Category Archives: Cartoonists
Excitement is in the air as nominees are rejoicing over being part of this year’s Eisner Awards for Comics Excellence. The Eisner is the equivalent to The Oscar in the comics industry. The awards are presented every year at Comic-Con International: San Diego. This year’s ceremony is Friday, July 19, 2019. The official list has just been released and you can see it here or just look down below. A good amount of alternative comics and big publishers made the list with a big lead for Image Comics and D.C. Comics. As noted above, Alex de Campi received multiple nominations, as did Tom King.
Judges for this year are comics journalist Chris Arrant (Newsarama), academic/author Jared Gardner (Ohio State University), librarian Traci Glass (Multnomah County Library system in Portland, Oregon), retailer Jenn Haines (The Dragon, Guelph and Milton, Ontario, Canada), reviewer Steven Howearth (Pop Culture Maven), and comics creator Jimmie Robinson (CyberZone, Amanda & Gunn, Bomb Girl).
The official SDCC statement follows:
Image and DC received the most nominations: Image with 19 (plus 11 shared), and DC with 17 (plus 7 shared). Image swept the Best New Series category, with all six nominees (including Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl’s Isola, up for 2 other categories as well). Also strong for Image are Steven Seagle’s Get Naked anthology (3 nominations), Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies (2 nominations), and the Alex de Campi–edited Twisted Romance (2 nominations plus 1 shared). For DC, Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ Mister Miracle is up for 4 nods, Eternity Girl has 2 nominations plus 1 shared, MAD and Exit Stage Left have 2, and Batman is nominated in Best Continuing Series plus several shared categories.
Other publishers with multiple nominations include IDW (10 plus 2 shared), Lion Forge (10), First Second (9 plus 1 shared), Marvel (7 plus 5 shared), Dark Horse (7 plus 3 shared), BOOM!(5 plus 1 shared), Drawn & Quarterly (5), and Gallery 13 (3 plus 2 shared). Six companies had 3 nominees: Beehive Books, Ohio State University Press, TwoMorrows, VIZ Media, and WEBTOON. Eight companies have 2 nominations each, and another 30 companies or individuals have 1 nomination each.
In addition to Isola, Mister Miracle, and Get Naked, titles with the most nominations include two books from Lion Forge/Magnetic Press, with 3 each: Watersnakes by Tony Sandoval (Best Publication for Teens, Best Writer/Artist, Best Painter) and A Sea of Love by Wilfrid Lupano and Grégory Panaccione (Best U.S. Edition of International Material, Best Painter, and Best Publication Design).
The creator with the most nominations is Tom King with 5: Best Short Story (from DC’s Swamp Thing Winter Special), Best Continuing Series (Batman), Best Limited Series (Mister Miracle), Best Graphic Album–Reprint (The Vision hardcover), and Best Writer. Two creators have 4 nominations each: Alex de Campi (Best Graphic Album–New: Bad Girls, Best Anthology: Twisted Romance, Best Writer, Best Letterer) and Jeff Lemire (Best Single Issue: Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise, Best Continuing Series: Black Hammer: Age of Doom, Best New Series: Gideon Falls, Best Writer). Creators with 3 nominations are Karl Kerschl (Best New Series, Best Penciller/Inker, Best Cover Artist for Isola), Grégory Panaccione (Best U.S. Edition of International Material, Best Painter, and Best Publication Design for A Sea of Love), and Tony Sandoval (Best Publication for Teens, Best Writer/Artist, Best Painter for Watersnakes).
Eleven individuals are nominated for 2 Eisners: John Allison, Emily Carroll, Nick Drnaso, Mitch Gerads, Sonny Liew, Carolyn Nowak, Sean Phillips, Nate Powell, Mark Russell, Noah van Sciver, and Jen Wang.
Voting for the awards is held online, and the ballot will be available at www.eisnervote.com. All professionals in the comic book industry are eligible to vote. The deadline for voting is June 14. The results of the voting will be announced in a gala awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 19 at a gala awards ceremony at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. Jackie Estrada is the Eisner Awards Administrator.
Best Short Story
- “Get Naked in Barcelona,” by Steven T. Seagle and Emei Olivia Burrell, in Get Naked (Image)
- “The Ghastlygun Tinies,” by Matt Cohen and Marc Palm, in MAD magazine #4 (DC)
- “Here I Am,” by Shaun Tan, in I Feel Machine (SelfMadeHero)
- “Life During Interesting Times,” by Mike Dawson (The Nib), https://thenib.com/greatest-generation-interesting-times
- “Supply Chains,” by Peter and Maria Hoey, in Coin-Op #7 (Coin-Op Books)
- “The Talk of the Saints,” by Tom King and Jason Fabok, in Swamp Thing Winter Special (DC)
Best Single Issue/One-Shot
- Beneath the Dead Oak Tree, by Emily Carroll (ShortBox)
- Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise, by Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox (Dark Horse)
- No Better Words, by Carolyn Nowak (Silver Sprocket)
- Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310, by Chip Zdarsky (Marvel)
- The Terrible Elisabeth Dumn Against the Devils In Suits, by Arabson, translated by James Robinson (IHQ Studio/ Image)
Best Continuing Series
- Batman, by Tom King et al. (DC)
- Black Hammer: Age of Doom, by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, and Rich Tommaso (Dark Horse)
- Gasolina, by Sean Mackiewicz and Niko Walter (Skybound/Image)
- Giant Days, by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julaa Madrigal (BOOM! Box)
- The Immortal Hulk, by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, and Ruy José (Marvel)
- Runaways, by Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka (Marvel)
Best Limited Series
- Batman: White Knight, by Sean Murphy (DC)
- Eternity Girl, by Magdalene Visaggio and Sonny Liew (Vertigo/DC)
- Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, by Mark Russell, Mike Feehan, and Mark Morales (DC)
- Mister Miracle, by Tom King and Mitch Gerads (DC)
- X-Men: Grand Design: Second Genesis, by Ed Piskor (Marvel)
Best New Series
- Bitter Root, by David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Green (Image)
- Crowded, by Christopher Sebela, Ro Stein, and Ted Brandt (Image)
- Gideon Falls, by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (Image)
- Isola, by Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl (Image)
- Man-Eaters, by Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk (Image)
- Skyward, by Joe Henderson and Lee Garbett (Image)
Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)
- Johnny Boo and the Ice Cream Computer, by James Kochalka (Top Shelf/IDW)
- Petals, by Gustavo Borges (KaBOOM!)
- Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths, by Graham Annable (First Second)
- This Is a Taco! By Andrew Cangelose and Josh Shipley (CubHouse/Lion Forge)
- Tiger Vs. Nightmare, by Emily Tetri (First Second)
Best Publication for Kids (ages 9–12)
- Aquicorn Cove, by Katie O’Neill (Oni)
- Be Prepared, by Vera Brosgol (First Second)
- The Cardboard Kingdom, by Chad Sell (Knopf/Random House Children’s Books)
- Crush, by Svetlana Chmakova (JY/Yen Press)
- The Divided Earth, by Faith Erin Hicks (First Second)
Best Publication for Teens (ages 13–17)
- All Summer Long, by Hope Larson (Farrar Straus Giroux)
- Gumballs, by Erin Nations (Top Shelf/IDW)
- Middlewest, by Skottie Young and Jorge Corona (Image)
- Norroway, Book 1: The Black Bull of Norroway, by Cat Seaton and Kit Seaton (Image)
- The Prince and the Dressmaker, by Jen Wang (First Second)
- Watersnakes, by Tony Sandoval, translated by Lucas Marangon (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
Best Humor Publication
- Get Naked, by Steven T. Seagle et al. (Image)
- Giant Days, by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal (BOOM! Box)
- MAD magazine, edited by Bill Morrison (DC)
- A Perfect Failure: Fanta Bukowski 3, by Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics)
- Woman World, by Aminder Dhaliwal (Drawn & Quarterly)
- Femme Magnifique: 50 Magnificent Women Who Changed the World, edited by Shelly Bond (Black Crown/IDW)
- Puerto Rico Strong, edited by Marco Lopez, Desiree Rodriguez, Hazel Newlevant, Derek Ruiz, and Neil Schwartz (Lion Forge)
- Twisted Romance, edited by Alex de Campi (Image)
- Where We Live: A Benefit for the Survivors in Las Vegas, edited by Will Dennis, curated by J. H. Williams III and Wendy Wright-Williams (Image)
Best Reality-Based Work
- All the Answers: A Graphic Memoir, by Michael Kupperman (Gallery 13)
- All the Sad Songs, by Summer Pierre (Retrofit/Big Planet)
- Is This Guy For Real? The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman, by Box Brown (First Second)
- Monk! by Youssef Daoudi (First Second)
- One Dirty Tree, by Noah Van Sciver (Uncivilized Books)
Best Graphic Album—New
- Bad Girls, by Alex de Campi and Victor Santos (Gallery 13)
- Come Again, by Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)
- Green Lantern: Earth One Vol. 1, by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman (DC)
- Homunculus, by Joe Sparrow (ShortBox)
- My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
- Sabrina, by Nick Drnaso (Drawn & Quarterly)
Best Graphic Album—Reprint
- Berlin, by Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly)
- Girl Town, by Carolyn Nowak (Top Shelf/IDW)
- Upgrade Soul, by Ezra Claytan Daniels (Lion Forge)
- The Vision hardcover, by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and Michael Walsh (Marvel)
- Young Frances, by Hartley Lin (AdHouse Books)
Best Adaptation from Another Medium
- Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, adapted by Ari Folman and David Polonsky (Pantheon)
- “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, in Frankenstein: Junji Ito Story Collection, adapted by Junji Ito, translated by Jocelyne Allen (VIZ Media)
- Out in the Open by Jesús Carraso, adapted by Javi Rey, translated by Lawrence Schimel (SelfMadeHero)
- Speak: The Graphic Novel, by Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll (Farrar Straus Giroux)
- To Build a Fire: Based on Jack London’s Classic Story, by Chabouté (Gallery 13)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material
- About Betty’s Boob, by Vero Cazot and Julie Rocheleau, translated by Edward Gauvin (Archaia/BOOM!)
- Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, by Pénélope Bagieu (First Second)
- Herakles Book 1, by Edouard Cour, translated by Jeremy Melloul (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
- Niourk, by Stefan Wul and Olivier Vatine, translated by Brandon Kander and Diana Schutz (Dark Horse)
- A Sea of Love, by Wilfrid Lupano and Grégory Panaccione (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
- Abara: Complete Deluxe Edition, by Tsutomu Nihei, translated by Sheldon Drzka (VIZ Media)
- Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction, by Inio Asano, translated by John Werry (VIZ Media)
- Laid-Back Camp, by Afro, translated by Amber Tamosaitis (Yen Press)
- My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder, by Nie Jun, translated by Edward Gauvin (Graphic Universe/Lerner)
- Tokyo Tarareba Girls, by Akiko Higashimura (Kodansha)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
- Pogo, vol. 5: Out of This World At Home, by Walt Kelly, edited by Mark Evanier and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
- Sky Masters of the Space Force: The Complete Sunday Strips in Color (1959–1960), by Jack Kirby, Wally Wood et al., edited by Ferran Delgado (Amigo Comics)
- Star Wars: Classic Newspaper Strips, vol. 3, by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson, edited by Dean Mullaney (Library of American Comics/IDW)
- The Temple of Silence: Forgotten Words and Worlds of Herbert Crowley, by Justin Duerr (Beehive Books
- Thimble Theatre and the Pre-Popeye Comics of E. C. Segar, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
- Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman Deluxe Edition, edited by Paul Levitz (DC)
- Bill Sienkiewicz’s Mutants and Moon Knights… And Assassins… Artifact Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
- Dirty Plotte: The Complete Julie Doucet (Drawn & Quarterly)
- Madman Quarter Century Shindig, by Mike Allred, edited by Chris Ryall (IDW)
- Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise Gallery Edition, edited by Joseph Melchior and Bob Chapman (Abstract Studio/Graphitti Designs)
- Will Eisner’s A Contract with God: Curator’s Collection, edited by John Lind (Kitchen Sink/Dark Horse)
- Alex de Campi, Bad Girls (Gallery 13); Twisted Romance (Image)
- Tom King, Batman, Mister Miracle, Heroes in Crisis, Swamp Thing Winter Special (DC)
- Jeff Lemire, Black Hammer: Age of Doom, Doctor Star & the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows, Quantum Age (Dark Horse); Descender, Gideon Falls, Royal City (Image)
- Mark Russell, Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, Green Lantern/Huckleberry Hound, Lex Luthor/Porky Pig (DC); Lone Ranger (Dynamite)
- Kelly Thompson, Nancy Drew (Dynamite); Hawkeye, Jessica Jones, Mr. & Mrs. X, Rogue & Gambit, Uncanny X-Men, West Coast Avengers (Marvel)
- Chip Zdarsky, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, Marvel Two-in-One (Marvel)
- Sophie Campbell, Wet Moon (Oni)
- Nick Drnaso, Sabrina (Drawn & Quarterly)
- David Lapham, Lodger (Black Crown/IDW); Stray Bullets (Image)
- Nate Powell, Come Again (Top Shelf/IDW)
- Tony Sandoval, Watersnakes (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
- Jen Wang, The Prince and the Dressmaker (First Second)
Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
- Matías Bergara, Coda (BOOM!)
- Mitch Gerads, Mister Miracle (DC)
- Karl Kerschl, Isola (Image)
- Sonny Liew, Eternity Girl (Vertigo/DC)
- Sean Phillips, Kill or Be Killed, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies (Image)
- Yanick Paquette, Wonder Woman Earth One, vol. 2 (DC)
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
- Lee Bermejo, Batman: Damned (DC)
- Carita Lupatelli, Izuna Book 2 (Humanoids)
- Dustin Nguyen, Descender (Image)
- Gregory Panaccione, A Sea of Love (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
- Tony Sandoval, Watersnakes (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
Best Cover Artist (for multiple covers)
- Jen Bartel, Blackbird (Image); Submerged (Vault)
- Nick Derington, Mister Miracle (DC)
- Karl Kerschl, Isola (Image)
- Joshua Middleton, Batgirl and Aquaman variants (DC)
- Julian Tedesco, Hawkeye, Life of Captain Marvel (Marvel)
- Jordie Bellaire, Batgirl, Batman (DC); The Divided Earth (First Second); Days of Hate, Dead Hand, Head Lopper, Redlands (Image); Shuri, Doctor Strange (Marvel)
- Tamra Bonvillain, Alien 3 (Dark Horse); Batman, Doom Patrol (DC); Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Multiple Man (Marvel)
- Nathan Fairbairn, Batman, Batgirl, Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman Earth One, vol. 2 (DC); Die!Die!Die! (Image)
- Matt Hollingsworth, Batman: White Knight (DC): Seven to Eternity, Wytches (Image)
- Matt Wilson, Black Cloud, Paper Girls, The Wicked + The Divine (Image); The Mighty Thor, Runaways (Marvel)
- David Aja, Seeds (Berger Books/Dark Horse)
- Jim Campbell, Breathless, Calexit, Gravetrancers, Snap Flash Hustle, Survival Fetish, The Wilds (Black Mask); Abbott, Alice: Dream to Dream, Black Badge, Clueless, Coda, Fence, Firefly, Giant Days, Grass Kings, Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass, Low Road West, Sparrowhawk (BOOM); Angelic (Image); Wasted Space (Vault)
- Alex de Campi, Bad Girls (Gallery 13); Twisted Romance (Image)
- Jared Fletcher, Batman: Damned (DC); The Gravediggers Union, Moonshine, Paper Girls, Southern Bastards (Image)
- Todd Klein— Black Hammer: Age of Doom, Neil Gaiman’s A Study in Emerald (Dark Horse); Batman: White Night (DC); Eternity Girl, Books of Magic (Vertigo/DC); The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest (Top Shelf/IDW)
Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
- Back Issue, edited by Michael Eury (TwoMorrows)
- The Columbus Scribbler, edited by Brian Canini, columbusscribbler.com
- Comicosity, edited by Aaron Long and Matt Santori, www.comicosity.com
- LAAB Magazine #0: Dark Matter, edited by Ronald Wimberley and Josh O’Neill (Beehive Books)
- PanelxPanel magazine, edited by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, panelxpanel.com
Best Comics-Related Book
