Sunday, May 31, 2009

John Dimes in new anthology

PR from John Dimes

Pre-Order The Versus Anthology Now! Ships June 1

The Versus Anthology
edited by Josh Woods
6 x 9, 192 p. paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9824416-1-9

Let’s pick a fight. And not just any fight; let’s pick a fight between our most iconic characters and forces, or even between extraordinary, original characters, or with people from our very real pasts. Anything goes. Some of today’s most innovative writers and artists did just that in this book: each picked a conflict, made it come to life, and now present the aftermath to you here in the first anthology to take up this challenge, Versus.

Featuring graphic stories by Pinckney Benedict, John Dimes, and Kyle Minor, plus the first story ever published by El Pollo Diablo, Dead Pirate of the Netherworld! Other authors include Alexander Lumans, John McNally, Susan Woodring, Brad Vice, Michael Garriga, Margaret McMullan, John Flaherty, Matt Guenette, Michael Theune, Danielle Girard Kraus, Curtis Smith, Andrew Scott, Michael Kimball, Okla Elliott, Stacey Richter, Laura Benedict, Becky Hagenston, K.H. Solomon, and Josh Woods.

June 7: Capital Associates comic book convention

Free admission at the Dunn Loring fire dept. on June 7th from 10 am-3 pm. See for details.

Onion's Up director interview and review

Up B+, by Tasha Robinson, Onion May 28, 2009 for the movie review, and for the interview which is much expanded from the paper version, "Pete Docter," by Tasha Robinson, Onion May 28, 2009.


By John Judy

32 STORIES: THE COMPLETE OPTIC NERVE DEFINITIVE EDITION HC written and drawn by Adrian Tomine. A sweet collection for fans of Tomine and his comics, mini- and other. A handsome addition to any bookshelf. Recommended.

AGENTS OF ATLAS #6 by Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman. At last, it’s family reunion time for Namora and her cousin, the Sub-Mariner. Aquatic awkwardness galore! Recommended!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #596 by Joe Kelly and Paulo Siqueira. Spidey breaks and enters, mostly the former. Big Fight!

ASTRO CITY THE DARK AGE BOOK THREE #2 of 4 by Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson. The saga of the Williams brothers and their search for their parents’ killer gets wilder as only a game of super-cops and robbers can. Recommended.

BATMAN AND ROBIN #1 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! Gotta look!

BLACK PANTHER #5 by Reginald Hudlin and Ken Lashley. Morlun the Devourer of Totems just chowed down on the Man-Ape (don’t ask) and now he’s ready for dessert. Time for the new BP to teach him when to say “when!”

THE BOYS #31 by Garth Ennis and Carlos Ezquerra. The supes finally decide to go after the Boys instead of waiting for the knock on their door. First up: The Female. Not for kids.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: TALES OF THE VAMPIRES ONE-SHOT by Becky Cloonan and Vasilis Lolos. A story of a small-town boy looking for a way out on the Fang Express.

CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13 ANNUAL #1 by Paul Cornell and Michael Collins. The long-lost Meggan is looking to get out of Hell. I suggest hiring a baby-sitter.

DARK AVENGERS #5 by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato. Norman Osborne’s got trouble as the public is reminded of his past as the murderous Green Goblin. Stupid public! Don’t they know we’re looking forward, not back?!

FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: RUN #2 of 6 by Matthew Sturges and Freddie E. Williams II. Okay, so far the FCA titles have been an extremely mixed bag in terms of quality. This one about a jerk who helped kill the Martian Manhunter trying to get out of Dodge is among the best. A great ride for those of us who like dark humor and well conceived anti-heroes. Recommended.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #25 by Dan Slott and Khoi Pham. Hank Pym decides to break into the Baxter Building. Because he’s Hank Pym! Recommended.

PUNISHER MAX: NAKED KILL #1 by Jonathan Mayberry and Laurence Campbell. Frank Castle has to take down a snuff film ring armed only with office and cleaning supplies. This could be the most awesome thing ever associated with Staples! Recommended!

SCALPED #29 by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera. C’mon people, this is one of the best comics being published today. It must not be outsold by SEAGUY. Let’s all stop waiting for the trades and do our part. This is the conclusion to “High Lonesome” where cracked out undercover G-man Dash Bad Horse has to rob the casino. This is the one to buy for you and both your pals.

SECRET SIX #10 by Gail Simone and Nicola Scott. “The most brutal Secret Six story yet!” Well, after the whole Rag Doll family saga that’s a pretty high bar to clear. Gotta look! Recommended.

SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON #4 of 12 by James Robinson, Greg Rucka and Pete Woods. New K gets a visit from the Green Lantern Corps in the form of Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Sodam (swear to god) Yat. Hijinks ensue.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #133 by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen. The final issue? Well, it’s been a respectable run by a writer who reintroduced Marvel to the idea of making deadlines. Kudos to Mr. Bendis and the whole sick crew!

ULTIMATUM #4 of 5 by Jeph Loeb and David Finch. Almost over…. Just a few more characters to “kill….”

WOLVERINE REVOLVER ONE-SHOT by Victor Gischler and Das Pastoras. In which Logan is apparently fighting DC’s Man-Bat with claws that are now as long as his arms.

YOU’LL NEVER KNOW VOL. 1: A GOOD AND DECENT MAN HC written and illustrated by C. Tyler. The first graphic novel by artist and short story author Tyler concerning her quest to understand her World War Two veteran father. This one is getting high praise from creators like R. Crumb and Jim Woodring. Recommended.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hagen at Artomatic

David Hagen reports that he's sold 3 paintings before the 2nd day of the show even ends. I've got mine. Better buy yours now!

Supes, David Hagen, 2009

Amusingly, I was wearing my ComicsDC t-shirt (buy yours now) last week at Vienna's Viva Vienna street fair and a lady at a booth called out to me, "Hey, are you David Hagen?" Sadly, I wasn't but she does anime voiceovers and her husband is working on a comic so they'll appear here at some point hopefully.

'The Photographer' reviewed in Sunday's Post by Wolk

See "Memories of a Long War," By Douglas Wolk, Washington Post, Sunday, May 31, 2009 for his review of THE PHOTOGRAPHER, By Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre and Frédéric Lemercier, translated from the French by Alexis Siegel, First Second, 267 pp. $29.95.

I've got the book, but haven't read it yet. It's been getting very good reviews.

Where's Richard's Poor Alamanack?

A one-liner in today's Post says it will return. My guess is that Richard's swamped with his Cul de Sac strip and is trying to get ahead on that.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Geppi's Museum launching major Carl Barks exhibit

See "GEM Launches Carl Barks Retrospective" for details of the exhibit which will run from July 17 until September 8, 2009, and focuses on Barks' post-retirement paintings.

Zadzooks on Wolverine videogame

See "Zadzooks: X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition review," By Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times Thursday, May 28, 2009.

Pixar's Up - two reviews and two interviews

New York Times May 29, 2009


The House That Soared


Pixar Perfect: 'Up' Provides Quite a Lift

By Ann Hornaday

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, May 29, 2009

'Up' Director Finds Escape in Reality

By Michael O'Sullivan

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Interview: 'UP' Animator Bob Peterson of Pixar

By Michael Cavna

Comic Riffs blog May 29, 2009

Washington City Paper reviews Pixar's Up

Up and Moscow, Belgium: Spouse and Home
By Tricia Olszewski
Washington City Paper May 29, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Aspiring Comics Artists Alive and Well in the DC Metro

Riding home on the Orange Line tonight, I spotted (before I even got on the train) a gentleman in a Big Planet Comics t-shirt sitting in a window seat. I made my way toward him, figuring I'd strike up a conversation, but another guy sat down in the empty seat before I could get there, and the rest of the seats were full, so I stood for the ride home, trying to crank through the final pages of David Baldacci's "The Winner" (which I finished tonight -- yet another good read by Baldacci -- I have yet to find something of his I don't enjoy, for you prose fans in the audience!). I noticed that the guy I spotted had a sketchpad and was actively working on some comics work! It took me a while to adjust to reading on the train, so I'm guessing he's had some practice if he's able to do linework with all of that jostling! Honestly, I couldn't see what he was drawing, if it was comic-y or cartoon-y, if it was roughs or a serious attempt at art, or the relative quality, but while I've bumped into people reading comics or graphic novels in the past, it's definitely the first time I've seen an artist at work on the DC Metro.

