Thursday, December 31, 2009

Spider-Man fan film continues

I'm still working on a book-length listing of films adapted from comics - Randy Scott's got it for indexing at the moment. I just got an email that part four of a Spider-man fan film has been put online - PETER'S WEB "BURIED ALIVE" is now available for viewing at

NPR's Weldon's year in review

2009: The Comics That Clung, By Glen Weldon, National Public Radio's Monkey See blog December 30, 2009.

Michigan State U's Comic Art Collection's year in review

2009 in the Comic Art Collection at Michigan State University Libraries is featured in the International Journal of Comic Art's blog this morning. Ohio State's Billy Ireland Library and Museum will be appearing tomorrow.

The fund-raising Interplanetary Journal of Comic Art is still available. Proceeds support IJOCA. And it's funny.

Comicsgirl interviews with Jo Chen, Laura Martin and Tonya Kay

I just realized I hadn't been reading Comicsgirl this fall (sorry!), so I ran back through her blog until summer. Here's 3 other good interviews she's done:

Five questions with Tonya Kay, Monday, 19 October 2009 - with 'superhero' reality show star.

Five questions with Laura Martin, Thursday, 8 October 2009 - with one of the best colorists in the business.

Five questions with Jo Chen, Thursday, 1 October 2009 - with our local comics cover painter.

Comicsgirl interviewed DC Ass't editor who's also ... a woman!

I missed this earlier, but it's still good - Comicsgirl interviewed a DC Ass't editor in "Five Questions with Janelle Siegel," Tuesday, 24 November 2009.

Nate Beeler wraps it all up

I can't agree more with Nate's cartoon today. And the 21st century had such promise. Instead we're getting 1984, 25 years late.

Jan 1: Big Planet Comics annual sale

20% off everything. Friday, Jan 1, Noon-5 pm at all 4 stores.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bill Mauldin and Sunday Funnies US stamps coming in 2010

On my Cartoonphilately blog, you can see more details about Bill Mauldin and Sunday Funnies US stamps coming in 2010

The Real World: D.C. features a cartoonist of sorts

The Real World: D.C., a reality show thing filmed on Dupont Circle this summer, features Andrew, a would-be cartoonist of sorts. The Express and the LA Times mention his chosen career in passing. I'm sorry I didn't find out sooner so we could have had a ComicsDC event over the summer with him. On the other hand, he didn't contact us either.

Seth 'Family Guy' MacFarlane interview in Express

Seth 'Family Guy' McFarlane has an interview in today's free Express paper, reprinted from the LA Times.

The Express cropped the last question which totally changed the tenor of the end of the interview. The last Q&A was:

How did it make you feel?

Like I had no spine.

Toles through the decade feature on Post website

A Tom Toles through the decade feature is on the Post website. "Washington Post political cartoonist Tom Toles talks about highs and lows of "the Aughts" and the inspiration behind some of his most memorable cartoons from the past 10 years."

Little Nemo animation entered into Library of Congress Registry

Winsor McCay's Little Nemo animation entered into Library of Congress Registry, reports the Associated Press on the Washington Post website.

The Library's press release says:

Little Nemo (1911)

This classic work, a mix of live action and animation, was adapted from Winsor McCay’s famed 1905 comic strip "Little Nemo in Slumberland." Its fluidity, graphics and story-telling was light years beyond other films made during that time. A seminal figure in both animation and comic art, McCay profoundly influenced many generations of future animators, including Walt Disney.

This is not the 1990s Japanese animation of course. Speaking of McCay, I had an original of one of his political drawings in my hands this weekend. Hoo-hah!

Another cartoon I'm not familiar with was added as well:

Quasi at the Quackadero (1975)

"Quasi at the Quackadero" has earned the term "unique." Once described as a "mixture of 1930s Van Beuren cartoons and 1960s R. Crumb comics with a dash of Sam Flax," and a descendent of the "Depression-era funny animal cartoon," Sally Cruikshank’s wildly imaginative tale of odd creatures visiting a psychedelic amusement park careens creatively from strange to truly wacky scenes. It became a favorite of the Midnight Movie circuit in the 1970s. Cruikshank later created animation sequences for "Sesame Street," the 1986 film "Ruthless People" and the "Cartoon Land" sequence in the 1983 film "Twilight Zone: The Movie."

Caricaturist David Levine dies, Post runs AP obit

David Levine, one of the best American caricaturists of the 20th century, has died of complications from prostate cancer. The Post ran an Associated Press obituary (which does note that his work is in the Library of Congress - go here and enter "David Levine" in your search and you'll get 78 hits including this McDonald's illustration). Read the NY Times for more information.

Michael Cavna had a good piece on Comic Riffs though. The Times is running an appreciation, or rather an appraisal tomorrow too.

Maira Kalman reviewed in Post

Kalman's done these clever blog posts for the NY Times which are sort of comics. The past year's have focused on American holidays, but the 2008's have been collected in The Principles of Uncertainty. The Post reviewed it today.

