Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Harvey Awards at Baltimore Comic-con

2008 Harvey Awards Nominees Announced!
Visit for Ballots & Submission Details!

BALTIMORE, MD (June 18, 2008) -- The 2008 Harvey Awards Nominees have been announced with the release of the final ballot, presented by the Executive Committees of the Harvey Awards and the Baltimore Comic-Con. Named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, one of the industry's most innovative talents, the Harvey Awards recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art. They will be presented September 27, 2008 in Baltimore, MD, in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con.

Nominations for the Harvey Awards are selected exclusively by creators - those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, design, edit or are otherwise involved in a creative capacity in the comics field. They are the only industry awards both nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals. Professionals who participate will be joining nearly 2,000 other comics professionals in honoring the outstanding comics achievements of 2007. Thank you to all that have already participated by submitting a nomination ballot.

Final ballots are due to the Harvey Awards by Friday, August 15, 2008. Full details for submission of completed ballots can be found on the final ballot. Voting is open to anyone involved in a creative capacity within the comics field. Final ballots are available for download at Those without Internet access may request that paper ballots be sent to them via mail or fax by calling the Baltimore Comic-Con (410-526-7410) or e-mailing

This will be the third year for the Harvey Awards in Baltimore, MD. Our Master of Ceremonies will once again be Kyle Baker. Look for more details soon on how you can attend the Harvey Awards dinner.

This year's Baltimore Comic-Con will be held September 27-28, 2008. Convention hours are Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM. The ceremony and banquet for the 2008 Harvey Awards will be held Saturday night, September 27.

Without further delay, the 2008 Harvey Award Nominees:


Ed Brubaker, Captain America, Marvel Comics
Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Amulet Books
Grant Morrison, All Star Superman, DC Comics
William Van Horn, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, Gemstone
Brian K. Vaughan, Y: The Last Man, Vertigo/DC Comics


Gabriel Ba, Umbrella Academy, Dark Horse Comics
John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men, Marvel Comics
Guy Davis, BPRD, Dark Horse Comics
Frank Quitely, All Star Superman, DC Comics
William Van Horn, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, Gemstone


Darwyn Cooke, The Spirit, DC Comics
Matt Kindt, Super Spy, Top Shelf
Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Amulet Books
Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together, Oni Press
Vasilis Lolos, Last Call, Oni Press
William Van Horn, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, Gemstone


The Arrival, Scholastic Books
Donald Duck: The Case of the Missing Mummy, Gemstone
Exit Wounds, Drawn & Quarterly
Laika, First Second
Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together, Oni Press


The Annotated Northwest Passage, Oni Press
Antiques, Volume 1, Gemstone
Captain America Omnibus, Volume 1, Marvel Comics
Damned, Volume 1, Oni Press
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born, Marvel Comics


Complete Peanuts, Fantagraphics Books
Complete Terry and the Pirates, IDW
EC Archives, Gemstone
Popeye, Fantagraphics Books
Walt and Skeezix, Drawn & Quarterly


Eduardo Risso's Tales of Terror, Dynamite Entertainment
Exit Wounds, Drawn & Quarterly
Manga Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, Abrams
Moomin, Volume 2, Drawn & Quarterly
Witchblade Manga, Top Cow/Image


Chris Eliopoulos, Franklin Richards series, Marvel Comics
Nicholas Gurewitch, Perry Bible Fellowship,
Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Amulet Books
Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together, Oni Press
William Van Horn, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, Gemstone


Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney,
EZ Street, Robert Tinnell and Mark Wheatley,
Penny Arcade, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik,
Perry Bible Fellowship, Nicholas Gurewitch,
Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo, Dwight L. Macpherson,
Thomas Boatwright and Thomas Mauer,


The Annotated Northwest Passage, Scott Chantler, Oni Press
Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney, Amulet Books
EC Archives, Various, edited by John Clark, Gemstone
Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened, edited by Jason Rodriguez, Villard
Super Spy, Matt Kindt, Top Shelf


Alice in Sunderland, Dark Horse Comics
All Star Superman # 8, DC Comics
Captain America # 25, Marvel Comics
Donald Duck: The Case of the Missing Mummy, Gemstone
I Killed Adolf Hitler, Fantagraphics Books
Immortal Iron Fist # 7, Marvel Comics
Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen # 1, Oni Press


Blah Blah Blog, Tom Brevoort,
The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth and Michael Dean, Fantagraphics Books
Meanwhile...Comics!, John, Jason and Scott,
The Naked Artist: Comic Book Legends, Bryan Talbot and Hunt Emerson,
Moonstone Books
Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, edited by J.C. Vaughn, Gemstone
Reading Comics: How Graphic Albums Work and What They Mean, Douglas Wolk,
Da Capo Press


John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men, Marvel Comics
Marko Djurdjevic, Daredevil, Marvel Comics
James Jean, Fables, Vertigo/DC Comics
Mike Mignola, Hellboy, Dark Horse Comics
William Van Horn, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, Gemstone


Chris Eliopoulos, Daredevil, Marvel Comics
Jared K. Fletcher, The Spirit, DC Comics
Willie Schubert, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, Gemstone
Douglas E. Sherwood, Local, Oni Books
Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library, Acme Novelty


Susan Daigle-Leach, Uncle Scrooge, Gemstone
Jamie Grant, All Star Superman, DC Comics
Matt Hollingsworth, Daredevil, Marvel Comics
Matt Kindt, Super Spy, Top Shelf
Laura Martin, Thor, Marvel Comics


Stefano Gaudiano, Daredevil, Marvel Comics
Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Amulet Books
Steve Leialoha, Fables, DC Comics
Mark Morales, Thor, Marvel Comics
Kevin Nowlan, Witchblade, Top Cow/Image


Doonesbury, Garry Trudeau, Universal Press Syndicate
Get Fuzzy, Darby Conley, United Feature Syndicate
The K Chronicles, Keith Knight, Self-Syndicated
The Mighty Motor-Sapiens, Mark Wheatley, Daniel Krall, Robert Tinnell, MJ Butler,
Craig Taillerfer, Matthew Plog, and Jerry Carr, Self-Syndicated
Mutts, Patrick McDonnell, King Features Syndicate


All Star Superman, DC Comics
Captain America, Marvel Comics
Damned, Oni Press
Daredevil, Marvel Comics
Umbrella Academy, Dark Horse Comics
Uncle Scrooge, Gemstone Comics


Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Amulet Books
The Order, Marvel Comics
Resurrection, Oni Press
Thor, Marvel Comics
Umbrella Academy, Dark Horse Comics


Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Amulet Books
Jeff Lemire, Essex County, Top Shelf
Vasilis Lolos, Last Call, Oni Press
Robbi Rodriguez, Maintenance, Oni Press
Christian Slade, Korgi #1: Sprouting Wings, Top Shelf


Flight Volume 4, edited by Kazu Kibuishi, Ballantine Books
Mome Volume 8, edited by Gary Groth and Eric Reynolds, Fantagraphics Books
Popgun Volume 1, edited by Joe Keatinge and Mark Andrew Smith, Image Books
Postcards: True Stories That Never Happened, edited by Jason Rodriquez, Villard
Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, edited by John Clark, Gemstone

Congratulations to all the nominees! If you know a nominee, please pass on the good news!

The Harvey committee and the Baltimore Comic-Con will make every effort to contact all nominees. If you are a nominee and do not hear from us by the end of June, please contact us at We would love to discuss your involvement in the ceremony and the Baltimore Comic-Con.

For additional information about the Harvey Kurtzman and the Harvey Awards, visit

For additional information about the Baltimore Comic-Con, visit

For additional information about the Harvey Awards Master of Ceremonies Kyle Baker, visit

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Weingarten and the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and FBOFW

In his June 17th chat, GW amped his coolness factor considerably when he wrote,

One of my prize possessions is an autographed copy of a Furry Freak Bros. book. Gilbert Shelton signed it to me from where he lives, in self-imposed exile, in France. The French still love him. The book is in French.

