer, October 22, 2008.

Post recommends uncensored Looney Tunes collection

See "Bugs Bunny Takes a Bow," By JEN CHANEY, Staff Writer, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008 which was published as Warner Bros. Says, 'That's All, Folks!', Washington Post October 24 2008. This is the 6th and last collection apparently. At some point, I'd like to pick these up but I don't know when I'd ever find the time to watch them.

Virginia Comic-Con in Richmond, November 23, 2008

The upcoming Virginia Comic-Con (or Central Virginia Comic-Con, depending on where you look on their web pages) will be on November 23rd, 2008 (the weekend before Thanksgiving). It's out of the DC metro area proper, but still within reasonable driving distance (depending on where in the region you are, I suppose!). I've never been, but it looks to be a reasonably small show, but with a decent guest list this year!

Special Guests include the Tsunami Studios gang (Rick Ketcham, Randy Green, Steve, Bird, John Wycough, Kelly Yates, and Brian Shearer). James Kuhoric (his only convention appearance this year), local yokel Steve Conley, Jason Craig, Louis Small Jr., and small press creators Martin Krause, Brian Vissagio, and Dan Nokes of 21st Century Sandshark Studios.

Their vendor list looks similar to the one you find at the Capital Associates show in Tyson's Corner -- Tomorrow's Treasures, Cards Comics and Collectibles, Richmond Comix, Dino Thore, Guy Rose, Dave Shankle, FanData Comics, Banks' Comics, Rick Fortenberry, Battlefield Comics, Brett's Comic Pile, New World, Kuti's Comics, All-American Comics, West End Comics, Heroes Aren't Hard to Find, Kupinski's Comics, Wonder Wares, Zeno's Comics, and Dominion Comics. Some names there that don't ring a bell though, so you're bound to find something you haven't seen before or are looking for that the "usual suspects" haven't had.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Caricature waaaay back in the Reagan era

Back in the 1980s when I was in college in DC, great caricature posters of President Reagan and his cabinet would appear around town glued up overnight. Robbie Conal was the artist and here's a profile of what he's doing now -- but DC needs him back! There are still plenty of politicians who need caricaturing in town.

See "Robbie Conal and the Art of Character Assassination: Guerrilla pop," By Dwayne Booth, LA Weekly October 21, 2008.

Boy, I'm sorry I never got any of those posters peeled off although I'm not sure I need to see Ed Meese ever again, even in a caricature.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Marc Singer on Morrison's Superman

Marc Singer's got a lovely essay up on his blog about Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman. Hopefully Marc will find the time to devote himself to the Morrison book he's obviously got in him.

Comic Riffs interviews Breathed

Ok, today Michael Cavna jumped from an interview on Black Panther's sex to comic strips and interviewed the once-again retiring Berkeley Breathed.

Dave Astor laid off at Editor and Publisher

Dave Astor sent a note saying he's been laid off from Editor and Publisher as of the end of this month. Dave's been a friend of this blog, but beyond that he's one of the few in the mainstream media who has covered comics for years. Dave covered the syndicates that distribute comic strips, writing both small blurbs and larger articles as necessary. Dave's voice went beyond the readers of comics-centered specialty magazines or blogs like this one, and our field is poorer for the loss of his column. I hope that another publisher realizes the richness of Dave's knowledge and his ability and quickly snaps him up so we can get back to reading his stories.

As an aside, I can't help but think that newspapers and magazines letting go of the people that know the most about their field, whether in Washington Post buyouts, Baltimore Sun layoffs or Dave's current firing makes any sense at all if "content" is king as the media moguls keep trying to tell us.

I see I used the same 'headline' as Alan Gardner whose Daily Cartoonist site has better coverage of this whole stupid story. Tom Spurgeon has much the same tenor as I do.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

OT: Phil Jupitus' latest BBC interview

Jupitus, a British cartoonist turned comedian, has been interviewing cartoonists for the BBC. We've already linked to his Trudeau and Cartoonists with Attitude shows, so here's the October 21st interview with Russell Taylor and Charles Peattie about their British strip Alex which focuses on the financial world. Of the top of my head, I can't think of an American equivalent.

Richard Thompson on the differences between Virginia and Maryland suburbs

I try to avoid linking to Richard's blog too often just to avoid the overly-cozy relationship that can come up between a stalker and his objective, but this hilarious and uncannily accurate map should be seen by the ComicsDC audience.

Oct 22: Daryl Cagle at UVA

It's at the edge of our coverage area, but see "U.Va. to host political cartoonist," October 20, 2008 for details.

OT: Dennis the Menace artist Marcus Hamilton

Here's a story on Marcus Hamilton who I met over the summer at Heroes Con - he's a real nice guy, and I really enjoyed having lunch with him. See "Cartoonist shares message of perseverance with hometown,"D BY HEATHER J. SMITH, The Dispatch Monday, October 20, 2008.

Kuper covers Post Health section

Peter Kuper did a somewhat atypical drawing for the Post Health section today - the original is quite large, but only this mini-version can be seen online.

Comic Riffs breaks news of Black Panther's breast implants

David Betancourt and Michael Cavna have broken the story of Marvel's new female Black Panther. They write, "The first modern black superhero is about to get a serious facelift -- even if we can't yet see under the mask" but I believe they've gotten the type of plastic surgery wrong, since they follow that up with "Black Panther will now be a woman warrior."

The comments are hot and heavy though - proving something about comic book readers perhaps.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Joker pumpkin pattern

Yesterday's USA Weekend, distributed in the Examiner, had this in it: Download The Joker stencil for your pumpkin carving, USA WEEKEND October 19 2008. The stencil looks rather hard actually...


