Monday, May 31, 2021

The Post on Black Panther, Cruella, and barbershop covid comic books

Ta-Nehisi Coates took Black Panther to dark places — and it paid off [in print as Telling Wakanda's true story paid off]

Peanuts after Peanuts is “Hagemeyer”?

Three 'lost' Charles Schulz strips have been rediscovered. Do they show the adult Lucy Van Pelt?

Long time local cartoonist Al Goodwyn in the Post

Al has the shifting spot for Memorial Day.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Al Goodwyn's latest cartoon newsletter


Mark Wheatley profile and Kickstarter

Scoop May 28 2021

Frankenstein Mobster Audio Drama

Frankenstein Mobster has returned in a brand new Audio Drama

Ripped from the Police Files of Monstros City, the most amazing story of crime ever told! In a city where MONSTERS live and MOBSTERS rule, a mad scientist built a better mobster -- the FRANKENSTEIN MOBSTER! Seeking the lost shreds of his life among the living, fighting for justice for monsters, his only advantage is that he is a MADE MAN!

Cavna on Yang cartoon controversy

Andrew Yang says a cartoon about him is a 'racialized caricature.' The N.Y. Daily News is defending it. [ Bill Bramhall; in print as N.Y. Daily News defended its Yang cartoon. To many, the racist trope is clear]

'The Little Mermaid' voice actor dies

Samuel E. Wright, voice of Sebastian the crab in 'The Little Mermaid,' dies at 72 [in print as Actor delighted millions as Sebastian the crab in 'The Little Mermaid']

Thursday, May 27, 2021

The Lily's comics from the past month

Catch up!

My life is work, sleep, repeat. What happened to balance?

I'm ready to take real charge of my life

I created an emergency kit for when I'm feeling down. Here's what's in it.

On my worst days, I really need to be reminded of how much I am loved

A (far from complete) list of the roles moms play

Moms aren't just caretakers, but jills of all trades, masters of everything

As a former foster parent, am I a mom — or something else?

Regardless of the title, I'm happy to just be part of my child's chosen family

Pandemic days are stifling. So I tried out this technique to build optimism.

With 'temporal distancing,' the goal is to imagine yourself in the future

I was nervous for my first covid-19 vaccine shot. Now, I can't wait for my second.

Despite trusting the science, I still had anxiety about possible side effects

Sunday, May 23, 2021

May 25: Moment Magazine: The Man Behind the Masks (Stan Lee)

The Man Behind the Masks: Stan Lee and Marvel Comics with Journalists Abraham Riesman and Dan Raviv

Tuesday, May 25 at 4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT

Stanley Lieber, better known as Stan Lee, revolutionized the comic industry and helped create superheroes like Spider-Men, X-Men, Black Panther and more for Marvel Comics. Join Abraham Riesman, author of True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee in conversation about Lee's complicated life and legacy with Dan Raviv, author of Comic Wars and former CBS News correspondent. Co-sponsored by Moment Magazine and the Association of Jewish Libraries in commemoration of Jewish American Heritage Month.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Gaithersburg Book Festival talks to Jerry Craft “Class Act,” Remy Lai “Pawcasso,” and Dave Roman “Astronaut Academy: Splashdown”

Graphic Novels

Phil Kominsky

Jerry Craft "Class Act," Remy Lai "Pawcasso" and Dave Roman "Astronaut Academy: Splashdown"

Tom King talks to John Suintres

Word Balloon's 16th Anniversary show Hosted By Tom King

 May 10, 2021

Word Balloon's 16th Anniversary show Hosted By Tom King . Your chance to ask me anything . we'll talk about Tom's Latest Books too

Karen MacPherson retiring from Takoma Park Maryland Library

Photo credits: Bruce Guthrie
 by Bruce Guthrie


Folks who've used the Takoma Park Maryland Library at the Takoma Park Community Center or attended children's author events there were accustomed to being greeted by the library's coordinator of children's and teen services, Karen MacPherson.  Karen recently announced that she'll be retiring from the library on June 30.