The man that took the seat next to him stared the whole time he drew (so now I know what I look like at comic shows). It was pretty amusing. I was hoping that the starer would leave the train, vacating the seat and giving me an opportunity to chat before the artist and obvious comic fan left, but the artist got off at Ballston and I took his seat next to the starer instead. :-P

Still, it's heartening to have seen someone obviously interested in comics on the train putting pencil to paper! If you're a reader, Mr. Artist, drop us a comment!

RFK Journalism Awards and Ohman's cartoon win

The 2009 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards were given out tonight, and as a judge, I was invited to attend. The others on the cartoon team were Sara Duke, Curator; Warren Bernard, Cartoon Historian and Nick Galifianakis, Cartoonist. The awards were in George Washington University's Jack Morton auditorium where Crossfire used to be filmed.

Jack Ohman of the Oregonian won the cartoon award. The letter we submitted to the RFK Center read:

We are pleased to award the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for cartoons to Jack Ohman of the Oregonian.

Two major themes emerged from this year’s cartoon entries – racism and the status of African-Americans in the wake of Barak Obama’s presidential campaign, and the plight of the 'average American' as a result of the devastating economic downturn.

Other frequent themes included torture and a lack of both human and legal rights for detainees in American custody, hunger, the rights of women, gay marriage, gun and urban violence, Cuban freedom and immigration reform.

Ohman's entries focused on several of these topics, but three cartoons in his submission were particularly noteworthy. Ohman left his drawing board to visit the Oregon Employment Department, the Portland Rescue Mission, and Loaves and Fishes, an institution that provides meals for senior citizens. He sat with those most vulnerable among us and then commented on their plight in perceptive cartoons that reflected not only the problems of his community, but his own compassionate sensibilities as well.

Ohman, by actually venturing out and practicing graphic journalism on behalf of the downtrodden, showed his sensitivity in dealing with issues of poverty. With this, he differentiated himself from his talented peers and the excellent work they submitted this year.

Jack Ohman's work exemplifies the goals of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. It is an honor to offer him this award.

These are typical cartoons of his for the year, very similar to many others submitted by other candidates - technically excellent, with solid clever ideas and good cartooning:

These are the three cartoons that made Ohman's work stand out and won him the award:

Also in attendance at the awards were cartoonists Joel Pett and Matt Wuerker. It was a pleasure to meet Joel and Jack and talk about cartooning.

June 12: David Macaulay at National Museum of Health and Medicine

When: Friday, June 12, 2009 (1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009 (10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) & (1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.)

Where: National Museum of Health and Medicine

What: Join David Macaulay for a discussion about his new book, "The Way We Work," as he illuminates the most important machine of all -- the human body. Your body is made up of various complex systems, and Macaulay is a master at making the complex understandable. He shows how the parts of the body work together, from the mechanics of a hand, to the process by which the heart pumps blood, to the chemical exchanges necessary to sustain life. A book signing will follow the discussion.

This event is being held in conjunction with NMHM's temporary exhibition, "David Macaulay Presents: The Way We Work, Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body," which features the famous author's original artwork for the book.

Bring your kids along! This event, as well as the exhibit, is great for teaching children about the human body.

Cost: FREE!

Parking is available. Photo ID required.

Information: or (202) 782-2200

David Macaulay bio:

Born on December 2, 1946, Macaulay was eleven when his family moved from England to the United States. An early fascination with simple technology and a love of model-making and drawing ultimately led him to study architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. He received his degree in 1969 after spending his fifth year with RISD's European Honors Program in Rome. Macaulay is probably best known for a very thick book called "The Way Things Work" (1988), an exhaustively researched compendium of the intricate workings involved in almost anything that functions. It was followed by "Black and White," winner of the 1991 Caldecott Medal. Over the next decade, Macaulay published eight additional books, and in 2003 he began a volume about the workings of the human body—the results of which comprise this exhibition. In 2006, Macaulay was named a MacArthur fellow.

Mike Judge interview in Comic Riffs part 2 appeared today

The Interview: Animator/Filmmaker MIKE JUDGE (Pt. 2), By Michael Cavna, May 28, 2009.

'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' videogame reviewed in Express

A Film Game With Bite: 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'
 By Micah Pearson

Comic Art Indigene going, Artomatic coming

The National Museum of the American Indian's Comic Art Indigene exhibit is closing on Sunday, so see it now. It showcases Indian cartoonists working in a variety of comic art media. Artomatic, the large local arts festival, opens on Friday at 55 M St, SE and runs through July 5. See for more information. David Hagen will be exhibiting at the show.

Up director interviewed in Express

This is in the hard copy and online -

Up, Up and Away: Director Peter Docter

Written by Express' Nathan Martin
May 28 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fantom Comics' message about closing Tenleytown store

Dear Tenleytown Fantom Comics Customers,

As many of you know, the Fantom Comics Tenleytown location is closing its doors for good this coming Sunday, May 31st. (Please note that this week’s new comics will arrive at Tenleytown tomorrow per usual.

Tenleytown isn’t closing for bad reasons, but for good ones. As anyone who has been in the store during rainy days knows, the ceiling leaks like a sieve, and the space is awkward and somewhat off the beaten track. The Fantom crew has grown quite fond of our odd little first store and will always remember it fondly, but we’re growing up and our goal is to lease a larger, better space.

Unfortunately, negotiations are dragging on for said space and rather than compromise with a less than ideal location management has decided to wait it out until the perfect spot comes along. As valued customrs and friends we are offering you a couple of options:

Option 1: Union Station. Transfer your subscriptions to our Union Station store. We’ll have you up and running over there by next Wednesday.

Option 2: Home Delivery. Fantom Comics has wanted to experiment with home delivery for quite some time, but we’ve never gotten around to it. Until now! This struck us as the perfect time to introduce our comic book store at your front door program. Here’s how it works:

Call the Fantom Comics phone number (unchanged at 202-362-5051), or email us at at any point in the week and give us your name and address and we’ll send someone there right away (assuming it’s during delivery hours) or at a future open slot of your choosing.
Deliveries will take place every Wednesday (11am-7pm) and Saturday (noon-6pm).
We will deliver to any home or office within the following zip codes: 20007, 20008, 20015, 20016, 20815 and 20816.
Subscribers have no minimum purchase requirements. For non-subscribers the minimum is $15.
We will still accept credit cards.
There is no service charge and our people will not be allowed to accept gratuity. Comic book store at your front door will cost you nothing extra!
We will bring along your subscribed books, already sorted, as well as the entire stock of new books for the week, which you can browse and purchase to your heart’s content. We can also do special requests on older material, but we need a week’s heads-up on that.

If you are a current subscriber, please confirm with us by Sunday, May 31st at as to how you’d like us to deal with your subscription. If you're not a subscriber, here's a good chance to try it out!

And of course, if neither of these options appeals to you, please keep up with our website and/or email list so you’ll find out where the next Fantom Comics NW DC is setting up shop as soon as we do.

Thanks for 4 great years, Tenleytown. There’ll be many more locations, but you’ll always be our first!