Herblock! exhibit review

Another one for the International J of Comic Art that you're getting to see first...

Herblock! Sara Duke, Martha Kennedy and Cynthia Wayne. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, October 13, 2009-May 1, 2010.

By the terms of Herbert “Herblock” Block’s will, the Library of Congress must mount an exhibit of his work every three years. In spite of Block’s staggering 72-year long professional career and four Pulitzer Prizes, this reviewer begins to feel a bit jaded. Fortunately, this is an excellent exhibition that is well worth seeing and is accompanied by an excellent companion book, Herblock by Haynes Johnson and Harry Katz (New York, Norton, 2009) that also has a cd of 18,000 of Block’s cartoons (produced by Warren Bernard). The occasion for the large scale of these events was Herblock’s 100th birthday.

The exhibit is in a new gallery, created recently from a reading room, and to get to it, one has to walk through a recreation of Thomas Jefferson’s library – a highlight for any book lover. The curators (who are my friends) cleverly chose 82 original drawings that have not bee on display before. These are out of the 14,460 cartoons and 250,000 roughs he left to the library. They also added the twelve books of his cartoons that Block published in his lifetime. These copies, unlike the ones originally added to the Library, have their dustjackets because they are a recent donation to the Prints and Photographs division from the Herb Block Foundation.

The exhibit opens with a précis of who Block was and includes some of his iconic images such as the footsteps leading from the Watergate break-in to Nixon’s White House. “The Approaching Perils” covers his early years. One can see Block’s early typical Midwestern cartoonist style using pen and ink – a style that is unrecognizable to us as Herblock. This style soon gives way to his familiar use of heavy crayon or graphite lines. Some notable works were “Winged Victory” (1938) in which he quoted the sculpture from Samothrace, and “What ‘Peace Now’ Would Mean” (1940) in which he showed Hitler armed with a machine gun and sitting on the globe.

Other sections were “Psychopathic Ward” on the Depression, fascism and World War II, “White is Black, Black is White, Night is Day—“ on the Cold War, “Naughty, Naughty” on McCarthyism, “Everything’s [Not] Okay” on the 1960s, “Here He Comes Now” on Richard Nixon, “It Gets Into Everything” on the 1970s and terrorism, “Joy to the World” on Ronald Reagan, “Closing Years, Contrasting Styles of Leadership” on Clinton and the elder George Bush, and “Classic Cartoons by a Master” to catch anything that might have been missed.

One could easily select favorite drawings from each section – my notebook is full of notations such as “Man’s Reach” (1968) in which he drew, apropos of Apollo 8, a white hand with its finger and thumb meeting to encircle the moon on top of a black layer covering most of the paper. By the end of his life, and thus the end of the exhibit, Block’s ability was slipping somewhat and the images are covered with Avery labels and ink redrawings. “Creationism or Evolution – That’s Up to the States” has Bush’s head reworked and pasted on, but the final image in print would have looked fine.

During the press tour Harry Katz noted that in the future “you’re not going to see cartoons on the wall – newspapers are changing” and “With Herblock missing, we need to get the voice of the cartoonist out there and revitalizing the art form” – two sentiments that most readers of IJOCA (and this blog!) can agree with and hope for the best.

The Real Story of Superheroes exhbit review

I've submitted this for the spring issue of the International Journal of Comic Art, but will share it with my readers here first.

The Real Story of the Superheroes: Photographs by Dulce Pinzón. Washington, DC: Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, November 4-28, 2009.

Photographer Dulce Pinzón clothed Mexicans working in New York City in Halloween superhero costumes loosely related to their jobs, and photographed them doing that work. Thirteen large images were displayed. Pinzón’s biographical data sheet noted, “As a young Mexican artist living in the US, Dulce soon found new inspiration for her photography in feelings of nostalgia, questions of identity, and political and cultural frustrations. … ‘The Real Story of the Superheroes’ comes full circle to introduce the Mexican immigrant in New York in a satirical documentary style featuring ordinary men and women in their work environment donning superhero garb, thus raising questions of both our definition of heroism and our ignorance of and indifference to the workforce that fuels our ever-consuming economy.” While one should generally read press release material with ones critical faculties engaged, I actually agree strongly with the second sentence. The images do not quite stand by themselves, but with captions that explain whom the people and what their occupations are, one is easily led to musing about socio-economics and superheroes.

Some photographs were disturbing: an image of a young man in a Robin costume standing at night on a city street illuminated by a peepshow sign and a police car is labeled, “Robin. Ernesto Mendez from Mexico City works as a male prostitute in Times Square New York. He sends 200 dollars a week.” Other images are less disturbing, but still thought-provoking. “Elasticman [actually Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four – ed.]. Sergio Garcia from the State of Mexico works as a waiter in New York. He sends 350 a week.” The photograph shows him in costume reaching across a diner to present a plate to a seated woman. A cook is shown as the Human Torch, Batman is a taxi driver, Spider-man is a professional window cleaner, Acuaman (sic, Aquaman) works in a fishmarket and the Hulk loads trucks for a greengrocer.

