Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sean McKeever returns to Waiting Place

"...Back in New York Comic Con, in February, I had an idea for a new story, but I was kind of struggling with the ending. And then I saw this commission that Mike [Norton] did for somebody of Jeffry and Lora from The Waiting Place. And seeing Mike, today, drawing those characters just lit a fire under my butt to get the story going. So I finally came up with the whole story. I'm scripting it currently. And I'm really geeked to see Mike draw them with his ability now."

Sean McKeever

Monday, March 30, 2009

Comic Me @ Urban Spirit 4/4

No website that I can find; just getting this off of the promo...

The Brush Experience presents Comic Me
featuring the artwork of Freestyle Komics and the sounds of the Liquid Crystal Project
@ Urban Spirit Gallery/Loft
893 East Long St
April 4, 2009
8PM - 12AM every first Saturday
18+ (for the mature and the progressively artistic)
$10 cover at the door

Have you ever wanted to be a superhero? Or imagined having a super power? Maybe be a character in your own comic book... Well now is your chance!!!

We at the Brush Experience are bringin' out our inner comic book hero on canvas!!!

Come out for a night of fun and action... you be the artist and the hero this night!!! We will be featuring local comic book artists Freestyle Komics!!! And the Liquid Crystal Project!!!


The Brush Experience is a social experiment combining people and art to yield creative results. It's where everyone can be an artist (if only for one night) while indulging in food and drinks in an inviting and inventive environment. As the evening progresses joint artworks bloom and are shared for all artists to enjoy! Paint, socialize, chill as you create or watch masterpieces being made!

For more info email marshall@soulotheory.com

Chris Yambar exhibit @ Y'town

Paul Pope's Loverman

Thursday, March 26, 2009

P. Craig Russell signing @ Wexner 5/12

Wayne Alan Harold and P. Craig Russell
Night Music: The Art of P. Craig Russell

Book signing | 6 PM

(Wayne Alan Harold, 2008)

Tue, May 12, 2009 | 7:00PM
Film/Video Theater

Night Music provides an illuminating behind-the-scenes look at one of the most acclaimed and interesting comic book artists working today, P. Craig Russell.

Before the film, come by the Wexner Center Store where Russell will be signing copies of his work, including his graphic novel adaptation of Coraline, at 6 PM.

Born in Wellsville, Ohio, and now living in Kent, Russell quickly established himself as one of the most distinctive artists in the fantasy genre with early work on Doctor Strange for Marvel Comics in the mid 1970s. He has since created mesmerizing interpretations of characters ranging from Conan to Neil Gaiman's Sandman, along with a string of astonishing adaptations of operas (The Magic Flute and Salome among them) and of Gaiman's children's classic Coraline. (80 mins., video)

Wexner Center for the Arts

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Jeff Smith doc @ Wexner 5/22

Ken Mills and Jeff Smith
The Cartoonist: Jeff Smith, Bone, and the Changing Face of Comics

World Premiere

(Ken Mills, 2009)

Fri, May 22, 2009 | 7:00PM
Film/Video Theater

The Cartoonist is a portrait of Columbus-based cartoonist and Bone-creator Jeff Smith and his impact on the field during the past 20 years. The Wexner Center is pleased and proud to host the film's world premiere.

The film surveys Smith's career during the run of Bone and also captures the key moment when he shifted focus from completing his popular epic to beginning new projects, including Rasl. Shot during the run of Smith's Wexner Center exhibition Bone and Beyond in 2008, the film is filled with interviews with fellow cartoonists including Harvey Pekar, Terry Moore, Paul Pope, and Scott McCloud. (76 mins., video)

Wexner Center for the Arts

Friday, March 13, 2009

Atomic TV

This weekend, you can tune in to WDEM 17 and watch LIFELINE COLUMBUS. There, you'll see all manner of cool and interesting stuff going on in Columbus, One of those interesting things is the Sunday Comix Group's Atomic Indie Comix Show along with an interview with Max Ink! To see when the show is playing, check out their schedule. And if you have any trouble tunning in to (or finding) Channel 17, you can watch their broadcast being streamed online here or here. So there's no reason not to see the Atomic Indie Comix Show!

or... you can watch it right here!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Watchmen As Alternate History

