Monday, December 31, 2018

Friday, December 28, 2018

Catching up with Richmond's Ash Griffith's column in RVA Magazine

RVA Mag Comics X-Change: Issue 1

RVA Mag Comics X-Change: Issue 2

RVA Comics X-Change: Issue 3

RVA Mag Comix X-Change: Issue 4

RVA Mag Comics X-Change: Issue 5 — Comicon Edition

RVA Mag Comics X-Change: Issue #6

RVA Mag Comics X-Change: Issue 7

RVA Comics X-Change: Issue 8

RVA Comics X-Change: Issue 9

NPR's Yu talks to Walden and Stotts

'We Are Here': Questions For Comics Creator Taneka Stotts

·  Mallory Yu

December 21, 2018

'It Would Have Changed My Life': Questions For Cartoonist Tillie Walden

Comics Research Bibliography 2018 print edition ebook available now

Over 1200 pages long with more than 9,000 new entries, this is a bibliography of articles and books on all aspects of comic and cartoon art including comic books, comic strips, cartoons, animation, editorial cartoons, newly updated as of the end of 2018. The electronic book include tens of thousands of citations with links to information on comic book movies, the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Danish Islam cartoon controversy and other topical matters. Many citations are hot-linked to the web publication for ease of use.

A two-volume print edition is coming, but I'm waiting on proof copies to check first.

I'd be glad of any comments except those that note that I'm missing something as I have literally 10,000 pages more of citations waiting to be formatted.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Post reviews a Saul Steinberg reprint

Think you don't understand art? This is the one book you'll need. [Saul Steinberg; in print as An exercise manual to train your eyes to look at art].

Monday, December 24, 2018

That darn “Pearls Before Swine”, “Tariff Man” and “Non Sequitur”

The funnies, the saddies, the baddies

[ Pearls Before Swine, Tariff Man, Non Sequitur; online as Readers critique The Post: Voyager 2, the Harvard-Yale game, and funny, sad and bad cartoons]

Washington Post December 21 2018

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Big Planet Special holiday hours

These hours are for the Bethesda store ONLY. Please note: All locations will be closed on Christmas Day. All locations will be open on New Year's Day from 12-5 with a big SALE! Everything in the store 20% OFF!
Copyright © 2018 Big Planet Comics, All rights reserved.
You requested this service

Our mailing address is:
Big Planet Comics
4849 Cordell Ave.
Bethesda, Md 20814

Cavna on Superman: The Movie

How 'Superman' gave rise to superhero movies 40 years ago [in print as 'Superman' gave rise to the heroes we know].

Trump’s caravan of chaos

Trump's caravan of chaos

The president led a motley crew through 2018

The Post on the death of Mrs. Dr. Seuss

Audrey Geisel, caretaker of the Dr. Seuss literary estate, dies at 97 [in print as Audrey Geisel, 97; Dr. Seuss's widow and the protector of his estate].

Washington Post December 22 2018, p. B5

The Post on Aquaman

'Aquaman' dazzles the eye, but it's really exhausting to watch [in print as Hard to catch breath in this underwater adventure].

Washington Post December 21 2018

'Aquaman' is packed to the gills — and that's not a good thing [in print as Packed to the gills: DCU's 'Aquaman' is much too much]

Why an 'Aquaman' comic writer returned to superheroes

December 21 2018

How Jason Momoa and James Wan made a different kind of superhero movie with 'Aquaman' [in print as Hesitant at first to dive into Aquaman].

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

PR: Adam Hughes In-Store Signing at CC&C

Adam Hughes In-Store Signing at CC&C
From the Store that Brings You... 
Adam Hughes will be at Cards, Comics & Collectibles on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 from 3:30pm to 6:30pm! A long-time friend and recurring guest of the Baltimore Comic-Con, Adam is the artist on Marvel's Fantastic Four being released that Wednesday, which will feature the wedding of Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters.
Fantastic Four _5
From Marvel's solicitation for this issue: The wedding that's been years in the making...Ben and Alicia say "I do!" No bait. No switch. Not a dream. Not a hoax. And we swear, not a single Skrull around. This is really happening! From the book that brought you the first, best and longest running super hero marriage in comics, we give you...the wedding of Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters! Featuring an untold tale of the courtship of Ben and Alicia. A bachelor party that only Johnny Storm could throw. And a very special ceremony brought to you in the Mighty Marvel Manner.
As far as cover artists working in comics today, Adam Hughes is among the very best. A 12-year veteran of Gaijin Studios, Hughes is most widely recognized for his pin-up style renditions of female characters, especially over the course of his long runs as cover artist on Wonder Woman and Catwoman. His most recent work includes covers for Superman, Red Sonja/Tarzan, and Captain America. Hughes is a multiple Harvey and Eisner Award winner for Best Cover Artist.
"Adam is an amazing artist," said Marc Nathan, owner of Cards, Comics & Collectibles. "We are incredibly lucky to have him at the store on the day of this momentous issue's release!"
Adam will sign the first 10 autographs for free if they are bought in the store. Other items or items beyond the ten purchased in-store are $5 each.
Cards, Comics & Collectibles is located at 51 Main St., Reisterstown, MD  21136. For more information, please visit, our Facebook page, or call 410-526-7410.
51 Main St., Reisterstown, Maryland 21136

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Interview with formerly-local Liz Suburbia

Interview with Liz Suburbia of CYANIDE MILKSHAKE

Editorial Cartoon by artleytoons

My cartoon, "The Cask of Trumpontillado."
    —Steven G. Artley, artleytoons

click on image for larger view

©2018 Steven G. Artley • artleytoons • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Monday, December 17, 2018

Fluegennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "Yellow Jacket"

The latest from Mike Flugennock, DC's anarchist cartoonist.