Pinzón had a clever conceit, took thoughtful photographs and the exhibit was well worth seeing. The images were for sale in several sizes and prices ranging from US$1250-$2500.





Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bugs recommends

Here's a couple more shots of a cartoon character popping up in DC.



I love the homemade cartoon art, and the impulse that makes people do it.

It's a jungle out there

Here's a couple of shots from this fall of a Disney's Jungle Book nutrition ad for the USDA on a Washington, DC bus stop.

100_9175 Jungle Book USDA bus stop ad

100_9176 Jungle Book USDA ad

2009 Comics in the Rearview

by John Judy

Right. Technically this list is not confined to those little paper things with two staples holding them together on the spine.

Instead it encompasses monthly and even weekly periodicals as well as a huge number of quality hard and soft cover graphic novels, trade collections of previously printed material and associated stuff.

Basically if it uses words in conjunction with pictures to get an idea across in the year 2009 it was eligible for the list.

And of course I favored anything that was available at finer brick and mortar comic stores near you. Sorry, webcomics. I know you're the future but not just yet. Maybe next year.

In the meantime, here are my faves of 2009 with apologies to all the great creators and material I have certainly missed.

ART OF STEVE DITKO HC edited by Craig Yoe. What it says on the cover, kids. Plus an intro by Stan "The Man" Lee. Lots of amazing material plus tributes from Jerry Robinson, John Romita and P. Craig Russell. Highly recommended.

ASTERIOS POLYP written and drawn by David Mazzucchelli. So whatever happened to the guy who drew "Batman: Year One" and "Daredevil: Born Again?" Somewhere along the line he grew into a creator who could get a blurb like this from Entertainment Weekly: "It's as if John Updike had discovered a bag of art supplies and LSD." You want this.

by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Don't worry, it's not the perennially late-shipping ALL-STAR version by Jim Lee and the guy who killed The Spirit for a generation. This is the dream-team that gave us ALL-STAR SUPERMAN among other things. It's the new Dynamic Duo and their flying batmobile! All the weirdness you've come to expect from Morrison, plus an honest to gosh story you can actually follow.

by Archie Goodwin and a Pantheon of Sixties Art Gods. Collecting all four issues of the war comic that was so good it got put out of business by people who were afraid it would end the Vietnam War. Kudos to Fantagraphics for putting this together.

by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess. The creator credits on this make it a Must-Have but if you need a taste try this: "Ladies of Light and Ladies of darkness and Ladies of never-you-mind. This is a prayer for a blueberry girl. First may you ladies be kind." And it's all drawn by Vess. Highly recommended for anyone who has or has been a daughter. No lie, the older my daughter gets the harder it is to get through this book without choking up.

by Robert Crumb. A straightforward adaptation of the classical Judeo-Christian creation myth, done up in R. Crumb style.

by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. Trademark Ennis violence, depravity and dark satire with layer upon layer of fandom in-jokes, still managing to hold up as an accessible mystery-thriller with capes. A must for fans of Ennis's anything goes style.

by Michael Keller and Nicole Rager Fuller. A beautiful new presentation of the book that changed the world and raised us that much further from the muck of our common origins. Have a look at what's been pissing off the morons for 150 years. Highly recommended.

by John Layman and Rob Guillory. Set in an alternate United States where meat is outlawed and the USFDA is more powerful than the NSA and the Mossad's secret love-child. Agent Tony Chu has the ultimate power and the ultimate curse: He's a cibopath, a guy who gets psychic impressions off everything he eats. Imagine "The Dead Zone" meets "Top Chef." It's twisted, over the top and available in trade. Bon apetite!

by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey. The Evil Twin boys and their comic about comics! The latest of their four issues features stories about the rise of Marvel Comics, Robert Crumb and Tin-Tin! More fascinating than a lot of imaginary stories being published today! Highly recommended!

CRIMINAL: SINNERS by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. The latest of the story arcs has Tracy Lawless back, solving a crime only a guy who's not a cop can solve. Lawless is among the more fascinating and conflicted characters in the Criminalverse and it's great to see him back in action even as he seems more lost than ever. And the comics-exclusive back-up text features remain as irresistible as ever.

EC ARCHIVES: FRONTLINE COMBAT VOL. 1 HC by Various Geniuses. Collecting the first six issues of this masterful series of war comics from 1950-51. Still some of the best ever done. Highly recommended.

