Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 24 anime Crayon Shin Chan: Bravo! Samurai Battle

Crayon Shin Chan: Bravo! Samurai Battle to be screened at the Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan.

DC Anime club in Collaboration with Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan will screen Shin Chan The Movie April 24, 2009 6:30 pm as part of inaugural showing for a new film series based on both Anime (Japanese Animation) and Manga ( Japanese Comics).

After dreaming about a beautiful lady dressed as a feudal ear princess, Shin Chan’s dog discovers an ancient box of letters while tearing up the garden. Inside, they find a note written in Shin Chan’s clumsy script, but he has no memory of writing it. Suddenly, he finds himself transported to Japan’s war-torn Warring States Period, surrounded by riots, rebellion and strife. Will Shin Chan’s crazy antics save his new samurai friends and rewrite history?

To celebrate the 10th anniversary Yoshito Usui’s popular manga and animated series, Crayon Shin-chan: Bravo! Samurai Battle is full of the great gags and silly scenarios Shin Chan fans have come to love. Winner of the prestigious Agency for Cultural Affairs’ Media Arts Festival Grand Prize for Animation, which was also awarded to Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award winning Spirited Away the year before, the surprisingly moving final scene is sure to bring tears to your eyes.

This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required.


Seating is limited and granted on a first come, first served basis.

For more information please visit the Japanese Information and Culture Center website at or visit the DC Anime Club website at

CONTACT: Chris Wanamaker, (202) 262 2083

Another DC-area Josh Elder Appearance!

Making Comics the Ninja Way

Learn how to create your own comics and how to make it in the comic industry with Josh Elder, award-winning author of Batman Strikes and the nationally syndicated comic strip and graphic novel series, Mail Order Ninja.

7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on April 24 at Patrick Henry Library.

Register (after April 9) either online or by calling 703-938-0405. Cosponsored by the library's Center for the Book. Teens & adults.

Pekar's new book reviewed in NY Times

New York Times Book Review April 12, 2009
The Mad Ones

THE BEATS: A Graphic History
Text by Harvey Pekar and others.
Art by Ed Piskor and others.
Edited by Paul Buhle
199 pp. Hill & Wang. $22

My book on Harvey is still available from the U. Press of Mississippi - I just got the new catalogue and there's six new books on comics and animation in it!


Note the Herbie collection - Mike

By John Judy

ACTION COMICS #876 by Greg Rucka and Eddy Barrows. Ursa enters. Breaks stuff, burns stuff, gets sassy. Bad Ursa. Being named after a bear is no excuse.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #591 by Dan Slott and Dale Eaglesham. Big changes are afoot and Spidey’s unmasking is just the start!

CAPTAIN AMERICA #49 by Ed Brubaker and Luke Ross. Sharon Carter, the woman who “killed” Captain America, is having bad dreams. Go figure.

HERBIE ARCHIVES VOL. 3 HC by Shane O’Shea and Ogden Whitney. The final volume collecting issues 15-23 of the sixties cult series about Herbie Popnecker, the Fat Fury, and his supernatural lollipops! It was the sixties, gang….

INCOGNITO #3 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Introducing the lovely and talented Ava Destruction! You can tell Ed and Sean had themselves a ball with this series. Highly recommended!

RAMPAGING WOLVERINE #1 by Various Creators. It is a Wolverine first issue and it is in black and white. Contains no ads!

THE STAND: AMERICAN NIGHTMARES #2 of 5 by Mike Perkins and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Randall Flagg’s rockin’ the apocalypse, Trashcan Man shows up and Larry Underwood faces the long, dark Lincoln Tunnel. Highly recommended.

SUB-MARINER COMICS 70th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL #1 by Will Everett, Roy Thomas, Mark Schultz, Mitch Breitweiser and Al Williamson. Featuring Prince Namor’s first appearance, a new Roy Thomas story with Nazis and more. Three stories, three covers, no waiting. Fun for all ages unless you like Nazis. Then you’ll be a little put out. Fair warning, goose-steppers. “Imperious Rex!”