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers were a great 1960s era comic for stoners. The brothers were Fat Freddie Freak, Freewheelin' Frank Freak, and Phineas Freak. Probably their best known line was: "Dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope." They also had a version of that quote where "sex" was substituted for "money." They both rang true back in 1969 or so.

and later, he wrote, He was a terrific cartoonist.

and a question about For Better or For Worse arose:

Elizabeth and Anthony: Re today's FBOFW: Is Lizzie (dare I suggest) knocked up? Is she fishing for a babysitter for Anthony's daughter, or her own bun in the oven? For Better or For Worse, (June 17)

Gene Weingarten: It's hard to be sure; we'll know tomorrow, won't we? My guess is that this is not a Major Announcement, for three reasons. First, I don't think Johnston would go there. Second,they've been talking a while about moving up the date of the wedding so Gramps can be there before he corks. If there were another pressing reason, I think this would indicate a degree of disingenuity about Elizabeth that Johnston wouldn't do. Elizabeth is perfect; the Madonna.

On the other side, look at how shocked Dee is in that final frame. Also, why would they suddenly be borrowing the babysitter? They've had Anthony's girl all along.

I vote no, tho.

Gene Weingarten: Okay, I meant two reasons, not three.

and a comment about Doonesbury:

Kensington, Md: I am slower than molasses in January. It just hit me that Doonesbury is back. Is there anyone else cartooning right now who could take 12 weeks off and expect to get his/her spot back in seemingly every newspaper in the country?

Gene Weingarten: Unfortunately, yes. Garfield, Beetle Bailey, etc.

Though, hm. Maybe not. Maybe sanity would prevail. Maybe that's why those strips never take a vacation.

but For Better issues are raised again...

FBOFW: Oh, Liz is clearly pregnant. "I already feel like a parent" is clue #1, Dee's face is #2, and the fact that Lynn Johnston ain't subtle is #3. Don't scare me like that.

Gene Weingarten: We'll see tomorrow. It's possible. So we have out of wedlock sex! But we also have that weird thing about advancing the wedding so grandpa can go...

I still think no.

and then again...

Washington, D.C.: I'm with Gene. Elizabeth is not pregnant. She feels like a parent b/c of Anthony's already existing child. They will be stealing the babysitter b/c they have been taking it slow, etc., not dating a lot. The wedding was pushed up in direct response to April's comment to move it up so Gramps could go. If she were going to be pregnant out of wedlock, they'd of kept her with the pilot dude

Gene Weingarten: Well, I just think she was ever going to be preggers out of wedlock.


Arlington, Va.: Despite your cogent, detailed analysis of today's For Bettor or for Worse, you are a moron. The sudden ending makes little or no sense unless there's a pending/immediate NEED for a babysitter.

Lynn Johnston has used setups like this for other developments in the strip. Watch that space. And we'll see you in a few weeks at the baby shower.

Gene Weingarten: This is interesting.

I like that we'll know tomorrow. A real-time debate.

and the debate continues...

FOOB: Isn't it obvious? Dee's just horrified that she won't be able to escape from her twee little brats as often as she'd like.

Gene Weingarten: Yeah, I think you're right.

...this obviously struck a nerve...

Seattle: In Re: FBOFW's Elizabeth The Pure -- Remember, she lived with her boyfriend when she was in college; she dumped him after he cheated on her.

Gene Weingarten: Yes, but getting knocked up is different.

So, tune in tomorrow or later this week to see if Elizabeth is knocked up AS THE WORLD TURNS.

Ahhh, what might have been...

This is a fascinating article.
The Web Time Forgot
New York Times June 17, 2008
The Mundaneum Museum honors the first concept of a world wide wonder, sketched out by Paul Otlet in 1934 as a global network of “electric telescopes.”

Boy, would the Comics Research Bibliography have been much easier, and less necessary to compile...

Herblock and Oliphant cited by Clay Bennet as influences

See "The Cartoonist’s Cartoonists: Clay Bennett," By Alan Gardner, in the Daily Cartoonist June 17, 2008. Bennett's got an excellent list with some real surprises like Ron Cobb and Quino.

Joost Swarte at SPX!

from the New Yorker, Feb 19 2007.

Joost Swarte, one of my absolutely favorite artists will be at the Small Press Expo this year:

Small Press Expo Announces New Yorker Artist Joost Swarte As The First Guest for SPX 2008

For Immediate Release Contact: Warren Bernard

Bethesda, Maryland; June 16, 2008 - The Small Press Expo (SPX), the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comic books, graphic novels and alternative political cartoons, is proud to announce that we hosting the internationally famous Dutch cartoonist and designer Joost Swarte as the first guest for SPX 2008.

This year, SPX will be held Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5 at The North Bethesda Marriott Convention Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Mr. Swarte is best known to American audiences for his covers and illustrations for The New Yorker, along with his internationally recognized comic and poster work. He has extended his unique cartoon style into the world of industrial design by designing stained glass installations, sculptures and furniture, as well as the Toneelshuur Theater in Haarlem, The Netherlands. SPX is proud to host Mr. Swarte in one of his rare United States appearances.

Additional guests will be added over the next few weeks, please stay tuned for those announcements.

For further information on SPX, go to the website at

To request an interview or other media related inquiries, please contact Warren Bernard at

SPX, a non-profit organization, brings together more than 300 artists and publishers to meet their readers, booksellers and distributors each year. Graphic novels, political cartoon books and alternative comics will all be on display and for sale by their authors and illustrators. A series of panel discussions will also be held of interest to readers, academicians and creators of graphic novels and political cartoons.

SPX will be open to the public from 11 am - 7 pm, Saturday, October 4 and Noon - 6 pm Sunday, October 5. Admission is $8 for a single day and $15 for both days.

SPX culminates with the presentation of the 12th Annual Ignatz Awards for outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning that will occur Saturday night, October 4. The Ignatz is the first Festival Prize in the US comic book industry, with winners chosen by balloting during the SPX.

As in previous years, all profits from the SPX will go to support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), protecting the First Amendment rights of comic book readers and professionals. For more information on the CBLDF, go to their website at

Founded in 1994, SPX is North America's premier alternative comic-book festival. This annual event brings together comic creators, publishers and more than 3000 fans together to celebrate the art of storytelling.

Fables article in Express

Fables by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham, in which the characters from Fairy Tales are real and at war, is one of my favorite comics series. The Express had this article on the comic today - "Children's & Household Tales: 'Fables'," by Matthew Siblo.

RC Harvey opens his columns to all, in a limited time offer

I enjoy the biweekly column and you should check them out now and then subscribe and send Bob some money for the next quarter.

Open Access for Seasonal Beach Reading!!!

As a special summer swimsuit offer, Rants & Raves and Harv's Hindsight, normally accessible only to those who have paid the ridiculously low subscription fee of $3.95/quarter, will be open to all comers from June 14, Flag Day, through July 31, 2008, without charge. During that time, non-paying visitors will be able to read in their entirety the regular postings of Rants & Raves, a nearly bi-weekly round-up of cartooning news and reviews of comic books, graphic novels, and comic strips. Visitors will also have unfettered access to the archives of Rancid Raves (going back to May 1999) plus Harv's Hindsight, a on-going collection of cartoonist biographies and deep-thinking critical analyses of Great Works of the Cartooning Arts. Recent R&R articles include an examination of how trivial news coverage breeds trivial editorial cartoons, how David Hajdu's Ten-cent Plague short-changes comics history, and how the Tenth of February protest against racial tokenism in the funnies failed—and succeeded—plus reviews of Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels, Mark Evanier's Jack Kirby, and a biography of Jackie Ormes, the first African-American woman cartoonist. And in Harv's Hindsights lately, we've examined the history of Howard the Duck and offered appreciations of Gus Arriola's Gordo, Marty Links' Emmy Lou (Bobby Sox), and T.K. Ryan's Tumbleweeds. All amply illustrated. Oh—no swimsuits; sorry, that allusion is merely our cheap shot attempt at conjuring a fool-proof come-on. We apologize: it won't happen again. To gain access to all these intellectual riches, use Hogan as your ID; Alley as your password. The device is case sensitive, so be sure to capitalize Hogan and Alley. The ID and Password come to us courtesy Hogan's Alley magazine, an annual visitation to comic strips and cartooning that's worth your attention at . Try it, you'll like it.

In the current (today) posting of R&R, the last dance this time goes to a review of Frederik Peeters' graphic novel Blue Pills, but before we get there, we take a look at some of the book projects on the immediate horizon, consider the achievement represented by the completed runs of Lobster Johnson and Loveless, ponder again—this time with examples—what motion should contribute to the political commentary in an editorial cartoon, and report on the reputed financial status of the funnybook industry, particularly with regard to graphic novels and manga. And more, much more. Beam up by clicking below.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hulk and Bush in NY Times

These two articles were flanking each other on the business page. Remember, cigars kill people, not children's books.

