Tuesday, June 30, 2020

PR: NBC News and Upshot Studios Partner on New Digital Comic Series - Covid Chronicles

This has nothing to do with comics in the DMV, but I read all 3 and thought the quality was impressive, so I'm posting the PR here - Mike

In partnership with Upshot Studios, an imprint of AWA, NBC News THINK has published "Covid Chronicles" – a weekly comic series featuring true stories from frontline workers, those battling coronavirus and tales of hope around the globe. Read each new volume weekly at NBCNews.com/THINK


Covid Chronicles, Vol. 1-3


Read them all:



In partnership with Upshot Studios, an imprint of AWA
Written by Ethan Sacks
Art by Dalibor Talajić
Lettering and production by Bosung Kim




Wash Times' Alexander Hunter wins editorial cartooning award

DD Degg has the story -

Clay Bennett and Alexander Hunter Win National Sigma Delta Chi Editorial Cartoonist Awards

Earlier this year, Hunter came in second place for the local Washington, D.C., Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists's Dateline Award, placing behind Al Goodwyn.

Gil Roth talks to Rosarium's Bill Campbell

"When you own the field, it's very easy to move the goalposts."

Author & publisher Bill Campbell joins the show to talk about what he's learned from running Rosarium Publishing (and how he accidentally became a publisher). We get into how having a diverse roster of authors and cartoonists is easy if you're willing to look, how independent bookstores generally don't support independent presses, and how work-life balance is something he doesn't even consider. We also talk about the impact of Rosarium's first book, Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond, the continued significance of their 2015 anthology, APB: Artists against Police Brutality, the cognitive dissonance of living in Washington, DC, his upcoming graphic novel about a Klan rally in Pittsburgh and why history equals horror, the challenges of continuing to publish during the pandemic, how lockdown taught him that he's not as antisocial as he thought, and more. Give it a listen! And go read some Rosarium books!

"Independent bookstores always say, 'Support independents,' and I say, 'Why don't you support independent publishers?'"

"The work-life balance might work if you have a 9-5, but if you're doing stuff like this, there's just no balancing any of it."

"What my novel Koontown Killing Kaper taught me was, if you're doing something that's actually controversial, people will ignore you. They just won't show you the light of day."

Monday, June 29, 2020

PR: IDW & Smithsonian announce coloring books for this fall

These aren't done by cartoonists, but since IDW is largely a comic book publishing company, I'll post the press release. They are supposed to be working on some graphic novels / non-fiction too.

Airplanes Soar and Dinosaurs Roar in The Smithsonian Institution and IDW Publishing’s Enlightening New Line of Coloring Books

IDW’s Highly-Anticipated Publishing Collaboration with the World’s Largest Museum, Educational, and Research Institution Debuts in October
SAN DIEGO, CA (June 29, 2020) – Time spent coloring can also be time spent learning, thanks to two beautiful and informative coloring books presented by IDW Publishing and the Smithsonian Institution. This October, aviation and paleontology fans of all ages can look forward to a creative exploration of their favorite topics, as they color their way through Airplanes: A Smithsonian Coloring Book and Dinosaurs: A Smithsonian Coloring Book.

These books are designed to provide fascinating coloring experiences for readers. The pages stand alone as works of art and the books also contain insights from the National Air and Space Museum’s aeronautics experts and the paleontology experts from the National Museum of Natural History.   

Airplanes: A Smithsonian Coloring Book allows readers to soar through the skies with some of the most recognized and revered airplanes from the collection at the National Air and Space Museum. The thrilling artistry of John Pirtel vivifies the very first powered aircrafts of the 1900s, revolutionary bombers and jet fighters of the 20th century, supersonic passenger airliner, and many more.

Dinosaurs: A Smithsonian Coloring Book invites readers to explore millions of years of animal wonders, guided by experts from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. The artistic wizardry of Rachel Curtis (The Princess Bride: A Storybook to Color) captures scenes featuring the herbivorous Stegosaurus, the sea-dwelling Hesperornis, the giant sauropod Camarasaurus, the mighty Tyrannosaurus, and many more. 

“Coloring books are a unique format that allows for exciting artistic exploration of any topic,” said editor Justin Eisinger. “Pairing artists with experts from the Smithsonian’s museums allows us to create rich, immersive art for readers of all ages to color while learning about a variety of subjects." 

Airplanes: A Smithsonian Coloring Book and Dinosaurs: A Smithsonian Coloring Book will be available in October, and are now available for pre-order via online booksellers and comic book specialty retailers. Visit www.comicshoplocator.com to find a store near you.

