Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Super stockings

One of the more unique comics-related items at this weekend's Grump holiday show at Artisphere in Arlington, Va., were superhero Christmas stockings and pillows by local theater costumer designer Theodore Stumpf. Although he doesn't read comics, Stumpf said he enjoys the pop culture aspect of comics, which inspired him to make the items. Check out his Etsy shop for more stockings, if you're interested in buying one or two (most are priced at about $15).

(Below, photos of Stumpf's table at Grump)

(Below, images from his Etsy shop)

Comic Riffs talks to Clay Bennett about his Berryman award

Chattanooga's Clay Bennett is 'thrilled' to win the 2014 Berryman Award for editorial cartooning

By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog December 15 2014

The Post reviews American Cornball

The things we used to think were funny ['American Cornball: A Laffopedic Guide to the Formerly Funny,' by Christopher Miller]

By Elizabeth McCracken
Washington Post December 16 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Art Hondros demonstrating on Capitol Hill

Art Hondros is demonstrating against gun violence in schools right now, on Capitol Hill. Swing by for a free copy of his comic book, if you prefer not to read his sandwich board.

Updated - here's more pictures of Art's anti-gun violence protest.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Art Hondros demonstrating as Human comic book, Monday 12/15 by the Capitol

Art Hondros, who wrote a comic book story about gun violence in schools, tells us,

"I'll be wearing this sandwich-board on 1st St SE parts of the morning and afternoon, and handing out bound versions of the narrative as well.

It's been two years since the events in Newtown. I plan to behave, so I don't imagine being arrested."

Good luck, Art, and I admire your stand.

Big Planet Comics Vienna has a new look

A new, albeit landlord-supplied sign outside, and it's been rearranged inside as well since I was last there.

Looking for that perfect gift for a comics uber-scholar?

At Lulu, there's a couple of items that may be of interest:

International Journal of Comic Art 1:1

International Journal of Comic Art 1:1 (reprint)

By John Lent

Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators in the Swann Collection of the Library of Congress

Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators in the Swann Collection of the Library of Congress

By Sara Duke

Here's the 30% off message:

We're just as excited about the season as you are, so we're offering you one last chance to get 30% off all print books.

Use promo code KRBM2 now until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 15, and get great reads for everyone you know.

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "DC Voted 'Yes', Dammit!"

Mike apparently feels strongly about the marijuana legalization vote - Mike R.

"DC Voted 'Yes', Dammit!"

Y'know that old joke about how if voting could really change things, it would be illegal? Well, check out the shit that's going down right here in DC. Go on, take a good, long, steamy LOOK.

The Democrats -- yeah, the same Democrats who bitched about having an election stolen nearly 15 years ago, and who are still bitching today -- were ready to bargain away the franchise for residents of the District Of Columbia just so they could get a budget authorized to keep the goddamn' government from shutting down.

One more time... the DEMOCRATIC PARTY on Capitol Hill was willing to turn their backs on their duty to the Constitution and REFUSE TO UPHOLD THE RESULTS OF A FREE ELECTION in order to get their goddamn' budget passed...

Mike Flugennock, flugennock at sinkers dot org
Political Cartoons: dubya dubya dubya dot sinkers dot org

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Weingarten on Shansby's new book

Science fiction/comics class at Eaton ES

Earlier this week, comics writer/editor Jason Rodriguez, comics artist Keir Lyles, Eric Suggs Jr. (president of Art Way Alliance) and the folks heading the Museum of Science Fiction project held a two-hour workshop on comics and science fiction at the John Eaton Elementary School in D.C. Suggs provided us with an overview of the program (below) for the 5th grade class.

Science fiction and comics in the classroom program summary
This program aims to pair students with a comic book writer and comic cook artist in order to get them to understand how science fiction is created and guide them in the development of their first science fiction comic strip.

In this program, a comic writer (Jason Rodriguez) will talk about different ways that students would turn a concept like the recent “Rosetta Comet Landing Mission” into science fiction. While this discussion is taking place, comic artist (Keir Lyles) will be drawing out some of these concepts, illustrating the process from science fact to science fiction idea to science fiction comic. This would give students the opportunity to understand not just the creative process, but how the science they are learning in schools informs some of the science fiction they are reading in their books and, sometimes, vice versa.

After this discussion and demonstration, the students will be asked to create their own three-panel science fiction comic strip using the writer and artist as a sounding board for ideas and execution. The comic strip that they create will allow them to not just talk about the story that they created, but the science that served as the foundation of the project.

