Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Paul Hornschemeier has a band? Who knew?

Scott Rosenberg had an article on the cartoonist's band in November 12th's Express: "Paradox Rocks: Arks."

Washington Post on Marvel's digital comics subscription

See "Superheroes on Demand: Marvel Goes After New Fans With Subscription Site," by Mike Musgrove, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, November 14, 2007; Page D01.

Most of this article comes out of Marvel's press release from yesterday, but author Mike Musgrove did get a comment from Joel Pollack - "Some of my fellow retailers are kind of upset, but I think you can't turn back the hands of time and it's inevitable," he said. "If it hurts the sale of Marvel Comics, it's more self-destructive of Marvel . . . than anything else. . . . I don't know if it's going to have any impact on my business or not."

This isn't going to hurt anyone because Marvel is charging $10 a month for six-month-old comics that you can't download and take with you, but only read on their website. Why would anyone pay them for this? Nobody else has been able to make this model work - not the New York Times, nobody. And most publishers don't have scanners making the material available almost immediately (which I'm not condoning, just noting. I prefer my comics as paper). And none of their comics are hard to find - certainly not the ones they listed as being available online - unless you live in Nepal maybe, and then you're going to have internet connectivity issues anyway.

Also note that Fantom Comics is opening in Union Station - I wish them the best, but I think that's a high-risk move unless they're getting a super deal in rent.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

new International Journal of Comic Art is out!

Details to follow, but it's 643 pages for $15.00 - click on the right for more information.

Nov 16: SCAD program on doing comics at Arlington Arts Center

Jeffry Cudlin of the Arlington Arts Center wrote in to tell us about a program on Friday night. I'm not sure if I can make it, but it sounds like it'll be interesting.

By faculty members of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

Sculpture Body Casting
Thursday, November 15 from 5 to 7 pm

Black and White Sequential Art —The placement of compositional black
Friday, November 16 from 5 to 7 pm

For mature high school students and adults.
Registration required: call 703.248.6800

Susan Krause, chair of sculpture at SCAD-Atlanta, will direct a hands-on workshop called Sculpture Body Casting on Thursday, November 15 from 5 to 7 pm. Participants will pair up to create casts of each other.

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at designing your own comic strip? Then sign up for Black and White Sequential Art—The placement of compositional blacks on Friday, November 16 from 5 to 7 pm. Taught by Dove McHargue, professor of Sequential Art and Animation at SCAD, this workshop will include a discussion about the sequential art major offered at SCAD and careers available in this field.

All levels of experience are welcome at both workshops, but class size is limited, so registration is required. To register click here, for a print out of our registration form, or call 703.248.6800.

Savannah College of Art and Design was recently named one of Kaplan’s “25 cutting-edge schools with an eye toward the future.” It prepares talented students for professional careers, emphasizing learning through individual attention in a positively oriented university environment. The goal of the college is to nurture and cultivate the unique qualities of each student through an interesting curriculum, in an inspiring environment, under the leadership of involved professors. SCAD features locations in Atlanta and Savannah GA and in Lacoste, France, and also offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs online through SCAD-eLearning.

Originally from Canada, Susan Krause has been with SCAD since 2000 and is chair of sculpture at SCAD-Atlanta. She received her MFA from Yale University in 1989 and has exhibited nationally and internationally for 15 years. Her work is in the form of installation art relating to aspects of the human condition, authenticity and commonality. Dove McHargue teaches sequential art and animation at SCAD. He earned his MFA in Sequential Art from SCAD in 2005 and joined the faculty shortly thereafter.

Founded in 1974, the AAC is dedicated to presenting and supporting new work of contemporary artists in the Mid-Atlantic States. Located in the historic Maury School building, it holds exhibitions, rents studio spaces, and conducts educational programs for all ages. Normal public hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm. For more information, call 703.248.6800 or visit The AAC is located at 3550 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington VA, just one block off the Virginia Square-GMU Metro stop on the Orange Line.

Arlington Arts Center programs are made possible through the generous support of the Virginia Commission for the Arts/NEA, the Arlington Commission for the Arts, Arlington County Division of Cultural Affairs, the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, Strategic Analysis, BB&T Bank, the Arlington Community Foundation, Arlington Catering, and our members.

Arlington Arts Center
3550 Wilson Blvd Arlington VA 22201
Metro: Orange Line: Virginia Square

It's done!

And this isn't the cover! Although the photo by Gary Dumm may end up being the cover - that's the idea at the moment. But I sent the manuscript of Harvey Pekar: Conversations in to the University Press of Mississippi today and sometime in about a year (slightly longer than human gestation apparently) a book should pop out.

