Showing posts with label Washington Post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Washington Post. Show all posts

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Meet a Visiting Cartoonist: A Chat with Ellen Lindner

by Mike Rhode

I've known Ellen Lindner for a long time, initially through her comics-collecting husband, but then directly as she moved back to the US and became a regular exhibitor at SPX. A woman of eclectic interests, she's done comics on conscientious objectors in England in World War I, 1960's Coney Island, and woman's baseball, as well as editing anthologies such as British women's collection, The Strumpet. She was in town a few weeks ago for her ex-studio mate Robin Ha's book-signing at East City Books and I was very surprised to hear that she was doing comics for the Washington Post. She did a Christmas strip for the Post's The Lily newsletter, so I leapt at the opportunity to consider her a DC-area cartoonist and send her the usual questions.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I have done a big mix of fictional graphic novels, graphic memoir and nonfiction comics. At the moment I'm working on The Cranklet's Chronicle, a series of nonfiction comics about people who aren't (cisgender) men who have played a role in baseball history. The last issue was about Effa Manley, the only woman in the baseball Hall of Fame.

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

Great question! I am working digitally more and more these days, but I still pencil and color using traditional media.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

Late 70s, Long Island, New York.

Where are you living now? How did you begin working for the Washington Post?

I live in beautiful upper Manhattan, New York, which is full of city parks. We even have a local seal! I began working for the Post's women's magazine, The Lily, thanks to a wonderful friend of mine, Lara Antal, who has created many genius comics for them.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I studied art history, French and art as an undergrad. Many years later I found myself living in London and did a master's degree in illustration. Over the years, though, I've racked up a lot of credits at School of Visual Arts, a big hub for comics. Those classes have been huge for me.

Who are your influences?

Alison Bechdel, Lynda Barry, Jacques Tardi, Jessica Abel, Megan Kelso, Tom Hart, Glynnis Fawkes, Summer Pierre, and Jennifer Hayden. The latter three folks and I table together a lot at comics events and their help with drafts of projects in progress has been invaluable.

Lindner, Glynnis Fawkes and Jennifer Hayden at SPX 2019

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

I'm definitely a person who loves to rue past mistakes and it's a tendency I'm trying to work on. But I always feels I've been too shy in terms of telling other artists I like their work. If you meet someone whose work you like, let them know! It's hard to put yourself out there.

What work are you best-known for?

Weirdly it might be for my current day job doing informational illustration. Thousands of people click on articles I've illustrated each day, even though they probably don't know it's me. It's definitely been the most eyes I've ever had on my work. I have enjoyed the challenge of illustrating everything from the best uses of tarragon to what it's like to work in military counter-intelligence. For a glimpse at these you can look at my Instagram, @ellenlindna.

What work are you most proud of?

I'm really proud of my current project, The Cranklet's Chronicle, which is about the history of people who aren't cisgendered men and baseball. Baseball has a long history of erasing the involvement of people who aren't white men, and there are so many stories to tell about owners, players, fans, and more who are or were somewhere else on the gender spectrum. The last issue was about Effa Manley, a woman who managed a black baseball team in New Jersey, and who is currently the only woman in the Hall of Fame. I found her utterly fascinating, and I hope readers will too!

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

I have a secret project I'm working on alongside my day job and Cranklet's...It's a combination of memoir and how-to, and I'm really excited about it! It's an activity comic about how to navigate life as a person without kids.

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

Wow, great question. I usually just try and power through! Taking a walk also helps, a lot! I work on comics and illustration pretty much every day, and if one project stumps me, I can toggle to another one for a while.

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

Oh WOW that's tough. Many more comics on mobile!!!

What cons do you attend besides The Small Press Expo? Any comments about attending them?

SPX and MoCCA are my big two, though this year I also did the Nonfiction Comics Fest in Essex Junction, VT and Short Run in Seattle, both of which took me to new places. Both were fabulous!!!
Panel from story in The Lily

What's your favorite thing about DC?

Ethiopian food! The museums! Union Station! Wait, do I really just get one?!

Least favorite?

Welp, I find DC drivers....unpredictable. I'll leave it at that!

