Sunday, May 10, 2015

Is the AFDI's Draw Muhammad contest erasing its own history?

 A guest editorial by Kathy Mannix

Cartoon lovers may no longer be able to access the slideshow of works submitted to the American Freedom Defense Initiative* Inaugural Draw Muhammad contest held May 3 in Garland, Tex., a suburb of Dallas. The slideshow on Photobucket was easily accessed Wednesday, May 6, when I checked out the wide-ranging talents of those who entered the contest. By Friday, May 8, I couldn't access the slideshow. Visitors to the AFDI site can still see the winning cartoon and click to view video of interviews by The United West* founder Tom Trento with attendees and graphic novelist Bosch Faustin, the contest winner. 

"Wide-ranging talent" may be a tad too kind. As I remember my only view of the works, one was a scan of stick figures on looseleaf paper, most were assemblages of stock images, and fewer than five came from the drawing boards or computers of professional artists or editorial cartoonists.

Still accessible online are the rules for entering the contest. The rules are cartoonish on there own. Rule 5 includes, "AFDI will assume that all art entered for consideration does not infringe upon the copyright of a third party. The artist shall assume all liability if an infringement claim is made." It sure seems that the estate of Norman Rockwell has an infringement claim for the event poster AFDI used at the event and has for sale from its site for $50. It doesn't seem within the realm of parody to replace the triple image of Mr. Rockwell with a triple image of Muhammad. There are parodies of Rockwell's work such as the Four Freedoms a-plenty, but self-portraiture seems a category of its own.

Rule 6 has eight bullets, including the penultimate, "The Entrant does not include any disparaging remarks relating to the Sponsor or a third party." Are all cartoon contest sponsors so thin-skinned?

Faustin's winning work shows the prophet, scimitar raised, and bubble saying, "You can't draw me!" Outside the plane of this image viewers see human hands at work on the drawing with a second bubble saying, "That's why I draw you." This cartoon won both the first prize of $10,000 and a bonus of $2,500 as a fan favorite. Reports of that double win drew me to the ADFI site Wednesday. Faustin's competitors included only one cartoonist whose work I know. An April blog post from that cartoonist reads in part, "AFDI is an anti-Muslim right-wing hate group that is intent on picking a fight with whatever right-wing Muslim hate group will take their bait." That Rule 6 infraction probably took this pro out of the running. I've reached out to him for comments on entering the contest, and await his reply.

*The Southern Poverty Law Center designates both AFDI and TUW as hate groups.

The Post's Parker on Texas Muhammad cartoon contest

Pamela Geller's abuse of free speech

[n print as Artist Provacateur].

By Kathleen Parker Opinion writer
Washington Post May 10 2015, p. 19

Comic Riffs on Baltimore and editorial cartoons

Baltimore art: How civil unrest mobilizes the creative hand

By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs May 9 2015

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Tom King interviewed about DC's Omega Men

AwesomeCon panels and programs

Info on panels and programming at Awesome Con May 29-31 at the Washington Convention Center is posted. Plenty of local comics creators will be participating.

Cartoon Picayune #7

Josh Kramer has a new issue out of his digest-size anthology The Cartoon Picayune. The theme of this 36-page, black-and-white issue is "chance." Copies are $4. Order through his website.

Friday, May 08, 2015

NPR's Monkey See podcast on Avengers

Darrin Bell interviewed by Comics Riffs about RFK Award

Tonight: Ben Hatke at Hooray for Books! in Alexandria

May 8th: Author Ben Hatke will discuss and sign his popular Zita graphic novels and his recent picture book, Julia's House for Lost Creatures. 7 pm.
When Julia and her walking house come to town, she likes everything about her new neighborhood except how quiet it is! So Julia puts a sign up: "Julia's House for Lost Creatures." Soon she's hosting goblins, mermaids, fairies, and even a dragon. Quiet isn't a problem anymore for Julia...but getting her housemates to behave themselves is!

