Wednesday, September 16, 2009

PR: Baltimore Comic-Con 2009 Welcomes Neal Adams!

Baltimore Comic-Con 2009 Welcomes Neal Adams!

Baltimore, Maryland - September 9, 2009 - The Baltimore Comic-Con is proud to announce the inaugural appearance of legendary creator Neal Adams as a guest at our 10th Anniversary show on Saturday, October 10th and Sunday, October 11th, 2009.

Neal Adams is hailed as one of the modern masters of comics, defining the look for many DC Comics characters, including Batman, Deadman, Green Lantern, and Green Arrow. His work on Strange Adventures' Deadman feature at DC caught his readers' eyes, and he soon found himself as a regular featured cover artist. At Marvel Comics, his art graced the pages of the epic Kree-Skrull War saga in The Avengers and his acclaimed run on X-Men was responsible for revitalizing the title and saving the book from cancellation. In addition to working for many of the up-and-coming companies during the 1980s publishing boom, he later went on to found Continuity Comics.

Besides having received numerous industry awards, including induction into the Harvey Awards' Jack Kirby Hall of Fame, Neal is renowned for his social work within the artistic industry. His lobbying for creators' rights, including royalties and the return of artwork, resulted in the modern system of art being returned to the artists who created it, along with better benefits, including sales royalties. His most recent efforts found him collaborating with Joe Kubert and Stan Lee in an effort to force the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland to return Holocaust survivor Dina Babbitt's wartime artwork created during her Nazi captivity. Neal created a 6-page comic book, which he pencilled and inked, highlighting the injustice suffered by Dina. In recognition of his efforts on Dina's behalf, Neal will be receiving the Hero Award at the Harvey Awards ceremony Saturday night at the Baltimore Comic-Con.

"We are elated to have such a great member of the comics community attending the show and Harveys banquet," said Baltimore Comic-Con promoter Marc Nathan. "Of all the people in comics that we look to bring to the show, I think he is the single-most requested individual."

Other Guests
In addition to Neal Adams, the Baltimore Comic-Con is pleased to announce the following guests: Josh Alves (Arachnid Kid), Harold Buchholz (Apathy Kat), Jamie Cosley (Tony Pony), Tom Feister (GI Joe: Origins), Jenni Gregory (Ka-Blam), Allan Gross (Cryptozoo Crew), Rebekah Isaacs, sponsored by Laughing Ogre Comics (DV8), Michael McElroy (Ka-Blam), Scott Neely (Scooby Doo), Jamar Nicholas (Leon, Protector of the Playground), Bobby and Peter Timony (Zuda Comics), Ted Tucker (Captain Happy), and Todd Webb (Nick Magazine).

