Sunday, December 28, 2008

Phonzie Davis' Left Handed Sophie

"...Davis’ artwork is a combination of styles, from the dynamic energy of Jack Kirby to the urban neo-expressionism of Basquiat to the playful, cartoonish imagery of Evan Dorkin and Peter Bagge.

"There is also a nod to generations of black popular culture, something that’s seldom reflected on the comic book racks. The iconic, gritty marker drawings on the covers of Funkadelic album covers and the bad-ass attitude of blaxploitation cinema come to mind, especially the latter’s fondness for strong female protagonists.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Corby's Lump of Coal anthology

"I'm an adviser for the Art Explorer Post 407 which meets every Saturday at the campus of the Columbus College of Art and Design. 'Lump of Coal' was started last year as a stocking stuffer mini-comic to sell at CCAD’s Student Art Sale which occurs in early December every year. The book is used to help raise money for the post for art supplies and trips. The idea to do a holiday mini-comic for the sale was mine, but one of the students came up with the name, after we saw how most of the strips were heading in the “bad attitude” direction. This year it’s a whopping 32 interior pages with a color cover in the traditional mini-comic format (4-1/4” X 5-1/2”)."

Bob Corby

Friday, December 12, 2008

Harvey Pekar opera!!

Media Contact:
Charlotte Landrum, Associate Director of Conservatory Media Relations
440-775-5474 (office);

From Off the Streets of Cleveland Comes ...

Leave Me Alone!, a Jazz Opera by Harvey Pekar and Dan Plonsey, to Premiere at the Oberlin Conservatory Of Music and via Webcast on Jan. 31, 2009

American Splendor Icon Pekar Focuses His Sardonic Wit on the Everyday Struggles of Avant-Garde Artists, with Music from Cleveland-born Composer and Saxophonist Plonsey

Harvey Pekar
Photo by Chris Buck

OBERLIN, OHIO (December 10, 2008) —The iconic underground comic book author Harvey Pekar will make his operatic debut at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Leave Me Alone!, an autobiographical jazz opera. A collaboration by two Cleveland natives, the opera combines a libretto by Pekar with music by saxophonist and composer Dan Plonsey. Leave Me Alone! depicts the lives of its creators in quotidian detail while asking big questions about the place of cutting-edge art in our society. Amidst the demands and interruptions of day-to-day life, Pekar and Plonsey wonder, how can artists carve out time for their creative work? More importantly, they ask, how do we cultivate a society that is receptive to the avant-garde? The opera, which is presented by Oberlin in cooperation with Real Time Opera, will receive its world premiere in a free performance on Saturday, January 31, 2009, at 8 p.m. in Finney Chapel. The performance will also be streamed live to an international audience online at

Finney Chapel is located at 90 N. Professor Street in Oberlin, Ohio, just 40 minutes southwest of Cleveland.

“There ought to be a place for cutting edge work,” says Pekar, who believes that many major cultural institutions have shirked their responsibility to support contemporary art and challenge audiences. “I thought there wasn’t much out there being said about this, and I wanted to open up some discussion.”

Called “the blue-collar Mark Twain” by Variety, Pekar is best known for his autobiographical comic book series American Splendor, in which he elevated the mostly mundane details of his life as a working-class Clevelander to the level of art. The series won the American Book Award and a film adaptation took top honors at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals. Composer Plonsey, who was born and raised in Cleveland Heights, has been a lifelong proponent of new music, and has founded several new music series in and around his current home in El Cerrito, California.

“The opera, simply put, is the non-fictional account of its own creation,” says Plonsey. In the story, Pekar and Plonsey engage in discussions about music, the state of the avant-garde, and the creation of the opera itself from their Cleveland and San Francisco Bay Area living rooms. A taped conversation between Pekar and comics illustrator Robert Crumb provides an additional perspective on the opera’s themes. The wives of Plonsey and Pekar, Mantra Ben-ya’akova Plonsey and Joyce Brabner (who portray themselves in the production), enter the plot, as does Josh Smith, the opera’s music director. Oberlin Conservatory students will also be involved in the production; four singers will double the protagonists on stage and an ensemble of six jazz musicians will back them in the pit, playing alongside Plonsey and Smith.

Plonsey and Pekar are deeply committed to the notion that art transcends distinctions of class and hence ought to be available to all. Accordingly, both the live performance and the webcast of the opera will be offered free of charge. Those wishing to support the production may do so by purchasing a comic about the opera, written by Pekar and illustrated by Joseph Remnant, at The comic is available as a signed, limited-edition print ($300) or digital download ($5). Visitors may also purchase a cell-phone ring tone featuring Harvey’s inimitable voice ($5) on the site.

Performers and Production Team
Several of the performers in the opera will play themselves, including Dan Plonsey, Harvey Pekar, Mantra Ben-ya’akova Plonsey, and Joyce Brabner. Oberlin Conservatory and College singers Patty Stubel ’09, Kate Rosen ’11, Joanna Lemle ’10, and Christopher Rice ’10 will double the characters on stage; students, including dummer Noah Hecht ’10, trombonist Aaron Salituro ’11, saxophonist David Schwartz ’12, and trumpeter Gregory Zilboorg ’13, will also play in the band.

The production team includes Paul Schick, executive producer for Real Time Opera; Josh Smith, musical director; Associate Professor of Opera Jonathon Field, stage director; Robert Katkowski, set designer; Barry Steele, lighting designer; Victoria Vaughan, stage manager; and Dan Michalak, musical preparation. The webcast will be produced with help from Oberlin professional staff and students, including Associate Dean of Technology and Facilities Michael Lynn, Director of Audio Services Paul Eachus, Director of Networking Barron Hulver, and Technology Consultant Todd Brown.