An Independent Children's Bookstore
1555 King St.  Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Ph. 703-548-4092 Fax 703-548-4094
Hours: Mon-Sat 10-6 Sun 11-4

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Another Ben Hatke story

Ben Hatke and the One and Only Miracle Molly


May 5, 2015

Comic Riffs on Darrin Bell's RFK Award

2015 RFK Awards: WPWG's Darrin Bell wins for cartoons focusing on race, police

By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs May 7 2015

Comic Riffs talks to Baltimore's KAL about tonight's Herblock Award

Darrin Bell wins the RFK cartooning award

The full press release is online here.

Cartoon: "Darrin Bell 2014 Editorial Cartoons," Darrin Bell, The Washington Post Writers Group

The ...awards... will be presented by Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy at a ceremony featuring remarks by Kerry Kennedy and Michael Beschloss on Thursday, May 21, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The 2015 RFK Book and Journalism Awards were sponsored by the George Washington University.

The ceremony will also feature the presentation of the 2015 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, celebrating their 47th anniversary. All honorees will receive a bust of Robert F. Kennedy in recognition of their award.

I was one of the judges for the award this year, and like always, there were a lot of great candidates and cartoons.

Fantom Comics posts 2014 sales info

2014 in Review – A Comic Book Shop Talks Comic Book Sales Trends

Bruce Guthrie's photos of Brian Selznick's exhibit

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

May 9: Brian Selznick at MLK Library in DC

D.C. library celebrates author and illustrator Brian Selznick [in print as Reading ahead with Brian Selznick

'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' author to visit the exhibit that showcases his visual storytelling.

By Mary Quattlebaum Washington Post May 5 2015

Drawing Fire From Not Drawing

by Steve Artley, Artleytoons 

No. What part of that answer is unclear? Since the Danish newspaper published Mohammed cartoons a decade ago, followed by the ill-fated "Draw Mohammed" day shortly afterward; since the Charlie Hebdo murders earlier this year and after the recent fiasco in Texas — I have been prompted to draw Mohammed by some readers and others. Increasingly, I have been pressured to do so as if it is some kind of patriotic duty, or as a display of blatantly spitting in the eyes of those pesky terrorists. I have even been called a coward for not doing it, as if I am allowing myself to be intimidated by those bully militant extremists.  

A coward. Wow.

I have publicly made clear my opposition to the so-called "jihadists" for their assault on the Charlie Hebdo studios ( Over my 30 year career, I've produced editorial renderings that unabashedly stood up against bullies and thugs. My archives are full of anti-terrorist cartoons critical of militant aggression and bullying. They're teeming with cartoons lampooning politicians, Democrats, Republicans, the Tea Party, the NRA, KKK, Neo Nazis, anti-semites, homophobes, Islamiphobes, germophobes, pedophile clergy, the Westboro Baptist Church, as-well-as ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, Netanyahu's Mossad, the United States Secret Service and even our own country when I think we've been aggressive and bullying. On each one of those cartoons, my name is clearly inscribed. My identity is known. The same day of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, I produced and distributed my "Je Suis Charlie" cartoon into syndication to be seen by millions worldwide and was the only one of its kind published in NEWSWEEK Japan (see inset). I have little doubt that in some dark cavern somewhere on this planet my name is already on someone's hit list. All I have to say to the latest Terrorist de jour is, "get in line, pal. I've offended much bigger jerks than you over the years." So, call me twisted. Call me warped. Call me sophomoric, stupid, ineloquent, ugly or just plain wrong. But, don't call me a coward simply because I refuse to draw an insulting image for you.

In each case of being asked, prompted, encouraged, ridiculed or bullied into drawing the Prophet, not once was I asked why I refused. While I don't feel that I need to explain something that is so obvious, I'll do it here in this forum. So, here we go. It's a pretty simple principle, really. 

When it comes to my cartooning, I have my own standards of ethical practices. There are certain boundaries I will not cross. Drawing Mohammed falls within one of those boundaries. I will not insult an entire religion because of a lunatic fringe. I may criticize someone who does or says something in the name of religion, but will not intentionally ridicule the religion itself. Although I have drawn cartoons that some have found offensive (it's such a subjective assessment), drawing an image solely for the intent of offending any group or individual is distasteful and a violation of my personal code.