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

I love the National Museum of African American Art and Culture! Wow, what an incredible place!

How about a favorite local restaurant?

Habesha, hands down! Such delicious Ethiopian food, located in the Shaw area by Howard University.

Do you have a website or blog? Also on Instagram: @ellenlindna

Friday, January 24, 2020

Feb 12: The Mueller Report Illustrated

The Mueller Report Illustrated

  • Wednesday, February 12, 2020
  • 7:00 PM 8:00 PM
  • Solid State Books 600 H Street Northeast Washington, DC, 20002 United States (map)


Join us in welcoming The Washington Post's Rosalind S. Helderman, Matea Gold and Katherine B. Lee for a conversation about "The Mueller Report Illustrated," a new graphic nonfiction book. Written and designed by The Post and illustrated by artist Jan Feindt, "The Mueller Report Illustrated: The Obstruction Investigation" brings to life the findings of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and illuminates a crucial period in the Trump presidency that remains relevant to the turbulent events of today. The book unspools a dramatic narrative of an angry and anxious president trying to control a criminal investigation into his own actions, with dialogue taken directly from the special counsel's 448-page report. "While the storyline is eminently faithful to Mueller's more detailed documentation, the writers and artist bring drama to it by showing the many points of resistance within Trump's staff," Kirkus Review notes. The Post journalists will discuss how they tackled this groundbreaking project, how the Mueller probe eventually led to the impeachment inquiry and how the Russia investigation is still reverberating today.

About the speakers: Matea Gold Matea Gold is the national political enterprise and investigations editor for The Washington Post, where she plays a leading role guiding some of The Post's highest-profile stories. Before moving into an editing role in 2017, Matea spent two decades as a reporter, covering money in politics, presidential campaigns, Los Angeles City Hall and television media, among various beats. She joined The Post in June 2013 after 17 years at the Los Angeles Times and Tribune Publishing. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Daily Bruin.

Rosalind Helderman Rosalind S. Helderman is an investigative reporter for the national political staff of The Washington Post. A reporter for the Post since 2001, Rosalind has helped cover two presidential elections and the US Congress, as well as local news in Virginia and Maryland. She was part of a team of reporters awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for coverage of Donald Trump and Russia and is a two-time recipient of the Polk Award for investigative reporting. She grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a graduate of Harvard University.  

Katherine Lee Katherine Lee is an art director and designer at The Washington Post, where she designs for various cross-platform projects and products. She helped launch the visual style of The Post's Snapchat Discover page in 2017, and in 2018 she redesigned The Post's newsletter brand suite. Her work has been recognized by the Society of News Design, and she served as a judge for the Society of Illustrators competition. Before arriving at The Post in 2016, Katherine worked at the Boston Globe and Globe Magazine. She graduated from the University of Miami with degrees in advertising and psychology.

This event is free and open for all to attend! Kindly RSVP here!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Washington Post's Nationals section illustration quotes Amazing Spider-Man 50

Bryce Harper is leaving the Nationals for the Phillys and "Butcher Billy," a Brazilian penciller for Dynamite, drew an homage to him and the Stan Lee / John Romita splash page showing Peter Parker quitting being Spider-Man.

As far as I can tell, the image is only in the newspaper today and not online.

Additionally the Spider-Man comic strip, carried by the Post, will go into re-runs after this week.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ann Telnaes Q&A at Politics and Prose

IMG_20180124_190746_672After she read Trump's ABC, her new book of caricatures about the administration, Ann Telnaes took questions from the audience for about thirty minutes. With her permission, I've transcribed them.

I’ll tell you a little about his book came about. I did not plan to do an ABC book. I had done a lot of sketches in 2016, especially during the primaries and debates, and I originally tried to get a book published of those sketches. My book agent went around, still during the primaries when most people thought Hillary was going to win the presidency (myself included), and couldn’t get any interest. People were already tired of it, and thought Hillary was going to win, so the feedback from publishers was, “We’d like to see a Hillary book.” I thought, “Ok, I can try that – this will be interesting - first female president” – but for some reason, I had this nagging feeling and I just couldn’t come up with something. Of course then the election happened and most of us were surprised, and I thought everybody would be interested in a Trump book. But you’d be amazed at how many publishers didn’t want to do a Trump book – at least an editorial cartooning book.

