Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cartoon journalism in National Geographic's June issue

The magazine contains a two-page strip "Looting and Conflict: The Isis Antiquities Pipeline" by Matthew Twombly, looking at how the looting of historical sites is paying for war.

UPDATE: This isn't Twombly's first piece for them. According to his website, he also did "Fearless Rat" and "On Sinister Pond," for November 2014 issue of National Geographic. He's also done several illustrations for them.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Angelo Lopez, RFK editorial cartooning award winner

Here's a few pictures of Angelo Lopez (and his lovely wife Lisa) from the award ceremony this past week. They're not great shots, but the perspective is unique!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Tom Toles inspires Style Invitational contest this week

Style Invitational Week 1177: The Ballad Box — write an election-themed song parody

Plus 'S'morons' and other winning wordplays on food names

Hey, he could be a Loser! The Post's editorial cartoonist shows a flair for song parody, below. (Tom Toles/The Washington Post)

June 12: Lucy Bellwood at Fantom Comics

Baggywrinkles Ahoy!

Sunday, June 12 at 2 PM
Fantom Comics in Washington, District of Columbia
Please help us welcome LUCY BELLWOOD to DC for this very special BOOK RELEASE party of BAGGYWRINKLES: A LUBBER'S GUIDE TO LIFE AT SEA!!

This all-ages book covers everything we land lubbers need to know about the sailor's life, from the meaning of various nautical tattoos to what exactly a "fathom" covers and all of the essential details Lucy learned while sailing on the LADY WASHINGTON!

Join us for a day of sailing and adventure within the pages of this fantastic new graphic novel!



Fantastic Forum on Awesome Con and new superhero movies

Saturday, May 28, 2016 "Dawn of Justice v Civil War"

By Fantastic Forum May 28 2016


Ulie and panelists Mike Lunsford, Bryan Lyles and Emily Whitten discuss blockbuster superhero movies Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War! Featuring a call-in interview with Awesome Con founder/organizer Ben Penrod!

Ann Telnaes wins Silver Reuben award for editorial cartooning

Ann Telnaes with her award, courtesy of Barbara Dale

Ann Telnaes has won the Silver Reuben award from the National Cartoonists Society in the editorial cartooning section. Ann does animated cartoons for the Post's website. This is the second big win for an political cartoon animator, as Mark Fiore just accepted his Herblock Prize this past week. While still doing ink on paper cartoons, Ann won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001, so she's still got it.

The other winners, all a worthy bunch, are detailed at -

2016 Reubens: Michael Ramirez, Anton Emdin are big winners at ‘the Golden Globes of comics’

Comic Riffs  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2016/05/29/2016-reubens-michael-ramirez-anton-emdin-are-big-winners-at-the-golden-globes-of-comics/

That darn Mark Trail

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Express on the new X-Men movie

Freak like me: Do you see your own hero on screen? [online as In 'X-Men: Apocalypse,' Mystique shows the importance of representation].


The Post reviews the new X-Men movie

Behold, all of the mutants [online as 'X-Men: Apocalypse' delivers a bit too much of a good thing]

, Weekend p. 27-8

June 4: 'Captive of Friendly Cove' signing at Big Planet in Vienna

June 4, noon to 2 p.m., Michael Short, Rebecca Goldfield and I (Matt Dembicki) will be signing our Eisner-nominated graphic novel Captive of Friendly Cove at Big Planet Comics in Vienna, Va. We'll bring some original art and some other cool things.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "President Trump"

From DC's anarchist cartoonist -

"President Trump"

So, the last polls I looked at in the If The Election Were Held Today Department had Sanders beating The Donald in the general fairly easily. So, while Hillary may be able to lie, cheat, steal and backstab her way to the nomination, she'll likely be toasted in November. Still, the Hillaroids will doubtless find some twisted, otherworldly reason why it's our fault for not supporting her lying, thieving, imperialist neoliberal ass... because, as we all know, nothing is ever Hillary's fault, right?

Comic Riffs recounts the Herblock Prize award to Mark Fiore

PR: Richard Thompson Library of books coming this summer


Picture This Press to launch 'The Richard Thompson Library' in summer 2016

No. 11 -- May 2016

Picture This Press is proud to announce that it will be the publisher of the upcoming Richard Thompson Library. This new series will collect a variety of works produced by the prolific Thompson over the course of his career that have yet to be reprinted since their original publication.

