MoCCA Extra-Activity Guide – UPDATED

Hey Mocca Attendees — to anyone who is hanging around New York for a day or two afterwards, here are some things you might want to check out. New York is a greenhouse of comics-y/arty events and there are several good ones going on right now.

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Will Eisner’s New York: From The Spirit to the Modern Graphic Novel
Really THE show to see, a comprehensive collection of some of Eisner’s most famous pieces; with a companion show with art by Neal Adams, Jules Feiffer and more.

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CARTOON POLYMATHS, Parsons School, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery, 12th St and 5th Avenue.
A great, concisely-curated show that spotlights six visionary artists who have had an impact in multiple artistic disciplines. Possibly the only comics art show that ever got it’s own neon sign.

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CRUMB: LINES DRAWN ON PAPER, Society of Illustrators, 63rd and Lexington.
It’s Crumb. ‘Nuff said.

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BYE BYE KITTY AT THE JAPAN SOCIETY, 333 East 47th Street
Attempting to get away from the “kawai” cliche, cuteness is still the elephant in the room for this fine art show. Some breathtaking pieces of art — a giant city drawn in pen and inktaht took a year, a deer skeleton covered in tumors of crystal — that must be seen in person.

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ROCKWELL BEHIND THE CAMERA, Brooklyn Museum
A look at Rockwell’s photography and how it influenced his art. CLOSES SUNDAY.

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The Museum of Sex: STRIPPED
This Craig Yoe-curated show includes a fine run down of sexy comics from Tijuana BIbles to Jessica Fink.

2011 Eisner Award nominations announced

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The 2011 Eisner Award nominations have just been announced, and every year is colored a bit by the make-up of the judging panel, but this year’s nominations seem to have gone out of their way to recognize some new faces and names — the leading vote getters were The Return of the Dapper Men with five and Morning Glories and Locke & Key with four each. It’s a vastly eclectic list, and recognizes the incredible diversity of today’s comics industry.

Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Nominees, 2011

Best Short Story
“Bart on the Fourth of July,” by Peter Kuper, in Bart Simpson #54 (Bongo)
“Batman, in Trick for the Scarecrow,” by Billy Tucci, in DCU Halloween Special 2010 (DC)
“Cinderella,” by Nick Spencer and Rodin Esquejo, in Fractured Fables (Silverline Books/Image)
“Hamburgers for One,” by Frank Stockton, in Popgun vol. 4 (Image)
“Little Red Riding Hood,” by Bryan Talbot and Camilla d’Errico, in Fractured Fables (Silverline Books/Image)
“Post Mortem,” by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, in I Am an Avenger #2 (Marvel)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
The Cape, by Joe Hill, Jason Ciaramella, and Zack Howard (IDW)
Fables #100, by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, and others (Vertigo/DC)
Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil, by Mike Mignola and Richard Corben (Dark Horse)
Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom #1: “Sparrow,” by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Unknown Soldier #21: “A Gun in Africa,” by Joshua Dysart and Rick Veitch (Vertigo/DC)

Best Continuing Series
Chew, by John Layman and Rob Guillory (Image)
Echo, by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio)
Locke & Key, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
Morning Glories, by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma (Shadowline/Image)
Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)
Scalped, by Jason Aaron and R. M. Guéra (Vertigo/DC)

Best Limited Series
Baltimore: The Plague Ships, by Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, and Ben Stenbeck (Dark Horse)
Cinderella: From Fabletown with Loveby Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus (Vertigo/DC)
Daytripper, by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (Vertigo/DC)
Joe the Barbarianby Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy (Vertigo/DC)
Stumptown, by Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth (Oni)

Best New Series
American Vampire, by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, and Rafael Albuquerque (Vertigo/DC)
iZombie, by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred (Vertigo/DC)
Marineman, by Ian Churchill (Image)
Morning Glories, by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma (Shadowline/Image)
Superboy, by Jeff Lemire and Pier Gallo (DC)

Best Publication for Kids
Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean, by Sara Stewart Taylor and Ben Towle (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney/Hyperion)
Amelia Rules!: True Things (Adults Don’t Want Kids to Know), by Jimmy Gownley (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
Binky to the Rescue, by Ashley Spires (Kids Can Press)
Scratch9, by Rob M. Worley and Jason T. Kruse (Ape Entertainment)
Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (DC)
The Unsinkable Walker Bean, by Aaron Renier (First Second)

Best Publication for Teens
Ghostopolis, by Doug TenNapel (Scholastic Graphix)
Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, by Barry Deutsch (Amulet Books)
Return of the Dapper Men, by Jim McCann and Janet Lee (Archaia)
Smile, by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic Graphix)
Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, by G. Neri and Randy DuBurke (Lee & Low)

Best Humor Publication
Afrodisiac, by Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca (Adhouse)
Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book, by Ian Boothby, John Delaney, and Dan Davis (Bongo)
Drinking at the Movies, by Julia Wertz (Three Rivers Press/Crown)
I Thought You Would Be Funnier, by Shannon Wheeler (BOOM!)
Literature: Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953, by Dave Kellett (Small Fish Studios)
Prime Baby, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)

