It’s well known that Senator Patrick Leahy is a big Batman fan. He’s memorably appeared in films like Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, and donates the proceeds of his appearances to Montpelier’s Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Now, he’s written the foreword to a new comic book that commemorates the 80th anniversary of the caped crusader.
The book is Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman, described as a “celebration of Detective Comics‘ amazing eight-decade run and Batman’s 80 years,” and includes commentary from the likes of Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, and others.
The Washington Post notes that Leahy said that he “couldn’t resist the opportunity,” when asked to contribute, and recounts his experiences filming the Nolan films, saying that he was terrified of Heath Ledger as the Joker. “I was scared. It wasn’t acting.” The Post notes that Leahy has provided introductions for comics before, such as in 1996, when he provided one for a charity comic,Batman: Death of Innocents: The Horror of Landmines.
Rutland’s Halloween parade has an out-sized reputation in the comics industry, thanks to a couple of long-standing fans over the years, and has even been featured in comics — it got a nice shout-out in Avengers #83 back in the 1970s.
Marvel.com has posted up a nice profile of the parade, and its roots in comic history:
The heroes—Vision, Black Panther, Quicksilver, and Goliath—hit the out-of-the-way city on Halloween evening to chase down reports of a kidnapping plot, and were welcomed enthusiastically by the parade’s organizer, Tom Fagan, who’d invited them to ride on one of the many colorful floats being readied for the event. The Avengers smiled and played along, keeping vigilant watch on the throngs of the costumed attendees who lined the Rutland streets.
Read the entire profile here. The parade is actually taking place at 6:30 PM tonight, after being postponed due to the weather last night.
This Friday and Saturday: there’ll be a Pulp Culture Comic Arts Festival & Symposium taking place at UVM, put on by the Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, and the Vermont Folklife Center.
Guests will include Stephen R. Bissette, Jon Chad, Glynnis Fawkes, Julia Gfrörer, James Kochalka, Rachel Lindsay, Eric Shanower, Rob Walton, Craig Yoe, and others. There’ll also be a pair of keynote presentations by Jaime Hernandez and Julian Chambliss on October 26th and 27th, respectively.
Nananananananananananananananana-Batman! Today is Batman Day, a made-up holiday from DC to promote all things DC. To celebrate, Burlington’s Fletcher Free Library is celebrating the iconic comic hero from 11-11:30AM today with stories and a craft for kids.
Now in its fifth year, Vermont Comic Con is making a big change: it’s debuting in Barre for the first time, after it was founded and ran for four years in Burlington’s Hilton. It’ll run this weekend on September 15th and 16th at Barre’s Civic Center.
The con, run by Moulton Conventions, follows the Green Mountain Comic Expo, which has run for the last couple of years in the Civic Center. Speaking with the Times Argus, Jason Moulton notes that he sees the center as the long-term home, and that the central location makes it a bit closer for people coming in from around the state.
Graphic novelist Scott McCloud will visit Champlain College for a talk titled “Comics and the Art of Visual Communication”. The talk will take place at 7:30 PM on Monday, February 23rd at the Alumni Auditorium.
McCloud is a well-known cartoonistand is known for several books on the creation of comics. He is also the main author for the Creator’s Bill of Rights and the creator of the 24-Hour comic event. His latest book, The Sculptor, has recently been optioned for film.
This should be a really interesting presentation for all comics fans and artists.
The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction will be hosting a Winter Saturday Morning Cartoon Club tomorrow, February 7th!
Kids + Comics = YOWZA!
Are you at least nine years old? Do you like drawing comics? Do you have a few Saturdays free this spring? If your answers are yes, yes, and yes then come join The Center for Cartoon Studies’ Saturday Morning Cartooning Club! We’ll design characters, create stories, and learn a ton about cartooning!
The day starts at 10:00 AM and costs $25. Sign up here.
The Center for Cartoon Studies has announced a major project that partners them with another major White River Junction institution, the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center. Later this month, they’ll be working on a major event with veterans and storytelling.
Many veterans pass through this small New England village because it is home to The White River Junction VA Medical Center. White River Junction is also the headquarters of The Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS), a world-renowned cartooning school. Until recently, these two very different institutions never crossed paths.
On Wednesday, February 25 from 6-8pm at The White River Junction VA Medical Center in Building 44, Room 103, cartoonists have invited veterans and their families to learn about cartooning and share their stories with the intention of turning those stories into comics. Students and faculty from The Center for Cartoon Studies will be on hand as well as Brooklyn cartoonist Jess Ruliffson whose award-winning comic Invisible Wounds examines a vet’s experience with PTSD. No R.S.V.P. required.
Brattleboro, VT resident Christie Turner is one veteran who will be there. “I vowed that if I got out of Afghanistan alive I would tell the stories of the young military men and women who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. I want the mothers and fathers of our soldiers to know what their children did and do in the service of their country. I want the people with no connection to a service person to hear the stories and think about what we as a nation demand of the military services. Comics are one way to share our experiences, ” says Turner.
“White River Junction has a population of only 2500 people, and vets and cartoonists are two groups that help define this village yet rarely cross paths,” says CCS co-founder James Sturm. “I believe vets and cartoonists will find inspiration in one another.”
The Cartoonist Veteran Project is funded in part with support from The National Endowment for the Arts.
This looks like it’ll be an astounding event, and an excellent way to help veterans struggling to reintegrate into society.
A prominent comic book collector and illustrator has recently had his extensive collection stolen from a storage site in Brattleboro. Jim Wheelock lives in Los Angeles, and is known for his graphic novel, Inferno Los Angeles. He was born and raised in Vermont, and attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He currently works in the television and film industry, where he works extensively with storyboards and prop comic books, while publishing in alternative comic books.
According to Bleeding Cool, while the culprit has been caught, many of the comics are still missing:
The culprit, identified to me as William Brown by the Brattleboro Police, was originally arrested for breaking into several units in the building. After the first break-ins, security cameras were installed, and he was videotaped breaking into a storage unit. He was released and has an arraignment scheduled. This was before I was aware of what was missing. In later interview, he confessed to stealing four boxes of comics, and claims he sold them to two dealers for very little money at a flea market in Wilmington, Vermont. He mentioned “Archie” comics specifically, and said he sold two boxes to a man, and two to a woman from New York state. He also said he sold stolen goods at flea markets in Hubbardston and Agawam, MA. He can no longer access the building.
On the website, he has a longer description of what’s missing, and urges people to keep their eyes out for the comics. Hopefully, they’ll be returned in short order!
Cartoonist Jeff Danziger spoke this morning with Vermont Public Radio about the terrorist attacks in Paris against cartoonists.
“Like everyone else, I was shocked that this amount of bloodshed was spilled in a place essentially given over for the most part to humor and satire,” said syndicated political cartoonist Jeff Danziger. His cartoons have appeared in the Times Argus, Rutland Herald and in newspapers around the world. He’s also the author of The Conscience of a Cartoonist.
Danziger called one of the murdered cartoonists, Georges Wolinski, a fixture in the paper. “He was in his 80s and his cartoons were refreshingly youthful,” Danziger said. He said he had met Wolinski and talked to him, but “everybody knew him. He’d put out about 12 or 15 books of work.”
It’s a sobering conversation. Give it a listen here.