One of the most common comments I've read about the Watchmen movie from people who didn't read the book is “Why is Nixon still president?” and now that I think about it, I'm wondering that myself. To be honest, upon close examination, writer Alan Moore's alternate version of American political history seems poorly thought out and doesn't quite make sense.
In Moore's telling, Nixon sent the super powered Dr. Manhattan in to Southeast Asia and won the Vietnam War, and kept Watergate to coming to light by having Woodward and Bernstein arrested. He then got the Constitution's term limits on the president repealed, allowing him to still be in office as Watchmen's story opens in 1985.
Watchmen is one of two comics published by DC in 1986—the other being The Dark Knight Returns-- that perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the 1980's, and while the name and face of the president of Watchmen's United States are Nixon's, the foreign policy that Moore is reacting to is Ronald Reagan's.
Therein lies my major problem with Moore's alternate history. Quite frankly, I cannot see Richard Nixon, a president who prided himself on his statesmanship and foreign policy expertise, allowing U.S.-Soviet relations to decay to the point, as is the case in Watchmen, where the bombs are just moments from flying, especially with Henry Kissinger at his side as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State. Under Reagan, however, this scenario was frighteningly plausible.
If Nixon is merely a stand in for Reagan, why not use Reagan? In the early stages of Watchmen's development, DC nixed the use of the characters from Charlton Comics defunct “Action Heroes” line of comics, which DC had recently acquired the rights to. Moore was forced to create new characters that roughly parallel the Charlton heroes. Dr. Manhattan stands in for Captain Atom, Nite Owl II is Blue Beetle, Rorschach is the Question and so forth. Did DC also put the kibosh on Reagan as president, perhaps afraid of portraying the sitting chief executive in a negative light? Well, I've never heard or read anyone else even speculating about this possibility, and DC's publication of The Dark Knight Returns that same year, which does depict Reagan and not flatteringly, seems to argue against it.
Having Nixon still in office in 1985 does serve to establish that Watchmen is set in an alternate universe. Of course, the presence of a blue, glowing, naked man who can see into the future is enough to do that.
I'll just say that I honestly have no idea why Nixon is still president, especially as it seems to serve no real purpose storywise.
Another thing that bugs me is the business of Dr. Manhattan winning the Vietnam War. If he could do that, why didn't LBJ send him in years earlier?
So, I've worked out an alternate alternate history for the world of Watchmen that makes a little more sense to me, and still makes the story's events of 1985 possible.
In 1968, after the Tet Offensive, with the war going badly and public opinion turning against him at home, president Lyndon Johnson reluctantly orders Dr. Manhattan to 'Nam to end the war. It is precisely this victory, perceived as a grossly unequal use of force and a display of American arrogance, that inflames the left wing of the Democratic party against him and drives Johnson to withdraw his name from consideration for his party's presidential nomination.
As in real life, Nixon defeats Democrat Hubert Horatio Humphrey and independent candidate George Wallace to become the 37th president of the United States. His dirty tricks never come to light and his opening of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China makes him quite a popular president. Despite Nixon's disdain for domestic affairs, Dr. Manhattan has made electric cars possible, so the US is not dependent on Arab oil, and other innovations and new industries made possible by the good doctor help to keep the economy on track. Nixon serves out his Constitutionally allotted two terms and is still quite popular when he leaves office.
With that popularity, you would think that his vice president would be a shoo-in to succeed him. However, while Watergate never blew up in Nixon's face in this reality, apparently the entirely separate scandal that drove Nixon's first veep, Spiro Agnew, from office did, and Jerry Ford replaced Agnew. I only recently learned that Ford made a promise to the Senate during his vice presidential confirmation hearings that he would not be a candidate for president in 1976. Of course, in our world, by the time '76 rolled around, circumstances had changed. Ford was now president, and he reasoned at the start of his truncated presidency that to announce he wasn't going to run in the next election would make him a lame duck from day one and even more politically ineffective than he ultimately proved to be. In my alternate alternate world of Watchmen, however, Ford, being an honorable man, honors his pledge and sits out the campaign. The public is still in the mood to elect a Republican, however, and former California governor Ronald Reagan's political star had been rising throughout the sixties. With no incumbent in the race, he sails to the nomination and easily defeats Jimmy Carter.
Reagan proves to be as popular with the American people as he was in real life, and his handling of the Iran hostage situation by sending in Doc Manhattan, ending the crisis in about six hours and restoring the Shah to power, makes him even more popular. At the beginning of his second term, it is Reagan who uses his immense popularity to ram through the necessary Constitutional changes to keep him in office as long as the American people will have him. Thus, we find him in 1985, as the story of Watchmen commences, at the beginning of his third term and engaged in a deadly game of nuclear brinkmanship with the Soviet Union.
I haven't seen the film yet, but from what I've heard, Moore's alternate history of the American comics industry did not make it into the movie. This aspect of Moore's alternate history seems a little better thought out , which is only natural, since he worked in the industry, but still doesn't quite ring true. In Moore's version of events, the emergence of real live costumed crime fighters nips the nascent superhero genre in the bud, as no one wants to read about fictional super heroes when they can read about real ones in the newspapers. Thus by the 1950's the dominant genre is pirate comics. As it serves the story, this does make sense, as it sets up the parallel story from the “Tales of the Black Freighter” reprint comic, which also was left out of the film. However, logically, it seems backwards. After all, the existence of real life cops and doctors and lawyers has never dulled the public appetite for books, television shows, movies, and even comics about them. Going to the moon didn't kill science fiction. In fact, it seems to me that the emergence of real super heroes would only increase demand for fictional accounts of super heroic adventure.
None of these petty quibbles detract from the brilliance of what Moore accomplished in Watchmen. After all, when people talk about what makes the book great, they speak of its intricate structure, its deconstruction of the super hero genre, and its realistic portrayal of its characters. The alternate history is merely background detail.