The Conversations books are collections of interviews over the career of cartoonists. You've got a couple of days left to get other books in the Conversations series in this website sale.

I've got almost all of the comics and cartoon books listed on the site.

Nov 14-17 manga play in Georgetown

Phil Troutman sends in a reminder of this:

"Trees and Ghosts," Adapted and Directed by Natsu Onoda, from the Graphic Novels of Osamu Tezuka.

WORLD PREMIERE! Nov. 14 - 17 (remaining performances) at 8 pm, Gonda Theatre, Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University.

Advance tickets required, $7 student - $15 general admission: phone 202-687-6933 or

From their website: "A new multimedia production adapted from three short graphic novels by a Japanese cartoonist Osamu Tezuka, who is considered the inventor of manga (contemporary Japanese comics). Spirits, elements of nature and memories of World War II haunt each of the stories that make up this highly visual production which employs interactive video, live on-stage drawing, and live taiko drums."

Reviewed in The Washington Post, Tu 13 Nov, page C2.

Which would be here -
"Trees and Ghosts': Manga's Magical Touch" by Nelson Pressley, Washington Post, Tuesday, November 13, 2007; Page C02

Monday, November 12, 2007

Simpson's mag in stores

In the new acquisitions pile is this Simpson's cover for E, the Environmental Magazine (November / December 2007), that I picked up at Busboys and Poets before the PEN/Faulkner event. Interestingly, although 'signed' by Matt Groening, the art is credited inside to Julius Preite. (The fish, blinded by the flash, has three eyes, by the way).


Posted for former DC-area comics type A. David Lewis...

April 11-13, 2008

Presented by the Luce Program in Scripture and Literary Arts
and the New England-Maritimes American Academy of Religion
Boston University Department of Religion

Keynote Speaker:
James Sturm
The Golem’s Mighty Swing
and James Sturm’s America: God, Gold, and Golems

THE GOLEM'S MIGHTY SWING Cover“Graven Images” will explore the roles of religion in comic books and graphic novels. This conference is open to all interpretations of “religious comics”; in fact, we welcome debate as to what that term might mean. >From the performance of religion in comics, to religious or mythic traditions among the elements of various works, to the use of comics by religious practitioners themselves, the relationship between comics and religion is dynamic and evolving. Given the increasing seriousness with which the public has come to view comics as an art form as well as Americans’ fraught but passionate relationship with religion, “Graven Images” provides an opportunity for discussion of cutting-edge artistic and social issues.

Examples of religion in comics abound. Preacher is the tale of a lapsed Texan clergyman armed with the literal Word of God in order to track down the Creator Himself. The Golem’s Mighty Swing features a group of Jewish ballplayers in the 1920s who invoke a biblical force amidst competition and prejudice. Cerebus, the world’s first and only 6,000-page graphic novel, resolves around the creation of a new religion, its sacred text, the author’s own account of Genesis, and a final accounting with God. Kingdom Come presents a “twilight of the superheroes,” set against the backdrops of both Nordic Ragnarok and Christian Revelation and seen through the eyes of a faith-weary minister and a divine Spirit of Vengeance. Although there is no shortage of religious material in comic books and graphic novels, there is a dearth of formal, academic discussion on the topic. “Graven Images” aims to begin a conversation that will rectify this lack.

The focus will be primarily English-language works produced over the last 60 years for the American market, though special exceptions will be made for particularly strong abstracts. We are particularly interested in the following works and topics, though others will be considered:

Age of Bronze, Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary, Blankets, Buddha, Castle Waiting, Cairo, Contract with God, From Hell, Finder, Hellboy, Hey Mister: The Trouble with Jesus, Invisibles, Jew of New York, King David, Lucifer, Marked!, MAUS, Megillat Esther, Persepolis, Promethea, Sandman, Testament, and the Virgin Comics line.

· Pagan Missionaries: the works of Moore, Gaiman, and Morrison as mouthpieces for New Religious MovementsGraven Images icon
· Christian Comic Books and the Evangelicals
· The Market for Religious Comics
· Daniel: Prophet of Dreams, Samson: Judge of Israel, The Lone and Level Sands, Marked!, and other depictions of the Hebrew Bible or New Testament
· Using Comics to Teach Religion
· Non-Western Religious Traditions in Western Comic Books
· Ritual Wednesdays at the Comic Shop: Comic Book Culture and its Elements of Faith
· What does a Messiah look like? Chosen, Battle Pope, and The New Adventures of Jesus
· Binky Brown and other Irreverent Portraits of Religion: The Role of Humor

500-word abstracts should be sent to the attention of A. David Lewis either through e-mail at or by mail to
“Graven Images” Conference, Department of Religion, Boston University, 145 Bay State Road, Boston MA 02215.