"Physicians’ Group Furious at Cigars in ‘Hulk’ Movie," By BROOKS BARNES, New York Times June 16, 2008

"The Secret to Success in Publishing: Bash Bush, With Nods to a Classic," By JOANNE KAUFMAN, New York Times June 16, 2008.

Argyle Sweater selected by Post?

In Sunday's paper, The Knight Life was dropped in favor of The Argyle Sweater - production mixup, or early preview of the Post's decision on the tryout comics? Or was Sunday's strip, with a mention of homelessness, just too insensitive for them?

Single and Looking ending?

I have no inside knowledge, but Sunday's strip showed Dilbert and Wally being shown through the strip with a real estate agent saying "This space becomes available in two weeks." Today's strip was about a sense of something catastrophic about to happen. I hope the strip isn't ending as I like it just fine.


By John Judy

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #563 by Bob Gale and Mike McKone. Spidey gets in a bar fight with villains, super and otherwise. Oh, Spidey! Alcohol and web-fluid don’t mix!

ANGEL: AFTER THE FALL #9 by Brian Lynch and Franco Urru. This series is officially on a par with the IDW Publishing website and the binding on their trades. “Say no more!”

ANNA MERCURY # 2 of 5 by Warren Ellis and Facundo Percio. The newest super-chick from Warren Ellis, but keep it under your hat. The folks at the Avatar Press website don’t want you to know about it.

BRAVE AND BOLD #14 by Mark Waid and Scott Kolins. The mystical city of Nanda Parbat is under siege! Its only hope lies in a guy who can shoot trick arrows really well and a guy who can’t touch anything unless he possesses the bodies of others! Green Arrow/Deadman! Because somebody, somewhere once demanded it! Probably!

CHIGGERS HC & SC written and illustrated by Hope Larson. A girl’s coming of age story set at a summer camp. By the Eisner Award winning creator of SALAMANDER DREAM and GRAY HORSES. Recommended, especially for kids.

EX MACHINA #37 by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris. Mayor Hundred must battle a masked adventurer who has it in for George W. Bush. I certainly hope Mayor Hundred prevails. Eventually…

GHOST RIDER #24 by Jason Aaron and Tan Eng Huat. Johnny Blaze gets thrown in a maximum security prison! Fish will be cooked! Recommended!

GRENDEL: BEHOLD THE DEVIL #8 of 8 written and illustrated by Matt Wagner. The big pay-off issue in which mysteries are revealed and blood flows like respectable poetry. Neat stuff but not for kids.

HELLBLAZER #245 by Jason Aaron and Sean Murphy. A two-parter in which a group of documentary film-makers attempt to learn what became of Constantine’s old punk band Mucous Membrane. You would need to read this even if it weren’t written by the creator of SCALPED. Highly recommended.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #22 by Dwayne McDuffie and Ed Benes. Ya ever have one of those days where part of you wants a brand new chance at life but the dormant Amazo program in you wants to kill all your friends and co-workers? Well, the Red Tornado knows just how you feel.

POCKET FULL OF RAIN AND OTHER STORIES SC by Jason. Featuring 25-plus stories from the first ten years of Jason’s career, including several without talking animals! Another fine collection from the good folks at Fantagraphics.

PUNISHER #58 by Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov. It’s the day we all feared would come: The day of the final Ennis PUNISHER story. I wonder if it will be violent… Recommended Forever.

RASL #2 written and drawn by Jeff Smith. The latest project from the creator of BONE, featuring a dimension-hopping thief and all-around ne’er do well. Entertaining but sporadically published. Good idea to reserve your copy in advance.

SCALPED #18 by Jason Aaron and Davide Furno. A rare stand-alone issue focusing on tribal policeman Franklin Falls Down. He’s getting close to retirement and how often does that work out for fictional cops? Recommended. Not for kids.

STREETS OF GLORY #5 of 6 by Garth Ennis and Mike Wolfer. Ennis’s tale of the twilight of the Wild West. Published by Avatar Press, who would rather it not get out that they actually publish comics. Recommended anyway. Not for kids.

TRINITY #3 by Kurt Busiek and Everybody. This year’s weekly DC series exploring the mysterious link between Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Oooh, I know! They’re the same person!!!

WAR IS HELL: FIRST FLIGHT OF THE PHANTOM EAGLE #4 by Garth Ennis and Howard Chaykin. The PE has the hang of this whole WWI thing, but the thrill is gone and he still has to teach some newbies how not to die. If only he had the assistance of a snarky but imaginative beagle on top of a dog house!

X-FACTOR #32 by Peter David and Valentine De Landro. Mutant-Town is dead! Long live…. Nah, let’s be honest. The place was a dump. Good to be moving on, which is what Madrox and friends are doing this issue.

Y THE LAST MAN: WHYS AND WHEREFORES, VOL. 10 SC by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. The last volume of the last stories of the Last Man on Earth. A classic end to a series that transcended its premise. Highly recommended.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Zadzooks moves to Thursday

The Washington Times comics column is no longer being published in the Saturday edition, which is defunct. I wrote to Joe Szadkowski asking if his comics column was still published and he replied:

They moved me to the back of Classified on Thursday in print. On the Web site, I am under the Culture section, Family and Kids, every Thursday.

I also have a Zadzooks presence in its own TWT community.

The second story on his new day relates to Image Comics - "Shark-Man's son takes up crusade," Joseph Szadkowski, Washington Times Thursday, June 5, 2008. By the way, I just sent Shark-Man 2 to Michigan State's comic collection.

Brief Brad Meltzer interview on Wizard

The best-selling 'Identity Crisis' writer shares details on his new novel's ties to the creation of Superman, his upcoming stint on 'Buffy' and the death of the entire DC Universe!
By Andy Serwin
Posted 06/11/08

NY Times comics bits

Sturm and Tommaso's Satchel Paige is reviewed in "A League of Their Own," By KEVIN BAKER, New York Times Book Review June 15, 2008.

Tom Gauld provided the op-ed illo for "Croutons From My Father," By MEREDITH HOFFA, June 15, 2008. It's in color on the website, but was printed in b&w.

Danziger updates Mauldin

My buddy Masteribid sends in this link where Jeff Danziger updates a classic Bill Mauldin cartoon. I've seen Danziger speak a couple of times in DC - he's usually fairly quiet, but he does make some strong points when he speaks up. I really like his style as well.

Doug reads comics too, and here's his review of the direct-to-video cartoon Superman: Doomsday.

Ward Sutton in today's Washington Post

Ward Sutton's got a comics journalism piece in today's Washington Post business section, which annoyingly enough, just recapitulates the article it goes with "Adventures in Hypermiling". It's not online either.

Comics used in education in Baltimore

See "From comics to the Classics," by Madison Park, Baltimore Sun Reporter June 15, 2008 which reports on current efforts using Disney comics and the state's plan to translate simplified French versions of classic stories (although why they can't just buy Classics Illustrated is a question).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

US ships Kal off to Azerbaijan

Dave Astor's got the story in "Cartoonist Kal's News Includes Trips and an Animated John McCain," E&P Online June 13, 2008. Have a good trip, Kevin!

Moving cartoons in today's papers

BRIAN STELTER for the New York Times June 14, 2008 reports that "Writers for a Fox Cartoon Walk Out" regarding Sit Down, Shut Up,” which will air next year.

The Post has an article about movies and product placement that specifically discusses Iron Man and car companies, but hasn't put the article online.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wash Times on Animation Show

"'Animation' eclectic, imaginative," says Christian Toto, Washington Times June 13, 2008.