- Comic Book Implosion: An Oral History of DC Comics Circa 1978, by Keith Dallas and John Wells (TwoMorrows)
- Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists, by Martha H. Kennedy (University Press of Mississippi)
- The League of Regrettable Sidekicks, by Jon Morris (Quirk Books)
- Mike Grell: Life Is Drawing Without an Eraser, by Dewey Cassell with Jeff Messer (TwoMorrows)
- Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy, by Florent Gorges, translated by Laure Dupont and Annie Gullion (Dark Horse)
Best Academic/Scholarly Work
- Between Pen and Pixel: Comics, Materiality, and the Book of the Future, by Aaron Kashtan (Ohio State University Press)
- Breaking the Frames: Populism and Prestige in Comics Studies, by Marc Singer (University of Texas Press)
- The Goat-Getters: Jack Johnson, the Fight of the Century, and How a Bunch of Raucous Cartoonists Reinvented Comics, by Eddie Campbell (Library of American Comics/IDW/Ohio State University Press)
- Incorrigibles and Innocents, by Lara Saguisag (Rutgers Univeristy Press)
- Sweet Little C*nt: The Graphic Work of Julie Doucet, by Anne Elizabeth Moore (Uncivilized Books)
Best Publication Design
- A Sea of Love, designed by Wilfrid Lupano, Grégory Panaccione, and Mike Kennedy (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
- The Stan Lee Story Collector’s Edition, designed by Josh Baker (Taschen)
- The Temple of Silence: Forgotten Worlds of Herbert Crowley, designed by Paul Kepple and Max Vandenberg (Beehive Books)
- Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise Gallery Edition, designed by Josh Beatman/Brainchild Studios/NYC (Abstract Studio/Graphitti Designs)
- Will Eisner’s A Contract with God: Curator’s Collection, designed by John Lind (Kitchen Sink/Dark Horse)
Best Digital Comic
- Aztec Empire, by Paul Guinan, Anina Bennett, and David Hahn, www.bigredhair.com/books/Aztec-empire/
- The Führer and the Tramp, by Sean McArdle, Jon Judy, and Dexter Wee, http://thefuhrerandthetramp.com/
- The Journey, by Pablo Leon (Rewire), https://rewire.news/article/2018/01/08/rewire-exclusive-comic-journey/
- The Stone King, by Kel McDonald and Tyler Crook (comiXology Originals) https://cmxl.gy/Stone-King
- Umami, by Ken Niimura (Panel Syndicate), http://panelsyndicate.com/comics/umami
- The Contradictions, by Sophie Yanow, www.thecontradictions.com
- Lavender Jack, by Dan Schkade (WEBTOON), https://www.webtoons.com/en/thriller/lavender-jack/list?title_no=1410&page=1
- Let’s Play, by Mongie (WEBTOON), https://www.webtoons.com/en/romance/letsplay/list?title_no=1218&page=1
- Lore Olympus, by Rachel Smythe, (WEBTOON), https://www.webtoons.com/en/romance/lore-olympus/list?title_no=1320&page=1
- Tiger, Tiger, by Petra Erika Nordlund, (Hiveworks) http://www.tigertigercomic.com/
Gahan Wilson. You know that name. Only a few cartoonists rank as high as Mr. Wilson. His distinctive quirky cartoons graced the pages of Playboy for over 50 years. He was also a regular contributor to The New Yorker, The National Lampoon, Fantasy and Science Fiction, and many other publications. Gahan Wilson is in urgent need of a memory care facility. This is a very challenging time for his family. Please consider making a donation to a GoFundMe campaign you can visit right here.
From Gahan Wilson’s stepson, Paul Winters:
Gahan is suffering from severe dementia. We have helped him through the stages of the disease and he is currently not doing very well.
My mother, and his wife of fifty-three years, Nancy Winters, passed away on March 2, 2019. She was his rock. His guide through the world. While we all helped with his care, it was my mother who grounded him. He is currently distraught and out of sorts with the world.
Memory care is needed immediately. Gahan and my mother had been residing in an assisted living facility in Arizona. With my mother’s passing, the facility is about to discharge him. We must find him a memory care facility immediately. Memory care is wildly expensive. More so than assisted living. If we could cover the cost ourselves, we would. We can’t, and Gahan and my mother did not save for anything like this. We are asking his fans to help us, help Gahan.
Visit GoFundMe and help one of our great cartoonists find his way: Help with Cartoonist Gahan Wilson’s Memory Care at GoFundMe.
I am looking forward to this year’s 24-Hour Comics Day, kicking off world-wide this Saturday, October 6th. I want to approach it from many sides. As I always do, I will include the hotel I’m staying at. This year it is the Mayflower Park Hotel. As a lot of my regular readers know, I like to include sketches in my observations as much as possible, whether for a book, travel, hotel review, or whatever it might be.
I will have my comics-making coincide with the internationally observed 24-Hour Comics Day. I will start drawing from 10 am on Saturday and continue from there to 10 am on Sunday. There are a bunch of guidelines to this activity. The goal is to create a 24-page narrative in sequential art. If you finish early, great. Or you can take a detour from that goal and work on whatever comics project you like. There are other variations, like creating two 12-page comics. I will attempt to do as much as possible, leave the process open-ended.
Okay, with all that said, I anticipate doing a lot of drawing. I foresee doing a lot of full-on comics as well as creating a bunch of drawings that I will end up in need of a proper comics framework at a later date or may end up just standing alone, as is. And, suffice it to say, I intend to honor my gracious host, the Mayflower Park Hotel.
Mark Campos was a beloved member of the local Seattle comics community. After learning that he had taken his life, I really did not know what to say. If there was a gathering, or an event, or a drawing club, he was a part of it. He was a cartoonist that drew what he loved. “Casino Son,” his last collection of stories, came out in 2017.
Cartoonists, just like any other creative person, spend a lot of time inside their heads. It can be a very good place to be. It saddens me to think that this particular comrade was dealing with so much turmoil. Rest in peace, Mark.