Best Anthology
The Anthology Project, edited by Joy Ang and Nick Thornborrow (Lucidity Press)
Korea as Viewed by 12 Creators, edited by Nicolas Finet (Fanfare•Ponent Mon)
Liquid City, vol. 2, edited by Sonny Liew and Lim Cheng Tju (Image)
Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, edited by Paul Morrissey and David Petersen (Archaia)
Trickster: Native American Tales, edited by Matt Dembicki (Fulcrum Books)

Best Digital Comic
Abominable Charles Christopher, by Karl Kerschl, www.abominable.cc
The Bean, by Travis Hanson, www.beanleafpress.com
Lackadaisy, by Tracy Butler, www.lackadaisycats.com
Max Overacts, by Caanan Grall, http://occasionalcomics.com
Zahra’s Paradise, by Amir and Khalil, www.zahrasparadise.com

Best Reality-Based Work
It Was the War of the Trenches, by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)
Picture This: The Nearsighted Monkey Book, by Lynda Barry (Drawn & Quarterly)
Special Exits: A Graphic Memoir, by Joyce Farmer (Fantagraphics)
Treasury of XXth Century Murder: The Terrible Axe Man of New Orleans, by Rick Geary (NBM)
Two Generals, by Scott Chantler (McClelland & Stewart)
You’ll Never Know Book 2: Collateral Damage, by Carol Tyler (Fantagraphics)

Best Graphic Album—New
Elmer, by Gerry Alanguilan (SLG)
Finding Frank and His Friend: Previously Unpublished Work by Clarence ‘Otis’ Dooley, by Melvin Goodge (Curio & Co.)
Market Day, by James Sturm (Drawn & Quarterly)
Return of the Dapper Men, by Jim McCann and Janet Lee (Archaia)
Wilson, by Daniel Clowes (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint
The Amazing Screw-on Head and Other Curious Objects, by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)
Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites, by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
Motel Art Improvement Service, by Jason Little (Dark Horse)
The Simpsons/Futurama Crossover Crisis, by Ian Boothby, James Lloyd, and Steve Steere Jr. (Abrams Comicarts)
Tumor, by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon (Archaia)
Wednesday Comics, edited by Mark Chiarello (DC)

Best Adaptation from Another Work
Dante’s Divine Comedy, adapted by Seymour Chwast (Bloomsbury)
The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, adapted by Joann Sfar (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Marvelous Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young (Marvel)
7 Billion Needles, vols. 1 and 2, adapted from Hal Clement’s Needle by Nobuaki Tadano (Vertical)
Silverfin: A James Bond Adventure, adapted by Charlie Higson and Kev Walker (Disney/Hyperion Books)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
Archie: The Complete Daily Newspaper Strips, 1946–1948, by Bob Montana, edited by Greg Goldstein (IDW)
40: A Doonesbury Retrospective, by G. B. Trudeau (Andrews McMeel)
George Heriman’s Krazy Kat: A Celebration of Sundays, edited by Patrick McDonnell and Peter Maresca (Sunday Press Books)
Polly and Her Pals Complete Sunday Comics, vol. 1, by Cliff Sterrett, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW)
Roy Crane’s Captain Easy, vol. 1, edited by Rick Norwood (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
The Horror! The Horror! Comic Books the Government Didn’t Want You to Read!, edited by Jim Trombetta (Abrams Comicart)
The Incal Classic Collection, by Alexandro Jodorowsky and Moebius (Humanoids)
Lynd Ward: Six Novels in Woodcuts, edited by Art Spiegelman (The Library of America)
Thirteen “Going on Eighteen,” by John Stanley (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
It Was the War of the Trenches, by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)
The Killer: Modus Vivendi, by Matz and Luc Jacamon (Archaia)
King of the Flies, Book One: Hallorave, by Mezzo and Pirus (Fantagraphics)
The Littlest Pirate King, by David B. and Pierre Mac Orlan (Fantagraphics)
Salvatore, by Nicolas De Crécy (NBM)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
Ayako, by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)
Bunny Drop, by Yumi Unita (Yen Press)
A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, by Moto Hagio (Fantagraphics)
House of Five Leaves, by Natsume Ono (VIZ Media)
Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)

Best Writer
Ian Boothby, Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book; Futurama Comics #47–50; Simpsons Comics #162, 168; Simpsons Super Spectacular #11–12 (Bongo)
Joe Hill, Lock & Key (IDW)
John Layman, Chew (Image)
Jim McCann, Return of the Dapper Men (Archaia)
Nick Spencer, Morning Glories, Shuddertown, Forgetless, Existence 3.0 (Image)