Like many who loved their jobs especially because of the interaction it provided with customers, the pandemic took a heavy toll.  While most places are looking forward to reopening in full bloom in a near-post-pandemic vaccinated world, the library building will be demolished in November, being replaced 18-ish-months later by a new one.  Operations will move to temporary quarters in the interim.  

Kwame Alexander and Karen

Karen didn't start as a librarian.  As a kid, she loved reading and children's books.  She decided that she'd either be a reporter or a children's librarian.  For 30 years, she was the former, working as a reporter.  Originally with the UPI in Richmond, she moved to Washington, DC and worked for Thomson Newspapers, Scripps Howard News Service (DC correspondent for the Albuquerque Tribune), and finally the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.  She was working for the latter when the 9/11 attacks happened.  The next day, she was on her way to report from the Pentagon when she was told to turn around because there were rumors of another pending attack.  She wondered why she was risking her life when she now had a family (two children and a husband who was also a reporter) and decided to switch to Plan B.

The next year, she enrolled at the University of Maryland in College Park to get a Master's in Library Science.  In 2006, she started at the Takoma Park library.

At the library, she created a new teen section and a number of programs like the Banned Books Club for teens.  In 2009, the latter was recognized with the American Library Association's (ALA) John Phillip Immroth Award, which "seeks out and recognizes personal courage and contributions to intellectual freedom."   For 23 years, she wrote a weekly column on kids books for Scripps Howard News Service.  Later, she wrote occasional kids book columns for the Washington Post.

In 2016, she served on the prestigious Caldecott committee.  The Randolph Caldecott Medal is an annual award to the illustrator of the "most distinguished American picture book for children."  The committee which selects the award winner as well as the runners up is made up of 15 members chosen by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the ALA.  Publishers send in books to be considered (there were said to be 700 works submitted in 2009) and the committee considers each.  It's a time-consuming job and committee members typically serve just one year.

Kate DiCamillo and Karen

 In the year Karen was involved, the winning book selected was Sophie Blackall's "Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear".  

In 2013, DC's iconic independent bookstore, Politics and Prose, approached the library about hosting out-of-store children's author events.  Over the years, 75-ish have graced the venue including Kate DiCamillo ("Because of Winn-Dixie", "The Tale of Despereaux", "Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures"), Jason Reynolds ("As Brave as You", "Ghost (Track series)", "Miles Morales: Spider-Man"), Katherine Applegate ("The One and Only Ivan", "Animorphs"), Jon Klassen ("Sam and Dave Dig a Hole", "I Want My Hat Back", "This Is Not My Hat"), Tom Angleberger ("The Strange Case of Origami Yoda") and Cece Bell ("El Deafo"), and Sophie Blackall ("Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear", "Hello Lighthouse").

MacPherson saw many comics creators come through the library. Over the years, I personally attended events there for Alex Alice ("Castle in the Stars"), Alexis Frederick-Frost ("Hocus Focus"), Ben Hatke ("Nobody Likes a Goblin"), Eleanor Davis & Drew Weing ("Flop to the Top"), Emily Jenkins ("A Greyhound, a Groundhog"), Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers ("Imaginary Fred"), Fabien Cousteau ("Great White Shark Adventure"), Gail Carson Levine ("Stolen Magic"), Gareth Hinds ("Macbeth"), Jay Hosler ("Last of the Sandwalkers"), Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm ("The Evil Princess vs. The Brave Knight"), Jérémie Royer ("Audubon: On the Wings of the World"), Jonathan Roth ("Beep and Bob"), Jorge Aguirre ("Dragons Beware!"), Juana Medina ("Juana and Lucas"), Julie Fogliano ("Just in Case You Want to Fly"), Kate Dicamillo ("Leroy Ninker Saddles Up"), Kevin McCloskey ("Real Poop on Pigeons"), Mac Barnett and Matt Myers ("Rules of the House"), Christian Robinson ("Josephine" and "Last Stop on Market Street"), Ruth Chan ("Where's the Party?"), Ryan T. Higgins ("Mother Bruce"), Sophie Blackall and John Bemelmans Marciano ("Witches of Benevento"), William Joyce ("Bently & Egg..."), and Yuyi Morales ("Dreamers/ Soñadores").

