Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Richard Thompson = The Band, or an Art of Richard Thompson review

Graphic Novels from Apatoff, Font, Jurgens & others, Lewis & Co., and Sutter | Xpress Reviews

By on January 22, 2015

ComicsDC on the road: Mountain Top Comics and Collectibles of Cookeville, TN

I visit Cookeville, TN regularly to see my wife's family and off and on have visited local comics shops. I thought they were all gone, but last year for Free Comic Book Day, my in-laws heard about Mountain Top Comics and kindly stopped in for me. I took the opportunity to visit recently and met the owner Michael Hargis. It's the only shop left in Cookeville, which at one point in the 90s had at least three of them. The shop at, 1683 S. Jefferson Ave, has a good assortment of new comics. Hargis probably stocks more new floppies than the Big Planet stores around DC that I regularly shop at.  Hargis has a good run of the non-big two comics, including a reasonable shelf of indy graphic novels, and lots of Image and Boom comics. He also has a fun selection of comics-based toys, a decent amount of back issues and a little bit of games. If I lived here, I'd be perfectly happy with this as my regular shop. Today's purchases were Camelot 3000 chosen by my daughter, Batman 66 trade for me, and a Conan print and The Haunt of Wylding Wood minicomic by local cartoonist Matt Knieling (pictured below).

Back issues for sale in a side room

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Post on editorial cartooning in South America

Drawing cartoons, defying the government

By Karen Attiah and Ann Telnaes
Washington Post.com (March 30 2015): http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2015/03/30/drawing-cartoons-defying-the-government/

Finding Nemo changed a DC teacher's life

CdS and TCdS artist Stacy Curtis is ill

Here's the story:

Stacy Curtis loses sight from stroke; Pig and Banjo drawings fill Facebook wall

by Alan Gardner

March 30, 2015


We send Stacy our best wishes for a rapid recovery, in print, because we can't draw a banjo let alone a pig.

Bagge in Dupont Circle's Reason magazine

Life Out on the Political Fringe: Peter Bagge hits the campaign trail

Peter Bagge

Reason April 2015 issue


A new Josh Kramer restaurant review comic

Drawn to Flavor: Zaytinya

By DCist Contributor Josh Kramer

March 30 2015


Saturday, March 28, 2015

April 16: CultureBlast: COMICS BASH

Join Fantom Comics at the Hillyer Art Space for CultureBlast: COMICS BASH, an evening of DIY screenprinting, dramatic readings, and comic book-inspired art.

Bring your best costumes to our comic book-themed dramatic reading! Share an original work, read your favorite superhero soliloquy, or just shout "I AM BATMAN! WHERE IS HE?!" into the microphone for 3 minutes. Because 3 minutes is all you get. 

EVERY READER will get a free comic book and some Fantom swag! BEST COSTUMED PERFORMANCE will win a $50 gift card to Fantom Comics so you can buy those sweet, sweet graphic novels you've always wanted!

Artist J.D. Deardourff will show you how to make your own screenprint to take home with you!

Doors, drinking, FREE popcorn, and schmoozing starts at 7:00 pm.

Contributors will be drawn from a hat at 7:50 and the performances begin at 8 pm.

$5 suggested donation.

That darn Toles

Ancient poetry that still relates today

Susan Schearer,

Winchester, Va.

Washington Post March 28 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Big Planet team's Zodiac Starforce picked up by Dark Horse

Congratulations to Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau.

Awesomeness and Sparkles: Meet 'Zodiac Starforce', Your New Favorite Magical Girl Team [Interview]

by Kate Leth March 27, 2015

Here's that City Paper comics flow chart

Based on attendance at Smudge, apparently.

Flow Chart: D.C.'s Thriving Comic-Creator Scene

Nate Powell on Indiana's religious intolerance

Indiana's 'March' artist tells of shame, empowerment over 'religious freedom' law

By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog March 27, 2015

The Post, among other papers, censors Wumo strip

The watchers at rec.arts.comics.strips noticed that the March 26, 2015 Wumo strip was not run by The Washington Post (as well as the Chicago Tribune, NY Daily News, and ArcaMax.com). The strip is a not a particularly interesting one with a white patriarchal God in a supermarket buying TV dinners (do they still make them?) and saying that he's had bad luck making things all by himself.

Huh. Yeah, that's my thought too. But the Post and the others ran a year-old strip instead. No Charlie Hebdo situations in this town!