About the Librettist: Harvey Pekar
Harvey Pekar, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, is best known for his autobiographical comic book series American Splendor. Pekar began self-publishing the series in 1976, at the urging of friend and noted illustrator Robert Crumb. Unique among comic books of the time, Pekar’s stories documented the minutiae of his daily life: working as a file clerk in the VA hospital, grocery shopping, or simply searching for a lost set of keys. In 1987, Pekar was honored with the American Book Award for his work on the series, and in 2003 American Splendor was adapted as a movie to widespread critical acclaim. An avid record collector, Pekar began his writing career as a book and music critic, with a particular interest in jazz. His reviews have been published in the Boston Herald, the Austin Chronicle, Jazz Times, Urban Dialect (Cleveland), and Down Beat magazine. Pekar’s commentary for public radio station WKSU, starting in 1999, won him several journalism awards, including the 2001 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Writing. Pekar was a frequent guest on Late Night with David Letterman in the late 1980s; his infamous on-air criticism of General Electric got him temporarily banned from the show, although he did make two more appearances in the early 1990s. In 2001, Pekar retired from his job as a file clerk at the local VA Hospital. He lives in Cleveland Heights with his wife Joyce and their foster daughter Danielle.

About the Composer: Dan Plonsey
Saxophonist and composer Dan Plonsey was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Drawing inspiration from musicians as diverse as Sun Ra and Charles Ives, Plonsey’s music defies easy categorization. “No doubt,” writes All About Jazz, “Plonsey is a creative soul who possesses a Renaissance spirit.” In recent years Plonsey’s instrumental work has focused on large ensembles of mixed instrumentation and ensembles of multiple saxophones. His more than 200 works for large and small ensembles include commissions from Bang on a Can, the Berkeley Symphony, and New Music Works in Santa Cruz. He has written numerous operas, including three collaborations with Paul Schick of Real Time Opera. From 1994-99, he was the resident composer and chief librettist for Disaster Opera Theater in El Cerrito, California, where he currently lives. He also founded the weekly Beanbender’s creative music concert series in Berkeley, which is ongoing on an occasional basis. Plonsey earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in math and music from Yale University and a Master of Arts degree in composition from Mills College. He has studied composition with Martin Bresnick, David Lewin, Anthony Braxton, and, more briefly, Roscoe Mitchell and Terry Riley. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Mantra and their two sons, Cleveland and Mischa.

About the Director: Jonathon Field
Jonathon Field is one of America’s more versatile and popular stage directors, having directed more than 100 productions in all four corners of the United States. He served as artistic director of Lyric Opera Cleveland for six seasons, where he presented the operas of Mozart, Rossini, and Donizetti as well as the Ohio premieres of works by John Adams, Mark Adamo, and Philip Glass. Several of Field’s productions for the Lyric Opera of Chicago were so successful they were repeated at the Illinois Humanities Festival with Stephen Sondheim as keynote speaker. His productions for San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theatre and Seattle Opera have played in more than 20 states. Over the past eight years Field has directed 10 productions with the Arizona Opera, being deemed by the press “their most perceptive stage director.” In February 2007, Field directed—at Oberlin and at Miller Theatre in New York City—the critically acclaimed U.S. premiere of Lost Highway, a dramatic music theater work by noted Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth based on the David Lynch film. This is Field’s 11th season as director of Oberlin Opera Theater.

About Real Time Opera: Artistic Director Paul Schick
Under the artistic direction of Paul Schick, Real Time Opera (RTO) has presented world premieres of new operas in New York, San Francisco, and New England, where the company is based. In 2005, RTO premiered Feynman (2005), a chamber opera by composer Jack Vees, with a libretto by Schick, about Nobel Prize-winning physicist and cult figure Richard Feynman, with SO Percussion as the pit orchestra. The opera premiered at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and was reprised in Brattleboro, Vermont at Dartmouth College, in Concord, New Hampshire, and in New York at the Knitting Factory. A future online production of Feynman from Yale is in the planning stages. RTO’s debut production, in 2003, was Korczak’s Orphans by composer Adam Silverman and librettist Susan Gubernat. Based on the life of Polish pediatrician, orphanage director, and Holocaust martyr Janosz Korczak, the opera was also performed by New York City Opera on their VOX Festival of new American works. RTO’s second production, Hawaiian Tan Ratface, a quasi-opera by John Trubee, premiered at San Francisco’s Studio Z in 2004. Schick is librettist and producer of the forthcoming music-dance-theater piece A House in Bali by composer Evan Ziporyn, scheduled to premiere in Bali, Indonesia, followed by an international tour, in 2009. As an administrator, Schick has worked with Opera North, Boston Lyric Opera, the American Gamelan Institute, and the composers’ collective Frog Peak Music. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Hamilton College and a Master of Philosophy degree and PhD in musicology from Yale University.

The Oberlin Conservatory of Music, founded in 1865 and situated amid the intellectual vitality of Oberlin College since 1867, is the oldest continuously operating conservatory in the United States. The Conservatory is renowned internationally as a professional music school of the highest caliber and has been pronounced a “national treasure” by the Washington Post. Oberlin’s alumni have gone on to achieve illustrious careers in all aspects of the serious music world. Many of them have attained stature as solo performers, composers, and conductors, among them Jennifer Koh, Steven Isserlis, Denyce Graves, Franco Farina, Christopher Robertson, Lisa Saffer, George Walker, Christopher Rouse, David Zinman, and Robert Spano. All of the members of the contemporary sextet eighth blackbird, most of the members of the International Contemporary Ensemble, and many of the members of Apollo’s Fire are Oberlin alumni. In chamber music, the Miró, Pacifica, Juillard, and Fry Street quartets, among other small ensembles, include Oberlin-trained musicians, who also can be found in major orchestras and opera companies throughout the world. For more information about Oberlin, please visit

Saturday, January 31, 2009, 8 p.m.
The Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Real Time Opera present
Leave Me Alone!
Libretto by Harvey Pekar
Music by Dan Plonsey
Josh Smith, music director
Jonathon Field, stage director
Live on stage:
Finney Chapel
90 North Professor Street
Oberlin, Ohio
Oberlin Conservatory 24-Hour Concert Hotline: 440-775-6933


Visit the Oberlin Conservatory of Music Press Room or subscribe to our RSS feed for more breaking news.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy Birthday James Thurber!