EX MACHINA by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris. Yet another Vaughan maxi-series is drawing to a close. This sci-fi political thriller about a New York Mayor who communicates with machinery is a great read for political junkies and superhero fans alike. Lots of trade editions available.

by Ray Bradbury and Tim Hamilton. A graphic adaptation of Bradbury's classic story of firemen who really expand on the traditional definition of the job. Highly recommended.

by Matthew Sturges and Freddie E. Williams II. Full disclosure: I thought FINAL CRISIS was a huge let-down and all the other spin-off series were unreadable. This was the exception! All you needed to know was the main character was a costumed moron who taped the murder of the Martian Manhunter on his cell phone. The Red Flame. Everyone hates him so now he's got to RUN! And he does, growing more powerful and loathsome with every issue until… Well, let's not give it away, but the beauty of it is you're kind of rooting for him the whole time.

by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver. More honesty: I still don't follow how exactly Flash #2, Barry Allen, came back from the dead or why, but this series makes me glad he did. And it looks great.

by Ennis and Several Artists. Ennis's obsession with World War Two and the people who fought on all sides of it seems inexhaustible. As a result we readers are able to enjoy (if that's the right word) two or three mini-series per year exploring the tragedy, gallows humor and tarnished nobility of those people whose sacrifices made everything we enjoy today possible. No capes, but lots of heroes. Recommended.

written and drawn by Eric Powell. This one's hard to explain except to say, "Imagine if Tim Burton and Terry Gilliam had a baby and it was raised by Mickey Spillane…" I love it and so should you.

by Geoff Johns and Various Artists. Okay, the whole "War of Light/Blackest Night" thing is a love it or hate it deal. Got it. But no one can deny Geoff Johns is pulling off the most successful, character-defining GL story since the Denny O'Neill-Neal Adams run in the seventies. Fine, you could deny it but you'd be wrong. And who doesn't love those promotional power rings?

by Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece. The paperback of Johnson and Pleece's powerful graphic novel about a light-skinned African-American reporter passing as white in the deep South at the height of the segregation era. Highly, highly recommended.

by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. This is the mini that took Ed and Sean away from CRIMINAL for a while and, though I would have preferred more CRIMINAL, this story of a super-villain busting out of witness protection was still pretty darn good. Shocked if this isn't a movie in a few years.

by Mark Waid and Peter Krause. A little number from the author of KINGDOM COME about a god-like superhero going bad. Really, horrifyingly good. Recommended.

by Apostolos Doxiadas, Christos Papadimitriou, Alecos Papadatos and Annie DiDonna. A graphic biography of philosopher/mathematician Bertrand Russell woven with interstitials of the creation of the bio itself. An well-crafted, informative brain-melt with which to pass an afternoon.

by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. The best thing to happen to Marvel/Timely's golden age since THE TWELVE. See how it all came to be with a little retroactive continuity polish. Highly recommended.

written and drawn by R. Sikoryak. This one is a true Must-Have if you are a fan of classic literature, classic comics and ingenious mash-ups. This one lives up to its name. Highly, highly recommended.

by Dan Slott and Khoi Pham. A niche book for people who always wanted to see founding Avenger Hank Pym really come into his own. If you like your hero/scientists eccentric and unpredictable Dan Slott delivers yet again.

by Fred van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey. Collecting all nine issues of the original run, plus four all-new stories written just for this book! A real treat! Also a bit of aggravation for those of us who bought all the comics and original trades. I suppose we must be philosophical about it….

by Brian Wood and Various Artists. A series of stories (sagas?) unconnected by anything but the setting of Viking culture 1000 years ago. Some are almost like westerns, some are police procedurals, but all of them create a sense of place more successfully than most books. Wood turns cold, bleak isolation into unexpectedly fertile ground. Recommended.

by Neil Gaiman and Brett Helquist. A hardback edition of the story Neil wrote for the UK's World Book Day about a boy in Viking times who must save Asgard from the Frost Giants and restore springtime to the world. Illustrated by Brent Helquist (of Lemony Snicket fame), 128 pages and appropriate for young readers. Recommended.

PICTURES THAT TICK SC by Dave McKean. A graphic brain-bender from the guy who brought you every single cover of SANDMAN among too many other works of genius to mention here. Gotta look!

PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES GN written and drawn by Ben Templesmith. I'll let Mr. Templesmith speak for himself on this one: "All 43 (well, technically 42, but Cleveland served two nonconsecutive terms) plus, technically, I think the 44th as well will be in time for printing. A portrait each, plus some facts. Especially about some of the lesser known ones. Damn some were sick/quirky/weird bastards." Highly recommended.

written and drawn by Jeff Smith. The latest ongoing from the creator of BONE. This one's more for mature readers as it involves reptilian assassins chasing down a scientist turned dimension-hopping art thief. Cartoon, sci-fi noir is the closest it comes to a category, so don't be fooled by the simple appearance of it. There's dark doings here as each issue reveals another layer to the onion and draws you that much further in.