Best Writer/Artist
Dan Clowes, Wilson (Drawn & Quarterly)
Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit (IDW)
Joe Kubert, Dong Xoai, Vietnam 1965 (DC)
Terry Moore, Echo (Abstract Studio)
James Sturm, Market Day (Drawn & Quarterly)
Naoki Urasawa, Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys (VIZ Media)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
Richard Corben, Hellboy (Dark Horse)
Stephen DeStefano, Lucky in Love Book One: A Poor Man’s Story (Fantagraphics)
Rob Guillory, Chew (Image)
Gabriel Rodriguez, Locke & Key (IDW)
Skottie Young, The Marvelous Land of Oz (Marvel)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
Lynda Barry, Picture This: The Nearsighted Monkey Book (Drawn & Quarterly)
Brecht Evens, The Wrong Place (Drawn & Quarterly)
Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad (Dark Horse)
Janet Lee, Return of the Dapper Men (Archaia)
Eric Liberge, On the Odd Hours (NBM)
Carol Tyler, You’ll Never Know Book 2: Collateral Damage (Fantagraphics)

Best Cover Artist
Rodin Esquejo, Morning Glories (Shadowline/Image)
Dave Johnson, Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain (Dark Horse); Unknown Soldier (Vertigo/DC); Punisher/Max, Deadpool (Marvel)
Mike Mignola, Hellboy, Baltimore: The Plague Ships (Dark Horse)
David Petersen, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard (Archaia)
Yuko Shimizu, The Unwritten (Vertigo/DC)

Best Coloring
Jimmy Gownley, Amelia Rules!: True Things (Adults Don’t Want Kids to Know), Amelia Rules!: The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular, by Jimmy Gownley (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
Metaphrog (Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers), Louis: Night Salad (Metaphrog)
Dave Stewart, Hellboy, BPRD, Baltimore, Let Me In (Dark Horse); Detective Comics (DC); Neil Young’s Greendale, Daytripper, Joe the Barbarian (Vertigo/DC)
Hilary Sycamore, City of Spies, Resistance, Booth, Brain Camp, Solomon’s Thieves (First Second)
Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library 20: Lint (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Lettering
Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit (IDW)
Dan Clowes, Wilson (Drawn & Quarterly)
Jimmy Gownley, Amelia Rules!: True Things (Adults Don’t Want Kids to Know), Amelia Rules!: The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular, by Jimmy Gownley (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster)
Todd Klein, Fables, The Unwritten, Joe the Barbarian, iZombie (Vertigo/DC); Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom (WildStorm/DC); SHIELD (Marvel); Driver for the Dead (Radical)
Doug TenNapel, Ghostopolis (Scholastic Graphix)
Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library 20: Lint (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
The Beat, produced by Heidi MacDonald (www.comicsbeat.com)
ComicBookResources, produced by Jonah Weiland (www.comicbookresources.com)
ComicsAlliance, produced by Laura Hudson (www.comicsalliance.com)
The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon (www.comicsreporter.com)
USA Today Comics Section, by Life Section Entertainment Editor Dennis Moore; Comics Section Lead, John Geddes (www.usatoday.com/life/comics/index)

Best Comics-Related Book
Doonesbury and the Art of G. B. Trudeau, by Brian Walker (Yale University Press)
Fire and Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner, and the Birth of Marvel Comics, by Blake Bell (Fantagraphics)
The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen, by Denis Kitchen and Charles Brownstein, edited by John Lind and Diana Schutz (Dark Horse Books)
Shazam! The Golden Age of the World’s Mightiest Mortal, by Chip Kidd and Geoff Spear (Abrams Comicarts)
75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, by Paul Levitz (TASCHEN)

Best Publication Design
Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer Artist’s Edition, designed by Randall Dahlk (IDW)
Polly and Her Pals Complete Sunday Comics, vol. 1, designed by Lorraine Turner and Dean Mullaney (IDW)
Return of the Dapper Men, designed by Todd Klein (Archaia)
75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, designed by Josh Baker (TASCHEN)
Two Generals, designed by Jennifer Lum (McClelland & Stewart)

Hall of Fame

Judges’ Choices:
Ernie Bushmiller
Jack Jackson
Martin Nodell
Lynd Ward

Comic-Con International (Comic-Con) is proud to announce the nominations for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards 2011. The nominees, chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, reflect the wide range of material being published in comics and graphic novel form today, from heartfelt autobiographical works to books aimed at kids and teens to deluxe hardcover archival editions. Unlike in past years, superheroes are very much in the minority in this year’s selections.

Topping the 2011 nominees with 5 nominations is Return of the Dapper Men, a fantasy hardcover by writer Jim McCann and artist Janet Lee, published by Archaia. It has nods for Best Publication for Teens, Best Graphic Album–New, Best Writer, Best Artist, and Best Publication Design. Two comics series have 4 nominations: Morning Glories by Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma (published by Shadowline/Image) and Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (published by IDW). A variety of titles have received 3 nominations, including the manga Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys (VIZ Media), John Layman and Rob Guillory’s series Chew (Image), Daniel Clowes’s graphic novel Wilson (Drawn & Quarterly), and Mike Mignola’s Hellboy titles (Dark Horse).

The creator with the most nominations is Mignola with 5 (including cover artist), followed by Spencer and Hill, each with 4. Several creators have 3: McCann & Lee, Rodriquez, Urasawa, and Clowes, plus writer Ian Boothy (for Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book and other Bongo titles) and cartoonist Jimmy Gownley (for Best Publication for Kids plus coloring and lettering on his Amelia Rules! series). A record 15 creators have 2 nominations each.