I read this article in yesterday's Dispatch and thought about how wonderful it is to have a such a talented cartoonist (and yes, a very funny author) from Columbus be so celebrated here in the States and internationally.

There are quite a few things going on at the Thurber House over the next year, but this Wednesday (from 6-9p) you can join in the celebration of Mr. Thurber's 114th birthday at the Westin Columbus (310 S. High St.) "featuring the author of My Lucky Star, the 2007 Thurber Prize for American Humor winner, Joe Keenan. He is a five time Emmy Award winner and two time winner of the Writers Guild of America Award for his writing on the hit TV series, Frasier, where he also rose from executive story editor to executive producer. In 2007, he shared an Annie Award for best writing of an animated feature for Flushed Away. He has also written and produced several episodes of Desperate Housewives." 

Should be a great evening!

Also, I came across this YouTube vid; once upon a time... it was James Thurber's world and we were all welcome to it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

RW in the Columbus Dispatch

Several months ago, I decided to start a webcomic about my new life here in Columbus. At first I wasn’t entirely sure how good it would be or how long it would even last. I just felt like it was something I needed to do. Who knew that anyone would even read it, much less want to write about it?

Dispatch article

Monday, November 17, 2008

If It's Comic Related, You'll Find It's Got A New Look

The Comic Related News & Reviews website has been around for nearly five years now, chugging away in the online salt mines of comics commentary. Founder Chuck Moore has been an ardent supporter of quality comics, from the top-of-the-line mainstream books to the smallest of the small press mini comics, and does all he can to promote & support them (mine included). For the longest time it seemed that CR was a one-man show; but over the past year, it's grown to include over half a dozen contributors and thousands of visitors and as of this past weekend, the site has gotten a serious make-over.

In an email dated November 8, Moore states:

I'm sure you've noticed that we've moved from being a primarily press release driven site to generating more and more original content. We're really coming into our own on this front and I sincerely thank Peter Simeti, all our columnists and all our great reviewers for making this happen. As we move increasingly into the news business, this flow of original content, commentary and discussion will only increase.

Looking ahead, we're going to start playing in the Newsarama / Comic Book Resources sandbox all the while maintaining our goal of a small press first focus. My goal is to transform us from being A destination site to THE destination site and 2009 is the year where we start making that happen.

And he further added,
"I couldn't be happier with the way things turned out now that the site has relaunched. It packs a visual impact to go with the great content provided by our numerous writers. Think you've seen it all? Wait until you see phase two of the redesign as we begin focusing more on the community aspects of the site updating the look of our forum AND integrating more places for readers to comment and take part in the evolution of the site. As I like to say... If you think you know Comic Related, you haven't seen anything yet!"

All that I can add is-- from the looks of things, it is going to be a colorful ride!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

DR. SKETCHY'S Anti-Art School Announcement

Calling all artists, aspiring artists of all skill levels, and girlie gawkers: DR. SKETCHY'S Anti-Art School is in session THIS SATURDAY, November 15 from 5-8:00 p.m. at East Village in the Short North (630 N. High).

WHAT IS DR. SKETCHY'S, YOU ASK? Dr. Sketchy's is the little event that became a movement. Founded in 2005 by artist Molly Crabapple, Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School gives local artists the opportunity to sketch the most beautiful burlesque dancers, the most bizarre circus freaks, the most fabulous drag queens, and other fabulous, beautiful, uber-fantastic models. Every other month or so, we will let you draw them for three hours. Interspersed with posing there will sometimes be performances, ridiculous drawing contests where you can win booze or prizes, and other surprises.

This month's models will be a few of the lovely Velvet Hearts, Calamity Rain and Femme Mystique, and special guest The Reverend Roy Rogers!

SIGN UP for the next Dr. Sketchy's Columbus Anti-Art Class here - $10.00 advance PayPal payment, $15.00 at the door. Don't miss the chance to catch this live figure modeling class! It's a sketching class... with booze!

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's Time For (more) Cartoons!

Whether you're a wide-eyed kid (or a kid at heart) or a cynical, beaten-down adult, you can always enjoy a good cartoon, right? This Saturday (Nov. 15) at CCAD's Canzani Center, the Columbus International Film & Video Festival is showing a wide array of animated shorts from all around the world. In the morning (10am) is when they'll show "Saturday Morning Cartoons From Around The World" for children of all ages; then, at 7:30pm they'll begin "Animation 4 Adults," featuring the Grand Prix Oberhausen winner "Chainsaw" a stunning story about Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, chainsaw safety, and bullfighting (for adults of not-quite-all ages). Admission is $5 (free for students) and parking at CCAD is free. (Fun Fact: The Columbus International Film & Video Festival is the oldest film festival in North America, having existed since 1952!)