In retirement, Karen plans to keep busy -- studying French, playing piano, traveling -- and is also open to volunteering at the library as needed.  It will be nice to be able to see her there again because she's been missed!

PR: New book by Von Allan, a friend of ComicsDC

Love, Laughter, and Loss—A Comics Collection now available in Hardcover

This has been a long-time coming, but I'm very pleased to announce the publication of my latest comics collection! And, for the first time, this is a premium hardcover! Titled LOVE, LAUGHTER, AND LOSS: A COMICS COLLECTION, this edition features nine short stories in full colour. The printing and colour fidelity are top-notch; in fact, I don't think my work has ever looked this beautiful.

Cover of Love, Laughter, and Loss: A Comics Collection by Canadian comics writer and artist Von Allan

These stories have appeared in print before, mainly in two separate periodical collections that are now out of print. The first periodical was titled WIZARDS FOR HIRE — CHEAP! while the second periodical was titled STORIES! 2015 TO 2019. While I was very happy to see these two editions published, keeping saddle-stitched editions in print was, frankly, a pain. Publishing LOVE, LAUGHTER, AND LOSS is a much better way of keeping them in print. On top of it, many of these stories were recoloured for this new hardcover. And that means a number of these stories have never looked this good before. Am I happy with it? Oh yes!

All of these stories have also been released on this very website in webcomic form. In other words, there's no need at all to guess on what's included in the collection. All of these stories can be found at — and you can navigate from there to find each individual story. The stories included in this hardcover collection are as follows (with links to make direct navigation even easier):
I still need to take some photographs from the physical proof copy I have, so I'll update this post when I have some. In the meantime, I just want to reiterate how pleased I am with this edition. I was actually pretty nervous about it; I've never printed a hardcover before and there were a few logistical issues that I ran into that slowed production as I took my time ensuring the best quality control possible. I was holding my breath when the physical proof copy arrived and I was pretty nervous when I "unboxed" it. My fears were misplaced; everything turned out beautifully.

If you love comics, especially independent/small press comics, I think you'll fall in love with this edition. I know I have — and that's saying something!

Links to Purchase

LOVE, LAUGHTER, AND LOSS: A COMICS COLLECTION is still "propagating" out there, but here are some initial purchasing links that I know of for sure. More will be added as they appear.

PR: NoVa's Sal Buscema on a new comic book for a new company


Exemplifying The Modern Binge-Age Of Comics, Fans To Get Access To Entire Adventure In Massive, 68-Page Edition Hitting Stands August 4

Los Angeles (May 18, 2021) - Acclaimed writer Roger Stern (The Avengers, Captain America) joins celebrated artists Ron Frenz (Thor, The Amazing Spider-Man) and Sal Buscema (Captain America, The Defenders) to chronicle the explosive journey of a marvelous new generation of superheroes in The Heroes Union #1. Arriving August 4, 2021, this is the first of several planned releases to be made available as a modernized, Binge Book edition. Created by veteran TV writer Darin Henry ("Seinfeld," "Futurama," "KC Undercover"), Binge Books are tailored for today's audiences used to "bingeing" their favorite content. At 68 pages, The Heroes Union #1 will be longer than the average comic, allowing for the complete, family-friendly adventure to be released all at once as a standalone story for $4.99.

In addition to their length, Binge Books have a number of other attributes that make them unique in the comic space. The Heroes Union #1 reunites Stern and Frenz, the creative team behind the iconic Spider-Man story, "The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man," (The Amazing Spider-Man #248). By special arrangement with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, The Heroes Union #1 will be the first comic in over a decade to feature the official Comics Code Authority Seal and each copy will also be uniquely numbered for collectors. The publisher has hinted that some of these numbered variants may eventually entitle their owners to additional perks, but further details have not yet been revealed.

With an action-packed, engrossing story featuring compelling new superheroes with names such as 'Startup,' 'Windfall,' 'Protégé' and more, The Heroes Union #1 will also offer adults a unique way to teach children about business. 

