Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year! from ComicsDC

"Never again!" / Frank A. Nankivell, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

1908 doesn't seem so far away, does it.

Big Planet Comics New Year's day sale

Happy New Year!

New Year's eve at the hotel prosperity / Kep, courtesy of the Library of Congress

1909, but change the reservation cards slightly and run it again, Sam.

A Memorial to a Cartoonist Friend: a guest post by Kevin 'Kal' Kallaugher

a guest post by Kevin 'Kal' Kallaugher

The lessons from a fallen comrade…

Today, December 31, 2014, a memorial service is being held for a brother cartoonist in the tiny island of Bermuda. Though his name is not widely known in the international community of cartoonists and satirists, Peter Woolcock was certainly a legend to the 67,000 inhabitants of the island.

For three decades he lampooned with great dexterity, the foibles of the Bermudian political class. It was a sad shock to all when we learned last month that Peter had been hit by a car as he was delivering his weekly (and last) cartoon to the Royal Gazette newspaper.

This past summer I had the great honor of getting to know Peter during a 3-month sojourn as Artist-in-Residence at the Masterworks art Museum in Bermuda. Peter, then 88, was a sprite and engaging man with a robust curiosity and a boyish passion for the cartoon arts. We would chat for hours about the benefits of certain pen nibs and the magic of a peer's brushstrokes.

We also talked about the celebrated past and the challenging future of our profession, sharing an enormous sense of gratitude that we both managed, somehow, to eke out livings as cartoonists.

Peter would always note that cartoonists from big market countries like the USA and the UK had it very easy. Try being a cartoonist on an island, he would tell me.

He had to tread very carefully on the subject of the day because there would be a chance he might run into the very same subject (or her cousin) in the supermarket on Saturday or church on Sunday.

As I studied Peter's work, I realized how right he was. Bermuda is a beautiful and fascinating place to visit. Yet as a resident, you get a very different perspective on the island. What at first seems like a vacation paradise soon becomes a small village surrounded by a wall of water. In addition, Bermuda is one of the most densely populated jurisdictions on the planet…If peace is to be kept, everyone must find a way to coexist in a civilized fashion.  Boisterous satirical criticism may not always be welcome.

As you can imagine, this is not the natural habitat for your typical editorial cartoonist. But Peter was not your typical cartoonist. He understood the tolerance level of his audience. He opted to employ the needle rather that the hatchet in his work. Over the course of thirty years he knew an artfully aimed needle in the nether regions would certainly get his target's attention.

Today the island of Bermuda is celebrating the career and contributions of one of its unique and beloved citizens. Here in Maryland I am toasting him, as he would like, by hoisting an open bottle of India ink and a saying, with a smile:

For Peter Woolcock, a colleague whose needle was mightier than the sword.

Kevin Kallaugher

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Feb 4: George O'Connor signing - Olympians

Big Planet Comics is proud to welcome New York Times bestselling creator George O'Connor, for his series Olympians!

The newest book in the Olympians series is Ares: Bringer of War. In Ares, the myth continues in the tenth year of the fabled Trojan War where two infamous gods of war go to battle. The spotlight is thrown on Ares, god of war, and primarily focuses on his battle with the clever and powerful Athena. As the battle culminates and the gods try to one-up each other to win, the human death toll mounts. Who will win this epic clash of power? And how many will have to die first?

Olympians website:

Jan 18: John Reilly signing - Herald: Lovecraft & Tesla

Big Planet Comics is proud to welcome local writer John Reilly, for his new series Herald: Lovecraft & Tesla! It is published by Action Lab with art by Tom Rogers and Dexter Weeks.

When Nikola Tesla's fiancée, Amelia Earhart, steals a dangerous prototype engine for a trans-Atlantic flight, Tesla seeks out the interdimensional expertise of H.P. Lovecraft to save her. Lovecraft, however, has problems of his own as he investigates the identity of Cthulhu's Herald.

