Wednesday, September 29, 2021

With Great Responsibility: The Spider-Man Origin Story in Art and Comic Books

With Great Responsibility: The Spider-Man Origin Story in Art and Comic Books
  • Duke, Sara W.
  • Halsband, Megan
  • National Book Festival September 23, 2021

  • Summary
    Before Spider-Man leaped off the pages of comic books into the movies, Steve Ditko, a cartoonist, and Stan Lee, a scriptwriter, sat down at their desks and invented him. The Library of Congress possesses the original drawings for their collaboration, which appeared in the August 1962 issue of "Amazing Fantasy." Together we look at the moment the radioactive spider bit Peter Parker, turning him from a lonely teenager into a superhero. We discuss how Steve Ditko changed his art in reaction to Stan Lee's editorial notations in the margins of the drawing. Specialists present the art in an interactive format, highlighting the artistic creative process, including how Ditko drew the costume for the first time and how it differs from what Spider-Man wears today. We also discuss how Peter comes to learn "with great power there must also come ... great responsibility!" Conceived as an interactive event aimed at children and young adults who may be aware only of the Marvel movies, Library staff will highlight and discuss that the story came from a book ... a comic book ... and the imaginative possibilities of a talented writer and artist working as a team.
    Event Date
    September 23, 2021
    Running Time
    47 minutes 50 seconds
    Online Format

    Graphic Canon editor Russ Kick, RIP

    Russ Kick, writer, editor and 'rogue transparency activist,' dies at 52 [Graphic Canon editor; in print as Editor, 'transparency activist' unearthed U.S. records].

    Tuesday, September 28, 2021

    AfterShock is looking for a DC -area employee

    a negative rapid antigen or PCR lab COVID-19 test to enter NYCC.

    AfterShock Wants You!


    Join our team of brand ambassadors to comic shops across North America – especially if you live in or near Washington DC!

    Visit for full details and to apply.

    Certain age, citizenship and other restrictions apply.

    Carolyn Belefski's Santa Turtle enamel pin on Kickstarter

    I recently launched a Kickstarter for Santa Turtle enamel pin. I've been on a roll making custom pins since 2017, so I wanted to make this one special with a cool effect I've devised by adding a jingle bell to celebrate the holiday season.

    Monday, September 27, 2021

    Oct 2: Gordon Harris in Alexandria


    Art on the Avenue is BACK!

    And so is Gordon. 

    He'll be in Del Ray/Alexandria next Saturday, October 2. It's an outdoor event so masks aren't required but he'll probably be wearing his. He'll have a LOT of NEW swag to share - from mini-comics to zines to t-shirts.

    Make plans to GET OUT and explore one of the finest street festivals in Virginia - rain or shine.

    Saturday, September 25, 2021

    Gender Queer graphic novel complained about in Fairfax School

    Fairfax County Mother Complains of Sexual Books in Public School Library

    She says the books feature pornographic images, pedophilia and sexual references that are inappropriate for children

    Friday, September 24, 2021

    Fantom Comics - 9/26: Klan Came To Town (in person); 9/25: 2 book clubs (virtual)

    >>>Sunday, September 26th @ 4pm


    Join author Bill Campbell and artist Bizhan Khodabandeh in the store on Sunday as they promote and sign copies of their graphic novel, "The Day the Klan Came to Town."

    From the book jacket: "The year is 1923. The Ku Klux Klan is at the height of its power in the US as membership swells into the millions and they expand beyond their original southern borders. As they continue their campaigns of terror against African Americans, their targets now also include Catholics and Jews, southern and eastern Europeans, all in the name of "white supremacy."

    Incorporating messages of moral decency, family values, and temperance, the Klan has slapped on a thin veneer of respectability and become a "civic organization," attracting new members, law enforcement, and politicians to their particular brand of white, Anglo-Saxon, and Protestant "Americanism."