I put it aside and I happened to take a road trip down to Savannah during the holidays. I had a nine hour drive down and a nine hour drive back. I was driving, because my dog doesn’t, and I didn’t have my hands free to do any sketches. I was thinking about a suggestion a friend had given me, which was to do a political ABC book. Since my hands weren’t free, I put my phone on, and started to recite, “A is for blah, B is for blah...” and I kept doing that all the way down to Savannah and all the way back up. By the time I got back to D.C. I had a book.

Which was amazing, because the hardest thing for me is to let go and let that new thing happen. When you get something in your head – I had a different type of book in my head – but once I let go of it, and I went with what I was thinking, it just came. That was a surprise, a nice surprise. I took a few hours and did some sketching. By chance I was giving a talk at the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont, and I was talking to James Sturm the co-founder of the college. He looked at my sketches and said, “I’ll put you in touch with Fantagraphics.” I had an email exchange with publisher Gary Groth and it was great. He said, “Yeah, let’s do it” and that’s how the book came to be.

The rhymes were done by the beginning of 2017, and the artwork was finished by May, and I was a little concerned that it wouldn’t hold up. There are some things that obviously aren’t in here, but I’m pretty pleased with it. I’m happy I did it.

Q: How has your image of Trump changed as he’s gone from being the joke candidate to being the actual president? How has your portrayal changed? I know the tie has gotten longer.
Yes, the tie is wonderful. The tie is the prop that keeps on giving. I’m still playing with that tie.
You know, I didn’t really think of him too much as a joke in the beginning. I had done a couple of Trump cartoons before when he ran earlier that were more joke-like, but when he announced this time, I actually did a cartoon where he was saying, “Me, me, me” all the time, because his run for president was all about him. I think in terms of how he looks physically – to me caricatures are more about who the person is. The more that I listen to him, and the more that I realize that this is all about him, that has developed my caricature.

A difference in the last couple of years is that I’ve gone back to doing colors by hand instead of on the computer. Watercolor is a wonderful medium for accidents. I don’t even know how to use watercolor, but it doesn’t matter.

Q: On your road trip where you composed the book, did you have any ideas that were too angry or obscene to include, and if so, will you share them now?

Probably, but I don’t remember them. Actually, it’s amazing. Except for a couple of letters, I pretty much kept to it. The only one I remember going back and forth on was the “K is for Killing without a new plan,” about Obamacare. At that time, they were just in the middle of trying to kill it and I wasn’t sure if I should say they killed it, or didn’t, so I decided that they’d try to kill it, but they still haven’t killed it yet.

Q: Would you consider doing sequels for other years if he lasts that long? Every day there’s some new crazy story…

Oh god. You’re right. The only thing I find wanting in this book is that there’s other things I want to address. Maybe I can do a counting book.

Obviously I had to make a decision what I was going to do for each letter, and there were certain things I wanted to make sure I got in there, like the separation of powers, and I had to include something about his appearance and his hair, even though that’s kind of silly. People would notice if that wasn’t in there. I wanted to hit specific things. Using “pussy” was deliberate on my part – this is something new. I work for the Washington Post, and I had to ask if I could use that word. I can tell you that they wouldn’t have allowed me to use it in any other situation, but once the President says it, I’m allowed to use it. And now I use it.

Yes, now for another book I could use “shithole countries.”

Q: Since Trump is famously thin-skinned, do you know to what extent he has objected to your cartoons?

Let’s broaden that and say, “Has he reacted to any editorial cartoonists?” Not that I know.  I honestly think it’s because the man doesn’t read. He gets his information from television. We’re not on television and I think that’s the reason he has noticed us. There’s been plenty of work out there that has been hard-hitting against him.

Q: Did Fantagraphics come up with the board book format, or was that something you came into the deal with?

