Juan here with: this weekend’s Comics Workbook events in Kendal and Columbus; Carla Speed McNeil and Ben Katchor interviewed by Heidi McDonald; Frank Santoro’s SPX riff highlights; Igort’s “Ukrainian and Russian Notebooks”; Brandon Graham sketchbook comics; Fantagraphics and Matt Furie’s Pepe the Frog;  Chris Ware writes on Pushwagner’s Soft City; Ron Wimberly on The Lot Radio; Maxine Frank and Robin Bougie on porn comics.



This weekend is just around the bend and Comics Workbook is coming at you full force in Kendal, UK and Columbus, OH!

If you’re stateside, you should know that Comics Workbook is coming to Cartoon Crossroads Columbus! October 13-16th 2016. We will be hosting workshops and tabling.

Join Comics Workbook, along with cartoonists, Alyssa Berg and Kurt Ankeny, for an immersive weekend of comics creation. We will examine art and the grid, bringing the strong artistic practices of Berg and Ankeny together with the discipline and rhythm of the grid, as laid out by Comics Workbook founder Frank Santoro. Four hours across two days will be filled with the exploration of a variety of techniques and methods which will inspire the beginner, and challenge the established cartoonist. Comics as jazz; comics as architecture; how a simple index card can transform your sequencing and storytelling process – come join us for an hour or four and take your comics making to a new level.

More information on our CXC exploits to come soon – the full festival schedule is here!


All of you in the UK, may we have your attention!! Comics Workbook is coming to The Lakes International Comic Art Festival! October 14-16th 2016! Join Frank Santoro, Aidan Koch, and Connor Willumsen for some cool workshops and visit table 67 in the Comics Clocktower to meet Oliver East and Jack Brougham among others! We will be hosting 3 special workshops, “Visual Poetry” with Aidan Koch, “The Hammer Party” with Connor Willumsen and “Composition Competition” with Frank Santoro. Tickets for the main events at this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival are on sale now. Check out the show or Visit our event page for more information!





If you want a feel of what you can expect, check out our newly edited video of Frank’s primo riffs from SPX 😉 – filmed in Bethesda, Maryland on September 17th 2016. Our video features excerpts from his workshop with Cameron Weston Nicholson and Frank Santoro Filmed and edited by Tyler Q Tucker and Sally Ingraham (Watch the rest of the workshop footage HERE.)


⚡ Heidi McDonald interviews Carla Speed Mcneil and Ben Katchor on More to Come over on Publishers Weekly.



⚡PEN America is featuring a glorious excerpt from Igort’s “Ukrainian and Russian Notebooks” over in The Illustrated Pen series.

In “The Ukrainian and Russian Notebooks: Life and Death under Soviet Rule”, award-winnng illustrator Igort details the assassination of Anna Politkovskaya, Russian journalist and human rights activist who spoke out against Vladimir Putin and the Second Chechen War, and the Holodomor, the government-sanctioned famine in Ukraine in 1932. Below, an excerpt from the book.



⚡ Brandon Graham has shared some sketchbook work that might inspire you to pour yourself into some autobiografiction of your own. Life throws us all curve balls. It’s amazing to see  how Graham can make all his comics breathe. It’s two simple pages.



⚡ Fantagraphics Books makes a public statement on the recent politicized use of Matt Furie’s Pepe the Frog.

Fantagraphics Books wants to state for the record that the one, true Pepe the frog, as created by the human being and artist Matt Furie, is a peaceful cartoon amphibian who represents love, acceptance, and fun. (And getting stoned.) Both creator and creation reject the nihilism fueling Pepe’s alt-right appropriators, and all of us at Fantagraphics encourage you to help us reclaim Pepe as a symbol of positivity and togetherness, and to stand by Matt Furie.


 Chris Ware writes on Pushwagner’s Soft City (Unearthed, translated and reprinted by New York Review Comics)

 Soft City is something of a miracle. Not only for existing in the first place, but for surviving at all. Drawn between 1969 and 1975 by the Norwegian artist Hariton Pushwagner (now often just Pushwagner, though born Terje Brofos in 1940), it languished in obscurity for decades and was very nearly lost before finally being issued in book form by the Norwegian publishers No Comprendo in 2008, following a messy legal dispute involving the artist and his former dealer. Most pointedly, however, it is a miracle of its native medium—the comic strip—for its startling and disquieting vision in a form that had never before quite seen anything like it. Funny, or maybe not so funny, that it would take forty years for the rest of the world to realize it.



 Ron Wimberly  visits and covers the Lot Radio. Wimberly has cooks up a really satisfying comics essay for the New Yorker on a project that has kept popping up around me on the internet. Read it all over HERE and listen to the Lot live HERE.


 Maxine Frank and Robin Bougie chat with VICE about making porn comics. They talk feminist frame works, process, and pervy fan art.

What is your take on feminist porn, and would you describe your work that way?
Maxine: I’m interested in the idea of feminist porn and telling from a woman’s perspective. I tend to focus on women characters and what they want in a situation rather than drawing a parade of women for the male lead to fuck. I don’t know if I would describe it as feminist, but if someone said “here’s a feminist interpretation of it,” that would be very interesting. While I don’t necessarily consider the comics feminist, I am myself a feminist. Some people have this very 80s idea of the anti-porn feminist, but there’s so many ways to be one.



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

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


Until next time,

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