written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke. Donald Westlake's first Parker novel adapted by comics master Cooke. Yeah, you need this, especially if you enjoyed the movie "Payback" with Mel Gibson and Maria Bello. Unbelievably good and highly recommended.

by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera. This series continues to be among the most underappreciated on the monthly stands, even as its trade collections sell out. A bloody crime comic set on a fictional Indian reservation with a hero who seems on a race to destroy himself before his past can do it for him. Joyously unpredictable even as it grinds the reader's face in the squalor and hopelessness of The Rez. Forget the year, this is one of the best comics of the decade. Read it.

by Craig Coe. Exactly what it sounds like. Spicy pictures drawn by the guy who helped create the all-American icon of the 20th century! Not for kids but highly recommended anyway.

written and drawn by Kyle Baker. Okay, so this title comes out about as often as Boo Radley. It's still Kyle Baker so it's gorgeous, clever and edgy as all get out. This comic was inspired by the corrupt recruiting practices of the US Military that put kids with autism in the front lines of the Iraq War. Seriously. This happened. Highly recommended.

by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Mike Perkins. This encompasses all the mini-series thus far in this epic adaptation of Stephen King's most famous novel. For the two guys who haven't read it already, a strain of flu wipes out 95 percent of the population and the survivors have to choose whether to ally themselves with well-intentioned do-gooders or a goal-oriented monster. Having seen the 1994 TV adaptation I can say with assurance that this is a more skillful and satisfying beast. Accessible even to the above-mentioned two guys. Here's hoping the Aguirre-Sacasa/Perkins creative team sticks together when it's all over. These guys have the magic.

STRANGE SUSPENSE: STEVE DITKO ARCHIVES, VOL. 1 HC edited by Blake Bell. The complete two-year run of all Ditko's pre-code horror comics from the earliest days of his career. You must have this.

STUDS TERKEL'S WORKING GN by Harvey Pekar and Various Artists. An adaptation of the late journalist's anthology of first-person accounts of what it was like working various jobs in 1974 America. Recommended.

by Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth. When a private dick with a gambling problem finds herself on the hook for big money to a casino the best way out is probably to do the casino owner a favor. Because that always ends well. Highly "Rucka-mended!"

by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. It's the new Official Canon of Superman's Life and Times. Put your Byrne-autographed MAN OF STEEL back on the shelf, kids. It is now an antique. Recommended.

written and drawn by Rick Geary. A graphic biography of Stalin's arch-nemesis, and it ain't Hitler. Two pick-axes up! Recommended!

by Steve Lieber and Jeff Parker. "Thriller set in a cave" doesn't really do justice to this tense, good-looking comic by the artist of WHITEOUT and the author of AGENTS OF ATLAS. Highly recommended.

by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. This one's heating up fast, kids. It's the story of a guy who may or may not have been written into the real world and all that implies about other pop fiction characters. This is not your father's Earth-Prime! Recommended.

by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard. It's the awesome zombie movie that never ends, now into its 6th triumphant year and heading to television on AMC. Kirkman is a master of the gut-wrench and the uncomfortable "What if?" and Adlard seems almost supernatural in his ability to render post-apocalyptic people and scenery just right. The skill these guys have in putting their readers shoulder to shoulder with the besieged survivors can't be overstated. This is the zombie book for people who don't like zombie books. And those who do. Not for kids.

by WE and Marek Oleksicki. That nice Mister Ellis takes on Mrs. Shelley and her lad, teaching us a few things we didn't know along the way. Not for kids.

by Brian Cronin. A fun collection of comics industry legends and apocrypha, perfect reading for the one seater or anywhere else.

by Many, Many Amazing Writers and Artists. This was the most audacious experiment of the year: DC Comics taking some of their best and least known characters and putting together a 12-week anthology book in the form of a traditional Sunday newspaper comics section. It was honestly very hit or miss and everyone had their favorites and their fishwrap, but this was a great reminder of how much we're missing in the real comics sections today. Let's hope DC learns and tries again. (BTW, my favorite strips were Adam Strange and Kamandi, two characters I never had much interest in when they had their own books.)

by Fletcher Hanks and Paul Karasik. This is the sequel volume to 2007's deeply disturbing and entertaining I SHALL DESTROY ALL CIVILIZED PLANETS and completes the collected works of golden-age writer/artist (and monster) Fletcher Hanks. Publisher Fantagraphics has generously provided a 13 page preview on their website Highly recommended.

Monday, December 28, 2009

MJ's Fiddlestix comic

MJ, one of the cartoonists who gave me a logo drawing, wrote in over the holiday with some information on his comic strip, Fiddlestix. With his permission, we'll show some strips and give some history. The earliest examples he sent were twenty years old. "I've been doing it for over twenty years, the first 3 were with a deal from Bill, then after he retired, they were hounding me to change this, change that. I couldn't take it no more. So I took my ball and went home. Wonder often what might of been though..."