DC Comics has the most nominations for a publisher, with its various imprints (DCU, Vertigo, WildStorm) garnering 14 nominations (plus 3 shared). The DC Universe has 5 of those nominations, while the Vertigo imprint has 9, all spread among multiple titles and creators. In addition, 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking by Paul Levitz, published by TASCHEN, has two nominations. The publishers emerging with the second-most nominations this year with 12 each are Image (led by Chew and Morning Glories) and IDW, which in addition to Locke & Key has double nods for four titles: Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer Artist’s Edition, Polly & Her Pals Sundays, and Darwyn Cooke’s Parker: The Outfit. Close behind with 11 nominations each are alt/indy comics publishers Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly. Fantagraphics dominates the U.S. Edition of International Material category with 3 nominees and has 2 nominations each for Carol Tyler’s You’ll Never Know: Collateral Damage and Jacques Tardi’s It Was the War of the Trenches. Besides Wilson, D&Q is on the ballot with two nominations each for Lynda Barry’s Picture This, James Sturm’s Market Day, and Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library 20.

Other publishers with multiple nominations include Dark Horse (9, plus 2 shared), Archaia (9), VIZ Media (4), and Marvel (3, plus 2 shared); six publishers with 3 nominations: Abrams Comicarts, Bongo, Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, First Second, NBM, and Scholastic/Graphix; and five with 2 nominations: Abstract Studio (Terry Moore’s Echo), Disney/Hyperion, McClelland & Stewart (Scott Chantler’s Three Generals), TASCHEN, and Vertical. Another two dozen publishers had 1 nomination each. Notably, many of these publishers are mainstream publishing houses and not standard comics industry companies. In addition to the ones mentioned above, they include Amulet Books, Andrews McMeel, Bloomsbury, Crown, Fulcrum Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Lee & Low, The Library of America, and Yale University Press.

Among this year’s nontraditional “discoveries” by the judges are Seymour Chwast’s adaptation of Dante’s Divine Comedy (Bloomsbury), the “mocumentary” Finding Frank and His Friends by “Clarence ‘Otis’ Dooley” (Curio & Co.), the Native American anthology Trickster (Fulcrum), Lucidity Press’s The Anthology Project, and cartoonist Dave Kellett’s Literature: Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953.

Named for acclaimed comics creator the Will Eisner, the awards are in their 23rd year of highlighting the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels. The 2011 Eisner Awards judging panel consists of comics store rep John Berry (Metropolis Comics, Bellflower, California), Comic-Con board of director Ned Cato (geekroundtable.com), librarian Karen Green (Columbia University), comics writer/editor Andy Helfer (The Shadow; Paradox Press), publishing consultant Rich Johnson (previously with DC Comics and Yen Press), and retail manager Chris Powell (Lone Star Comics, Dallas, Texas).

Ballots with this year’s nominees will be going out in mid-April to comics creators, editors, publishers, and retailers. A downloadable pdf of the ballot will also be available online, and a special website has been set up for online voting. The results in all categories will be announced in a gala awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 22 at Comic-Con International.

Voting in one Eisner Awards category, the Hall of Fame, is already completed. The judges chose the nominees earlier this year, and voting was conducted solely online, with voting ending on March 24.

The Eisner Awards are presented under the auspices of Comic-Con International, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular artforms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contributions of comics to art and culture. Jackie Estrada has been administrator of the Awards since 1990. She can be reached at [email protected]

The Beat's MoCCA $10 Dining Guide – 2011 Edition

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Coming to this year’s MoCCA-fest and wondering where to grab a quick lunch to eat in between selling your mini comics? Look no further!

Although considered drab by New York standards, the Rose Hill/Gramercy/Flatiron area surrounding the the Sixty-Ninth Regiment Armory, the setting for MoCCA Fest, still offers a colorful array of authentic, delicious and affordable cuisine from around the world within a radius of only a couple of blocks. (It IS New York City, after all.) Bearing in mind the small budgets of most MoCCA attendees/indie cartoonists, we’re going to highlight places where, for $10 or under, you can still get a decent meal — some of them even prepared by Iron Chef level celebrities. At a few places, if $10 isn’t enough for a meal it is still enough for some rare treat that will make your trip one to remember.

For dinner you will want to grab some friends and a subway or cab and head to one of the great restaurants of the city, but your lunchtime is definitely covered right here.


View MoCCA Dining Guide in a larger map

BAOGUETTE: The hit of the two previous MoCCAs at this location and ground zero for the still going craze for Vietnamese bahn mi sandwiches. Prices have gone up — $6 for chicken and pork, $7 for beef, catfish and veggie. We hadn’t eaten here for a while and stopped in for a BBQ chicken just yesterday — even better than we remembered! For $9.25 you can get a spicy sandwich on am amazing crusty roll with chicken, pate, cilantro, daikon and siracha sauce and a strong, sweet iced Vietnamese coffee that will keep you rolling for an hour. WARNING: these sandwiches are stinky and do leave you with the kind of burp halo that you would expect from a sandwich that includes radish. Baoguette also sells pretty good pre-packaged green papaya salads and summer rolls which are refreshing and full of veggies, but they’ll sell out pretty quick. We saw owners celebrity chefs Michael Huynh and Thao Nguyen eating lunch here the other day, and Nguyen greeted us with a “Long time no see!” when we went in after six months, so they get some neighbor points for that. ALSO: CLOSED SUNDAY so make sure to get your bahn mi on on Saturday.