Airplanes: A Smithsonian Coloring Book 
Illustrated by John Pirtel
TPB w/ DJ • B/W • 88 Pages • 10” x 10” • $16.99 US / $22.99 CAN
ISBN: 978-1-68405-820-4

Dinosaurs: A Smithsonian Coloring Book 
Illustrated by Rachel Curtis
TPB w/ DJ • B/W • 88 Pages • 10” x 10” • $16.99 US / $22.99 CAN
ISBN: 978-1-68405-819-8

About IDW Publishing
IDW Publishing (IDWP), a subsidiary of IDW Media Holdings Inc. (OTC PINK: IDWM), is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels, art books, trade paperbacks, and tabletop games. IDWP is one of the top four publishers of comic books and graphic novels in the U.S. with a library of world-renowned licensed content and original series. IDWP’s critically acclaimed imprints include Top Shelf Productions, Artist’s Editions, EuroComics, The Library of American Comics, Sunday Press, and Yoe! Books.

About the Smithsonian
Established in 1846, the Smithsonian—the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex—includes 19 museums and galleries, 9 research centers, and the National Zoological Park. The total number of artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collections is estimated at 156 million, the bulk of which is contained in the National Museum of Natural History, which holds more than 145 million specimens and objects. The Smithsonian is a renowned research center, dedicated to public education, national service, and scholarship in the arts, sciences, and history. www.si.edu.

Malaka Gharib book recommended by School Library Journal

7 Graphic Novels That Offer Powerful Mirrors & Windows for Teens | Summer Reading 2020

Meet a Local Webcartoonist: A Chat with Jack Reickel

by Mike Rhode

Jack Reickel and I ran into each other before the COVID-19 quarantines, we think in fact about a year before at Nerds in NoMa. Jack recently reached out to tell me about his new webcomic, Unclaimed, and to answer our usual questions.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I'm creating an episodic long-form story. In its earliest stages it was planned as a written novel, but I found out that I can't write prose without sliding into a humorous tone, and it's a serious story. Luckily I'm a capable enough illustrator (at least to start) to bring it to life as sequential art, but it is slow-going. Releasing it free online myself means the schedule and format is only limited by my ability to produce it, which again, is very slow.

Unclaimed is a graphic epic told in sporadically-released episodes. In a universe ravaged by opposing destructive forces, life and interest occurs in the clash between the abyss and annihilation. The story begins on the frozen isle Idep, surrounded by frigid emptiness.

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

It's a combination of digital linework and tones drawn in Clip Studio Paint, with traditional watercolor scanned then mixed in with Photoshop.

When and where were you born?

Late 80s in Walkersville, Maryland (a small town in northern Frederick County)

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

I spiraled closer to the DMV after undergrad, finally making my way into the District-proper in Petsworth. I lived in Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan before being pulled out into the suburbs to more spaciously support my ever-growing fur family. My wife and I met at RFD in Chinatown, and now live in Alexandria with our five pets.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration, and worked two summers as a caricature artist in Ohio at Cedar Point: the largest seasonal amusement park in the country.

Who are your influences?

Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá for all-around everything; I think they're the best sequential artists ever to put panels down, and they're great writers to boot. Harry Nilsson and Bill Watterson for whimsy, imagination, vision, and dedication. Katsuhiro Otomo, Rebecca Sugar, and Noah Hawley for story structure, character, and pacing. Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins for format.

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

Coming up with the concept for Unclaimed and figuring out what I wanted to do with it earlier would've been great! I came up with the idea for the novel in 2014 and started seriously developing it as a comic in 2016.

What work are you best-known for?

Realistically, for designing apparel for DC's ultimate-frisbee community. I design jerseys and other gear for tournaments, festivals, leagues, volunteer gifts, and travelling club teams. With COVID-19 cancelling all of those things this year, I created gear for Unclaimed instead, which is available through July 6. Use the code readunc to save 20%!

What work are you most proud of?

Unclaimed! To be more specific, at this point, probably Unclaimed part ii page 10 panel 4.

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

Unclaimed is going to keep growing. It's penciled in to take up my entire artistic future.

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

Writing and drawing Unclaimed around a full-time job and life full of other interests and efforts has kept me from dealing with writer's block, but artistic ruts happen. Drawing is exhausting, physically and mentally, and it's something one gets better at through sustained effort. If I draw 15 hours in 3 days, hours 13–15 will produce more good work than 1–10. Fábio Moon said something about going for a few days without drawing and struggling coming back from even that break, and he's been at the top of the industry for a decade. Finding the time to be able to exert that kind of sustained effort is a challenge.

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

COVID-19 was a shock to the industry and we still have to see what those sustained effects are going to be. For all that we're in a prolonged golden-age of long-form story in television, I'd love to see more comics produced and appreciated at a similar level. The enthusiasm and interest for good stories of all types is there and won't ever go away, we just need to figure out how to align the creators and the audiences. I don't think the monthly nothing-ever-changes status of superhero stories will carry the medium any further, and we're already seeing that in reader demographics.