By John Judy

BERNIE WRIGHTSON’S FRANKENSTEIN HC by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and Bernie Wrightson. If you’ve never seen this book before brace yourself for a religious experience. On the 25th anniversary of its original release, Dark Horse Comics has put together this Cadillac of a collectible. Contains the full text of the classic novel and 47 full-page illustrations by the Grand Master of American horror art. Highly Recommended and Then Some.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #43 by Ed Brubaker and Luke Ross. Winter Bucky fights that freedom-hating Frenchie, Batroc the Leaper! The moustache wax is gonna fly!

CRIMINAL 2 #6 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. The bodies are piling up and the poor slob behind “Frank Kafka: Private Eye” is in so far over his head he oughta change his name to Aquaman. Highly recommended!

DAREDEVIL #112 by Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark. The notorious assassins guild known as The Hand runs all over New York in search of a good thumping! And DD spends the night in jail for being a big man-whore. Spicey stories!

DC UNIVERSE HALLOWEEN 2008 by Various Spooks. A little something to hand out to the kids that won’t rot their teeth or get your house torched.

FINAL CRISIS #4 of 7 by Grant Morrison and J. G. Jones. Evil wins as Darkseid finally attains “The Anti-Life Equation!” (Also known as John McCain’s latest budget proposal.)

FINAL CRISIS: SUBMIT #1 by Grant Morrison and Matthew Clark. Darkseid and his goons want Black Lightning to submit! Insist on a safety-word, Black Lightning!

HULK #7 by Jeph Loeb, Frank Cho and Arthur Adams. Come for the Red Hulk, stay for the legendary artists! Or vice-versa. BTW, the Red Hulk is secretly Ang Lee.

NEW AVENGERS #46 by Brian Michael Bendis and Billy Tan. Otherwise known as “The Old Red Hood.” This issue contains trace elements of actual Avengers.

NORTHLANDERS, VOL.1: SVEN THE RETURNED SC by Brian Wood and Davide Gianfelice. An engaging, original “You Can’t Go Home Again” story set near the turn of the last millennium. Stark and beautiful, giving the reader a real sense of how desolate Viking country was back then. Highly recommended.

RUNAWAYS #3 by Terry Moore and Huberto Ramos. Mostly Skrull-free! Still, these kids need a bigger Bad to fight. Or at least run away from. That Brian K. Vaughan is a tough act to follow…

SCALPED #22 by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera. In which we finally see Chief Lincoln Red Crow’s first murder. I’d suggest you buy extra copies to hand out at Halloween but it would get you arrested. For “Great Taste in Comics!” Highly recommended.

SECRET INVASION #7 of 8 by Brian Michael Bendis and Leinil Francis Yu. Big fights!

SUPERMAN: NEW KRYPTON SPECIAL #1 by Tons O’People. There’s 100,000 new Kryptonians in town. At least they’re not mutants.

THOR: THE TRUTH OF HISTORY ONE-SHOT written and drawn by Alan Davis. A Thor adventure in ancient Egypt. “Osiris have mercy on us! Their skin is the color of a blood-drained corpse!” Guest-starring Laurel and Hardy! Honest!

THUNDERBOLTS #125 by Christos Gage and Fernando Blanco. Skrull fightin’ action!

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #127 by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen. Creepy Ultimate Carnage/Gwen Stacy is back. “But her face!”

WARREN ELLIS AETHERIC MECHANICS GN by Internet Jesus and Gianluca Pagliarani. Ellis’ twisted take on a Holmes/Watson mystery. So compelling that Avatar Press ALMOST decided to publicize it! Gotta look!

WOLVERINE: MANIFEST DESTINY #1 of 4 by Jason Aaron and Stephen Segovia. Wolverine goes to Chinatown looking to peacefully settle an old score. Not with three issues still to go, bub! Good stuff. Recommended.

X-FACTOR #36 by Peter David and Larry Stroman. If mutants are the next step in human evolution why does Larry Stroman draw them all like cro-magnon men? Even the girls. Starring all the mutants nobody else currently wants.

X-MEN: LEGACY #217 by Mike Carey and Scot Eaton. Wolverine’s long-lost son, nerd-level sexual intrigue and the saddest-looking last page I’ve seen this year. Sigh…

Y: THE LAST MAN DELUXE EDITION HC by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. The first ten issues of the now-legendary series, done up nice and posh. Recommended.

"Kal and University students launch Democracy website" reads the PR

Kal, who will be in DC this Saturday, sent in the following announcement:

I am very excited to announce the launch of a special and important website. is the creation of students and staff at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). The site is a fun and informative using cartoons, animation and playful language to help address and explain the complexities of our democracy.

My team at USDemocrazy set out to capture the color and character of each of our 50 states. To help in this endeavor, we contacted the very best experts in each state-The Political Cartoonists-to be our first contributors. With their help we have built a growing data base of fun and important information.

Check out the short introduction video below:

The site is an interactive venture. We are still looking to add more information on each state and expand our state animations (I have finished 32 so far). Check out the site and offer your insights.


Kevin Kallaugher

Oct 23: Politics, etcetera… by Sid Chafetz political woodblock exhibit opens

Stanford in Washington Art Gallery Presents

Politics, etcetera… by Sid Chafetz

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Stanford in Washington Art Gallery is proud to host the new exhibition Politics etcetera... by acclaimed international artist Sid Chafetz. This retrospective includes a variety of portraits, scenes, and political lithographs that comment on national and global events while speaking to the human condition.

Chafetz is considered to be one of the world’s greatest living woodblock artists and has stated that his work utilizes, “…satire to stab at pomposity – whether in my own field of academe or in our political world.” Author and independent curator Allon Schoener remarked that Chafetz’s work, “provokes our social, political, and moral awareness, and forces us to recognize the boundaries of individual responsibility and personal culpability.”