    Pennsylvania enthusiastically joined that wave. That was when the Grand Dragon of Pennsylvania decided to display the Klan's newfound power in a show of force. He chose a small town outside of Pittsburgh named after Andrew Carnegie, a small, unassuming borough full of Catholics and Jews, the perfect place to teach immigrants a "lesson." Some thirty thousand members of the Klan gathered from as far as Kentucky for "Karnegie Day." After initiating new members, they armed themselves with torches and guns to descend upon the town to show them exactly what Americanism was all about.

    The Day the Klan Came to Town is a fictionalized retelling of the riot, focusing on a Sicilian immigrant, Primo Salerno. He is not a leader; he's a man with a troubled past. He was pulled from the sulfur mines of Sicily as a teen to fight in the First World War. Afterward, he became the focus of a local fascist and was forced to emigrate to the United States. He doesn't want to fight but feels that he may have no choice. The entire town needs him—and indeed everybody—to make a stand."
    hat he may have no choice. The entire town needs him—and indeed everybody—to make a stand."


    >>>Saturday, September 25th @ 4pm


    Black Excellence Book Club presents, "Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts"

    Join the Pop Culture Uncovered podcast and Fantom Comics on Facebook live for a discussion of, "Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts", written by Rebecca Hall and illustrated by Hugo Martinez.

    From the book jacket: "Part graphic novel, part memoir, Wake is an imaginative tour de force that tells the story of women-led slave revolts and chronicles scholar Rebecca Hall's efforts to uncover the truth about these warriors who, until now, have been left out of the historical record."

    Facebook event link:

    Get your copy now so you can join the discussion:

    >>>Saturday, September 25th @ 6pm


    Fantom Comics Manga Book Club presents, "Vinland Saga, Book 1"

    Following the Black Excellence Book Club, jump on Zoom for the very popular Fantom Comics Manga Book Club, with this month's featured manga, "Vinland Saga, Book 1," by Makoto Yukimura.

    From the publisher: "As a child, Thorfinn sat at the feet of the great Leif Ericson and thrilled to the wild tales of a land far to the west. But his youthful fantasies were shattered by a mercenary raid. Raised by the Vikings who murdered his family, Thorfinn became a terrifying warrior, forever seeking to kill the band's leader, Askeladd, and avenge his father. Sustaining Thorfinn through his ordeal are his pride in his family and his dreams of a fertile westward land, a land without war or slavery...the land Leif called Vinland."

    Zoom registration link:

    Get your copy now so you can join the discussion:

    Weldon reviews 'Star Wars: Visions'

    Anime Anthology 'Star Wars: Visions' Expands The Galaxy Far, Far Away

    Today: John Gallagher at Politics and Prose at 5 pm

    Thursday, September 23, 2021

    Geppi Gems on exhibit at Library of Congress

    • Currently on view
    • Graphic Arts Galleries, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building
    Explore the Exhibit

    COMIC BOOKS have permeated almost every popular entertainment medium in the United States. When Stephen A. Geppi opened the Geppi Entertainment Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2006, he sought to show how comic books—much like newspapers, television, motion pictures, music and sports—have shaped and influenced the culture of the United States.

    When the Geppi Entertainment Museum closed its doors in 2018, Mr. Geppi generously donated a large portion of its contents to the Library of Congress, knowing that thousands of people would be able to access his collection and relive their own childhood memories or share in his excitement about comic book superheroes and pop culture icons.

    The Library of Congress honors Mr. Geppi's generosity with a selection of the collection's gems. They represent themes from the museum, including Walt Disney's iconic characters, westerns, superheroes, science fiction, horror, sports, music, and entertainment.

    View the exhibition brochure (PDF, 4.64MB)

    Geppi Gems Exhibit: Highlights from the Stephen A. Geppi Collection at the Library of Congress

    Geppi Gems online exhibit information, Sept. 2021.

    The following is a guest post by Sara W. Duke, Curator of Popular and Applied Graphic Arts, Prints and Photographs Division.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2021

    David Betancourt and Michael Cavna received a national award for comics coverage.