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MIDORI TEA HOUSE 61 Lexington. Taking over the spot once occupied by the much-missed Latin Thing, this is a full service Taiwanese tea house, complete with the tapioca bubbles, and hot and cold elixirs in flavors from lychee to almond. They have ice slushies with tapioca as well. A large, cool beverage will set you back most of a tenner, so consider this a luxury item. I haven’t sampled a wide variety of their wares, but they are thirst quenching and tasty. CLOSED SUNDAY.

ROOMALI (On 27th between Lex and 3rd):
Curry Hill, as it is often called, is filled with great Indian cuisine, but this is the best fast food in the area. An incredible bargain. For a mere $9 you get TWO chicken roti rolls — basically an Indian burrito — which will feed TWO hungry cartoonists for lunch. Throw in a mango lassi for $2 and you are well under $10 per person. The roti here are fresh grilled and filled with a well-spiced mix of chicken, egg white and veggies. There are also vegetarian options.

LAMAZOU (3rd Avenue and 27th St.): A neighborhood gem, and home of some of the best sandwiches in the city. Lamazou is one of the city’s finest cheese shops and their sandwiches are ALL amazing. The egg salad is made with Roquefort for extra kick, and all the cheeses are aged to a loamy goodness. The cold cuts are all top notch as well — Prosciutto di Parma and Serrano ham. We know people who go to Lamazou every day and just go down the list of sandwiches — every one is a journey into flavor. Also, a bargain — a half but still filling sandwich is under $6. You can get a full sized for under $10 for a hearty appetite. They’ve been threatening to open a full-service salumeri/wine bar since November but it’s still not open! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

DI DI DUMPLING (24th and Lexington)– this place is new and has been getting mixed reviews, but if you are on the ultra budget trip, for $3.95 you get five dumplings, which could be the difference between life and death. There’s another bubble tea joint in the front which I haven’t tried. I ate here once and had the chicken dumplings and they were edible but unexceptional. Also the staff reacted with alarm and confusion when spoken to. If you are adventurous, you may like this place.

SHAKE SHACK (in Madison Square Park, 23rd and Madison):
Normally we would not recommend this touristy joint, but this Danny Meyer institution definitely fits the under $10 category. Unfortunately you will probably end up standing in line for at least half an hour for a burger or Chicago-style hot dog because tourists line up all day. This place is so big time that they give you a buzzer like you would get at TJ McEatalot to know when your order is ready. We can’t really recommend it for a weekend, (we go on a weekday or rainy day when the lines aren’t so long) but it is an institution and the park is beautiful. Alternative: Head over to New York Burger, get it to go, and “go” to the park!

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EATALY (entrance on Fifth Avenue, inside the old Toy building) — this is the new attraction in the neighborhood and it is definitely a love it or hate it affair. Created by famed chefs Mario Battali and Lydia Bastianich and restauranteur Joe Bastianich this is a temple to all things Italian, with 13 different food stations and a market selling vegetables, pasta, meet, seafood and all kinds of imported Italian foods, from a jar of chocolate to 10 different kinds of pesto. This place IS NOT CHEAP — that jar of chocolate will set you back $13 — but there are lots of things you can get for under $10. At the paninoteca there are various hot and cold sandwiches to go, including authentic sopressata and mozzarella, mortadella, fontina and so on. They recently started selling arroncini rice balls, as well. For me, these sandwiches would be improved by some lettuce and tomato, but this is apparently not the Italian way. However, they are all under $10 (but Lamazou’s are better.) For an even thriftier meal, go to the focaccia stand in the bakery — various bread slices involving meat, or sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes are a sort of “deep dish pizza” for under $4 a pop. Get yourself an imported limon soda and you’re good to go. They also have great coffee drinks here — including the bicerin, a heady mix of espresso, chocolate and heavy cream that will put the meat on your bones. You can also get gelato, various amazing pastries, or a glass of wine for a cheap thrill. WARNING: Eataly tends to be mad crowded on weekends so get there early for a morning cappucino and pastry and then avoid. Still, despite the glitz and crowds, this is a pretty amazing place that is well worth seeing. Also, carb lovers take note, the bread is to die for: crusty and tangy. I got a loaf and ate almost half of it all by myself with a little olive oil and woke up in the morning with a bloated carb face — but it was worth it.

• COFFEE: Wondering how you’re gonna stay awake after last night’s parties? See above for Eataly, which has a full menu of coffee drinks. Also, try Gregory’s, on Park between 25th and 26th. They have all the necessities and IT’S NOT A STARBUCKS. Plus, FREE WIFI if you’re in a jam. They sell a lot of sandwiches and salads, but they are all pretty tasteless, and soaked in olive oil, esp. the salads. There’s also a Chock Full o’ Nuts and a 7-11 on 23rd Street around the corner if that’s how you roll. Plus the requisite and ubiquitous Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts dot the area.