Sid Chafetz began his artistic studies in 1940 at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). He was drafted into the army his sophomore year and survived combat in the Battle of the Bulge. Chafetz returned to the United States after World War II, graduated from RISD, and continued with his education in France at the American School at Fontainebleau, the Academy Julian, and with the artist Fernand Leger. Chafetz has been exhibited regularly since 1947 in national and international shows and is currently the emeritus professor of art at Ohio State University where he launched the printmaking program in 1959. His work can be found in private and public collections including the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Dahlem Museum in Berlin, and the Columbus Museum of Art.

The Stanford in Washington Art Gallery
2655 Connecticut Avenue, NW; Washington, DC 20008
Metro: Red Line to Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan.
Hours: 9:00 – 7:00 Monday through Friday, 12:00-6:00 Saturday and Sunday

Exhibit runs from October 23, 2008, until January 31, 2009.
Admission is free.
Call 202-332-6235 for more information.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Luna Brothers interview

The local creators were interviewed at Baltimore Comic-Con - "Catching Up with the Luna Brothers," By Vaneta Rogers, Newsarama 2008-10-13.

Mid-October madness in Dc, chronologically REVISED

One could do something related to comics every night this week in DC. I don't know which of these I'll make, but I've RSVP'd for Macaulay at Aladdin's Lamp, Rob Tornoe's appearance and will see my friends at the Writer's Center.

Oct 20: Chemistry Set's No Formula release party

Oct 20: David Macaulay at Aladdin's Lamp

Oct 21: David Macaulay at Politics and Prose

Oct 22: Rob Tornoe on panel in DC

Oct 23: Cartoons and Cocktails

Oct 23: Canadian animation at National Archives

Oct 24: Bleach movie showing

Oct 25: Campaign Cartoons with KAL (Kevin Kallaugher)

Oct 25: political cartoonists Wuerker, Thompson and Kal at Writer's Center

Nov 6: Israeli comics lecture at Library of Congress

Nov 7: Art Spiegelman

In today's papers

The Washington Examiner ran a brief review of Art Spiegelman's Breakdowns on page 35 - it's not online.

The NY Times reviewed two comics creator's works - Jules Feiffer's Explainers and the Hernandez Brothers' Love and Rockets.

The Wash Post has a minor Gaiman review.

Thompson in Nickelodeon magazine

Chris Duffy stopped by Richard's table at HeroesCon and suggested that Richard do a piece for Nickelodeon Magazine. The result is in the November issue - a cover for their comic book insert that's very nice. I'll be buying a copy this week.

Frank Cho interview at Comic Book Resources

"Frank Cho on Jungle Girl Season 2," by Kiel Phegley, Contributing Writer, Wed, October 15th, 2008. For those coming in late, Cho was a University of Maryland cartoonist when he started University Squared which became Liberty Meadows when it was syndicated. He still lives in suburban Maryland.

Oct 21: David Macaulay at Politics and Prose

In addition to being at Aladdin's Lamp in Arlington on Monday night at 6:30, Macaulay will appear twice at Politics and Prose on Tuesday, October 21st at 10:30 am and 7 pm.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Zadzooks on Batman Lego and Bennett's Best

Okay, I can understand the appeal of making your own stop-action animation film using LEGO Batman toys. But a videogame? Can anyone explain this to me? Zadzooks reviews it anyway in "ZADZOOKS: Dynamic Duo must save city in LEGO Batman: The Videogame," Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times Wednesday, October 15, 2008.

And in "Bennett's Best for the week of October 5," By Greg Bennett, Zadzooks blog October 15 2008, Greg recommends DC apes and UK World War 1 stories.

Good Richard Thompson interview in City Paper

Amanda Hess of the Washington City Paper sent a note saying that she'd interviewed Richard Thompson in the current issue and I'd missed it, although I did catch the "cartoonist with an odd theme" as I prefer to put it. I've got to stop reading the paper after going to the dentist.

I just read her article - it's good one. People aren't paying enough attention to Richard's caricature although that's how he made his name. Recently I was at his house and saw the sketches for his Palin finger puppet in the recycling, along with a bunch of photos of her he'd printed from the web. It was a fascinating look at how caricature works (I'm not a cartoonist and can't draw). For those who are interested, Richard runs a lot of his caricatures on his blog.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oct 20: DAVID MACAULAY at Aladdin's Lamp

He'll also be at Politics and Prose the following day. Macaulay's also a cartoonist - I just scored a used copy of Great Moments in Architecture tonight.


Monday, October 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Author and illustrator David Macaulay, who has won numerous awards (including the Caldecott Medal) for his books, will introduce his newest book The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body. Starting with cells, Mr. Macaulay takes readers on a stunning visual journey through the major systems of the body. All who have wondered why their neck hurts, or how their food is digested; how someone gets sick, how someone gets better; or how life is created – the answers are in The Way We Work. Mr. Macaulay’s other books include Castle, Cathedral (Caldecott Honors), Black and White (Caldecott Medal), The New Way Things Work, Pyramid, Mosque, and many more. A book signing will follow. Grades 4-adult. Please call to register.

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mid-October madness in Dc, chronologically

I don't know which of these I'll make, but I've RSVP'd for Rob Tornoe's appearance and have strong hopes of making the Writer's Center.

Oct 20: Chemistry Set's No Formula release party

Oct 20: David Macaulay at Aladdin's Lamp

Oct 22: Rob Tornoe on panel in DC

Oct 23: Cartoons and Cocktails

Oct 23: Canadian animation at National Archives

Oct 24: Bleach movie showing

Oct 25: political cartoonists Wuerker, Thompson and Kal at Writer's Center

Nov 6: Israeli comics lecture at Library of Congress

Nov 7: Art Spiegelman

Oct 23: Canadian animation at National Archives

Note animation historian Charles Solomon's appearance.