Herald facebook:
Herald twitter:

Former DC writer on Egyptian cartooning

Jonathan Guyer

The Art of Dissent

Brown Alumni Magazine January/February 2015

Monday, December 29, 2014

12/31: SHIELD comic launch at Third Eye Comics

Join us New Year's Eve for our SHIELD #1 Launch Party!


Click here for full details!

Comic Riffs on Doonesbury

'Doonesbury' and the U-Va. campus-rape strip: Garry Trudeau says that Rolling Stone's 'flaws' didn't change point of yesterday's comic

By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog December 29 2014

Comic Riffs on Stan Lee

STAN LEE'S BIRTHDAY: As the comics legend turns 92 today, here are our 20 Favorite Stan Lee Quotes…

By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog December 28

Herblock on C-Span2 Book TV

Herblock: A Political Cartoonist - History, Cartoons, Civil Rights, McCarthyism, Nixon (1993)

 Apr 12, 2014

Herbert Lawrence Block, commonly known as Herblock (October 13, 1909 -- October 7, 2001), was an American editorial cartoonist and author best known for his commentary on national domestic and foreign policy from a liberal perspective

SCAD student cartoonists from our area

Friday, December 26, 2014

Tom Spurgeon's SPX recollections

The Year in Cartoons in today's Post

Editorial cartoons, that is. I can't be bothered finding it on their website, since it's not immediately obvious on the Opinion page. And honestly, with all due respect to the cartoonists selected, it's not a very interesting group of cartoons either. Go watch Ann Telnaes' latest video on the site instead.

Toles' Year should appear in a few days.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays when appropriate) from ComicsDC

By Samuel D. Ehrhart, and courtesy of the Library of Congress' Prints & Photographs department.

The Post has a wire story on religion and cartoons

Despite death threats, cartoonists challenge religious hatred and censorship online

Comic Riffs suggests you contribute to Norm Breyfogle's health costs

I sent in $20 a couple of days ago. Although in his 50s, he's had a stroke, which has affected his drawing side. - Mike

12 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: #6. The gift of comics generosity–from crowd-funded films to helping the ailing Batman artist Norm Breyfogle

By Michael Cavna and David Betancourt
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog December 24 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Jan 9: The Art of Richard Thompson at Politics and Prose

Nick Galifianakis, Gene Weingarten,and David Apatoff - The Art of Richard Thompson

Jan 9 2015 7:00 pm

Named the Outstanding Cartoonist of 2010 by the National Cartoonists Society, Richard Thompson is best known for his syndicated series, Cul de Sac. But his work encompasses much more, and in this colorful career retrospective, six of his peers present the different facets of Thompson's art. Join Galifianakis, Washington Post cartoonist and author of If You Loved Me, You'd Think This Was Cute, Weingarten, Pulitzer-winning journalist who writes The Washington Post's "Below the Beltway" column, and Apatoff, an illustration scholar whose recent work includes a biography of illustrator Robert Fawcett. They will be interviewed by Michael Cavna, writer, artist, and lapsed cartoonist now producing The Washington Post's "Comic Riffs." (Andrews McMeel)

Jan 26: Roz Chast at Washington DCJCC

Roz Chast: Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
Monday, January 26
7:30 pm

Famed New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast does such a comical, fluent job of conveying the things that keep her up at night that many readers are convinced she is somehow mapping their own inner lives. Her latest book, which tackles the subject of growing up in Brooklyn as an only child and of her efforts, decades later, to help her parents navigate the jagged shoals of old age, is by turns grim and absurd, deeply poignant and laugh-out-loud funny.

John Gallagher's shopping mall Christmas comic

John's Holiday Comic... (from his Facebook post)

This was created for Westfield Shopping Malls, from a few years ago-- super fun! Thanks to Debbie Young for giving me a chance to do this, and the 2 sequel books right after it...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "The Fire This Time"

"The Fire This Time"

Finally. Why didn't this happen sooner? Happy New Year, everybody.