Hulk smash, but not as badly as he could have

Initial reviews in DC are cautiously positive.
Caution: Contents Turn Angry When Shaken
New York Times June 13, 2008

GREEN MEANS GO: Dramatic Muscle Gives Strength to 'Incredible Hulk'
By Ann Hornaday
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 13, 2008; C01

It’s not ‘Incredible’ but it’s pretty good
by Sally Kline, The Washington Examiner Jun 13, 2008
'Incredible Hulk' restores comic-book hero
Norton opens character's tortured soul to viewers, keeps film grounded
Christian Toto
Washington Times June 13, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Trudeau and McGruder bits in Post

They're both interviewed for "Comedians Of Clout: In a Funny Way, Satirical Takes Can Color Perceptions of the Presidential Contenders," By Michael Cavna, Washington Post Staff Writer, Thursday, June 12, 2008; C01 which mainly deals with television comedians. Cavna did a nice cartoon illustration for the print version - he's done some editorial cartoons for the paper in the past. They're usually on entertainment, not politics. I think I've sent all my tearsheets of them to Michigan State.

June 13: Animation Show opens in DC

It's at the Landmark Theatres' E Street Cinema through June 19. Here's a brief review "Drawn to Adulthood: 'Animation Show' sketches of a rich variety of short films," Paul Stelter, Express June 12, 2008.

Hellman and the Hulk

The Washington City Paper has a cover by Danny Hellman, who's also still doing regular illos for the Sunday Source in the Post. It's also got a review of the Incredible Hulk movie, which I guess opens tomorrow. See "The latest Hulk is smartly big and stupid, while Savage Grace keeps its horrors pretty," By Tricia Olszewski, Washington City Paper June 12, 2008.

Meanwhile, Keith Phipps in The Onion also reviewed the Hulk fairly positively. Donna Bowman has a good review of The Pixar Touch book by David Price.

Keeping characters up to date

For a look at how cartoon characters evolve to capture the next generation, see "Beloved Characters as Reimagined for the 21st Century," By BROOKS BARNES, New York Times June 11, 2008. This is nothing new of course - once upon a time it was a big deal when Tom Swift got a motorcyle and Superman could jump to the top of a building.

Artists in America, but not cartoonists?

See "A 21st-Century Profile: Art for Art's Sake, and for the U.S. Economy, Too,"By SAM ROBERTS, New York Times June 12, 2008. The report (as a pdf) can be downloaded directly here. Animators are included, but there's no mention of cartoonists or comic artists.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fischer on Feldstein on Beaty on Hadju

My buddy Craig Fischer stirred up some old EC and Wertham issues for Al Feldstein and Bart Beaty, both of whom I correspond with, so I'm calling this DC news for the nonce. And it's interesting. Part the first - June 09, 2008 Feldstein on Beaty on Hajdu and part the second - June 11, 2008, Beaty and Feldstein Reply. Craig and I will be seeing Mr. Feldstein at Heroescon next week - the panel that Our Man Thompson is also on, and I'm going to help Big Al stomp Craig down to size... Harrassing an EC editor, indeed. Where's the respect?! Ooooh, my questions for Craig are going to be so tough...

Wildly OT: USS George Washington manga

This has nothing at all to do with Washington and comics, but you can download a free manga book made by the US Navy to justify the visit of the USS George Washington aircraft carrier to Japan. I think it's an interesting use of educational manga. Or would that be propaganda...

Our Man Thompson's blog

Richard's on a roll with a one and a two good beach cartoons and a great Stalin caricature that I immediately saved from the Post Magazine when it first appeared.

However, I'm guessing he should be working rather than blogging since we'll be off to Heroes Con next Thursday. For myself - I'm going to Synetic Theater's "Carmen."

Matt Wuerker sends in...

a subject line of "here's some good ink on a fine international cartoonist" with a link to this article about Nicaraguan political cartoonists. "Postcard from Managua: Cartoonists Go to War," By TIM ROGERS, Tuesday, Jun. 10, 2008. Thanks, Matt!

Johnny Bunko - Edumanga in Express

See "A Comic Office: 'The Adventures of Johnny Bunko'" by Express contributor Rachel Kaufman, Express June 11 2008 for an interview with the writer Daniel Pink. This is both in print and digital.

Bits from today's paper

Naif al-Mutawa's Teshkeel Media is profiled in "Author Looks to the Koran For 99 New Superheroes," By Faiza Saleh Ambah, Washington Post Foreign Service, Wednesday, June 11, 2008; A14.

A new exhibit on Roy Lichtenstein opens in NYC - see "The Painter Who Adored Women," by ROBERTA SMITH, New York Times June 11, 2008. The blog link sums it up as ""Roy Lichtenstein: Girls" at the Gagosian Gallery reveals the artist honing his indelible yet impersonal style."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Minor comics - movies article in Express promo'ing tv show

There's a syndicate piece in today's Express which is mostly a blurb for Starz documentary "Comic Books Unbound" which is on at 10 pm tonight for those with premium cable.

Syracuse receives grant to support cartoon art collection


June 6, 2008

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), Syracuse University Library has been awarded a grant of $79,440 by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to support the arrangement and description of the library's 134 unprocessed collections of original cartoon art. The funds will help support a full-time project archivist for a period of two years. The award to Syracuse was one of six "Detailed Processing Grants" awarded by NHPRC and the Archivist of the United States. Other recipients included Princeton University and the University of Chicago.

Syracuse's collection of original cartoon art is among the most comprehensive in America. It includes original work by approximately 173 artists (more than 20,000 items) and comprises more than 1,000 linear feet of material. Spanning the course of the 20th century, it includes both serial and editorial cartoons. Among the serial cartoonists represented are: Bud Fisher, whose Mutt and Jeff was the earliest
successful daily comic strip; Mort Walker, whose Beetle Bailey anticipated the changing notions of American masculinity and militarism during the Cold War; Hal Foster, whose lavishly illustrated Prince Valiant elevated the artistic ambitions of the genre; and Morrie Turner whose Wee Pals was the first comic strip to chronicle the lives of racial and ethnic minorities in American life. The editorial and political cartoonists represented in the collection include: William Gropper, whose leftist political cartoons in the Daily Worker raised working class consciousness during World War II; F.O. Alexander, whose everyman alter-ego "Joe Doakes" experienced the turbulence of the 1960s in the pages of the Philadelphia Bulletin; and Carey Orr, whose editorial cartoons appeared in the Chicago Tribune for nearly fifty years straight.

The physical cartoons in Syracuse's collection are as wide-ranging and diverse as the artists that created them, assuming countless shapes, sizes, and media including pencil, pen, and gouache on paper. Over the next two years, the project archivist will take steps to ensure that the cartoons are housed in archival-quality containers. He or she will also draft online, searchable finding aids so that curious individuals all over the world can access them. The NHPRC grant is exciting news for scholars who specialize in the genre, casual fans, and, of course, for Syracuse University, which has held many of these collections since the 1960s.

About the Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library

With more than 100,000 printed works and 2,000 manuscript and archival collections, SCRC holds some of Syracuse University's most precious treasures, including early printed editions of Gutenberg, Galileo, and Sir Isaac Newton as well as the library of 19th century German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886). SCRC's holdings are particularly strong in the 20th century; they include the personal papers and manuscripts of such luminaries as artist Grace Hartigan (1922- ), inspirational
preacher Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993), author Joyce Carol Oates (1938- ), photojournalist Margaret Bourke White (1904-1971), and architect Marcel Breuer (1902-1981). SCRC strives to be a "humanities laboratory" where librarians and scholars collaborate with the artifacts of history in an ongoing and vital learning process. Home to a new, state-of-the-art instructional seminar room, SCRC also regularly hosts exhibitions, lectures and classes focusing on its collections.


Sean MacLeod Quimby
Director, Special Collections Research Center Syracuse University Library
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, New York 13244-2010
t. 315.443.9759
f. 315.443.2671

Monday, June 09, 2008

Our Man Thompson goes MAD

Thought Balloonist Craig Fischer is reporting that he'll be moderating a panel "A Chat with Al Feldstein (and Friends)," with Al Feldstein, Roger Langridge* and Richard Thompson at Heroes Con on Saturday, June 21 at 4 pm. Hoo-hah! I'm there!

*when I saw Roger at SPX last year, I bought 3 pages of original art from him. Richard was no use at all making the selection so I just bought them all. I'd encourage you to do the same from both of them. You won't regret it. Well, not for long.

Comic postcards

For some reason, comic postcards generate even less interest among comic art fans than greeting card cartoonists, who, like Sandra Boynton demonstrated conclusively recently by winning a National Cartoonists Society award, at least may break out to a larger audience.

Here's a selection of postcards I picked up at a flea market this weekend. Some are barely worthy of the 25 cents I paid for each, but they are a part of the history of comics.