Already announced guests, new and returning, include: Jason Aaron (Wolverine), Mike and Laura Allred (Madman), Dick Ayers (Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos), Paul Azaceta (Amazing Spider-Man), Brian Michael Bendis (Avengers), Ryan Bodenheim (Red Mass for Mars), Doug Braithwaite (Wolverine: Origins), Pat Broderick (Vincent Price Presents), Buzz (Atomika), Jim Calafiore (Batgirl), Eric Canete (Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin), Nick Cardy (Aquaman), Jerry Carr (Cryptozoo Crew), Tommy Castillo (Kong: King of Skull Island), Mike Cavallaro (ACT-I-VATE), Bernard Chang (Wonder Woman), Jo Chen (New Avengers: The Reunion), Sean Chen (Dark Reign: Fantastic Four), Jimmy Cheung (New Avengers: Illuminati), Cliff Chiang (Green Arrow & Black Canary), Frank Cho (Ultimates 4), Chris Claremont (X-Men Forever), Steve Conley (Star Trek: Year Four), Amanda Conner (Power Girl), J.M. DeMatteis (Metal Men), Todd Dezago (Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man), Michael Dolce (Descendant), Evan Dorkin (Beasts of Burden), Jim Dougan (ACT-I-VATE), Jan Duursema (Star Wars: Legacy), Sarah Dyer (Superman Adventures), Steve Englehart (Avengers), Rich Faber (Roboy Red), Jay Faerber (Noble Causes), Michel Fiffe (ACT-I-VATE), David Finch (Ultimatum), Bob Fingerman (Recess Pieces), Matt Fraction (Uncanny X-Men), Franco (Tiny Titans), Simon Fraser (ACT-I-VATE), John Gallagher (Buzzboy), Ron Garney (Wolverine: Weapon X), Bryan J.L. Glass (Mice Templar), Michael Golden (Spider-Man 1602), Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules), Sanford Greene (Marvel Adventures Spider-Man), Tim Hamilton (ACT-I-VATE), Cully Hamner (Detective Comics), Tony Harris (Ex Machina), Dean Haspiel (ACT-I-VATE), Jennifer Hayden (ACT-I-VATE), Mark Hempel (Absolute Sandman), Greg Horn (Cover Stories: The Art of Greg Horn), Adam Hughes (Power Girl), Jamal Igle (Supergirl), Kathryn Immonen (Runaways), Stuart Immonen (New Avengers), Joe Infurnari (ACT-I-VATE), Chris Ivy (Beast Boy), Georges Jeanty (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Van Jensen (Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer), J.G. Jones (Final Crisis), Joe Jusko (Kolchak: Tales of the Night Stalker), Karl Kesel (Marvel Apes), Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Barry Kitson (Amazing Spider-Man), Scott Koblish (Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds), Joe Kubert (Wednesday Comics), Scott Kurtz (PvP), Michael Lark (Daredevil), Erik Larsen (Savage Dragon), Greg LaRocque (Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man), Jerry "The King" Lawler(Headlocked), Norman Lee (GeNext), Steve Lieber (Underground), Luna Brothers (The Sword), Andy MacDonald (NYC Mech), David Mack (Kabuki), Tom Mandrake (The Outsiders), Mike Manley (Batman: Brave and the Bold), Larry Marder (Beanworld), Laura Martin (Thor), Ron Marz (Witchblade), Sean McKeever (Teen Titans), Mark McKenna (BananaTail), Mike McKone (Amazing Spider-Man), Bob McLeod (New Mutants), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), Pop Mhan (World of Warcraft), Mark Morales (Secret Invasion), Doug Murray (Jungle Girl Season 2), Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), Phil Noto (Batgirl), Kevin Nowlan (The Spirit), Mike Oeming (Mice Templar), Ryan Ottley (Invincible), Jimmy Palmiotti (Jonah Hex), Jeff Parker (Agents of ATLAS), Dan Parsons (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Guest of Honor George Perez (Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Brandon Peterson (Ultimate Comics Armor Wars), Khoi Pham (Mighty Avengers), Whilce Portacio (Spawn), Buddy Prince (Night), Brian Pulido (Lady Death), Jack Purcell (Gotham Underground), Mike Raicht (Army of Darkness), Tom Raney (Dark Reign: Hawkeye), Brian Reber (Captain Britain and MI13), Kat Roberts (ACT-I-VATE), Alex Robinson (Too Cool to be Forgotten), James Robinson (Superman), Budd Root (Cavewoman), Don Rosa (Uncle Scrooge), Craig Rousseau (Iron Man & The Armor Wars), Stephane Roux (Amazing Spider-Man), Andy Runton (Owly), Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo), Tim Sale (Heroes), Ian Sattler (Final Crisis: Aftermath), Scott Christian Sava (Dreamland Chronicles), Alex Saviuk (The Phantom Generations), Marc Silvestri (Witchblade), Walt Simonson (Thor), Andy Smith (Dean Koontz's Nevermore), John K. Snyder III (Doctor Mid-Nite), Allison Sohn (Star Wars trading card artist), Taki Soma (Rapture), Richard Starkings (Elephentmen), Jim Starlin (Strange Adventures), Brian Stelfreeze (Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink), Paul Storrie (Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons), Karl Story (Batman: Streets of Gotham), Mark Texeira (Punisher), Robert Tinnell (EZ Street), Peter Tomasi (Blackest Night: Batman), Herb Trimpe (Hulk), Billy Tucci (Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion), Jim Valentino (Shadowline Comics), Rob Venditti (The Surrogates), Dexter Vines (Wolverine), Neil Vokes (The Black Forest), Doug Wagner (The Ride), Matt Wagner (Grendel), Mark Waid (The Incredibles), Len Wein (Justice League of America), Mark Whealey (Lone Justice), Renee Witterstaetter (Tex: The Art of Mark Texeira -- The Artist's Great Escape), Brian Wood (sponsored by Laughing Ogre Comics, Northlanders), Bernie Wrightson (Swamp Thing), Kelly Yates (Amber Atoms), and Thom Zahler (Love & Capes).

Please buy your ticket in advance via to avoid the ticket line the day of the show.

Our previously-announced deadline for discounted hotel rooms has been extended by the participating hotels! A good number of rooms have been sold already, but there are some still available through this offer, so please take a look at for details on room availability at hotels around the Baltimore Convention Center.

Harvey Awards Ticket Sales
Ticket sales for the 2009 Harvey Awards and Banquet will be made available within the next week. Please keep an eye on our websites and press releases for further details as information becomes available.

We will continue to providing details on guestss, the Harvey Awards, industry exclusives, and programming leading up to the show. The latest developments can always be found at our website, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and ComicSpace pages.

This year's Baltimore Comic-Con will be held October 10-11, 2009. Convention hours are Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM. The ceremony and banquet for the Harvey Awards will be held Saturday night, October 10th.

As we continue to get ready for this year's show, we would like to remind you to mark your calendar for next year's Baltimore Comic-Con dates: August 28-29, 2010.

PR: Sign up for Nate Beelers political cartoons

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Syndicated Simpsons moved to late night, reports DCist

WTTG-FOX 5 is moving them from 7 pm to 11:30 says the DCist blog.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Iraq prison abuse photos likened to Danish Islam cartoons by Justice Dept. says NY Times

The claim is made in

Obama About-Face Goes to High Court
Published: September 15, 2009
First the Justice Department decided it would not ask the Supreme Court to block the release of photographs showing the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then it changed its mind.