Detailed program breakdown
30 to 45 minutes: Science fiction creation discussion and artist drawing out the concepts that are discussed. The remaining time will be used to work with the students as they create their three-panel comic strips.

Below is the link to the pics from the class:

Photos courtesy of Eric Suggs

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "Cromnibus Island"

"Cromnibus Island"

Just sit right back, and you'll hear a tale -- a tale of a fateful bill...

Remember when Obummer said he backed DC on marijuana decriminalization? Me, neither.

Yesterday, Obummer stated that he disapproved of Congressional meddling in DC's ballot initiative to legalize marijuana, but that he wouldn't veto the "CRomnibus" budget bill.

You got that? He's willing to let Congress overturn a free election in the Capital of the United States if it'll get his goddamn' budget passed. He says he opposes interference with Initiative 71, but HE WON'T UPHOLD THE ELECTION.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Still standing with Hillary?

Mike Flugennock, flugennock at sinkers dot org
Political Cartoons: dubya dubya dubya dot sinkers dot org

City Paper article on Brooke Allen also in print

Is in the December 11th paper, across 3 pages! Again, good work, Tim

Darrenn Canton moving out of area

Local illustrator and cartoonist Darrenn Canton posted on his Facebook page that he's moving to Louisville, KY for work. We wish him the best of luck.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Q&A with Rosarium publisher Bill Campbell

By Matt Dembicki
Rosarium Publishing is a relatively new publisher in Washington, D.C., that delivers mostly science-fiction stories in array of formats. Its hallmark is diversity, both among its talent and content. So far, Rosarium has focused on anthologies and short novels, but publisher Bill Campbell has picked up several comics for its catalogue. Below, we chat with Bill about Rosarium, its current books and what’s in store to come in 2015.

Can you give us a brief background on Rosarium, what inspired you to start it?

This is a long, convoluted story of heartache and pain. But seriously, I was a self-published author who ended up getting a big, fancy agent. That agent didn't really work out. Mainstream publishers weren't really liking what I was doing. However, there were some academics who did. So, I found myself in the weird position of being a self-published author, basically selling his books out of the trunk of his car, then running off to some college or university to lecture about my books, some of which were being taught. I thought it was utterly ridiculous to not be good enough for a publisher but to be good enough for academia, and I figured there were probably other authors out there suffering the same fate. I started Rosarium in order to give those authors a home.

When Rosarium started in 2013, you focused on short stories through anthologies and short novels. Today, you are branching out to include comics. Was that part of the plan, or did the idea to include comics develop as you were already into your business?

That's hard to say. Publishing comics was a childhood dream of mine. So, I'm not really sure if there was a conscious decision. John Jennings (Pitch Black Rainbow, Kid Code, and Blue Hand Mojo) has been involved with Rosarium since the beginning. Keith Miller (Manticore) and I had been talking about turning my one novel, Koontown Killing Kaper, into a graphic novel before I started Rosarium. So maybe it was always part of the plan. I don't know. But as soon as I ran across KEEF CROSS's work (DayBlack), I just knew I had to publish that book.

What type of comics is and will Rosarium publish in the coming year?

“Type?” Well, that's impossible for me to pin down. As you pointed out, diversity is a key goal for Rosarium. We have over 20 different writers and artists living on five different continents. We come in all shapes, sizes, and hues. And different interests. So, we have slice-of-life (Jennifer's Journal), kid's adventure (Malice in Ovenland), a vampire tattoo artist (DayBlack), surrealist sci-fi dystopia (Corporatica), and a hip-hop Dr. Who (Kid Code); and we've got an Iranian folk tale (Little Black Fish), a medieval Indian assassin (Chadhiyana), and a prison horror tale (Manticore) in the works. And don't be surprised if you see anything from Obeah to Lovecraft coming out of our humble, little factory.

What do you look for in the comics you publish?

Good question. I'm not exactly sure there is any one “thing” I do look for. It's definitely not anything market-based or something I can easily articulate. It basically comes down to what grabs me, and, more and more, what grabs the Rosarium team. And, as you can tell, what that particular “thing” is is insanely varied.

I know that—despite holding a day job and raising a young family—you spend a lot of time on the road exhibiting at shows. Why is that important?

I once read a biography about Gene Autry. The thing that impressed me about him (which definitely wasn't his music) was that, no matter how successful he was, he was always on the road. For a musician, it's a matter of money. At this early stage, for us, it's more about connecting with people. We're doing something a little different here (on so many levels). It's really important for us to introduce ourselves, meet others inside and outside of the industry, and to connect with the folks who've felt that an experiment like Rosarium is necessary.