This one says it's from C.T. Busy Person's Comics - 10 Subjects. The CT is the company Curt Teich of Chicago. Unfortunately I don't know who the artist is.

This gag is by G.A. Devery or GAD, no. 59 in his "Fun Cards by GAD" series, from 1956.

A 1963 advertising card from the Hilton Hotels International's Queen Elizabeth in Montreal. The card is from The Beaver Club restaurant. The cartoon is "Specialty dishes from the Beaver Club Menus as seen by the Montreal artist Jeff."

Walt Munson signed a few of the cards I saw - for some reason I picked up this one which isn't very interesting. The back says it's in "Series M Army Comics - 10 Subjects" and it's postmarked 1942. Munson's name seems to ring a bell...

This unattractive stereotypical card 's lacking any information, but it was mailed in 1957 from Tampa, FL to Dickerson, Md.

The prevalence of MAD's Alfred E. Neumann images has never really interested me, but here's three for Craig Yoe.

1960 postmark from Colourpicture Publishers, Boston. Mad and Alfred E. are well-established by this point, so the publisher's probably jumping on the bandwagon.

Same card, different coloring. Postmark appears to be 1964.

Bob Petley of Phoenix, Arizona drew and published this card, circa 1963.

New York Times says Stan Lee still looks good

See the next to last article in the New York Times June 9, 2008 "Metropolitan Diary."

Tom the Dancing Bug news

Remember when Tom the Dancing Bug would brighten your Weekend section as you slogged through the Washington Post on Friday? You'd skim over all the stuff you had no interest in doing in the Weekend section? And then there was Bolling's strip on the last page of the paper you read? Yeah, me too. Other people who are not Post editors must feel the same way judging from this press release I was sent today:

“Tom The Dancing Bug” Wins AAN Award:Best Cartoon in Alternative Weeklies

NEW YORK (06/09/2008) “Tom the Dancing Bug,” the weekly comic strip by Ruben Bolling, won the 2008 Best Cartoon Award from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) at the 13th annual AltWeekly Awards luncheon in Philadelphia on June 7.

This is “Tom the Dancing Bug’s” fourth win of the AAN Best Cartoon Award (it also won in 2002, 2003 and 2007). “Tom the Dancing Bug” is the only comic to have won the award more than once, and it is the only comic to have been a finalist in every year the award has been given, starting in 2001.

“Tom the Dancing Bug” is distributed by Universal Press Syndicate. It can be seen at and

Contact: Kathie Kerr at or 816-360-6945

Sunday, June 08, 2008

OT: Cookeville, Tennessee produces comic book writer

My wife's from Cookeville, a smallish town in middle Tennessee, so I was surprised to see this pop up today about an adaptation of the Hindu epic the Ramayana: "Barbara Jackson releases her first graphic novel," Margaret Shuster, Cookeville Herald-Citizen Staff, Sunday, Jun 08, 2008. A late-1980s comic book artist named Barry Crain also lived there.

Kevin Rechin's lottery ad work at the Stadium metro

Kevin's just written in with a picture of his cartoons for the DC Lottery, that are in the Stadium metro stop. Remember to send in your picture of them for posting! Here's Kevin's note and artwork.

"Here is a file of the finished characters. I also did a sky and grass wash background and they put the figures on top of that for the metro station displays."


By John Judy

ABSOLUTE SANDMAN VOL. 3 HC by Neil Gaiman and Various Artists. For all of us who don’t already have every trade collection in soft and hardcover first prints.

ACTION COMICS #866 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. Time to duke it out with Brainiac. Again.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #562 by Bob Gale and Mike McKone. Featuring a fake Spidey, compulsive gambling, and a last page gag that frustrated Marvel fans should appreciate.

ANGEL AFTER THE FALL #8 by Joss Whedon, Brian Lynch and a Host of Others. Wrapping up the first night in Hell stories in which things got problematic.

BOOSTER GOLD #10 by Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz and Dan Jurgens. Booster learns someone’s gotta die. It was really cool having “someone” back for a while….

BPRD: WAR ON FROGS #1 by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Herb Trimpe. “Down to the family crypt. Two of the frogs, formerly Cavendish brothers, were there too. They seemed to be taking their mother’s corpse into the crypt for burial – under the waters of the flooded chamber.” Good times! Recommended!

COMPLETE LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE VOL. 1 HC by Harold Gray. Collecting over 1000 of the original daily strips from 1924 – 1927. Featuring Sandy the dog, Daddy Warbucks and no pupils! Ever! “Leapin’ lizards!” Recommended.

DOKTOR SLEEPLESS #7 by Warren Ellis and Ivan Rodriguez. Remember “Desolation Jones?” Me neither. This one features a naughty nurse, so that’s good.

ETERNALS #1 by Charles & Daniel Knauf and Daniel Acuna. Continuing where Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr. left off. Best appreciated by hardcore Marvel Zombies.

GOON #25 written and illustrated by Eric Powell. “What the hell is that?” “I dunno, we found it in a ditch and slung a rope round its neck. It goes flyin’ into a fit when you throw firecrackers at it. Watch.” Highly recommended.

NEWUNIVERSAL SHOCKFRONT #2 of 6 by Warren Ellis and Steve Kurth. Someone gets killed playing football so right there you have your entertainment value. Recommended.

SECRET INVASION: WHO DO YOU TRUST? by Lotsa People. Five stories! Only $3.99! Skrulls!

SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST HC written and illustrated by Joshua Cotter. Observations of childhood isolation and existence in the American Midwest. With giant robots. Eisner Award- nominated. Recommended.

TRINITY #2 by Kurt Busiek and a Huge Support Staff. It’s Supes, Bats, and WW! Every week! Hopefully this will wash the taste of “Countdown” out of your brain!

THE TWELVE #6 of 12 by J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston. Lotsa action and the Origin of Rockman, Underground Secret Agent! Highly recommended!

WONDER WOMAN #21 by Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti. WW teams up with Beowulf and Stalker, even though Stalker was a bad guy last time I read “JSA All-Stars.” Oh well, it’s Gail Simone. She’ll make it work.

X-FORCE AIN’T NO DOG by Charlie Huston and Jefte Palo AND Jason Aaron and Werther Dell’Edera. Featuring two stand-alone stories. The first is a vicious “Frank Miller’s Sin City” type of thing starring evil sociopath Wolverine. The second is a more nuanced short focusing on James Proudstar and his moral concerns at being groomed as an assassin by evil sociopath “heroes” with Xs on their costumes. It’s by Jason Aaron who writes “Scalped” so it’s a level above most X-Force material. Summing up, this X-Force is a dog but at least it knows a few tricks.

YOUNG LIARS #4 written and drawn by David Lapham. Until the next issue of “Stray Bullets” comes out we have this.

New York Times Book Review Comics

Tom Gauld of the UK has the pride of place on the front cover of the NYTBR. To misquote Bill Griffith, a tip of the hat to Sean L who turned me onto his work.

On the back page, Leanne Sharpton, a graphic novelist whom I'm not familiar with, has done a brief piece of comics journalism with bookstore clerks.

Zadzooks still in non-existent Saturday Times?

When it dropped its Saturday edition last week, the Washington Times said it would keep publishing an e-version for subscribers. I don't know what happened to Zadzooks' comics column, but it doesn't show up with a search on the Times' website. Anyone know?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

New exhibit at Geppi's Entertainment Museum is ... new?

Arnold Blumberg in Diamond's Scoop newsletter for June 6th wrote,

Beginning Saturday, June 14, 2008, we’re stepping “Out of the Box” and allowing visitors both young and old to get hands-on with pop culture by giving everyone an up close look at the characters that are popular right now with toys that you can actually touch and play with. It’s the future of pop culture today!

While it may sound strange to shift from a retrospective to something so up-to-date, it’s worth remembering the bigger picture. The mission of our museum demands that we not only take a look at what toys and characters shaped American pop culture and entertainment in the past, but which ones are defining our present and future. After all, those toys you see in the stores today and all those TV shows and movies you’re watching now are going to be the subject of museum exhibitions themselves before we know it, so why not get a head start on the process? It won’t be as easy to play with them when they’re locked behind glass!