The relevant paragraph reads:

In a book about the controversy surrounding the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, the publisher [Yale Press] decided not to publish the actual cartoons. The government’s brief, in fact, cited the reaction to the publication of the cartoons in a Danish newspaper as a reason to block disclosure of the images of detainee abuse.

I'd encourage everyone to read the original article and perhaps someone could look into the government's argument as well.

Meanwhile, one of the Post's (conservative) columnists editorialized against Yale's decision - "Chipping Away At Free Speech," By Anne Applebaum, Washington Post September 15, 2009.

PR: Small Press Expo Announces Programming Slate for SPX 200

Looks like a good year - Mike

Small Press Expo Announces Programming Slate for SPX 2009


For Immediate Release                              

Contact: Warren Bernard


Bethesda, Maryland; September 9, 2009 - The Small Press Expo (SPX), the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comics, graphic novels and alternative political cartoons, is pleased to announce its slate of programming for SPX 2009. SPX is presenting a program of some of the most insightful, thought provoking interviews and panel discussions in comics today, assembled by comics curator, teacher and author Bill Kartalopoulos.

Spotlight one on ones will be held with Gahan Wilson, Josh Neufeld, Carol Tyler and others, with a rare interview with Jerry Moriarity, in conjunction with the release of the The Complete Jack Survives. The Center for Cartoon Studies will again hold a comics workshop and panels discussions will focus on everything from The Future of the Comic Book to The Aesthetics of Mini-Comics.

Below is a complete description of all of the Spotlights, Panels and Workshops. The up to date schedule may be seen at the SPX web site at

SPX will be held Saturday, September 26 from 11AM to 7PM and Sunday, September 27, noon-6PM at The North Bethesda Marriott Convention Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Admission is $10 for a single day and $15 for both days.

To request an interview, please contact Warren Bernard at


R. Sikoryak's Masterpiece Comics

For twenty years, stylistic chameleon R. Sikoryak has been producing literary adaptations in comics form that marry the plots of Western literary classics with the stylistic tics and tropes of classic comics. Originally appearing in RAW and numerous other anthologies, Sikoyrak's parodistic adaptations have been collected in a book titled Masterpiece Comics, published by Drawn and Quarterly. He will discuss his work and working methods in a special slideshow presentation.

Paul Karasik and the Fletcher Hanks Experience

Cartoonist, editor and educator Paul Karasik has spent the last several years tracking down the idiosyncratic, visionary work of comic book artist Fletcher Hanks, now collected in its entirety in two volumes published by Fantagraphics. Karasik will speak about discovering the work of Fletcher Hanks, and will present "The Fletcher Hanks Experience," an illustrated tour over the brutally surreal Hanks mindscape narrated by the late Fletcher Hanks, Jr.

Jerry Moriarty: Jack Survives

Jerry Moriarty is a painter, illustrator and cartoonist who has been teaching at the School of Visual Arts since 1963. Several episodes of his "Jack Survives" series of comics pages appeared in issues of RAW Magazine. This year, Buenaventura Press has published a definitive hardcover collection of Jack Survives, including never before published work. Publisher Alvin Buenaventura will discuss Jerry's life and work with him in a rare spotlight session.

Spotlight on Peter Kuper

Peter Kuper is the co-founder of World War 3 Illustrated, the artist behind Mad Magazine's Spy Vs. Spy, and the author of comics collections and graphic novels including The System, Speechless, and an adaptation of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis. In this presentation introduced and moderated by comics scholar Marc Singer, Peter will discuss his career to date and his new book Diario de Oaxaca, a visual journal of two years in Mexico that coincided with a violently repressed teachers' protest.

John Porcellino Q & A

John Porcellino has been self-publishing his ongoing mini-comics series King-Cat Comics since 1989. His spare but elegant style, insightful self-reflection, and DIY ethic have been an inspiration to countless cartoonists. His comics have been collected in several books, and in 2008 Hyperion published Thoreau at Walden, a graphic novel for young readers. This year, Drawn and Quarterly has published Map of My Heart, a new collection of work from his King-Cat series. John will discuss his work with friend, cartoonist and publisher Zak Sally.

Gahan Wilson in the Spotlight

The unmistakably macabre and hilarious Gahan Wilson was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1930. His work first appeared in Amazing Stories in 1954. Since then, his cartoons, illustrations and comic strips have appeared in Collier's, Punch, National Lampoon, and, principally, Playboy and The New Yorker. This year, Fantagraphics publishes Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons, a three-volume slipcased set collecting his contributions to that magazine. He will be joined onstage by publisher and editor Gary Groth to discuss his life and work.

Josh Neufeld After the Deluge

Josh Neufeld has published several non-fiction comic books and series, including his 2004 Xeric Award–winning graphic novel A Few Perfect Hours. In 2005 he volunteered with the American Red Cross in Biloxi, Missouri following the Hurricane Katrina disaster. From 2007 to 2008 he serialized via the web A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, a non-fiction story relating the experiences of Katrina survivors. This year Pantheon Books has published A.D. in a print edition. In this presentation moderated by Gina Gagliano, Josh will discuss his work and the process of producing this comics document of recent events.

