Saturday, November 24, 2007

Matt Dembicki and Mr. Big profiled in today's Examiner

Chris Klimek has an article on northern Virginia's Matt Dembicki and his comic book, Mr. Big. It's not online, but it's "Serious Talk with Local Comics' 'Mr. Big'" Washington Examiner (November 24-25, 2007). Steal a copy off your neighbor's lawn, or look for the red boxes.

Friday, November 23, 2007

DC's homegrown real superheroes

The Post had this bit about people that dress up as superheroes to distribute food. In the end, I'm still not quite sure what the costumes add to the experience on either side, but more power to them. See "Public Service With a Side of Spandex," by Delphine Schrank, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, November 23, 2007; B03.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

OT: Posy Simmonds interview in the new Comics Journal

Posy Simmonds is one of my favorite cartoonists who should be better known in the States (along with Raymond Briggs). My friend Paul Gravett has an excellent interview with her in the new Comics Journal.

Buy it today, and then order Gemma Bovary and preorder Tamara Drewe.

Blake Gopnik on Beowulf

I can't really decide if motion capture computer animation is really animation or not, so I'm not really posting about it or tracking it for the Comics Research Bibliography (link found to the right). However, in this article 'Beowulf' Movie Magic Can't Conjure The Poem's Bare-Bones Enchantment" by Blake Gopnik, Washington Post Staff Writer, Thursday, November 22, 2007; C01, Gopnik, one of the Post's best art critics also confesses his love for the Spider-Man movies and X-Men III. So I'll put the link up here and you can make up your own mind.

Animation leads Bomani Armah to fame and infamy

This article, "His Punch Line Smarts: Hip-Hop Parodist Bomani Armah Juggles Sense of Humor and Identity," by Kevin Merida, Washington Post Staff Writer, Thursday, November 22, 2007; C01, is about a DC man who wrote Read a Book, a satirical hip-hop song, but when it was animated and put out in the big world via BET, he got a lot of grief. It's an interesting article - it reads here like some of the choices made by the animators compounded the mixing of his message.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Post on Enchanted

In a move not seen in quite a while - Roger Rabbit, I'd guess, and before that the currently-supressed Song of the South - Disney's mixed live-action with animation, to generally excellent reviews. For the Post's take, see "Princess Power: In Charming 'Enchanted,' Once Upon A Time Is Right Now" By Ann Hornaday, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, November 21, 2007; Page C01

Marc Singer on Moore's Black Dossier

Marc's one of the keener observers of superhero comics, so his post on Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neil's League of Extraordinary Gentleman: Black Dossier is worth reading.

A couple of sites for local creators

Randy T sent these in and will hopefully return to give more framing info:

Pop Mhan's website

Jo Chen's blog

Von Allan to be published by webcomics site

off-topic, but VA was one of our first readers - and look at those pseudonymous intials! Congratulations Von!

Von Allan to be published by webcomics site

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (November 19, 2007) – Webcomics have, over the past ten years, become a phenomenon and are read by people of all ages. This popularity has greatly increased both the diversity and sheer amount of high quality comics that might not have been able to find an audience in a traditional print format. Coinciding with this growth has been the development of a number of webcomic publishing sites that collect similarly themed webcomics under one roof. One of the most notable is, primarily due to its focus on comics that would appeal to female readers both young and old. Canadian graphic novelist Von Allan’s original graphic novel the road to god knows… has recently been accepted into and will launch as a webcomic on December 3rd, 2007. The story will update four times per week (Monday through Thursday).

“Comics are a wonderful and diverse medium that can showcase stories from any particular genre. This is often forgotten due to the overwhelming market presence of both Marvel and DC’s superhero comics in print format. As a result of this, comics have traditionally been considered a ‘boys club’,” says Allan. “Most comics, especially in North America, tended to exclude women and girls by creating characters and stories that few female readers would ever identify with. Which, of course, is an odd thing to say but it can still occur even in this day and age. GirlAMatic has tried very hard to change this by creating a home for stories that, while running the gamut in terms of genre, can all be considered female friendly. Webcomics have managed to become a great leveler when it comes to genre and it’s fascinating to see how many readers of webcomics are female. When one combines that with the phenomenal growth of manga, driven primarily by female readers, comics of all forms are seeing a remarkable equalization in readership that they’ve never experienced before. And I’m pleased as punch to be a part of that.”