These date from when he and King Features Syndicate were working it up. Of these he said, "They are the two main characters, had a few others but Grizzle, and Irving are always in the strips unless it is a FIDDLESTIX / Pinhead strip. Another main character that I rarely use because of Zippy from Bill Griffith. Pinhead was created not even knowing that there was another out there. At least I eventually learned and the strip now looks so much better."

These are two daily strips.

"These were in a digest published by Big Time Attic in 2007 which was distributed internationally. The last 3 panel FIDDLESTIX dailies appeared in SPOON Magazine (U.S.A.) during 2007. The dailies were pulled from publication in 2008 for the 20th anniversary and moved to a sunday only multi-panel format which are syndicated internationally through Newsblaze Publications, Folsom, California. The first color multi-panel format was featured through Scoop/Diamond International Galleries, Gemstone Publishing in March 2008. They appeared in comics distributed in Great Britian, U.K. throughout 2008. They currently appear in Newropeans Magazine (Paris, France), Newsblaze Publications (U.S.A.), and The National Free Press (Canada, Kingston, Ontario),. I am currently working on a FIDDLESTIX comic for distribution internationally in 2010. And of course I am an Editorial Cartoonist for The National Free Press in Canada. The editorial one-shots are also distributed through Newsblaze Publications internationally."

This week's new comics (or comic, singular)

I find this somewhat amusing, but as Joel pointed out to me, people want their new comics on Wednesday so this isn't good planning by the comics companies.

From: Joel Pollack

New comics arriving this WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30TH
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

Big Planet Comics logo

Dec 30: Beyond Comics Comic Book Sale

B E Y O N D      C O M I C S

Happy New Year
December 29, 2009

Small Week
Wednesday December 30th.
New Comics From 50 Cents!!! See below for details.


Variant Covers
New Comic Sale

New Comics Cover
Dated Before
Jan 2010
$1 each
Blackest Night Comics
& Crossovers
50% OFF
Dark Reign
Crossover Comics
50 cents

Excludes Dark Avengers,
Dark Wolverine,
Dark X-men,
The List Comics
Secret Invasion Comics
& Crossovers
50 cents

52, Aftermath,
Final Crisis
and Countdown Comics
50 cents

Grimm Fairy Tales
Comics (all)
25% OFF

Fist of Justice
25% OFF

eBay Store
New Items Added9/7/09
Amazon Store

Follow us on

Newsletter Signup
Don't Miss:
Blackest Night #6

One Day Only

Keep an eye out for our Tweeter Specials

New Comics
Blackest Night #6 Cover

ORIGINS OF SIEGE (First Come...)

Variant Covers
Please Note, some items are not available at all store locations.
For more information please speak with any store representative. Some items may also be allocated by the manufacturer and may not be available. Beyond Comics does not guarantee items being in stock; however we will do our best to keep them available.

John Shine Manager

Jon Cohen Manager

Gaithersburg Store: 536 North Frederick Ave
Gaithersburg, MD (301) 216-0007
Hours: M,Tu 11-8; W-Sat 10-9; Sun 12-6

Frederick Store: 5632 Route 85
Frederick, MD (301) 668-8202
Hours: M,Tu 11-8; W-Sat 10-9; Sun 12-6

Michigan State U's Comic Art Collection's additions continued

I haven't done one of these posts on what's new at MSU's Comic Art Collection since June, and no one's asked where they are! Well, here you go anyway - July 2009 cataloguing.

There's a cartoon collection for everyone these two entries show-

A Nation Grieved : the Kennedy Assassination in Editorial
Cartoons / compiled and edited by Raymond B. Rajski ; with
a foreword by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. -- Rutland, Vt. :
C.E. Tuttle Co., 1967. -- 134 p. : ill. ; 27 cm. -- Call
no.: E842.9.R28 1967

More Adventures of Flash Filstrup : the Fastest Overcoat in
Town / Peter Plant. -- London : Arrow Books, 1984. -- 94 p.
: ill. ; 11 x 18 cm. -- Cover title: "Filstrup Flashes
Again!" -- Key words: indecent exposure, exhibitionism. --
Call no.: PN6737.P55M6 1984

Surely someone can help finish off these important runs -

Total Justice. -- New York : DC Comics, 1996. -- col. ill. ;
26 cm. -- Complete in 3 nos. -- "Based on the Kenner action
figures." -- Superhero genre. -- LIBRARY HAS: no. 1. --
Call no.: PN6728.6.D3T62 1996

2020 Visions. -- New York : DC Comics, 1997-1998. -- col. ill.
; 26 cm. -- (Vertigo) -- Complete in 12 nos. -- Science
fiction genre. -- LIBRARY HAS: no. 1. -- Call no.:

Robert Osborn was all over the place in the 1960s, and is largely forgotten now -

The Vulgarians / Osborn. -- Greenwich, Conn. : New York
Graphic Society, 1960? -- 95 p. : ill. (part col.) ; 21 x
27 cm. -- Call no.: NC1429 .O62V8 1960
Osborn, Robert Chesley, 1904-1994.