"Like millions of other kids, I grew up devouring comics by Roger Stern, Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema, so to have some of the 20th Century's greatest creators introducing readers to the 21st Century's greatest heroes is a personal and professional dream come true," said Binge Books creator, Darin Henry.  "I was inspired to create Binge Books by European comic albums like TinTin and Asterix because I wanted to publish affordable graphic novellas for US readers to enjoy." 

The Heroes Union #1, and other soon-to-be-announced Binge Books releases, will all be distributed by Diamond Comics. To learn more, please visit

The Heroes Union #1
Written by Roger Stern, Art by Ron Frenz (p), Sal Buscema (i), Chris Nye (i), Cover by Ron Frenz (p) & Brett Breeding (i)
Distributed by Diamond Comics | Order Code: JUN211347 
On Sale 8/4/2021
68 Pages | All Ages | $4.99
Naucrate the Auteur Cosmic — half the universe celebrates her genius, the other half cowers before her world-shattering power. And the only ones who can stop her are Earth's foremost super-group… The Heroes Union! Legendary creators Roger Stern (The Avengers), Ron Frenz (Thor) and Sal Buscema (Captain America) unite to chronicle the adventures of a marvelous new generation of heroes in a cosmic epic bursting with so many breathtaking twists and thrills, it should probably come with seat belts!  This 68-page, standalone story introduces all-new 21st Century Heroes in an exciting new, square-bound "Binge Book" format!

About Binge Books
Binge Books is a new comic book company that is tailored for today's audiences used to "bingeing" their favorite content. Created by veteran TV writer, Darin Henry ("Seinfeld," "Futurama"), Binge Books brings 21st century characters to 21st century readers created by iconic writers and artists. The Heroes Union #1, and other soon-to-be-announced Binge Books releases, are distributed by Diamond Comics. To learn more, please visit


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Cavna talks to webcartoonist KC Green

The 'This Is Fine' dog is back. And his creator wants to show he's more than a meme. [ KC Green, "Funny Online Animals"]

That darn Clay Jones

Our buddy Clay Jones was briefly blocked from Facebook yesterday.

DDD has the story -

Israel-Palestine Cartoon Sends Clay Jones to Facebook Jail

Monday, May 17, 2021

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "Mow The Lawn"

From DC's anarchist cartoonist, Mike Flugennock -

"Mow The Lawn"
So, the other day I'm doomscrolling the news from Gaza, and I stumbled over this 8 year-old Truthout article that somebody dug up and tweeted. The callousness of Washington foreign-policy think tanks — and the Israeli general public — is perversely spectacular:

      "Israeli hardliners joke about the periodic need to decimate each new generation of Palestinian militants as "mowing the grass," a process underway 
again in new bombardments of Gaza. This ugly metaphor has also penetrated the think-tank world of Official Washington, as ex-CIA analyst Elizabeth Murray learned:

      In early 2010, one of Washington DC's most prestigious think 
tanks was holding a seminar on the Middle East which included a discussion of Israel's December 2008- January 2009 assault on Gaza which killed about 1,300 Palestinians. When the death toll  was mentioned, one expert on the panel smiled enigmatically and intoned: 'It's unfortunate, but every once in a while you have to mow the lawn'."


"Likening Palestinians to Blades of Grass", Elizabeth Murray, 
Consortium News, in Truthout 11.17.2012

Mike Flugennock, Political Cartoons:
and follow me on Mastodon at

On the passing of comics scholar Tom Inge

Word is moving through the comics academic community that M. Thomas 'Tom' Inge passed away last week. I didn't know Tom deeply, but for a long time I sent him comics ephemera for his collection at VCU, and articles about Edgar Allan Poe in comics. He was a big fan of my friend, Richard Thompson too.

Tom and I probably met at an ICAF meeting, but we became better acquainted when I was called up from the minors to fill in for two Harvey Pekar interviews at SPX. I did them, and then transcribed them for John Lent's International Journal of Comic Art. Not wanting to miss a wider audience, I offered them to Tom for whomever might do a book in Tom's Conversations with Comics Artists intervew series at the University Press of Mississippi.