No, actually that was something they had to sell me on. I draw very large, and I tend to want my work printed large. At first I thought it would be a bigger book, but I had a really great designer, Jacob Covey, and he and Gary Groth were both telling me that we needed to do this as a board book. I said, “I don’t know, that’s kind of small,” but when I saw it and held it my hand, I thought, “Yeah, this will work!” I’m really pleased that they convinced me to do it this way because I think it’s perfect.

I draw large. The reason I draw large is because I have an art background. We were encouraged in art school during life drawing classes to draw from the shoulder and not from the wrist. So I’m always doing this [as she makes a big sweeping motion with her arm]. I always feel I draw better larger. It takes more time, but I feel I get a better end product.

Q: The rhyming flows well – was that hard to do?

I’m not a writer. Maybe because I was in the car… I had a lot of time. I said a lot of things over and over, but I’m not a writer. I think because I was raised on Dr. Seuss books that might have helped me a little bit. It’s not perfect, but it worked.

Q: As a journalist, how do you process all the ongoing controversies? Do you ever tune it out?

I have to be honest with you – ever since Trump became President, I just feel the need to draw. I’ve been drawing editorial cartoons for 25 years, and even though I did a lot of cartoons criticizing the Bush administration, and I didn’t agree with their policies, this is a completely different situation for me. It’s a dangerous time. I wake up every morning just wanting to draw. I have to decide what to draw and that is one thing that I’ve made a conscious effort about. There’s a lot of silliness, and with social media, that tends to spiral out of control sometimes, so I try to make sure I’m criticizing actions and policy decisions and not just stupid things he says. Things that have consequences are what I try to do; I don’t know if I’m always successful at that. Personally, I’m having trouble sleeping lately because I’m thinking about it. That is one thing I do. I don’t watch the evening news after the PBS Newshour. I stop, because then my mind is racing for the rest of the evening. But that’s the only personal struggle that I have.

Q: I’ll put you on the spot - where do you see this all ending up?

I think it’s going to go on for a while. I really do. There was a short time right after he became president where I thought “Maybe this is going to be over quickly.” The problem is, and this is what I do my most critical cartoons on, the Republican leadership is the enablers. They are the reason we are still at this point. They have decided that they are going to keep this man in office as long as he is useful to them. And unfortunately, I think that the way Trump operates, and what he responds to, and what he wants out of this… it’s going to be a back-and-forth situation. We’re just going to have to roll along with it. Unfortunately, I think it’s going to take a while.

Q: For a cartoonist, it must be very tempting to hop on the hot-button stuff, the craziness and the complete nuttiness and not the more complicated stuff about the state of the Environmental Protection Agency and political contributions. How do you find a way to make the more complex issues visual?

I take a lot of notes. It’s really a question of what am I going to address today. And make sure I keep the ones that I may go back to later. It is more difficult to do an editorial cartoon about a complicated thing. The EPA is a great example – they’re gutting it. They are gutting it. And people don’t realize the extent of it until they turn their faucets on and they have dirty water. I try to address those things, but when TV is talking about the recent silliness, then that’s what people are paying attention to.

Q: Are there other members of the administration that are iconically recognizable that you can build a cartoon around?

Oh, I love drawing Pence. Pence is one of those examples where I think my cartoon doesn’t really look like him, but it is him. I’ve done Sarah Huckabee – she’s interesting. There’s a lot of good characters in this administration. I drew them in G – grabbing pusy. The KKK guy [in the background] was the last thing I put in the book, because it was right as Charlottesville was happening. The [G-H] spread kept getting more and more people in it and I was so thankful when Scaramucci dropped out. I was like, “Where am I going to put him?” and I just didn’t have to. I stuck Comey in here, because it was the time when he got fired, and everyone said he’s a hero, but they failed to remember that he’s the one that decided to announce that he was reopening an investigation into Hillary. So that’s why I stuck half of him in there.
IMG_20180124_190545_189Q: I wanted to thank you for ending the book on a positive note.

It wasn’t intentional [laughing]. I showed it to a close friend when I first got it, and she said, “You ended it on a positive note. That’s not you.” Z is hard. Zebra or Zen?

Q: Do you now see Trump as wrong, or as evil? If the latter, will that affect your drawing? You draw him as funny-stupid person versus an evil person.