Creative Columbus survey now up

The Creative Columbus survey is designed to measure the breadth and depth of the arts community in Central Ohio for the purpose of increasing business opportunities.
This study will identify how the various creative businesses and organizations, workforce and talent are represented and connected in Central Ohio. To help us measure this economy and community, we’re looking for everyone to participate in this "creative census"
- businesses and organizations
- self-employed professionals
- employees
- students
The survey is up from now until the 25th.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Ten Cent Plague

The heart of David Hajdu’s The Ten Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America is the story of Janice Valleau Winkleman. We first meet her, in the book’s prologue, living with her husband Ed in a Florida retirement village. But this retiree harbors a secret past that not even her children were aware of: She once made her living drawing comic books. Hers is one of over 800 names listed in the book’s appendix of people who were driven from the medium forever by the backlash against comic books that culminated in the 1954 Senate subcommittee hearings on Juvenile Delinquency and the subsequent adoption by the industry of the draconian Comics Code,the most restrictive set of content restrictions ever enforced on any medium, which drove many publishers, most notably EC Comics, to abandon the field. Throughout the narrative, Hajdu returns to Winkleman’s story, tracing her career from her first job at MLJ Comics (known as Archie Comics these days), obtained at age 19 through connections at the art school she attended, to her final, reluctant, decision more than a decade later to walk away from the industry for good. Though she eventually took up painting as a hobby, Winkleman would never again attempt to make a living as an artist, in comics or anywhere else. When asked why, she responds, “I was scared to death. Don’t you know what they did to us?” Hajdu does indeed know, and in the remainder of this unforgettable book, he lets us know as well.

To be honest, and this isn’t a criticism but merely a caveat, the book doesn’t really live up to its subtitle. This isn’t really a story of how the backlash against comic books changed America, but of how that backlash was an extreme and tragic example of the changes that swept all aspects of American culture and society at the midpoint of the 20th century. The book’s greatest strength is Hajdu’s ability to convey his sweeping social history in starkly human terms. His focus is squarely on the people, from industry giants such as Spirit creator Will Eisner and William Gaines, publisher of EC Comics and a central figure in the controversy, to those like Winkleman, who toiled in relative or even complete obscurity, not even allowed, in most cases, to sign their name to their work, whose lifes were forever altered by the events he details. He also provides insight into the characters and motivations of those who fueled the backlash against comics. These instigators include the infamous Dr. Frederick Wertham, whose sensationalistic book of spurious pseudo-pyschology, Seduction Of The Innocent, provided much of the grist for the anti-comics mill of the Senate subcommitte and other comics detractors, and the ambitious Senator Estes Kefauver, who hoped to use the publicity generated by these hearings to jumpstart his bid for the White House. Aiding them at the grassroots level were the mostly well intentioned, if ultimately misguided, community and religious leaders who took their protests to the extreme of organizing mass burnings of comic books in mostly small towns across the nation, and the children, members of what at the time was the intended audience for comic books, who aided them, sometimes reluctantly and with regret but surprisingly often willingly and with relish, in their crusade by gathering up comic books to fuel the funeral pyres and applying pressure on local merchants, often in the form of a threatened boycott, to stop selling them.

Through striving, and succeeding, to put a human face on this tragic yet, outside of the community of comics professionals and dedicated fans, nearly forgotten episode from our recent history, Hajdu has produced not only one of the most important books of comics and social history yet published, but he has crafted a page turner of a story as involving and compellingly readable as Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize winning novel covering the same historical period, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay, to which I would heartily recommend The Ten Cent Plague as a companion volume.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

art-related events for 11/6-11

- As part of the Andy Warhol exhibit currently playing at the Wexner Center, Andyland will be this Saturday, a party event which recreates the Factory environment and provides a little of the "superstar" experience.

- Here's one I missed from last week: now playing at the Ohio Historical Center: the work of Norman Rockwell and the lithographs of Currier & Ives. (FYI: the Milton Caniff exhibit is still ongoing until March!)

- MadLab Gallery is having a video film fest Saturday night.

- Lot of stuff happening at the OSU Urban Arts Space: The Ohio Watercolor Society opens an exhibit in the Riffe Gallery tonight. Also tonight, one reception for two shows: an exhibit by artist Alan Crockett and a show by the Department of Art faculty.

- The Columbus Film Festival continues Sunday with To Each Her Own, 8PM at Liquid; and Tuesday with The Challenge of Change: In The Melting Heart Of The Alps, 8 PM at Germania.

- I've neglected to mention the Cowtown Film Series, which actually has been going on before I started posting here, but anyway... Tonight's showing is The King of Iron Town (check the website for the trailer) at 7PM.

- Radio station Sunny 95 presents a Rock and Roll Art Show, Friday - Sunday at Polaris.

- The Clintonville Arts Guild has an arts and crafts show and sale Saturday.

- The Columbus International Festival is this weekend.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Goodye, Opus and Hello, President Obama

This past Sunday, November 2, after 28 years (well, 20 if you don't count the 8 year hiatus between Outland and Opus), Berkely Breathed and his bow-tied alter ego departed the pages of the Sunday comics section, with, if I can be honest here, more of a whimper than a bang. The most recent incarnation of the strip never really lived up to Bloom County in its heyday or even Outland at its best, but in all its forms, Breathed's strip has been one of the highlights of the comics section and will be missed. Luckily, I have all of the books, so I shan't be missing Opus too much.
Among Breathed's many accomplishments is his 1987 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. However, the events of last night throw into serious doubt Breathed's skills as a political fortune teller. In a sequence of strips from 1988 (which I intended to scan on Saturday to accompany this, but I chose instead to have a total emotional meltdown. We won't go into that in a parenthetical phrase. However, if you're reading along at home, said sequence is reprinted on pages three and four of Night of the Mary Kay Commandos and page 148 of Classics of Western Literature.), "deeply Democratic" Tom Binkley is beset with a "liberal Democrat guilt fit" because he thinks "Jesse Jackson is kinda loopy." He goes on to say, "Jesse can give a heck of a sermon...and he rhymes well...But I'm sorry...I...I just don't see him as the leader of the free world."
To assuage his father's anguish, young Mike Binkley calls on Oliver Wendell Jones' father, Frank, who assures Tom, "Speaking for blacks worldwide, we don't hate you!" and goes on to predict that "The first black in the White House will be a conservative."
To be fair to Breathed, given the political climate of the time (a time that extended to about six months ago, in truth), this was a perfectly reasonable assumption. And if Colin Powell had ever chosen to toss his gold star festooned hat into the ring, it most likely would have become reality.
Instead, last night, this nation elected to lead it the man described by his GOP critics as the most liberal member of the United States Senate.
It's funny, though, that four years ago, John Kerry was the most liberal senator. And I'm sure that if the race for the Democratic nomination had gone differently, you can just guess who would have found herself tagged as the Senate's most liberal member.