Report on South American cartoonists talk in DC

Bonil and Rayma: Cartoonists Speak Truth to Power

Venezuelan and Ecuadorian Satirists Defend Right to "Blaspheme"

Panam Post's The Canal blog March 26, 2015

Emily R. Gillis on Jikosha and 24-Hour Comics

by Mike Rhode

Emily R. Gillis was a Smudge exhibitor, selling a collection of her webcomic Jikosha. She's a founder of the local cooperative, Square City Comics, and one-half of Wayward Studios. Her comics can be bought here.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I primarily do longform fantasy comics with a style heavily-influenced by anime I grew up watching. I also have participated in the 24-Hour Comic challenge for the past 4 years and like to turn those into minicomics.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

Mostly traditional. All of my comics are first drawn with pencil then inked with microns and brush pens, though I've been experimenting more with brush and ink. Coloring and lettering are all done digitally though most of my coloring is done by the other half of Wayward Studios, Crystal Rollins. I've been practicing digital colors with her help, but she is a magician with them!

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

I was born in '84 in St. Paul, MN (dontcha know), though I grew up near Denver, CO.

Why are you in Washington now? What neighborhood or area do you live in?

I moved to the Baltimore area to seek out more work opportunities and to move in with my boyfriend, now husband. Currently, we're up north in Cockeysville, MD. I'm down in DC every month though for events and for meetings with my friends in Square City Comics.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I earned a bachelor's degree in graphic design back in 2006. I never formally studied cartooning, but I remember making comics as far back as the 4th grade when I turned my teacher into a superhero for a story. I mostly learned from reading books on the subject and just reading other comics.

Who are your influences?

Starting out, I was heavily influenced by anime like Sailor Moon, Magic Knight Rayearth, and Dragonball Z. Currently, my work is most influenced by other local creators I've met as well as webcomics I follow. Comics like Namesake, Sister Claire, and Stand Still Stay Silent are the first ones that come to mind for works I look to for inspiration and technique.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

Get serious about comics sooner. I went into graphic design since I figured I could both get a job more easily with that degree and I could apply what I learned there to comics, though I'd never really considered comics a valid career option. I didn't pursue it seriously until a few years ago and it's been a struggle trying to turn it into a full-time gig rather than something I have to make time to do outside of my day job.

What work are you best-known for?

I'm best known for my webcomic Jikoshia. I began writing the comics back in high school and rebooted it three times before bringing it to print.

What work are you most proud of?

I have two comics that I'm super proud of. Jikoshia has come so far and turned into a project I really love. I recently brought my latest 24-hour comic to print as well, All You Held Dear, and for being a comic written in such a short amount of time, I'm really happy with the way both the writing and the art turned out!

What would you like to do or work on in the future?

I just want to more time to work on personal projects. I have a "vault" of story ideas and scripts I have yet to finish and I'm anxious to get to them!

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

That's when I refer to Crystal. Part of why we formed Wayward Studios was to help each other out when we get into blocks. We'll talk through problem scenes or give the other a kick in the pants if we slack off. Another trick I've learned is to go read another comic or play a video game for a while. It gives me a chance to step out of the worlds I've created and into another, helping me refresh my viewpoints.

What do you think will be the future of your field? 

With the advent of crowdfunding, I'm looking forward to seeing more creator-owned works come to life. A lot of great projects have come about because of this resource (including my own!).

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

I go to almost every one I can find! I regularly attend Katsucon and Small Press Expo and look forward to this year's Awesome Con. I've only managed to go to Intervention once so far, but would definitely like to again! I also make appearances at smaller shows like Tiger Con in Towson, Library Con in Petworth, and Nippon Con in Westminster. I'm currently planning a small show for a comics group I'm a part of called Square City Comics in June and hope to turn that into an annual gig.

SPX is my favorite event of the year and I recommend it to everyone looking to get into comics. Just make sure to set a budget for yourself otherwise you'll definitely spend your lunch money on books instead of food. Not that I've ever regretted it.

What's your favorite thing about DC?

I like that I don't have to drive to most places and that there's so much to do! Before moving to the East Coast, I was living in a very small mountain town and doing anything involved at least a 4-hour drive. Having everything I want to do be so close took some time to get used to and I love having so many options.

Least favorite?

Traffic. My sense of direction is a bit off and too much traffic really throws me for a loop! Plus one-ways are the bane of my existence.

What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to?

My parents came out to visit for the first time a couple years ago so I took them on a tour of the National Mall. My dad was like a kid in a candy store at the Air & Space Museum. Next time he comes out I'm taking him to the one in Dulles.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

District of Pi in Chinatown is my favorite, though I've heard there's a great ramen place in Rockville I need to try. That might unseat the pizza's throne.

Do you have a website or blog?

You can find all of my work and learn where I'll be next on waywardstudios.net. I also sometimes post work and news to my Tumblr (thealmightym.tumblr.com) and Instagram (@thealmightym).

The Post reviews Home cartoon

Despite Rihanna's efforts, it's where the hear isn't [online as 'Home,' phone 'E.T.': Animated alien flick is another fish-out-of-water tale]

April 1: Herblock talk at Library of Congress

Gallery Talk

Pointing Their Pens: Herblock and Fellow Cartoonists Confront the Issues

Wednesday, April 1, 2015, at noon Curator Sara W. Duke, Prints and Photographs Division, Discusses Highlights from the Exhibition.