I find much of the Charlie Hebdo material distasteful and some of it down right offensive. I feel the Texas "Muhammad Art Exhibit" was without merit and designed only to insult. But, in each case it's not the material that I defend. Not in the least. What I am defending is much bigger. It's all about freedom to express, without reprisal. 

Free speech, listed in the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights, is the very foundation of all the other rights. Without it and the boundless latitude it provides, the other rights have no teeth. What's more, defending freedom of speech means defending the right of those expressing ideas with which you vehemently disagree — even despise. Although my editorial renderings may ridicule the rants of the aforementioned groups, I will defend their right to rant. And, I will rigidly oppose those who would use force to silence them.

Yes, with freedom comes responsibility. That's why I have my code. But, I don't want anyone defining the parameters of that code for me. So, don't chastise me, beat me, imprison me, shoot me or otherwise forcibly silence me for what I draw (or don't draw). But, hey... if you disagree, go ahead and criticize me for it. That's your right.

"I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it"
Evelyn Beatrice Hall, alias S.G. Tallentyre (1868-1956), The Life of Voltaire; 1903

Telnaes blogs on Texas cartoon stupidity

May 9: Mort Künstler retrospective

A retrospective exhibition exploring the career of renowned artist and illustrator Mort Künstler opens in Winchester’s Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) on May 9 and runs through Aug. 2.

Best known for his paintings of the Civil War and countless covers for adventure books and magazines, Künstler created the illustration for the famous 1976 MAD magazine cover (he signed it as “Mutz”), which parodied the "Jaws" movie poster by featuring the magazine’s mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, swimming from a shark.

Künstler will be at the MSV for a signing event on Saturday, May 9, from 11 to

The Post points out that its about free speech

Subjecting free speech to the assassin's veto

By Sonny Bunch
Washington Post Act Four blog May 5

The Post on feminism and Black Widow

The strong feminism behind Black Widow, and why the critiques don't stand up

By Alyssa Rosenberg
Washington Post's Act Four blog May 5 2015

CAIR's statement on Texas' cartoon quagmire

CAIR Condemns Attack on Anti-Islam Event in Texas

04 May 2015
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/4/15) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned an attack Sunday on an anti-Islam event in Texas.

First caught by Alan Gardener's Daily Cartoonist blog.

Laura Lee Gulledge has a Kickstarter

Will & Whit: The Graphic Novel Musical!

by Laura Lee Gulledge

The NEW young adult graphic novel MUSICAL “Will & Whit” needs to record an ALBUM to give our project wings! #ArtnerLove

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Kojo Nnamdi on Charlie Hebdo

May 06 2015 12:20 p.m. (ET)

Cartoons, Satire, and the Limits of Free Speech

A French street portrait of cartoonist Georges Wolinski, one of the Charlie Hebdo staff members killed in January, 2015.

A French street portrait of cartoonist Georges Wolinski, one of the Charlie Hebdo staff members killed in January, 2015. Thierry Ehrmann

Debates around satire and free speech are sparking headlines–and violence. ISIS claimed responsibility for a Texas attack on a provocative cartoon contest around depicting the prophet Muhammed. And a number of prominent cartoonists and literary figures are protesting a free speech award for the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. We explore the current environment for satire and cartooning, and how editors and cartoonists draw the line as to what's off limits.


  • Stephan Pastis Illustrator and syndicated cartoonist; creator, "Pearls Before Swine;" author, "Timmy Failure: Sanitized For Your Protection"
  • Michael Cavna Creator, "Comic Riffs" column, Washington Post; graphic novel reviewer, Washington Post Book World.

Meet Nik Kowsar, an Iranian-turned-American cartoonist

by Mike Rhode

Soon after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Cartoonists Rights Network International began a fundraising campaign. I reached out to Nikahang "Nik" Kowsar at the time, but for one reason or another, his interview stalled in cyberlimbo. Sadly, Nik's thoughts will remain relevant for the foreseeable future. Since this interview was conducted in February, we've seen American writers of PEN sharply disagree about whether to give a courage award for Charlie Hebdo's cartoonists and presumed attempted murders at a Mohammad cartoon contest in Texas.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?
I do editorial cartoons, as well as running, that's an online platform made for helping non-cartoonists making their own cartoons.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?
I use felt tip pens, scan with my iPhone using Scanner Pro app, and color the work with Photoshop, so it's a combination of all.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?
I was born in 1969 in Tehran, Iran. I'm technically Canadian, but a US resident. Canadian cartoonists helped me get out of Iran.

Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?
I think Washington is the most relevant place on earth to work in relation with politics on Iran, and I've been running a Persian citizen journalism platform since 2009, and living in DC and the DC metro area since 2010. I'm now living not that far from JFK's "Eternal Flame" in Arlington.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?
I studied Geology, and started drawing cartoons and caricature after buying a collection of David Levine's artwork when I was 21. A year later I was hired by Golagha Magazine, Iran's top satirical publication at the time and started working with professionals, that helped me get better with the trade. I also attended painting classes in Iran.I studied Journalism in Canada after leaving Iran.

Who are your influences?
I was in love with David Levine's lines and views, discovered Pat Oliphant and Kal through papers and magazine that reached the University library in Tehran. I also was influenced by Iranian cartoonists such as Iraj Zareh, Ahmad Arabani, Ahmad Sakhavarz and Afshin Sabouki. The last two are now residing in Canada.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?
I would have started again by taking sketching courses and quitting Geology! I would have loved to study Journalism and  Design simultaneously and work harder. I would also get more sleep!

What work are you best-known for?
The Crocodile cartoon I drew in 2000, that lead to a National Security crisis in Iran and was the cause of a 4-day protest by the clergy in Qum, and hundreds of thousands of people attending Friday prayers chanting for my death. I had portrayed a crocodile, shedding "Crocodile Tears" strangling a journalist with its tale. Crocodile in Persian is "Temsah" that rhymed with the name of the cleric I had try to mock, who was Ayatollah Mesbah (aka Professor Mesbah). He was, and is, a pro-violence high ranking cleric who had made allegations against Iranian journalists. He also alleged that a CIA operative was in Tehran at the time, with a big suitcase full of US dollars to bribe Iranian journalists against Islam. This was a few weeks before the parliamentary elections in Iran. Many responded, and my response was that cartoon. I was arrested and spent 6 days at the notorious Evin prison, and was literally kicked out after the backlash of my arrest had become bigger than the parliamentary elections. I was on the covers of newspapers and a distraction for political parties for a week.Because of that single cartoon, the Ayatollah is called Professor Temsah (Crocodile), and I always wear Lacoste shirts to remind myself of the cartoon that totally changed my life.I have received death threats, and lived in exile as a refugee since 2003. Canada was my safe haven at that time, and my family joined me in 2007.

What work are you most proud of?
I was part of the group that founded the Iranian Cartoon House and we started the classes that became a center to discover talent. Many of those young kids are now seasoned and experienced artists; some are working as professional cartoonists and animators. It was great seeing two of them in San Francisco a few weeks ago.My work in the late 90's and after had impact on the newspaper readers and editorial became very popular in Iran, where I had to work for 3 different newspapers a day. I somehow became my own competition. We have very great cartoonists in Iran, and possibly I was a good communicator who was helpful in creating jobs for many of those highly talented but shy artists. Cartooning became a serious business in those years and politicians used to respond to this sort of critique. That also turned me into a target of the Islamist hardliners.At last, being with Cartoonists Rights Network International is something I'm really proud of. I was once their client, and now a member of the board, trying to find ways and means to support cartoonists who have experienced hard situations and need their voices to be heard.

What would you like to do  or work on in the future?
I love to find enough funds to turn to a tool for masses, to give them a voice through cartoons, and help local and national campaigns against dictators. This cannot happen without technical help of brilliant cartoonists. I would also love to create a safer situation for my colleagues in Islamic countries to who are under threat and have to self censor themselves in fear of radical Islamist retribution.

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?
I watch movies. I also have a Fibromyalgia block! Sometimes I can't even draw a line without pain. Fibromyalgia attacks or flares really block anything...mind, muscles, wrist...I think I can't take anything for granted anymore!

What do you think will be the future of your field?
It's been a really hard decade for editorial cartoonists, but I think millions of people have understood the impact of cartoons and I hope publishers learn from the masses as well and hire more cartoonists.In the digital age, we have to find a way to connect better and deeper and possibly mixing cartoons with applications that could also give audiences a chance to communicate with us and other people would give a new meaning to our profession.

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?
I usually attend meetings or events at the Newseum, National Press Club and sessions at a number of think tanks in DC.

What's your favorite thing about DC?
It's a beautiful place. I love the National Mall, museums, theaters, Georgetown,  National Airport, and the monuments. DC is not only a historical place, but you sense the history in the making.

Least favorite?
Ummm...some taxi drivers who expect you to be a devoted Radical Muslim and discuss matters that you hate! I'm a Muslim lite! I drink alcohol and love bacon and avoid people who tell me what I should do or be!I've met many cab drivers who were in love with Iran's former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I told one that if he loves Mahmoud that much, he should leave DC immediately, go to Iran and work for him! He changed the subject after I made that suggestion!

What monument or museum do like to take visitors to?
I love Lincoln Memorial for many reasons. The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and the Udvar-Hazy center near Dulles, remind me of the days I hoped to become a pilot! National History Museum gets me back to the days I studied mineralogy and  paleontology. And as a journalist, who could not love the Newseum? I've also taken friends to the Library of Congress and the Congress.

How about a favorite local restaurant?
For meat loving times, Ray's Hell Burger and Ruth's Chris Steak House.
For Pizza, Pupatella in Arlington.
And for Iranian cuisine, Amoo’s House of Kabob in McLean.
For fast food, I cannot love Moby Dick House of Kabob enough.

Do you have a website or blog?
I run and I'm the editor in chief of
I'm not a journalist, but I should probably note that Nik recently turned the tables and interviewed me for the CRNI on “Supporting Mohammad Saba'aneh,” the Palestinian cartoonist  who also ran afoul of Islamic cartooning.

Comic Riffs on Charlie Hebdo and PEN Award (continued)

Charlie Hebdo's PEN Award: Top cartoonists endorse saluting magazine's 'courage'

By Michael Cavna

Washington Post Comic Riffs blog May 5 2015

Kickstarter: Comics United Nations project

Reading With Pictures, in partnership with PCI Media Impact and PVBLIC Foundation, is working  with the United Nations and an international coalition of comics publishers and cartoonists to produce a comic that to engage and inspire readers around the world. Although the group is looking for grant funding to pay for the endeavor, that's a long process. So it's taken to Kickstarter to help raise funding more quickly to publish the project by September, when  the leaders from UN nations are scheduled to will convene ratify the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. (On a personal note, I'll be doing a 10-pager on one of the topics.)

Click on the image below to go to the Kickstarter campaign.

Rozegar colors 'Man Plus'

Local cartoonist Arsia Rozegar gives a sneak peek (see below) of a comic book he's been coloring for Titan called Man Plus. "It's been a lot of fun and went for a different stylistic approach I normally don't do," Rozegar says on his Facebook page. The first issue is scheduled for release July 8.

Bounding into Comics blog

Based on his Free Comic Book Day post, John F. Trent's Bounding into Comics blog is local to our area. The earliest posts are from June, 2014.

Ben Hatke stories

ZAP! POW! Comics are for kids again

This is about comics, and about kids, so I'm going to start with a story (a comic!) about how Bill Watterson taught my home schooled daughter to read. It goes like this…

By Ben Hatke

May 7: Juana Medina at Politics and Prose

Juana Medina - Smick **En Español

Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.
Local illustrator Juana Medina brings the titular happy-go-lucky dog of this picture book to life. All Smick really wants is a stick. Told through simple rhyming phrases, with a helping of repetition, this infectiously happy tale follows him on his sunny afternoon in the park. Medina’s exuberant and bold multi-media illustrations will have young readers turning to Smick’s story again and again. Ages 4-7

5015 Connecticut Ave NW
By Doreen Cronin, Juana Medina (Illustrator)
On Our Shelves Now
Viking Books for Young Readers - February 5th, 2015

The Post on Texas Islamic cartoon shootings

One Texas suspect was accused in 2010 FBI terror case [in print as One Texas suspect was accused in past terror case]
By Adam Goldman, Craig Whitlock and Marice Richter
Washington Post May 5 2015

FBI had known about suspected Texas shooter for years

By Adam Goldman and Mark Berman
Post Nation blog May 4 2015

Islamic State claims responsibility for Texas attack outside Muhammad cartoon show

By Lindsey Bever and Brian MurphyMorning Mix blog May 5 2015

Event organizer offers no apology after thwarted attack in Texas [in print: Sponsor defends Muhammad cartoon contest]

By Sandhya Somashekhar
Washington Post May 5 2015
online at

Monday, May 04, 2015

Washington Post blog on latest Muhammad cartoon mess

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "Nevermore!"

DC's resident anarchist cartoonist on Baltimore's riot.


For those of you who rocked, I salute you.
Mike Flugennock, flugennock at sinkers dot org
Political Cartoons: dubya dubya dubya dot sinkers dot org

Zodiac Starforce by Panetta and Ganuchaeu previewed

Comic Riffs on latest Islam cartoon violence

Texas shooting: What have we learned five years after 'Draw Muhammad Day'?

By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Comic Riffs blog May 4 2015

Friday, May 01, 2015

Tomorrow: Free Comic Book Day at Third Eye Comics

Saturday 5/2/15

Click here for event info on FACEBOOK.
First 50 in line receive a FREE Third Eye Summer 2015 Shirt

First 75 in line receive a FREE Third Eye x FCBD Commemorative BABY GROOT Patch

First 100 in line receive a Re-Usable Third Eye Tote Bag LOADED with goodies! One bag will be randomly stuffed with a $50 Gift Card!

First 200 in line get a THIRD EYE X FCBD Button!

TARDIS Photos: 10AM-2PM

May 22: King Features cartoonists at Library of Congress

The National Cartoonists Society and the LOC's Prints and Photographs Division Present

A Panel of Top King Features Cartooning Talents Celebrating the Syndicate's Centennial
• Patrick McDonnell – Mutts
• Jeff Keane – The Family Circus
• Brian Walker – Hi and Lois
• Hilary Price – Rhymes With Orange
• Ray Billingsley – Curtis
• Mike Peters – Mother Goose & Grimm, Pulitzer Prize-winning Editorial Cartoonist for Dayton Daily News

Moderated by Brendan Burford, Editor, King Features Syndicate

May 22, 11 A.M.
Library of Congress
Madison Building • Montpelier Room
FREE and Open to the Public

Request ADA accommodations five days in advance at
(202) 707-6382 or For information, call (202) 707-3630

The Post on the new Avengers movie UPDATED

'Avengers: Age of Ultron' gets the Marvel band back together

By Ann Hornaday
Washington Post May 1 2015

'Avengers: Age of Ultron' shows two very different types of leadership

By Kristen Page-Kirby
Express May 1 2015

Tony Stark, Wilson Fisk and the limits of good intentions

 Sonny Bunch
Washington Post Act Four blog May 1 2015

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ proves why robots are blockbusters’ best villains

By Alyssa Rosenberg
Washington Post Act Four blog (April 30 2015)

May 1: The Reeds in L.A. show

The local comics/art wife-and-husband team of Liz and Jimmy Reed have a sculpture (see image below) for the show titled "Idiot Box 2," which is artwork inspired by TV, at Los Angeles' Gallery 1988: LA:. The opening reception is tonight from 7- 10 p.m.

May 1: Loya art in fundraiser

Today from 7-9 p.m. the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Center in Washington, D.C., will hold its annual Alchemical Vessel benefit fundraiser to help folks who have cancer. Among the various works of art will be the handwork of local artist/cartoonist Steve Loya (see image below).

In other Loya news, Steve’s tortoise illustration titled "Peaceful Survivor" piece won the World Animal Protection art contest for the 18 and over category, selected by actress Evanna Lynch (who, unfortunately botched identifying the animal, calling it a sea turtle.)

May 2: Rodriguez on Nationals baseball history

Local comics editor/writer/advocate Jason Rodriguez on May 2 will be talking about his 1867 Washington National in the District Comics anthology at the regular meeting of the Talkin' Baseball group in Columbia, Md. It starts at 9 a.m. at Brighton Gardens, 7110 Minstrel Way.