Post and others on Goode Family and Mike Judge

The Post reviewed the Goode Family in the paper, but doesn't seem to have put it online, because, you know, someone would buy the paper to see what they think about a cartoon. Well, that's me and I already bought the paper.

There is an interview with Mike Judge - "'King of the Hill' Segues To the ABC of Animation," By Michael Cavna, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, May 27, 2009.

The NY Times put their review online - "TV Review | 'The Goode Family' - A Clan So Virtuous Even Its Dog Is Vegan," By GINIA BELLAFANTE, May 27, 2009 as did Salon (of course) - "Mike Judge's pain-in-the-ass cartoon liberals: New animated series "The Goode Family" charts the pitfalls of the p.c., eco-friendly lifestyle," By Heather Havrilesky, Salon May 27, 2009 as is "'The Goode Family': Mike Judge's Disappointing New Comedy," by Linda Holmes, National Public Radio's Monkey See blog (May 27 2009).

June 29: Richard Thompson rocks Arlington's Central Library

Author Event: Cartoonist Richard Thompson
Mon Jun 29, 7pm
Arlington Central Library Auditorium
Hear from the man behind the syndicated daily comic strip "Cul de Sac," and who's unique style and humor have graced the various parts of the Washington Post ("Richard's Poor Almanack"), National Geographic, The Atlantic and the New Yorker--Arlington's own Richard Thompson. No, not the musician by the same name. The cartoonist Richard Thompson.

OT: DC Comics internship contest

Here's some PR that I agree to post, although I note I'm really ComicsDC, not DC Comics. It's very important that DC is aware of that distinction (wink, wink). Beyond getting the PR up here, I have nothing to do with this, but it sounds like a nice opportunity.

2009 Design Scholarship Challenge Announced
Aspiring graphic designs students compete for $25,000 tuition scholarship and a chance to work on a DC Comics marketing campaign

Aspiring graphic designers have until June 8 to submit entries to the “2009 Design Scholarship Challenge” to compete for the national prize, an opportunity to work with DC Comics on an upcoming marketing campaign for “Absolute Justice” and a $25,000 tuition scholarship to one of the sponsoring design schools. Hopefuls should submit entries to one of the schools which are: the 11 International Academy of Design & Technology (Academy) campuses, located in Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Online Campus, Orlando, Sacramento, San Antonio, Schaumburg (IL), Seattle, Nashville, and Tampa; as well as Brooks Institute, Brown College, Collins College, and Harrington College of Design.

The first round of judging will be conducted by a panel of faculty and employees at each local campus and winners will be selected by June 19, 2009. The final round will be conducted by a national panel including representatives from DC Comics. The National Winner will be announced in July at San Diego Comic-Con 2009.

“A local winner will be selected from each campus and all 15 will receive a $5,000 tuition scholarship to the sponsoring school of their choice plus a three-day, two-night expense-paid trip to San Diego to attend Comic-Con 2009 where the national winner will be named and will receive an additional $20,000 tuition scholarship to the sponsoring school of their choice,” said Tom McNamara, senior vice president, Art & Design group of Career Education Corporation. “This is an opportunity to experience the real world of graphic design with all of its challenges. The entry requirements are demanding, but the rewards will jump start the education and future careers of several talented students.”

The contest is open to legal residents of the United States who will graduate from high school or receive a GED between January 1, 2006 and July 31, 2010. The contest application, along with detailed instructions is available at See rules for full eligibility requirements. Void where prohibited.

Participants must submit original designs for a print and an online advertisement for the “Absolute Justice” graphic novel, full of some of the most popular DC Comic characters, along with a completed detail sheet which includes a short inspiration statement. Local winners will receive a second creative brief and specifications for an as yet-to-be released DC Comics publication and must present a second set of a print and an online advertisement to a panel of judges at Comic-Con 2009. In addition to the finished print and online advertisements, local winners must also submit a binder on their design process including a written summary of people contacted for information about the project and the advice they provided, sketches, illustrations, photographs or digital images of the project as it evolved from concept to completion, a summary of influences on your entry and a written summary of your overall concept.

“This is more than a scholarship competition,” McNamara said. “It’s an opportunity to gain experience and exposure in the world of graphic design and to test your hand in a rewarding and exciting line of work.

Goode Family gets brief review in Express

There's a minor wire story article in the hardcopy of the paper.

Comic Riffs interviews 'Goode Family' Creator Mike Judge (Pt. 1)

The Interview: 'Goode Family' Creator Mike Judge (Pt. 1)

by Michael Cavna, May 27 2009

MIKE JUDGE, co-creator of the Fox series "King of the Hill," poses in front of an illustration of the animated character he voices, Hank Hill, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ric Francis)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Baltimore Comic-Con PR

2010 Dates Announced!

BALTIMORE, MD (May. 26, 2009) -- The Baltimore Comic-Con is proud to announce that top creators of today's Marvel Universe will find themselves in Baltimore this October 10th and 11th as guests of the Baltimore Comic-Con. Jason Aaron (Wolverine), Brian Michael Bendis (Avengers), Frank Cho (Ultimates 4), David Finch (Ultimatum), Matt Fraction (Uncanny X-Men), and Barry Kitson (Amazing Spider-Man) will all convene to help celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Baltimore Comic-Con.

"This modern day Marvel bullpen, the writers and artists of today's Marvel Comics, will really help to make this year a great show. This will be the first time that Jason Aaron and Matt Fraction have joined us, and a great second year for Brian Michael Bendis. Brian made a special effort to speak with all of his fans last year, and was a guest that many of our fans requested come back," said Marc Nathan, promoter of the Baltimore Comic-Con. "We missed David Finch in 2008 due to the birth of his lovely daughter, and it is great to have him back. And of course, we are thrilled to welcome perennial fan favorites Frank Cho and Barry Kitson back to the halls of the Baltimore Convention Center."

As we continue to get ready for the show on October 10-11, 2009, we would also like to announce the Baltimore Comic-Con's 2010 dates: August 27-28, 2010. "We have spent 10 years putting on great comic book-centric shows, and I am proud to start on a second great decade. The fans come to our shows to meet and greet with their favorite artists and writers, and we plan to continue that tradition well into the future," remarked Nathan. "While it may be early for some, we want our partners, guests, exhibitors, and fans to know our plans so that they join us in 2010."

In coming weeks, look for more announcements from the Baltimore Comic-Con. We are looking forward to highlighting our guests, the Harvey Awards, industry exclusives, and programming. The latest developments can always be found at our website, Facebook, MySpace, and ComicSpace pages.

This year's Baltimore Comic-Con will be held October 10-11, 2009. Convention hours are Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM. The ceremony and banquet for the Harvey Awards will be held Saturday night, October 10th.

About The Baltimore Comic-Con

The Baltimore Comic-Con is celebrating its 10th year of bringing the comic book industry to the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. With a guest list unequaled in the industry, the Baltimore Comic-Con will be held Oct 10-11, 2009. For more information, please visit

About The Harvey Awards

The Harvey Awards are one of the comic book industry's oldest and most respected awards. With a history of over 20 years, the last 4 in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con, the Harveys recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories. They are the only industry awards nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. For more information, please visit

New Comics arriving on Thurs

Here's the list from Big Planet on this test post to try new software.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the Memorial Day holiday, new comics arrive on Thursday, this week.

New comics arriving this THURSDAY, MAY 28TH
NOVA #25

Our buddy, Heroescon's Dustin Harbin interviewed

Dustin's the guy who keeps dragging Richard Thompson back to HeroesCon so I have to drive him there. Check out this good interview with Dustin about the con - "Talking Comics with Tim: Dustin Harbin," by Tim O'Shea, May 25, 2009.

Monday, May 25, 2009

May 25: The Hulk at Crystal City

Crystal Screen - Superheroes

Join the Crystal City BID for 21 weeks of Superheros! On Monday nights from May 4, 2009-September 21, 2009, Crystal City will be protected by Batman, Spiderman, Superman, and many others. Each night will also have special giveaways, sponsors, and other activities.