"Yellow Jacket"

In solidarity with the French revolutionaries of the Gilets Jaunes.

Much of the US Left points to the Gilets Jaunes as proof that protest works, but they couldn't be more wrong. Protest doesn't work; insurrection does.

The Gilets Jaunes didn't put Macron on the run and achieve a rollback of the regressive "carbon tax" by putting on a big police-permitted march on a Saturday afternoon and returning to work on Monday; they did it by totally disrupting business as usual, by tearing up the streets and burning the m*th@rf%ck!r down, by making the posh shopping districts unshoppable, and making the country ungovernable week after week.

Reprising Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "...or Democracy Gets It!"

A cartoon repeat, but with new commentary, from Mike Flugennock, DC's anarchist cartoonist.

"...or Democracy Gets It!"

In case you haven't noticed, the smell of 2020 is already in the air – on Twitter, the Left-punching Donut accounts are out punching the Left, the Sanders-punching Donuts are out punching Bernie, and they're all out pimping the Democratic Party because... democracy. Basically, if you're not voting Democratic, you hate Democracy™.

The Donuts are all real gung-ho for the exercise of democracy n'shit, but then when you actually vote your values, like vote Green or  Socialist or something – that is, actually participate in friggin' democracy – they get their panties in a twist because you didn't vote for the goddamn Democrat, even though the Democrat in the race also sucked on toast.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Gypsy Omnibus review

by RM Rhodes

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Heavy Metal ran six stories by Thierry Smolderen and Enrico Marini. The first of these, titled The Gypsy Star, was an immediate hit and was followed by the rest of the series over almost the course of a decade.

The art was the obvious draw of the story. Realistic, with an obvious manga influence, Marini could provide a cartoon flip to his line when it was necessary. The color scheme usually balanced a very orange red and a cool blue. The sequential storytelling was often clever and made for a compulsively readable feature.

The main character is called The Gypsy in the first series and Tsaigoi thereafter. He drives his eighteen wheel truck across a futuristic highway that spans the world. Sometimes he’s with his sister, sometimes he’s with other family members, and sometimes he’s alone. It’s a Mad Max setup with an unfortunate ethnic label and none of the pesky fuel shortage limitations.

Tsaigoi is an enthusiastic participant in capitalism. All of the stories are about him driving his truck through a problem area and getting caught up in local events, to his dismay. In every case, the stakes of the story are commercial in nature. And when it is called for, Tsaigoi will strap on his guns and take the fight to the people standing in the way of him getting his product to his customers.

Easily the best of these stories is a yarn about a caper in Germany during the final World Cup game between Germany and France. Germany loses badly due to a penalty shot 45 seconds into the game. Much comedy is made from this state of affairs and, in the end, Tsaigoi’s commercial instincts prove to be very very solid.

Tsaigoi is also a lover. I’m happy to report that every one of his sexual encounters (roughly one per story) is consensual. There is one problematic scene with a parapalegic woman, and one of the main characters is introduced by showing him running away from a giant man who wants to rape him. The way the character is drawn, he could be anywhere from a boy to his early teens. For the most part, though, it’s wholesome entertainment.

It is not difficult to find out what issues of Heavy Metal these originally appeared in, nor is it difficult to purchase them. The new Omnibus Edition of the six stories is, however, a much nicer product than the random handful of issues. It’s a hardback edition with a very nice slipcase. The extras are nice as well – a map of the world, showing the route of the highway, along with several pages of production art and sketches. It's the first thing I've seen from Insight Comics and its a handsome debut. The European edition must have recently been published.

The only real flaw in the production of the Omnibus is the title of the introduction. Dan Panosian remembers Gypsy from the pages of Heavy Metal and references a catchphrase saying that the main character utters when he is surprised or frustrated – “Dracu!” Except in the new translation for this edition, Dracu has been printed as Dracs.

Printed together like this, it is easy to see how well Marini’s art matured over the course of the series. The early stories have a sketchier aspect to the line weights, but the later stories are much more confident. The color got better as well – it’s almost as if the technology improved during the same period as the original publication.

Gypsy is a pretty solid action adventure comic. The creators did their best in the later stories to lean into the skid on the problematic name, but they were stuck with it. If you can get past that, you should be able to relax into the ultraviolence and over the top slapstick of it all. And if you can do that, there is a good chance you'll be very entertained indeed.