National Archives, 9th and Constitution Ave, NW
Thursday, October 23, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
A Salute to the National Film Board of Canada

This program, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in partnership with The Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film and the Foundation for the National Archives, celebrates more than 50 years of Oscar(R)-nominated and -winning short subjects produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Hosted by renowned animation critic and historian Charles Solomon, the program will feature several films, including Neighbours (1952), Christmas Cracker (1962), Bob's Birthday (1993), and Ryan (2004). The program will be introduced by Academy President Sid Ganis. Joining us from the NFB will be Government Film Commissioner Tom Perlmutter and animation producer Marcy Page. Torill Kove, director of the 2006 Oscar(R)-winning animated short subject The Danish Poet, will also appear.

BBC Radio 4 talks to Jen Sorenson

I just got a note from Jennifer Clarke of the BBC about Phil Jupitus doing more comics interviews. The one that aired yesterday was of the Cartoonists with Attitude - Jen Sorenson was one of the people on the air. Here's an excerpt of the email:

[After the success of the Garry Trudeau interview,] Radio 4 decided to broadcast 4 more 15 minute programmes.

The first programme was an interview with Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 7 October 2008. You can listen again via this permanent link:

The second programme was broadcast on Tuesday 14 October 2008 and featured Cartoonists with Attitude (Mikhaela Reid, Brian McFadden, Jen Sorensen and Masheka Wood). You can listen again via this permanent link:

The next two programmes will feature:

Tuesday 21st October 0930 Charles Peattie/Russell Taylor of Alex

Tuesday 28th October 0930 Bill Griffith of Zippy the Pinhead

Alex is a British strip on London bankers (which has recently been adapted to the stage).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

LATimes blog on Geppi's Entertainment Museum

Sarah Weinman reports on the Bouchercon signings held at the museum.

Oct 23: Cartoons and Cocktails

Sylvia Smith
President, National Press Club
Michael Ramirez
Winner, 2008 Pulitizer Prize for editorial cartooning
cordially invite you to

Cartoons & Cocktails
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008
National Press Club Ballroom
6 p.m. – Silent auction
7 p.m. – Live auction

Wall Street? Obama? Palin? McCain? – and Two Wars?

With so much news this year, we have a bumper crop of editorial cartoons for the 21st Annual Cartoons & Cocktails, the nation’s top cartoon auction. Come bid on your favorites and meet many of the cartoonists who will be drawing live for our special Art-In-Action feature.

Auctioneers include Michael Phelps of The Washington Examiner (our media sponsor), Bob Edwards of XM Radio and NPR, Sari Horwitz of the Washington Post, Harry Jaffee of Washingtonian Magazine, Derek McGinty of WUSA-TV 9 and Mike McCurry of Public Strategies.

Cartoons & Cocktails is a major fundraiser for three great causes:

* Young D.C., the independent newspaper by and for teenagers from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, and its First Amendment programs.
* Cartoonists Rights Network International, which assists editorial cartoonists around the world who are persecuted because of their commentaries.
* The Eric Friedheim Library at the National Press Club, its awards and scholarship programs.

Tickets are $50 each and include drinks and hors d’oeurves
Can’t attend? Choose your cartoons (after Oct. 18) and bid at

Purchase your tickets through the National Press Club. Call 202-662-7501.
Charged tickets can be picked up Oct. 23 at the Cartoons & Cocktail will-call desk.

Administrivia: Calendar help requested

Does anyone know of a calendar widget that I can hook onto this blog to put in the upcoming events? October's getting ridiculous with 4 events in a week, if I recall correctly. Which is the problem.

Oct 20: Chemistry Set's No Formula release party

In from Jim Dougan:


October 14, 2008


October marks the release of NO FORMULA, an anthology collection of 12 short stories from the international comics collective The Chemistry Set through Desperado Publishing. Join the creators in celebrating at events next week in Washington, DC and New York!


October 20, 2008 from 6pm until…?

Science Club
1136 19th Street NW (between L and M streets)
Washington, DC 20036

Join editor and contributor Jim Dougan (and maybe other suprise guests) in celebrating the release of NO FORMULA! Copies of the book will be available for purchase. Oh, and stick around - a DJ will be spinning from 8:30pm, and happy hour drink specials are available all night!


Wednesday, October 22nd, from 5:00 - 7:00 PM

Jim Hanley's Universe
4 West 33rd Street
New York, NY 10001

The Chemistry Set will be out in force to celebrate the release of NO FORMULA. Books will be available for sale, and contributors appearing include: Vito Delsante, Jim Dougan, Elizabeth Genco, Michel Fiffe, Rami Efal, and Kevin Colden.


About NO FORMULA: Haunting. Humorous. Harrowing. Those are just some of the words to describe the short stories compiled in this inaugural collection from the international comics collective the Chemistry Set. Founded in 2006, the Chemistry Set has served as the breeding ground for tomorrow's comic all-stars and includes three Xeric Award winners. Combining talents from America, Australia, Europe and Asia, their chemistry together is seen in stories that range from the heartfelt to the horrifying, from the mythological to the macabre.
Color / B&W, 120 pp. 6in x. 9in.
Price: $16.99
ISBN-10: 1935002090
ISBN-13: 978-1935002093

For more on The Chemistry Set:

For more on Desperado Publishing:

Oct 22: Rob Tornoe on panel in DC

Rob just sent this notice in - Note the online registration that's required:

Join the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet,, and GW’s Graduate School of Political Management for

The Race in the States

A reception and panel discussion about campaigns and public opinion in the battleground states.