Also: FIKA ESPRESSO BAR– 407 Park Avenue South (Between 28th and 29th) — if Swedish coffee is your thing, this is the place, especially the espresso, which has the nutty, caramel flavor of real espresso. The regular coffee here is pricey but STRONG. We haven’t had any of the pastries but they look pretty good. Not cheap.

FOR FOODIES:

EATALY, see above

KALUSTYAN’S (123 Lexington between 28th and 29th): If you like to cook, this is a MUST SEE. Although it bills itself as an Asian spice store, they have gourmet delicacies and staples from around the world, including some Brit treats: Future Mr. Beat buys his brown sauce, Branson pickles and disgusting Marmite here. The spice selection is dizzying, with every kind of sauce or spice blend or special ingredient from Asia — fish sauce, tom yum paste, ras el harout, dried apricots, black garlic, preserved lemons, rose water, 117 kinds of honey…your mind will boggle and your foodie imagination will run wild. Plus there is a little deli upstairs that sells reasonable Indian food. Also if you are looking for something sweet, grab a chunk of honey pistachio baklava — just don’t touch your comics stock afterwards! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

AVOID: CURRY IN A HURRY. yes you CAN eat it, but with better alternatives, why do it? Also, their health inspection notices are always horrible.

BARS: Sadly, Murray Hill/Flatiron bars are mostly ghastly sports bars beloved of an obnoxious jerk/jock crowd. You will find the many Irish bars of the neighborhood get the job done (although none are a bargain) but avoid anything that looks vaguely trendy. You will regret it and pay the price with your immortal soul. Here are a few mainstays that welcome Our Kind:

RODEO BAR (3rd and 27th): This is our local, so no sass about picking it. Decent Tex-Mex grub, free peanuts and happy hour. Don’t try to make change after drinking one of their frozen margaritas.

MAD HATTER (360 3rd Avenue, at 26th): A decent enough bar around the corner that doesn’t get too crowded with douchebags. Has a pool table and garden patio, so if the weather’s nice, a decent place to sit and drink a beer outside. They are also friendly and site of a party, so we’d call it MoCCA friendly.

But what if you want a sit down meal? Here again, the Flatiron/Kip’s Bay will not disappoint. Just a few quickies that are super close by:

BAMIYAN (3rd Avenue and 26th): If you long for the olden days at Faryab at SPX, this Afghani place should bring back memories. The food isn’t quite as refined as Faryab, but it is still fragrant and pungent. We like the chicken with apples and pomegranate, the mantu (Afghan ravioli in a spicy mint/yogurt sauce), and the pumpkin turnovers.

DHABA (Lexington between 27th and 28th):
The Armory is smack in the middle of Curry Hill so you won’t have any trouble finding good Indian food. We like this one best — the menu includes authentic Indian dishes as well as “British” curries. We like the chaat — various mixtures of Indian salads with chickpeas, mint, rice krispies, tamarind, potato, and coriander. $6 gets you a VERY generous portion. Warning: when they say hot, they mean hot. We had a run-in with some spicy cauliflower that left memories for a lifetime. If you have more than four make a reservation.

SARAVANAA BHAVAN (corner 26th and Lex) — this is apparently the Red Lobster of Southern India and is always packed with actual South Asian diners. Vegetarian only, the menu consists of a lot of iddli and dosa — big crispy rice crepes stuffed with a variety of fragrant fillings. I ate here once and it was too rich for me — the food is drenched in ghee, clarified butter — but for the adventurous, you may enjoy yourself.

EAST (3rd Ave and 27th):
Excellent sushi served on a conveyor belt. Everything here is very fresh and authentic. However, the place is small and if you go for dinner you will probably have to wait. NOT good for groups…unless you are going for the karaoke bar upstairs.

Do you have a favorite eatery in the neighborhood? Share!

Radical returns to Diamond for book distribution

201104071407.jpgAfter a year-long stint with Random House as their book distributor, Radical Publishing is back at Diamond, we are told by press release.

The announcement is a bit of a no-brainer considering that Radical was at last month’s Diamond Retailer Summit.

Radical Publishing has finalized negotiations to return to Diamond Book Distributors (DBD) for distributing their graphic novel titles and products to book stores, mass-market merchandisers, libraries and other outlets worldwide.

“We’re very excited to be rejoining Diamond Book Distributors,” said Radical Publishing Director of Sales, Teddy Cabugos. “In this industry, we recognize that a publisher really needs to be with a distributor whose expertise is the world of graphic novels. Diamond’s influence in the book market and ability to secure placement for their publishing lines means that we’re at the right distributor to grow our business.”

The deal commences in April, with DBD handling previous backlist titles and new frontlist titles offered to the book market for June release. Radical was previously distributed by Random House. “We are pleased to welcome Radical Publishing back to our client roster,” said Kuo-Yu Liang, DBD’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “I am very excited that we can bring their titles to book market customers once again.”