11x15 medium-res color .jpg image, 1.2mb

Mike Flugennock, flugennock at sinkers dot org
Political Cartoons: dubya dubya dubya dot sinkers dot org

SPX 2014 Panel - Charles Burns Q+A

SPX 2014 Panel - Charles Burns Q+A

Charles Burns is among the world's most distinguished cartoonists whose work first gained notice in the pages of RAW Magazine in the 1980s. His meticulously drawn early stories reflected upon and transformed the tropes of historical genre comics. Burns then spent ten years drawing his graphic novel masterpiece Black Hole, which dissolved literal horror into the true horror of everyday life. His latest work, Sugar Skull, which concludes the serialized narrative in his new trilogy of full color comics albums debuted at SPX 2014. Burns discusses his work in a spotlight session moderated by Alvin Buenaventura.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Bill Brown's 2015 Citizen Bill calendar on sale now

As Bill says, "You gotta have a calendar, anyway, right?"

Monkey See reviews new Annie movie

A Different 'Annie,' But Still A Good Kid

Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis star in the latest incarnation of the musical Annie. i

Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis star in the latest incarnation of the musical Annie.

Barry Wetcher/Sony Pictures

Latest Little Orphan Annie movie reviewed in The Post

'Stick Girl' animation covered on Post's site

Sandra Oh moves from 'Grey's' to producing the new animated film 'Window Horses'

By Soraya Nadia McDonald
Washington Post's Morning Mix blog December 19 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

An award for tying science to superheroes

 Photo courtesy of University of California, Riverside

The Reston, Va.-based American Association of Engineering Societies is giving its prestigious Norm Augustine Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Communications to a California university research professor who uses superheroes to explain science.

Suveen Mathaudhu, 39, an assistant professor in the mechanical engineering department and materials science and engineering program at University of California, Riverside, will be in Washington, D.C., on April 20 to receive the award. It is given to individuals who speak with passion about engineering, allowing the public to better understand the field and better appreciate how engineers improve our quality of life.

Previous winners include military leaders, a congressman, a Secretary of Defense and astronauts, including Neil Armstrong.

Mathaudhu helped to create a museum exhibit called Comic-TaniumThe exhibit, which is on display through Jan. 5 at the ToonSeum in Pittsburgh, combines the real world of materials science and the fictional worlds of comic book heroes, such Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man and Batman. The exhibit was previously shown in San Diego and Washington, D.C.

The society and Mathaudhu are updating the exhibit so that it would include video and also modules that could be used by elementary school teachers teaching science and math.

Click for full press release

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Actually it is "NaNaNaNa Man Drink" by Ric Garcia, acrylic on canvas, $1300 although one can buy a print for $275.

Spotted today at The Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC. The post-Civil War hospital was built on Pennsylvania Ave, SE and 8th St, and is now a community center.

Dean Haspiel, SPX and the Library of Congress

Independent Comix Art & Mini-Comix

 May 8, 2013

A discussion by comics creator Dean Haspiel on the new Small Press Expo (SPX) collection of the Serial & Government Publications Division. The collection of mini-comics -- "small in size but impressive in cultural impact" -- will contain, among other worthy selections, past and future Ignatz Award nominated works.

Christmas with Richard Thompson

After one buys The Art of Richard Thompson, one can tip-in the cards to the appropriate section that they weren't reprinted in. Because there wasn't enough room for everything...

Big Planet Comics 20% off everything New Year's Day sale!

Jared Smith invited you to Big Planet Comics 's event   20% off everything New Year's Day sale! Thu Jan 1, 2015 at 12:00pm to Fri Jan 2, 2015 at 5:00pm   Join     Maybe     Decline   It's time for our annual New Year's Day sale! 20% off everything! Extra bonus sales! All 4 Big Planet stores! One day only! Big Planet Comics of Washington DC Big Planet Comics of College Park Big... Joel Pollack and 11 others are also in the guest list.             Pending Invites (2) Block invites from Jared?    