As a publisher that is still getting its feet wet in the publishing world, what has been the biggest challenges?

I think the biggest challenge is definitely an inside-baseball complaint. When you're new, you know that you're going to have to keep coming out with quality projects for awhile before people start taking you seriously. That was something that I realized going in and had no problem with.

The hardest part (especially since I'm dealing with comics and books) had been dealing with all the monopolies or near-monopolies. There are a bunch of distribution niches in publishing, and each niche is basically run by one company. When you're the new kid on the block, they have absolutely no interest in dealing with you, and it doesn't matter the quality of your work. They simply don't want to work with you. End of story.

It's a lot better now because we've found a smaller distributor who really likes what we're doing and is working hard on our behalf. But that first year was really hard because, even though we were with one of those monopolies, we could hardly get our books anywhere.

How would you define “success” for Rosarium?

Beats me! I'll let you know when we've achieved it.

Rosarium publisher Bill Campbell

Comic Riffs on Shadow Hero and Teen Titans

TEEN TITANS: Despite awe, Jeff Lemire couldn't pass up writing for his 'gateway' comic characters

By David Betancourt

Washington Post Comic Riffs blog December 9 2014



'THE SHADOW HERO': Author Gene Luen Yang admits research error through new comic

By Michael Cavna

Washington Post Comic Riffs blog December 9 2014


Tuesday, December 09, 2014

New medical comic by local resident

You may have to sign up for Academia to be able to see this.

My quest for health

by Michael Sappol


An autobiographical memoir of an episode in the health history of Michael Sappol, brought to life by artist/medical-illustrator Shelley Wall.

Dec. 11, 12: Signing, Reading and Rapping at Fantom Comics

Fantom Comics has a couple unique events going on this week. On Thursday (Dec. 11), local science fiction author Benjamin Rosenbaum will sign and read from his book The Ant King and Other Stories at 6:30 p.m.

"Rosenbaum's debut collection is a dazzling, post-modern mix of pulp and surreal, spanning the weirdest corners of literature and science fiction," according to the store's Facebook event page. His stories have appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, McSweeney's, and Nature, been shortlisted for the Hugo and Nebula Awards, and reprinted in Harper's and The Year's Best Science Fiction.

On Friday (Dec. 12), rapper Adam Warrock kicks off the store’s "GREAT POWER" Art Show. There’s a $10 cover for the show, which begins at 9 p.m.

“We're excited to host the artist responsible for entire rap albums about Firefly, Marvel Comics, Game of Thrones, and practically every fandom you can think of," Fantom says. "His masterful lyrics speak to the geek in all of us, so make your way to Fantom with your fellow Browncoats, Pawneeans, and Inhumans for a killer art show featuring a killer performer.”

PW podcast with Lewis on his new book

Former local comics historian/writer A. David Lewis has a new academic book, American Comics, Literary Theory, and Religion The Superhero Afterlife (Palgrave Macmillian, $90). Listen to an interview with Lewis on the Publishers Weekly podcast with comics reviewer Calvin Reid. (Lewis also was a co-editor on recently published Colonial Comics from Fulcrum Publishing.)

Here's a summary of American Comics, Literary Theory, and Religion from the publisher's website:

Just as often as superheroes journey into the afterlife, they also return from it. Their surprising immortality has created its own set of storytelling rules and expectations; it also has come to influence their secular readership in new interreligious investigations of narrative character and personal selfhood. Unlocking a new and overdue model for reading comic books, this unique volume explores religious interpretations of popular comic book superheroes such as the Green Lantern and the Hulk. A. David Lewis argues that the superhero subgenre offers a hermeneutic for those interested in integrating mutiplicity into religious practices and considerations of the afterlife.

A. David Lewis holds a PhD in Religious Studies from Boston University, USA. He is the co-editor of Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels and Digital Death: Mortality and Beyond in the Online Age. He is also a graphic novelist and founding member of Sacred & Sequential

Animation historian Charles Solomon reviews The Art of Richard Thompson

BOOK REVIEW: "The Art of Richard Thompson"

Animation Scoop By Charles Solomon | Animation Scoop December 9, 2014

Art of Richard Thompson

Monday, December 08, 2014

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Art of Richard Thompson book launch -- Arlington Central Library recording

If you missed the book launch of the Art of Richard Thompson today with Nick Galifianakis, Chris Sparks, David Apatoff, Michael Cavna and Michael Rhoder earilier today, you can listen to it at https://archive.org/details/OMP141206ArtOfRichardThompson

Tonight: Ladies' Night at Fantom Comics

Fantom Comics tonight holds its monthly Ladies' Night from 9 p.m. to midnight. The theme is "Strong Women." From the store's Facebook page:

"Come help us celebrate all the strong women who are in our lives and comics and who inspire us to be the amazing fans and creators that make up the FANTOM FORCE! Please, as always, bring snacks and drinks to share! Also, we'll be celebrating quite a few ladies' birthdays, so look out for cupcakes and celebratory snacks!"