How will our evolving, modern-day electoral map affect elections this year? Will voter registration efforts change the game? Which voters will most likely vote — and have the biggest effect on the election? What role do pollsters and bloggers play in monitoring (and possibly moving) public opinion this campaign season? How does humor persuade? A panel of bloggers, organizers, pollsters, and analysts discuss these questions and their predictions for Election Day 2008.

When: Wednesday, October 22nd 2008 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: The National Press Club

529 14th St, NW

Washington, DC 20045

13th Floor, The Morrow, White, and Lisagor Rooms

Map: National Press Club

Metro: Metro Center (Red, Blue, and Orange Lines)

Registration requested. Register online.


Anna Greenberg, Senior Vice President of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner

Maren Hesla, EMILY’s List, director of the WOMEN VOTE! program

Dr. Michael McDonald, Associate Professor of Government and Politics in the Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution

James Pindell, Managing editor of and their sixteen state political news sites as well as the Pindell Report.

Phillip Stutts, President of Phillip Stutts & Company, LLC, a political and corporate consulting firm.

Rob Tornoe, Editorial cartoonist for, a national network of state-specific politics websites owned by the The Observer Media Group, which also publishes the New York Observer.


Matt Lewis, Conservative writer and commentator featured in Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN.

Margie Omero, President of Momentum Analysis, LLC, a Democratic public opinion research firm based in Washington, DC.

Nov 7: Art Spiegelman

Sara Duke reports that Spiegelman will be at Politics and Prose on November 7th, presumably discussing his reissue of Breakdowns.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Herblock prize news

See "Herblock Prize News Includes Increase in Cash Award from $10,000 to $15,000," By Dave Astor, Editor & Publisher online October 13, 2008. Dave also names the judges for this year.

Oct 24: Bleach movie showing

CONTACT: Chris Wanamaker, (202) 262 2083

DC Anime Club and Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan Present: Bleach The Movie: Memories of nobody

The DC Anime Club and the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC), Embassy of Japan Present Bleach The Movie: Memories of Nobody on Friday October 24, 2008 at 6:30pm as part of the Anime/Live Action Series based upon Manga (Japanese Comics).

In Karakura Town, there has been a sudden outbreak of unidentifiable spirits called "blanks" (vacant souls) while in the skies of Soul Society, the real world has been reflected. A mysterious female shinigami called Senna has appeared before Ichigo along with a man named Ganryu, leading a group called the "Dark Ones".

The screening will be held at the Japanese Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan located at Lafayette Center III 1155 21st Street, NW Washington, DC 20036-3308.

Seating for the screening of Bleach The Movie is limited and attendees are encouraged to rsvp by sending an e-mail to

This program is free and open to the public. 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 a 501(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.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spiegelman and McCall illustrated interviews in Book Page

Two of my favorite cartoonists have illustrated interviews in the Books A Million chains' magazine, Book Page. You can pick up a copy in the store in Old Town Alexandria most likely, but you can also see them online. Spiegelman's reworking of Breakdowns isn't something I've seen yet, but will definitely get. Bruce McCall, seen most often in the New Yorker these days, has migrated to doing children's books like a lot of other cartoonists.

Another MacHomer article

"The Bard and Bart Simpson: A Natural Pairing?," By Celia Wren, Washington Post Sunday, October 12, 2008; M03.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Oct 17: Cartoons You Can Believe In and The Cartoons You Deserve by R.J. Matson

thanks to Martha Kennedy for the tip!

1643 Wisconsin Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20007
Tel (202) 965-4601 Fax (202) 338-1660


Preferred Publication Date: October 17, 2008
Contact: Naomi Cayne

WHAT: Cartoons You Can Believe In and The Cartoons You Deserve by R.J. Matson

WHEN: Friday, October 17th through Saturday, October 31st
Opening Reception - Friday, October 17th 6 - 8:30pm

WHERE: Susan Calloway Fine Arts

About the Artist

R.J. MATSON, the editorial cartoonist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The New York Observer, and Roll Call, presents satire in its most aesthetic form. With a finger on the economic and political pulse of the nation, Matson creates cartoons that espouse a bipartisan commentary on current events. As he puts it, “I just try to react to the news and get it right. I don’t care so much about telling the world how I feel, just trying to get the smartest, funniest take on what's happening.” Just in time for the presidential election, Susan Calloway Fine Arts will feature recent political cartoons both in their hand-drawn, black and white original forms as well as colorized versions that have gone to press.

R.J. Matson was born in Chicago in 1963, and was raised in Belgium and Minnesota. He received his B.A. from Columbia University in 1985. Along with the aforementioned papers, Matson’s cartoons and illustrations have also appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, MAD Magazine, City Limits, The Daily News, The Washington Post, Capital Style, and Rolling Stone. One of Matson’s cartoons was selected as number one on Time Magazine’s “Top 10 Editorial Cartoons” of 2007 list. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and three children.

Susan Calloway Fine Arts specializes in contemporary art by local, regional, and international artists, antique American and European oil paintings, and a carefully chosen selection of 17th-19th century prints. The gallery also specializes in conservation framing using archival-quality materials and techniques, and traditional French mat decoration.

Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11-5, Sunday - Monday by appointment.


By John Judy

AFTER 9-11: AMERICA’S WAR ON TERROR HC & SC by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon. The team behind the excellent 9-11 REPORT graphic adaptation now present us with its tragic sequel. While the creators strive to be fair to all concerned the Bushies come off almost as badly as they deserve. Hey, misleading a nation into a bankrupting, unnecessary war will do that sometimes! Highly recommended for 4,115 reasons as of this writing.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #573 by Dan Slott and John Romita Jr. Spidey and Norman Osborn mix it up but the real story is the variant cover featuring Stephen Colbert! “Stephen Colbert: Better than zombies and apes put together!”