The Times The Are A Ch-Ch-Changin'

Since Ray's spent the past two days on the election, I thought I'd round it out with a small sampling of political cartoons from The Cagle Post.

Many people are happy and quite proud...

...playing a part in this historic event...

...the history books are definitely going to remember this day fondly...

Ah, but then there are the others who have a different point of view...

I've got my own thoughts on the matter. But no matter which side of the coin you're on, the coin itself is worth the same amount (unless, of course, there's an economic depression). Hopefully, we can all work together to help make the American Dream worth dreaming again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Chicks Dig The Shirt

Back at Mid-Ohio Con last month, I picked up the Barack Obama T-shirt pictured above, featuring an image painted by noted comics artist Alex Ross, best known for his work on Marvels and Kingdom Come. As I said in my last post, I wasn't quite the true believer that I am now, but a cool T-shirt is a cool T-shirt when all is said and done.
I am, in fact, wearing said shirt as I write this, and, it should go without saying, wore it to the rally on Sunday. I figured my chances of getting a bus after the event were about zero, and if I did it would be unbearably crowded, so I set out to walk toward Clintonville. Along the way, I noticed a couple women, and really good looking ones, giving me, as the saying goes, "the eye." Of course, I knew what was going on here. It wasn't me; a tall skinny dork with broken glasses, a football shaped head, a big nose and bad teeth; that caught their eye. The truth is that, as the headline says, chicks dig the shirt.
I wonder if that will still be the case after the election. I guess that depends on the outcome. All the reaction my Michael Dukakis T-shirt gets is pointing and laughing.

Monday, November 3, 2008

By The Time We Got To The Statehouse, We Were 60,000 Strong, And Everywhere Were The Signs Of A Celebration

Did you know that the next President of the United States of America is only two inches tall?
Or so he appeared to me at the Barack Obama rally at the Ohio Statehouse yesterday. It could be, of course, due to the fact that I was quite far from the speaker's platform. In a crowd of 60,000, however, I suppose I was lucky to have been able to see him at all.
I am, either by nature or due to certain events in my past life, if not a full blown cynic then at least a dedicated skeptic, and while I did vote early for Obama, I didn't quite buy the whole hope and change message. Until yesterday. Perhaps it was because I was surrounded by 60,000 cheering true believers, or maybe it was something about actually hearing what was, to be honest, mostly the standard issue stump speech that he has delivered hundreds of times and I've heard most of on the news, in person and from the man himself. I can't really say, but by the end of the rally, I had, to quote a sketch from Saturdays SNL, "drunk the Obama Kool-Aid." I wish I could vote for him all over again. Hopefully, I will be able to vote to re-elect him in four years.
Anyway, this is supposed to be a comics blog, so I'm going to connect this to comics presently.
The 60,000 attendance figure, more than twice what had been expected, comes from National Public Radio's All Things Considered. The NPR correspondant also noted Obama's muffed attempt to reach out to the geek vote. Challenging his opponents self-styled image as a "maverick," the candidate repeated his charge that John McCain voted with George Bush over 90% of the time on economic issues, saying that McCain was more a sidekick than a maverick, "like Kato with the Green Lantern." The NPR reporter correctly pointed out, and I got as he said it, that Kato was, in fact, the sidekick of the Green Hornet.
This gaffe, is in an odd way, reassuring. After all, the POTUS has more important things to do than read comic books, especially super-hero comics.
I bet Dubya knows the difference between the Green Hornet and the Green Lantern, although I picture him as more of an Image comics reader. I can picture him, in the summer of 2001, poring over every detail of the latest issue of Spawn or The Savage Dragon while the now infamous briefing paper entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Targets Inside US" languished unread in the bottom drawer of his desk beneath a half-eaten bag of stale Cheetos.
I end this rant with a reminder--no--an admonition to all of you to get out and VOTE! If you're in Franklin County, there's still time to get in line at Vets Memorial to vote today. If you're in line by 7 p.m. they have to let you vote. If you can't get out today, then remember that polls are open tomorrow from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

underground art @ Gallery 83

The Lantern has a piece about a new gallery that opened on Saturday.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

scary art-related events for 10/31-11/1 and news

- Gallery Hop is Saturday night in the Short North.

- Junctionville Studios is hosting Por Vida!, a Day of the Dead celebration, Saturday night at 10PM.

- The OSU Department of Design celebrates its 40th anniversary this Saturday.

- The Highball Halloween parade is tomorrow night beginning at 6pm on High St.

- Not an event but it's an interesting story: there are billboards around town featuring the work of a New York photographer that are causing a stir.

- And while it's not exactly on-topic, it is definitely noteworthy: the Grandview movie theater is coming back!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Scarlet Veronica signings this week

I just came from the Ogre and there was a signing there today by the creators of a book called Scarlet Veronica, a horror comedy from Ape Entertainment. I haven't read it yet, but it looks like it'll appeal to Buffy fans.