May 4, 2009 - September 21, 2009

18th and Bell Street - Courtyard Across from Crystal City Metro Station & Marriott Hotel

Event Fee:

Movies begin at sundown

Join the Crystal City BID for 21 weeks of Superheros! On Monday nights from May 4, 2009-September 21, 2009, Crystal City will be protected by Batman, Spiderman, Superman, and many others. Each night will also have special giveaways, sponsors, and other activities. Check back here for more information.

CRYSTAL KID BONUS: Since it gets dark later in the summer and movies often start past bedtime, the BID has partnered with Crystal City Sports Pub to rebroadcast each movie at 3:30 PM on the 3rd Floor of CCSP on the Wednesday following the outdoor showing, starting May 6. Bring your kids and a blanket and enjoy the fabulous surround network of TVs.

Festival Rules: Patrons can bring their own picnics as long as they abide by city and festival rules. Low-backed chairs and blankets are allowed, but grills, umbrellas, and pets are prohibited.


May 25, 2009 - The Hulk
May 27, 2009 - The Hulk - at CCSP
June 1, 2009 - Hulk 2: The Incredible Hulk
June 3, 2009 - Hulk 2: The Incredible Hulk - at CCSP
June 8, 2009 - Superman: The Superman Movie
June 10, 2009 - Superman: The Superman Movie - at CCSP
June 15, 2009 - Superman 2
June 17, 2009 - Superman 2 - at CCSP
June 22, 2009 - Superman 3: Superman vs. Superman
June 24, 2009 - Superman 3: Superman vs. Superman - at CCSP
June 29, 2009 - Superman 4: The Quest for Peace
June 31, 2009 - Superman 4: The Quest for Peace - at CCSP
July 6, 2009 - Superman 5: Superman Returns
July 8, 2009 - Superman 5: Superman Returns - at CCSP
July 13, 2009 - X-Men
July 15, 2009 - X-Men - at CCSP
July 20, 2009 - X2
July 22, 2009 - X2 - at CCSP
July 27, 2009 - X-Men: The Last Stand
July 29, 2009 - X-Men: The Last Stand - at CCSP
August 3, 2009 - Fantastic Four
August 5, 2009 - Fantastic Four - at CCSP
August 10, 2009 - Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
August 12, 2009 - Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - at CCSP
August 17, 2009 - Batman
August 19, 2009 - Batman - at CCSP
August 24, 2009 - Batman Returns
August 26, 2009 - Batman Returns - at CCSP
August 31, 2009 - Batman Forever
September 2, 2009 - Batman Forever - at CCSP
September 7, 2009 - Batman & Robin
September 9, 2009 - Batman & Robin - at CCSP
September 14, 2009 - Batman Begins
September 16, 2009 - Batman Begins - at CCSP
September 21, 2009 - Batman: The Dark Knight
September 23, 2009 - Batman: The Dark Knight - at CCSP

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spider-Man newspaper strip retcons its retcon

Today's Spider-Man strip has Peter Parker waking up married to Mary Jane again. Ahh, sensible heads have prevailed. Regular readers may recall that the strip was retooled to wipe out Spider-Man's marriage following the same in the comic book.


By John Judy

(Note: Shipping delayed by Memorial Day.)

ALIENS #1 of 4 by John Arcudi and Zach Howard. They’re back, doing what they do. Where’s a Predator when you need one?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #595 by Joe Kelly and Phil Jimenez. Spidey begins his crusade to take down Norman Osborn for good. Go get him, Tiger!

ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN #16 by Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard. Wolfie and Zechariah throw down once more, Nosferatu vs. Lycanthrope, no holds barred! OK!

AVENGERS INITIATIVE #24 by Christos Gage and Humberto Ramos. The kids are stuck in Wolverine’s old stomping ground fighting his old foes. Fortunately they’re among Wolvie’s lamest old foes and that’s saying something.

BATMAN IN BARCELONA: DRAGONS KNIGHT #1 by Mark Waid and Diego Olmos. Mr. Wayne puts on the cowl to solve a series of killings in B-town. Drawn by Barcelona native Olmos, but for some reason featuring a cover by Jim Lee. Go figure.

DARK REIGN: THE HOOD #1 of 5 by Jeff Parker and Kyle Hotz. It’s not easy being the demon-possessed crime-lord of New York City but the Hood makes it all work. Between his knocked up girlfriend, junkie cousin and momma in the nuthouse this one reads like a sitcom spec from Hell. Gotta look!

ETERNAL SMILE GN by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim. Three stand-alone stories ranging from classic fantasy to contemporary urban fiction from a pair of award-winning, eclectic creators. Well worth a look.

FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: INK #1 of 6 by Eric Wallace and Fabrizio Fiorentino. Recovering bad guy Tattooed Man has a problem. His tattoos are taking him over. A cautionary tale to the illustrated whippersnappers of today. Now get offa my lawn and stop stealing from me!

GARTH ENNIS BATTLEFIELDS: TANKIES #2 of 3 by Ennis and Carlos Ezquerra. Tank runs over Germans. Germans shoot at tank with all kinds of bad stuff. Ennis writes it so it is truly a Must-Have. Seriously, most of Ennis’ war comics should be movies. Recommended.

GARTH ENNIS BATTLEFIELDS, VOL. 2: DEAR BILLY SC by Ennis and Peter Snejbjerg. Half-romance, half-war comic, all human tragedy this three-issue collection is a true heart-breaker as only the best war stories are. Tough to read in places but well worth it. Not for kids. Recommended.

GHOST RIDER #35 by Jason Aaron and Tony Moore. Beat-up and knocked down ex-Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze just wants to die in a Japanese monastery, but then a load of evil bikers shows up….. It’s written by Jason Aaron so you gotta look! Recommended.

GREEN LANTERN #41 by Geoff Johns and Philip Tan. Agent Orange, the villain powered by avarice, wants what he wants when he wants it! Agent Orange will make America great again if we just cut his taxes! Recommended.

IGNITION CITY #3 of 5 by Warren Ellis and Gianluca Pagliarani. Mary Raven gets closer to her father’s murderers even as they get closer to her. The zap guns will be a-zappin’ fer sure!

IMMORTAL IRON FIST #26 by Duane Swierczynski and Travel Foreman. Danny and the gang have to kung-fu their way out of Hell. I hope their kung-fu is tough…

INCOGNEGRO SC 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.

JOHN STANLEY LIBRARY: MELVIN MONSTER HC VOL. 1 written and drawn by John Stanley. Drawn and Quarterly is collecting the works of this under-appreciated silver-age creator who was best known for his work on LITTLE LULU. This first volume collects all ten issues of his stories about a misunderstood monster who just wants to be good. Great for the young at heart.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #33 by Dwayne McDuffie and Rags Morales. It’s Dharma vs. Starbreaker! With a little Justice League thrown in for good measure.

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #27 written and drawn by Jerry Ordway. The young JSAers have to rescue the old JSAers so they can steal from them and play on their lawns! And not listen neither! Recommended dagnabbit!

LAST DAYS OF ANIMAL MAN #1 of 6 by Gerry Conway and Chris Batista. It’s the year 2024 and being the man with animal powers is not what it used to be. Especially if you’ve been aging in dog years…

MY INNER BIMBO SC by Sam Keith and Josh Hagler. The adventure of a guy whose trampy feminine side suddenly manifests (no pun intended) in the real world. Gotta look!

NEW AVENGERS #53 by Brian Michael Bendis and Billy Tan. Who will be the next Sorcerer Supreme? The likeable boy next door? The openly gay glam rocker? Or the frumpy middle-aged lady who’s never been kissed? And why is Simon so mean all the time?