Picture This Press, best known for its award-winning imprint Lost Art Books, intended from its inception to publish works by contemporary artists in a variety of media, and The Richard Thompson Library will be its first foray in this exciting direction.

Continued at https://madmimi.com/s/6fd8d7

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Q&A with Cuddles and Rage

by Matt Dembicki

Local husband-and-wife duo Liz and Jimmy Reed (aka Cuddles and Rage) have been super busy with new projects. On display now at the National Building Museum is their diorama as part of the “Small Stories: At Home in a Dollhouse” exhibit. On the horizon is their first kids book, Sweet Competition, which is due in November from HarperCollins. Below, the Reeds answer a couple questions that ComicsDC posed to them about their work in diorama, comics and now picture books.

So, which came first—the diorama or the comic? By that I mean, which medium did you start working in first and how did it lead to the other? Which one is more challenging for you?

We started with drawn comics first in 2010 and incorporated the dioramas eight months later. Everything started off super simple. Our comics were all paper and pencil, and our dioramas were modest polymer clay characters shot with an iPhone on our kitchen counter. The dioramas were originally a one-off thing. Liz was excited to bring a few of our characters to life in 3D form and shared them with our audience. Our miniature creations really took off when Liz sculpted our evil villain, Dr. Taquito, running in the woods with a knife (the old days of Cuddles and Rage were pretty dark). People loved seeing Dr. Taquito as this tangible thing.

The dioramas are definitely harder to create than the comics. A lot of time goes into making them just right. With the comics, we now draw them digitally and post right away. With the dioramas, we draw the concept, sculpt the guys, find the props, setup the scene, shoot everything with a DSLR, and edit in Photoshop. We love the challenge of making them. It really tests your ability to transform objects into something else. A bottle cap can turn into a pie pan and a matchbox can morph into a miniature litter box. There’s always a little magic in every diorama.

How did cute food become a particular focus in your work?

In the early days, we had a handful of reoccurring characters as our main focus – Dr. Taquito, Taco, Nugget, Hippo, and Pippo Nut (a half peanut, half hippo love child), but we didn’t want to limit ourselves to just those guys. If a joke was funny then we’d post it. It just so happened that our most popular jokes were all food based. We think about food a lot and really enjoy experiencing food so looking back it makes total sense. You write what you know, and we know food. This became very apparent when HelloGiggles asked us to create weekly food based dioramas for their site. That’s really when fans started viewing us as “food humor experts.”

Can you outline how you work together? Does one person write and draw, another sculpt, etc.? 

We both draw and write. Liz does all the sculpting. Jimmy is actually allergic to the clay. We found that out the hard way! We both keep sketchbooks and are always bouncing ideas off one another. It’s really nice to have a partner who can help you work through a comic so it can grow into something beyond just an inside joke between you and your sketchbook.

Congrats on your upcoming first picture book! How did the idea for the book develop? Did you approach it as you would a comic?

Thank you! Being published is a dream come true. The book deal came about in a really unique way. We came to publishers with a completely different book that was cute but not quite the right fit. With that book we were able to showcase our unique art style and storytelling capabilities, which landed us a deal. Through our comic, they saw we had a million more stories in us and not just that one book. We went back and pitched them five different ideas and landed on the Sweet Competition. Our main characters, the Cherry Twins, stole their hearts with their witty banter and good old-fashion sibling rivalry. 

Do you do this work full time? If so, can you briefly explain when you decided to go full time and what were the initial challenges?

Cuddles and Rage was really one of those things where we didn’t want to look back 10 years later and wonder “What if…?” We decided to make the leap into Liz going full time C&R two years ago. At that time, we didn’t have a book deal or steady income through C&R, but we knew it was a now or never situation. We put as much as we could into savings leading up to the career change and cut back on a ton of expenses. Fancy coffees and new clothes were put on hold for a long time. It kind of killed our social life, but we knew it was all for a good cause. Prior to leaving, we’d connected with a literary agent who we later signed with. We basically did what we could to make money (workshops, conventions, commissions) and lived as simple as possible until the book deal came through. Once the book came in, more opportunities opened up and fancy coffees found their way back to us. We’ve been fortunate enough to keep Cuddles and Rage going for the time being. It’s a constant hustle and nothing is a guarantee. If you do leave your day job, always leave on really good terms and stay connected. Those guys will one day be cheering for you when you succeed and will also be there if you need something to fall back on. When you believe in something and always strive to become better at your craft, good things will follow.