Tomorrow, they'll appear at Hobby Central in Delaware and back at the Ogre on Saturday. Unfortunately, their website doesn't list times, so you'll have to call ahead.

Laughing Ogre: (614) A-MR-OGRE
Hobby Central: (740) 363-0381

report on Milai lecture @ CRL

The Lantern has a piece on the recent lecture at the Cartoon Research Library on Sam Milai, whose work is currently on display.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cartooning the Campaign

NPR conducted an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution cartoonist Mike Luckovich and Mike Peters of The Dayton Daily News about the presidential campaign so far. Of note: Mike celebrates his 40th anniversary at The Dayton Daily News this year!

The above cartoon is discussed in the interview.

Want more political cartoons all year long? Check out The Cagle Post for hundreds of comics from all around the world (and you can sign up to get delivery every day)!

Too Much Photography exhibit taking submissions

Opening: November 29th, 5-7pm
Submission Deadline: November 12th at midnight
Show Dates: November 28th-December 20th

Is there really such a thing as Too Much Photography? We don't think
so and we'd like to show Columbus all of the talented artists working
in photography by showing as many photographic works as we can fit in
our gallery. If you are an artist working in color or
black and white, digital, or every possible other form of photography,
we would love to see your work!

Please send digital images of your work to .
You can obtain the jury card at and send it
with your images so we know who you are and how to contact you.

The deadline for your digital submissions is Saturday, 11/12 at
Midnight. The show will run from 11/28 through 12/20. The gallery
opening is Saturday, 11/29 from 5 pm to 7 pm! All participating
artists will receive one complimentary ticket to the theater show so
you can make a night of it!
This season it?s MadLab?s presentation of

So, hurry and submit your work NOW!

Thank You!


Mr. Smith goes to California (for the CBLDF)

Jeff Smith's only bookstore appearance for this year and next year will be this December 6 in Concord, CA at Flying Colors, as the result of an auction that benefited the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Harvey visiting Heroes

I just came across some photos of Cleveland's hometown hero Harvey Pekar (along with the phenomenally talented Alison Bechdel) from a few weeks ago where he made an appearance at Heroes Aren't Hard Find for a book signing and then to the ImaginOn library, where they delivered a dual lecture on comics and graphic novels.

I got the chance to meet Harvey earlier this year and contrary to what you might think (after reading or watching American Splendor), Harvey is a very nice, sweet guy. Also, I got a chance to visit Heroes, and look forward to going down there again next year.

report on comics conference @ Bowling Green

Scott McCloud and Jamal Igle were among the lecturers at a conference celebrating Superman's 70th anniversary (and comics in general) in Bowling Green. In addition, there's a comics exhibit on display with work by an all-star lineup of creators.
Over the past few years, I have found so many great comics/graphic novels (at such reasonable prices!) at Columbus' Half Price Books, that I just had to share this...

Join us for our Great Re-opening!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

art-related events for 10/24-29

- The multimedia art studio Wild Goose Creative will have an opening night party to celebrate their new studio space in Clintonville tomorrow night at 7PM.

- The Columbus Film Festival continues Tuesday the 28th with Murder, Spies, and Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story, playing at the Drexel in Bexley at 7:30 PM; followed on Wednesday the 29th by Who Does She Think She Is?, playing at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 93 W. Weisheimer Rd, at 7PM.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October's guttergeek Online

I just received an email announcing that the newest guttergeek review e-journal is available online.

What's guttergeek?

I'll let Jared Gardner, editor of guttergeek, explain:

"We are standing on the brink of a creative renaissance no less vital and exciting than those which overtook New England in the 1840s or Harlem in the 1920s. But before we can fully begin to measure the dimensions of that renaissance in the graphic narrative, we must first clear a space in which we can talk about these works free from superlatives, hero-worship and defensive over-exuberance. guttergeek seeks to open one such space where graphic narratives can be discussed honestly—independent of the culture of celebrity or the cult of hagiography that tends to gather around the most middling comics creator.”

Check out the below reviews found in the latest issue of guttergeek and see what's being discussed there.

collage_image collage_image collage_image collage_image

collage_image collage_image collage_image collage_image

collage_image collage_image collage_image collage_image

24 Hour Comics Day around the world

Tom Spurgeon has compiled a list of links to 24 Hour Comics Day reports from all over the Net.

Sam Milai @ CRL; lecture 10/27

Currently playing at the Cartoon Research Library is the work of Sam Milai, an editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Courier, a prominent black newspaper. Most of the work covers events during the civil rights movement of the 60s. There are also profiles of prominent blacks throughout history. Next Monday at 4:30, there'll be a discussion of Milai's work led by Dr. Rebecca Wanzo. The exhibit continues through December 31.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Comics for Canned Food

Want to do some good this Halloween and get some comics?


October 25 from 10AM-7PM

3872 Lattimer Street, Hilliard , Ohio 43026

(614) 527-8450

Comics for Canned Goods, get free comics & buy select comics for canned goods

Costume Contest (0-12 from 12pm-1pm, 13 & up 2pm-3pm) prizes awarded
Entry fee = Canned Good Item

Free food, candy & hot apple cider!

All non-perishable food items to be donated to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Discussing the Discourse of Comics

The Rhetoric of Comics -::- November 10, 2008, 7PM
A talk by Karin Kukkonen, PhD candidate at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz and the University of Tampere, Finland.

Being a medium of visual narration, the images of comics are not limited to merely showing events. On the contrary, much of their storytelling relies on what the image sequences tell readers. Yet are images even capable of telling like language? Can they reproduce the stylistic effects of metaphor and metonymy? And will Superman escape the clutches of anaphora or is he doomed to live through the same story time and again?