Sponsored by the Interpretive Programs Office, Stacie Moats, 202-707-0185

Graphic Arts Galleries, Ground Level Thomas Jefferson Building

ADA ACCESSIBILITY: Request ADA accommodations 5 days in advance 202-707-6362 or ada@loc.gov

Thursday, March 26, 2015

PR: SPX 2015 Ignatz Awards Submission Instructions

Ignatz by Cathy G. JohnsonSubmit to the Ignatz Awards!

It's time to submit your comics for consideration in Small Press Expo's festival prize, the 
Ignatz Award!
The nominees are selected by a jury of creators and voted on by attendees and exhibitors of Small Press Expo.

Previous winners include Kate Beaton, Michael DeForge, Lisa Hanawalt, Jaime Hernandez, Nate Powell, Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki, Ulli Lust and Sophie Goldstein.
Categories are:
  • Outstanding Artist
  • Outstanding Anthology or Collection
  • Outstanding Graphic Novel
  • Outstanding Story
  • Promising New Talent
  • Outstanding Series
  • Outstanding Comic
  • Outstanding Minicomic
  • Outstanding Online Comic
All work will be eligible in all applicable categories.

We need six copies of work published between June 1, 2014 and May 31, 2015 sent to: 

SPX Ignatz Awards
c/o Big Planet Comics
4849 Cordell Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814

When submitting, please fill out this form:

(If you have already submitted, please go ahead and fill it out now!)
Links to online comics should be emailed to spxignatz@gmail.com

All submissions must be received by June 7, 2015.
Full guidelines are available at: http://www.spxpo.com/ignatz-guidelines. All questions should be sent to Ignatz Award coordinator, Eden Miller, at spxignatz@gmail.com.
This year's image of Ignatz, as seen above, was created by 2014 Promising New Talent Winner Cathy G. Johnson.
The 2015 Ignatz Awards is once again sponsored by Comixology Submit!

Comics & the US government

Locally, the largest employer is still the government. And it occasionally dabbles in cartoons. Here's 2 stories:

President Obama talks comic books in latest mass email

by | March 25, 2015

The U.S. Is Dropping Gruesome Fliers Over ISIS-Controlled Territory: A cartoon shows locals that signing up for ISIS only leads them to a grotesque death.

This cartoon depicts two extremist fighters at a

This cartoon, courtesy of the Defense Department, depicts two extremist fighters at a "recruiting office" leading young people toward a blood-splattered meat grinder.

Ryan Holmberg's Indian comics interview at TCJ.com

Dharavi Comics Epidemic: An Interview with Chaitanya Modak

BY Ryan Holmberg Mar 26, 2015


The sometimes Silver Spring resident strikes again.

'Comic Debrief' in this week's City Paper

Tim Regan continues to muscle me aside* and has one of those infographics in the current City Paper (March 27,  p. 33) in which he recommends webcomics or zines from Team KK**, Rafer Roberts, Andrew Cohen, Robin Ha, Holli Mintzer***, Cole Goco, Liz & Jimmy Reed, Pierce McLain****, Evan Keeling and Carolyn Belefski. I haven't found it online yet though.

On the positive side, we're batting 66% with interviews either here or at the City Paper.

*as Foghorn Leghorn used to say, "That's a joke, son."

**Can be found at http://goteamkk.tumblr.com/

***Can be found at http://tesseractcomics.tumblr.com/

****CORRECTION, April 1, 2015: I wrote "Doesn't appear to do comics." Tim Regan tells me, "His mini comic, Hug It Out, is available for sale at Fantom." I'll buy a copy the next time I'm at Dupont Circle and you should too.

April 25: Art Whino is DOOMed

we are all DOOMed

Saturday, April 25th, from 8pm - Midnight



 Group Art Exhibit with MF DOOM Inspired Artwork, MC Ciphering and MF Doom Cover songs by local MC's


Art Whino presents "We're all DOOMed" a group art show with artwork inspired by MF Doom.  MF Doom is engraved in psyche of many artists, with a career that spans over 26 years and a relentless push for creativity with each album.  It's this creativity with references from comic books, freestyle, and instrumentals second to none that a vast pool for artists will to pay homage to in their artwork.  With a vast lineup of worldwide artists there will a diverse array of work presented in the exhibit. To continue the theme we will have a MC Ciphering as well at live performance of MF Doom Cover songs by top MC's such as DC's Own Flex Mathews.

Saturday, April 25th, from 8pm - Midnight

Come out for a full night of all things MF Doom!