Yuko Shimizu does LOC's National Book Festival 2016 poster

More on the new Cul de Sac play by Amy Thompson and Encore Stage

by Mike Rhode

Yesterday, the Washington City Paper posted my interview with Amy Thompson and Sara Duke on the new Cul de Sac play coming to Encore Stage and Studio next month. They didn't use all of the photographs that Amy provided, or a couple of little bits from the interview, so we present them here for the world's rabid Cul de Sac fans.

Mike Rhode: Richard’s characters are children, but sometimes they are Peanuts-like children, wise beyond their years, as opposed to actual children. Having met people in his family, I can definitely see some of the sources for the strip. Amy, you neglected to mention that you’re often the model for the mom.

Amy Thompson: [laughing] Sometimes…

MR: Did you take inspiration from any previous strip adaptations like the Peanuts cartoon shows or Annie the musical?

AT: I don’t think they’re comparable in the same way. There’s You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, but that’s a musical and I knew I didn’t want to do this as a musical for children’s theater. If I was doing this for professionals who could sing and dance, I think it would make a great musical. This has a couple of random songs, but isn’t a musical. One thing that I did think about is a stage adaptation of Maurice Sendak called Really Rosie. It was based on The Sign on Rosie’s Door and The Nutshell Library. They took the words from Nutshell Library and had ready-made songs. He did it with Carole King and that was a Broadway show. They also did it as an animated special, and I researched it more and read the script and heard the cast recording. That had the same kind of resonance because the main character Rosie is a drama queen. It’s all about “me and you’re going to be part of my little show.” That was something that I thought about.

Sara Duke: I love the detail she put into this. The plates look right. Everything on their kitchen table is perfect.

MR: Could you see using older people in it?

AT: It could be played by people of any age. The main drawback would be that it is for a very large cast the way it’s written right now. You couldn’t do it with a professional theater because it would cost way too much money. It would have to be reworked.

MR: What are you plans for the play in the future?

AT: There are no plans. I hope to publish it. If everything goes well, I would like to approach somebody about publishing it so it could be done anywhere.

SD: The production team discussion about the toad zombies was really amusing and included: how do they move, what do their costumes look like, can they crawl on top of each other, how do they interact…?

MR: Did Richard ever draw them?

AT: He drew one. There was one picture of a toad zombie, and there was one picture later that his artist collaborator Stacy Curtis drew of a bunch of them. You don’t really know what happens with the toad zombies, so I got to make that up.

Comic Riffs on the death of Mell Lazarus

Herblock prize photos by Bruce Guthrie

Mark Fiore received the Herblock prize last night at the Library of Congress and Bruce Guthrie documented it for us.


Everything except the presentation:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mark Fiore speaking about his Herblock award

Live from the Library of Congress.

Comic Riffs talks to Herblock prize winner Mark Fiore

This year's Herblock Prize winner says 'Trump talks a big game,' but Obama's no beacon of press freedom

A frame from Mark Fiore's Herblock Prize-winning animations. (Courtesy of Mark Fiore)

Amy Thompson interviewed about her Cul de Sac play premiere

From Page to Stage: How Cul de Sac Was Adapted Into a Play

Playwright Amy Thompson and Encore Theater's Sara Duke talks about adapting the hit Washington Post comic strip.

PR: TONIGHT - DC Rebirth Midnight Release Party at Beyond Comics - Frederick!

Midnight Release Party!
Beyond Comics - Frederick
Wednesday, May 25th 
12:01am to 12:59am 
Get your copy of DC Universe Rebirth #1 
Before anyone else!

First 25 customers get a 
FREE Jim Lee lithograph!

SALE - 25% Off all DC Comics Trades!

Also available: 
FLASH #52 

And many more of this week's comic book titles.

At The Frederick Store Only!
5632 Buckeystown Pike 
Frederick, MD 21704
Beyond Comics, 5632 Buckeystown Pike, Frederick - Gaithersburg - Shepherdstown, Frederick, MD 21704

Monday, May 23, 2016

DC's Jake Tapper is drawing Dilbert this week

Jake Tapper of CNN to guest-draw Scott Adams' Dilbert

Charleston Gazette-Mail

May 23, 2016

He was a college cartoonist. Here's his first strip.