Founded by Barry Levine, Jesse Berger and Matthew Berger, Radical publishing released their first titles in May 2008. Since then they have recruited a long list of top creators and published a number titles already making headway in the industry. Unlike other comics’ publishers, Radical focuses on character- driven mythological or genre-based stories, such as Hercules, Aladdin: Legacy of the Lost, Earp: Saints for Sinners, Legends: the Enchanted, and Caliber. Many of their materials are developed with an eye on the film industry.

Marvel's mystery magazines

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Ted McKeever drawing Wolverine, Tomm Coker on Master of Kung Fu, Dr. Strange by Kieron Gillen and Frazier Irving? All in glorious black and white. Sign us up!

While this sounds like some cool, beatnik Marvel anthology comic, Don McPherson explains it is really a little-noted or promoted Marvel project: two black and white comics magazines that were released last year to no fanfare, Marvel Super Special and Marvel Super Action. McPherson guesses that this is some kind of Disney-inspired inventory cleaning:

The recent announcement that Marvel will publish 15 Love — a tennis-themed soap opera of a comic that’s been sitting in a drawer at Marvel Comics for almost a decade — makes me wonder if these new black-and-white Marvel magazines are meant as a way to clear out the stores of unpublished material that’s been accumulating in its offices over the years. Some have speculated that Disney’s recent acquisition of the comics publisher is directly connected to older, forgotten, unpublished material seeing the light of day once again. Some of the material in these mags is clearly more recent in their creation; the incarnation of Ares that’s featured is the same one that was a member of the Avengers in the last few years, for example. But other stories are clearly using older character designs or concepts; the Bob Layton-era Iron Man is definitely depicted in Howard Chaykin’s story in Marvel Super Special, for example, and the 1970s/’80s Iron Man design is on the cover.


Also noteworthy: Both titles are remnants of Marvel’s long ago magazine programs, back in the ’80s when there were newsstands, so maybe it’s a trademark thing.

Rob Granito launches pay-for-chat plan; plan fails

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As we predicted last week, the Rob Granito team is attempting to get their second act rolling with a round of tell-all interviews. You may recall (it was all so long ago and little noted) that Granito is a person of dubious artistic skill who has been going around to comics shows for 15 years selling copied art that he’s passed off as his own. Now, Comics Cube reports a letter is making the rounds:

Dear Comics News, Blogs, and Journalists:

March 2011 was a month that the comics industry, and comics fandom, was not expecting! A month where suddenly comics websites became ‘TMZ-like’, and scandal and tabloid excitement erupted. This was due to the controversial Rob Granito.


We ask you to consider looking past personal feelings and judgement to consider the following:

-A Facebook Group about Robert Granito had over 3,000 members in less than a week

-Websites such as comicsalliance, Wired, and many others made Rob Granito a major headline

-An entire convention panel is due to Rob Granito, called ‘How Should An Artist React To Being Granito’d’?

So, regardless of personal judgement you must admit that Rob Granito creates controversy- and controversy attracts attention. Rob Granito gets attention. Rob Granito gets people talking.

The Blog owner at All Things Geeky even explained how he had thousands of visitors to his site when he had never experienced that before. Rob Granito has gotten more attention and caused more talking amongst his detractors and his fans than any other comics professional!

Now is YOUR chance to take advantage of this red-hot story. As Charlie Sheen has proven in the mainstream media, controversy sells. It has been proven, and suggested by the convention fans blog that Rob Granito is the Charlie Sheen of Comics. And just like Charlie Sheen caused MAJOR headlines with his controversial 20/20 interview, now YOU can get Rob Granito to sit for an interview for your site or blog!

Rob Granito will live up to his image as the bad boy of comics, who admits he has made some mistakes (but who hasn’t?) but also points out that comics fandom at large does not know the WHOLE story. Find out how Rob Granito began as an artist. Discover what his experience was with the legendary Dave Stevens. Find out what REALLY went down with Mark Waid. Learn how Rob feels about the comics professionals who have derided his name in the past few weeks like Ty Templeton Jamar Igle, Al Rio, and more!

We assure you Rob Granito will live up to his interview commitments. We guarantee candid, explanatory revelations. Rob Granito proved he shook up the world in March 2011! Now watch him light up the Spring comics schedule. “I will keep going to conventions”, he says. Also, why did BleedingCool decide to break the Rob Granito story out of nowhere? Why was it pursued with such a fever? “There is more there that you dont know about”, says Rob.

ALL WEBSITES: the following is a list of Rob’ interview fees

-e-mail interview (20 questions ONLY) $150.00 PayPal
-30 minute phone interview $200.00 PayPal
-1 Hour Phone or Skype interview $250.00 PayPal


Thank you for your time. We look forward to working with you.
Alison c/o
Robert Granito Art Services


$250 an hour for Skype? Not bad. We should have thought of that ourselves. The Beat will give you “candid, explanatory revelations” out the yin yan.

Comic Cube’s Duy Tano engages in a brief correspondence with Alison, aka Granito’s manager.