MF Doom Inspired Group Art Show

Open to the public MC Ciphering

MF Doom Cover songs performed by the dopest local MC's such as Flex Matthews

DJ Oso Fresh on the Turntbales

This event is Free

700 Delaware Ave, SW Washington, DC 20024


Daniel Dumile ("doom-uh-lay") is a British born American hip-hop artist who has taken on several stage names in his career, most famously MF DOOM (standing for metal fingers/metal face doom). He has also been known as Zev Love X, King Geedorah, Metal Fingers, Viktor Vaughn, Doom, and has appeared in several collaborative projects such as DANGERDOOM (with Danger Mouse), Madvillain (with Madlib), JJ DOOM (with Jneiro Jarel) and NehruvianDOOM (with Bishop Nehru). Little is known about his personal life.

Dumile's eccentric wordplay makes him a favorite of underground hip-hop fans. He is heavily influenced by American comic books (especially the Fantastic Four and their battles with Dr. Doom). Japanese science fiction is also an influence; the concept for King Geedorah (which is derived from Ghidorah) and the Monsta Island Czars comes from the Godzilla movie series. He is also renowned for bringing comedy back into the sometimes overly serious world of rap lyrics and a unique, sample-heavy production style.





About Flex Mathews

Flex Mathews has been a rising star in the Mid Atlantic regional Hip Hop scene for much of the last 9 years. He was named one of URB Magazine's Next 100 Artists in 2005, and his transition from the local DC underground to national recognition has been the product of his dedication, quality live show performance, as well as his numerous victories in MC battles. On top of that Mr. Mathews has been voted best rap artist of 2009 in Washington DC area. I'm telling you, this South Dakota boy has drive, and then some.

Flex Mathews has tour and performed with:
Lupe Fiasco, Matisyahu, Dub Trio, Mike Posner, Del The Funky Homosapian, Souls of Mischief, Army of Me, Atmosphere, KRS-One (Twice), Big Daddy Kane, Gang Starr, Camp Lo, Biz Markie, Das EFX, The Wu-Tang Clan, Special Ed, Rancid, Non-Phixion, The Beatnuts, RA The Ruggid Man, J-Live, Tame-One, Asharu and Blue Black, Kev Brown, Oddisee, Master Ace, MC Chris, The Clipse, Roc Radia, Glue, Hangar 18, Pete Rock, Talib Kweli (twice), Percee P, Mad Skillz, Slick Rick, Killah Priest, The Roots, The Lords of Brooklyn, Yazarah, BreezEvaflowin, Poison Pen, Immortal Technique, Bahmadia, Copy Write, Icon The Mic King, C-Rays Wallz, Mr.Lif Cannibal Ox, and even Vanilla Ice.  In 2005 Flex Mathews was the take was part of the entertainment portion Take Back America Campaign warming the stage for such great like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Kerry, and more.

Flex Mathews is a 2x Guerrilla Grammar Battle Champion, and 3x Tru Skool Rip The Mic Battle Champion, 2x Kool Cigarettes Battle Champion (That he now regrets), and a 8x H.E.R Battle Champion to name a few. He has also made appearances on the 2004 and 2005 Vans Warped Tour on the Code of the Cuts Stage. A familiar face in the local scene – Flex has come to represent a new generation of the DC Underground. Versatility? Mr. Mathews has it and has shown when he was the MC for the Drum and Base group "Common Knowledge".  This group made several appearances at Nations Night Club and open for such greats as Chase and Status and MC Armoni. So basically the boy got skills. 


About DJ Oso Fresh 


The first hip hop song I heard was "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugar Hill Gang shortly after I arrived in the United States in 1979.  In the early 80's as B-boying (or breakdancing) started to get national exposure, my friends and I formed our own B-boy crew. We practiced after school for hours on end. We performed at all of our High School events. As I was always into art, it was easy for me to fall in love with graffiti art, as well.  A DCU student named Frank Ski hosted an hour-long radio show called "Breaker's Delight", which turned me on to a lot of new music. I hadn't started deejaying yet, but I bought all my favorite records and recorded the music on cassette tapes, so my friends and I could listen to them while we practiced dancing. Soon, I was known as the guy with the newest music and was regularly asked to bring my records to local parties.  In 1985, I met a Puerto Rican guy from the Bronx named Juan Ortiz, aka DJ Boom, who lived in my building and had his own deejaying equipment. I began to practice and when he moved out, he used to bring his equipment (one turntable, mixer, and a crate of records) to school and after school he would ride the bus to my house to set up and practice until i pieced together my own deejay set. I started making mixtapes and deejaying parties, but I was still too young to work in nightclubs.  Finally, in 1993, I entered a deejay competition at a club called The Vault in downtown DC and came in second place. I didn't realize the club owner, Kommi, had been standing behind me during my set. He contacted me through the promoter, M.C. Bitch, a few days later and offered me a chance to play at the Vault on a regular basis.