20% off everything New Year's Day sale!
Thu Jan 1, 2015 at 12:00pm to 5:00pm
It's time for our annual New Year's Day sale!

20% off everything! Extra bonus sales!

All 4 Big Planet stores! One day only!

Big Planet Comics of Washington DC
Big Planet Comics of College Park
Big Planet Comics of Vienna
Big Planet Comics of Bethesda

Start 2015 off right with a pile of comic books!



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Submissions: 'Artists against Police Brutality' comics anthology

Local publisher Bill Campbell (Rosarium Publishing) is teaming with local writer Jason Rodriguez and artist John Jennings to edit a comics anthology called APB: Artists against Police Brutality. Proceeds will go toward the Innocence Project, which provides resources for prisoners who can be cleared of conviction with new DNA evidence. They are seeking submissions. See info below:

"APB: Artists against Police Brutality is a comic book anthology with one primary goal: show pictures and tell stories that get people talking. We are looking for artists across the disciplines to lend their talents and critical eye for this artistic examination of the US justice system and its treatment of communities of color. We are looking for personal stories, biographies, sociopolitical and historical analysis that shed a light on shared experiences across these communities, not just to act as an echo chamber, but to be used to change minds outside of these communities.

"APB will be a black and white book that collects these stories. While primarily a comic book project, we will also consider following: One- and two-row comic strips
, Pin-ups and spot illustrations 
Prose stories (whatever the genre; up to 1,500 words) and analytical essays (personal, sociopolitical, historical; up to 2,000 words).

"The main goal is to encourage people to talk about the persistent problems facing this country in terms of race and the justice system in an accessible and powerful medium.

APB: Artists against Police Brutality will be edited by Bill Campbell (Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond), John Jennings (The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of a Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art), and Jason Rodriguez (Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750) and will be published by Rosarium Publishing. 

For more information, go to; join the Facebook group,; or email

Super stockings

One of the more unique comics-related items at this weekend's Grump holiday show at Artisphere in Arlington, Va., were superhero Christmas stockings and pillows by local theater costumer designer Theodore Stumpf. Although he doesn't read comics, Stumpf said he enjoys the pop culture aspect of comics, which inspired him to make the items. Check out his Etsy shop for more stockings, if you're interested in buying one or two (most are priced at about $15).

(Below, photos of Stumpf's table at Grump)

(Below, images from his Etsy shop)

Comic Riffs talks to Clay Bennett about his Berryman award

Chattanooga's Clay Bennett is 'thrilled' to win the 2014 Berryman Award for editorial cartooning

By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog December 15 2014

The Post reviews American Cornball

The things we used to think were funny ['American Cornball: A Laffopedic Guide to the Formerly Funny,' by Christopher Miller]

By Elizabeth McCracken
Washington Post December 16 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Art Hondros demonstrating on Capitol Hill

Art Hondros is demonstrating against gun violence in schools right now, on Capitol Hill. Swing by for a free copy of his comic book, if you prefer not to read his sandwich board.

Updated - here's more pictures of Art's anti-gun violence protest.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Art Hondros demonstrating as Human comic book, Monday 12/15 by the Capitol

Art Hondros, who wrote a comic book story about gun violence in schools, tells us,

"I'll be wearing this sandwich-board on 1st St SE parts of the morning and afternoon, and handing out bound versions of the narrative as well.

It's been two years since the events in Newtown. I plan to behave, so I don't imagine being arrested."

Good luck, Art, and I admire your stand.

Big Planet Comics Vienna has a new look

A new, albeit landlord-supplied sign outside, and it's been rearranged inside as well since I was last there.

Looking for that perfect gift for a comics uber-scholar?

At Lulu, there's a couple of items that may be of interest:

International Journal of Comic Art 1:1

International Journal of Comic Art 1:1 (reprint)

By John Lent

Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators in the Swann Collection of the Library of Congress

Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators in the Swann Collection of the Library of Congress

By Sara Duke

Here's the 30% off message:

We're just as excited about the season as you are, so we're offering you one last chance to get 30% off all print books.

