Monday, June 10, 2019

Flugennock's Latest'n'Greatest: "A Snake in the Grass"

Another marijuana cartoon from DC's anarchist cartoonist Mike Flugennock:

"Snake In The Grass"

Liberty Cap writes on Twitter on 06.09.19:
"Home grow cannabis is the most important economic factor put upon any 
Government regulating cannabis and the industry to keep em honest and 
on their toes. Competition promotes excellence and reduces prices, 
that the American way. Limited access to market is capitalism gone 
wrong." weighs in on DC Mayor Bowser's "Safe Cannabis Act" regarding 
locally-grown cannabis:
"...DCMJ wants expert growers to be able to sell their excess cannabis 
at farmer's markets in the District of Columbia. By providing an 
outlet for locally grown cannabis, the DC government can ensure more 
dollars are circulated locally and collect sales tax. Moreover, many 
growers do not have the capital to invest in a large-scale growing 
facility, but can provide the marketplace with unique varieties of 
cannabis. Some strains of cannabis are not profitable for large-scale 
cultivation, but small home growers can fill the niche if they are 
given the opportunity to sell their extra cannabis. There is a fine 
line between legal sales and illegal sales and we believe it primarily 
involves volume of sales. No one cares if a gardener in DC sells their 
extra tomatoes to their next-door neighbor, and we believe the same 
case should be made for cannabis. However, if an adult wants to sell 
in an established marketplace, we believe they should obtain a 
"micro-cultivators license" to ensure they follow the rules. With this 
license, the grower would be permitted to transport more cannabis than 
regular citizens would be permitted to possess outside of their 

The current initial draft of the Safe Cannabis Act contains 
constraints on the sharing of cannabis and has no provisions for the 
legal sale of home-grown cannabis; much of this is due to the 
influence of large-scale operations who want to corner the market for 
adult-use and medical cannabis.

Most of the gray-market "pop-ups" which became popular in the wake of 
Initiative 71 – many of which were busted at some point – aren't 
selling DC-grown bud, but product often smuggled in from California 
and Oregon, with no way of telling how it was grown, what types of 
fertilizers were used, whether or not chemical pesticides were used, 
etc. Giving DC local home growers a "Fair Shot" would go a long way 
toward eliminating this issue, and keep all that money in DC.

Keep in mind that passage of the Safe Cannabis Act depends on the 
passage of the DC budget bill without the notorious Harris Rider, 
which prevented DC from taxing and regulating the legal sale of 
cannabis. The Rider was written out of the bill thanks to the efforts 
of DC Congressional Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton; the bill passed out of 
the House Oversight Committee, but still needs to get through the 
Senate and be signed by Mr. T.

Local home-grown cannabis is essential to countering the threat of big 
money and "Big Weed". The Plant belongs to the People.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Sarah Boxer

Boxer and Powder Wash
by Mike Rhode

Earlier this year, Sarah Boxer interviewed Jaime Hernandez at Politics and Prose bookstore. Until that evening, I had no idea that she lived in Washington (as she's a regular writer for New York-based publications), let alone that she was a cartoonist. We chatted briefly, and she's answered our usual questions -- extremely well as you'd expect from a professional essayist.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I do long-form comics (books). Since I don't like drawing human beings, all my comics have animals rather than humans in them. And most of them play as much with language and ideas as with line. In fact some of my comics, particularly my psycho-comics, Mother May I? and In the Floyd Archives, both have footnotes. And I've recently finished Hamlet: Prince of Pigs, a comic-books version of Hamlet; it's full of visual puns, beginning with the fact that Ham-let is a little ham, a pig!

