From Sally to you – interviews, reviews, and Rowhouse mischief. Dig in!



The Rowhouse had a special guest this week – samurai ninja badass cartoonist Lale Westvind stopped by on her way to CAKE in Chicago. She spent an evening digging into Frank’s library, and somehow simultaneously drew four pages of a new comic, all the while sharing stories about her cross-country motorcycle adventures.

You can catch up with her yourself at CAKE this weekend (table 42b), or if you’re not in Chicago, check out a nicely coincidental interview with Lale here on the Comics Workbook site – follow the link below.




Speaking of CAKE, there are lots of brilliant books debuting at the show. I’m particularly excited about Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 4 by Ed Piskor. Here’s the whole list!



Over on The Comics Journal RJ Casey reviewed Ben Sears‘ new book Night Air (Koyama Press, 2016).

I’m nostalgic for things not beholden to nostalgia. I want to read adventure comics without the guilt of knowing that the original creators died flat broke and drowning in menacing legalese. I want to laugh at jokes that aren’t slathered in sanctimonious pandering. Frankly, I’m on the lookout for fun comics with no icky strings attached. So thank goodness for Night Air.” – RJ Casey

Read the whole review HERE.



The Comics Beat has a review of Melissa MendesLou (Oily Comics). John Seven writes:

Mendes presents a full picture of this family’s life, working with multiple perspectives in reaction to the possibility of getting a puppy, as well as Lou’s hang-outs in an abandoned theater with her buddies, the shady dealings that Eddie encounters at the pizza place, and the mother’s reminiscence of the simpler, more intimate life with her husband before her children came along.

Mendes brings all these pieces together to present a family as a form of super organism that can be jolted or made buoyant be the way separate parts of its life fester or expand. The mundanity of a new puppy can bounce up against the desperate actions of a criminal to create the family dynamic.

Read the rest of the review HERE.



Around the Comics Workbook HQ, we’re still processing the successful first official residency that took place last week. Mahmoud Hashemi, one of the two fellows who joined us, sent us a detailed report of his experience which we will share more of soon. For the moment, here’s the light touch, in Mahmoud’s words:

“From May 28th to June 2nd, 2016, I visited Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I went to work with Frank Santoro on Matt Conway’s game Homemake. Overall it was a great vacation because it wasn’t your typical beachside retreat. Rather, it was mounting an effort to renew creativity and productivity on Matt Conway’s longstanding project, Homemake. …

Frank’s own creative methods have a focus on systems, especially jazz-inspired rhythmic systems, making them an exceptional fit with Homemake‘s motivations and goals. I was skeptical at first, but it worked wonders.

This effectiveness may have been magnified because half of Homemake‘s vision was disparate moments, a grab bag of mental notes about certain aesthetics. This method allowed Matt to express all his thoughts and editors, like me and Frank, to come through, see the patterns a reader would want to see, and develop the most coherent narrative. Everyone wins.”

Look for more from Mahmoud and Matt and Frank on the exceptional days they spent together here on Comics Workbook soon!


Have a great weekend folks! – Sally

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