NORTHLANDERS #17 by Brian Wood and Vasilis Lolos. Two Vikings fight to the death in slow motion. Lots of time to contemplate that axe headed for your skull. Excellent stuff! Recommended!

PREVIEWS by Marvel and Diamond Comics. Your back-to-school comics featured here!

SPECIAL FORCES VOL. 1 SC written and drawn by Kyle Baker. Collecting issues 1-4 of the comic 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.

SPIDER-MAN: SHORT HALLOWEEN #1 by Bill Hader, Seth Meyers and Kevin Maguire. A one-shot comic romp by two SNL stars and Kevin-freakin-Maguire! Highly recommended.

THE STAND: AMERICAN NIGHTMARES #3 of 5 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Mike Perkins. Larry goes into the tunnel. Good times. Highly recommended.

SUPERMAN #688 by James Robinson and Renato Guedes. Mon-El’s having a hard time with the Superman stand-in gig, but then he loses his powers and, well, do the math…

ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS HULK #6 of 6 by Damon Lindelof and Leinil Francis Yu. The battle royale concludes as we learn how many pieces Ultimate Wolverine can be chopped into and still appear nonchalant.

WOLVERINE #72 by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. “Old Man Logan” is back for the penultimate chapter of this dystopian future road movie.

WONDER WOMAN #32 by Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti. Diana dukes it out with her hideous future-self once more. It’s enough to give one a headache before the first punch is thrown.

X-MEN LEGACY #224 by Mike Carey and Scot Eaton. Marvel sez: “Rogue and Gambit fans DO NOT MISS THIS ISSUE!” Yeah, I’m looking at both of you!

Counter Culture Fest crucial additional information

I've just been told "Viva Vienna shuts down Church St. for their festival. To make their way around the festivities, the easiest way to get to Dominion from Route 123 is to turn on Lawyers Rd. and take a right on Ayr Hill Ave (about 1/4 mile down Lawyers). Stay on Ayr Hill until you come to the stop sign at Ayr Hill and Dominion. Turn left on Dominion and we are on the right--#316. The Soundry, LLC, 316 Dominion Rd.,NE, Vienna, VA 22180,"

4 things I enjoyed reading yesterday

Dungeon The Early Years Vol. 1: The Night Shift by Blain, Sfar and Trondheim.
This is a shared universe by a bunch of French creators. Some time ago, Bart Beaty attempted to explain how it all worked in the Comics Journal, but since most of the comics hadn't been published in English yet that was tough reading. Suffice to say that a castle with a dungeon is built in this book, and in later books it becomes the center of magical adventures, although eventually one of the workers in it takes over the world as a dark ruler. These are all fun, mostly oddly-drawn (to American eyes) and well worth checking out.

Mustard #4.

There's an excellent interview with Alan Moore in this small UK magazine, and online you can get 2 paper doll cutouts of Moore. The mailing cost to the US was reasonable and the whole package cost about $6 through Paypal.

Illustration 26.
I get this regularly at Big Planet, but this issue had a Shadow pulp cover by Graves Gladney which made it a guaranteed sale. As a youngster, I was fascinated by pulp heroes who clearly were the forerunners of superheroes, and the Shadow was my favorite. In addition to the article about Gladney, who painted over 250 of the Shadow pulp covers, there are pieces on the American Academy of Art (which had cartooning classes) and Nan Pollard (a children's book illustrator who did licensed cartoon material such as Disney and Harvey Comics). The writing is slightly amateurish, but the other production values are first-rate.

Johnny Hiro by Fred Chao, Adhouse Books.
I've gotten to know Chris Pitzer, publisher of Adhouse, slightly over the years at SPX and have come to appreciate the quality of his books and now I just buy them automatically. Johnny Hiro is an amusing collection of short stories, set in Manhattan. Hiro is forced by circumstances to live up to his name, and Chao puts him in odd, manga-influenced difficulties. In the first story, a Godzilla-like monster attempts to take revenge on his Japanese-born girlfriend. In later stories, Hiro's work at a Japanese seafood restaurant puts cleaver-wielding chefs on his trail as he attempts to lose them on a drive through Manhattan. The art is good, Chao breaks the 4th wall when necessary, and I'm looking forward to more of his work.

May 24: fourth annual Counter Culture Fest

The D.C. Conspiracy is hosting its fourth annual Counter Culture Fest on Sunday, May 24, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Soundry in Vienna,Va. The event is FREE. For a list of exhibitors (comics, zines, T-shirts, original art, etc.), workshops, screenprinting, etc.) and entertainment (music, comedy, etc.), visit

Saturday, May 23, 2009

OT: Your Brain on Latino Comics book available

The author, Frederick Aldama, has written in (noting that we mentioned his talk at OSU in 2007 which I appear to have missed, darn it). His new book Your Brain on Latino Comics is out and he's started a blog about it as well. An interview can be found at "OSU professor shares story of Latino comics," Steve Skok, OSU's The Lantern 5/21/09.

While mainstream superhero comics don't exactly leap to mind when one thinks Latino comics, one of the absolute best comic books is the Hernandez Brothers' Love & Rockets.

New comics day is Thursday, May 28th this week

Due to Monday's Memorial Day holiday, new comics will be on sale on Thursday this week.

Petey's grand history of civilization project

Today's Cul de Sac really tickled my funny bone - must be the museum professional in me. Or I may just be a geek.

OT: Saturday Night Live writes Spider-man

Many, many years ago, Marvel Team-Up was a fun book that matched Spider-Man with another hero. Once that was the original cast of Saturday Night Live, and I bought that sucker when it was new. Now a couple of SNL writers are returning the favor - "Live From New York, Writers for Spider-Man," By GEORGE GENE GUSTINES, New York Times May 23, 2009.

D.C. Conspiracy's Counter Culture Fest IV featured in today's Post

See "Step Right Up to Counter Culture," By Lavanya Ramanathan, Washington Post Saturday, May 23, 2009. Since it's not in a bar, it's kid-friendly this year and I'll probably bring my daughter. If anyone's going, chime in below and perhaps we can set a time to meet and not have a beer.

Lois Lane dies

Not in the comic books, although I'm sure it's only a matter of time until that "brilliant" idea occurs to someone. No, this is Joan Alexander of the radio Superman, whose daughter lives in DC.

See "Joan A. Stanton, Radio Voice of Lois Lane, Dies at 94," , By BRUCE WEBER, New York Times May 23, 2009 and "1940s Radio Actress Portrayed Lois Lane," By Adam Bernstein, Washington Post Staff Writer, Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

New comic: 'Dr. Dremo's Taphouse of Tall Talls and Short Stories: The Horrors of War'

Matt Dembicki would like you to know:

The D.C. Conspiracy ( premieres 'Dr. Dremo's Taphouse of Tall Talls and Short Stories: The Horrors of War,' it's latest themed-anthology (war) this Sunday, May 24, at the D.C. Conspiracy's Counter Culture Fest IV at the Soundry ( in Vienna, Va.

The 72-page B&W book ($8) features a cover by Scott White and stories by Matt Dembicki, Evan Keeling, Andrew Cohen, Jason Rodriguez, Frank Naif and more!

A Scooby-Doo play is not appearing in Frederick

But tonight and tomorrow, Spooky Dog and the Teen-Age Gang Mysteries is, before coming to DC - See "'Spooky Dog' is NOT the Saturday morning cartoon you remember ... or is it?" By Lauren LaRocca, Frederick News-Post May 21, 2009.

That darn Berge!

I apologize for insensitive cartoon
Washington Blade (May 22 2009): 19

To the Editors:
Re: “Disappointed by insensitive cartoon mocking blindness” (letter to the editor by Eric Peterson, May 1)

In response to the letter by Eric Petersen, I am writing to apologize for my recent cartoon about New York Gov. David Paterson. In drawing the cartoon, I had worried that some readers might perceive it as a slam against the governor’s blindness, rather than, as I was intending, a comment on LGBT leaders’ lack of readiness when he brought marriage rights issues to the fore.