Tomorrow, June 8, is the publication date for Mother May I?: A Post-Floydian Folly and the date for the republication of In the Floyd Archives: A Psycho-Bestiary. I'll be at Politics and Prose on July 13 at 1 pm.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

I've worked mostly in pen or pencil in smallish (8x5) Strathmore notebooks. But recently the difficulty and expense of transferring paper to a publishable digital form makes me think I need to give up pen and paper. This upsets my son, who is also a cartoonist and insists that paper and pencil are best. But I find drawing on a tablet relaxing. It's easy to erase and fix small details and work on nuances of facial expression. The only snag was once losing all of my saved drawings on a Samsung Tablet. I have since switched tablets.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

I was raised in the 1960s and 1970s in Colorado and published my first comic (a single panel of an elf in a snowstorm) at age 11 in my local newspaper.

Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?

I moved from New York to Washington eleven years ago with my husband and son, because my husband, Harry Cooper, got a job as the curator of Modern Art at the National Gallery. We now live in Cleveland Park, not far from the zoo, so I have lots of live models.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I was raised on Peanuts and went to college in Krazy Kat. Seriously, though, I don't have a lot of formal training in cartooning. I remember taking only one cartooning class, at Parsons. (R.O. Blechman came to speak to us.) But I've done a lot of life drawing (at the Art Students League, Parsons, the New York Academy of Art).  By far, the most absorbing drawing instruction I ever had was the Drawing Marathon at the Studio School. (I wrote up my experience in The New York Times.) I remember that one of the huge drawings I made over a week's time had a little cartoonish figure up on a ladder and Graham Nickson, the teacher who led the crits, asked, pointedly, "What happened here?"

Mother May I? page
Who are your influences?

I wouldn't call them influences, but the cartoonists I admired most as a kid were Charles Schulz, William Steig, Saul Steinberg, R.O. Blechman, JJ Sempé, and George Herriman. Ach, I see they're all men! I wish I could change history, but I can't.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

I guess I'd be born a boy. 

What work are you best-known for?

If anyone knows me for my comics, it's got to be for my first psycho-comic, In the Floyd Archives: A Psycho-Bestiary, based on Freud's case histories, which Pantheon published in 2001. (It's now being republished.) But it's likelier that people know me for my writing. I was at The New York Times for 16 years. There I was a photography critic, book review editor, and arts reporter. And since all my editors at the Times knew I especially loved comics, I got to write the obituaries for Saul Steinberg and Charles Schulz. I also got to interview Art Spiegelman when the second volume of Maus came out. And I got to sit in William Steig's orgone box

As a freelance writer, I still often write about comics. Last year I wrote an essay for The Atlantic about why it's so hard for cartoonists to lampoon Trump, and this October my Atlantic essay "The Exemplary Narcissism of Snoopy" will appear in the book The Peanuts Papers. I have also written quite a lot about comics for The New York Review of Books. My first essay there was on Krazy Kat and my most recent piece there was a review of Jason Lutes's epic, Berlin.

What work are you most proud of?

I'm most proud of my new psycho-comic Mother May I? I like that it's loose and rigorous at the same time. And I am tickled beyond belief that both Alison Bechdel and Jonathan Lethem are fans of it! I'm also proud that some selections from my first tragic-comic Hamlet: Prince of Pigs were published by the NYR Daily.

What would you like to do or work on in the future?

I'm looking forward to diving into drawing my next Shakespearean tragic-comic Anchovius Caesar: The Decomposition of a Romaine Salad, in which Julius Caesar is an anchovy and all the action takes place underwater.

What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

I write when I have drawer's block; and I draw when I have writer's block.

What do you think will be the future of your field? 
Mother May I? page

I think the future of comics is online. The experience of trying to get a nice clean copy of Mother May I? set for publication made me realize that I need a very good tablet with a pen, so I don't ever have to go through the copy process again. That's how I composed Hamlet: Prince of Pigs. I find using a tablet very liberating. It's easier to change little expressions on the faces of my characters. It's nice not to have a lap full of eraser dust. And in the end, it's much easier to get my comic to a publisher or printer!

What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, or others? Any comments about attending them?