UNCANNY X-MEN #508 by Matt Fraction and Greg Land. Fraction’s throwing sub-plots around like the love-child of Chris Claremont and Grant Morrison! Greg Land is tracing the porn! Put ‘em together and somehow… it just works. Plus there’s a Wolverine/Vincent Van Gogh variant cover that’s so good it may need to become a poster. Recommended.

WALKING DEAD #60 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard. Rick and the gang are surrounded by a zombie horde. No time-outs. Recommended as always.

WOLVERINE NOIR #1 of 4 by Stuart Moore and C.P. Smith. Logan’s a Bowery detective in 1937. You like this stuff or you don’t.

X-FACTOR #42 by Peter David and Valentine DeLandro. Madrox still has that annoying M tattoo/brand on his face. That’s really gotta go.

X-MEN LEGACY #233 by Mike Carey and Scot Eaton. Professor X faces the sentient danger room robot he once enslaved. Again. Because telling that story once simply was not enough. Featuring another artsy Wolverine variant cover.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Secret Asian Man's birthday is...

Secret Asian Man's birthday is...

...oddly enough, the same as mine and comics scholar Gene Kannenberg. Hmmm. Gene and I have been seen in the same place at the same time, but has Gene and S.A.M.?

Free Comic Book Day at Collectors Corner in Baltimore

We're a little ways out yet, but I did get this notice, and there are a good number of creators appearing at the store (as well as other entertainment!), so I thought I'd pass it along:

Free Comic Book Day - May 2nd 2009 9AM - 8PM
When:Saturday, May 02, 2009
9:00 AM to 8:00 PM EDT
Where:Collectors Corner
8108 A Harford Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21234

Scheduled Creator & Character Appearances
All artists and characters will appear from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM on May 2nd

Writers and artists:

Jo Chen (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Runaways)
Pat Carlucci (Hotinks Studios)
H.C. Noel (Mr. Scootles)
Michael S. Bracco (Birth & Novo)
Nathan Getz (No One)
Tony Calandra (No One)
GW Fisher (Image Comics' Shadowhawk)
Frank Zeigler (Waki & Rusty)
Patrick Kelly (Local Artist)
Carlos Taylor (Local Artist)
Chris Hewitt (The Living Corpse)
Tom Arvis (Sureshot Comics)

Character Appearances : (Spider-Man, Captain America, Black Cat, Elektra, Supergirl, Rorschach, Venom, Iron Man, Wolverine, Hawkeye, Ozymandias, The Comedian, Batman, War Machine, Hulk, Deadpool, Superman, White Queen, Daredevil)

SALE all DAY - 20% Off Everything in the store on Free Comic Book Day!

Charm City Roller Girls (Baltimore's Own Pro Roller Derby Girls)
Vu Skateshop : Gary Smith - Professional Skateboarder

Plus, Live Music and Free Pizza & Refreshments All Day!

Game demonstrations, MTG, D&D, HeroCLix and BOARD GAMES too!

BAND list and schedule : Playing in front of the Gaming Clubhouse in the back parking lot behind the store -

12:00 – 12:40 – The Alameda
1:00 – 1:40 – Bene Gesserit Witch
2:00 – 2:40 - Davey G and the Keyboard
3:00 – 3:40 - Muscle Twin
4:00 – 4:40 - Person Parcel (Gary B)
5:00 – 5:40 - Mandroids

- Collectors Corner MD

Friday, April 10, 2009

Washington City Paper Best of DC 2009 comic stores

I missed this the first time I skimmed the issue desparately looking for my name to be a best of again, but in "Best Way to Come Out to Yourself as a Geek," Glen Weldon first recommends the Freer's anime marathon which has passed, but then suggests a comic book store crawl beginning with Big Planet Georgetown, moving to Fantom Comics in Tenleytown and wrapping up with Big Monkey Comics on 14th St.