One night DJ Palash, one of the best promoters in the DC area, stopped by, listened for few minutes and left. Later that night he asked me to do a guest spot at his party. I went on to play for his events at Down Under and Chicago's and eventually as a regular deejay at his club, the Chamber.  I started working at a lot of clubs with a lot of promoters. One of my favorites was Josh Segman, who had the PUMP party at Spy Club, where I was the resident hip hop deejay for two years.  I did a guest spot one night at party called "Pollen", a weekly rave style party in the 90's, which was held at the Edge night club in Washington DC. The promoters liked me so much that they made me the resident hip hop dj and i ended up staying for three years and joining the Pollen Family with Pejman, Sina, Chris Styles and Jimmy.  Now I own over 35,000 records and the collection grows daily. I've come a long way since practicing with DJ Boom's turntables and I've met a lot of nice people along the way. I owe everything to a select few of my friends who gave me the support and encouragement I needed to continue and I'll always be grateful.



Participating Artists in the Doom inspired group art show

Aaron Kraten
Alex Yanes
Andrew John Katz
Bagger 43
Brendan Tierney
Bridge stehli
Bryant Pomajambo
Chris B. Murray
Chris Bishop
Christopher Canary
Clog Two
Dave Lowell
Ed Gross
El Estabo
Eric Broers
Gigi Bio
Graham Franoise
James Bullough
James Walker
Jason White
John Breiner
John Wentz
Josh Taylor
Josie Morway
Juan Muniz
Kat Gun
Luke Chueh
Marka 27
Mas Paz
Melanie Pruitt
Nat Van Dyke
Nick Morris
Nightmare Mikey
Nikita Kaun  
Nils Westergard
Patrick Haemmerlein
Philip Bosmans 'AMATIC'
Prakash Khatri Chhetri
Rich Pellegrino
Rosina Teri Memolo
Ryan Mcgennisken
Santos Shelton
Stclair Castro-wright
Thom Glick
Thomas Pearce
Tim Lee
Tim Rodgers
Timothy Johnston
William Nghiem


Art Whino is located at the National Harbor waterfront in Maryland. Click here for contact info.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dave Roman interviewed in Gaithersburg

Axel and Alex and Terry Flippo: A webcomics interview

by Mike Rhode

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I do a webcomic called Axel and Alex that runs twice weekly (Sundays and Wednesdays) on my facebook page.  It follows the exploits of an 8 year old boy (Alex) and his mail-order robot (Axel).  I refer to it as a comic strip in comic book format. The strips are mostly done-in-one like a newspaper strip, but are formatted like a comic book page.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

I still work the old school way.  I enjoy the feel of putting pencil to paper and creating something I can hold in my hand.  I pencil with a mechanical pencil that I've had for twenty years (nicknamed Ol' Red), and ink with Staedtler pigment liner pens and good old Sharpies for filling in blacks.  I find pens much easier to control than brushes and nibs.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

I was born in the sixties at the old Washington Sanitarium (now Washington Adventist Hospital).

Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?

I grew up just outside DC in Wheaton, MD.  In the late seventies my parents moved us to Mount Airy, MD (just over the Montgomery County line in southern Frederick County) where I remain to this day with my wife Janet, and kids Amanda and Zach.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

Other than a few high school and community college classes, which taught me little about cartooning, I'm self-taught.  Beyond the odd how-to book, my cartooning education comes from a lifetime of reading comic books and comic strips.

Who are your influences?

Cul de Sac interpreted by Flippo for Parkinson's fundraising

My influences date back to reading Peanuts, B.C., Beetle Bailey, and Calvin and Hobbes in the newspaper, to Don Martin's work in MAD magazine, to Stan Lee and collaborators Jack Kirby, John Romita, and John Buscema at Marvel Comics.  I remember drawing a Peanuts strip that was hung in the hallway in my elementary school.  My first experience with showing my art in public.  More recently, I've discovered the work of Richard Thompson and Cul de Sac, and fallen head over heels in love with Alice and Petey. I've just finished the piece for Team Cul de Sac. My father suffers from Parkinson's so it's an honor to be a part of this project to raise funds to fight the disease. 

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

My only regret, if you can call it that, would be dropping out of cartooning for about eight years following high school.  I sometimes wonder if things would have been different if I'd continued to draw during that period. All in all though, no regrets.

What work are you best-known for?

If I'm known at all it's probably for Axel and Alex, which has been around in one form or another for almost twenty years.  I also worked for a few years on an autobiographical humor comic called FL!PPED. 

What work are you most proud of?

I'm most proud of the fact that I've been married for almost 29 years and raised two great kids.  Cartooning-wise, I proud that I've stuck with Axel and Alex, albeit in different forms, for most of my cartooning career.  I love those guys.  They feel like part of me after all this time.

What would you like to do  or work on in the future?

 In the future I'd like to continue working on my strip and hopefully continue to grow my audience.  At this point I really have no aspirations to work on characters that I didn't create or own.  I'm enjoying the freedom I have doing my own stuff, and have plans to take Axel and Alex to new places.