    David Betancourt and Michael Cavna picked up a national award today for comics coverage. Our portfolio included Cavna's essay on Rep. John Lewis's legacy as a graphic novelist; Cavna's profile of Steenz and Bianca Xunise as part of a pioneering new generation; and Betancourt's profile of former Marvel editor turned viral Central Park birdwatcher Christian Cooper.


    DIVISION 3 | Circulation 200,000 and up

    The coverage of any A&E, features or lifestyle topic that highlights the diversity within a publication's audience.

    Third place: Michael Cavna and David Betancourt, The Washington Post, "Creative Trailblazers in a Year of Reckoning"
    Judge's comments: These essays do an excellent job of highlighting the creativity and passion behind Black creators in comics – especially during a year that saw the losses of both Rep. John Lewis and actor Chadwick Boseman. Comics and graphic novels may be growing in popularity and as legitimate storytelling media, but these essays make it clear they would not have gotten to that point without the input, dogged determination and vision of Black creative types who were trailblazers in that aspect of pop culture.

    Honorable mention: Staff, The Hechinger Report, The Washington Post and NBC News, "Gifted Education's Race Problem"

    Roye Okupe interviewed at The Beat

    INTERVIEW: Roye Okupe talks bringing the YouNiverse to Dark Horse with MALIKA: WARRIOR QUEEN

    The first of Dark Horse and YouNeek Studios's 10-book deal, MALIKA: WARRIOR QUEEN Volume 1, arrived in stores earlier this month.

    Hans Vogel is Dead: Volume I on Kickstarter

    Hans Vogel is Dead: Volume I

    An anti-fascist fairytale about a World War II fighter pilot navigating the afterlife by Sierra Barnes.

    Hans Vogel is Dead: Vol I is a 272 -page full colour original graphic novel from writer and artist Sierra Barnes, and the latest project from independent publisher Cast Iron Books.

    Hans Vogel is Dead: Volume I by Sierra Barnes

    This campaign is to fund production and distribution costs, to get this story printed and out into the world and as many hands as possible.

    The year is 1940, the Blitz is raging, and Hitler's forces are sweeping across Europe.

    At the front of the invasion is the victorious Luftwaffe,  and at the front of the Luftwaffe is Hans Vogel: fighter pilot, ace, and  recipient of the prestigious Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross medal.  Young, painfully shy, and with the backbone of a jellyfish, Hans keeps  his head down and does what he's told – but something still feels… off.

    One night on a routine raid, Hans experiences a freak radio  malfunction, is separated from his unit, and is shot down and killed.

    That's where his problems start.

    Hans finds himself carried out of his world by the Valkyrie Brynhildr, but instead of Valhalla, he's brought to the mysterious  Märchenwald, the world of the fairy-tales. Märchenwald has been transformed by the war Hans left behind and taken over by the malevolent  and cruel Erlking, a monster who traps people within a sinister web of  Stories. Stripped of everything he was and forced to confront the consequences of the evil he served, Hans finds himself faced with a choice: give in to the same evil a second time, or try and make things right.

    Hans Vogel is Dead is an anti-fascist fairy tale with elements of historical fantasy about the power of narratives, the question of individual responsibility in a totalitarian regime, and the struggle to become a better person.

    Monday, September 20, 2021

    Bianca Xunise's latest comic for the Lily

    Teaching made me realize adulthood is a myth. I want to show my students it's okay to be human.

    We're all just humans, figuring it out one day at a time

    Teaching made me realize adulthood is a myth. I want to show my students it's okay to be human.
    (Bianca Xunise for The Washington Post)

    Today: Tickets on sale for Jeff Kinney (Oct 26) via Hooray for Books

    Grab the whole family and Wimpify your car because we're hosting Jeff Kinney in a sports-themed, pandemic-safe, drive-thru, Wimpy Kid event at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Parking Lot (101 Callahan Dr, Alexandria, VA) on October 26th at 5 PM!
    Tickets are required to attend, each ticket allows entry for one vehicle!
    Tickets may be purchased here, starting Monday, September 20th at 10 AM! (Tickets are not sold in store or at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, you must purchase them online!)
    There is a 250 vehicle limit so book your spot before they're gone!
    Can't make it to the event, but want a signed book? Call us at (703) 548-4092 to order one!