I didn't realize or remember Weldon was local - he writes regularly for NPR's Monkey See blog which I'll start throwing links up to.

Geppi's Entertainment Museum spring lecture series

GEM's new ad from Baltimore's tourism site.

Arnold Blumberg announced a new lecture schedule today in his Scoop column:

GEM “Coffee with the Curator”
GEM relaunches its lecture series with a more casual, conversational mood that invites collectors to join us on the third Wednesday every month at 6pm for coffee and pop culture chat with Curator Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg. In the months ahead, “Coffee with the Curator” will cover the reimagining of the Star Trek universe, the world of L. Frank Baum’s Oz, the magical saga of Harry Potter in books and films, and the many incarnations of G.I. Joe.

All of these meetings will take place on Wednesday evenings at 6-7:30pm.

April 15
Rebirth, Regeneration and Renewal in Pop Culture: The concept of rebirth, so intrinsic a part of many religious faiths, is also an ingrained part of our shared pop culture heritage. Why are we so fascinated by the “hero reborn” myth in the form of Superman, Batman, the Doctor of Doctor Who, and so many more? What aspects of this phenomenon speak to us on such a primal level? As we enter a refreshing new season, take a look at pop culture characters that have also returned again and again.

May 13
Reinventing Star Trek: Boldly Going Where We’ve Been Before

June 17
The Long and Winding Yellow Brick Road: More Than a Century of Oz

July 15
Cinematic Wizardry: A Look at the Harry Potter Films

August 12
Real American Heroes: The Changing Faces of G.I. Joe

OT: Bechdel interview online

Fun Home was one of my favorite books for the year when it came out, and I was picking up the Washington Blade regularly to read Dykes when she was still doing it. Here's an interview - "Bechdel on the Essential Dykes To Watch Out For" by Alex Dueben, Guest Contributor, Thu, April 9th, 2009.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Kal in North Carolina at Chapel Hill

He's getting around...

I wanted to give you a news alert that l will be one of the featured guests at the 7th annual Carolina Comedy Festival at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, April 16 and 17. I will be giving a presentation and leading a hands on workshop on the art of political cartooning.

The festival is the brainchild of comedian and UNC alum Lewis Black who will be performing with other prominent guests during the festival.

Mo Willems at National Zoo members-only reading

Free Members-Only Event!

Mo Willems Reads at the National Zoo
Tuesday, April 21, 4-6 p.m.

Friends of the National Zoo
is proud to offer our treasured members an exclusive book reading by #1 New York Times best-selling author and illustrator Mo Willems. He is best known for his Caldecott Honor-winning picture books Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. His newest book, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed introduces young readers to one of the National Zoo's most popular small mammals. The main character, Wilbur, is different from the other naked mole-rats in his colony because he likes to wear clothes.

Come and meet the author and get your books signed. (Books will be available for purchase at the event.) Also, meet Zoo biologist David Kessler and get up close to one of the Zoo's underdressed inhabitants -- a naked mole-rat!

This exciting event is free and open just to members to thank you for your support, but space is limited. You must RSVP and bring your FONZ membership card for admittance. We anticipate the event will fill up quickly, so RSVP now!

Comic Riffs Interviews DC Comics's editor Dan DiDio

They've got a somewhat atypical piece today - DAVID BETANCOURT has "The Interview: DC Comics's Dan DiDio," Washington Post Comic Riffs blog (April 9 2009) mostly on changes in Superman and The Flash.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Weingarten's comic strip picked up, opinions on other comics cease

From the April 7th chat, Gene Weingarten says,

I have a wonderful announcement about how Chatological Humor is going to get even better! This is exactly like announcements you've been seeing in other newspapers practically every day now about how they are cutting costs, paper quality, paper size, staff and features in order to bring to you, the reader, an EVEN BETTER, MORE STREAMLINED PRODUCT!

Well, this is the last week Chatological Humor will offer its picks for the best comics of the previous week. Yes, the CPOW [Comic Pick of the Week] is dead. All for your benefit!