Please accept my explanation that while the cartoon took Gov. Paterson’s blindness as a given condition, I in no way wanted readers to think that the cartoon was attacking him for it. I appreciate Gov. Paterson’s extraordinary courage and leadership on this issue, and I hope the drive for marriage equality in New York proves successful.

I thank Mr. Petersen for his thoughtful response to the cartoon, and I sincerely apologize.

Sturtevant, Wisc.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

That darn Pett!

Let the Teenagers Alone
Washington Post Saturday, May 16, 2009

In republishing Joel Pett's political cartoon in the May 9 Drawing Board, you have taken your newspaper to a new low.

It is one thing for you to continue your efforts to destroy Sarah Palin, a political figure, but to do so by stomping on the reputation of a teenage girl was despicable.

Depicting Bristol Palin as a "guest speaker" at the "Church of Abstinence" was a contemptible effort to achieve your goals at any cost.

-- Vincent J. Cucuzzella
Ellicott City

Comic Riffs interviews itself

Cavna on Cavna - The Interview: 'Comic Riffs' Blogger Michael Cavna

NPR's Weldon asks, "Who's the Longest-Running Fictional Character Ever?"

See "Question: Who's the Longest-Running Fictional Character Ever?" by Glen Weldon, National Public Radio's Monkey See blog (May 20 2009) for his answer - it's a comic book hero. I don't think I quite agree, but I'm not sure why. There's 51 comments so other people may feel the same.

May 29: 5 Centimeters per Second and Voices of a Distant Star


CONTACT: Chris Wanamaker, (202) 262 2083

5 Centimeters per Second and Voices of a Distant Star
to be screened at Japan Information and Culture Center.

The Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan in collaboration with DC Anime Club Present 5 Centimeters per Second and Voices of a Distant Star, Friday May 29, 2009 6:30 pm as part of inaugural showing for a film series based on both Anime (Japanese Animation) and Manga ( Japanese Comics).

5 Centimeters per second is a 2007 Japanese animated feature film by Makoto Shinkai. The film was finished on January 22, 2007. The first part of the film was debuted on Yahoo! Japan as streaming video to Yahoo! Premium members from 16 February to 19 February 2007. On March 3, 2007, the full length featured film had its theatrical premiere at Cinema Rise in Shibuya, Tokyo. The film consists of three segments: Cherry Blossom (桜花抄 ,Ōkashō?), Cosmonaut (コスモナウト ,Kosumonauto?), and 5 Centimeters per Second (秒速5センチメートル ,Byōsoku 5 Senchimētoru?), totaling about an hour of runtime. As in Shinkai's previous works, Tenmon composes for this film's soundtrack. The DVD was released on 19 July 2007. A novel of 5 Centimeters Per Second is put on the market in Japan[1] It included uncollection story in the animation version.

Voices of a Distant Star is a Japanese anime OVA by Makoto Shinkai. It chronicles a long-distance relationship between a teenage couple who communicate by sending emails via their mobile phones across interstellar space. It was originally released to DVD on February 2, 2002, and has since been broadcast across Japan on the anime satellite television network, Animax.

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


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

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

Monday, May 18, 2009

Minicomic review - Sam and Lilah

Jim Dougan and Molly Lawless were at Fantom Comics for Free Comic Book Day and Jim passed along his ashcan Sam and Lilah. He wouldn't sell it to me, so I told him I'd review it and he passed it over. Jim's the writer and Hyeondo Park is the artist. The story is actually a webcomic on and this mini is the first chapter.

I liked it a lot. Jim's retelling a version of Samson and Delilah as a romantic comedy starts off sweetly. Park's manga-influenced art is excellent, with an interesting color palette. Both main characters are appealing, and their decision to try to date, in spite of... ok, it's a gypsy curse, but still... makes me want to read more. You can read both chapters online and Jim's says they're putting together a large-size collection so you can see the art better. The second chapter takes place during a DC United Soccer game at RFK Stadium here in DC too.

Another mini I picked up is How I Lost My S#?! at the Apple Store by Jim and Molly Lawless. I really liked this autobiographical comic about Jim's problems with installing an Airport Wireless Card in a Mac. You should be able to pick it up at For the record, after you read the story - I believe Jim was in the right and Apple should be ashamed.

May 24: fourth annual Counter Culture Fest

The D.C. Conspiracy is hosting its fourth annual Counter Culture Fest on Sunday, May 24, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Soundry in Vienna,Va. The event is FREE. For a list of exhibitors (comics, zines, T-shirts, original art, etc.), workshops, screenprinting, etc.) and entertainment (music, comedy, etc.), visit


By John Judy

AGENTS OF ATLAS #5 by Jeff Parker and Carlo Pagulayan. The AoA vs. the New Avengers (the ones with Wolverine). Big Fight!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #594 by Mark Waid, Barry Kitson and Mike McKone. Spidey’s non-stop campaign is catching up with him and so is New York Mayor J. Jonah Jameson!

BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL #3 of 3 by Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea. One of these goofballs gets to be Batman until Bruce comes back from the dead. Oops, did I give something away?

BOYS: HEROGASM #1 by Garth Ennis and John McCrea. The first-ever BOYS spin-off series, re-uniting Ennis with HITMAN co-creator John McCrea! What Secret, Final Infinite War-Crisis could be so earth-shaking that it requires every supe on the planet to gather for one common cause? And will it show up on YouTube? The trademark Ennis black humor is in full effect as the title suggests so this one is Not For Kids. Recommended anyway.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #50 by Ed Brubaker and Luke Ross. It’s Bucky America’s birthday! “Eighty-something years young!” Recommended.

EX MACHINA #42 by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris. Pushing the boundaries of what a superhero comic can be, Vaughan and Harris take a standard-issue guy who can talk to machines and build jetpacks and make him do something truly superhuman: Raising taxes on Americans and not lying or apologizing for it! “The Galactus Trilogy” now seems tame… Highly recommended.

FANTASTIC FOUR #566 by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch. The gang has to fight the guys who taught Dr. Doom how to be a creep! And you thought he was self-taught…

FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: DANCE #1 of 6 by Joe Casey ChrisCross. Japan’s “Super Young Team” follow up on their distracting and meaningless appearance in FINAL CRISIS with… a little soft-shoe, a little rumba, maybe some ballroom… I hear one of them does “The Robot” really well because he is one! A Must-Have for both of you FINAL CRISIS completists out there!

GOON, VOL. 7: PLACE OF HEARTACHE AND GRIEF SC written and drawn by Eric Powell. “We love Oprah droppings!” Almost as much as we love THE GOON and Eric Powell. Collecting issues 19-23, “The Return of Labrazio!” Highly recommended.

HELLBLAZER #255 by Peter Milligan and Goran Sudzuka. Fever. Delirium. Constantine appears to have Swine Flu. Awesome cover by Lee Bermejo.

HULK #12 by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness. The Defenders versus the Offenders (seriously) fight comes to an end with “a twist ending you will never see coming!” Most likely because it will make no sense whatsoever! The bad Hulk is red!

MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS 70th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL #1 by Tom DeFalco and Chris Burnham. A ten-page golden-age reprint plus an all-new story of the Human Torch, Toro, Namor, the Angel and…. The Ferret? Is that what they were calling Wolverine back then? Gotta look!

THUNDERBOLTS #132 by Andy Diggle and Roberto De La Torre. The T-Bolts recruit Mr. X! No, not the bald, indy guy with the glasses, the other one, the one who fought Wolverine.