Addressing these and other questions, Karin Kukkonen's talk explores the visual rhetoric of comics narration on the level of individual images, image sequences and larger narrative structure. If the rhetoric of comics emerges from the same thought patterns as classical rhetoric, she argues, this longstanding critical tradition can help us to understand how comics tell their story.

Co-sponsored by Project Narrative and the Cartoon Research Library.

Seminar Room next to the library
Cartoon Research Library
27 W. 17th Avenue Mall
Columbus, OH 43210

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Obama Arts Ohio blog

The following was received via Facebook:

I am coordinating a project called Obama Arts Ohio, a component of Arts and Creative Industries for Obama ( It is a viral campaign and a state-by-state, grassroots movement to encourage artists and creative people to use their talents loudly and clearly in these last days of the most important presidential race of our time.

Here’s how it works. If you want to be a part of Obama Arts Ohio, send an email to with your preferred email address. You will then receive up-to-the-minute information on artist created events for Obama happening all across Ohio.

Next, please forward this email to all artists and creative people you know! The bigger the list, the stronger the community will be.

If you are involved in any artistic event supporting Barack Obama, send the information to, and it will be forwarded to everyone on the list. Even if we can’t attend all the events, we can be inspired by the work of our fellow artists to not only get out the vote for Barack, but to create our own events in our communities.

I know some of you are not physically in Ohio at the moment, but that’s the beauty of the internet, isn’t it? Send this to all your friends who are.

Also, I realize this may reach someone who is planning on voting for McCain. If so, no offense meant, and if you have any questions or concerns about Obama as a candidate, please, please, please email me and I will be very happy to engage with you in a thoughtful conversation and exchange of ideas about the candidates and the issues.

So, paint a picture. Sing a song. Produce a play. Mold a sculpture. Make a film. Create a happening. Throw a party. Do it for Obama, let us know, and we will spread the word!


Kelly Swinehart Wehrer

art-related events for 10/17-19

The 24 Hour Comics Day event at the Ogre is on tap this weekend, but there's other art stuff going on as well:

- The Couchfire Collective presents Agora V, a semi-annual art exhibit. Friday night is the preview, Saturday night is the show proper.

- Two new gallery hops begin this Friday evening: one in Clintonville and one in Newark.

- The Columbus Film Festival offers an encore screening of How Ohio Pulled It Off, Sunday at 5:30 PM at Studio 35.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Akron Ohio in the Comics News again

Ohio native Derf (John Backderf), author of My Friend Dahmer (yes, that Dahmer) and the alt comic strip The City, has recently been getting a fair amount of attention from both the comics press and mainstream news for his latest book, Punk Rock and Trailer Parks. If you're up in the Akron area visit Square Records (824 W. Market St.) on Friday from 6-8p and maybe you can get Derf to sign your Winnebago.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Video Underground: Behind the Counter at MOC

I just got an email from Richard Katterjohn of Video Underground/ Behind the Counter and they want to feature Sunday Comix in some of their upcoming video podcasts about comics. They have six videos from their time at last weekend's Mid-Ohio Con (you can go to their home page or their ComicSpace gallery page or their YouTube page and see what what it's all about). It looks like they've been doing this since 2003 with 133+ podcasts and counting (2003, incidentally, is when this little group began).

If you read this blog regularly, you'll find out how things develop as they happen (more or less).

Friday, October 10, 2008

Worthington Arts Council calling for artists

The Worthington Arts Council invites all arts organizations and artists to submit an application to have their artwork on display at one of three exhibition venues for their 2009 visual arts exhibition series. The WAC currently holds exhibits at the Worthington Community Center, the Worthington Municipal Building, and Park National Bank.

All content must be suitable for public viewing. All works submitted for consideration must be current (within the last 3 years). Due to space restrictions, the Worthington Arts Council requests that only 2D art or art that can be hung flat on a wall be submitted for review.

To apply, please download an artist information form and return it to:

Worthington Arts Council
C/o Linda Swingle, Administrative Assistant
777 High Street, 2nd Floor
Worthington, OH 43085

Electronic submissions are also accepted, but must include the artist information form, all requested materials, and digital files of art work. Email submissions with only links to the artist websites will not be considered. Send to:

For more information or questions, please contact the Worthington Arts Council at 614-431-0329 or email

Related Recap Round-Up

Chuck Moore over at Comic Related has put together a phenomenal amount of coverage on last weekend's Mid Ohio Con, both in print (so to speak) and audio. A couple of the Related Recap Podcasts feature Sunday Comix members (Sean Forney, Bob Corby and Max Ink) and many other episodes feature various Ohio comic book creators (Thom Zahler, Sean McKeever, Jay Fife, Wes Molebash, Eric Adams, Johanna Estep to name a few). There are seven RR MOC podcasts in all with over seven hours worth of interviews! You can listen to them online or download them via iTunes.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Akron, OH Editorial Cartoonist Buyout

Just got this update from Tom Surgeon's Comics Reporter feed. It's a link to The Daily Cartoonist's news blurb about Akron Beacon Journal's editorial cartoonist, Chip Bok, retiring. Tom's going to write a more detailed post on his blog tomorrow. So do yourself a favor and check that out, in fact subscribe to his feed, okay?**

In other Ohio editorial cartoonist news (thanks to a little searching on the Daily Cartoonist site): There's good news & sad news about Mike Peters... I was fortunate enough to see Mike last year at the OSU Cartoon Research Library Festival of Cartoon Art and he's a total goof. Seriously.

One more from The Daily Cartoonist: although Sam Milai wasn't an Ohio editorial cartoonist, his work is being exhibited through the end of the year at the OSU Cartoon Research Library.