PR: New book from J. Robert Deans



SHAKES THE COW, introduced to readers in the 2015 children's book MOO THOUSAND AND PUN returns to the pages in TEMPLE OF MOO'D this June!


Author J. Robert Deans, who sent Shakes into space in his first children's book, returns to bring children of all ages a new adventure featuring his intrepid bovine. In TEMPLE OF MOO'D, Shakes is on holiday with her best friend, Percie the Penguin, trying to relax after her journey into space. While wandering the jungle, Shakes and Percie come upon ancient ruins which feature some peculiar, yet familiar, markings. As they investigate, Shakes and Percie make a huge discovery.


As with MOO, TEMPLE OF MOO'D features the same goofy story and art from the creator of Crass Fed Comics, and the same easter eggs for grown-ups to find while they read TEMPLE to their own Kidlets.


TEMPLE OF MOO'D is a 46-page hardcover children's book, featuring 38 pages of story, as well as fan art from kids who enjoyed Shakes' first adventure.


TEMPLE OF MOO'D is only available through the Deans Family Productions store until September when it enters wide distribution. Preorders placed now will ship next month, and will be available for pickup at Deans' first major convention appearance of the year, HEROESCON, in Charlotte, June 17-19.


TEMPLE OF MOO'D retails for $22, but is only $20 when purchased from the author. Go to jrobertdeans.com and select Books for sample pages and links to the DFP web store.

Interview with Batman writer Tom King

USA TODAY's Brian Truitt, Brett Molina and Kelly Lawler interview the writer behind the new Batman series in DC Comics' "Rebirth." Plus the new Ghostbusters trailer.

Kennedy Center's opera stars influenced by Bugs Bunny

How Bugs Bunny and 'Kill the Wabbit' Inspired a Generation of Opera Stars

'Ring' cast recalls influence of Bugs Bunny's 'What's Opera, Doc'

Many of the people involved in the Washington National Opera's production of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle say their first exposure to opera came from the same source—Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd cartoons.

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "Hail To The Choom"

From DC's anarchist cartoonist, Michael Flugennock:

"Hail To The Choom"

In his high school days in Hawaii, Barack Obama hung out with a circle of friends nicknamed "the Choom Gang" -- "choom" being Hawaiian slang for smoking marijuana. Almost all the students in this group went on to be entirely productive and successful citizens -- writers, lawyers, businessmen and, of course, President of the United States.

This is by way of reminding everybody out there that cannabis is still listed by the DEA as "Schedule 1", along with meth and heroin, and that Obama could start the descheduling process for marijuana himself instead of passing the buck to Congress. Obama himself is living proof that cannabis should be descheduled; his legacy could only be improved by ending a program of persecution based entirely on the deceptions and racism of Harry Anslinger and Richard Nixon.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Scrooge McDuck's voice dies

Alan Young, 96: Best friend of Mister Ed, voice of Scrooge McDuck [online as Alan Young, actor who played Willllburrrrr on 'Mister Ed,' dies at 96]


Cuddles & Rage diorama at National Building Museum

The National Building Museum has a new exhibit called “Small Stories: At Home in a Dollhouse” that includes among its artists the miniature work of Cuddles & Rage (aka Liz and Jimmy Reed). The D.C.-area husband-and-wife team is known for its cute dioramas and witty comics. On exhibit at NBM is “Banana Bath.” According to the description, “Banana loves waking-up and starting his day off soaking in a cool tub of milk and cereal while devouring a great book. As a single banana living in Snuggle City, he embraces the morning quiet before heading off to a long day at work.”

Also, keep an eye out for their first picture book, Sweet Competition, which is about a pair of competitive twin cherries. It's due in November from HarperCollins.

Cuddles & Rage will also exhibit at Awesome Con June 3-5. On Sunday, Liz will participate on a panel on how to write and pitch books for kids.

Photo courtesy of Cuddles & Rage

Saturday, May 21, 2016

'Artshow 15 : Comix' photos

Photos from the "Artshow 15: Comix" event at Hole in the Sky studios in D.C. It's been a while since a show has captured the excitement of the local comics scene like this has. Lotsa new talent and some veterans in there, too. Kudos to Mike O'Brien and his crew for organizing this exhibit.