Our “Out of the Box” exhibition will run until December 2008, and in addition to the toys and the opportunity to build and play right here at the museum, we’ll also be featuring giveaways, face painting, costumed characters, and much more. You can find out more by calling us at (410) 625-7060, e-mailing us at, or visiting the museum website at

Weingarten's latest chats -

His readers are absolutely wrong on Keith Knight and Weingarten is right.

May 20th chat

Gene Weingarten: Good afternoon.

Jef Mallett, creator of Frazz, e-mailed me yesterday after he returned from The National Cartoonists Conference in New Orleans. During the conference, he said, a whole bunch of cartoonists went off to help build a house in the city, as part of a Habitat for Humanity project. I asked him to draw a cartoon of what a house would look like if it was built by cartoonists. Here is Jeff's drawing, along with his commentary.

What I learned from this experience:

1. Cartoonists cannot hold hammers. You've never seen so many people choke up so high on a hammer.

2. What's black and white and red all over? A Scottish-Norwegian cartoonist messing with tar paper shingles all day in the sun. Heehaw. Trust me on this one.

3. When cartoonists hammer their thumbs, what they say isn't really spelled "##%!!*."

4. Whatever you think you know about the devastation down there, you don't have a clue. And it's almost three years.

What I learned from drawing the two cartoon characters in this picture:

1. Rosie the Riveter seems to be giving us all the "up yours" gesture. I never quite noticed that.

2. I am apparently one shopping trip to Williams-Sonoma away from being as gay as a Mardi Gras float. This, too, was a big surprise.

May 27th chat

CPOW: That Knight's Life is not a funny comic. You just like it because it supports what you (and all of us) have been saying. The Pearls on the other hand IS funny.

Gene Weingarten: I am allowed personal bias.


Fairfax, Va.: Agreed on liking Knight Life. The first replacement, about the stay-at-home dad, clearly got old quickly. The second one, while promising, seems like it was trying too hard to be The Far Side. The third one, while it may fall into that category of nerdy young black man with Candorville and Watch Your Head, seems by far to be the best. Any idea what the general reaction to the three has been?

Gene Weingarten: The Post people are pretty smart. I've liked the last two, actually. I am hoping we keep both and get rid of some antedeluvian ones.
Baltimore, Md.: You have GOT to be kidding about Knight Life, right? Anyone who names a comic strip after himself immediately has one strike against him. And, Sunday's cartoon included jokes so old and lame even my 5 year old thought they were stupid. THIS is what the Post thought could replace Doonesbury, even temporarily? My God, ...the horror.

Gene Weingarten: Yeah, Sunday's was bad. I agree.


Washington, D.C.: Yes, the Knight Life comic is funny, but can you answer me this question. If the Post is going to add a new comic strip, why oh why, isn't the daily Cul de Sac, by the Post's own Richard Thompson, not up for consideration?

Gene Weingarten: It should be the first choice.


Re: The Knight Life: The art on this strip is terrible. Doesn't that bug you?

Gene Weingarten: No. I like the art.

OT: Harry Katz in San Diego

The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that Harry Katz, formerly of the Library of Congress' Print collection is speaking on next Wednesday. Harry's still associated with the Herbert (Herblock) Block Foundation so he's seen in Washington fairly regularly.

June 7, 2008

Harry Katz, editor of “Cartoon America, Comic Art in the Library of Congress,” will be the featured speaker at the next meeting of the Southern California Cartoonist Society, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the San Diego Blood Bank, 440 Upas St. Members, guests $5. Students free. Bring your portfolio. Potluck, raffle. Information:

Kevin Rechin's cartoons up at Navy Yard Metro

Kevin just wrote in, "Just wanted to give you a heads up that the baseball cartoons I did are finally up at the Navy Yard Metro at Nationals stadium. They did a good job and dedicated almost all the ad spaces to the characters."

This is seriously off my beaten path, so anyone who goes down there - take some pictures and I'll post them. As many as I get sent. Put your kids in front of them. Put your girlfriend there. Put your husband. Let's see how many Rechin pics we can get.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Post, Times and Times on Kung Fu Panda

Oddly enough, the NY Times liked it the most.

Grand Master Pudge: Jack Black's Doughy Dreamer Turns Jedi Knight in 'Kung Fu Panda'
By John Anderson
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, June 6, 2008; Page C01

'Panda' not a knockout: Jack Black's kick outshines the film's creativity
Jenny Mayo
Washington Times Friday, June 6, 2008

This movie has been designated a Critic's Pick by the film reviewers of The Times.
Fuzzy Outsider, Kicking His Way Toward His Dream
New York Times June 6, 2008

Post reviews trifecta of political cartoonists exhibits

The Berryman, Herblock and Oliphant shows got noticed in today's Weekend section. See "Political Lines, Sharply Drawn," By Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, June 6, 2008; Page WE23 who for some reason seems to feel that Oliphant is too hard on politicians. "Is that possible?" I must ask.

Actually, it's a shame this story wasn't longer as Sullivan could have been onto something, but had only 2 paragraphs per exhibit to make his point. Personally, I don't agree with him that political cartoonists are getting harder on their subjects. There's a lot of softballs out there, and the fact that Oliphant is throwing them may very well be the reason that he doesn't have a base newspaper. And Berryman's contemporaries could be as biting as any cartoonists - Berryman just chose not to be.

Here's the basic information lifted from the Post:

A Trio of Cartoon Exhibitions
Friday, June 6, 2008; Page WE23

Running for Office: Candidates, Campaigns and the Cartoons of Clifford Berryman Through Aug. 17 at the National Archives, Constitution Avenue between Seventh and Ninth streets NW (Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial). 866-272-6272. Open daily 10 to 7. Free.

Herblock's Presidents: "Puncturing Pomposity" Through Nov. 30 at the National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F streets NW (Metro: Gallery Place-Chinatown). 202-633-1000 (TDD: 202-633-5285). Open daily 11:30 to 7. Free.

Leadership: Oliphant Cartoons and Sculpture From the Bush Years Through July 15 at the Stanford in Washington Art Gallery, 2655 Connecticut Ave. NW (Metro: Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan). 202-332-6235. Open Monday-Friday 9 to 7; Saturday-Sunday noon to 6. Free.

Harvey Pekar: Conversations just got a little more real

I just got a stack of these University Press of Mississippi Fall 2008 catalogues in the mail, which was a surprise, as they hadn't told me anything about them. And they came with two pages of instructions on how to promote one's book (namely Harvey Pekar: Conversations. Obviously I need practice). Like on the web and stuff. So read the description in the scan below and then call the toll-free number or log into Amazon and order copies for yourself and all your friends, please. Thank you very much.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

2 articles on comics in Onion

Here's the longer online versions -

"Where do they get those wonderful toys?: 18 obscenely wealthy comic-book and cartoon characters," By Jason Heller, Noel Murray, Keith Phipps, Tasha Robinson, Onion June 2nd, 2008 (shorter version in print, June 5).

and "Robert Smigel," Interviewed by Nathan Rabin, Onion June 3rd, 2008 (shorter version in print June 5)

Our man Thompson at Heroes Con in North Carolina

On Sunday, June 21st, the one, the only, the Cul de Sac cartoonist, the Richard's Poor Alamanck cartoonst, Our Man Thompson will speak. With Tom Spurgeon.

The first great newspaper comic strip of the 21st Century has arrived, and like Mutts and Calvin & Hobbes before it, Richard Thompson's Cul De Sac has spent its first several months in syndication operating just underneath the pop-cult radar, adding papers steadily, readying to break out into the Next Big Thing. Join Tom Spurgeon for a wide-ranging discussion about art, caricature, and the Otterloop Family with one of the best cartoonists in North America, bar none. It's the panel you'll get to brag about attending in the years ahead, after Thompson conquers the comics world.

He'll also apparently have a table inside to try to sell things to you, like a Petey tattoo. I'll be lurking, as I'm his driver. I'm hoping for the leather cap, but that's probably too much to expect...

The lights are back on...

...literally. ComicsDC had no power since mid-afternoon yesterday. It just came back on, so here's a quick post.

Yesterday's NY Times had a suprisingly ... respectful article on Conan - "At Play in a World of Savagery, but Not This One" By SETH SCHIESEL, New York Times June 4, 2008.

In today's Post, an obituary of fine artist Beryl Cook, which says she was influenced by cartoonists, ran as "Painter Beryl Cook, 81; British Portrayer of Plump," By Robert Barr, Associated Press, Thursday, June 5, 2008; B06.