Mankind May Never Make It! / by Robert Osborn. -- Greenwich,
Conn., New York Graphic Society, 1968. -- 92 p. : ill. ; 21
x 26 cm. -- Call no.: NC1429 .O62M3 1968

Animation isn't one of their main fields, but it sneaks in, especially in Francophone versions -

Histoire du Cinéma d'Animation au Québec : Essai / Mira
Falardeau. -- Montréal, QC : Typo, 2006. -- 186 p. : ill. ;
18 cm. -- Includes bibliographical references (p. 183-187).
-- Book about animated films in Québec. -- Call no.:
NC1766.C3F35 2006

Le Cinéma d'Animation : Dessin Animé, Marionnettes, Images de
Synthèse / Bernard Génin. -- Paris : Cahiers du Cinéma :
SCÉRÉN-CNDP, 2003. -- 95 p. : ill. ; 19 cm. -- (Les Petits
Cahiers) -- Bibliogr.: p. 93. -- Book about animated films.
-- Call no.: NC1765.G4 2003
Génin, Bernard, 1946-

I wonder if this is already dated into history?

Online Comics vs. Printed Comics : a Study in E-Commerce and
the Comparative Economies of Content / Todd Allen. --
Indignant Media, 2005. -- 104 p. ; 22 cm. -- Book about
webcomics. -- Call no.: PN6714.A553 2005

You don't seen 'notes' about the artists in gag cartoon collections very often. You're usually left wondering who did the cartoon when the signature's been cropped out -

The Best Cartoons from France / collected by Edna Bennett ;
preface by Philippe Halsman. -- New York : Simon and
Schuster, 1953. -- 122 p. : chiefly ill. ; 28 cm. --
Includes "Notes about the principal artists represented":
Bernard Aldebert, Barberousse, Jean Bellus, Bil, Chaval,
Cosper & Mogensen, Jacques Dropy, Dubout, Gabriel Edme,
Jacques Faizant, Andre François, Gad, Gus, Maurice Henry,
Mose, Pouzet, Salo, Siné, Trez, and Guy Valls. -- Call no.:

I just saw an interview that says this title's being canceled in 2010 -

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic. -- Milwaukie, OR : Dark
Horse Comics, 2006- . -- col. ill. ; 26 cm. -- Began with
no. 1 (Jan. 2006), cf. Official Overstreet Comic Book Price
Guide. -- Science fiction genre. -- LIBRARY HAS: no. 25,
31-33, 35 (2008). -- Call no.: PN6728.7.D34S7545

I miss the print Comics Journal, and its slightly-longer gone news coverage -

"ICAF Marches On" p. 38-40 in The Comics Journal, no. 272
(Nov. 2005). -- (Newswatch : Journal Datebook) -- Includes
photos of Ann Telnaes, Harry Katz, Charles Hatfield, Jerry
Robinson and Tom Toles. -- Call no.: PN6700.C62no.272

"New Yorker: Comics Renaissance Must Be Over" p. 40 in The
Comics Journal, no. 272 (Nov. 2005). -- (Newswatch :
Journal Datebook) -- Responds to an article by Peter
Schlejdahl in the Oct. 17, 2005 New Yorker. -- Call no.:

"Come to Comic Convention, Meet Accused Killer" p. 40-41 in
The Comics Journal, no. 272 (Nov. 2005). -- (Newswatch :
Journal Datebook) -- O.J. Simpson will appear at the
NecroComicon in Los Angeles, Halloween Weekend. -- Call
no.: PN6700.C62no.272

I enjoyed this book a lot -

Bourbon Island 1730 / by Appollo & Lewis Trondheim ; art by
Lewis Trondheim ; translated by Alexis Siegel. -- New York
: First Second, 2008. -- 278 p. : ill. ; 22 cm. -- Summary
On Bourbon Island off the coast of Madagascar, a French
ornithologist and his assistant are caught up in an
adventure involving slavery, colonialism, and the last days
of the great pirates. -- Translation of: L'Île Bourbon
1730. -- Adventure story and funny animal genres. -- Call
no.: PN6747.T72 I413 2008

The month wrapped up with a story that probably sounded better than it read -

"Party in the Penthouse"* (Mr. Risk) / DOC. 7 p. in
Super-Mystery Comics, v. 6, no. 1 (Aug. 1946). -- Call no.:
PN6728.1.A2S77m v.6no.1

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Stan Lee in USA Weekend

The magazine is an insert in today's Washington Examiner, and the wife just spotted the article.

Comics icon Stan Lee applauds a TV series you may have missed
DVD Insider December 27, 2009

Ann Hornaday's best and worst films of the decade were both animated

The article is not specifically about animation, but Ann Hornaday's best and worst films of the decade were both animated.