Carol Tyler Q & A

Born in 1951, Carol Tyler trained as a painter, earning an MFA from Syracuse University. In 1987 she published her first comics story in Weirdo. Since then her work has appeared in anthologies including Twisted Sisters, Drawn and Quarterly, Zero Zero, and Kramers Ergot. Her work has previously been collected in the books The Job Thing and Late Bloomer. This year Fantagraphics published her book You'll Never Know: A Good and Decent Man, the first in a series of books recounting her father's World War II experiences and their resonant effect on his – and her – life today. Carol will discuss her work with comics critic Douglas Wolk.

Jeffrey Brown Q & A

Jeffrey Brown entered the School of the Art Institute's Masters program to study painting; by the time he earned his MFA, he had begun drawing sensitive autobiographical comics about life and lost love. Since then he has published several autobiographical books Clumsy, Unlikely, AEIOU, Little Things, and Funny Misshappen Body. His range of work also includes short fiction, humorously observant cat comics, superhero parody, and fantasy. He was recently the subject of an award-winning short documentary film. Heidi MacDonald will join Jeffrey onstage to discuss his diverse and evolving body of work.


Center for Cartoon Studies Comics Workshop

Faculty member Robyn Chapman and other students join us from the Center for Cartoon Studies, a two-year educational institution for budding cartoonists in White River Junction, Vermont.  Robyn will talk about this unique school and will lead a hands-on cartooning workshop focusing on the basics of putting together a comics page, from thumbnail to final draft.  No matter how little experience you have, you will leave this panel having drawn a comics page!


Now Make It Funny

Now that comics are finally being taken seriously, a new generation of cartoonists are bringing back the funny. Tucker Stone will talk to Emily Flake (Lulu Eightball), Matt Furie (Boys Club), Sam Gaskin (Fatal Faux-Pas) and Lisa Hanawalt (I Want You) about comics' historical and ongoing aptitude for humorous effect, the deeper meanings of humor, and the struggles of producing comedy on a deadline.

Comic Strips: Online and In Print

The history of comics parallels and participates in the greater history of mass communication. As traditional print media struggles, the online medium has proved to be a hospitable site for the durable, traditionally formatted comic strip. But online cartoonists have increasingly found both material and creative rewards in republishing their work in print editions. Kate Beaton, Erika Moen, R. Stevens, and Julia Wertz will talk about the challenges and opportunities of working both online and in print with moderator Marc Singer.

Debut Cartoonists

Comics critic Rob Clough will lead a discussion with cartoonists who are debuting new books at SPX this year. These artists will talk about their new releases, what they represent to them, and how they fit into their work so far. Join us for a revealing conversation with Ken Dahl (Monsters), Eleanor Davis (The Secret Science Alliance), Hans Rickheit (The Squirrel Machine), and Zak Sally (Like A Dog).

Critics' Roundtable

A murderers' row of comics critics will address general issues facing comics criticism today and will candidly discuss several new and recent works in a lively, no-holds-barred, roundtable conversation. Rob Clough, Sean Collins, Gary Groth, Chris Mautner, Joe McCulloch, Tucker Stone and Douglas Wolk will share their acute critical insights with moderator Bill Kartalopoulos.

The New Action

For decades, independent cartoonists have labored to distinguish their work from the corporately-controlled material popularly associated with the form. In the process, artist-driven comics have frequently avoided genres such as adventure, fantasy, and science fiction. Recent years, however, have seen a wave of cartoonists who embrace genre and have explored new ways to activate comics' ability to depict movement, action, and spectacle. Sean Collins will discuss these topics and more with Shawn Cheng, Benjamin Marra, Brian Ralph, Frank Santoro and Kazimir Strzepek.

Time-Constrained Comics

Since Scott McCloud formulated the 24-hour comic in 1990, countless cartoonists have tried their hands at this form of endurance-based cartooning. As this practice has grown into an annual worldwide event, other cartoonists have experimented with other forms of time-constrained cartooning, from the hourly to the minute-by-minute. Cartoonist and educator Marek Bennett will discuss the various permutations and productive pleasures of time-constrained comics with John Campbell, James McShane, Chris Piers, Maxime de Radigues and Robert Ullman.

The Future of the Comic Book

The economics and distribution of the comics specialty market have made the traditional comic book format an endangered species, even as book stores and libraries have become increasingly hospitable to long-form work. Moderator Bill Kartalopoulos will discuss the future of the comic book format with publisher Alvin Buenaventura, cartoonists Kevin Huizenga and Matthew Thurber, who have recently self-published their own serial comic book series, and Hellen Jo and Noah Van Sciver, two emerging artist who have recently launched titles in the embattled format.

Comics and Community

Dylan Williams (Sparkplug Books) leads an open and audience-inclusive discussion about the role independent comic creators, publishers, and distributors play in the comics community and how they can work together using principles of community organizing and resistance. Sally Bloodbath, Robyn Chapman, Benn Ray and Frank Santoro will talk about the internet, drawing nights, DIY networks, stores, distributors, publishers, friends, fans, clients, media outlets, tours, pooled resources, conventions and convention. Audience members are encouraged to bring their ideas.