I go every year to the Small Press Expo with my (now 15-year-old) son, Julius Boxer-Cooper, who's also a cartoonist, and this year I am sharing an exhibitor's table (or rather a half-table) with him. In school he hands out zines -- or, as he calls them, cackets (short for comics-packets) to his classmates. Here are his words of wisdom for would-be cartoonists:  "If you're going to be a 'zine cartoonist, then you're going to have to get used to seeing your comics torn, crumpled, thrown on the ground, thrown in the recycling, or thrown in the trash with strawberry or raspberry Gogurt that's a few weeks old dumped over them." I admire his toughness! And his comics! 

For our debut at SPX, Julius and I are working on our first collaboration -- a comic called Corgi Morgue, which is about a corgi (that's a dog) and his wife (also a dog) who run a morgue for animals and also serve Indian food, particularly coorgi murgh, to their grieving clients.

Boxer & Jaime Herandez
What's your favorite thing about DC?

I love that the museums, the zoos, and many of the musical performances are free. I'm proud of the protests against our horrible president. I also love the racial openness and relative harmony of DC. They are rarities in this country.

Least favorite?

I despise our very orange very nasty President in the very very white White House.

What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to?

I love taking people to the East Wing of the National Gallery, especially the rooms devoted to Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

I'd rather eat in New York. 

Do you have a website or blog?

I wrote a book about blogging and how I'd never do it, Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks from the Wild Web. So now I feel I have an obligation never to blog. But I do have a website. It's . 

(updated 6/8/19 with Mr. Cooper's name and correcting the SPX quote)

The Post reviews Secret Life of Pets 2

'The Secret Life of Pets 2': Not a good dog, but an okay one [in print as This animated sequel isn't a dog, but it does have some fleas]

Washington Post June 7 2019, p. Weekend 23

Washington reviews of the last X-Men movie

Dark Phoenix is the Disappointing End of an X-Men Era [in print as Ashes to Ashes].

The franchise tries the Dark Phoenix Saga once again.
Washington City Paper June 7, 2019 p. 19

With 'Dark Phoenix,' the X-Men saga goes out with a whimper, not a bang [in print as X-Men's probable swan song is a dirge]

Washington Post June 7 2019, p. Weekend 21.
online at 

'Dark Phoenix' Channels The Cosmic Power Of The Comics, Avoids Going Down In Flames 


NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour


'Dark Phoenix' Review: X-Women Power? Nah

The new installment in the long-running franchise has blowouts and Jessica Chastain channeling Tilda Swinton (so it could be worse).
A version of this article appears in print on June 7, 2019, on Page C6 of the New York edition with the headline: Superhero Tale With Feminist Spin, Till Momentum Fails

Watch Sophie Turner and Michael Fassbender Battle in 'Dark Phoenix'

The writer Simon Kinberg narrates a sequence from his directing debut in the X-Men franchise.
  • June 7, 2019

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Library of Congress increases access to comic book collection

Tonight June 5: Matthew Inman at Politics and Prose at Union Market

Matthew Inman - Why My Cat Is More Impressive Than Your Baby — at Politics and Prose at Union Market

Wednesday, June 5, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Politics and Prose at Union Market   1270 5th Street NE   Washington   DC    20002

ISBN: 9781524850623
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - June 4th, 2019

Since 2009 Inman, an Eisner Award-winning cartoonist, has provided a steady stream of original comics, quizzes, articles, and more on his webcomic, His new book follows the hilarious How to Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You with another installment of the best from Oatmeal along with previously unpublished work. Here Inman presents his signature cat jokes, comics about cats—as well as about babies, dogs, lasers, selfies, and pigeons—and a series of helpful guides to questions such as how to comfortably sleep next to your cat, how to befriend a misanthropic cat, and how to hold a baby when you are not used to holding babies.