Why is this here? It's a long story. Mike Rhode first introduced himself to me when I first started vending at SPX. Over the years, we've talk to each other at Comic conventions around the DC area and never quite get around to sitting down for lunch. 

When I moved to Arlington two years ago, I didn't realize that Mike lived within a mile of my building. Nor did I realize that he lived next door to my girlfriend's friend from college. We also discovered, by accident that we work two buildings away from each other, because we work in adjacent organizations. The world is a very small place, sometimes. 

It really feels that way when I run into Mike at the local farmer's market. Naturally, that's when I pitch him article ideas. I'm reading the entire run of Heavy Metal in public (in blog format) because I happen to own the entire run of Heavy Metal. This means that I'm engaged in an ongoing study of the magazine. In addition, I have a diverse and idiosyncratic reading list that tends towards the weird corners of comics history. Sometimes one circumstance or another results in long articles that I don't really have anyplace to put. Mike has been gracious enough to let me publish them here.

In summary: this is an article about comics from someone in the DC area. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Post on the business of the Spider-Man animated movie

'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' could change the game for Hollywood's two biggest genres [in print as Animated 'Spider-Man' movie could be a game changer].

Dec 15: Mohammad Sabsaaneh art at Palestine Ctr (DC) gathering & live auction!

From their email list:
Dear friends--

This is just a quick reminder that we're joining with our friends at DC's Palestine Center/Jerusalem Fund to invite you to a festive gathering that will take place this Saturday, 3 pm - 5 pm, in their lovely space at 2425 Virginia Ave NW, near Washington DC's Foggy Bottom metro. The gathering will feature live music and yummy light eats-- along with an auction of some of the linocuts by Mohammad Sabaaneh that have been hung at their gallery since mid-November. 

Bring your family and friends to enjoy friendship and fun at a key inflection point in our nation's (and our city's) history!
If by chance you can't make it on Saturday, remember that you still have a chance to see Mohammad's work at the Jerusalem Fund Gallery today and tomorrow, between 9:30 am and 5 pm.
When the exhibition of Mohammad's linocut prints opened at the gallery three weeks ago, it attracted this review from "ComicsDC" blogger/critic Mike Rhode, who said that his favorite works were two larger pieces, "She carries remembered worlds" and "Resisting settler colonialism everywhere".

His assessment of these pieces: "Both evoke a strong sense of place and purpose."

You can see a lovely 42-minute video of Mohammad's discussions with Bro Russell at the exhibition's opening event, here.

The proceeds from Saturday's auction will be divided three ways, with equal portions going to the Jerusalem Fund's humanitarian projects in Palestine, Just World Ed's public-education projects here in the United States-- and one, of course, going to the artist himself!

I'm hoping to see many friends, old and new, at the auction/gathering! I am also eager to share the news about what JWE has achieved over the past year-- and what we have planned for the year ahead.

One of our most important 2019 projects will be starting December 27: A 22-day informational campaign about the legacy of "Operation Cast Lead", the deadly, 22-day assault that Israel flung against the overwhelmingly civilian population of Gaza exactly ten years ago.

Stay tuned for more details of our #CastLeadPlus10 campaign, much of which will be conducted online-- on Twitter and other platforms.

Meantime, I'll hope to see you at Saturday's gathering. It's probably good if you can pre-register, here. (And be sure to tell your friends about it, too!)

Stay well--


Jan 9-10: Brad Meltzer in the area

#1: Author Brad Meltzer (Justice League of America, Identity Crisis, Green Arrow) appears in conversation with Josh Mensch at Politics and Prose Bookstore on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 7:00 PM to present his new non-fiction book, The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington.

#2: Meet Brad Meltzer- Washington, DC

· Hosted by Brad Meltzer

#3: Author Brad Meltzer appears at Barnes & Noble on Thursday, January 10, 2019 at 7:00 PM to sign his new non-fiction book, The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

DC's Forensic Sciences Dept does a comic book annual report

For Its Annual Report, One D.C. Agency Got Comically Creative

The D.C. Department of Forensic Sciences designed its annual report to look like a comic book, including four characters representing different agency tasks. From right: Cecil Ruya, Nya Veridas, Justin Gyeong, and Kati Sloan.

Dueling Tariff Man comic strips in major metropolitan newspapers

Last week, the Washington Post ran:

The amazing adventures of Tariff Man!
by Ellis Rosen
Washington Post (December 9): Outlook 2

Today, the NY Times ran their version:

Tariff Man: An Origin Story

Illustrations by Paul Hoppe

The New York Times (December 13 2018
online at

AFAIK, neither is by a regular comic strip artist either.

Is it something in the water?

Gallery Al-Quds Artist Talk with Mohammad Sabaaneh

Gallery Al-Quds Artist Talk with Mohammad Sabaaneh

Robert "Bro" Russell
In this talk, world renowned Palestinian cartoon artist Mohammad Sabaaneh is informally interviewed by Robert "Bro" Russell, Executive Director of the Cartoonists Rights Network International.