In today's Express, they ran this article on Boondocks animation from the LA Times: "'Boondocks' creator Aaron McGruder to BET: %@*$% ^ & ! Animated episodes that never aired, which take swipes at black cable network executives, will be included on next Tuesday's DVD release," By Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, June 4, 2008.

There must be something in the New Orleans water, because 3 strips today referenced comic books - Bizarro had a Batman gag, Pooch Cafe referenced the Fanastic Four's Thing and Galactus AND Prohias' Spy vs. Spy and Mother Goose and Grimm featured the Hulk (look for 6/5, although 6/4 had Charlie Brown in it).

And off topic, but Fred Hembeck, one of my favorite humor cartoonists has a massive new collection out. I own all the original comic books, I think, but I bought this book immediately. For a review, see "'The Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus': Our critic digs deep into the 900-page doorstopper, chronicling three decades of work from pioneering independent artist Fred Hembeck," By Sean Howe,

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

ComicsDC leads to 20 minutes of fame

I was interviewed today on video by a middle schooler in Silver Spring. Ellie M. asked me to appear in her class for, quoting Ellie, "the Humanities and Communications Magnet Program at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring... to appear on "Personal Profiles". "Personal Profiles" is a thirty-minute television show produced live-on-tape by seventh graders in the Humanities and Communications Magnet Program at Eastern Middle School. Each student has the opportunity to host an episode and invite a guest of their choice to interview."

For some reason, Ellie picked me so I drove over to the school early in the afternoon. The kids had three cameras set up to get different filming angles and Ellie had two pages of questions as that she asked as we sat at a little table. Since she found me through this blog, she asked about the writing that I've mentioned on the right side - Hogan's Alley, The Comics Journal, IJOCA, the Comics Research Bibliography and the coming Pekar book.

It was totally cool! And I got a copy of the videotape at the end. These kids were impressive.

Excellent job, Ellie! I predict big things for her.

Lynda Barry on NPR

I was lucky enough to meet Ms. Barry last year and found her to be absolutely fascinating. Here's a 30 minute interview with her by Neal Conan, "'What It Is' Plumbs the Depths of Creativity," National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation, June 2, 2008. I've bought the book, but haven't had a chance to read it yet.

Telnaes returns to animation roots

Dave Astor's reporting that DC editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes will no longer be doing static political cartoons. I hope it works out for her, although I'll miss her traditional work. Telnaes trained in animation with Disney, but her new cartoons are done in Flash animation and featured on the Washington Post website.
Ann "Telnaes Ending Print Syndication to Create More Animations for," By Dave Astor, E and P Online June 2, 2008.

Cartoons in today's Wash Post

In the Health section, "A Better Way to Communicate," by Kathleen Hom, Washington Post Tuesday, June 3, 2008; HE04, is on messages that can be shown by sick patients rather than talking. Each message in the 18-card "Get Better!" pack by Bonnie Gordon-Lucas has a has a cartoon with it.

In obituaries is a poster artist who apparently dabbled in cartooning and his life can be seen in "Alton Kelley, 68; Graphic Artist With a Flair for the Psychedelic," By Patricia Sullivan, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, June 3, 2008; B06.

Jim Toomey, who does "Sherman's Lagoon," is featured on the Kid's Post page in "Speaking Up for Sharks: Cartoonist Urges Kids to Win Protections for a Feared but At-Risk Fish," by Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post Tuesday, June 3, 2008; C12.

June 4: Horton Hears a Who at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse for a buck

Arlington Cinema and Draft House is showing Horton for $1 this Thursday at 6:15 pm.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Medical editorial cartoons scanned in Richmond

"Protect Yourself Against Malaria"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 14, #6 Extra, May 1922

Virginia Commonwealth University's Tompkins-McCaw Library Special Collections' photostream has a mixture of photographs, artifacts and scans from books. I liked the editorial cartoons, but the photographs of medical school dissections probably get more viewers. Since this is a comics blog, here's some of the cartoons which all seem to come from the Virginia Health Bulletin.

"Virginia Health Almanac, 1914"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 5, #10, October 1913, p. 174

"Typhoid Fever: A Disease That Can Be Prevented"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 1, #3, September 1908, p. 120

"Typhoid: Beware the Black Hand"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 15, #9, September 1923

"Scarlet Fever, Diphtheria, and Disinfection"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 1, #6, December 1908, p. 216

"Summer Health Edition"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 12, #7, July 1920, p. 80

"Typhoid Fever And Its Prevention In Town and Country"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 3, #6, June 1911

"Consumption or Tuberculosis"
Virginia Health Bulletin vol. 1, #4, October 1908, p. 144

Bob Staake leaps from Washington Post to New Yorker

Actually, the two probably have nothing to do with each other, but Bob Staake, the regular cartoonist for the Washington Post's Style Invitational contest did the cover of the June 2 2008 New Yorker. In fact, I'm pretty sure he's done covers for them regularly including a nice Statue of Liberty with a fluorescent light bulb instead of a torch earlier this year.

Washington Times redesign shrinks Mallard Fillmore

The Washington Times shrunk Mallard Fillmore to about half the size it had been so it's about the same size as other strips, although it's holding it's place of pride on page 2 of the paper. The other comics are unchanged and they're still running a large number of syndicated editorial cartoons.

In other Times news, as I was leaving an Arlington movie theater last night, a man identified himself as homeless and asked for money. As I gave him some change, he asked if I read Bizarro and said that it was really good in the Times on Sunday. Here's the strip; I'm not sure why it appealed to him.

Finally, the Times published its last Saturday edition and is switching to an e-version for subscribers. I imagine they'll move the Sunday color comics section that they formerly published on Saturday back to Sunday but that people will miss out on the actual Saturday strips.

This Sun, Jun 8 - Comic Con – Gas Cards for Door Prizes!

From Robert M. and Matt D. (who noted the gas card... gas card!!!!??) I don't need the gas card (nor the comics actually, but I'll probably go.

This Sun, Jun 8 - Comic Con – Gas Cards for Door Prizes!

- This show features two special door prize drawings at 12 pm and 1 pm. We will be giving away two $50 GAS cards. Yes, that’s right, we are giving away FREE GAS to two lucky people.

- If you receive a postcard in the mail before the show, PLEASE BRING POSTCARD TO THE SHOW...this will automatically enter you in the Door Prize Drawing.


Our next Tysons Corner Monthly Comic & Pop Culture Show will be on Sun, June 8, 2008 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
> Brett's Comic Pile
> Cards Comics & Collectibles
> Doug Cheshire
> Michael Creager
> Everyday Comics
> Steve Frederick
> John Garner
> Jamie Hicks
> Patrick Kim
> Jim Montgomery
> Outpost Station
> Silver Fox Comics
> TNT Comics
> Wandering Rebel Prod
> 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:

New York Times Book Review on Comics

In "Comics," By JOHN HODGMAN, New York Times Book Review June 1, 2008, Hodgeman looks at Kirby and Evanier's new biography of him, Shanower's Age of Bronze and Y the Last Man.

In today's Times, Garfield Minus Garfield is again featured, this time in "Is the Main Character Missing? Maybe Not," By CATE DOTY, New York Times June 2, 2008.

Also in Business, M. Night Shyamalan said "He wanted to market “Unbreakable” as a comic-book movie — the tale of an unlikely superhero — but Disney executives insisted on portraying it as a spooky thriller, like “The Sixth Sense.”" For more of the story, see "Shyamalan’s Hollywood Horror Story, With Twist," By ALLISON HOPE WEINER.

Finally, tomorrow's paper features the return of the animated clay character Mr. Bill. See "Mr. Bill Returns (in One Piece) to Pitch a Debit Card," By WENDY A. LEE, New York Times June 3, 2008.

Nominate yourself for the Lent Scholarship (students only)



The International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF) is proud to announce once again the annual John A. Lent Scholarship competition. The Lent Scholarship, named for pioneering teacher and researcher Dr. John A. Lent, is offered to encourage student research into comic art. ICAF awards the Lent Scholarship to a current student who has authored, or is in the process of authoring, a substantial research-based writing project about comics. (Preference is given to master’s theses and doctoral dissertations, but all students of comics are encouraged to apply.)