Charlotteville's Sorenson in top 10

Daryl Cagle reported on the top ten cartoonists on his syndicate's site, and Jen Sorenson was on the list:


We have a great new system that allows our readers to subscribe to any cartoonist on the site and receive an e-mail with that cartoonist's most recent cartoon, whenever we post a new cartoon from each cartoonist. It has been running for about three months now. Take a look, it is pretty cool. Subscribe to as many as you want, it is FREE.

I just got stats on the individual artist newsletters for the first time and I was a bit surprised to see who the most popular cartoonists are with our reader/subscribers. Here is the top ten list, with the most popular first (I blush, but my name is plastered on everything so I don't know that my being on the list means much):

1. Daryl Cagle
2. Pat Bagley
3. Eric Allie
4. Monte Wolverton
5. Matt Bors
6. Andy Singer
7. Brian Fairrington
8. Shannon Wheeler
9. Clay Bennett
10. Jen Sorensen

Mark Wheatley's new webcomic project again

Here's an interview: "INSIGHT & NASCAR'S MIGHTY-MOTOR SAPIENS" by Jennifer M. Contino,
Comicon's The Pulse 11-09-2007. Mark lives somewhere between DC and Baltimore, I think.

Bush Leaguers redux

Actually, I knew this, because I bought a copy at OSU, but forgot to mention it. Luckily Dave Astor caught it. "New Catalog of Cartoons From 'Bush Leaguers' Exhibit", E&P Online November 12, 2007. This was the show at American University this summer - it was excellent. My review appears in the new issue of the International J of Comic Art which is wending its way through the postal system now.

Post squishes SpongeBob

See "'SquarePantis': Squeezing The Life Out of SpongeBob" by Tom Shales, Washington Post Staff Writer, Monday, November 12, 2007; Page C01.

And just to put an aposite image in your head, yesterday I missed this Persepolis review: "Artful Women" by Nora Krug, Washington Post Book World Sunday, November 11, 2007; Page BW11

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tom Toles taken to task

The letter:

Caricature Run Amok, Washington Post November 10, 2007

While I have found Tom Toles's cartoons often trivial and sometimes annoying, the Nov. 7 submission left me infuriated. To suggest that Vice President Cheney supports or dreams of taking dictatorial actions of the type in Pakistan indicated in the cartoon is disgusting and beneath The Post's standards of fairness.

There are legitimate arguments about the president's wartime powers, but our basic freedoms remain intact, as evidenced by the ability of Toles and all journalists and citizens to freely express their views, however repugnant, without fear of governmental retribution.

-- Lawrence L. Thompson

and the cartoon:

Late-breakinging SPX con report

Well, it's not like I've written mine yet, but see "SPX 2007: Life at a Small Press Gathering," By Lee Atchison, Sequential Tart November 5, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Post reviews Michaelis' Schulz biography tomorrow

See "It's Your Life, Charlie Brown! A portrait of the anxious artist who taught Snoopy how to dance," reviewed by Julie Phillips, Washington Post Book World Sunday, November 11, 2007; Page BW04.

Writings on comics by American U professor

I was introduced to American U professor Erik Dussere last night at the PEN/Faulkner talk. He's written a couple of articles on comics:

"Subversion in the Swamp: Pogo and the Folk in the McCarthy Era," Journal of American Culture 26 (1; March 2003): 134-141

"The queer world of the X-Men; OK, Wolverine never built a shrine to Judy Garland, but 'the strangest teens' were obviously homo superior -- emphasis on the homo," Salon (July 12, 2000)

Today's Richard's Poor Almanack

Isn't online yet, but it's another finger puppet. Whoo-hoo! In the meantime, enjoy last week's Peanuts parody.

Tomorrow's Washington Post bit on Caniff's Terry and the Pirates

See "Terry and the Pirates" by Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post Book World Sunday, November 11, 2007; Page BW04.

Zadzooks on Spidey game

See "Unlikely collaborators help Spidey in mission" by Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times November 10, 2007.

Another DC-area blogger spotlight

Michael Wenthe - mentioned earlier today - shares a blog with Isaac Cates. Both teach about comics, and together they make minicomics. I hadn't realized they had a blog until Isaac mentioned it in passing today - check out Satisfactory Comics. Right now, it appears that their latest mini-comic is an intellectual exercise of the type that Matt Madden is the best promoter of - if you haven't bought his 99 Ways to Tell A Story, you should and you should shelve it next to McCloud, Eisner and Buscema.

A link to Satisfactory Comics will be up on the right for future visits.