The road to god knows... is the story of Marie, a young teenage girl coming to grips with her Mom’s schizophrenia. As a result, she’s struggling to grow up fast; wrestling with poverty, loneliness, and her Mom’s illness every step of the way. Betty, Marie’s Mom, can’t help; she’s living with an illness that’s slowly getting worse and increasingly frightening. With her Mom absorbed in her own problems,
Marie is essentially alone while she learns to deal with the chaos in her young life.

The road to god knows… is expected to be printed in 2008 and has an ISBN of 978-0-9781237-0-3.

About Von Allan: Von Allan was born red-headed and freckled in Arnprior, Ontario, just in time for Star Wars: A New Hope. The single child of two loving but troubled parents, Von split most of his childhood between their two homes and, consequently, spent a lot of time in the worlds of comics and wrestling. He managed Perfect Books, an independent bookstore in Ottawa, for many years while working on story ideas in his spare time; eventually, he decided to make the leap to a creative life, and
the road to god knows… was the result. Additional information about the graphic novel can be found at

About GirlAMatic: Launched on March 31st 2003, has become the home for a variety of female-friendly webcomics. Perhaps more importantly, the site has been the home for multiple award winning comics creators, including Leigh Dragoon and Raina Telgemeier (Kim Yale Award Winner for Best New Female Talent 2006 and 2003 respectively), Hope Larson (Ignatz Award Winner 2006), and Donna Barr (Xeric Winner 2002).


Von Allan
P.O. Box 20520, 390 Rideau Street,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. K1N 1A3
Phone: 613-236-9957
Editor-in-Chief: Lisa R. Jonté

NEXT Sun, Dec 2 - Comic & Pop Culture Show

Randy T. forwarded this Con announcement.

This show features a special guest appearance by John K. Snyder, III, courtesy of John K. Snyder, III, is a writer/illustrator whose work has been published by D.C. Comics (The Green Lantern, Dr. Mid-nite and an upcoming Batman mini-series) and many independent comic book publishers (The Duckberg Times).

- If you receive a postcard in the mail before the show, PLEASE BRING POSTCARD TO THE SHOW.

Our next Tysons Corner Monthly Comic & Pop Culture Show will be on Sun, December 2, 2007 at the Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department. The show is open to the public from 10 am - 3 pm.

Buy, sell and trade: gold, silver age and new comics; Magic and other gaming cards; non sport cards; videos and DVDs; anime; Horror; Sci-Fi; figures, toys; Star Wars and Star Trek memorabilia; original artwork, posters, T-shirts and various other comic related items.

Vendors confirmed for this show include:
All-American Comics
Cards Comics & Collectibles
Doug Cheshire
Michael Creager
Everyday Comics
Jerry Flynn
Gold Coast Collectibles
Damion Hill
Koop's Comics
Jim Montgomery
Outpost Station
Silver Fox Comics
TNT Comics
Tomorrow's Treasures
Steven Wagner
Brian Weinshenker
Welcome Back Comics
Zeno's Books
and more!

The Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department (directions - please see below) has a 70-space parking lot. Plus, there is a school behind the fire department with hundreds of parking spaces that are rarely used on the weekends.

To get to the Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department (located about 20 minutes west of Washington, D.C.). Take I-495 (DC/Capital Beltway) to Exit 47A (Rt 7 West). Go 1/2 mile, Take a Left on Gallows Rd and proceed 1 mile to 2148 Gallows Rd.

Or visit our website for detailed directions and Mapquest directions:

Venue Address:
Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department
2148 Gallows Road
Dunn Loring, VA 22027

We no longer require the Door Prize winner to be present to claim their prize. The door prize winner will be drawn after the show and the prize will be sent to the winner and announced in the next show's email.

