I’m super honored to be included in this list of 24 women cartoonist featured on the comics blog The Beat, today! Read the article here!
I’m super honored to be included in this list of 24 women cartoonist featured on the comics blog The Beat, today! Read the article here!
Reblogged from BUST
A new chapter of women’s history in the world of sports was written this past weekend. For the first time ever, a fight between two women was the main attraction at the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The fight was between bantamweight titleholder Ronda Rousey and challenger Liz Carmouche (AKA the Girlilla). These women are real Amazons; Ronda Rousey has a background in Judo and is an bona fide Olympian, while the “Girlilla” has had special martial arts training from the Marines.
This fight was a huge deal for UFC fans, and there was a tremendous amount of anticipation leading up to the brawl. Not only was this the first fight of its kind, but it was also the most anticipated attraction on the main card. These women have really proved themselves as positive role models to women everywhere, and are also building pathways for women in competitive Mixed Martial Arts. Whether you approve of UFC’s often brutal showdowns or not, you’ve got to admit that these women are trailblazers in their sport.
Before these martial artists were called into the match, the crowd got pumped up to No Doubt’s song ”I’m Just Girl”. Carmouche emerged into the arena accompanied by Daft Punk, while Rousey sprung out to Joan Jett. Then their epic fight began. Their fight was only 4 minutes and 49 seconds long. For a brief moment, Carmouche had Rousey in a rear naked choke. However, Rousey immediately flipped the script and finished the fight by situating Carmouche in an armbar—Rousey’s signature move—and the ended the fight in the spider web position. Rousey defended her title as UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion.
Both women were fierce competitors, and it was a fight that everyone who is involved with mixed martial arts will remember. Congratulations to both women, as this event was a major point in both their careers. Now the question everyone is asking is “Who will they fight next?”
Images via Bleecherreport.com and NYPOST.COM
Videos via Youtube
Re-blogged from The Beat.
by Dre Grigoropol
The first ever Black Comic Book Festival was held on Saturday January 12, 2013 at The Schomburg Center For Research in Black Culture, located in the heart of Harlem in New York City. The festival, which was presented by The Schomburg Junior Scholars and Dr. Jonathan Gayles, celebrates artists, writers, and fictional characters of African descent. Although I have passed by before, this event was my first introduction to the Schomburg Center which is a part of the New York Library. The show was free and open to anyone.
Upon entering the building, visitors were greeted by the welcoming staff there, and a pop-up art show was on display in the front of the lobby. Called Black Kirby and it featured iconic illustrations by John Jenningsand Stacey Robinson. These illustrations really “popped” and fused tributes to comic book artist Jack Kirby with Afro-futurism. There were about twenty-six comic book artists exhibiting in the next room, including Lance Tooks, Titus Thomas, Alitha E. Martinez, John Jennings, Jennifer Cruté, Jerry Craft, Yumy Odom, and many more. One of the “must have” books that was for sale was Black Comix: African American Independent Comics, Art and Culture, an educational art book by Damian Duffy and John Jennings that includes fifty contributors: Dawud Anyabwile, Eric Battle, Kenjji Marshall, Afua Richardson, Larry Stroman, Rob Stull, Lance Tooks, Darryl Ayo, and others.
The Langston Hughes Auditorium was also dedicated to the show. This auditorium holds 320 seats, and housed a screening of the documentaryWhite Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in Comic Books by Atlanta-based filmmaker and educator Dr. Jonathan Gayles. There wasn’t a dull moment in the documentary, and watching it was a thorough lesson of the history in comics and its unfortunate stereotypes of black men. Some of the characters of comics mentioned were the The Black Panther, The Falcon, Luke Cage, Black Lighting, and John Stewart as the Green Lantern. The film also included the view points of comic book industry professionals. After the screening, Dr. Gayles answered questions and had a discussion with the audience. The crowd was inquisitive, and thirsty for Dr. Gayles’s perpective. One topic that was brought up a few times was an interest in seeing more projects focusing on women with diverse racial backgrounds. After the discussion Dr. Gayles was greeted by Bill Johnson in cosplay as The Black Panther, the first black superhero of the Marvel Universe.
It was symbolic and inspiring that someone dressed as The Black Panther. At this point, the exhibitor’s room was completely packed, including many young people and their parents. People at this event seemed to be gratefulfor an event like this. The library wasn’t expecting this big of a turn out, but next time will have a better idea on how to prepare for the highly enthusiastic response from visitors and have the exhibitors in a bigger space.