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

 When I have writer's block I get away from the drawing board and busy my mind with something else.  Sometimes I'll just take a piece of paper and brainstorm ideas rapid fire.  Most are throwaway stupid, but every once in a while there's a seed that with a little nurturing can become a strip.  I also have a book of quotes that I'll skim through.  Occasionally an interesting or funny quote will suggest an idea for a strip.  I ask myself, "How can I take this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson and apply it to Axel and Alex?"

What do you think will be the future of your field?

 There will always be an audience for good cartooning.  In my opinion, newspapers have dropped the ball by shrinking comic strips down and relying on "legacy" strips to the detriment of new cartoonists who have something fresh to say.  At this juncture the internet appears to be the place to find fresh new talent.  Monetizing it so that cartoonists can make a decent living is the challenge now. 

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

I've done SPX, SPACE ( in Columbus, OH), Baltimore Comicon, and as of this year, SMUDGE.  I also do Free Comic Book Day every year at Beyond Comics in Frederick, MD (great shop, by the way).  Stop by and see me on May 2, 2015!

What's your favorite thing about DC?

It's got to be the monuments and museums!

Least favorite?

Far and away, the TRAFFIC.  And for some reason I get lost every time I venture downtown.  I joke that all roads lead to DC, but none lead out!
1st collection of strips with an original sketch on the back cover

What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to?

 Most of my out-of-town family and friends want to see the Washington Monument and the Smithsonian.  I'm happy to oblige!

How about a favorite local restaurant?

I have to admit, it's been since the 80's that I hung out in DC on a regular basis.  At that time I loved Armand's Pizzeria. They had the best deep dish pizza!

Do you have a website or blog?

 At this time I don't have a website or blog.  I'm on Facebook so that's where I post everything Axel and Alex.  I post new strips every Sunday and Wednesday.  They're posted publicly under Terry Flippo.  I also accept all friend requests, so friend me and have all the Axel and Alex goodness sent to your feed!

You've collected the Axel and Alex strips though. How can people buy your books?

It's here, it's here!! The second collection of Axel and Alex strips. This baby comes jam-packed with 40 pages of comic goodness for only 6 bucks post-paid. To make this even more of a bargain, each book comes with an original sketch on the back cover! To get your copy just Paypal me at jmflip4@verizon.net (don't forget to tell me which book you want, #1 or #2, and give me your mailing address.) Or send check or money order to Terry Flippo at 205 Breezewood Ct., Mount Airy, MD 21771.

New comics-related Fluxx games from Silver Spring's Looney Labs

April 11: Careers in Comics at DC Library

Careers in Comics Panel Discussion and Portfolio Review

Saturday, April 11, 2015, 10 a.m.

Mt. Pleasant Library

3160 16th St. NW
Washington,  D.C.  20010
Metro Columbia Heights

Want to make comic books for a living?
Have your stuff reviewed by pros in the field?

Come meet working writers, artists and more on Saturday, April 11.

Guests include: The panel discussion will start at 10 a.m. in the large meeting room, with Q&A and portfolio reviews to follow.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

'Wild Ocean' on short list for Green Earth Book Award

by Matt Dembicki
I edited this anthology and many of the contributing writers and artists are from the D.C. area, including Michael Cowgill, Jason Axtell, Brooke Allen, Steve Loya and Andy Kettler.

Monday, March 23, 2015

April 1: Steve Loya exhibit in Frederick

I'm very pleased to announce I will have another Splotch Monster solo art exhibit, this time at The Griffin Art Center in beautiful downtown Frederick, Maryland. The exhibit will start April 1st, however, my opening reception will take place on Saturday, April 11, from 5-8pm. The following Saturday I will be holding an artists' talk and workshop from 3-5pm, same location. Contrary to what the flyer says, the exhibit will actually take place in the large, front gallery. Hope to see folks there! (lifted from his Facebook feed)

'I'm very pleased to announce I will have another Splotch Monster solo art exhibit, this time at @[214048915354672:274:The Griffin Art Center] in beautiful downtown Frederick, Maryland. The exhibit will start April 1st, however, my opening reception will take place on Saturday, April 11, from 5-8pm. The following Saturday I will be holding an artists' talk and workshop from 3-5pm, same location. Contrary to what the flyer says, the exhibit will actually take place in the large, front gallery. Hope to see folks there!'

Exhibit by Warren Bernard reviewed at TCJ

Alt-Weekly Cartoonists Finally Get Their Day at Society of Illustrators

BY John Kelly
TCJ.com March 23, 2015


Friday, March 20, 2015

New Kids Love Comics page on Facebook

John "Buzzboy" Gallagher has started a Kids Love Comics page on Facebook.

Honestly most of my favorite reads these days are all-ages.

Kata Kane, Baltimore's Altar Girl

by Mike Rhode

Kata Kane has returned to her Altar Girl webcomic, after a decade away from it. She's moved in the meantime from suburban DC to Baltimore, but was back in town recently for the Smudge Expo in Arlington.