Monday, June 03, 2019

Tom King on Word Balloon

May 24, 2019

Batman Rumors & Game Night With Tom King Julie and Shawna Benson

                                                          Download The MP3 Here 

I address the rumors that DC is making Tom King end His Batman run early. Then a fun trivia game of old Hollywood questions with Tom King Shawna and Julie Benson

Meet the new Batman; same as the old Batman?

Tariff Man returns in The Post

President Trump in the continuing adventures of 'Tariff Man'
More mayhem from the superhero you never knew you wanted.
Ellis Rosen
Washington Post June 2 2019

The Post's obituary of former cartoonist ER Kinstler

Everett Raymond Kinstler, portrait artist of presidents and celebrities, dies at 92 [in print as Everett Raymond Kinstler, 92; Renowned portrait artist captured many presidents and elite celebrities]

Washington Post June 2 2019, p. C6

Disney flea market finds from this weekend

There's a monthly flea market in Arlington run by the Civitan charity. I picked up these two pieces of Disneyana this past weekend. The dealer had more of them, and will be back on the next first Saturday of the month. One of the placemat strips will be given to the Library of Congress' Prints & Photos division as well.

Felix the Cat and Mickey Mouse bootlegs advertise something in Spanish

I imagine this is a Sunday Mickey comic strip on what's probably a placemat.

More "lost" Richard Thompson art found

BD is Coming to DC! Bande Dessinée at #ALAAC19

It's almost #ALAAC19 and French Comics are coming to the Capitol...

That's right:

BD is Coming to DC!

The French Comics Association (FCA) announces their spring tour of acclaimed francophone graphic novelists, coming to Washington, DC for the 2019 American Library Association annual conference (ALAAC19)

Featured Creators: Julia Billet (Catherine’s War), Karim Friha (Rise of the Zelphire), Wilfrid Lupano (The Wolf in Underpants), Typex (Andy: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol)

Find us at booth #3644 from June 21-24th, 2019

Daily signings and book give-aways for librarians!

Special events & meet-ups!

FREE public events throughout the city!
Book signings at all events & to follow panels—find the full signing schedule on our website!
Friday / June 21st
American Library Association Conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center
ALA Exhibit hours 5:30 - 7:30pm
Graphic Novel and Comics Roundtable Friday Forum:
  • So Many Comics, So Little Time!
12:20 – 1:45pm
How can you possibly keep track of all the titles coming out and all the topics they cover? In this session, you’ll spend time in small groups with creators and colleagues discussing titles that work for different social justice topics. After the session, all the titles will be combined into a totally excellent resource just for you! With Karim Friha
Free Public Event:

Drink & Draw with International Comics Artists
East City Bookshop / 645 Pennsylvania Ave SE
6 – 7:30pm
Featuring artists Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets: Is This How You See Me?) and Ezra Claytan Daniels (BTTM FDRS) from America; Karim Friha (Rise of the Zelphire) and Christophe Ferreira (Milo's World) from France; Typex (Andy: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol) from Amsterdam; and Flavia Biondi (Generations) from Italy; with comics writer Wilfrid Lupano (Curtain Call) also on hand to sign! Select artists drawing onstage and all signing new release graphic novels. Stop by the store and pick up a pen (or just watch others and meet the creators), sip free wine, and meet other indie comics and bande dessinée (Franco-Belgian style comics) fans. Co-hosted with Fantagraphic Books and EuropeComics.
Saturday / June 22nd
American Library Association Exhibit Hours: 9am - 5pm

At #ALAAC19: Do it the French way. Stop by Booth #3644 for morning croissants and comics.
Panels at the Graphic Novel and Gaming Stage:
  • Literary Comics Publisher Spotlight
10:30 – 11:20 am
Join some of the comics medium’s most renowned publishers as they share new and perennial titles for your collections. We will discuss comics for adults and kids, as well as fiction and nonfiction, with staff of publishing houses Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics, Uncivilized Books, Abrams, and the French Comics Association (Charlotte Moundlic).
  • French Comics Association Showcase
2:30 – 3:20pm
There's a wealth of translated bande dessinée (Franco-Belgian graphic novels/nonfiction) available in recent years for library collections, from diverse genres, voices, and publishers. The French Comics Association showcase brings together renowned and star creators on tour from Europe, with new releases in English: Karim Friha, Wilfrid Lupano, Typex, Julia Billet, moderated by Meg Lemke, French Comics Association.