The next scheduled event was a panel of four comics historians presenting their papers: Qiana Joelle Whitted (Comics Come To Harlem: Race and the Lafarge Clinics Case Against Comics), Marcus W. Singer (Secret Identities of Mutant Minorities), Rebecca Ann Wanzo(Representing Black Citizenship, or Why Understanding the History of Black Comics Helps Us Understand “Django Unchained”), Julian C. Chambliss (Pride, Power, and Protest? Marvel Comics and the Black Superhero after 1970). This was followed by a group discussion moderated by Dr. Gayles.
The show wrapped up shortly after 4 pm. When the show had packed up I had a chance to talk about the festival with exhibitors Titus Thomaswho writes YA comics, and Lance Tooks. Thomas said “I was quite surprised at the amount of people that attended, even though the information that promoted the event was limited. It seemed that the word about the show got around by mouth more than anything. As an exhibitor at the Black Comic Book Festival, I felt that it was a venue that one’s voice could be heard, unlike large shows, this felt intimate. My work was seen by kids of all different type of backgrounds.”
“It was so great to meet all these people who were already fans of my books,” said Tooks. “I had no idea that there were so many out there. I had a feeling that I was in the right place to communicate with my audience. At a typical comic-con it is so easy to get swallowed up in the masses. This show is great, and I was exposed to different creators I haven’t heard of before. Being a part of a show that focuses on comics and cartoonists of African descent is a rewarding experience, because it brings a subculture to light which has interesting and subtle elements that tend to get lost in the melting pot of a larger event.”
I’m doing the bloggy thing to do, which is to write a year review. Here is my year in comics in 2012!
Dee’s Dream: The Cosmic Wombat House
In 2012 started coming out with zines my series Dee’s Dream. Dee’s Dream: The Cosmic Wombat House debuted at MoCCA Fest in April. The second issue Dee’s Dream: The Patriot Parlor debuted at SPX in September. Dee’s Dream is about poetic bohemian Dee Fynch and her underdog garage band, which is also called Dee’s Dream. Both zines are over 16 pages.
My comics were in woman’s anthology Dirty Diamonds 2 and 3, The Work Issue and Travel Issue. For the work issue, which came out in April, I did a four page comic called House of Frame. The comic is about a young woman working in frame shop, who encounters a very difficult customer, who happens to be another young woman.
In comic I have in the Dirty Diamonds: Travel Issue, which was launched in December, I had another four page story called Lupa Cachula’s Life: The Hurricane. I came up with a new character Lupa Cachula who is a weird witchy outsider. Read it here. I’ll probably make more comics about her in the future.
In April, when Josh Bayer’s Suspect Device #2 came out, I had a one page comic in there. My strip is about issues with self image.
When one of the organizers of the Philly Feminist Zine Fest asked me to create the flyer for the event, I could not be happier! Also, I illustrated the cover image for the zine Dangerous Damsels which is an anthology about feminists fairy tales, and it is edited by zinester and festival organizer Sarah Rose.
My fellow cartoonist friend Bryan G Brown and I collaborated on a illustration for a flyer for the Asbury Park Comic Con 2. We tabled together at the show, and had a wonderful time.
I illustrated and covered a vintage comic cover for a non profit project called Comix Gone Rogue.
I ended up writing some articles that recieved major attention on the BUST Magazine Blog, and had an article in the very popular comics blog The Beat. I wrote about different comics shows and events such as: The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival, The Asbury Park Comic Con, Locust Moon Comic Con, and The US launch party for Strumpet Issue #2, an international anthology featuring women creators.
At the very end of 2012 I created a two page comic for Zine Crush #2.
Happy New Year! 2013 should be a great year! 13 is a actually a very lucky number! I hope I’ll make way more comics and do more of those things that I love to do.
What I wrote and reblogged for and from The Beat.
This past Sunday marked the first Locust Moon Comics Fest, a rookie comics show in West Philadelphia organized by the two owners of Locust Moon Comics. This show filled the hole left behind by Philadelphia Alternative Comic Con when organizer Pat Aulisio decided to focus more strongly on creating comics. It was held at the Rotunda, the same venue as the past two PACCs, and featured a few of the same exhibitors. But this show had a different vibe than PACC, offering more of a mix between mainstream and indie comics, and displaying a wide range of artistic styles. Some of the featured guests included Farel Dalrymple, J.G. Jones, Jim Rugg, Jasen Lexx, Terry LaBan, Box Brown, Ben Marra, Ed Piskor, Jeffro Kilpatrick, Ad House Books, Meathaus Enterprises, Secret Acres, and Koyama Press.
Absury Park is the the rock ‘n’ roll capital of New Jersey. It is the hometown of rock legend Bruce Springsteen, my favorite media queen Wendy Williams, and now the Asbury Park Comic Con. Some of the featured guests at the Asbury Park Comic Con were Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dryer, Dean Haspiel, Larry Hama, Seth Kushner, J.C. Luz, and the shows organizers Cliff Galbraith and Rob Bruce.