The Aesthetics of Mini-Comics

Modestly-produced and hand-made comics have been the major point of entry for young cartoonists since the advent of cheap xerography. As comics have gravitated more towards bookstore-ready formats, some artists continue to find in hand-made comics a valuable, and even preferred, method of production. Moderator Bill Kartalopoulos will discuss the unique qualities of hand-produced formats with Dina Kelbermann, Jason Miles, John Porcellino and Dan Zettwoch.

Source-Based Comics

Works that draw on external sources – whether historical, literary, or otherwise – present artists with the twin burdens of faithfulness and creativity. Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant), Paul Karasik (City of Glass), Ed Piskor (Wizzywig), and R. Sikoryak (Masterpiece Comics) will discuss what it means to make creative works of adaptation, parody, and historical fiction in this wide-ranging panel discussion with moderator Bill Kartalopoulos.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Big Planet Comics interview

Greg Bennett, one of the owners of the Big Planet Comics chain, agreed to answer some questions for us in the wake of Big Monkey's closing.

Big Monkey Comics, in their closing announcement said, "It wasn't Galactus, Lex Luthor, or Dr. Doom that defeated us, but simple dollars and cents. The economy has adversely affected so many people, and we are the latest casualty." Has the economy affected the Big Planet chain?

Of course. We've had to adjust our business model with the times. Mostly we're not selling as many big-ticket items as we did before last September. But overall, we're doing just fine. Recession isn't really a bad time to be in the escapism business, if you think about it.

There are 4 Big Planet stores - 2 in suburban Maryland (Bethesda and College Park), 1 in DC (Georgetown) and 1 in Virginia (Vienna). Do you see a different clientele for the stores?

As you would imagine, spanning from suburban Northern Virginia to the university town of College Park, our clienteles are a bit varied, and there are some different seasonal fluctuations as well. But all four stores carry the same core product--good comics for people who like to read good comics--ranging from super-hero to indy.

Are comics about to top out their price again, with Marvel's raise to $3.99 per comic?

You know as much as I do. DC is at least making sure that all of their $3.99 comics have extra content that justifies the price. I think Marvel is testing the market to see if it will bear $3.99 for a standard 32-page comic.

What's selling the best now? The worst?

The best--Batman and Robin by Morrison and Quitely, Blackest Night by Geoff Johns, et al. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. Anything by Bendis, Brubaker, or Jason Aaron at Marvel. Robert Kirkman's Walking Dead and Invincible at Image. The Darwyn Cooke Parker: The Hunter GN and Asterios Polyp by David Mazzuchelli were also really big for us.

The worst--mostly extraneous mini-series by no-name creators from Marvel, and DC to a lesser extent. People are definitely not looking for more side titles to buy during the recession.

Any comments on the Disney purchase of Marvel? Any guess as to effects on comics?

Let's just say that I don't think Disney will do anything to adversely affect the value of Marvel, since they're over-paying by close to a billion dollars. And if you look at what they've done with Pixar, I think that's turned out quite well for both companies.

Any comments on DC's conversion to DC Entertainment and Paul Levitz's departure? Any guess as to effects on comics?

I don't really have a lot of information on that. My guess is that the trains will keep running more-or-less on time, and that there may be some more synergies utilized between the comics, movies, animation, and video games--probably a good thing in the long run. Paul's done a lot of great things at DC, and it sounds like he's going to continue to work with the comics there, just not as much on the administrative side. After 25+ years, he deserves a break.

Anything you're excited about coming out now?

Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, and Monster, and Pluto--his take on Tezuka's Astro Boy. I'm not a big manga guy, but Urasawa is truly amazing. DC's weekly Wednesday Comics, Strange Tales from Marvel, Asterios Polyp, Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire, Little Lulu reprints in color from Dark Horse My guiltiest pleasure is the soap opera that is the current Superman family of titles, being written by James Robinson, Greg Rucka, and Sterling Gates--great fun, and a new chapter almost every week.

Anyone you're looking forward to seeing at SPX?

Gahan Wilson, 1980s RAW legend Jerry Moriarity, John Porcellino, Matt Kindt, whose new book 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man from Dark Horse should be out. Hans Rickheit, with his new book, The Squirrel Machine, and Josh Neufeld with his New Orleans A.D. GN. I was sad to hear that Jeff Lemire couldn't make it, but I think he has a new baby. And I'm hoping that Mark Burrier will bring some more skateboards.

Sept 14: Batman Begins in Crystal City

Crystal Screen - Superheroes

Join the Crystal City BID for 21 weeks of Superheros! On Monday nights from May 4, 2009-September 21, 2009, Crystal City will be protected by Batman, Spiderman, Superman, and many others. Each night will also have special giveaways, sponsors, and other activities.

May 4, 2009 - September 21, 2009

18th and Bell Street - Courtyard Across from Crystal City Metro Station & Marriott Hotel

Event Fee:

Movies begin at sundown

Join the Crystal City BID for 21 weeks of Superheros! On Monday nights from May 4, 2009-September 21, 2009, Crystal City will be protected by Batman, Spiderman, Superman, and many others. Each night will also have special giveaways, sponsors, and other activities. Check back here for more information.