Okay, as it happens, there is nothing dastardly or craven behind this decision and no one I can yell at self-righteously. Last week, the Washington Post Writers Group syndicate picked up its option on "Barney and Clyde," the comic strip being developed by me, my son, Dan, and cartoonist David Clark. Editors at The Writers Group feel that I can no longer offer my half-assed, semi-knowledgeable opinions about other comic strips that might, in the future, compete for space with mine. I hate to admit it, but they have a point.


Alexandria: So, when does Barney and Clyde's run begin? And what will it replace? (this is news, not commentary, I'm asking for)

Gene Weingarten: No clear answer to either question; no way of knowing even if The Washington Post will run it. There are no obligations in any direction.


Comics abomination: Gene, I noticed on Sunday that while some of the regular strips seem to have shrunk or the panels squeezed together oddly (Pearls especially got the short end of the stick), the Slylock Fox panel has grown significantly.

I'm all for encouraging youngsters' abilities to solve petty crimes through observation, but does it really need to be larger than most of the other strips?

Gene Weingarten: This may be deliberate, and smart. Pearls Before Swine (Pastis will hate me for this) seems to be drawn shrewdly, to deter shrinkage. Its characters are simple, dialogue simple, spaces big. It can shrink without injury more than most can.


Re: Pearls Before Swine: I disagree with Pastis' strategy - I think he is inadvertently enabling shrinkage instead of deterring it. A comic editor might see his strip and assume that shrinking all comics won't hurt the content. What if the comics fought shrinkage by adding more art and content, so that readers would complain to the comics editors?

Gene Weingarten: Uh, that would be a lot of nose-cutting for face-spiting.


Pearls shrinkage: I think you might be missing the point. Whether or not Pastis is deliberately drawing his strip to survive the Great Comic Shrink of 2009 or not, SLYLOCK FOX IS GETTING BIGGER!

Surely another comic deserves enlargement before Slylock.

Gene Weingarten: If you are going to run Slylock, you need to give it space! A lot of stuff is going on in there.

Bamn and DC Conspiracy PR

This one came in a few days ago, but slipped down the screen...

On the shoe laces of the DC Conspiracy’s “Horrors of War” anthology, we have now agreed to do another short for the DCC. This time, a yet-to-be-titled crime comic. Not sure who will be doing the art just yet (Dave or Jay), but David seemed intrigued and little disturbed by the opportunity to draw a person with their head crushed by a TV…

Similar to “Horrors of War,” the book will be edited by Evan Keeling and is tentatively scheduled for a July release date.
Want to find out more about the DCC and their quarterly anthology comics? Go here:

David Dean (“Bamn” Co-creator and “Horrors of War” artist) has agreed to be the colorist for the cover to Bamn #2. This will be our first color cover, but David showed me a few samples of some pre-existing artwork and it looks awesome. He definitely knows his way around whatever-the-hell-software he uses to work with.
We got a bit of flack from convention-goers (and friends) for doing Bamn #1 with a Black & White cover. Ultimately, it was issue of finances and time restraint (we literally got our original print a few days before our first comic show).

There has been a bit of delay in getting Bamn #1 to Alliance Comics and Games, it was entirely due to printing issues. It took a little bit longer this time, but we’ve been informed that the books should be out of Comixpress in NJ and into our possession very soon. That means, that very soon, Alliance Comics and Games will be the first store to sell Bamn directly off the shelf.

We are also working on bringing the title to Third Eye Comics in Annapolis, MD…and of course you can always purchase Bamn at

Lastly, The DCC is hosting their annual Counter Culture Fest at The Soundry in Viena, Va. The Fest will feature artwork, comics, music, and sellable accoutrements from a pack of DC-Area creatives. The show will be held on May 24, 2009 and Bamn is slated to debut its’ second issue there. Be sure to come on out, get inspired, get creative, and get supportive. For more info about The Counter Culture Fest, go to:

Bamn comic now available in DC area

Some local PR came in (without the pictures unfortunately):

The Bamn crew is happy to announce that Bamn #1, our debut issue, is now available at Alliance Comics and Games.

