Eisner Award to Alternative Comics cartoonist Rich Tommaso

August 2, 2008
Striking Out Jim Crow, by James Sturm and Rich Tommaso (Center for Cartoon Studies/Hyperion)

2008 Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work

Alternative Comics cartoonist Rich Tommaso (Miriam, Perverso!, 8-1/2 Ghosts) and James Sturm, Director of The Center for Cartoon Studies, have won the 2008 Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work for their Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, published by The Center for Cartoon Studies in conjunction with Hyperion Books.  James Sturm is the writer and Rich Tommaso the Illustrator.
The duo have been receiving rave reviews and have won and have been nominated for numerous other awards including Booklist‘s Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth: 2008, and the Glyph Award, among many.
Striking Out Jim Crow

Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow


Sam Henderson book signing in New York

August 1, 2008

Sam Henderson book signing of Magic Whistle #11 at Desert Island on Friday, August 15

WHO: Sam Henderson

WHAT: Book signing

WHERE: Desert Island

540 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn NY 11211 • 718-388-5087

WHEN: Friday, August 15, 6PM

Admission is free to the public


New York, August 1, 2008: At what promises to be the most happening event since the premiere party for ‘Stroker Ace’, cartoonist Sam Henderson is doing a signing at Desert Island in Brooklyn on Friday, August 15, 2008 from 6-9 PM, signing copies of his newest Magic Whistle book, which is popular among people who know it exists.


“Even if you have my new book already/ just saw me/ were just there/ don’t like me/ don’t like the owner/ have other plans/ it’s raining, come anyway.” said cartoonist Sam Henderson, “There will be beer, and I know most of you like that.”


Magic Whistle #11: Body Armor For Your Dignity is the latest collection of works by Sam Henderson. Praised for finding new ways of being funny while simultaneously panned for lacking the draftsmanship skills of his peers, Henderson continues what he’s been doing all along for nearly twenty years. This 96-page tome contains stories ranging from 1 to 16 pages.


Magic Whistle #11: Body Armor For Your Dignity features the return of Monroe Simmons, a re-coloring of a story previously published in the children’s’ anthology MEASLES, tons of previously unpublished strips, and the high-low-brow humor audiences have come to expect from this cartoonist who has been nominated multiple times for a Harvey award and once for an Emmy. Despite work for publications such as NICKELODEON and VICE; storyboards for TV’s SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS; and animation for a video by THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS; Magic Whistle remains Sam Henderson’s proudest achievement. 


From Booklist, August 1, 2008:


More of Henderson’s crude but maximally energetic comics—hurray! They’re like no other artist’s, even if they do stand squarely in the traditions of big-nose gag cartooning (see Mark Newgarden’s We All Die Alone, 2005, to grok that) and bare-bones animation (Mister Magoo, Tom Terrific, Rocky and Bullwinkle). Their humor is sometimes innocently naughty, sometimes almost smart, always easy to identify with and oddly nostalgic. They look and “sound” like what you once drew and laughed at, even if, really, you never could draw or say anything funny; it helps that Henderson often recurs to childhood and adolescence for characters and situations. His single-panel cartoons and one-page strips are surefire joy-inducers (see “Patience Pays Off,” which may be hackneyed but still hits where you live), and his long stories are brilliant stuck-record routines that, like many a Monty Python sketch, trace the struggles of genial monomaniacs in a world that just won’t humor them. Come to think of it, if the Pythons had been Americans, they would have to have been Sam Henderson.


Magic Whistle #11: Body Armor For Your Dignity
By Sam Henderson, $11.95 US; Perfect bound paperback graphic novel; 96 pages; partial color; 6” x 9”; ISBN-13: 978-1-934460-04-7; ISBN-10: 1-934460-04-4; for Mature Readers.

Wedding snapshots

July 21, 2008

Here are some snapshots from Alex and my wedding this weekend!


Wedding poster

Joshua Kemble assembles new website

June 21, 2008

Cartoonist Joshua Kemble has a new website at: http://www.joshuakemble.com/

Alternative Comics helped Joshua distribute his Xeric Grant award winning book Numb.

His old website is still alive and kicking at: http://www.sidewithus.com/joshkemble/

Comic Book Retailer Murder Verdict Stands

June 3, 2008

The trial court ruled against him twelve days ago in just one of many, many rulings related to the litany of appeals and motions that will undoubtedly be filed over the course of years by Defendant Michael George, former comic book retailer and promoter of the Pittsburgh Comicon, as he serves his mandatory life sentence without possibility of parole after being convicted of the 1990 murder of Barbara George, who was then his wife. This article describes the most recent ruling in the appeals process:

From the Macomb Daily, May 23, 2008:

Murder verdict stands

Man asked judge to overrule jury in 1990 cold case slaying of wife

By Jameson Cook
Macomb Daily Staff Writer

A Macomb County circuit judge Friday denied Michael George’s request to throw out a jury’s first-degree guilty verdict for killing his wife in their Clinton Township comic book store nearly 18 years ago.