Use promo code KRBM2 now until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 15, and get great reads for everyone you know.

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "DC Voted 'Yes', Dammit!"

Mike apparently feels strongly about the marijuana legalization vote - Mike R.

"DC Voted 'Yes', Dammit!"

Y'know that old joke about how if voting could really change things, it would be illegal? Well, check out the shit that's going down right here in DC. Go on, take a good, long, steamy LOOK.

The Democrats -- yeah, the same Democrats who bitched about having an election stolen nearly 15 years ago, and who are still bitching today -- were ready to bargain away the franchise for residents of the District Of Columbia just so they could get a budget authorized to keep the goddamn' government from shutting down.

One more time... the DEMOCRATIC PARTY on Capitol Hill was willing to turn their backs on their duty to the Constitution and REFUSE TO UPHOLD THE RESULTS OF A FREE ELECTION in order to get their goddamn' budget passed...

Mike Flugennock, flugennock at sinkers dot org
Political Cartoons: dubya dubya dubya dot sinkers dot org

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Weingarten on Shansby's new book

Science fiction/comics class at Eaton ES

Earlier this week, comics writer/editor Jason Rodriguez, comics artist Keir Lyles, Eric Suggs Jr. (president of Art Way Alliance) and the folks heading the Museum of Science Fiction project held a two-hour workshop on comics and science fiction at the John Eaton Elementary School in D.C. Suggs provided us with an overview of the program (below) for the 5th grade class.

Science fiction and comics in the classroom program summary
This program aims to pair students with a comic book writer and comic cook artist in order to get them to understand how science fiction is created and guide them in the development of their first science fiction comic strip.

In this program, a comic writer (Jason Rodriguez) will talk about different ways that students would turn a concept like the recent “Rosetta Comet Landing Mission” into science fiction. While this discussion is taking place, comic artist (Keir Lyles) will be drawing out some of these concepts, illustrating the process from science fact to science fiction idea to science fiction comic. This would give students the opportunity to understand not just the creative process, but how the science they are learning in schools informs some of the science fiction they are reading in their books and, sometimes, vice versa.

After this discussion and demonstration, the students will be asked to create their own three-panel science fiction comic strip using the writer and artist as a sounding board for ideas and execution. The comic strip that they create will allow them to not just talk about the story that they created, but the science that served as the foundation of the project.

Detailed program breakdown
30 to 45 minutes: Science fiction creation discussion and artist drawing out the concepts that are discussed. The remaining time will be used to work with the students as they create their three-panel comic strips.

Below is the link to the pics from the class:

Photos courtesy of Eric Suggs

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "Cromnibus Island"

"Cromnibus Island"

Just sit right back, and you'll hear a tale -- a tale of a fateful bill...

Remember when Obummer said he backed DC on marijuana decriminalization? Me, neither.

Yesterday, Obummer stated that he disapproved of Congressional meddling in DC's ballot initiative to legalize marijuana, but that he wouldn't veto the "CRomnibus" budget bill.

You got that? He's willing to let Congress overturn a free election in the Capital of the United States if it'll get his goddamn' budget passed. He says he opposes interference with Initiative 71, but HE WON'T UPHOLD THE ELECTION.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Still standing with Hillary?

Mike Flugennock, flugennock at sinkers dot org
Political Cartoons: dubya dubya dubya dot sinkers dot org

City Paper article on Brooke Allen also in print

Is in the December 11th paper, across 3 pages! Again, good work, Tim

Darrenn Canton moving out of area

Local illustrator and cartoonist Darrenn Canton posted on his Facebook page that he's moving to Louisville, KY for work. We wish him the best of luck.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Q&A with Rosarium publisher Bill Campbell

By Matt Dembicki
Rosarium Publishing is a relatively new publisher in Washington, D.C., that delivers mostly science-fiction stories in array of formats. Its hallmark is diversity, both among its talent and content. So far, Rosarium has focused on anthologies and short novels, but publisher Bill Campbell has picked up several comics for its catalogue. Below, we chat with Bill about Rosarium, its current books and what’s in store to come in 2015.