It’s not clear who will be willing to shell out for this. We know of at least one major website that had to be talked out of an interview with Granito; such a thing would doubtless be hilarious from a typo and Didillo standpoint alone, but we stand firm in our conviction: Mr. Granito needs to find an honest line of work. The comics thing is over.

THE REVOLUTION WILL BE TELEVISED, first hand account of Egyptian revolution, debuts

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Dov Torbin and Asher Berman

are two Americans who happened to be in Egypt when the recent revolution broke out.

The Revolution Will Be Televised is Torbin’s comics account of two American travelers who, through clouds of tear gas, watch a country evolve and find themselves altered by the experience. It’s launching today on ACT-I-VATE.

Watch Peter Bagge rock out in his new video


Cartoonist Peter Bagge has long had a thriving side career as a member of various garage bands. Now his outift Can You Imagine? has just released a new video for the song “Drive,” directed by Mott Todd. Bonus: Artwork by Peter Bagge!

[Via Flog]

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Kibbles 'n' Bits — April 1-7

§ In a three-part interview with ICv2, Dynamite Entertainment CEO Nick Barrucci was his usual talkative self::

Going back to where I see the market going, I see it just like the periodical market. Everyone is going to have to make harder decisions about which projects become a trade paperback or hardcover collection. I will tell you there are series that we are doing that we are not collecting in trade paperback or hardcover as quickly as we have been. We’re pushing some back because not everything should be a trade paperback or a hardcover. I think that way of thinking needs to go away. If there’s something compelling that you feel that a new audience would be interested in as a trade paperback or hardcover then you do that, or if there’s a strong audience existing, but just doing it to do it should go the way of the dinosaurs as this point.


In Part 2 and Part 3 Barrucci covers more of the industry and Dynamite’s output, including the admission that in 2010 they put out too many Green Hornet books. Lessons learned.

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§ Also via ICv2 news that NBM/Papercutz has sold 350,000 copies of the Geronimo Stilton graphic novels. The print version has sold 12 million for Scholastic. For those not familiar with the series, it involves a cute mouse professor who goes around learning things and having adventures. Like many popular children’s books, it was originally printed in Italy.

§ Beau Smith rounds up some realities for retailers.

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§ Does the LA Times’ Geoff Boucher do nothing but run around having idyllic afternoons with famous creators and then write up what they said? This time out, he profiles Moebius who hasn’t been heard from too much in the US in recent years. The great French cartoonist, now 72, mentions that failing eyesight has impacted his productivity. The interview is filled with great quotes:

“They said that I changed their life,” Giraud whispered in amazement. “‘You changed my life.’ ‘Your work is why I became an artist.’ Oh, it makes me happy. But you know at same time I have an internal broom to clean it all up. It can be dangerous to believe it. Someone wrote, ‘Moebius is a legendary artist.’ I put a frame around me. A legend — now I am like a unicorn.”

§ BTW, it’s one of the great mysteries of current comics as to why there isn’t more Moebius in print in the US. He doesn’t even have a US publisher at present. We’re told that several publishers have tried, but negotiations always break down for this or that reason, which is unfortunate.

§ From WonderCon: A report on the panel spotlighting the non-fiction series Comics for Social Justice

§ If you could read Italian, you would doubtless find this blog for the Bilbolbul festival in Bologna very informative.

§ Inappropriate PR department: after drafting our report on how the Village Voice now pays cartoonists in exposure instead of cash, we were amused to get this PR:

Wanted to make sure you saw this week’s edition of The Village Voice: The Comics Issue. With book stores still well stocked with comic books/graphic novels and Hollywood continuing to roll out the next blockbuster hit based on your favorite comic character (dare we mention Broadway?), this week’s feature focuses on the current state of cartooning.

What is truly amazing is that The Voice worked with 30 contributing artists to supplement the entire issue with hilarious comic frames, interesting graphics and unique images to create an impressive visual publication. It’s a really fun issue – check out the links below to get the full experience.


Fun is the one thing that money can’t buy.

§ The Hero Initiative has provided two updates on recent health issues for cartoonists for whom they were providing assistance. Following knee surgery, Russ Heath has regained a lot of mobility.

Russ Heath is BLOWING UP the recovery curve after his knee replacement surgery. He was out of the rehab facility eight days after the operation, even though 14 days was expected. He has the (hopefully!) final appointment with the aftercare specialist today.

Meanwhile, artist Josh Medors has been battling terminal cancer for more than two years, and he’s still battling and drawing.

“It turns out Josh’s white blood cell counts were two one-hundredths of a point away from being too low to continue chemo. We’re working on getting those back up. In the meantime, his body is having a tough time fighting off infections due to this. He is fighting a bit of a cold, but he is keeping his spirits up. He has been drawing like crazy! It seems he is either sleeping or drawing all the time lately. It is really nice to see him drawing again!”

Speaking of Josh drawing, we’ll have some news on a cover gig for Josh and a great product tie-in as well coming soon. Eyes open.

§ A nice little MoCCA preview from the local am:NY website.