CRYSTAL KID BONUS: Since it gets dark later in the summer and movies often start past bedtime, the BID has partnered with Crystal City Sports Pub to rebroadcast each movie at 3:30 PM on the 3rd Floor of CCSP on the Wednesday following the outdoor showing, starting May 6. Bring your kids and a blanket and enjoy the fabulous surround network of TVs.

Festival Rules: Patrons can bring their own picnics as long as they abide by city and festival rules. Low-backed chairs and blankets are allowed, but grills, umbrellas, and pets are prohibited.


September 14, 2009 - Batman Begins
September 16, 2009 - Batman Begins - at CCSP
September 21, 2009 - Batman: The Dark Knight
September 23, 2009 - Batman: The Dark Knight - at CCSP

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Quick Reviews for Comics Due 09-16-09

By John Judy
3 STORY: THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE GIANT-MAN HC written and drawn by Matt Kindt.  No relation to Marvel's super, size-changing scientist, this is the story of the world's largest man who keeps growing until he no longer fits with his life or anyone in it.  Also growing until they no longer fit: certain metaphors.
AGENTS OF ATLAS #11 by Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman.  Dragons, ex-girlfriends and killer robots clash!  Big fight!
ARCHIE #601 by Michael Uslan and Stan Goldberg.  Part 2 of 6, in which Archie and Veronica continue their hypothetical future walk down the aisle.  Remember, gang: They're all imaginary stories.
BATGIRL #2 by Brian Q. Miller and Lee Garbett.  Batgirl #6 just knows she's gonna be different!  She's gonna make this work!
BATMAN AND ROBIN #4 by Grant Morrison and Philip Tan.  Meet the Red Hood and Scarlet.  They think they're so tough…
BLACKEST NIGHT #3 of 8 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis.  It's almost never a good time to be Firestorm the Nuclear Man.  I mean, you're wearing a poofy 70s shirt and your hair's on fire all the time.  Even so, at the moment it's especially not good.
BRAVE AND BOLD #27 by J. Michael Straczynski and Jesus Saiz.  JMS comes on board with a rip-snorting tale teaming the Dark Knight and…. Robbie Reed, the guy with the Dial H for Hero doo-hickey?  Dial A for Awesome!  Gotta look!
CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN #3 of 5 by Ed Brubaker and Bryan Hitch.  Steve Rogers has come unstuck in time…  Plus, the Red Skull and Dr. Doom have a meeting of the minds.  A Nazi super-villain and the megalomaniac son of gypsies.  What could go wrong?  Recommended.
DARK AVENGERS #9 by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato.  Ares, God of War discovers his kid has been working for the enemy.  Hmm, how do Greek gods deal with their unruly kids again…?  Recommended.
DARK REIGN LIST DAREDEVIL ONE-SHOT by Andy Diggle and Billy Tan.    Norman Osborn sends Bullseye to kill Daredevil, which is sort of like sending George W. Bush to fix the economy.  Or anything else.  Might want to look deeper into that rolodex, Mr. O. 
EX MACHINA #45 by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris.  Hizzoner Mayor Mitchell Hundred has a new enemy and a mole in his team just in time for the final storyline to get underway.  Only five more issues to go until the end of yet another great series by Mr. Vaughan.  Recommended.
JOHN STANLEY LIBRARY: NANCY, VOL. 1 HC by John Stanley.  Collecting the comic adventures of Ernie Bushmiller's famous tyke as written by John Stanley, the iconic Little Lulu scribe who some have called the greatest children's comics writer of all time.
MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN #3 by Jonathan Mayberry and Jason Shawn Alexander.  Zombie Wolverine finds his way to the "land of the rising son."  No, not Nazareth!  Japan, silly!  Marvul kan makes tie-poz!
MIGHTY AVENGERS #29 by Christos Gage, Dan Slott and Khoi Pham.  Scarlet Loki's mask seems to be slipping further and further down his/her nose.  But will it be too late for Hank Pym and his band of rebels?
THOR ANNUAL #1 by Peter Millligan, Tom Grindberg and Mico Suayan.  Thor's been turned out of Asgard and now some old enemies want a word.  Hope they like the taste of hammer!
ULTIMATE COMICS ARMOR WARS #1 of 4 by Warren Ellis and Steve Kurth.  Bad guys are trying to jack Ultimate Tony Stark's ride.  Un-cool, bad guys!  It's Ellis so expect lots of alcohol and pain.
WALKING DEAD #65 by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard.  "Fear the Hunters" part 4 of 5.  In which we learn that non-zombie cannibals are way worse than zombie cannibals even if they don't smell as bad. Not for kids.
WEDNESDAY COMICS #11 of 12 by Various Creators.  Almost time for the huge oversize coffee-table collection!
X-FACTOR #48 by Peter David and Valentine DeLandro.  Okay, that's it.  Madrox the Multiple Man has simply got to start cleaning up his mutant duplicates!  I'm not normally one to judge but at least when I leave my laundry all over the floor it doesn't develop a will of its own and start trying to kill my teammates.  Just sayin'…
X-MEN: LEGACY ANNUAL #1 by Mike Carey, Daniel Acuna and Mirco Pierfederici.  This sort of begs the question: How much legacy can you have if you're only up to your first annual?  But at least it has a cover drawing of Wolverine that looks like he's a fan-boy in a costume contest.

