Sally here with reviews of Sarah Glidden’s new book, some Village Voice features, Clara Jetsmark in The Nib, an odd new Washington Post strip, Anya Davidson, Jessica Campbell, and M. S. Harkness, and a funny Pittsburgh encounter.


A page from Rolling Blackouts by Sarah Glidden (D+Q, 2016)

Sarah Glidden‘s Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq (Drawn & Quarterly, October 2016) just landed on the bookshelves and is already inspiring discussion and garnering praise.

Part memoir, part ethical inquiry and part travelogue, “Rolling Blackouts” resembles the work of her great hero, Joe Sacco, the author of Palestine and “Safe Area Goražde”, at least in the sense that it is about as serious and careful as a comic can possibly be. But it also has a gentleness that is all its own, perhaps because Glidden works mostly in soft watercolour, a medium that seems somehow to reflect her refusal to deal in certainties. Stories, as she writes in her introduction to Rolling Blackouts, are “how we make sense of a chaotic world” and she wants those she tells to be gripping; clearly, her material has to be edited, refined. But that doesn’t mean that she isn’t aware of her responsibilities or that they don’t weigh heavily with her. Just as a person’s life is much more to them than a mere story, so true objectivity is all but impossible in narrative journalism.” – The Guardian

Read the rest of this article HERE.

The article that the Huffington Post published on the work features some of Sarah Glidden’s sketches and notes from her travels – check it out HERE. Observer also has some thoughts on the book and comics journalism – HERE.


1st comic for Village Voice!

A photo posted by Lauren Weinstein (@vineshtein) on

Lauren Weinstein has a strip in The Village Voice this week (preview above – check the news stands to see the whole thing!)


Illustration by Autumn Whitehearst

The Village Voice also ran an article about the new Ms. Marvel series this week – an in-depth look at the character’s development, the author (G. Willow Willson), the acclaimed editor of the series – Marvel’s Sana Amanat – and the constantly swirling discussion of diversity in comic book stories AND their creators. Ms. Marvel is getting a lot of things right.

Written by Wilson, and inspired by the stories of Marvel editor Sana Amanat, the new “Ms. Marvel” is a study in conversion. Not of a religious sort (though Wilson, who is white, converted to Islam in college), but a creative transfiguration: the small to the large, the honest detail into mass appeal. The series is one of Marvel’s most successful, having entered an elite class within months of its debut, when that first issue hit a sixth print, a rare mark achieved by only a few genre classics, like the first issue of Wolverine. Amanat says she and Wilson never dreamed they’d make it to thirty issues, as they did this year. She puts their success down to Khan’s believability. “There’s that quote,” she told me recently, speaking by phone from the Marvel offices. ” ‘You achieve universality through specificity.’ We didn’t have a political agenda to prove to the world that Muslims are like this or not like this. You get to know Kamala Khan through the fact that she really wants to eat a BLT and she would really like to have her first kiss. And then you get to know that yeah, she’s a Muslim. She goes to mosque.” – The Village Voice

Read the rest of the article HERE.


Michael Cavna has a story about a new Washington Post “funny” you might have noticed – it stars a USDA worker, and begs the question “how?” Cavan explains how the real life Abbey Powell, public affairs specialist with the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, became an action-adventure comic character in James Allen’s new strip – HERE.


Clara Jetsmark and Tom Kaczynski collaborated on a recent comic for The Nib – Clara was interning with Tom for a few months, on loan from Denmark’s The Animation Workshop (like her fellow classmates Cathrin Peterslund and Emil Friis Ernst, who are currently spending time in Pittsburgh with Ed Piskor and Frank Santoro, respectively!) Here’s a taste of The Nib comic (it tromps through the political nostalgia and nationalism that surround the Trump campaign…):


Read the whole thing HERE.


Anya Davidson (photo by Conor Stechschulte)

Anya Davidson‘s Band For Life enjoyed it’s book release party last night at Quimby’s in Chicago, IL. Get a copy of Band For Life (Fantagraphics, September 2016) HERE.



I’ve been dipping into Jessica Campbell‘s Hot or Not: 20th Century Male Artists (Koyama Press, September 2016) and can confirm that it is a hilarious and gratifying guide – a must-have reference for any trip to the art museum.

With the way Campbell reduces Borduas’s or Mondrian’s abstractions even further, or captures what’s cute about Calder’s mien, she poo-poos macho ideas of artistic greatness, at the same time she showcases her own slyly unassuming skill.” — Sean Rogers, The Globe and Mail

Jessica will be on tour this fall – catch her at The Beguiling on Oct. 28th and ask for her further thoughts on Matisse’s overall hotness…


M. S. Harkness by Kyle Olson

The Rowhouse received a package from M. S. Harkness and Peter Faecke the other day, and I immediately stole all of M. S. Harkness’ comics. Her stories about wrestling and love are a perfect combination of badassery and humor, and the energy in her drawings is catching. Download some of her comics HERE – and catch her at Cartoon Crossroads Columbus next weekend!


Naomi Nowak modeling her asteria // bell sleeve top

Naomi Nowak is a Comics Workbook sponsor – she is a cartoonist, illustrator, and fashion designer based in Sweden. Give her clothes and jewelry a look at her online shop – Raintower – where you will find some beautiful new items (all the clothing is made to order), and the majority of my Christmas wish list…!


Here’s a funny story – I was working at Copacetic Comics in Pittsburgh, PA, yesterday, and who should walk into the store? It was David Conrad – a Pittsburgh native and the actor who played Jim Clancy on the TV show Ghost Whisperer, and Ian Quinn on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which is why I recognized him), among other things. He was visiting from L.A. and had been told to look up Bill Boichel at Copacetic Comics. Although he splits time between a number of locations, Pittsburgh is still his hometown, and he recently started writing a column for Pittsburgh Magazinehere is the September “Talk of The Tahn”. He grew up very close to where Comics Workbook and the Rowhouse Residency is located, and is still invested in the neighborhood and surrounding city. Keep up with him via Instagram – @crawford_conrad – and you may just bump into him somewhere in the city this weekend!



Comics Workbook is heading to the UK for The Lakes International Comic Art Festival and to Columbus, OH, for Cartoon Crossroads Columbus next week.

Hang out with Frank Santoro, Aidan Koch, Connor Willumsen in the UK – more details HERE.


The team in Ohio will be doing workshops next weekend, and you can sign up in advance to get a seat – details HERE. Advanced signups will end Friday, October 7th, 2016.


There is still time to get a bid in on the Michael DeForge drawings that we have up for auction – details HERE.

Have you seen the recent collaboration between Frank Santoro and master jeweler Airi Maeno? Check out the Pompeii Medallion HERE.

Help us get Connor Willumsen to The Lakes International Comic Art Festival – this way please!


I’ll be back with you next Friday, reporting live from Ohio and Cartoon Crossroads Columbus. See you there! – Sally

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