Can you give us a brief background on Rosarium, what inspired you to start it?

This is a long, convoluted story of heartache and pain. But seriously, I was a self-published author who ended up getting a big, fancy agent. That agent didn't really work out. Mainstream publishers weren't really liking what I was doing. However, there were some academics who did. So, I found myself in the weird position of being a self-published author, basically selling his books out of the trunk of his car, then running off to some college or university to lecture about my books, some of which were being taught. I thought it was utterly ridiculous to not be good enough for a publisher but to be good enough for academia, and I figured there were probably other authors out there suffering the same fate. I started Rosarium in order to give those authors a home.

When Rosarium started in 2013, you focused on short stories through anthologies and short novels. Today, you are branching out to include comics. Was that part of the plan, or did the idea to include comics develop as you were already into your business?

That's hard to say. Publishing comics was a childhood dream of mine. So, I'm not really sure if there was a conscious decision. John Jennings (Pitch Black Rainbow, Kid Code, and Blue Hand Mojo) has been involved with Rosarium since the beginning. Keith Miller (Manticore) and I had been talking about turning my one novel, Koontown Killing Kaper, into a graphic novel before I started Rosarium. So maybe it was always part of the plan. I don't know. But as soon as I ran across KEEF CROSS's work (DayBlack), I just knew I had to publish that book.

What type of comics is and will Rosarium publish in the coming year?

“Type?” Well, that's impossible for me to pin down. As you pointed out, diversity is a key goal for Rosarium. We have over 20 different writers and artists living on five different continents. We come in all shapes, sizes, and hues. And different interests. So, we have slice-of-life (Jennifer's Journal), kid's adventure (Malice in Ovenland), a vampire tattoo artist (DayBlack), surrealist sci-fi dystopia (Corporatica), and a hip-hop Dr. Who (Kid Code); and we've got an Iranian folk tale (Little Black Fish), a medieval Indian assassin (Chadhiyana), and a prison horror tale (Manticore) in the works. And don't be surprised if you see anything from Obeah to Lovecraft coming out of our humble, little factory.

What do you look for in the comics you publish?

Good question. I'm not exactly sure there is any one “thing” I do look for. It's definitely not anything market-based or something I can easily articulate. It basically comes down to what grabs me, and, more and more, what grabs the Rosarium team. And, as you can tell, what that particular “thing” is is insanely varied.

I know that—despite holding a day job and raising a young family—you spend a lot of time on the road exhibiting at shows. Why is that important?

I once read a biography about Gene Autry. The thing that impressed me about him (which definitely wasn't his music) was that, no matter how successful he was, he was always on the road. For a musician, it's a matter of money. At this early stage, for us, it's more about connecting with people. We're doing something a little different here (on so many levels). It's really important for us to introduce ourselves, meet others inside and outside of the industry, and to connect with the folks who've felt that an experiment like Rosarium is necessary.

As a publisher that is still getting its feet wet in the publishing world, what has been the biggest challenges?

I think the biggest challenge is definitely an inside-baseball complaint. When you're new, you know that you're going to have to keep coming out with quality projects for awhile before people start taking you seriously. That was something that I realized going in and had no problem with.

The hardest part (especially since I'm dealing with comics and books) had been dealing with all the monopolies or near-monopolies. There are a bunch of distribution niches in publishing, and each niche is basically run by one company. When you're the new kid on the block, they have absolutely no interest in dealing with you, and it doesn't matter the quality of your work. They simply don't want to work with you. End of story.

It's a lot better now because we've found a smaller distributor who really likes what we're doing and is working hard on our behalf. But that first year was really hard because, even though we were with one of those monopolies, we could hardly get our books anywhere.

How would you define “success” for Rosarium?

Beats me! I'll let you know when we've achieved it.

Rosarium publisher Bill Campbell