Comic-Book Fan Adam Besenyodi

 2009 Fall for the Book festival  ( in Fairfax:

 Comic-Book Fan Adam Besenyodi
When: Tue, September 22, 3pm – 4pm
Where: Grand Tier III, Center for the Arts, George Mason University, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax, Virginia 22030 (map)
Description: Besenyodi discusses his new book, Deus ex Comica: The Rebirth of a Comic-Book Fan, praised by Wired as a "a great study in emotional psychology and the things in life that really get our brains ticking and our hearts pumping."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cory Thomas interview

Scott Nickel has 20 Questions with Cory Thomas at his A Nickel's Worth blog Thursday, September 10, 2009. Thomas, whose strip is in the Post, used to be a cartoonist at Howard University.

Post doesn't like Whiteout, 9

Whiteout is based on Greg Rucka and Steve Leiber's graphic novel, which I enjoyed. However, the Post's review begins ""Whiteout" is so staggeringly bad that it achieves a kind of transcendent poetry." For more, read "Kate Beckinsale in 'Whiteout': Darkness Falls on Antarctica," By Dan Zak, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, September 11, 2009.

Cavna's review of '9' was sent to the Weekend ghetto (perhaps by him?), a section sadly diminished and rarely worth looking at now. To see what he wrote, go to "Animation That Thrills The Eyes, Not the Heart," Michael Cavna, Washington Post Friday, September 11, 2009. The Times wasn't too fond of it either - "Caught Between Ice and a Coldblooded Killer," By A. O. SCOTT, New York Times September 11, 2009.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Third Eye Comics of Annapolis featured

Third Eye Comics of Annapolis is featured on Graphic Novel Reporter - "Bestseller Lists September 9, 2009: Annapolis, MD," September 10 2009, listing their top-selling comics.

John Kovaleski's Shelf Porn includes Harvey Pekar: Conversations

John and I have communicated back and forth a bit after meeting at SPX. We swapped books, and I see Harvey Pekar: Conversations on his signed book shelf at "Send Us Your Shelf Porn!" by Chris Mautner,* September 9, 2009. Chris notes that John has a new book he'll be selling at SPX, and he's usually got some minicomics too - I'll be stopping by his table.

I love looking at pictures of people's libraries, but this is the first time they've looked back. So to speak.

*I also know Chris from the late, lamented Comix@ mailing list.

Baltimore City Paper 8th comics contest out

The current issue of the Baltimore City Paper has the results of its 8th comics contest.

Ullman covers City Paper!

Rob Ullman returns to do an illustration for the Washington City Paper! I've really missed his work - I don't even read Savage Love anymore without Rob's drawing to pull me in.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

PR: Jerry Moriarity, R. Sikoryak and Joshua Cotter as Guests for SPX 2009

Small Press Expo Announces Jerry Moriarity, R. Sikoryak and Joshua Cotter  as Guests for SPX 2009

Bethesda, Maryland; September 9, 2009 - The Small Press Expo (SPX), the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comics, graphic novels and alternative political cartoons, is pleased to announce Jerry Moriarity, R. Sikoryak and Joshua Cotter as guests for SPX 2009.

Jerry Moriarity will be making only his second festival appearance ever at this year's SPX. 
 Jerry has exhibited his work at Corridor Gallery, Kamikaze, Printed Matter, at the Visual Arts Museum of the School of Visual Arts, and, most recently, in a 2004 show at the CUE Art Foundation curated by Art Spiegelman. Jerry has worked as a painter, an illustrator, and a cartoonist. Spiegelman and Fran├žoise Mouly first published several episodes of Jerry's "Jack Survives" series of comics pages in issues of RAW Magazine, and published a now deeply out of print "Jack Survives" collection in 1984. This year, Buenaventura Press has published an updated, definitive hardcover collection of "Jack Survives,"  including never before published comics pages and paintings with an introduction by Chris Ware.

R. Sikoryak is a contributor to The New Yorker, Nickelodeon Magazine, Drawn & Quarterly, The Onion, Mad Magazine and LA Weekly in addition to Art Spiegelman's ground breaking Raw. His work has also been featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His long running series of literary masterpieces re-imagined in the style of various famous comic characters and cartoon artists has been collected by Drawn and Quarterly and published as Masterpiece Comics. Masterpiece Comics collects all of the previously released collisions between fine literature and the comics world, in addition to new pieces added to the series.

Joshua Cotter is the creator of the mini-comics Fun and Self Help. He won the Isotope Award for mini-comix in 2004 for Skyscrapers of The Midwest, which was collected into a graphic novel and published by Adhouse Books, with both the mini-comics and full graphic novel garnering rave reviews. Joshua was also nominated for Ignatz, Harvey and Eisner Awards. He is currently doing commercial work and painting while developing his next comics oriented project,  tentatively called Nod Away.