ASTONISHING X-MEN #27 by Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi. This is one of those special books where, even if you don’t love where it’s going, you have to respect the intelligence of the writing and the intricate beauty of the art. It even has jokes that work! Who knew the White Queen’s real power was drollery? Recommended.

CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13 #6 by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk. Vampires! Mindless Ones! But enough about the GOP base… This is a good comic. Clever, worth reading, recommended.

DC UNIVERSE DECISIONS #3 of 4 by Judd Winick, Bill Willingham and Rick Leonardi. The most amazing thing about the DCU isn’t the superheroes. It’s that there are four viable candidates for President in the general election. I wish we could have President Luthor back. He kept us safe.

EX MACHINA VOL. 7: EX CATHEDRA SC by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris. Collecting issues #30-35 in which the Great Machine meets the Pope. Hijinks ensue. Recommended.

FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF THREE WORLDS #2 of 5 by Geoff Johns and George Perez. Great, epic, continuity-shattering space opera by two guys who were born to do this sort of thing! On, Nerdery, on! Recommended.

FINAL CRISIS: ROGUES REVENGE #3 of 3 by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins. The big throw-down between the Rogues and the Secret Society! Who will burn? Who will freeze? Who will… look bad in the mirror? Plus, Barry Allen!

GHOST RIDER #28 by Jason Aaron and Tang Eng Hut. Two Ghost Riders, Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch, fight in the mountains of Tibet. Why isn’t Tarantino filming this right now? Also, a Very Special back-up story.

GREATEST HITS #2 of 6 by David Tischman, Glenn Fabry and Gary Erskine. A great new series based on the idea that the British Invasion of the sixties was not rockers but superheroes. Oh, and somebody dies. Probably the hero whose superpowers are drumming and mooching off his girlfriend. Very clever, lots of inside humor, recommended.

HULK MONSTER-SIZE SPECIAL #1. (Insert incredibly inappropriate joke here.)

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #19 by Geoff Johns, Alex Ross and Dale Eaglesham. Everybody fights everybody! Finally! It’s Gog-errific!

MIGHTY AVENGERS #19 by Brian Michael Bendis and Steve Kurth. Warning! This issue may contain actual Avengers!

PUNISHER MAX #63 by Gregg Hurwitz and Laurence Campbell. Last issue some low-down meth dealers tricked Frank into wasting a kidnapped little girl. This issue Frank responds. Not for kids.

RASL #3 written and drawn by Jeff Smith. The mystery of Smith’s dimension-hopping thief continues. Who is the lizard dude and why is he chasing Rasl down? Cartoon, sci-fi noir. Good stuff. Recommended.

SCALPED VOL.3 SC: DEAD MOTHERS by Jason Aaron, R.M. Guera and John Paul Leon. Don’t buy anything else this week until you’ve picked up this book, collecting issues #12–18 of this amazing, gut-punching series. Not for kids. For everyone else. Highly recommended.

SUPERMAN AND BATMAN VS VAMPIRES AND WEREWOLVES #1 of 6. I list this comic only because I wanted to type the title.

SUPERMAN’S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN SPECIAL #1 by James Robinson and Jesus Merino. We always knew he was.

ULTIMATE ORIGINS #5 of 5 by Brian Michael Bendis and Butch Guice. Okay, it’s been an interesting ride, but I’d like to officially request of Marvel that all future ULTIMATE mini-series actually have an ending rather than just being lead-ins to the next friggin’ ULTIMATE mini-series! Just make it a maxi-series if it takes longer than six issues to tell the story. Nuff said!

UNCANNY X-MEN #503 by Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker and Greg Land. Mutants drink beer, fight and smile a lot. Did you know that in San Francisco everyone has perfectly straight, white teeth? Or at least solid white bands where teeth should be? Don’t tell me comic books lie! Also a certain redhead is back from the dead. It must be Wednesday.

WELCOME TO HOXFORD #3 written and executed by Ben Templesmith. The artist of FELL pulls out the stops on this Werewolves vs. Psycho-Killer diversion. It’s fun but not for kids.

News from KAL

Kaltoons LLC unveiled the newest of its innovative animation at Philadelphia's Kimmel Arts Center on October 7. A live interactive Presidential debate between an animated Barack Obama and John McCain featured questions from the packed audience. The "Debate" was part of "The Art of Satire" a stage show sponsored by The Economist featuring topical comedy supplied by "The Second City" improv comedy troupe and a "Stand-up Cartoonist Routine" by yours truly.

You can see a short tease from the animation here:

The show heads to New York City for two shows on Saturday November 1 (7 and 10PM) at The Edison ballroom at 47th and Broadway. Tickets are going fast. Tickets and information are available at:

ZADZOOKS: Cal McDonald uncovers the occult

"ZADZOOKS: Cal McDonald uncovers the occult," Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times Wednesday, October 8, 2008. This is a series I keep meaning to read, but still haven't gotten around too. Also reviewed is the Flash, which I don't read anymore.

Friday, October 10, 2008

OT: A man's reach should exceed his grasp...

...or what's a heaven for? wrote Robert Browning. Here's a story that two of my friends sent me independently. This is very close to my idea of heaven.

MacHomer Post review

See "Double, Double Toil and D'oh!," By Nelson Pressley, Washington Post Friday, October 10, 2008; C05.

Oct 11: Kate Feiffer in Arlington

Kate Feiffer, Jules Feiffer's daughter who has done books with him, is signing books tomorrow.

Meet Author Kate Feiffer
Saturday, October 11, 2008

At 2:00 p.m.