I draw the Republican leadership as evil. I think he’s an opportunist deep down. I think he’s got a lot of faults and he’s an opportunist in the worst sense. He’ll say anything to get what he wants, and he’s got a lot of people around him that are enabling him to do that. And let’s face it – he’s a 71-year-old man. That’s him.

Q: To what extent do you get requests from the editorial board of The Post, or readers, or is it just what you want to do? Do they ever make requests?

No. I come up with the idea and run it by them. They’ve always let me decide what I want to cartoon on. They’ve nixed a few things. Around the time of the Charlottesville protests and killing, I came up with an idea they wouldn’t allow me to do because I think they were concerned about the tenor of the country. I think if I had offered that idea at any other time, it probably would have gone through. Sometimes they have to think about that.

Q: Does The Post have right of first refusal? Or are they your syndicate?

No, I’m not syndicated. I’m exclusive to The Post. I do other work, for The Nib occasionally, but they have the first rights. I did that cartoon for The Nib; they ran it.

Q: Have you been threatened?

By people? Oh yes. All cartoonists get threatened at some point or another. After 9/11 was a difficult time. I did a cartoon about Senator Cruz and I got a lot of threats for that. I think when everyone’s emotions are running high are when you get the most. But mostly we get emails telling us how stupid we are.

Q: Could you talk about becoming a political cartoonist, and then if you have the desire to move out and do other forms of illustration?

Sometimes. [laughs] It depends. I actually started in school for animation. I went to California Institute of the Arts, and studied character animation in the traditional Disney style and I worked for a few years in the animation industry. I had no interest in politics whatsoever. I didn’t read newspapers. I lived in LA – why do you need to read newspapers? One night I was doing a freelance project and I had the television on, and the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 happened right in front of my eyes and I think that woke me up. I became more and more interested in political events, and watching C-SPAN a lot, and I just started doing my own editorial cartoons. Then what finally caused me to decide that I wanted to be an editorial cartoonist was watching the Anita Hill / Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991.

I was a young woman, in my late twenties, and I had dealt with sexual harassment myself and I knew perfectly well it was a problem. To watch a bunch of senators up there, both conservative and liberals, and say that it couldn’t possibly have happened and they didn’t believe Anita Hill made me decide I needed to become an editorial cartoonist. So you can thank those senators; they’re the reason I’m an editorial cartoonist.

Q: What’s your sense of how the #MeToo movement is going to affect the 2018 elections?

Let’s hope it does. Women are mad. I speak to my friends who are my age, and they’re mad, really mad. I hope so because I think it’s about time. It’s funny to hear people to talk about sexual harassment and sexual discrimination. There’s all forms. I’ve dealt with it my entire career. I laugh when I hear people express doubt about it. Every woman has gone through it one way or another. It’s not all rape, but it’s a lot of forms of assault.

I’m going to give a personal example that I’ve never told anywhere. I’m in my fifties. When I had just turned fifty, I was walking down the streets of Washington, D.C. in broad daylight and I had a guy come up from behind and grab me like Trump grabs people. In broad daylight. I’m not a young woman. I was floored. To deal with the police after that? Two female policeman took down everything and did nothing. I was furious. That’s just unacceptable. It was some thirty-something year old guy just thinking he could do it. It’s a problem. And it’s not just for young women, it’s for older women too. There – now I’m really mad.

Q: Is Fantagraphics sending you on a book tour for this?

Yes, I’m going west. I’m going to first start in LA, then to Oakland, then Pixar (where a lot of my old colleagues from CalArts work), and then finish up at Fantagraphics in Seattle in February.

More pictures from the evening can be seen at Bruce Guthrie's site. If you want to see how large her drawings are, original cartoons by Ann can be seen at the Library of Congress in the Drawn to Purpose exhibit or in the Hay-Adams Hotel's Off the Record bar.  An article about the bar and the cartoonists (that I wrote and interviewed Ann for) will be in the upcoming issue of White House History magazine. Ann's previous book, Dick, about Vice President Cheney can be bought online and is highly recommended. Three styles of t-shirts with Ann's cartoons on them can be bought at Amazon.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

KAL and Don Graham's Herblock talks online

Kevin Kallaugher: 2015 Prize Winner

May 12 2015

Former Washington Post publisher specifically talks about Herblock's career and what he meant to the paper.