Judge James Biernat said although he has “misgivings” about the cold case, most notably its age, he said he was bound by the law to turn down the renewed motion for a directed verdict of acquittal…[click for the rest of the article]

Michael George looks at his wife as he heads back to jail. Circuit Court Judge James Biernat refused to overturn a jury's first-degree murder verdict against George in the slaying of his first wife in 1990.  Macomb Daily photo by David Dalton

MoCCA – New York – June 7-8

June 2, 2008

The annual MoCCA Art Festival is being held this weekend in New York at the historic Puck Building in lower Manhattan.

Alternative Comics has a number of exciting new books debuting at the show – We should be at table B43 – right across from Drawn & Quarterly.

Don’t miss these guys:

Sam Henderson will be debuting Magic Whistle #11: Body Armor For Your Dignity
Body Armor For Your Dignity

Karl Stevens will be promoting Whatever

Scott Campbell will be selling art prints, mini-comics, t-shirts, and promoting the latest issue of Hickee
Hickee #4

Memorial Day

May 27, 2008

I was lucky enough to be invited this year by Veterans for Peace to help set up their annual Memorial Mile display.  Although I am fervently against having troops in Iraq, I respect and appreciate those who participate in military service.

Video of the memorial

Read and see more about the memorial here: http://www.alligator.org/articles/2008/05/27/news/local/080527_veterans.txt

Rich Tommaso starts blog for Miriam graphic novel “Filmography”

May 14, 2008

Rich Tommaso has just started a new blog where he will be posting pages for his Miriam graphic novel “Filmography”

Look here: http://miriamfilmography.blogspot.com

Rich Tomasso also has his own personal blog here: http://richtommaso.blogspot.com/

Comic book retailer moves to overdurn murder verdict

May 4, 2008

This news article popped up as I was doing web searches for comic book conventions. Comic book store owner Michael George, who has run the Pittsburgh Comicon for years and years, was recently convicted of the 1990 murder of Barbara George, who was then his wife. This news article describes the case and the beginning of the appeals process:

From the Macomb Daily, April 26, 2008:

Judge grants motion that may negate murder verdict

Michael George can ask for directed verdict, even though trial is over

By Jameson Cook
Macomb Daily Staff Writer

Still protesting the jury’s guilty verdict, defense attorneys for the man convicted of killing his wife in their comic book store nearly 18 years ago have gained a sliver of hope in the case… [click for the rest of the article]

Back from the dead

April 30, 2008

For the first time in years, I have absolutely no abdominal pain. I’m still weak as a kitten, and don’t yet have stamina – but that will improve with time.

It was a few days after my February 20 surgery before I was physically able to sit up and actually open up my laptop to take advantage of the hospital’s free wi-fi, not to be confused with the hospital’s very not-free surgical costs. While I was in the hospital I was coherent enough to successfully take each of my “inbox” e-mails and put them into sub-folders of my newly created “hospital” e-mail folder – which ended up being three folders:

After getting out of the hospital, up until just a few weeks ago, I was not able to comfortably sit down for more than a minute or two, so I handled almost all of my e-mails the same way as in the hospital. I am surprised to discover that I can type pretty fast while standing, hunched over my keyboard. Reading much while standing was really not very workable for me.

I am now not a fan of the practice of hospitals giving their patients the illusion that they have control over their pain management by allowing them to administer their own medication by pressing a button when they felt the need, to cope with their pain. When I spent years in grad school aspiring to be a social psychology professor, “locus of control” was one of many research interests of mine. Yeah, I understood that I got to choose when to administered my pain medication, but the doctors’ orders were rather specific as to exactly how often my button press would actually let the IV administer medication and as to exactly how much medication. It took about an hour for me to learn that I could administer pain medication every 10 minutes, and that the amount of pain medication was rather minimal. This was especially obnoxious when I was attempting to go to sleep the first two nights, when I was in the most pain. I was in too much pain to sleep, and for me to get any significant amount of pain medication into my body I would have to be awake at each 10 minute interval to hit the button to get a few drops of pain medication. Of course the night-shift nurses were absolutely afraid and unwilling to call the doctor that was specifically on call to handle calls from night-shift nurses. On the third day after surgery, I described my pain control plight my actual lead surgeon. He readily agreed to change the order from self administered meds to a nice cocktail of happy happy pain medications which included pill, patch, and IV delivery methods that truly handled the pain, and kept me pretty blitzed during my hospital stay.