Thursday, November 29, 2018

Editorial Cartoon by artleytoons

My cartoon, "Fallen Angels" issues a seasonal response to latest development in the Russia probe.
    —Steven G. Artley, artleytoons

Former local cartoonist Liz Suburbia profiled in SF

Sex, Zombies, and Party Dogs: 'Cyanide Milkshake' is a DIY Balm for the Soul

KQED Arts Nov 7 2018

Poster House + The Library of Congress Offer This Challenge....

to make animations using poster art from the LOC's collections. More details at

Mike Mignola in conversation with TyRuben Ellingson at Virginia Commonwealth University

Mike Mignola in conversation with TyRuben Ellingson at Virginia Commonwealth University

TyRuben Ellingson
Comic industry giant, Mike Mignola visited Richmond to join in conversation with TyRuben Ellingson, chair and professor of VCUarts Department of Communication Arts. Mignola is best known for his distinctive art style and creation of the pulpy genre-bending Hellboy, a multimedia franchise rooted in comics and spanning live-action movies, animation, games and more. Blending elements of horror, detective fiction and super heroes, Hellboy has become a fan favorite since it appeared in 1993. On the eve of the release of a Hellboy movie reboot, Mignola sat down with longtime friend, Ellington, for an evening of unscripted conversation. In addition to his work as a graphic novelist Mignola has also served as a concept designer, production designer and executive producer on multiple films.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

NPR's best graphic novels of the year.

NPR's Book Concierge

Our Guide To 2018's Great Reads

Showing books tagged Comics & Graphic Novels (24)

Dec 12: Animezing!: Cowboy Bebop - The Movie

Come to the JICC to enjoy a FREE Japanese anime film!
Come to the JICC to enjoy a FREE Japanese anime film!
Animezing!: Cowboy Bebop - The Movie
Celebrating 20 years since the groundbreaking premiere of Cowboy Bebop on television in 1998!
Mars. Days before Halloween 2071. Villains blow up a tanker truck on Highway One, releasing a deadly virus that kills hundreds. Fearing a bigger, even more devastating biochemical attack, an astronomical reward is offered for the arrest and capture of the person behind the destruction. On the spaceship "Bebop," Spike Spiegel and his crew of bounty hunters (Jet Black, Faye Valentine, Ed and Ein) are bored and short of cash. But with the news of the reward everything changes.
Based on the wildly popular TV series, Cowboy Bebop, the big-screen smash Cowboy Bebop: The Movie pits Spike and Co. against their deadliest adversary ever. Featuring stunning, state-of-the-art animation, this action-packed sci-fi adventure builds to a breath-taking, nail-biting climax, guaranteed to keep you hanging on the edge of your seat.
In Japanese with English subtitles | Rated R | 2001 | 108 min | Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe
Registration required
You are invited to
Wednesday, December 12th, 2018
from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (EST)
Japan Information & Culture Center, Embassy of Japan
1150 18th Street Northwest
Suite 100
Washington DC 20036 US
This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
In the event of a cancellation, please contact us at

Program begins at 6:30PM.
Doors open 30 minutes before the program. No admittance after 7:00PM or once seating is full.

Registered guests will be seated on a first come, first served basis. Please note that seating is limited and registration does not guarantee a seat.

The JICC reserves the right to use any photograph/video taken at any event sponsored by JICC without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video.
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1150 18th Street NW, Suite 100 | Washington, D.C. 20036-3838
TEL: 202-238-6900 | FAX: 202-822-6524 |
© 1981-2018 Japan Information & Culture Center, Embassy of Japan

The Post on SpongeBob SquarePants' creator

'SpongeBob SquarePants' creator Stephen Hillenburg dies at 57 [in print as Stephen Hillenburg, 57: His 'SpongeBob' soaked up worldwide adulation]

Washington Post November 28 2018, p. B5

Requiem for SpongeBob SquarePants creator: A hilarious education interview with SpongeBob himself

Washington Post Answer Sheetblog November 27 2018

SpongeBob's incredible journey from 'Bob the Sponge' in a marine institute's comic book to global stardom

'SpongeBob' creator Stephen Hillenburg dies at 57 [in print as 'SpongeBob' creator was 'utterly original'

Express (November 28 2018): 27

Comic Riffs on ‘SpongeBob’ creator Stephen Hillenburg

'SpongeBob' creator Stephen Hillenburg raised our spirits — and ocean awareness

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Library of Congress blog glances at American Indians in comic books

The Post on the death of animator Stephen Hillenburg

'SpongeBob SquarePants' creator Stephen Hillenburg has died after a battle with ALS

Washington Post November 27 2018

Comic Riffs asks, what is animation?