Tom instead wrote back, changing one direction of my life - "How about your doing the Pekar volume in the Conversations series?  I don't have anyone signed up for him, strange to say, and you already have two interviews I assume.  Have you resources to locate the previously published ones? " ( Jul 19, 2006)

Never having edited or compiled a book before, I wrote back that I'd think about it, and then a day later, "Tom,  I'm still mulling it over although I'm leaning towards doing it." (Jul 20, 2006)

So I did it, and Harvey Pekar: Conversations came out in 2008. Not learning from experience, I wrote to Tom about doing a collection of Herblock interviews. He responded favorably to me and the Press' editor -

"[Mike] raises the question of doing another volume for the series on the political cartoonist Herblock. I think that is an excellent idea.  It is a shame that we have had not titles yet on political cartoonists, and Herblock is a very good place to begin (we need them on Bill Mauldin, Jeff MacNelly, Pat Oliphant, and Doug Marlette, among lots of others as well)." (May 1, 2008)

Unfortunately the Herblock Foundation never really got behind the idea, and they controlled his rights, so the idea faded away. Tom didn't though and he continued to be a major force in comics studies. I saw him for the last time at the PCA meeting in DC in 2019, I think? I snuck into the meeting and just said hello in passing after watching his panel. One always assumes there's more time...

Tom was one of the best and most productive members of the first group of academics to study comics. He was an immense help to my second career, and to many others, and the field is much richer for his time spent cultivating it. He'll be missed by many.

Sports cartoons found at estate sale - Christy Walsh and Morris Scott

 I grew up in the tail end of the life of the sports cartoon. Bill Gallo was still at the NY Daily News, and the local Bergen Record had a sports cartoonist. By now, the field is mostly gone, but as Eddie Campbell has written about it, in its heyday, it launched the careers of many a cartoonist.

This past weekend I found an original sports cartoon and a pritnted comic strip at an estate sale.

The original cartoon is by Christy Walsh, a failed sports cartoonist. However, Michael Cavna, of the Washington Post, used to be a sports cartoonist himself and he put me on the track of finding out Walsh was the Kevin Bacon of his day and knew everybody. He might have not been a great cartoonist, but he became a fantastic sports agent and syndicator and became a rich man, representing Babe Ruth and others. (UPDATE 5/26/2021: I gave this to the Library of Congress' Prints & Photos division)

Blue, All-American First Baseman, 1923 

Comics historian Steven Rowe tells me "Blue is wearing a cap with what seems to be the letter D.
Since Lu Blue played first base for Detroit in 1923, Blue is indeed likely to be Lu Blue."

The other item is a clipping of a comic strip about the World's Series in baseball by Morris Scott from the Boston Post, October 8, 1913. The New York Giants are facing the Philadelphia Athletics.* I've cleaned the image up; the original is perfectly legible, but yellowed from being displayed for years.


Two crack comics historians helped out with tracking this bit of history. Rodrigo Baeza provided me with the artist identification, and Art Lortie found a couple of the articles that Rodrigo suggested from Here's 3 items about Morris Scott, who appears to have died rather young, as well as another comic strip from 1918.

 *Rod Beck sent in the following bit of baseball history - "Frank Baker (shown on the back of the elephant) was known as Home Run Baker. The year 1913 was in what is called The Dead Ball Era. Baker led the American League in home runs from 1911 thru 1914 with 11,12,10 and 9 homers respectively. The Philadelphia Athletics beat the New York Giants 4 games to 1 to win the 1913 series."

Boston Post March 3, 1918
Obituary, BP Dec 5, 1922

"Scott with Squad," BP March 3 1918

Funeral, BP Dec 7, 1922

June 4: Miles Morales panel

Friday, June 4 at 6 p.m.
A Super-Powered Panel with Miles Morales, Justin A. Reynolds, Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, John Jennings, and Angélique Roché
Shock Waves | Ages 8+