Aaron here today with Sophie Yanow on the ground in DC; what we talk about when we talk about Chinese Comics; Paper Jazz Festival; Frank Johnson; some light reading (courtesy of The New Inquiry); Dr Seuss, political cartoonist.


Dispatch from D.C.
Intrepid reporter Sophie Yanow was at this past weekend’s U.S. presidential inauguration.


The 174th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  January 24, 2017 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Orion Martin on The Largest Comics Industry Ever: China’s Pulp Comics
Beginning in Shanghai in the 1920s, a vibrant culture of mass produced comics developed in mainland China. These pocket-sized comics, called lianhuanhua, became one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the country and were printed in tremendous quantities. In 1985, the peak year of lianhuanhua production, more than eight billion comics were printed in genres ranging from historical parables to adaptations of Star Wars. Demand for the comics has decreased since the 1980s, but hundreds of thousands continue to circulate in antique stores and online.

R. Orion Martin is writer and translator based in Brooklyn, New York. He writes about comics, art, and the ways new understandings of comics can make them more meaningful to our lives. His work has been featured on Hyperallergic, The Comics Journal, and The Hooded Utilitarian. You can find him on Tumblr or Twitter.

Here’s the Spring 2017 Symposium schedule as well, if you are interested:


Paper Jam is now Paper Jazz
Rising like a phoenix from the ashes, or like Jean Grey/Phoenix, or whatever, The Paper Jazz Festival has emerged as a replacement for the much-loved and now-defunct Paper Jam Festival.

We do this in recognition of free-to-table/free-to-attend (or donation-based) fairs that have been running as long or longer than us like Pete’s Mini Zine Fest, NYC Feminist Zine Fest, Zinefeast, Locust Moon, Etc. We will also continue to never repeat exhibitors, which was inspired somewhat by the Toronto Comic Arts Festival’s policies. Our fest has always been a collective of influences, we want everyone in the zine/small press/comics/chapbook/editions community to feel welcome and appreciated. With this rebrand we want to emphasize safer spaces, inclusivity, accountability, and transparency. We encourage folks to reach out to us on tumblr or paperjazzfest@gmail.com.


Frank Johnson, Outsider Cartoonist
The Outsider Art Fair was held this past weekend at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC, and one of the highlights was the Dan Nadel-curated work of Chicago cartoonist Frank Johnson (1912-1979) at the Chris Byrne booth.

From Nadel’s curatorial statement:

From as early as 1928 until 1979 he filled 28 notebooks, totaling approximately 1800 pages, with a continuous comic strip detailing the adventures of a fantasy group of friends, “Wally’s Gang”, and completed approximately 100 cartoon drawings.

This work was found by his widow after he died. Neither she nor anyone else knew that he drew them, and there is no record of his having published anything or even corresponded with any cartoonists.

Frank Johnson (1912-1979), from Wally’s Gang

Nadel’s been aware of Johnson’s work for some time, and wrote an essay about it in the Summer 2005 issue of Folk Art: The American Folk Art Museum Magazine, pages 57-63.


A reading list created by a group of Black, Brown, Indigenous, Muslim, and Jewish people who are writers, organizers, teachers, anti-fascists, anti-capitalists, and radicals.

WE studied and pursued methods for revolutionary social change before Trump came to power, and our core focus remains the same: abolishing the ever-enlarging systems of hierarchy, control, and environmental destruction necessary to sustain the growth of capital. With the ascendance of White nationalist ambition to the upper echelons of empire, we have given special attention to struggles waged and endured by marginalized people for whom the fight against capital has always been a concurrent fight against Anglo-Saxon supremacy.

Via The New Inquiry


‘… and the wolf chewed up the children and spit out their bones… but those were foreign children and it really didn’t matter.’
As always, Dr. Seuss provides us some vital context for these times. More of his political cartooning work has been posted as part of the UC-San Diego digital collections.


Look into Donald’s eyes – look DEEPLY.


Suzy and Cecil – 1-23-2017 – by Sally Ingraham

Suzy and Cecil – 1-24-2017 – by Sally Ingraham


Joanie and Jordie – 1-24-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio


1-24-2017 – by Juan Fernández

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