Here is a review by Paul Tumey of “Casino Son” in The Comics Journal:
“Mark Campos, another Seattle artist, is one of my favorite cartoonists. He emerged during the first wave of zine culture in the 1980s, creating clever, funny self-published comics that rank among the best offerings of this movement. Over the years, he has refined his visual storytelling into an accomplished minimalist style but has remained on the fringes by his own choice. He is also regarded as one of the best writers in the Seattle comics scene. A collection of his stories, Moxie, My Sweet is drawn by various other artists, including Eisner Award winner David Lasky.
For Casino Son, Campos set up a modest fundraising campaign, with the goal of publishing a new comic to premiere in person at the 2017 Latino Comics Expo, in Long Beach, California, November 11-12, 2017. The comic is a collection of short autobiographical vignettes which subtly reveal the conflicts of his Mexican-American upbringing with mainstream USA culture as represented by the casinos of Reno, Nevada — where he grew up. Resonating with modern-day, Build The Wall America, Casino Son is a smartly underplayed commentary. Like Charles Schulz or Ernie Bushmiller, the stories in Casino Son are so well-crafted they read fast and offer depth. Great to see a new comic from Mark Campos — I’m glad he rolled the dice on Casino Son.”
Seattle cartoonists of all stripes have been gathering at a little cafe for years. It’s been a mix of aspiring, emerging, professional, and enthusiast. Over time, this frenetic energy organized into a group that met once a month. For five years, the group met at Café Racer. They socialized, they drew, and the end result was a bunch of comics that were gathered up and turned into a comic book that was published the following month. That monthly comic book was known by the gallant and nerdy name of DUNE. It was a remarkable undertaking. Sadly, Café Racer recently closed its doors leaving the group without their routine creative outlet. To honor and celebrate their collective activity, there will be an art show of DUNE comics at a pub, The Leary Traveler. The show goes up January 18th and will run for a month.
If you are in Seattle, this is a wonderful opportunity to get a taste of some local cartoonist activity or the underground comix scene, per se. In fact, there is an unusually high concentration of cartoonists in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. That’s a subject far beyond the scope of this post and we’ll pick up on it more and more as we have over the years here at Comics Grinder. Suffice it to say, this art show is one of those special treats not to be missed.
Contributors to DUNE include well established masters of the comics medium (Roberta Gregory), painters and illustrators (John Ohannesian), brilliant young upstarts (Tom Van Deusen), exciting new talents (Gillian Rhodes, Handa, Rachel Scheer), enthused amateurs, and sometimes a non-artist or two who stopped in for beer and bravely decided to join the drawers. Sometimes the artists with the least “polish” end up turning in the pages that are the most clever, funny, and/or emotionally raw.
This show was organized by Push/Pull of Ballard, David Lasky, and Maxx Follis-Goodkind. The show poster is by comix artist Mark Falkey, who has been with DUNE since the first issue. The Leary Traveler is located at 4354 Leary Way NW in Seattle’s ‘Frelard’ neighborhood (the urban sprawl between Fremont and Ballard). The DUNE art show opening, takes place on Thursday, January 18th, from 6 to 9 pm. Expect many artists to be in attendance.
A new blog, Grab Back Comics, recently launched with the goal of helping to create greatly awareness of sexual assault and related issues. There is an ongoing call for submissions. Here is a statement from the blog curator, Erma Blood:
Project Call for Submissions: Grab Back Comics, Comics Stories About Sexual Assault
Submissions of original work are now being accepted for inclusion in the Grab Back Comics website and archive. Grab Back Comics is a curated collection of comics stories about sexual assault, harassment, rape culture, and advocacy. Grab Back features original artist interviews and book reviews, as well as original comics. Telling these difficult personal stories is a political act, an act of love and resistance. Grab Back encourages artists to tell their own stories and the stories of others, and presents this work with pride and admiration. The project is intended to be a safe landing spot for people looking for first-person stories, media representations and educational resources.
Anyone interested in illustration, art, satire, or the specific art of drawing, will know something about the career of Edward Sorel. The work of Edward Sorel covers a wide spectrum resulting in a hefty portrait of the human condition, with a notable eye to speaking truth to power.
My interest in Edward Sorel runs deep. I checked out from my school’s library Sorel’s 1972 collection, “Making the World Safe for Hypocrisy.” It was 1973 and I was a sensitive and highly impressionable lad of 10 years-old. I was filling sketchbooks with portraits of Watergate personalities, both villains and heroes. I tore into that book and marveled over Sorel’s distinctive crosshatching and his lively expressive line work. I was in awe with how he brought to life various dignitaries, politicians, and movie stars. The gold standard had been set in my mind and it hasn’t changed ever since. What really wows me now goes back to my early introduction to the work of Edward Sorel.
Quotes from reviews for Mr. Sorel’s new book, “Mary Astor’s Purple Diary: The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936,” published by Liveright/W.W. Norton & Company:
“Life is so unfair. I tore up the old linoleum in a grungy apartment I rented years ago and found under it only schmutz, hardened chewing gum and a torn ticket stub to ‘Moose Murders.’ Ed Sorel tears up the old linoleum in his apartment and finds yellowing newspapers with headlines screaming about a scandal that gave him material for a terrific book. Not only does he then write a terrific book, but he illustrates it with his wonderful caricature drawings. Who would figure that Mary Astor’s life would provide such entertaining reading, but in Sorel’s colloquial, eccentric style, the tale he tells is juicy, funny, and in the end, touching.”
—Woody Allen, The New York Times Book Review (cover review)
“Rapier-sharp…With a tip of his pen to Daumier, the artist evokes the quaint, febrile glamour of Astor’s Hollywood, and his affectionate, conversational prose gives Mary and her story a kind of valiant dignity never bestowed while she lived.”
—Edward Kosner, Wall Street Journal
“Delightful, colorful, and occasionally cheeky.”