Graphic Novel and Comics Roundtable Panel:
  • Behind the Scenes: Creating a Diverse World of Comics
2:30 – 3:20pm

Join publishers and creators from around the world to learn about the routes graphic novels take to come to your attention and to your library. What makes up the process? How are editorial decisions made? How do publishers seek out and champion diverse voices in the medium? What role can librarians play and at which points? Attendees will learn about what happens behind the scenes in creating a graphic novel, the careful work of translating cultural context and languages, marketing, issues around censorship, and how to advocate for an inclusive, international collection. Featuring Thierry Laroche (Gallimard).
ALA Events:
ALA Graphic Novel and Comics Roundtable Breakfast

8 – 10:00 am
Eisner Graphic Novel Library Grants Reception
co-sponsored by the French Comics Association
6 – 8pm
Sunday / June 23rd
American Library Association Exhibit Hours: 9am - 5pm

At #ALAAC19: Do it the French way. Stop by Booth #3644 for morning croissants and comics.

Public Events:

  • Storytime: The Wolf in Underpants, with Wilfrid Lupano!
10:30 – 11:30
Solid State Books / 600 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
Join French creator Lupano for a morning storytime at this lovely local DC store. “Young readers will howl for this tale that combines a timely, smart message alongside crowd-pleasing silliness.”—Kirkus Reviews

Create your Own Hero: Comics Character Design with Bande Dessinée Star Karim Friha!
Bonjour Books / 3758 Howard Ave, Kensington, MD 20895

Youth aged 8-12 are invited to this special workshop with visiting French artist Karim Friha, creator of Rise of the Zelphire, a super-cool steampunk fantasy story about a group of young people with strange powers, newly translated to English by Lion Forge (originally in French from Gallimard). Friha will share how he sketches and creates characters, and help the young artists design their own heroes, and inspire them to dream up new, fantastical worlds. The artist will inscribe book copies at the end of the event! RSVP and pre-order of the English edition required (French editions of additional titles in the series will also be available for sale).

Panels at the Graphic Novel and Gaming Stage
  • European Comics: A Melting Pot
10:30 – 11:20am

AsterixTintinThe Smurfs and Persepolis are just some of the few that have made it across the Atlantic. But Europe’s comics heritage is much richer and varied, different in every country. As we stress on the importance of diversity and the need of different voices, Europe Comics presents a panel of award-winning European creators and their latest works. Featuring: Typex. Presented in coordination with EuropeComics.
  • Wordy to Wordless: How Comics Writers Adapt to Different Genres, Ages, and Artists
12:30 – 1:20pm
Comics scriptwriters creatively adapt their styles across publishers and partnerships, from realistic, to genres including crime/sci-fi/fantasy, to picturebooks, and even wordless narratives. What guides language choice, dialogue decisions, and pacing for comics writers depending on the age level and audience for a book? How do writers “write” a wordless script? How do they work in conversation with artists? A shop talk! Featuring: Amy Chu, Jaime Hernandez, Julia Billet, and Wilfrid Lupano, moderated by Heidi MacDonald.
Panels at the Pop Top Stage:
  • Middle Grade Graphic Novels: New Titles for Growing Readers!
2 –2:50pm
Middle Grade is a huge growth category for graphic novel publishing, and these books are popular and flexible for younger library patrons—from eager elementary readers, who are growing out of picturebooks and ready to jump to sophisticated topics, to older reluctant readers who find the appealing style and comfort level bringing them back to books.  From historical fiction to fantasy, these creators will showcase a breadth of genres in this popular category! Featuring: Karim Friha, Julia Billet, and Emily Whitten, moderated by Betsy Bird.