Also, if you receive a postcard reminder for the event, PLEASE BRING THE POSTCARD TO THE SHOW. This will allow you to enter the door prize drawing without taking the time to fill out a new form.

If you do not receive a postcard before the show and would like this reminder, please visit our website and sign up for our mailing list:

Or print out the following form, complete it and bring it to the next show:

If you have any other questions, please visit our website:

Or send us an e-mail at:

Hope to see you soon.

*Capital Associates does not guarantee the arrival, arrival time or
departure time of the artist(s)/writer(s)/other guest(s) attending our
shows or attending on behalf of another group.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Nov 28: Shrek the Halls?

During the Peanuts' Thanksgiving show, we just saw an ad for what appears to be a made-for-tv movie, Shrek the Halls. I'm sure this has potential - remember the Star Wars Ewok holiday special?

Nate Beeler congratulated by Examinerr

The Examiner ran this thingie (I'm sure it has a technical name) congratulating Nate for getting syndicated today.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dec 12-13: South African artist William Kentridge

South African artist William Kentridge's animated "9 Drawings for Projection" at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, 202-467-4600, with original music by Philip Miller. 7:30 pm for $38.

Nov 20: Peanuts cartoons on tv

Peanuts cartoons are on tv at 8 pm. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is followed by He's A Bully, Charlie Brown. Writer's strike? What writer's strike?

Nov 21: Ben 10 movie on Cartoon Network

AT 8 pm, Cartoon Network's Ben 10 animated series converts to a live action movie in Ben 10: Race Against Time.

Zapp! Comic Books and the Arts exhibit, Jerry Robinson and Lee Marrs photos

Jerry Robinson and me; photo by Bruce Guthrie

Bruce Guthrie was up at the VisArts at Rockville building this weekend and took some shots of the Zapp! Comic Books and the Arts exhibit that was closing on November 18th, as well as pictures of Jerry Robinson and Lee Marrs in the convention space. Ms. Marrs gave a talk on webcomics and Bruce got pictures of that as well. I did too, and I'll try to post mine soon.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Zadzooks mostly on Dr. Who, but also Spider-Man hi-def dvds

See Joseph Szadkowski's "Doctor Who treats fans to more sci-fi humor," Washington Times November 17, 2007

Dove McHargue of SCAD's class in Arlington

On Friday night, my daughter and I got over to the Arlington Art Center about an hour after Dove McHargue started his class, Black and White Sequential Art -- The placement of compositional blacks. I had just planned to introduce myself and leave, but the class was well underway with about 10 students, including one dad who was there with his son. Dove was under the weather with a cold, but struggling through it as he showed several powerpoints on using inking to accent art. A lot of examples came from DC's Batman: Black and White books so I picked up volume 2 at a con yesterday. I think I had v.1 already. Dove gave the kids, who were all in high school, (and two dads) four pages from a Disney coloring book and suggested highlighting an element of each of the artwork. This was a very simple exercise to give out, but one that really made the kids (and me) think. There were a bunch of different solutions and Dove pointed out what worked and what didn't, talked about lighting, and was really very instructive. I personally found this absolutely fascinating and I have no desire at all to be a cartoonist. His explanation of how things work on the page was just really interesting. As the kids were working on their pages, he showed one of his black and white comic strips projected, and then how to color it with Photoshop - light dawned for me. If you have a chance, sit in on one of his sessions.

IJOCA's editorial

Some changes need to be made in IJOCA's distribution thanks to the Post Office's new rates for magazines. Here's what editor-in-chief Lent had to say. Write to him at john.lent at if you have an opinion, especially on the overseas issues. Click on the page to make them larger and legible.

Nov 18: Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman and Dan Clowes on Simpsons

I'm not usually a Simpsons viewer (oddly enough - I could never get past a dislike for Life in Hell), but some of the greatest cartoonists will be on it tonight. Alan Moore discusses his appearance here.

And his League of Extraordinary Gentleman's Black Dossier came out this week. This is the real thing, not that Hollywood abomination.