'The Lion King' remake's trailer confuses the Internet: Just what is 'live action' anymore? ['Lion King' sparks uproar about definition of 'live action']

Jamie Noguchi and Super Art Fight profiled by The Post Magazine

The Art Gladiators

Who needs comic books? Meet the gonzo performers of Super Art Fight, who draw characters and creatures as they battle each other in a live competition.
Story by Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson
November 26, 2018

Jamie's webcomic Yellow Peril is at and it's great fun. I look forward to buying the compilation every year at SPX because I'm old school and like my comics on paper. 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Friday, November 23, 2018

Exhibit Review: The Very Best Of Slovenian Comics

Tomaž Lavrič
by Mike Rhode

The Very Best Of Slovenian Comics. Izar Lunaček (with translation assistance by Nejc Juren). Washington, DC: Embassy of Slovenia. November 2, 2018 – February 8, 2019. Open Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm, by appointment via sloembassy.washington(at)   or 202-386-6601.

This no-frills exhibit of reproduction of pages mounted on foam core may not be the most beautiful  and certainly not monetarily valuable exhibit on display in Washington now, but it does provide an overview of a largely-invisible European comics scene. Lunaček, who visited DC recently to promote the Animal Noir comic that he did with Juren, opened the exhibit with a short lecture on the history of Slovenian cartooning both before and after the breakup of Yugoslavia. The exhibit itself is rather minimalistic in regards to explanatory text, which is only provided via Lunaček's cartoon history that runs along one wall. The exhibit would have definitely benefitted from additional panels explaining the transitions from funny animals to punk / alternative to the current wide variety of styles and stories. Having heard his lecture, I am able to put the images into context with the changing world including big issues such as the fall of Communism and the dissolution of Yugoslavia, to the small but vital anthology and cooperative Stripburger, which published many of the modern-era cartoonists in the show.
Miki Muster
From a recording of his remarks, he noted that a cartoonist could make a living in Yugoslavia just from comics, but that was no longer possible in the smaller Slovenian market. The first comic he showed in his lecture, not displayed in the exhibit from the first decade of the twentieth century was a political cartoon where aristocrats of the Austro-Hungarian Empire showed their massive penises, and looked as though it was influenced by Japanese erotic prints. Beyond that, and other satirical comics, their first real master creator, Miki Muster, was a cartoonist influenced by Disney and Walt Kelly's Pogo who created an influential series of over forty funny animal albums from the 1950s through the early 1970s. They still are the best-selling comics in the country.

Kostja Gatnik

In the 1970s, Muster's style was challenged by Kostja Gatnik, whom Lunaček referred to as a hippy and their "Robert Crumb." Three pages of material that was clearly from the 1970s showed Gatnik's range of styles, but to make a living he switched to illustrating children's books. In the 1980s, comics were tame in Slovenia with only Marijan Amalietti's erotic comics worthy of notice. The Slovenian scene was jolted out of its classical period by a journalist who died young in the war, but before that he wrote widely on European comics. The most famous cartoonist to come out of the new wave/punk music and comics scene was Tomaž Lavrič with his stories Red Alert (1993) and Bosnian Fables (1994). Fables was one of Bosnia's biggest international success, translated into European languages, and "is little tales of the Bosnian war, but from all sides." Two pages showed Zoran  Smiljanić's historical comics about the (fictional) last Yugoslavian soldier abandoned in Slovenia. The next panel was of Dušan Kastelic's short strip from 2000 about conformism and literally knocking down the one person sticking up in a crowd which he turned into The Box, an award-winning computer-animated cartoon in 2017. The exhibit then turned to alternative cartoonists who worked in their fanzine Stripburger in the 2000s. The magazine became the training home of many young cartoonists. Lunaček who also started there, put a couple of his newspaper comic strips in the exhibit, as well as some pages from Animal Noir. The exhibit ended with work from the last decade by Kaja Avberšek and her diagrammatic comics, Stripburger's current editor David Krančan and his Drunken Rabbit, and Miha Hančič.
Miha Hančič
Lunaček and Juren's translations of the comics are very good, as one might expect after finding out that they wrote Animal Noir in English first and had to back-translate it into Slovenian. The main problem for a viewer of an exhibit with a wide range of art like this is the unfortunate realization that very little of this material will ever be translated in full and released in English.
(This review was written for the International Journal of Comic Art 20:2, but this version appears on both the IJOCA and ComicsDC websites on November 23, 2018, while the exhibit is still open for viewing.)