The Scholarship is subject to the condition that the recipient present a half-hour talk, based on their research, during ICAF. The award will consist of hotel accommodations for the duration of ICAF (that is, three nights’ hotel) at ICAF’s expense, or the equivalent in reimbursement for travel. A commemorative letter and plaque will also be awarded.

Applicants must be students, or must show acceptance into an academic program, at the time of application. For example, applicants for ICAF 2008 must show proof of student status for the academic year 2007-2008, or proof that they have been accepted into an academic program for the academic year 2008-2009.

The Scholarship competition will be adjudicated by a three-person committee chosen from among the members of ICAF’s Executive Committee. Applications should consist of:

* A self-contained excerpt from the project in question, not to exceed twenty (20) double-spaced pages of typescript.

* A brief cover letter, introducing the applicant and explaining the nature of the project.

* The applicant’s professional resume.

* A letter of reference, on school letterhead, from a teacher or academic advisor (preferably thesis director), establishing the applicant’s student status and speaking to her/his qualifications as a researcher and presenter.

PLEASE NOTE that applications for the Lent Scholarship are handled entirely separately from ICAF’s general Call for Papers.

Applicants for the 2008 Lent Scholarship should send their application materials by JUNE 13, 2008 to Dr. C├ęcile Danehy, ICAF Academic Coordinator at:

Dr. Cecile Daney
Department of French Studies
Wheaton College
26 East Main Street
Norton, Massachusetts 02766-2322

Email inquiries should be sent to Dr. Danehy at

Applicants should expect to receive confirmation of the competition results by Friday, June 27, 2008.


By John Judy

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #561 by Dan Slott and Marcos Martin. The “Peter Parker, Paparazzi” story-line wraps up with lots of tantalizing bits about how much MJ remembers from before “Deus Ex Mephisto” knocked a million years of Spidey continuity into a cocked hat. Nice artwork by Martin, reminiscent of Tim Sale.

AMERICAN SPLENDOR SEASON TWO #3 of 4 by Harvey Pekar and Various Collaborators. “How much pain is too much?” Let’s ask Harvey! He’ll know fer sure! Great cover. Recommended.

AVENGERS/INVADERS #2 of 12 by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger and Steve Sadowski. Already looking like a long haul as Team Ross reveals Bucky to have been a “cutter.” But a cutter with a purpose! An insane purpose, but still a purpose! Grit your teeth.

BOYS #19 by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. Dark secrets of The Seven are revealed in the beginning of the four-part “I Tell You No Lie, G.I.” It’s Ennis so you know it’ll get darker. Recommended, not for kids.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #15 by Drew Goddard and Georges Jeanty. Buffy’s in Japan with Dracula and a slayer squad to take down some Yakuza vamps. It could happen…

CRIMINAL 2 #3 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Seventies noir from the Femme Fatale POV! Anyone above the age of 18 who’s not reading CRIMINAL should not be allowed to vote. For anything. Ever. Highly recommended times infinity.

DUO STARS #1 written and illustrated by Ashley Wood. In the words of the writer/artist himself: “underground mech racing pretty much sums it up.” Good enough for me!

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #2 by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca. Stane’s kid wants to get back at Tony. And from there all stories flow…

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #16 by Geoff Johns, Alex Ross and Dale Eaglesham. “Gog” starts here. Hey, he’s a grey, wrinkly giant with gold horns. What could go wrong?

KICK-ASS #3 by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. It’s like WATCHMEN except only the 40s origin flashbacks and imagine Hooded Justice as a pimply YouTube stunt moron. Like that.

MONSTER ZOO GN written and illustrated by Doug Tennapel. The story of a young boy who discovers that his local zoo may be home to… Oh, right, like I’m gonna give it away! From the creator of Earthworm Jim and Cat Scratch.

NUMBER 73304-23-4153-6-96-8 HC by Thomas Ott. A suspense story without words from Swiss artist Thomas Ott. Very creepy and very worth a look.

SECRET INVASION #3 of 8 by Brian Michael Bendis and Leinil Francis Yu. Lotsa fights between people in spandex being provoked by dirty aliens. Sounds like the FoxNews green room…

SHOWCASE PRESENTS HAUNTED TANK VOL. 2 SC by Robert Kanigher, Joe Kubert, and Other Deities. It’s 500 pages of a WWII tank with a dead Confederate General in it. How can this not be great?

TRINITY #1 by Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza and Many, Many Arists. Superman. Batman. Wonder Woman. All other trinities need not apply.

ULTIMATE ORIGINS #1 of 5 by Brian Michael Bendis and Butch Guice. The Ultimate Universe: “It’s all connected!” Whether it needs to be or not…

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Comics in Crystal Flight

Claire and I checked out Crystal City's answer to DC's pandas, donkeys and elephants today. Crystal Flight's a show of painted airplanes. Here's some more shots of Politico cartoonist Matt Wuerker's plane.


PBS had one that highlighted their animated kids shows.


The Times, The New York Times

The Times continues to have more on comic art than many other newspapers, oddly enough.

On their website, they've got Meatpacking District: Animator Gary Leib's short history of Manhattan's Meatpacking District.

Whilst illustrator David Chelsea is missing from Sunday Style's Modern Love column today, my favorite illustrator Guy Billout has illustrated an editorial.

In Business, we find Disney and Pixar: The Power of the Prenup By BROOKS BARNES, June 1, 2008. Two years in, the merger of Disney and Pixar is notable for how well the two companies have made it work.

And in the Magazine, Jason's Low Moon appears to be wrapping up as "Checkmate" is heard.

And in Travel, Fantagraphics gets a photo in "Surfacing | Georgetown, Seattle - From Brewers to Baristas in Seattle," By MATTHEW PREUSCH, New York Times June 1, 2008.

How many years ago was Calvin and Hobbes?


How many years ago did Calvin and Hobbes end? It doesn't seem to matter. Here are 3 bootleg t-shirts purchased in Arlington today. This was on my mind lately because I heard from someone writing a book about C&H. A bargain too - $7.50 for the three!

June 8: Philip Pullman book signing

Philip Pullman, best known for "His Dark Materials" trilogy will be signing his new book at Barnes & Noble - Tysons Corner, 1961 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, VA 703-506-2937 at 2 pm on Sunday June 8th. Why mention it here?

He's writing for a new British comic book, The DFC. Check out these links for more information:

Panel Borders: The DFC part 1 (Pullman / Abadzis / Fickling), by Alex Fitch, 29/05/08 as part of Strip! on Resonance 104.4 FM

Letter from London, By Julia Eccleshare, Children's Bookshelf -- Publishers Weekly, 5/22/2008

Pullman supports first new children's comic in 25 years; IoS submits star author's cartoon-strip adventure to trial by 10 year old, Independent Sunday, 18 May 2008

Interview with David Fickling, saviour of the great British comic. For those of a certain age, comics are but a fond childhood memory, irrelevant to today's generation - until now. Tom Gatti meets the man behind the movement. Times of London May 10, 2008

Jeffrey Thompson's Hiawatha originals


Jeff Thompson who works at Big Planet Bethesda on Wednesdays is a Baltimore artist who's done children's books. He gave me a couple of pieces of artwork. Here you can see his Hiawatha children's book - scratchboard originals mounted with the finished book cover.


Jeff can be found online at

deviant art page

web site


Animaniacs unleashed in Arlington


Has anyone noticed that fire departments generally feel, and seem to be, immune from copyright or trademark considerations? Personally I agree with them, but I'm not a large soulless corporation. Here's a picture of a Warner Bros. Animaniacs billboard that suggests you practice your fire escape plan at a fire department in Arlington, VA.

Post interviews Kung Fu Panda's Black for kids section

Scott Moore interviewed Jack Black of the new animated movie "Kung Fu Panda" for "Dude, That's So Skidoosh: Behind the Microphone, an Inner Voice -- and Barrel Kicks," Washington Post Sunday, June 1, 2008; M14 and "Getting to Know Jack Black."

And here's an article on the movie's background - "Call them martial artists: The directors of the ambitious "Kung Fu Panda" break animation boundaries," by COLIN COVERT, Minneapolis Star Tribune May 31, 2008.

Stantis offends people too

Yesterday's letter to the editor - "A Cartoon That Fell Flat," by Richard E. Hurst, Washington Post Saturday, May 31, 2008; Page A11.