    In Big Shot (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #16) Greg Heffley and sports just don't mix. After a disastrous field day competition at school, Greg decides that when it comes to his athletic career, he's officially retired. But after his mom urges him to give sports one more chance, he reluctantly agrees to sign up for basketball. Tryouts are a mess, and Greg is sure he won't make the cut. But he unexpectedly lands a spot on the worst team. As Greg and his new teammates start the season, their chances of winning even a single game look slim. But in sports, anything can happen. When everything is on the line and the ball is in Greg's hands, will he rise to the occasion? Or will he blow his big shot?

    SPX 2021 Panels lists and links (** means local tie for ComicsDC)

    SPX 2021: Enemies of the State

    Alex Hoffman and fellow critics Rob Clough, Daniel Elkin, and Jules Bakes,  E.A. Bethea
    Sep 18, 2021

    Join moderator Alex Hoffman and fellow critics Rob Clough, Daniel Elkin, and Jules Bakes for a special SPX edition of the podcast Enemy Of The State. The panel's special guest is artist E.A. Bethea, whose Francis Bacon was nominated for a 2021 Ignatz Award. They will ask her in-depth questions regarding the comic and its remarkably dense qualities.

    SPX 2021: Personal Comics from Color, Shape, Line ... and Lyrics!

    Tom Hart
    Sep 18, 2021

    You can make comics only with an open heart and whatever materials you have lying around. In one of the favorite workshops at SAW, Tom Hart will guide you through making 8-page mini-comics that uses song lyrics, personal memories and simple drawing and painting to make a personal comic that says what you feel and has a magic all its own. Suitable for all ages.

    SPX 2021: Comics, Bodies, and Embodiment

    Alison Wilgus, Joel Christian Gill, Tatiana Gill, Ashley Robin Franklin, and Robyn Smith
    Sep 18, 2021

    Bodies take many forms, and our relationship with one's own can shift throughout our lives. Comics are a powerful tool for understanding and accepting the bodies in which we live. Joel Christian Gill, Tatiana Gill, Ashley Robin Franklin, and Robyn Smith discuss their work as a means of exploring the corporeal form in a discussion led by Alison Wilgus.

    SPX 2021: Queer Joy and Queer Friendships

    Carta Monir and guests Emma Jayne, Crystal Frasier, Walter Scott
    Sep 18, 2021
    Join moderator Carta Monir and guests Emma Jayne, Crystal Frasier, Walter Scott, and in a celebration of queer joy in comics. This discussion focuses on the power of queer friendships and happiness as both driving force and radiant rebellion.

    **SPX 2021: Ourselves, In Stories: A Documentary At The Small Press Expo (and Q&A)

    Marjee Chmiel and Warren Bernard
    Sep 18, 2021

    Award-winning documentarian Marjee Chmiel screens her documentary on SPX. Titled Ourselves, In Stories, it takes a look at the challenges, obstacles, and rewards of crafting new stories and redefining our cultural vision for whose stories are heard. Moderator Warren Bernard joins Marjee after the screen to ask her about the inspiration for and making of the film.

    SPX 2021: The Local Scene: Shows, Publishing, and Getting Started

    Robin Enrico, Juan Fernandez, Jamila Rowser, Avi Ehrlich, and Neil Brideau
    Sep 18, 2021

    While not every city has congregations of cartoonists like Chicago or Portland, every city has its own particular advantages and special qualities that can create its own unique scene. Join moderator Robin Enrico along with publishers and scene-makers Juan Fernandez, Jamila Rowser, Avi Ehrlich, and Neil Brideau as they discuss ideas regarding pedagogy, connecting with local schools and institutions, and incorporating other media and art scenes in creating your own.