 "Ashley Altars is a typical high school student, attending a prestigious Catholic school with a long history. Seth Charming is a boy who died in 1929. They are both the keepers of mysterious key necklaces, and through them Seth has been brought back from death and to Ashley's present day, assisted by the Gemini Twin angels and guardians of the keys, Sera and Cherry. Ashley now has to deal with angels, demons, and bullies... but she just wants her crush Adam Evenine to finally notice her." - Kata Kane

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I draw “shoujo manga-style” comics, and I’m best known for my original comic “Altar Girl.” My art style is really inspired by both American comics and Japanese manga influences. “Shoujo manga” means “girl’s comics” and usually have themes of school life, friendship, and romance. Someone once said my comics are like Archie and anime combined, so I think that’s a pretty good way of putting it.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

I do a combination of traditional sketching with finishing done on the computer. I start out with rough
pencil sketches, scan them in, and then I ink, color, and use screentones digitally. I use a Wacom tablet, and a combination of programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and Manga Studio.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

I was born in 1984 in Takoma Park. I grew up in Silver Spring!

Why are you in Baltimore now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?

I really like the vibe of Baltimore. It’s an interesting city with a small town feel, and a great art scene too. When I first moved here in 2009, I lived in Hampden, but I now live in Mt. Washington. All of my family is still in Silver Spring and my siblings are in DC, so I’m there plenty of weekends too!

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I didn’t go to art school, but ever since elementary school I took any art classes that I could. I always liked reading the Sunday funnies in the Washington Post while my parents read the newspaper. I tried making my own comics based off of that, and really since then everything I did was mostly self-taught and inspired by my own interest.

I was always drawing at home and writing my own stories, looking at my comic collection for references. Taking classes like Life Drawing & Design in college really helped me learn proportions and refine techniques. I feel like I learned a lot more specifics on-the-job as a graphic designer and illustrator than I did in school.

Who are your influences?

When I first read Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi as a tween, that was a game-changer for me. I already liked comics – but this was my first “manga” and I was totally drawn to the story and art style.

My biggest influence is Rumiko Takahashi. Her manga “Ranma ½” is hands down my favorite of all time, but I love everything she’s done, and especially her one-shot comics in “Rumik World.” I also really admire Chynna Clugston, the creator of “Blue Monday” and “Scooter Girl.” Her style is also an American-manga influence, and reading her published works when I was in high school & college made me feel like someday I could do the same!

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

I would have pursued a full-time career as a freelancer in comics much sooner. I went to school for graphic design, and at the time I felt like comics could only be a hobby: that I couldn’t really be a success at it. But I’ve learned to measure success not by the biggest paycheck but by hard work and happiness. If I can make even one person feel inspired to keep drawing and follow their own dreams by reading my comics, that’s success to me. It sounds corny, but it’s what keeps me motivated!

What work are you best-known for?

Most know me for my webcomic Altar Girl, which I originally ran online while I was in school. I never fully finished the story back then, so in July 2012, exactly 10 years after I had published the first page of Altar Girl online, I decided to start over again, but this time using the skills I’d learned as an illustrator & graphic designer to fully pursue it. Last year I did a Kickstarter to get Book 1 printed, which was successfully funded, and I think helped some new readers discover the comic too. I’m hoping to do a Kickstarter for Book 2 this year, so keep an eye out!

What work are you most proud of?

I’m proud of Altar Girl. The comic is very much ongoing, but it’s already given me so many opportunities to meet comic creators and artists I admire, as well avid comic readers and aspiring young artists. I’m especially proud to meet the young women who come to comic cons and feel a connection with my art and my book. It’s really wonderful and also very humbling.

What would you like to do or work on in the future?

I’m a full time freelancer, so I want to keep working on my own comics and stories, but I also love getting opportunities to work on other comic projects I can lend my skills to - especially pencils and inking. I’d really love to work with all-ages comic publishers, and help get new and exciting titles out there for young women especially.

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

I like to watch or read something that inspires me. Sometimes I’ll turn to a classic comic or anime I really like, and other times I’ll try to find something new I’ve heard of or just been meaning to check out.

What do you think will be the future of your field?

I hope to see more independent artists able to create their comics and tell their stories through their own means. I think we see a lot of that in webcomics now. Self publishing can be really rewarding!

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

I’ll definitely be at SPX this fall, but sooner than that I’ll be doing some library events in DC, Creators Con (which is happening at my old high school – James Hubert Blake!) in April, and AwesomeCon end of May. I’ll also be at Baltimore Comic Con, and I’m always doing Bmore Into Comics shows, which are smaller one day shows happening at cool hang outs in Baltimore. I recently did SmudgeExpo for the first time, and I really enjoyed it!

I love the smaller shows for an all-ages crowd that encourage creativity. It’s really inspiring for me too!

What's your favorite thing about DC?