—Allison Sadlier, Entertainment Weekly
Edward Sorel (born Edward Schwartz, 26 March 1929, The Bronx) has recently released a book from Liveright/W.W. Norton. The book, entitled “Mary Astor’s Purple Diary” is about his lifelong obsession with film star Mary Astor but it’s also a memoir of a sort. You may have read Woody Allen’s review of the book in The New York Times Book Review. Allen had the honor of introducing many new readers to the opening story in the book: It is 1965 and Edward Sorel, newly married and settling into new digs, is left with the task of replacing the old linoleum kitchen tile. Lo and behold, buried underneath is a stash of old newspapers chronicling the scandalous 1936 custody battle of Hollywood star Mary Astor. Well, the rest is history and this most engaging book.
I interviewed Mr. Sorel this last Wednesday, February 8th. I hope you enjoy it.
HENRY CHAMBERLAIN: Turning our attention to Mary Astor, what is intriguing about her is that she had a life where one plus one kept equaling three. Despite a series of bad choices, whether in lovers or career options, Mary Astor managed to persevere. Is that part of the appeal, that she took such an offbeat path?
EDWARD SOREL: The appeal came when I read her memoir. She was a self-denigrating and witty writer. Very observant. Somewhat cynical about Hollywood. She had an intelligence that appealed to me. Then I started seeing her movies and I was hooked on her. Her bad decisions that you refer to have to do with having had an abused childhood, not in any physical way but in a mental and psychological way.
Her father kept her from having friends because he didn’t want her to see how Americans lived, how Americans treated their children. He wanted to be the dictator of his home. And he succeeded. She was unable to break free from him until quite late in her life. And it kind of ruined her. And God knows she made a lot of terrible mistakes in her life.
I was watching 1924’s “Beau Brummell” and I am intrigued by the relationship Mary Astor developed with her co-star, John Barrymore, of all people. In their case, the twenty year age difference was inappropriate. However, it was what it was. And it was through Barrymore that Mary Astor learned a lot and gained self-confidence.
He did do her a lot of good but not for any altruistic reasons. He was out to nail her. He was on his way to Hollywood on the 20th Century Express. He had just completed the most successful run of “Hamlet” that America had seen. He was acclaimed as America’s greatest actor. He was on his way to the coast to make “Beau Brummell” for Warner Bros. because they were paying him a lot of money. And he picks up a magazine that has a photograph of Mary Astor about the age of 16 and under the photograph it said, “On the Verge of Womanhood.” Barrymore had a particular liking for virgins.
As I pointed out in the book, it was Barrymore who had his way with Evelyn Nesbitt, who later married Harry Kendall Thaw. And it was Thaw who shot Stanford White, America’s great architect, because he thought Stanford White had taken his wife’s virginity–when, in fact, it was Barrymore. That is a sidebar I’m proud of since I pieced together that bit of information.
According to Mary Astor, Barrymore really believed that he was going to marry her. And maybe he did plan to. But when Mary would not break free from her parents, after Barrymore offered her starring roles, because her father forbade it, Barrymore realized that she was just a child. She was completely under the sway of her father. Marrying a woman twenty years younger was one thing but marrying a child was something else. He broke her heart by calling it off.
I think it’s a cartoonist thing, as I’m a cartoonist, that we keep seeking out the offbeat. So, in the spirit of that I throw out a curveball, and ask you about your changing your last name to Sorel. You are referring to Stendhal’s “The Red and the Black.” I loved that book and the main character, Julian Sorel. Is there something interesting going on there with that connection?
I liked to think that I saw myself in Julian Sorel because he was like catnip to women, which I really wasn’t, and he hated the corrupt society of his time, as I hated mine. The first election that I voted in was the one between Eisenhower and Stevenson. I took a dim view of both of them and voted for a third party.
The other thing about Julian Sorel was that he hated his father. God, I certainly hated mine, not only because he tried to discourage me in wanting to be an artist but because he was a mean-spirited ignorant man not kind to my mother, not kind to anyone. And I didn’t want anything to do with him. I was going to be a cartoonist and I didn’t want to sign my name, Schwartz, in the right-hand corner. And I chose the name, Sorel, because of the novel. It seemed as good a name as any.
I think back to myself as a boy wondering about how you created your work. You’ve spoken about “finding lines.” Could you share a little bit about that?
When you work commercially, and you’re taking assignments, you have to show the art director what you plan to do. So, you do sketches of the drawing you plan to do. And, after a while, I began to notice that my sketches had more vitality and life than my finishes did. My finishes were often dead and overworked. And so I tried to emulate the quality that I had in my sketches which meant doing it without tracing. In point of fact, that’s impossible to do if you’re doing very complicated scenes. You can work direct if you’re doing a face, a figure, a still life, or anything relatively simple. You can work direct without tracing and the work has a vitality to it. But when you’re doing complicated scenes, with many different elements, you really do have to know where you’re going. So, I found out that if I just had a light outline of where I wanted the elements to be, and didn’t trace, I could keep this sketchy quality that I think gave my art work some distinction.
That quality of your art has influenced so many artists, whether they realize it or not. And, certainly, there have been other artists who have used an “expressive line.” You have talked about some of your favorites, like Feliks Topolski. There’s a certain sensibility that you both share.
Yes, well, he wasn’t trying to be funny like I always have. But his work has spontaneity, which I value in every artist. Wether its Bemelmans or Topolski. What shocks me now is to find so many artists who enjoy doing art work with a computer. I’ve seen some very nice computer art. You can get that nice flat color and can do all sorts of tricks that you can’t do by hand. But, to me, it doesn’t seem like fun. It seems like working on a machine. I just love the act of drawing. I’m a throwback. Most of the illustrations that you see today in magazines, and God knows you don’t see too many, are computer-generated in some form or another.
One compromise is for the artist to draw some of the illustration by hand, scan it, and do the rest on a computer.