Atomic Indie Art Comix Show

Here are some pics from the Sunday Comix Atomic Indie Art Comix Show. If you've missed it, it is still going on until March 29, so get out there and take a look.

Behold, indie comics plus coffee, together again!

Max, Mike, Ray & Friends enjoying the coffee, the show, and jammin!

Bob Corby and Ray hanging out.

Art by Rich about the trials and tribulations of a Columbus Ohio mouse

Sue's Onion Adventures

Part of Johnathan's WWII era piece

Max Ink & Family

Max's awesome Blink cartoons

Matt's Beautiful Work

Ray "Wastes his Potential" again

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Call for Cartooning Entries

Attention all of you aspiring comic strip cartoonists and "graphic fiction authors" (aka comic book creators): there's a shin-dig going down in Kirtland, Ohio a month from now and you'll definitely want to check it out! The Lakeland Community College is hosting their 6th annual Comics Symposium on April 4 (which is free and open to the public) and are accepting entries from up-and-coming cartoonists of all ages for a special Comics Contest.

The contest age groups are Middle School, High School and Adult and there are two media categories: comic strips and "graphic fiction" (aka comic book). Organizers note that the Comics Contest is not an art contest. Judging criteria include factors beyond the artwork such as compelling stories, unique characters, innovating storytelling technique, and humor.

This year’s judges, who also will present at the symposium, include Cleveland-area resident Terri Libenson, creator of the syndicated comic strip "The Pajama Diaries," and Californian Justin Thompson, creator of the Web comic "MythTickle" and illustrator for Charles Schulz's Creative Associates Studio.

Last year's prizes totaled more than $1,000 in gift certificates, art supplies and comics treasury collections. Plans also are in the works to feature the winning entries in a gallery show.

Comic strip, graphic-fiction authors of all drawing abilities can submit up to five entries. Advance electronic or mailed entries are $12 for initial submission and $8 for each additional entry. Entries submitted at the symposium are $15 each. The deadline for early entry is March 27.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Jules Feifer in 'Matzo' @ Columbus Jewish FilmFest 3/8

Matzo & Mistletoe

Directed by Kate Feifer
United States, 2007
60 minutes
In English
Rating PG

Filmmaker Kate Feifer was six years old when her father told her she was Jewish. Since she celebrated Christmas and never attended synagogue, this information came as a surprise. "It was like my parents simply forgot to mention it," she notes. In Matzo & Mistletoe, Feiffer interviews a fascinating cast of characters, and uses archival footage, illustration, and clips from television shows and movies to ponder the paradox of American secular Judaism, asking, "What does it mean to be a non-practicing Jew In America?" In her search for answers, Feifer talks with family and friends, including her father (the cartoonist, screenwriter/playwright) Jules Feifer, newsman Mike Wallace, and author Alan Dershowitz.

A discussion on "What does it mean to be a non-practicing Jew In America?" will follow the film.

Showing Sunday, March 8, 3:30 p.m.,
at the Landmark Gateway Theater, 1550 N. High St., at South Campus Gateway

Columbus Jewish Film Festival

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Watchmen in Ohio media

The Other Paper:

It’s safe to say this week’s opening of Watchmen is a big event in Ryan Seymore’s life.

“In fact,” he said, “my wife and I have scheduled the birth of our next child around me being able to watch Watchmen on opening night.”

“I’m a pretty big fan, you could say.”

As owner of the local Comic Town chain, Seymore has made lots of money off the Watchmen saga, which first appeared as a series of comic books in 1986-87 and later was turned into a graphic novel.

Even though the story has been around for nearly a quarter of a century, fans still snap up new versions of the graphic novel that are distinguished from other versions mainly by the artwork on the cover. And now, with the story about to hit the silver screen, Seymore is selling even more.

“We have gone through about 150 of them in the last month or so,” he said.

Columbus Alive review

Columbus Alive: How to be awesome at making a superhero costume

Columbus Alive: Best big-screen superheroes

Columbus Dispatch review

ColumbusUnderground.com review

(Cleveland) Plain Dealer review

Metromix Cincinnati review

Metromix Cincinnati interview with Patrick Wilson

Metromix Cincinnati: This one's for the fanboys

Dayton Daily News review

(Youngstown) Vindy.com feature article

PLUS: Watchmen production designer Alex McDowell @ the Wexner April 7