Jerry Moriarity, R. Sikoryak and Joshua Cotter are in addition to the previously announced guests Gahan Wilson, Paul Karasik, Carol Tyler, Josh Neufeld, John Porcellino and Willy Linthout.

SPX will be held Saturday, September 26 from 11AM to 7PM and Sunday, September 27, noon-6PM at The North Bethesda Marriott Convention Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Admission is $10 for a single day and $15 for both days.

For further information on the Ignatz Awards, the nominees or to request an interview, please contact Warren Bernard at

For more information on the Small Press Expo and the Ignatz Awards, please visit

MTV's Pekar interview online

Here's a short interview with Harvey. Print it out and tuck it in the back of my book.

EXCLUSIVE: Harvey Pekar Talks Webcomics, Art And His New Series, 'The Pekar Project'
by Rick Marshall
MTV's Splash Page blog 9/8/09

I just read the first 5 strips that are up and liked them all. I hope there will be a collection of these too.

Newspapers on '9'

'9': 1 Part Plot, 1 Part Casting, 7 Parts Wonder
By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Riffs Interview: Tim Burton & Jennifer Connelly Were Deeply Drawn to the Beguiling '9'
By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog September 9, 2009

In a Grim, Mysterious World, a Burlap Hero With a Heart of Golden Fuzz


New York Times September 9, 2009

OT: Gustave Verbeek's Upside-Down comic reprinted

Here's some PR from Pete Maresca which I'm passing along because they do such good work. I've bought every one of their book so far.

Sunday Press Turns Comics World "Upside-Down" with New Book on Gustave Verbeek

Sunday Press Books announces the latest in its highly-acclaimed series of comic strip reprints. "The Upside-Down World of Gustave Verbeek" offers a complete run of the artist's most famous creation and a sampling of his other work in comics and art.


Palo Alto, CA, September 6, 2009 -- A new collection from Sunday Press Books reprints a complete run of Gustave Verbeek's "Upside-Downs of Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo" (1903-1905), digitally restored and presented in their original size and colors. Also featured are a complete run of Verbeek's "Loony Lyrics of Lulu" (1910) and a sampling of his long-running "Terrors of the Tiny Tads" (1906-1914). A compilation of 25 early cartoons and paintings by Verbeek for magazines and illustrated books (1900-1915) fills out this large hard-bound volume. For collectors, there is an insert sheet of 12 "Tiny Tads" postcards, reprinting a 1907 promotional set.


Gustave Verbeek, as the book's introduction explains, was a truly international artist: a Japanese citizen of European descent, he trained in Paris, then moved to New York to become one of the most original contributors to the emerging art of the comic strip. His Sunday comic, "The Upside-Downs," is one of the wonders of the comic world. This fantasy story came in two parts: the first is read like a regular comic, then turn the page upside down and the images transform to illustrate the continuing story.


Verbeek was born in Japan, son of a Dutch educator and missionary. He studied art in Paris where he did his earliest cartooning as a part of the famed "Chat Noir" theatre group. He then moved to New York, creating cartoons and illustrations for Harper's, Scribner's, Century, Judge, and other magazines. His work in comics and illustration are a curious combination of Japanese, French, and American styles and cultures.


Verbeek illustrated numerous children's books in the early 20th century, as well as working in Expressionist painting and monotypes. He created Sunday comic strips in the earliest years of the medium; first for Pulitzer's New York World, then for the New York Herald, where he created his famed "Upside-Downs," and continued to draw comics there for 15 years. His work has influenced, directly or indirectly, Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss, Charles Schulz, and many other illustrators and cartoonists.


"The Upside-Down World of Gustave Verbeek" includes a foreword by science and mathematics scholar Martin Gardner, who has authored nearly 100 books, including "The Annotated Alice in Wonderland" and numerous volumes on mathematical puzzles. His interests in children's literature and puzzles merge in his admiration of Verbeek's work. The book's introduction is by comics scholar Jeet Heer, with contributions by "nonsense comics" specialist Marco Graziosi, and renowned comic strip historian, Richard Marschall.


This is the first complete collection of Verbeek's "Upside Downs" and the only one in the original size and colors since 1904. Editor/Publisher Peter Maresca states, "As with our other Sunday Press collections, we restored the Sunday pages to simulate the look of the comic strips at they appeared 100 years ago."


Sunday Press Books is a specialty publisher restoring and reprinting classic American comic strips in their original size and colors. The "The Upside-Down World of Gustave Verbeek" is the sixth book from Sunday Press. The first Sunday Press collection, "Little Nemo in Slumberland, So Many Splendid Sundays" (2005) received rave reviews and testimonials from around the world. Both this book and its sequel, "Little Nemo in Slumberland, Many More Splendid Sundays" received the coveted Will Eisner Award for Excellence in Comics. The first four Sunday Press publications received a total of seven Eisner nominations. Sunday Press collections have been printed in French, Spanish, and Russian editions. Also from Sunday Press in 2009 is L. Frank Baum's, "Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz." More information is available at or via email:


"The Upside-Down World of Gustave Verbeek"

120 pages, 11 x 16 inches, color, $60

ISBN - 09768885-7-2

EAN - 978-0-9768885-7-4