It doesn’t seem fun to me but it must seem fun for them. I don’t cast aspersions on their way of doing it.
I think it boils down to being a time-saver. And, once a routine has set in, that’s the way it’s done and that’s it.
The other thing about computer art is that there’s nothing original, nothing to hang on the wall. You could have a show but it would only be prints. To each his own.
I wanted to touch on one of the all-time classics, your 1967 anti-war illustration, “Pass the Lord and Praise the Ammunition.” The real life punchline there is that you were all set to roll out a poster when the focal point of the piece, Cardinal Spellman, passed away rendering your satire unsellable. Now, there’s some divine intervention.
The day it came off the press is the day he died. It never sold in any store in America. It is in a museum in Amsterdam. One store in Chicago tried to sell it and had its window broken. Apparently, Cardinal Spellman had some fans in Chicago. That was a bad break. You get some bad breaks and you get some good ones. I was the recipient of Woody Allen’s praise on the front page of The New York Times Book Review. That was the best break I ever had.
I encourage everyone to check out the short film on you that your son, Leo, did. That is quite informative and a treat. It shows you in your studio. And then the Q&A afterward with illustrator James McMullan is very impressive. Towards the end of that, you talk about the pen you favor, a Speedball B6. I’ve always had a devil of a time with steel point dip pens. But the Speedballs I could manage. And then you flip it backwards to get the crosshatching.
Yes! That was my secret. The Speedball does move and it allows you to be kind of spastic over a piece of paper.
I wanted to ask you about Donald Trump. There was that drawing of him as Medusa you did last year. The big news at the moment is all about Mitch McConnell silencing Elizabeth Warren. I could see that as perhaps triggering an Edward Sorel drawing.
I can’t cope with Donald Trump. I haven’t done political cartooning in a number of years. I can’t deal with him. With all other presidents, you could make fun of their hypocrisy and have fun with them. But Mr. Trump is kind of crazy. And he’s dangerous. He’s cruel. Making fun of him doesn’t seem what’s called for. It’s trivializing him. He shouldn’t be trivialized. He’s really a danger. People are really scared. They wake up with Donald Trump on their mind and they go to bed with him on their mind. He’s a heavy presence in our lives now. I don’t know how to deal with that.
You can’t call him the new Nixon. At least with Nixon, there was a mind at work. It’s being very generous, but there was some sense of integrity compared to Trump. Nixon you could call a president. But, with Trump, he’s president only by title.
He seems unhinged. I think it was Bernie Sanders who called him unhinged. He seems too crazy to be in that office. I don’t know what else to say about him.
Especially living it right now. It is stomach-turning. I won’t talk about him anymore. But I do need to mention Melissa McCarthy’s impersonation of Sean Spicer. Have you seen that?
No, tell me about it. I’ve been trying to avoid the news lately.
Well, Melissa McCarthy is a comic genius and she was on Saturday Night Live last weekend. She did a spot on impersonation of Sean Spicer, had the look and mannerisms down.
Oh, wait, I did see that! A friend sent that to me.
I think that has the power of a political cartoon and then some. It captivated everyone. It was an emotional release for everyone to see that.
Yes, I’m sure it was. It was very funny.
It seems to me that every artist needs a hero, someone to play off of. I see your book, weaving your life with Mary’s, as following the artist’s struggle. I think of how Mary evolved. I think of how Mary and Bette Davis were able to rewrite “The Great Lie,” turning that around into a notable film.
She did become a very fine actress. But she also became a little bit like her father, terribly obsessed with money. She twice turned down contracts for starring roles since she believed supporting roles would provide a longer career. She did indeed have a long career. She was in over 100 movies. And she was going strong until about 1959. She didn’t take chances. Maybe she didn’t believe she was a good enough actress. She missed having a chance at great roles and great performances. That was too bad.
My obsession with her has to do with my thinking I wasn’t a great artist because I didn’t have an obsession. So, I was very grateful when people called my interest in Mary Astor an obsession. Yes, it was an obsession and I do think it helped produce my best work.
Can you tell us about your connection with Boston University?
I was very lucky to have Boston University buy my entire work, my oeuvre, as we say. In March, they’re having a retrospective of all my work and, as a matter of fact, I’m still packing up things to send there.
The Howard Gottlieb Center at Boston University has one of the finest collections from all walks of life. They have the second largest Martin Luther King collection. They have many of America’s great writers. They have Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. They have most of the actors and actresses from the golden age of Hollywood. I’m very delighted to be part of this collection.
I heard a siren in the background. It brings back my visits to New York. You are a lifelong New Yorker and I know how much you love New York. Could you share some of your thoughts on the city?
I do love New York. I don’t love the crowds anymore. I do worry. When you live in a city like New York, you do begin to see a kind of science fiction future: crowds everywhere, lines everywhere. New York is kind of becoming that. They keep building these enormous skyscrapers without thinking about how the city will accommodate it. They’re not building out, like they did in Los Angeles. They’re building up. It used to be that the only crowds were in midtown but now crowds are all over. And you find yourself walking in the gutter because there’s too many people on the sidewalk.
So, yeah, I love New York. The New York that I grew up with, where the museums were free and everyone went to public school, seems to have vanished. Everything is expensive now, including the museums. It’s very difficult for young people. When The New York Times that I used to buy for three cents is now $2.50, The New Yorker which I used to buy for ten cents, is now something like $7, it’s bizarre. And, of course, the wages that young people get are pitiful. So, yeah, I love New York but I don’t like the time particularly.
Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
I can tell you about my next book. It’s going to be similar in structure to the Mary Astor book. It’s going to be a memoir. It will be about my growing up in New York. And it will be about the thirteen presidents that I’ve lived through.