Small Press Expo Meet-up at the French Comics Association booth!
3 – 4:30pm
Come learn about The Small Press Expo, headquartered in Bethesda, MD, and all they do for indie comics. Treats will be served and French comics will be signed…

French Comics Kiss Better: A Showcase of Contemporary Bande Dessinée Creators
5:30 – 7:30pm
Fantom Comics / 2010 P St NW, Washington, DC 20036
This panel offers a rare opportunity to meet French and European artists on tour, who represent the contemporary bande dessinée (BD) scene. French comics are familiar American bestsellers, from Tintin to Persepolis to Valerian, but fans can discover the diversity in genres—from steampunk fantasy to crime fiction to graphic biography and historical fiction—and vibrant/sophisticated art styles from the next generation of creators who are "big in France." This ultra-cool panel will be followed by a comics party with a cash bar! Featuring 2019 Eisner-Award nominee Wilfrid Lupano (Sea of Love and Curtain Call); Typex (Andy: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol); Julia Billet (Catherine's War); and Karim Friha (Rise of the Zelphire).
Monday / June 25th
American Library Association Exhibit hours 9am - 2pm
Graphic Novel and Comics Roundtable Programming:
  • Exploring Trauma and Recovery through Comics
9 am – 10:00am
Trauma is life-changing, from living through the explosive conflict of a war zone to recovering from personal ordeals. Eyewitness accounts are particularly well evoked in the constraints and freedoms of a graphic narrative. This panel will draw together creators who can speak from their first-hand knowledge of violence and the work that goes into expressing a traumatic event in comics. Attendees will learn about expressing strong emotion and experiences graphically, the difficulties of first-person narration and reportage, and receive suggestions for their collections. Featuring: Julia Billet.
At the Graphic Novel and Gaming Stage:
  • BioGraphics: Reading Graphic Novel Biographies
11:30 am – 12:20pm
The virtues of graphic biographies are now recognized. Having two visions of a famous person's life in one, that of the biographer and of the artist, adds even more nuance and depth to a person’s life story. It might also happen that we pick up a biography we wouldn't usually be interested in, thanks to the appealing art. A panel of award-winning graphic biographers will discuss and present their works. Featuring: Typex.  Presented in coordination with EuropeComics.
ALA Event:
11:30am – 1pm
Details TBA - watch our website! 
Educators, librarians, and anyone who wants to connect about comics and their academic potential are encouraged to RSVP for this ALA offsite meet-up with a “comics creator speed-dating” element. Coffee and treats will be served, and give-away comics will be available to participants!
Get the full signing schedule on our website!
The French Comics Association brings together many of the major publishers of French comics, including Dargaud, Casterman, Delcourt, Dupuis, Gallimard BD, Glénat, Le Lombard, Rue de Sèvres, and Soleil. As part of its mission to promote Franco-Belgian comics in the United States and worldwide, the association aims to promote comics translated into English, to support the U.S. publishing industry, and to stimulate cultural exchanges on the basis of literature and visual narratives.
The French Comics Association works in partnership with the Centre National du Livre, the Bureau International de l’Édition, the Syndicat National de l’Édition and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

June Events at Fantom Comics - PRIDE Month

Fantom celebrates PRIDE Month in June with our annual watch party as the parade travels right by our store on P Street, plus a couple of PRIDE-themed book clubs and our usual monthly events. Also: An exciting creator appearance with Gene Ha, artist for our exclusive variant cover for "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force" comic book which remains available for purchase at Fantom!

6/15 - Fantasy Book Club: DIE by Kieron Gillen & Stephanie Hans @ 2pm

6/16 - PRIDE Month Book Club: Dream Daddy @ 2pm

6/20 - Gene Ha Live Sketching & Signing @ 4pm to 8pm

6/30 - PRIDE Month Book Club: Moth & Whisper @2pm