Best: Finding Nemo
Worst: Star Wars: Clone Wars

As much as I like animation, I find those two choices to be mindboggling. You can decide for yourself whether to read the article.

Steve Brodner illos in Post's Outlook section

The excellent caricaturist Steve Brodner did illos of some of the most famous women politicians in today's Post's Outlook section. The images don't appear to be online.

John McNamee in Daily Cross Hatch

John McNamee is featured in the Daily Cross Hatch, which notes that he did the Scrooge McDuck parody in the November issue of Big Planet Orbit, the newsletter from the comic book store.

That darn Lio!

Free for All roundup of short critiques of The Post
Washington Post Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas spirits

What a heartwarming Christmas message the "Lio" comic strip put forth Dec. 23. I only hope that when my 5-year-old is waiting in front of a liquor store to score some booze, he remembers that I prefer single-malt Scotch!

Mitch Katz, Falls Church

Joe Ciardiello illustrates Dave Barry's year in review

Joe Ciardiello illustrated Dave Barry's year in review for the Washington Post Magazine.

The Year According to Toles

The Year According to Toles appears in print in today's Washington Post. It appeared online a couple of days ago.

Nate Beeler's The Year in Cartoons in Examiner

Today's Washington Examiner has Nate Beeler's The Year in Cartoons feature. I haven't looked at it yet, but I'll be stealing copies off the sidewalk for libraries at Michigan State and Ohio State. Nate's one of the best young editorial cartoonists working now, as well as being a friend of mine. And bravo to the Examiner for both doing this and putting it on the cover.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Big Planet Sale and Schedule

From: Joel Pollack

Hope everyone had a good Christmas! I just want to let everyone know about our schedule for the next week.

Wednesday will bring us only one new comic, Blackest Night # 6, and a bunch of Marvel freebies. Thus, Wednesday hours are 11-7.

Thursday (New Year's Eve) hours will be 11am-5pm.

Friday January 1st everything in the store will be 20% off.  Hours will be 12am-5pm.

 Happy New Year to all.

 Hope to see you all soon.

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

Friday, December 25, 2009

Ok, back to work

The Post ran its full page 'The Year in Cartoons' today. A 1958 Herblock Santa cartoon is rerun on the next page. The Year according to Toles runs on Sunday. In the Style section, there's a bunch of cartoons by Tim Bower for the holiday memories section.

This week's Onion has a Christmas maze which appears to be illustrated by Emily Flake, although it's uncredited. She also had a spot illo in the Dec 24 NY Times editorial page.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from ComicsDC


Captain America coopted


Christmas eve in DC. These political stickers are on a sign outside Smithsonian's Hirschorn Museum. Note the modified Captain American in the "Out of Iraq" sticker. He's 'fighting for non violence'.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Beyond Comics One Day Coupon Sale X-mas Eve!

December 24, 2009

One Day Coupon Sale!
Gaithersburg Square
536 North Frederick Ave

5632 Buckeystown Pike

Next Week News!
With only one title shipping next Wednesday

Beyond Comics
will hold a

One Day Comic Book Sale
Wednesday December 30th
Details to come next Monday.

B&W Logo

Christmas Eve Only Sale!
Graphic Novels

Buy Two Get One FREE!
Of equal or lesser value.
Offer Expires: December 24, 2009
B&W Logo

Christmas Eve Only Sale!

Buy One Get One FREE!
Of equal or lesser value.
Offer Expires: December 24, 2009
B&W Logo

Christmas Eve Only Sale!
Star Wars Action Figures

By Hasbro
Buy One Get One FREE!

Of equal or lesser value.
Offer Expires: December 24, 2009
B&W Logo

Christmas Eve Only Sale!
World of Warcraft

Game Cards
Buy One Get One FREE!

Of equal or lesser value.
Offer Expires: December 24, 2009
B&W Logo

Christmas Eve Only Sale!
GI Joe Action Figures
Single Figures By Hasbro
Buy Two Get One FREE!
Of equal or lesser value.
Offer Expires: December 24, 2009
B&W Logo

Christmas Eve Only Sale!
Buy One Get One FREE!
Of equal or lesser value.
Offer Expires: December 24, 2009

eBay Store
New Items Added9/7/09
Amazon Store

Follow us on

Newsletter Signup
Please Note, some items are not available at all store locations.
For more information please speak with any store representative. Some items may also be allocated by the manufacturer and may not be available. Beyond Comics does not guarantee items being in stock; however we will do our best to keep them available.

John Shine Manager

Jon Cohen Manager

Gaithersburg Store: 536 North Frederick Ave
Gaithersburg, MD (301) 216-0007
Hours: M,Tu 11-8; W-Sat 10-9; Sun 12-6

Frederick Store: 5632 Route 85
Frederick, MD (301) 668-8202
Hours: M,Tu 11-8; W-Sat 10-9; Sun 12-6