**Update 10/13/2008: Chip Bok will continue on with the paper until November 7 - election day.

current and upcoming art events this weekend

This weekend is Columbus Day Weekend, and once again Experience Columbus is celebrating the occasion with "Experience Columbus Days," in which a number of attractions and restaurants provide special discounts. The Columbus Museum of Art and the Wexner Center are among the parties involved; just print out this flyer and present it at one of the places on the list and you're good to go!

- The latest exhibit at the Columbus Museum of Art is "Objects of Wonder," a collection of odd, esoteric and unusual objects from OSU's archives, including material from the Cartoon Research Library. Runs through January 11.

- The Franklin Park Conservatory currently has a show called "Bending Nature," a multi-media exhibit that draws its inspiration from the beauty of nature. Through March 29.

- The Ohio Art League hosts "One Night: High" this Friday, a party with a silent auction included.

- The Grant Avenue branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library hosts the Ohio Online Visual Artists Registry exhibition, beginning today and running through November 29.

- CCAD has their Faculty Biennial up and running, now through December 6. Also, on Tuesday the 14th, there will be a fashion show and fundraiser called "Proper Attire," benefitting Planned Parenthood of Central Ohio.

In addition:
- The Columbus Italian Festival is this weekend.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Chevy Chase

Today is Chevy Chase's 65th birthday.
So, what the heck does that have to do with comics, you are probably asking yourself. (If you're in public, best not to do it aloud.)
And it's not the Marvel Team-Up issue from the late 70's that teamed Spider-Man with Saturday Night Live's original Not Ready For Primetime Players. Chase had already left the show by that time.
Well, it turns out, as revealed in a Comics Journal interview with one of my favorite comics writers, Bob Haney, writer of the Batman team-ups in The Brave and The Bold and creator of the Teen Titans, Metamorpho, Eclipso and a host of other off-beat characters from the height of the Silver Age, that Chase's father, Ned, was Haney's brother-in-law. (I suppose this means Haney's sister is Chevy's mother, though that isn't explicitly stated.)
Do you remember the SNL 25th anniversary special where Bill Murray, in his lounge singer persona, goes up to Michael Douglas in the audience and says "I am a huge fan....of your father." If I ever met Chevy Chase, I don't know if I could resist the urge to say, "I am a huge fan...of your uncle Bob."
For more about Bob Haney and The Brave and The Bold, check out this five part series that I posted on my blog The Word From On High a couple of years ago.

MOC Report LinkRound-Up (part 2)

Here are some more links from MOC exibitors (starting off with Sunday Comix's very own M.A.D.):

That last one is by Wayne Alan Harold and features some photos of P. Craig Russell.

Oh! And how can I forget the official MOC Blog? Oy. I'm tired.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

MOC Report LinkRound-Up

In addition to Comic Related's great comprehensive coverage of the show, here are a few links from blogs I've found on the internets with people's personal experiences about this year's Mid-Ohio-Con:

(I'm busy trying to work on my Blink comic strip, but feel it's important to disseminate this info.)

A little MADness...

Sunday Comix mainstay Molly Durst (M.A.D.) was one of many comic book creators who were mentioned (and photographed) in Bill Gladman's "Life In Four Colors" online journal at the Comic Related website.

24 Hour Comic Day begins October 18

Columbus' Laughing Ogre comics shop (located at 4258 North High Street) is the official Central Ohio host site for this year's 24 Hour Comic Day (24HCD). (There are dozens of host sites around the world!) The event will kick off at 12 noon on Saturday, October 18 and go until 12 noon on Sunday, October 19. The store will be open for the entire 24 Hour period.

Anyone who wants to come and participate may do so. (And if you're just curious about what goes into making a comic book, here's a prime opportunity to see artists in action!) If you're interested in spending 24 hours writing and drawing a 24 page comic book, email Norah Curry ( ahead of time so that she can make sure the store has enough of everything. The Ogre will be providing some art supplies (thought not enough for everyone to do an entire 24 page comic), a place to work, refreshments, a place to rest and the glorious entertainment provided by their dedicated staff.

(While the Ogre is not one to stifle anyone's creativity or freedom of expression, they'd like to remind everyone that they're a family friendly store. So, if you think your mom would freak out about what you are producing you might want to rethink it.)

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, ideas, please feel free to send Norah an email. Let her know you're in Columbus (since they also have another participating Laughing Ogre shop in Fairfax, VA).

*If this is your first time participating (or if you just want to get to know more about 24HCD), check out Scott McCloud's wonderful (and in-depth) "24-Hour Clock." There, you can read the official Dare, see Scott's first 24 Hour comic, "A Day's Work," which he wrote and drew on August 31, 1990, and see a huge list of 24 Hour Comics.

Getting back into the swing of things

Over the summer, this blog was left fallow and that's entirely my fault. But recent events and circumstances have rejuvenated me and I will (along with some of my fellow Sunday Comixers) be updating this site with the sort of information you readers have come to expect. Such as this one (be warned, this event is probably not for the kiddies nor for the faint of heart!):

Nicole Hollander Tales of Graceful Aging from the Planet Denial: A Reading

Tue, Oct 21, 2008 - 7:00 PM
Wexner Film/Video Theater

Nicole Hollander is the creator of the comic strip Sylvia, which appears in over 80 newspapers across the country. On October 21, she will read from Tales of Graceful Aging from the Planet Denial, her humorous and very personal reflection on the realities of aging. Famed cartoonist Jules Feiffer calls the book, “infectious, smart, wacky, laugh-out-loud funny and gorgeously written.” Ms Hollander is alos the author/illustrator of Cats with Attitude and Psycho Kitties. A book signing at the Wexner Center Store follows.

This event is co-sponsored by the Cartoon Research Library, Wexner Center for the Arts, Project Narrative, Department of Women's Studies, and Geriatrics and Gerentology Center.