Kate Feiffer, author of Double Pink and Henry the Dog with No Tail, will introduce her newest book, President Pennybaker. Published just in time for election season, this book tells the story of Luke Pennybaker, who when sent to his room for time out, decides to run for president and make life fair for kids once and for all. But is being president all it’s cracked up to be?

A book signing will follow. Ages 4-8. Please call to register.

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

OT: Out of Sequence: Underrepresented Voices in American Comics

This exhibit is by a couple of friends of mine, Damian Duffy and John Jennings.

Out of Sequence: Underrepresented Voices in American Comics
Krannert Art Museum, 500 East Peabody Drive
University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
October 24, 2008-January 4, 2009

What is comics?
Out of Sequence is an exploration of that question. It is a declaration of the diversity of sequential art in the United States, diversity of creators, content and form. It is a broad survey of women, small press, minority, independent, gay & lesbian, self-published, mini, underground, web and/or gallery comics creators.
What is comics? There is no one answer. Here are many.

Out of Sequence Events List

Thurs. Oct. 23: 6-8pm, Krannert Art Museum
Out of Sequence exhibition opening reception, featuring a talk by gallery comics creator Mark Staff Brandl and music by DJ Delayney

Fri-Sat, Oct. 24-25: 10am-4pm, Link Gallery
The Next Panel Illinois Small Press Comics Expo
Small press comics artists, including several from the art show, will be selling their work. Mama's Boyz creator Jerry Craft will also be offering a family oriented workshop on creating comics on Saturday afternoon.

Thurs. Oct. 30: 5:30pm, Krannert Art Museum
Gallery Conversation with Damian Duffy and John Jennings, co-curators and creators of The Hole: Consumer Culture (2008).

Sat. Nov. 8: 1-4pm, Krannert Art Museum Auditorium
"Emerging Out of Sequence: Examining the Past and Charting the Future of American Comics" Gallery conversation with Nancy Goldstein, author of Jackie Ormes:: The First African American Woman Cartoonist (2008), Andrei Molotiu, abstract comics creator and curator; Trina Robbins, comics creator and herstorian, and Ashley A Woods, independent comics creator. Moderated by co-curators Damian Duffy and John Jennings

Fri. Nov. 14, 7-11pm: Artzilla
Comics Film Series in conjunction with Out of Sequence exhibition, Multimedia Hip Hop Set featuring images by John Jennings

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Cartoonists at Walter Reed followup

MAD cartoonist Tom Richmond has a blog post about visiting troops at Walter Reed up now - "NCS/USO Trip- Washington D.C.,"
Tom's MAD blog (October 6 2008).

Maryland's Carla Speed McNeil interview reposted

I'm not sure when this was originally from - "Flashback Series Of Interviews: From Print To The Web With Carla Speed McNeil of Finder," October 8 2008.

MacHomer featured in Express

See "Springfield Play: When 'Macbeth' meets 'The Simpsons,' it's lay on Duff Beer!," by Express contributor Dan Miller, Express October 9, 2008. If anyone gets to see this, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

The paper also had a wire-service story about bicyclist Lance Armstrong appearing on the children's animated show, Arthur which airs on PBS. Arthur is one of the better educational cartoons.

City Paper takes note of Thompson's blog

Unsurprisingly it's Mark Athitakis who notes Richard's blog on his blog. See "Local Cartoonist Injured by Untenable Malcolm Gladwell Thesis." The City Paper's headline today is about their bankruptcy, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Weingarten on Breathed's retirement

From the October 7th chat:

Op, US: I can't believe Berke Breathed is retiring...again.

Seriously, I was a huge fan as a high school student, a moderate fan as a college student, and a passing fan as an adult. I mean, it's a character-driven strip that hasn't been daily for nearly 20 years, so it's not like we had much opportunity to get re-attached for the last three. I just can't get choked up the way I would for, say, Trudeau or like I did for Larson or Watterston. Or like I did for Breathed, twice already.

Gene Weingarten: Well, Berkeley has been teasing us for weeks now. It's no surprise.

I liked Opus, and it remains one of the best drawn strips on the comics pages, and I will miss it. But I think the decision to go Sunday-only may hae doomed it from the start. It's very hard to gain traction without a daily dose of your characters, particularly, as you say, with a character-driven strip.

I began to feel that Berkeley's heart was not entirely in this latest enterprise when more than once we found ourselves looking at recycled Bloom County gags.

Gene Weingarten: But: Week after week, Opus delivered some of the best sky-is-falling allegorical hang-wringing about the political hypocrisy afoot in our land. It's not a voice I would vote to lose and I'm sorry to see it go.

and one of his readers feels strongly about Doonesbury in a positive way, as do I:

B.D. Grins!: Hi Gene,

It's been over a week, but I'm still smiling about seeing B.D. smile in Doonesbury.

I loved Trudeau's whole sequence about Sam's Sarah Palin doll, but the most touching thing was seeing B.D. get so tickled as Boopsie tried to explain to Sam that Palin shouldn't be her hero (or her vice president). We've seen B.D. recover from his amputation and deal with his PTSD and even reach out to other characters -- but I'm pretty sure this is the first time he's smiled. It made me unreasonably happy.

And wide-eyed Boopsie has come a long way since B.D.'s injury, too. She's been a rock for B.D. And it's nice to see her get steamed about Palin.

I can't believe how emotionally invested I've become in these characters lately. Trudeau has always been brilliant, but this is ridiculous.

Gene Weingarten: Yeah, this was the best day of a good week.