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

Small Press Expo and Baltimore Comic Con, MAGFest if you count that. Baltimore Comic Con in 2006 was very meaningful for me, as I met and befriended a handful of talented pros I've kept in contact with across my transformation from high-school senior to art-school grad to someone-finally-making-art.

What's your favorite thing about DC?

All the perks of a big city, but with plenty of visible sky. I think my preoccupation with beautiful skies is already showing through in Unclaimed, and that's here to stay.

Least favorite?

The current sitting president acting as a hostile occupier. DC is the most politically-informed populace in the country, and doesn't have the representation at the federal level and even deals with congressional obstruction in governing the city itself.

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

National Gallery of Art!

How about a favorite local restaurant?

El Sol -- it used to be in Petworth then moved to Mount Vernon Square, and it's got the best tacos I've had in this timezone.

Do you have a website or blog?

Unclaimed is free to read at https://unclaimed-comic.com/ ; I also post art @jackreickel on instagram

How has the COVID-19 outbreak affected you, personally and professionally?

My wife and I are very fortunate in that we've each been able to continue our jobs through full-time telework. We fostered a rescue puppy, then of course couldn't give her up.

It's also continued to stun me, watching the public's varied response to everything. Wear a mask. Maintain social distance. "We've got a better chance of survival if we work together." It feels like this could've been a moment for our divided country to rally together, and it very much hasn't been.

Through my apparel partner Savage, I've arranged a way to donate high-quality fabric masks to Pathway Homes, a Fairfax non-profit which supports the homeless and mentally ill, who asked for fabric-mask donations. The discount code readunc works for donations as well. Anyone who can: please support local businesses, please tip the service industry generously.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Post on Mulan's sliding theater release schedule

Disney shifts 'Mulan' as Hollywood throws in the towel on July [in print as Disney moves 'Mulan' to August]

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Troy-Jeffrey Allen on Denny O' Neil

5 Things You Didn't Know About Denny O' Neil

Final Billy the Pop webcomic by Cole Goco appears

Cole Goco started his webcomic in 2013 when he was in 7th grade.

He talks about the history of the strip at his blog. I've enjoyed watching him grow as a cartoonist. I interviewed him in 2015 for the City Paper,  and wrote the introduction to his first collection.

I wish him luck in his future endeavors, and plan to buy his 3rd collection when it comes out.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Ron Evry talks to Noah Van Sciver about JR Williams

Out Our Way by J.R. Williams (a chat with Evry and Simon)

Jun 12, 2020

Today we have a three-way chat with Ron Evry and Bruce Simon; two knowledgable cartoonists, and the editors of the comics history book series "Hoo-Hah!" The first 3 issues of which were dedicated solely to the life of J.R. Williams, a very notable single panel cartoonist remembered for his cartoons under the title "Out Our Way." Well, after reading all 3 issues of Hoo-Hah plus a solid collection of the Out Our Way panels during quarantine, I asked the fellas if they'd come on and have a chat. I'm very happy that they both gave me the time and that I'm able to host this conversation! With this video, I hope to kick off a new series on this channel I'm calling "Comics Club" in which I'll be joined by collectors, historians and academics to discuss the history of comics and cartooning. I really hope that you enjoy this chat and it gets you interested in the life of J.R. Williams, Percy Crosby, Frank King or maybe ever Maurice Ketten... Please do support Ron and Bruce by picking up their series "Hoo-Hah!" and becoming their reader here: http://ronevry.com/hoohah/

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Catching up with The Lily's comics

I had covid-19 months ago. Life on the other side of infection isn't as easy as I'd hoped.

Recovering has taught me a lot about myself

I had covid-19 months ago. Life on the other side of infection isn't as easy as I'd hoped.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Jen Wang recommended in today's Post

Special friendship of 2 different girls
Mary Quattlebaum
Washington Post June 17 2020, p. C8

Recommends Stargazing by Jen Wang, along with New Kid by Jerry Craft and Real Friends by Hale and Pham.

Guest at Tom Toles' house party offended 2 years later

Best of the National Book Festival: Rep. John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, 2014

06/17/2020 10:00 AM EDT

Our ongoing celebration of the Library of Congress National Book Festival continues with Rep. John Lewis and Andrew Aydin discussing "March," their graphic novel trilogy, on the Contemporary Life stage at the 2014 Festival.