    SPX 2021: Playing With The Medium

    Dr. Craig Fischer, Matt Madden, Shing Yin Khor, Nguyen K. Nguyen, and Joe Kessler
    Sep 18, 2021
    The familiar grids and linear storytelling of comics have stood the test of time. However, there are always innovators looking to stretch the formal limits of comics. Be it creating metafictional narratives, creating constraints on a page, or integrating comics with other media, there's a rich tradition of playing with the medium of comics. Formal comics expert Dr. Craig Fischer will engage with experimental cartoonists Matt Madden, Shing Yin Khor, Nguyen K. Nguyen, and Joe Kessler on their formal experiments.

    SPX 2021: Comics and Meditative Intention

    Rob Clough,Hartley Lin, Keiler Roberts, and Jason Shiga.

    Sep 19, 2021

    What mindset is required for cartoonists to work? Is drawing a form of work or play? How does this relate to Lynda Barry's conception of play as a serious, meditative activity? How do artists escape thinking about whether or not their work is good while they are doing it? Moderator Rob Clough discusses these and other questions with Hartley Lin, Keiler Roberts, and Jason Shiga.

    **SPX 2021: Mixed Media Storytelling

    Liz Reed of Cuddles and Rage
    Sep 19, 2021

    Liz Reed of Cuddles and Rage walks you through how to sculpt Zombie Strawberries from C&R's graphic novel Bites of Terror. This online workshop is designed to use clay and household materials to create your very own mixed media comic at home. The materials needed include: white, green, and red clay (polymer or air dry), foil, toothpicks, q-tips, a paintbrush, a gray marker or paint, cotton balls, glue, and a cutting tool. We'd love to see your zombie strawberries in action! When posting to social tag @spxcomics and @cuddlesandrage. Bites of Terror is a mixed media horror anthology by Cuddles and Rage from Quirk Books. You can find Bites of Terror online wherever books are sold or buy the book directly from Cuddles and Rage on Etsy (

    **SPX 2021: Focus on The Day The Klan Came To Town

    Dr. Qiana Whitted and creators Bill Campbell and Bizhan Khodabandeh
    Sep 19, 2021
    This is a special spotlight on The Day The Klan Came To Town, a powerful work of historical fiction. It's based on the real events in 1923 when the KKK came to a small Pennsylvania town to make an example of its largely Jewish and Catholic populations, and how a group of people made a stand. Join moderator Dr. Qiana Whitted and creators Bill Campbell and Bizhan Khodabandeh as the explore the event and their adaptation.

    SPX 2021: Color and Narrative Innovation

    Rob Clough, Dash Shaw, Shira Spector, MariNaomi, and Tillie Walden
    Sep 19, 2021

    Color is often secondary to line in comics, but a number of cartoonists have experimented with bringing color front and center. Not only that, but their innovations have included making color central to the emotional narratives of their stories. Moderator Rob Clough talks to Dash Shaw, Shira Spector, MariNaomi, and Tillie Walden about their challenges and experiences using color in bold, new ways.

    SPX 2021: Buer's Kiss

    Carl Antonowicz
    Sep 19, 2021

    Büer's Kiss is a genre-bending live comics performance combining projected images, voice actors, and foley effects for an unforgettable adaptation of cartoonist Carl Antonowicz's graphic novel of the same name. This recording was made during the show's debut in 2018 at Pittsburgh's New Hazlett Theater. Find more from Carl at!

    SPX 2021: World-Building And New Futures

    Alice Santos joins Kevin Czap, Maki Naro, Casey Nowak, and Alissa Salah
    Sep 19, 2021

    What does the world become when any future is imaginable? From the smallest details to -all-expansive histories, alternate worlds provide a glimpse of what is possible. Alice Santos joins Kevin Czap, Maki Naro, Casey Nowak, and Alissa Salah in an exploration of the process of constructing these new futures.