UNCANNY X-MEN #510 by Matt Fraction and Greg Land. Big fight! “You won’t believe the ferocity! No one is safe!” Bad day to be wearing a red shirt to class!

WOLVERINE: WEAPON X #2 by Jason Aaron and Ron Garney. The Wolvie Dream Team of Aaron and Garney are back! They’re the ones who make the Wolverine comics that don’t suck! Read it! Please. Highly recommended.

Comic Riffs interviewed animator Robert Smigel

See "The Interview: 'SNL' Writer/Animator Robert Smigel," By Michael Cavna, May 15, 2009.

May 18: Spider-Man 3 in Crystal City

Crystal Screen - Superheroes

Join the Crystal City BID for 21 weeks of Superheros! On Monday nights from May 4, 2009-September 21, 2009, Crystal City will be protected by Batman, Spiderman, Superman, and many others. Each night will also have special giveaways, sponsors, and other activities.

May 4, 2009 - September 21, 2009

18th and Bell Street - Courtyard Across from Crystal City Metro Station & Marriott Hotel

Event Fee:

Movies begin at sundown

Join the Crystal City BID for 21 weeks of Superheros! On Monday nights from May 4, 2009-September 21, 2009, Crystal City will be protected by Batman, Spiderman, Superman, and many others. Each night will also have special giveaways, sponsors, and other activities. Check back here for more information.

CRYSTAL KID BONUS: Since it gets dark later in the summer and movies often start past bedtime, the BID has partnered with Crystal City Sports Pub to rebroadcast each movie at 3:30 PM on the 3rd Floor of CCSP on the Wednesday following the outdoor showing, starting May 6. Bring your kids and a blanket and enjoy the fabulous surround network of TVs.

Festival Rules: Patrons can bring their own picnics as long as they abide by city and festival rules. Low-backed chairs and blankets are allowed, but grills, umbrellas, and pets are prohibited.


May 18, 2009 - Spider-Man 3
May 20, 2009 - Spider-Man 3 - at CCSP
May 25, 2009 - The Hulk
May 27, 2009 - The Hulk - at CCSP
June 1, 2009 - Hulk 2: The Incredible Hulk
June 3, 2009 - Hulk 2: The Incredible Hulk - at CCSP
June 8, 2009 - Superman: The Superman Movie
June 10, 2009 - Superman: The Superman Movie - at CCSP
June 15, 2009 - Superman 2
June 17, 2009 - Superman 2 - at CCSP
June 22, 2009 - Superman 3: Superman vs. Superman
June 24, 2009 - Superman 3: Superman vs. Superman - at CCSP
June 29, 2009 - Superman 4: The Quest for Peace
June 31, 2009 - Superman 4: The Quest for Peace - at CCSP
July 6, 2009 - Superman 5: Superman Returns
July 8, 2009 - Superman 5: Superman Returns - at CCSP
July 13, 2009 - X-Men
July 15, 2009 - X-Men - at CCSP
July 20, 2009 - X2
July 22, 2009 - X2 - at CCSP
July 27, 2009 - X-Men: The Last Stand
July 29, 2009 - X-Men: The Last Stand - at CCSP
August 3, 2009 - Fantastic Four
August 5, 2009 - Fantastic Four - at CCSP
August 10, 2009 - Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
August 12, 2009 - Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - at CCSP
August 17, 2009 - Batman
August 19, 2009 - Batman - at CCSP
August 24, 2009 - Batman Returns
August 26, 2009 - Batman Returns - at CCSP
August 31, 2009 - Batman Forever
September 2, 2009 - Batman Forever - at CCSP
September 7, 2009 - Batman & Robin
September 9, 2009 - Batman & Robin - at CCSP
September 14, 2009 - Batman Begins
September 16, 2009 - Batman Begins - at CCSP
September 21, 2009 - Batman: The Dark Knight
September 23, 2009 - Batman: The Dark Knight - at CCSP

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Minicomics review: John Dimes' Lo, the Abusive Undertones!!!!

John Dimes sent me his two minicomics, Lo, the Abusive Undertones!!!!, a few weeks ago. John's minis hark back to the DIY age of photocopying that's starting to fade in the age of webcomics. The two volumes he has out now tell the beginnings of a story of anthropomorphic birds (they dress in human clothes, and act human, etc, etc). In vol. 1, Leonard and his girlfriend Shelly trade jibes about marriage and commitment, until Leonard says he'll take Shelly to meet his Mom and the mini ends there. John's art is competent - you can tell what's happening with no trouble - but feels as though he hasn't completely settled into his mature style yet. Vol. 2 picks up with Shelly and Mom meeting. Mom's got a mean streak - when talking to a friend on the phone about Shelly, Mom noted, "She complained about persistent back pain. I simply suggested that she should 'stay off of it sometimes,' and she got offended." Badda-bum. The two trade insults through most of the comic and by the end, John implies they'll be fast friends. I found it amusing to be honest, although some of the jokes can be a bit ribald.

To find these and other minis, John's website is

Comic characters at last week's Patent and Trademark Expo

Dennis the Menace was on hand to greet us.

And so was Betty Boop - hubba, hubba. Art Rhode, Betty Boop, Mike Rhode. Boop looks good for a 79-year old.

The International Trademark Association had a table to inform you how to be sure of your superhero paraphernalia's status.

Batman counterfeit on right, and true merchandise on left at the Patent and Trademark Expo.

Dastardly Tweety Bird counterfeit on left, and true merchandise on right at the Patent and Trademark Expo.

Superman and Harry Potter counterfeits on left, and true merchandise on right at the Patent and Trademark Expo.

And don't be making your own Mickey Mouse ears - they're trademarked!

Dennis the Menace plays football. He actually caught the ball.

Former VCU student Carolyn Belefski and her webcomic

See "BELEFSKI'S COMICAL CURLS," by Jennifer M. Contino, Comicon's The Pulse May 12 2009 for an interview with Carolyn Belefski on her webcomic, Curls. She started the comic when she was at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Otis Sweat cartoon artwork returns in Post mag

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

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Crazy! cat

David Hagen's taken some scans of panels that stand alone of Herriman's best creation and made Zazzle products including t-shirts, mugs and postcards. In panels from 2 Sunday strips, you can appeal to a crossword puzzle addict, a gourmand, a lover or a caffeine addict.

And he's also got his own cartoons on stuff, including the Drop Everything and Read coffee mug that I'll be ordering.

Harvey Pekar interview online

Tom Waters talks to Harvey at 5/13/09 Episode 38: 'Making It Big'.

Independents video interview link

One of the things that's been sitting around waiting to be reviewed is Chris Brandt's documentary film Independents. It's still waiting unfortunately, buy you can hear an interview with him at Inkstuds.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Post on Up, Times on Simpsons

Cannes opened for the first time with an animated movie - "Thanks to Pixar, a Cannes Launch Most Uplifting," By Ann Hornaday, Washington Post Staff Writer, Thursday, May 14, 2009.

And apparently the Simpsons channeled Ayn Rand - "Hot Button: Maggie goes Roark," By Amanda Carpenter, Washington Times Thursday, May 14, 2009.

Ohio State's Cartoon collection - Matching the Schulz Challenge

Associate Curator Jenny Robb put this info in a comment, but let's copy it here so more people see it:

Thanks for asking how to contribute to the Schulz Challenge. People can donate online with a credit card at: or send a check to the The Ohio State University Cartoon Library and Museum, 27 W. 17th Avenue Mall, Columbus OH 43210-1393. Please indicate “Schulz Challenge” on the check.

Remember, all donations will be matched dollar for dollar by Jean Schulz.

Thanks for your support of this exciting project!
Jenny Robb
Associate Curator

How screwed is Marvel's collection publishing biz?