Joost Swarte sketches from Small Press Expo 2008

Joost Swarte was kind enough to sketch in some of his books for me over a cup of coffee at the Small Press Expo. I never thought I'd get to meet him. He's been one of my favorite cartoonists for years. He was very friendly and interesting. His early training in industrial design definitely influenced his work We talked a bit about a recent design of a long stained glass window for a courthouse until he had to go to a panel on Herge, but he thinks I might have the largest collection of his signed books in the States. Heh, I've got more I didn't bring to get signed... (and thanks to Barbara Poestema for bringing two of these back from the Netherlands for me this summer!) Here's shots of the sketches he did.

100_6254 Swarte - Dr Ben Cine 1

100_6255 Swarte - Dr Ben Cine 2

100_6253 Swarte - Dr. Ben Cine A-Z

100_6252 Swarte - Coton and Piston-Voiture

100_6251 Swarte - Coton and Piston-Porte-Monnaie

100_6250 Swarte - Coton and Piston-Journal Phenomenal

100_6249 Swarte - Kulture and Technik

100_6258 Swarte - Niet Zo 2

100_6257 Swarte - RAW 2-1

100_6256 Swarte - Glas en Lood

And I met Istvan Banyai, the awesome illustrator, who came to the Expo to see Joost! Another one of my favorites!

Finally, Michael Cavna who I got to meet briefly has a good roundup of SPX quotes online today - "The Morning Line: Obama! Palin! Who's Got the Best Line?..." By Michael Cavna, Washington Post Comic Riffs blog October 8, 2008.

Iron Man and Opus Washington Post articles

Catching up a bit, this article ran online, and then in the paper - "An 'Iron Man' of Epic DVD Proportions," By JEN CHANEY, Staff Writer Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008, Washington Post (October 3).

Following up on Cavna's scoop was "Cartoonist to Put 'Opus' on Ice," By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts, Washington Post Tuesday, October 7, 2008; Page C01.

Oct 25: political cartoonists Wuerker, Thompson and Kal at Writer's Center

Boy, this is going to be good! All three of these guys are sweethearts in person, if vicious in print, and are articulate and clean too. The Writer's Center is a couple of blocks from the Bethesda subway.

The Writer's Center to Host Roundtable Discussion on the Art of Political Cartooning in an Election Year, October 25th

Bethesda, MD (Oct. 8, 2008)—With less than a month before the election, candidates in both major parties are laying down broad reasons why we, the American people, should step up and vote for them. Standing on the periphery observing are the political cartoonists, keen-eyed artists whose sharp and often witty reflections of the political scene render judgment in simple, stark images.

On Saturday, October 25th The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD will celebrate the art of political cartooning with a special roundtable discussion featuring three of the nation’s most distinguished cartoonists: Matt Wuerker (The Politico), Richard Thompson (Washington Post), and Kevin Kallaugher (Baltimore Sun and The Economist). The event is made possible by a generous grant from the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation.

When: October 25th (7:30 p.m.)

Where: The Writer’s Center, Bethesda, MD 20815

This event is free and open to the public

Political cartooning has been important aspect of communication throughout American history. Since the distribution of Benjamin Franklin’s “Join or Die” cartoon in support of the French and Indian War in 1754, cartooning has served as a valuable tool to communicate political ideals and engage diverse audiences. It serves as a vehicle for citizens to challenge the political and cultural environment, making it a key facet of free speech, as well. The combination of narrative power and aesthetic symbolism render political cartooning an entirely unique method of expression. Additionally, both the classic comedic four-panel cartoon “strip,” and the one-panel, so-called “gag” cartoon often associated with The New Yorker, have commented on American life for decades.

About the artists:

Richard Thompson’s cartoon “Richard's Poor Almanac” appears weekly in The Washington Post and his comic strip “Cul-de-Sac” appears weekly in the “The Washington Post Magazine.” A book of his collected Almanac cartoons was published in 2005. His illustrations have appeared in U.S. News & World Report, The New Yorker, National Geographic and The Atlantic Monthly. He has received the National Cartoonist Society Magazine and Book Illustration Award for 1995, and their Newspaper Illustration Award for 1995. Visit him online at:

Matt Wuerker is the staff editorial cartoonist for The Politico. Mr. Wuerker’s cartoons are syndicated by the Tribune Syndicate and Two collections of his cartoons have been published, Standing Tall in Deep Doo Doo: A Cartoon Chronicle of The Bush Quayle Years, and Meanwhile in Other New…a Graphic Look at Politics in the Empire of Money, Sex and Scandal. His work has been published in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor, as well as Funny Times, The Nation, The American Prospect, and Z Magazine. Visit him online at:

Kevin Kallaugher is the editorial cartoonist for The Baltimore Sun and The Economist. In March 1978, Mr. Kallaugher became the first resident cartoonist at The Economist in its 145-year history. His work has been included in more than 100 publications worldwide, including Le Monde, Der Spiegel, Pravda, Krokodil, Daily Yomiuri, The Australian, New York Times, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, and The Washington Post. His cartoons are distributed worldwide by Cartoonarts International and the New York Times Syndicate.

You can view his work online at:

About the Writer’s Center:

The Writer's Center, founded in 1976, is one of the premier independent literary centers in the country. By becoming a member, you join an organization of more than 2,500 writers, editors, small press publishers and other artists. We promote the art of writing by offering workshops, hosting readings and special events, and building a community of writers, workshop leaders, publishers and audiences for contemporary writing.

The Writer's Center is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible. A copy of our current financial statement is available upon request. Contact the Writer's Center at 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 20815. Documents and information submitted to the State of Maryland under the Maryland Charitable Solicitations Act are available from the Office of the Secretary of State for the cost of copying and postage. The Writer's Center is supported in part by The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts. Our web address is

Media Contact:

Kyle Semmel
The Writer’s Center
301.654.8664 ext. 15