Saturday night I attended the opening reception for the Joe Bonham Project at the Pepco Gallery here in D.C. The group visits with wounded veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and they draw while the servicemen tell their stories. The show features works of illustration in different media from professional artists including The Cartoon Picayune's own Jess Ruliffson (seated, center).
Her story, Bethesda, in the current issue, is the direct result of her visits to Walter Reed and the only work in the exhibit in the form of comics. It was great to see the whole breadth of the exhibit, and the take in the diversity of styles and experiences.
Here, for example, is a drawing by Ray Alma, who visited with Michael at the same time Jess did. It was so interesting to see the same people portrayed by different artists, and the little bits of information scrawled on the page often added a lot of emotion and narrative to the portraits.
If you'll be in D.C. through the 30th, the gallery is open to the public from 12-4 Tuesday through Friday, at 702 Eighth Street NW, between G and H. Seriously, it's quick and not too overwhelming. Instead, it's powerful and engaging. I'm really proud of Jess' contribution, and pleased with the work the Project is doing and the broader conversation it is encouraging. You can support them here as well.
There's a new issue of The Cartoon Picayune on its way, and it has a theme: "Distress." That's not to say that reading it will prove to be a stressful experience, in fact, I think it's going to be a great issue! Just look at that cover by E. N. Rodriguez of The Illustrated Press. Let me take you through the stories you can expect to see when this comic debuts at SPX next month:
- Matt Diffee, a bonafide New Yorker Cartoonist, has this story about his experience at a Texas rattlesnake race. It previously appeared in Texas Monthly, and it's actually funny, which is something different. But that shouldn't be a surprise since Matt's a pretty funny cartoonist.
- My story "Derecho?" will be included.
- Darryl Holliday and E. N. Rodriguez are back with their story from this month's issue of The Progressive. It's a great insight into nuns protesting the deportation of undocumented workers. Did you know that those guys are making a real book and it's almost done? You're gonna wanna buy that.
- Colin Tedford, a real stand-up New Englander and organizer of The Trees & Hills Comics Group, has a story about Morris Dancers that you are really going to have to read to believe. I don't want to ruin anything, but it's kinda incredible. Here's some video of the group Colin's piece is about.
There you have it! It's going to be quite an issue. There is no way to pre-order, but subscribers will get their copies the soonest.