Bleeding Cool on unpublished Black Lives Matter story by Tom King

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Matt Wuerker interviewed by National Press Club

'The right to be offended': Political cartooning in an ideologically divided country

Sara Duke speaks at LOC in 10 minutes

Date & Time Description
June 16
2:00-3:00 pm ET

20th-Century Political Cartoons at the Library of Congress


Join curator Sara W. Duke of the Prints & Photographs Division, to learn how to access the Library's online collection of 20th-century political cartoons. She will also discuss strategies for exploring the work of Herbert L. Block, the editorial cartoonist known as a Herblock, who, during the course of his 72-year career, drew his opinion on events such as the Great Depression, World War II, the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, gun control, and global warming.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Saturday, June 13, 2020

That darn Wumo and Flashbacks

The Post on If Found...'s notable videogame storytelling

'If Found...' sets a new standard for the visual novel [videogame animation; in print as A new standard for the visual-novel genre]

Mark Wheatley remembers Denny O'Neil

[Mark Wheatley wrote this in a private email on June 12th, and agreed to let me post it here]

Mark Wheatley remembers Denny O'Neil

I did this portrait of Denny O'Neil today. It shows him exactly as I remember him looking the first time we met. I met Denny O'Neil at about 4pm on July 2, 1970. I couldn't tell you such a specific time for when I met most of my heroes, but I remember this. I was a kid and my parents had arranged for a family trip to New York, partially so I could attend the July 4th Seuling Con. And I convinced them to take me to tour DC Comics. When we got there, we almost slammed right into Denny and Steve Skeates. Denny was writing Green Lantern/Green Arrow and setting the world on fire. I was a huge fan. He and Steve hung out and talked with me, making jokes, being fun. And later, at the con, they would say Hi!every time they spotted me in the crowd. That was cool. Years later after I started working in the industry, I would see Denny in the halls at DC or over at Marvel and chat for a little while. I remember one San Diego Con at the DC Booth where Denny and I stood together for a couple hours cracking each other up (and a few other creators also pitched in.) That was the time I came up with the Underwater Keyboard – to be used writing scripts while in the shower! Denny thought that was the perfect use of technology, since he always got his best ideas in the shower. About two years ago, Denny and I were part of a signing together. That was the last time I saw him. But he will never be forgotten.

  -- Mark Wheatley

Big Planet Comics Final order cutoff

FOC Time!! Here's a short list of some of the stuff up for order by MONDAY JUNE 15! A partial lists can be found at these links:

Contact your favorite Big Planet store by MONDAY and let them know what you want!!!
Just get in touch by email to the store you normally shop at:

Copyright © 2020 Big Planet Comics, All rights reserved.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "Visible From Orbit"

From DC's anarchist cartoonist, Mike Flugennock -

"Visible From Orbit"

So, as I suspected... Mayor Bowser doesn't really give a rat's ass about the MPDC terrorizing and murdering Black citizens of DC, or about protesters being tear-gassed and run off the street so Trump can do his foto op at St. John's Church, or our city being invaded by the goddamn 82nd Airborne — she just wanted to own Trump and nab some TV time.

Not even a week after painting "Black Lives Matter" in huge-ass letters taking up two blocks of 16th Street between K Street and Lafayette Park, she was browbeating the city council to "slow down" on police "reform" (clipping from Washington Post, June 11 2020).

New York City mayor De Blasio, not to be outdone, decided to name one street in each borough "Black Lives Matter Street" — after allowing the NYPD to also terrorize, beat, torture and murder New Yorkers for the better part of a week.

Still, there was no topping Bowser. All De Blasio did was put up a bunch of crummy street signs; Bowser's hypocrisy is visible from orbit.

BLM cartoon journalism in DCist

The Standoff Over D.C.'s Black Lives Matter Mural, Illustrated

NPR on animated series Central Park and Kipo

Weldon on Netflix's Kipo

Cavna on Goodwyn's controversial cartoon

South Carolina newspaper apologizes for 'offensive' cartoon satirizing the 'black community' and Democrats

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Al Goodwyn wins DC Society of Professional Journalists' Dateline Awards for editorial cartooning

While being excoriated in South Carolina for his cartoons, Al Goodwyn was winning a Washington, D.C., Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists's Dateline Award for journalism excellence.

Editorial Cartoon
Winner: Al Goodwyn,The Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Goodwyn editorial cartoons
Finalist: Alexander Hunter, The Washington Times, Hunter editorial cartoons

Fredericksburg's Free Lance-Star is one of his clients that published the three cartoons in his submission in 2019.

PR: June 16th DC Comics DEATH METAL #1 Midnight Release at Third Eye Annapolis

The Lily's latest

White people: The burden to figure out how to be a better ally is on us

This moment in history requires us to do more, and to truly examine ourselves

White people: The burden to figure out how to be a better ally is on us