The museums, the zoo, and eating delicious food in Chinatown.

Least favorite?

Driving. I always end up getting lost and losing track of what street I’m on somehow!

What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to?

I love the Cherry Blossom Festival, and especially the Kite Competitions by the Monument. My first job out of school was illustration and design for a kite company, so there are a few kites out in the world with my art on them! I used to do the Rokaku Battle, where you try to cut your opponent’s kite strings out of the sky using your own strings. It was a lot of fun to do, and fun to watch too when we’d inevitably lose!

I always tell friends if they can only visit one museum, make it the Museum of Natural History! I personally love going to the National Gallery.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

Daikaya Ramen! I also really like brunch at Zengo on the weekends.

Do you have a website or blog?

Altar Girl’s website is www.altar-girl.com, but I post on Twitter @ashleyaltars, Facebook (facebook.com/altargirl), and Tumblr (altar-girl.tumblr.com) too! You can find more of my illustration and design work at www.kata-kane.com as well! I'm usually available for illustration commissions and more.

Deans and Belefski Kickstarters nearing end

A couple of local cartoonists have Kickstarter campaigns that are drawing to the end. Both are a little short at the moment, but Deans' is ending sooner, in less than 2 days:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Part 2 of 'Terrible: Tsar Ivan IV'

Study Group Comics has published online the next chapter of Terrible: Tsar Ivan IV by local cartoonist Art Hondros and former Maryland writer/cartoonist Scott Mills.

Click here to read it.

First page from chapter 2

Feature on Kevin Bednarz and his Comic Logic! store

With one dream biz under his belt, Ashburn bar owner opens another: A comic book store

By /Washington Business Journal

Kevin Bednarz already owned one of the quintessential dude dream businesses — a bar — when he decided to open another one: a comic book store.

Read more

New Carolyn Belefski interview online


John Michael Helmer

March 2015


The Post talks to Danielle Corsetto about her webcomic's ending

Danielle Corsetto on the end of her long-running comic 'Girls With Slingshots'

By Alyssa Rosenberg
Washington Post Act Four blog March 19 2015

Dean Haspiel recalls Irwin Hasen on Comic Riffs

March 25: Bob's Burgers Live at the Warner Theatre



Warner Theatre, Washington, DC

Wed, Mar 25, 2015 08:00 PM

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Chris Artiga-Oliver

Artiga-Oliver and son at Smudge
by Mike Rhode

Chris Artiga-Oliver attended the Smudge Expo 2015 last weekend selling his self-published comic book Coll: Yondering. Coll is a barbarian warrior, perhaps a Viking, who excels in combat in the three short stories in the comic book.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I write screenplays for a living but had always intended to direct films. As a result many of the stories I create pass through many other hands before be translated into images and the results can be frustrating. Comics has always been my other love so a couple of years ago I created the character of Coll and began making comics.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

I draw out my Coll layouts in pencil and then finish them in traditional pen and ink and watercolor wash.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

I was born in 1970 in Burlington, Vermont to an artist mother who later married my stepfather who is a primatologist. We traveled a lot throughout my childhood and I was exposed to many different types of comics in many different languages.

Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?

I moved to DC in 1989 to attend the Corcoran School of Art and Design where I met my wife. We settled in the Mt Pleasant neighborhood where we still reside.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I studied photography at the Corcoran but left to pursue film. I am not trained as an illustrator but I have always drawn things since I was encouraged to start by my mother. Every day's work drawing Coll sees me trying something new and pushing the level of my ability and creativity and I love the challenge.

Who are your influences?

I was drawn in by the work of artists like Vaughn Bodé, Moebius, Philippe Druillet, John Buscema and Frank Miller.  I have been lucky to meet (online and in person) local talent like Nick Liappis, Jason Rodriguez and Andrew Cohen who are very supportive and encouraging. The online community has been supportive as well having received encouragement from Tony Moore, Aaron Conley and Grim Wilkins. It's nice to plug into a community of creators that are so generous with their time and support as I move forward into untested waters.

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

Through attending and showing at SPX I've been able to meet childhood heroes like Los Bros Hernandez and strike up friendships with Alexis Ziritt and Brandon Graham, two people who's work I admire. 
What monument or museum do like to take visitors to?

The American Art Museum is also a great place to go for inspiration and solitude. I've also mined the collections of the Freer and the Sackler museums for inspiration for the Coll stories. 

How about a favorite local restaurant?

I frequently thumbnail stories in my sketchbook in my favorite DC restaurant Zorbas in Dupont Circle. I have been going there since my first week in DC and in that 26 years the owner has become like a second mother to me. I lament the loss of another great hangout, Heller's Bakery, I hope the Duni brothers can find a new location soon.

Do you have a website or blog?

Currently if you want to follow along with work on Coll I post a lot of process work at @artoli70 on Instagram as well as pen-monkey.tumbler.com - there will be a dedicated Coll website soon.