Pictured above are the two variant covers for issue #1.

If you are in the Washington, DC Metro-area and haven’t already tried purchasing the book at Comixpress, feel free to stop by and pick up a copy of Bamn #1.

Alliance has two locations:

Alliance Comics and Games in Silver Spring, MD
8317 Fenton St
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 588-2546
Metro accessible. Take the Red line to Silver Spring station.

Alliance Comics and Games in Bowie, MD
6820 Hilltop Plaza
Bowie, MD 20715
(301) 352-4322

You can find out more about Alliance @

Penciled by JAY PAYNE
50/50 Cover for Issue #1 by JAY PAYNE

Nerds vs. Jocks; Bullies vs. Misfits; the Weak vs. the Strong. Everyone loves a good underdog story...SO LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE! BAMN gets its title from the embittered main character. A surly and washed-up former pro wrestler, Bamn has spent the dying years of his career throwing up in bars. He lives out of his car and uses stolen credit cards to pay for beer. A chance encounter with a pair of local high schoolers, Art and Ian, brings him to the FWF, A backyard wrestling federation ran by the two young fans. When the school’s wrestling squad shows up to bully the kids, Bamn steps in. In a rare moment of clarity he promises all the teenagers that he’s going to teach them the most important thing they will ever learn…HOW TO FIGHT BACK AND LOOK GOOD DOING IT!
28PGS.(each)/Black & White/Parental Advisory …$3.50 (each)

OT: Arnold Roth & Al Jaffee audio interviews

Bob Andelman's got an excellent interview "Humble Mr. Media welcomes two classic cartoonists, Al Jaffee and Arnold Roth, for a chat about Hefner, Kurtzman and Humbug!" today. To get a local slant, Roth's favorite comic strip is Bud Grace's Piranha Club. Mark Tatulli gets a shout-out from Andelman and Roth too. Jaffee recommends Bechdel's Dykes to Watch Out For and Fun Home. Both cartoonists like Nicole Hollander's Sylvia too.

OT: Steve Brodner audio interview

Brodner's one of the best caricaturists working regularly and I was lucky enough to hear him speak a few years ago at SPX. Here's a new interview with him - "MoJo Audio: Meet Cartoonist Steve Brodner: Satirical illustrator Steve Brodner talks about Newt Gingrich, Richard Nixon, and which senator he most wants to draw," by Nikki Gloudeman, Mother Jones podcast April 3, 2009. The direct download is

Comic Riffs interview with Monsters vs Aliens animator

See "The Interview: 'Monsters' Animator Phil 'Captain 3-D' McNally," By Michael Cavna, Washington Post Comic Riffs blog April 7, 2009.

Herblock award winner Pat Bagley on his experience

Herblock award winner Pat Bagley did a radio interview on his experience - "Bagley Wins Herblock Prize," by Jennifer Napier-Pearce, National Public Radio's KUER (April 6, 2009). He talks a little about the award, then his career and then his favorite cartoon which he also descirbed for us at the award ceremony. The cartoon can be seen on KUER's site.

Monday, April 06, 2009

On finally seeing the first Spider-Man

After breaking the news almost exactly a year ago, I finally got around to seeing the first Spider-Man original art by Steve Ditko in Amazing Fantasy #15.


The art was lovely, but it was somewhat anti-climactic since I'd read the story literally hundreds of times. Foolish, I know. There's a small bit of new information to be gleaned from the artwork, where Stan Lee asked for changes, but Ditko followed his pencils very closely so there's not a lot of underlying drawing.

The entire comic book art is there, so there are three other stories with Ditko art that aren't seen nearly as often.


I really can't think of any better home for this than the Library. Lee and Ditko's creation has become an American icon over almost 50 years now. More pictures are here.