My point is that every one of these presidents, whether I liked them or not, committed illegal acts, overthrew governments illegally, and did unconstitutional things. Starting with Dwight D. Eisenhower, who became enamored with Billy Graham. It was through those machinations that they put “In God We Trust” on our currency and inserted “Under God” in our oath of allegiance. Somehow, I regard that point in history as the slope we’ve been sliding ever since.
Now, it’s done so garishly with someone like Trump.
Right. Trump, the great Christian, who apparently was much loved by the Bible Belt. I don’t think there’s anything more derogatory I can say about organized religion than that they were responsible for the election of Donald Trump.
Is part of the new book you’re working on sitting on your drawing board?
Not yet. A little bit is sitting on the computer. Nothing has been drawn yet.
I wish you well on that. It’s been exciting and quite a treat to get a chance to talk with you for a bit.
You’re very kind. Thank you so much.
You can listen to the interview right here.
“Mary Astor’s Purple Diary: The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936” is a 176-page hardcover, with full-color illustrations, published by W.W. Norton & Company. For more details, visit W.W. Norton & Company right here.
Jackie Estrada’s “Comic Book People 2,” a behind-the-scenes look at the comics industry in the 1990s, will be available at your local comics shop on September 2 and on Amazon on September 10. You can currently find the first book “Comic Book People: Photographs from the 1970s and 1980s,” right here. You can find “Comic Book People 2” scheduled for release at your LCS right here.
“Comic Book People 2” is a high-quality hardcover coffee table book that offers a unique peek at the comics industry in the 1990s. It features some 600 candid photos of comics creators taken by Jackie Estrada at the San Diego Comic-Con, WonderCon, Chicago ComiCon, APE, SPX, and other shows during the decade, along with commentary and anecdotes about each person. The photos depict not only the big names of the period but also up-and-coming stars early in their careers as well as Golden and Silver Age comic book greats who were still with us.
“The 1990s were a great time for new faces that are now familiar fixtures, such as Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Jeff Smith, Terry Moore, Garth Ennis, Colleen Doran, David Lapham, and Paul Pope,” says Estrada. “But even as these new creators came on the scene, a number of Golden and Silver Age greats were still with us, and I was fortunate to be able to photograph many of them.” Among the venerated artists in the book are Frank Frazetta, Carmine Infantino, Gene Colan, Al Williamson, Sheldon Moldoff, Nick Cardy, and of course Will Eisner and Jack Kirby.
The 1990s were a transitional era in comics: Image emerged, lots of other new publishers got into the mix, the direct market flourished, and the self-publishing and indie comics movements really took off. The number of comic conventions also increased all around the U.S. And Jackie Estrada was there, capturing the scene in candid images.
It was during the 1990s that Estrada and her husband Batton Lash formed Exhibit A Press to produce his comics series Wolff& Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre (aka Supernatural Law). Many of the photos in Comic Book People 2 were taken at shows where they exhibited, from the Chicago ComiCon and WonderCon to the Small Press Expo and APE, as well as the San Diego Comic-Con. The book covers the full spectrum of creators, from mainstream superhero writers and artists to small press cartoonists, as well as people behind the scenes in the industry, such as publishers, editors, retailers, and distributors. Among the events of the 1990s featured are the foundings of Milestone and Friends of Lulu and activities of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
Jackie has been both a comics fan and a photographer since the 1960s, and she has been to every San Diego Comic-Con. Her involvement in comics has included editing publications for Comic-Con, being the administrator of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards since 1990, serving as president of Friends of Lulu, and being the co-publisher of Exhibit A Press, which has produced Comic Book People 2. Her photos of comics creators have appeared in numerous books and publications, from Paul Levitz’s 75 Years of DC Comics and Julius Schwartz’s autobiography Man of Two Worlds to Alter Ego and Comics Buyer’s Guide. Most prominently, dozens of her photos were used in Dark Horse’s Comics: Between the Panels and in Comic-Con: 40 Years of Artists, Writers, Fans, and Friends. Most recently, her photos could be seen in the PBS special, “Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle,” on the history of superheroes.
You could not ask for a better guide on the formidable world of comics than Jackie Estrada.
Interview: Mike Capozzola, Stand-Up Comedian and Published Cartoonist (See him at Seattle Comedy Underground June 14, 2015)
Mike Capozzola is a San Francisco stand-up comedian and published cartoonist. He’s very funny and thoughtful and a great guy to chat with about pop culture. He’ll be in my hometown, Seattle, to perform at the Comedy Underground on Sunday, June 14th. This is a perfect time to check out one of the most distinctive and cool comedy venues in the country.
Capozzola will perform his multimedia comedy show about sci-fi films, secret agents, werewolves, and superheroes. It’s called “Emperor Ming’s Mercilessly Spicy Wings and Other Tales.” You can find more details right here.
Corporations that have jumped on the geek bandwagon are not your friends. Heck, corporations aren’t even actually people. And the people who run these corporations don’t care, or begin to understand, what the term “geek” means. But folks like Mike Capozzola do get it. His show revolves around a natural love for geeky stuff.
Amid his wide spectrum of work, what shines through is a relentless pursuit of offbeat humor. We chat here about what exactly the title of his show is all about and end up discussing pop culture in a significant way. We weren’t afraid to pull back the curtain and comment upon the brazen highjacking of the idea of being authentic, or “geek,” by commercial interests.
Byway of discussing the title for his show in this interview, Capozzola shared his love for the webcomic, “The Perry Bible Fellowship” by Nicholas Gurewitch. In relation to Capozzola’s obscure reference to Emperor Ming, he cites Gurewitch’s story, “The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories,” where the good colonel appears in only a couple of panels. Now that’s some good geek street cred!
You can listen to the interview right below: