Sunday, December 13, 2015

Visiting the Guadalajara International Book Fair

By Matt Dembicki

I visited Mexico Nov. 30 through Dec. 4 thanks to the U.S. State Department, which invited me as a guest of the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), the largest book fest in Latin American and second largest in the world, bringing some 750,000 visitors over its two weeks. Usually the first thing I do at book fairs is walk around the expo floor to get a feel for the show and gauge the interest in comics. Not surprisingly, Star Wars, Marvel Comics and manga dominated the comics presence. But I was pleasantly surprised to see some fairly high exposure for indie comics, including Peter Kuper's new graphic novel Ruins. There were several local comics shops and distributors at the show, as well as larger publishers and distributors featuring comics. Below are a few photos of those booths.

The American Library Association, which includes a comics artists alley at its annual show as well a good number of panel talks on comics, also had a booth at FIL. Part of its promotion included posters of Superman and Wonder Woman.

Much of my time in Guadalajara and later in the week Mexico City was spent doing presentations on using comics for certain topics/causes, from the environment and medical/health, to history and even food. I focused mainly on how I use comics to raise awareness about environmental issues. I also did several comics-making workshops, for young kids, college students and professional illustrators. Below are a few photos from those sessions, beginning with events at the kids section of FIL, and later going to local schools and even to the University of Guadalajara, which was also holding an annual cartoonist festival that week. 

Photos by me, U.S. State Department and the University of Guadalajara

Friday, December 11, 2015

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "Speakeasies, Then And Now"

"Speakeasies, Then And Now"

From the latest post at

"Even though Initiative 71 legalized cannabis, it cannot be consumed anywhere in DC other than in a private home. This is because, the week after Initiative 71 took effect, the DC Council passed emergency legislation (Act 21-149) that banned marijuana consumption at any bar, nightclub, bingo hall, or private venue in Washington, DC. Without any pressing reason, the Mayor and the DC Council severely restricted our rights as cannabis consuming adults..."

Yeah, that's right, fellow Washingtonians. You can legally drink at an alcohol bar, you can legally smoke cigars at a cigar bar, but if you want to smoke weed communally in a similar setting, you'll have to open a speakeasy -- unless the DC City Council stops doing Congress' dirty work, and Act 21-149 is allowed to expire on January 15 next year.

Library of Congress' Swann Foundation is accepting fellowship applications

The Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, administered by the Library of Congress is accepting applications for its graduate fellowship, one of the few in the field, for the 2016-2017 academic year. Deadline for applications is February 15, 2016. For criteria, guidelines, and application forms, please see:


Please email or call (202) 707-9115 if you have questions.


D.C. Conspiracy meeting/'Magic Bullet' deadlines

The local comics collective the D.C. Conspiracy gets together this Sunday, Dec. 13, at Madhatter in Dupont Circle from 5:30 to about 8 p.m. All are welcome.

Also, the submissions and advertising deadline for the group's semi-annual comics newspaper, Magic Bullet, is Jan. 4.

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "Freedom Finger" [local politics this time]

"Freedom Finger"

As you may recall from this past spring, my longtime comrade and BBF (Best Bud Forever) Adam Eidinger, activist extraordinaire, was jailed for basically being disrespectful to a politician at a Congressional DC Oversight Committee hearing chaired by the pompous and pasty Jason Chaffetz.

Adam's recent trial on this bogus charge ended in a mistrial last week, and a retrial has been scheduled for May 2nd.

Rawlings on Trump, Captain America and Jesus

Local cartoonist Dale Rawlings has spoofed a famous Captain America cover, replacing Adolf Hitler with presidential GOP candidate Donald Trump. Also, if you haven't been doing so, check out Rawlings' ongoing webcomic Jesus 2016,  where Jesus Christ returns to run for U.S. president.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Compleating Cul de Sac reviewed

Compleating Cul de Sac, the book of Richard Thompson's miscellany related to the comic strip that raises money for Team Cul de Sac, has been reviewed at Jason Marcy Looks at Print on Demand Comics, Part 1.

You can buy the book here.

The other December 6th Doonesbury comic strip

Only one newspaper ran a different one - the New York Times. This ad ran on page 3 of the Arts section.

Dirda recommends Betty Boop

Jan 9: Inside Media: Charlie Hebdo: One Year Later

Inside Media: Charlie Hebdo: One Year Later

January 9, 2016 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Knight TV Studio
555 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
Free with Newseum admission. Seating is on a space-available basis.
Inside Media: <em>Charlie Hebdo</em>: One Year Later @ Knight TV Studio | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

Pulitzer Prizing-winning editorial cartoonists Ann Telnaes of The Washington Post and Signe Wilkinson of the Philadelphia Daily News will talk about the role of political cartoonists and will reflect on the one-year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015.

On Jan, 7, 2015, Charlie Hebdo's headquarters in Paris were attacked by terrorists who had targeted the satirical magazine because of how it had depicted Islam's Prophet Muhammad in past cartoons. The attack killed 12 people, including five cartoonists at the magazine.

Telnaes and Wilkinson will also display some of their award-winning work.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Feb 5: Walking Dead tv show talk at Smithsonian Associates

Good News! Due to the overwhelming demand for this event, it has been moved to a larger venue to accommodate more patrons!

The Walking Dead
Poster for The Walking Dead
(Photo: Frank Ockenfels 2/AMC)

The wildly popular AMC series The Walking Dead follows a small group of survivors as they struggle to stay alive after a zombie apocalypse. The show abounds in bloody good thrills and chills—and plenty of artistry and creativity that goes into putting a believable zombie-infested world on the small screen.

Join us as Scott M. Gimple, executive producer, showrunner, and writer; Greg Nicotero, executive producer, director, and special effects makeup supervisor;  Eulyn Womble, costume designer; and  Andrew Lincoln, who stars as Rick Grimes, share insights on how they develop and bring The Walking Dead to life. 

Learn what goes on behind the scenes—from conjuring up edge-of-your-seat plotlines and complex characters to frighteningly convincing zombies.

Behind the Scenes of The Walking Dead 
Evening Program
Fri., Feb. 5 at 7 PM

Member*: $30        l      Non-Member: $45

Buy tickets


*Not a member? Become a Smithsonian Associates supporter today and start taking advantage of member rates immediately! Learn more>>

Monday, December 07, 2015

Feb 4: Gareth Hinds at Takoma Park

Looking into 2016, here's one to add to the calendar.

Gareth Hinds - Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune — at Takoma Park Library (MD)

Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Takoma Park Library (MD)
101 Philadelphia Ave
Takoma Park MD 20912
By Pamela S. Turner, Gareth Hinds (Illustrator)

New Christiann MacAuley interview online

:three: Questions with Christiann MacAuley
December 7 2015

Joe Sutliff reports on Krampusnacht DC

Dec. 12: B’more Into Comics

B'more Into Comics #8, a running series of comics-creators-in-bars event in Baltimore, is Dec. 12 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Windup Space. There will be comics, a comics library, panels and more. The event is free.

Poster by Melody Often

Local authors drive holiday sales at indie bookstores

From a Publishers Weekly article on holiday sales at indie bookstores in the U.S.:

“Perhaps it’s only to be expected that local bookstores would do best with local books and books that the store has made their own. Although President Obama’s book list got a lot of attention when he stopped by the one-year-old Upshur Street Books in Washington, D.C., for Small Business Saturday, the store’s bestsellers, according to manager Anna Thorn, are both local: S Street Rising and District Comics.”

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Cavna on the Year in Cartoons and Death in Disney

2015 in Cartoons: After Hebdo, artists sharpened for 'the year of the attack'

December 4 2015

Mouse Trap: Here's why Disney and Pixar kill our parents — and why we ask them to stop.

[in print as Disney's parent trap: Why its films kill them off, December 6, 2015, p. E5]

By Michael Cavna November 30 2015

'Activismo Ilustrado'

by Matt Dembicki

I had the good fortune of attending the Guadalajara International Book Fair Nov. 28-Dec. 4 in Mexico. Later this week I'll post some photos and a few comments, but I was lucky enough to land an interview with Mural newspaper about the environment/nature-themed comics that I do.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Lunsford sisters at Washington Lee high school

They're selling neat prints and cards today. The piece they did for Team Cul de Sac was one of my favorites.

Friday, December 04, 2015

National Public Radio's Monkey See on Good Dinosaurs and Charlie Brown

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'The Good Dinosaur,' Pixar And Second Thoughts

National Public Radio's Monkey See blog (December 4, 2015):

'A Charlie Brown Christmas' At 50

National Public Radio's Monkey See blog (November 30, 2015):

An Apatosaurus named Arlo meets a human boy on his adventures in The Good Dinosaur.

An Apatosaurus named Arlo meets a human boy on his adventures in The Good Dinosaur.

Liz Surburbia's Sacred Heart reviewed by Unshelved

Suburbia formerly lived in the area and the Alexandria of the book is ours.

National Archives blog on Terry and the Pirates

"Terry and the Pirates" Spreads the Word on Security During World War II
David Langbart
National Archives' The Text Message blog November 24, 2015

City Paper recommends Queen & Country bought from Big Planet

License to Thrill
This Eisner Award–winning international espionage series will introduce you to field agent Tara Chase as she serves her queen and country.
Queen & Country: The Definitive Edition, Vol. 1, by Greg Rucka, $19.99. Big Planet Comics. 1520 U St. NW. (202) 342-1961.

Archer & Armstrong by Rafer Roberts - preview online

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Dec 5 panel at American History is postponed.

On Facebook, American History notes, "We apologize for the inconvenience. This event has been postponed. We will let you know when a new date is available."