RICHARD THOMPSON LIVE at Arlington Central Library

...right now.  But this isn't in the book.

TODAY: Art of Richard Thompson at Arlington's Central library

Richard Thompson and four of the editors of the new book about him will be at Central Library at 2:30 today. Stop by and buy a book.

Richard Thompson art book reviewed by another artist

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Richard Thompson featured in local paper

Richard Thompson's Work Featured in Documentary, Book

By Liz Lizama

Falls Church News-Press December 4, 2014

Cartoonist Richard Thompson looks at some of his work in a scene from a new short documentary about his life and his work. (Photo: Courtesy of GVI)

Cartoonist Richard Thompson looks at some of his work in a scene from a new short documentary about his life and his work. (Photo: Courtesy of GVI)

Comic Riffs talks to Darrin Bell

DARRIN BELL: From Ferguson to New York cases, 'Candorville' cartoonist draws deeply from the personal [Q&A]

By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog December 4 2014

Jules Feiffer's book Kill My Mother makes Politics & Prose's top 10

Jules Feiffer's book Kill My Mother is the only comic in Politics & Prose's top 10 books of 2014. They write:

The incomparable Jules Feiffer has produced his first noir graphic novel, Kill My Mother, that pays tribute to the crime fiction and newspaper adventures strips he loved as a teenager. The book's settings—in the Depression era and such locales as Bay City and Hollywood—are classic, as are many of the characters and plot twists. But Feiffer has his own fun with the traditional genre.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

'Terrible: Tsar Ivan IV' online

Oregon-based publisher Study Group is running online the first chapter of Terrible: Tsar Ivan IV, drawn by local cartoonist Art Hondros and written by former local cartoonist Scott Mills

NPR’s Book Concierge comics recommendations

NPR's Book Concierge

Our Guide To 2014's Great Reads

by Nicole Cohen, David Eads, Rose Friedman, Becky Lettenberger, Petra Mayer, Beth Novey and Christina Rees – Published December 3, 2014


Gary Groth recalls his "drive into Georgetown (in Washington, DC) ..."

[to] buy [underground] comics at wholesale rates from a head shop." And from those humble beginnings, the mighty Fantagraphics empire arose.

Crafting a Complete Zap

BY Dan Nadel Dec 3, 2014


Short cuts on The Art of Richard Thompson film, if not the book

Noel Murray December 03, 2014

Short Cuts: "The Art Of Richard Thompson," a documentary about one of this era's best cartoonists


Brumsic Brandon obituary from NY Times

Brumsic Brandon Jr., Creator of 'Luther' Comic Strip, Dies at 87
DEC. 2, 2014

"Mr. Brandon's gently satirical comic strip, syndicated from 1968 to 1986, chronicled the exploits of Luther, a wide-eyed African-American third grader, and his friends in a ghetto neighborhood not unlike the Benning Road section of northeast Washington, where Mr. Brandon grew up."

John Cuneo appreciates Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson draws funny.
by John Cuneo
Drawger blog December 2, 2014

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Hagen paintings at Cafe Nola

David Hagen says, "Hagen paintings are on display at Cafe Nola...

....for the whole month of December!  Only problem is you have to hike up to Frederick.
I personally am giving a Hagen original as a gift this Christmas.

Clifford Berryman on Ghosts of DC blog

D.C. Lacks National Representation … Still

This print is still appropriate today … sadly. We found this in the awesome collection provided by the DC Public Library. If you...

Monday, December 01, 2014

The Post on Frozen, again

Parents beware: this round of "Frozen"-mania won't end after the holidays. Idina Menzel says a sequel is in the works. [in print as A 'Frozen' sequel? Our blood runs cold, December 1, 2014]

By Jessica Contrera November 30 2014


RIP Brumsic Brandon, Jr.

Brumsic Brandon, Jr. creator of the Luther comic strip has passed away.  Brandon was born in Washington, DC. More information at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/floridatoday/obituary.aspx?n=Brumsic-Brandon&pid=173333233

Thanks to DD Degg for the tip.