The Post reviews the new Ralph cartoon

'Ralph Breaks the Internet' looks amazing. But its touching story of friendship is even better. [in print as Animated sequel one-ups the original]

Exhibit review: Superheroes at the National Museum of American History

by Mike Rhode

Superheroes. Washington, DC: National Museum of American History. November 20, 2018 to September 2, 2019.
The Smithsonian museum has mounted a small, but choice, exhibit made up of some extremely surprising pieces. The terse description on their website only hints at it:
This showcase presents artifacts from the museum's collections that relate to Superheroes, including comic books, original comic art, movie and television costumes and props, and memorabilia. The display includes George Reeves's Superman costume from the Adventures of Superman TV program, which ran from 1951-1958, as well as Halle Berry's Storm costume from the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Of the five exhibit cases, two concentrate on comic books and original art, while the other three contain props from movies and pop culture ephemera. Surprisingly, the Black Panther costume from the Marvel movies which the African-American History museum collected this summer is not included, but as noted above they have displayed George Reeve's Superman costume (since it is in color rather than grey shades, it came from the later seasons of the television show), Halle Berry's Storm uniform, along with Captain America's shield, Wolverine's claws and Batman's cowl and a batarang. Those three cases are rounded out with the first issue of Ms. Magazine which had a Wonder Woman cover, two lunchboxes (Wonder Woman and Marvel heroes), and a Superman telephone.

courtesy of Grand Comics Database
 Surprisingly, the two cases of comic books and original art include a very wide variety of comic books including some that just recently came out such as America (Marvel) along with older issues such as Leading Comics from 1943 which featured Green Arrow among other heroes such as the Crimson Avenger and the Star-Spangled Kid. The existence of an apparently extensive comic book collection in the Smithsonian comes as a surprise to this reviewer and will need to be researched more in depth. Even more of a surprise were the four pieces of original art on display – the cover of Sensation Comics 18 (1943) with Wonder Woman drawn by H.G. Peter, a Superman comic strip (1943) signed by Siegel and Shuster, a Captain Midnight cover that the curators did not bother to track the source of (it appears to be an unused version of #7 from April 1943), and a April 27, 1945 Batman comic strip. Actually, none of the creators of any of the works are credited, although the donors are.
The small exhibit lines two sides of a hallway off the busy Constitution Avenue entrance of the Museum, but the location has the advantage of being around the corner from a Batmobile from the 1989 Batman movie that was installed earlier this year. The car may be tied into the nearby installation and branding of a Warner Bros. theater showing the latest Harry Potter spin-off movie which seems like a true waste of space in the perennially over-crowded and under –exhibited (i.e. they have literally hundreds of thousands of items worthy of display in storage), but one assumes that besides the Batmobile, the theater came with a cash donation or promise of shared revenues.

Notwithstanding that cynicism, the Batmobile and the superheroes exhibit are fun to see, although most people quickly passed them by during this reviewer's visit. Also of interest may be a bound volume of Wonder Woman comics and a reproduction of an unused idea for her original costume, around the other corner from the Batmobile in the Smithsonian Libraries exhibit gallery. The museum has recently acquired some Marston family papers.

Bruce Guthrie has an extensive series of photographs including the individual comic books at


(This review was written for the International Journal of Comic Art 20:2, but this version appears on both the IJOCA and ComicsDC websites on November 23, 2018, while the exhibit is still open for viewing.)