Donald E. Graham: 2015 Lecturer

May 12 2015

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Bob Staake featured in today's Post

Bob Staake is featured in today's Washington Post for a decade of weekly contest drawings.

Bob Staake's favorite cartoons of 20 years of Style Invitational
Washington Post March 3 2013

Bob Staake establishes the zaniness to the unwary of the Invitational. Bob started illustrating the weekly contest example in 1994, and he's drawn close to 1,000 images.

and a biographical note:

The art (or 'art') of the Invitational
By Pat Myers,
Washington Post (March 3 2013).
online at

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Superhero contest answers, Escape from Planet Earth, and the Walking Dead in today's Post

Style Invitational Week 1009: What's in a name, plus the winning super- (and not-so-super-) heroes.
By Pat Myers, Washington Post February 17 2013 - and don't forget that Bob Staake has done the illustrations for this contest for around a decade. The honorable mentions seem to only be in the print edition, and include my neighbor Larry Yungk's Bleeperman.

'Escape From Planet Earth' movie review
By Michael O'Sullivan, February 15 2013

and for the record:

McIntyre, Gina / Los Angeles Times.  2013.
Steven Yeun 'the heart' of 'The Walking Dead'.
Washington Post (February 17)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Post wimps out on Zits strip

YOU PLAY THE EDITOR: The Post didn't run this 'ZITS' strip — would you?
By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog May 9 2012

Boy, the Post just doesn't let up on protecting its few remaining readers of the comics pages -- or should that be infantilizing them? One wonders what pictures from the current wars they also decided not to offend our delicate sensibilities with...

Click on the 'censorship' tag below to see plenty of previous examples.

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Doonesbury strips we didn't see last month

The Washington Post repeated two Doonesbury strips in the print newspaper last month (see above) - skipping the actual strips for December 15th and 16th, which can instead be seen at the Doonesbury archives. The Post didn't mention it, but the Toledo Blade explained why the strips were substituted for certain sensitive newspapers. My neighbor Bill. C came through with the print edition so I was finally able to confirm that the Post hadn't run them.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Post likes Big Planet Comics

The Washington Post's Weekend section featured 12 local sites in Georgetown and Big Planet Comics was one of them. Click here and go to page 21.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wash Post obituary of interest for its photography

Note the family photograph of everyone reading the Sunday comics around 1955.

A Local Life: Alan L. Dean, 92, the 'Ideal Father'

Washington Post February 27, 2011

Alan L. Dean, with wife Vera and daughters Diana, left, and Claudia in 1955. Mr. Dean won The Washington Post's
Alan L. Dean, with wife Vera and daughters Diana, left, and Claudia in 1955. Mr. Dean won The Washington Post's "Ideal Father" contest. (Family Photo)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Post ombudsman on censoring Non Sequitur

The ombudsman has issues with the Post not running the Non Sequitur comic strip last weekend.

Where was the 'Where's Muhammad?' cartoon?
By Andrew Alexander
Washington Post October 10, 2010; A17

Why are some of the Post's Sunday comics colored pink?

It's a Breast Cancer awareness campaign thought up by Dan Piraro and done by King Features Syndicate. All of the strips can be seen at Cartoonists Care: The Sunday Funnies Pink Project. There's a link to donate to cancer charities from the main page.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Washington Post runs scared, censors Non Sequitur

The Post joined the group of newpapers afraid to publish a Non Sequitur strip that dared mention Muhammed - see the bigger story here  - 
 by Alan Gardner
October 4, 2010

The Post also issued a 'No Comment' to its own blog -
'Muhammad' does -- and does not -- appear in today's 'NON SEQUITUR' comic By Michael Cavna, Washington Post Comic Riffs blog October 3, 2010.

The Post's strong tradition of censoring on its comics page what it would never consider in the news pages continues - click on censorship in the tags to see other examples.