So screwed that yesterday they put out a free comic-sized publication, Marvel Reading Chronology 2009, to tell you what order you should read their collections in. So for example, after getting Daredevil vol. 13: The Murdock Papers tpb, you then need to jump to Daredevil: The Devil, Inside and Out vol. 1, tpb. Nice, huh?

Politics and Prose starts graphic novel group

The new Politics and Prose newsletter has some graphic novel recommendations (see May 14th entry) and the announcement of...

New Graphic Novel Book Group

P&P’s new Graphic Novel Reading Group will begin meeting the fourth Wednesday of each month. Please contact Adam Waterreus at for information if you would like to join.

I wrote to Adam who responded with these details:

The group will meet on the fourth Wednesday of every month starting in June at 7:30pm. It will be led by myself, and possibly Thad Ellerbe, the other Graphic Novel buyer/enthusiast at the store. I'm hoping to read a variety of work, from superhero, to lit, experimental, word-less, manga, all of it as long as it's intriguing and fun to talk about. I decided on Ex Machina volume 1 by Brian Vaughn for the first book because it melds a good superhero premise with character driven/political plotting, not to mention it's accessible (for those unsure about reading a graphic novel) and cheap, $9.99, (for those with light wallets). Hopefully it goes well. I'm thinking that in the future the group might discuss to figure out what we'll read next, or maybe do themed readings...I don't know. One of the perks of the book-group will be that if you buy the book-group book from Politics and Prose you'll get a 20% discount.

So that sounds promising, doesn't it? I'll try to make it, and, although I've read that book and don't remember being overly impressed one way or another, I think Adam's made a good choice.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Did you know? Krazy Kat in Georgetown

Did you know that Georgetown University's Lauinger Library holds two original Krazy Kat Sunday pages by George Herriman? No, I didn't either. David Hagen showed them to me last week. They're in the Archives, of course, as is at least one large collection of political cartoons, from a politician who collected images of himself, I think. There's definitely a Clifford Berryman in there, and I saw a Gib Crockett on the University Archivist's wall. I'm afraid I can't figure out their website well enough to track down the collection though, but you could contact them to ask.

Weldon asks, 'what is that 24 page story-filled paper thing one buys each Wednesday anyway?'

See "What To Call the Comic Book?" by Glen Weldon, National Public Radio's Monkey See blog (May 13 2009).

Oddly enough, the US Department of State examines some of the same issues in "Asian-American Authors Explore Identity, Cultural Roots," By Lauren Monsen, NewsBlaze May 12,2009, where she talks to "Adrian Tomine (a fourth-generation Japanese American), Gene Luen Yang (a Chinese American) and Derek Kirk Kim (a Korean American who immigrated to the United States at age 8)."

Weingarten on his new comic strip's lettering

Not much on comics this week, but this tidbit...

Chatological Humor: Single-handedly Saving the Newspaper Biz
aka Tuesdays With Moron
Gene Weingarten
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 12, 2009; 12:00 PM

Princeton, N.J.: Hey Gene - This may sound like a dumb question, but is the text in comics always all done by hand as well as the drawings? It always just seems so perfect and unwavering.

Thanks, mister.

Gene Weingarten: Some toonists still letter by hand. Some use computer lettering, which has gotten very sophisticated. Even the purist Garry Trudeau made the switch to computer lettering a couple of years ago -- I believe to a lettering system created from his own past lettering.

Barney and Clyde, the strip Dan'l and I are doing, will be hand lettered by the artist, David Clark.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Post profiles Naval Academy educational comic book

See "Survival Tips for Midshipmen Offered in Graphic Detail," By Ashley Halsey III, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, May 12, 2009.

May 12: Yuko Ota,, A Japanese comic illustrator at Library of Congress

Asian Pacific American History Month at the Library of Congress has a cartoonist appearing -

PROGRAM II: Japanese Illustrators Then and Now

Date/Time: Tuesday, May 12, 12:00 noon
Location: Dining Room C
"Then" Speaker - James Miho, A Bauhaus Illustrator (a "lost art" of Japanese illustration)
"Now" Speaker - Yuko Ota,, A Japanese comic illustrator

2009 Webportal Link:

- thanks to Sara Duke for the tip.


By John Judy

ACTION COMICS #877 by Greg Rucka and Eddy Barrows. Nightwing and Flamebird versus Ursa, Round Two. Expect twists that will actually make you care about Nightwing and Flamebird. Because Rucka really is just that good.

BLACK PANTHER #4 by Reginald Hudlin and Ken Lashley. Morlun, Devourer of Totems is back to mess with the Black Panther and eat your tiki bar! Hope Spidey doesn’t find out because of all that radically altered Spidey continuity biz!

CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI13 #13 by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk. More vampiric intrigue among the British super-set. Continually better than it has a right to be with strong characterizations and clever twists adding life and undeath to a bunch of folks who have never really popped like this before. Well-worth checking out.

DARK REIGN: HAWKEYE #2 of 5 by Andy Diggle and Tom Raney. Already well on its way to being a seriously guilty pleasure this mini focuses on the bloodthirsty assassin Bullseye not really even half-trying to pass himself off as the iconic archer of the Avengers. Recommended.

DARK REIGN: YOUNG AVENGERS #1 of 5 by Paul Cornell and Mark Brooks. I would normally not give this title a look, but it’s by Paul Cornell who’s doing such interesting things over in CAPTAIN BRITAIN. Anyway, “Evil kids take over the franchise from the good kids.” Let’s see what Cornell and company do with this.

DARK TOWER: THE FALL OF GILEAD #1 of 6 by Peter David, Robin Furth and Richard Isanove. Roland kills his mom over a grapefruit. It’s a magic grapefruit, you see… Stephen King really knows his stuff but why did he have to call it “Maerlyn’s frickin’ Grapefruit?” It just kills the moment, y’know?

FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: ESCAPE #1 of 6 by Ivan Brandon and Marco Rudi. Wonder Woman’s boyfriend is being tortured, but when you’re Wonder Woman’s boyfriend that’s not so bad. Nope, not so bad at all….

LOCKJAW AND THE PET AVENGERS #1 of 4 by Chris Eliopoulos and Ig Guara. Somebody at Marvel lost a serious bet. Was a short straw involved? Will this result in mandatory drug-testing at Marvel? Questions and more questions….

PUNISHER FRANK CASTLE MAX #70 by Duane Swierczynski and Michel Lacombe. Frank really needs the antidote to that poison he’s been dosed with. It would be quite a shame if an army of punks, gangsters and lowlifes were to find themselves between Frank and his object of desire, would it not? Recommended, especially if you’ve ever lived in Philadelphia.

SECRET SIX #9 by Gail Simone and Nicola Scott. Two of our group join the Battle for the Cowl. They want to be the new Batman, you see. It’s sort of like Sarah Palin wanting to be President. Fun to watch.

THOR: TALES OF ASGARD BY LEE AND KIRBY #1 of 6 by A Couple of Guys Named Stan and Jack. Collecting the legendary back-up stories from JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #97-104, re-mastered with new coloring and six new covers by red-hot THOR artist Olivier Coipel.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #132 by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen. MJ versus Kitty. Girl-fight at the end of the world.

UNWRITTEN #1 by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. The story of a guy who may or may not be a world-famous fictional boy wizard. Fun stuff but contains some of that famous Vertigo adult content.

WALKING DEAD #61 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard. The zombie comic that urges you this month to “have a bit of priest!” Yum!

WOLVERINE #73 by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. NOT!!! It’s actually a “70th Anniversary Issue” in honor of Wolverine’s first appearance in 1939. Okay, really “Old Man Logan” is taking a two issue hiatus to make room for two two-parters, one by Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert and the other by Daniel Way and Tommy Lee Edwards. I am torn on this because I hate fill-in issues and Daniel Way but I have a complete fan-crush on Jason Aaron. Recommended. Mostly…