As I was approaching the second Asbury Park Comic Con, the weather was dreary with dark menacing clouds twirling in the sky. Dark, unpromising weather could not discourage attendees. The show was inside one of Asbury’s most quirky and well-known venues, Asbury Lanes. The venue is actually a real bowling alley, which hosts punk shows and other subculture events at night. Asbury Lanes is completed with strange pop art, a bar and a grill that serves a variety of grilled and fried food. The whole day they played great music through the PA system, the playlist included songs by the Runaways, Plastic Bertrand, Sonic Youth, and the Wipers.
One the most interesting guests there in my opinion was young artist and New Jersey native Sean Pryor. He actually lives a few steps away from Asbury Lanes, so he probably had the shortest commute. He is well known for his work in Royal Flush Magazine and The Pekar Project. Sean also has a vast knowledge on the universe of music, too.
Also, Emmy Award-winning New York artist Dean Haspiel was there. He writes and draws superhero and semi-autobiographical comics which include a long list of household titles such as Spiderman, Batman, X-men: First Class, Cyclops, The Thing, Deadpool, Spider-Girl, Wildcat, Godzilla, Mars Attacks, and American Splendor to name a few titles. This guy has been a part of so many projects, it would take too much time to list them all.
Another Asbury Park resident that was exhibiting was long-time comics maker Megan Gale of Rock Candy Magazine. Her work is very funny and focuses on alternative music and subcultures. I have been reading her zines and keeping tabs on her since 2004. She is somewhat anti-internet so it isn’t to easy to keep up with the her. The best way to check out her work is in person, at an event like the Asbury Park Comic Con.
Carolyn Belefski and her partner Joe Carabeo came to the Jersey shore all the way from Virginia! Carolyn is an indie comics creator and her work has appeared in Indie Comics Magazine, Magic Bullet, Team Cul de Sac, Queen Crab, and District Comics. Check out her online web comic Curls.
Here is Bryan G Brown and me at our table. He writes and illustrates indie comic First Fight, and has done illustration work for Image Comics, the American Heart Association, Revolver Magazine and more. My comics series called Dee’s Dream is an ongoing comedy about a girl in a garage band. We had quite a few commissions and overall really enjoyed ourselves.
After the Comic Con was officially over, the creators poured out onto the boardwalk for some chats and snacks. We grabbed tacos from a new stand that opened up on the boardwalk called Mogo. Pictured above from left to right is Evan Dorkin (Milk and Chesse), Cliff Galbraith (Crucial Comics), Dean Haspiel (American Splendor), and Larry Hama (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero). The moon was full and very mystical looking above the ocean. There couldn’t have been a nicer way to end the night.
Wizard World Philadelphia was a four day experience. It started on Thursday night. The banner at the entrance read “Welcome to Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con.” The special guest at the con was Stan Lee. There was a long list of celebrities, such as Chris Hemsworth, Lou Ferrigno, Melissa Joan Hart, Bruce Campbell, Dean Cain, Shannon Elizabeth, Erin Gray and more. I didn’t notice any comics publishers exhibiting, which is odd for a comic convention. In past years, I recall seeing a handful of publishers there. Inside was a superhero comics lover’s paradise. This included back issues of comics, dvds, tons of swords, vintage toys, artist alley and t-shirts. Structures of colossal proportions made up a wall of soft and fabulous t-shirts. Whoever came up with the idea of fake vintage comic-related t-shirts is a genius. Many guests took pride in their appearance, coming in costume as their favorite character, or whatever character they could pull off the best.
The Avengers was definitely the most popular theme for costumes. Other characters visitors came in dressed as included the Scarlet Witch, Galactus, the Joker, She-Ra, Sakura and Chun Li from Street Fighter. A pair of brave guys were dressed up as Sailor Moon. People in costume were constantly stopped by everyone else for photo opportunities, and they all graciously complied. These are people who like having their photo taken.
I love Asbury Park. I always thought and Comic Con would be cool there at Asbury Park Lanes. When I heard that was actually going to happen, I wasn’t surprised. The show was five dollars to get in, which was reasonable. The vibe was cool and chill. The PA system played enjoyable music the whole time including tracks by Fugazi, the Pixies, and the Police to name a few. The room was cool in temperature as well, which was great because it was actually a pretty hot day. Inside there were zines, indie comics, back issues of mainstream comics, prints, and posters. Outside the venue was a retro Batmobile, a Joker impersonator, along with retro Batman memorabilia. All of the vendors I spoke to after show did really well, I kinda regret not getting a table, but I had a blast anyway.
Brooklyn Zine Fest 2012 interviews me. Read all about what I had to say here.