The 2016 Eisner Awards – Young Readers Edition


It’s always a real pleasure to talk with Gwen Tarbox about comics for young readers over at The Comics Alternative and recently we discussed our thoughts on the 2016 Eisner Award nominees and winners in the three young readers categories:

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

If you’re into comics and graphic novels or have a young reader who’s into good comics, I hope you’ll check out the show!

Be Careful Out There… It’s the…


I don’t know if this is true in your neck of the woods, but today is Insanity Day around here. That’s right: it’s the last day of school. Prepare yourselves…

We’re busy decorating the library today and kids have already been busting down the doors since Monday, so if your life is as crazy as I think it is right now, you might need some good news. Here are a few distractions to help you keep your sanity (if you have any left by this point):

Continue reading

Books on Movies: Video Tonfa (2016) Tim Goodyear


Video Tonfa (2016) Tim Goodyear
Floating World Comics
Trade paperback, 608 black-and-yellow pages
ISBN 9781942801931

(Derek and I briefly discussed this book on our Alternative Comics publisher spotlight episode a couple of months ago on The Comics Alternative podcast.)

Video Tonfa scratches two of my most dedicated itches: movies and comics. Goodyear, who has worked in the Pacific Northwest in comics, zines and video for many years, has created a unique product: a journal of movies he’s watched over the years – reviews and drawings of the original poster art or VHS/DVD box art. Reading the book is almost like looking at someone’s diary, but I suspect most diaries aren’t nearly this much fun.

Continue reading

Remembering Darwyn Cooke


Other than Jack Kirby, no comics creator has meant more to me than Darwyn Cooke (1962-2016). After having been out of comics for years, I discovered Cooke’s graphic novel adaptation of Richard Stark’s (aka Donald Westlake) novel The Hunter (1962) in 2009, the same year it was published (by IDW). For years I’ve loved hardboiled novels, film noir, and anything related to those works, so when I discovered Cooke’s adaptation, I felt I had stumbled upon a wonderland of crime fiction that was simply too good to be true. The Hunter is the first book in the Parker series, which ran for 24 novels, so I was looking forward to many more Parker graphic novels for many years. I was also looking forward to meeting Cooke at a convention, hoping to tell him how much his work means to me.


As we all know now, that will never happen, not in this lifetime. Cooke passed away on May 13, the victim of an aggressive form of cancer at the age of 53 (just a few months younger than I am).

Continue reading

Darwyn Cooke (1962-2016)


Artist Darwyn Cooke has died, losing a battle to an aggressive form of cancer. I plan on posting my thoughts on this great creator soon, but things are simply too busy right now and I’m not sure I can organize any coherent thoughts into words just yet. I’m simply say that no one since Jack Kirby has excited me and made me feel so strongly about comics more than Darwin Cooke. Thoughts and prayers to the Cooke family.


Photos: CBC News, 4thletter!, Multiversity Comics

Love Comics? Come See Us!


I haven’t posted much comics-related news or reviews lately, but I did want to talk briefly about two upcoming events in Anne Arundel County, Maryland:


First, I will be presenting a program called “What Are Graphic Novels?” on Monday, May 9 at 7pm at the Severna Park Library. This program is aimed at adults (teens are also welcome) who either don’t know what graphic novels are or think of them only in narrow terms, i.e. “They’re just for kids” or “It’s just a bunch of capes and tights.” We want to show that there’s literally something for everyone.

We’re going to be (briefly) discussing the history of comics and graphic novels, how they have emerged into the culture (particularly in movies), and how they’re much more than just superhero stories. More importantly, we’ll take a look at how comics and graphic novels have helped struggling readers as well as people seeking to speak English as a second language. Plus we’ll have lots of great books you can check out at the event.

Second, the Anne Arundel County Public Library is having its first Comic Con on Saturday, May 14 at 10am at the Odenton Regional Library. “Spend the afternoon exploring comic books and literacy through panel discussions, interactive workshops, crafts for the kids and a costume contest.”


You can find out more information here. I’ll be at the con talking to several young readers, asking them about the types of books they’re reading, what they like, what they want more of, etc. I plan to put those mini-interviews together for an upcoming episode of The Comics Alternative for Young Readers, a monthly feature that I host with my good friend Gwen Tarbox. Although we’ve been discussing comics for young readers for several months now, this will be the first time we’ve actually heard from young readers themselves. Very exciting! I hope you can join us at both events as well as Free Comic Book Day at various AACPL libraries.