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Comics Feature

Consider Your Options

City Paper's Seventh Annual Comics Contest

Daniel Krall

Comics Issue 2008

Consider Your Options City Paper's Seventh Annual Comics Contest

Important Comics First Place, City Paper 2008 Comics Contest | By Dina Kelberman

Berd Second Place, City Paper 2008 Comics Contest | By Penny Sulzbach

Hikikomori Satori Third Place, City Paper 2008 Comics Contest | By Kyle McLean and Ryan Dumas

Moldy Cheese Bin Honorable Mention, City Paper 2008 Comics Contest | By Marc Crisafulli

The Rest Submissions to City Paper's 2008 Comics Contest

Open Secret Closed Caption Comics Creators Gaining Local Notice Just as Some Are Leaving Town | By Violet LeVoit

War Profits New Biography Reveals WWII's Toll On Willie & Joe Cartoonist Bill Mauldin | By Christopher Skokna

Ten Jobs I Have Known | By Eamon Espey

Posted 9/10/2008

For young creative types, updating a web comic or screen-printing a few hundred minicomics is now as common as self-publishing a poetry-filled chapbook or knitting an afghan (oh, wait) once was. Cartooning is just another option on the cultural menu. In this City Paper Comics Issue, Violet Glaze checks in with a collective, of sorts, of Maryland Institute College of Art students who have released seven volumes so far of their Closed Captioned Comics anthology. But for most of them--painters, illustrators, sculptors, etc.--comics is a secondary form, something done for fun.

For U.S. Army infantryman Bill Mauldin, however, his World War II-set Willie and Joe cartoons were a matter of survival. And he learned on the fly how to make them, as the Italian front was not exactly filled with well-stocked art supply stores and sympathetic print shops. Christopher Skokna talks to Todd DePastino, the author of a recent Mauldin biography and the editor of a set of the cartoonist's WWII-era work.

Cartooning, for Mauldin at least, can pay very well, but not for most, and local artist Eamon Espey rounds out our Comics Issue features by revealing 10 jobs that have kept a roof over his head. And the Comics Issue breaks into the Arts and Entertainment section, where Lulu Eightball's Emily Flake peruses a few how-to books by world-class cartoonists--Lynda Barry, Will Eisner, and Scott McCloud--but for just about anyone who cares to pick up a pencil and start drawing.

This year's Comics Contest provided a bit of a challenge for our judges-- Miriam DesHarnais, who runs the zine library at the Cockeysville branch of the Baltimore County Public Library, and City Paper staffers Chris Landers and Christopher Skokna--who had to run their top four picks by some of the rest of the editorial staff to figure out a winner. It was that close. The runner-up among that bunch of four is Moldy Cheese Bin, by Marc Crisafulli of Baldwin, who receives our admiration but no prize.

Coming in third place--and winning $50--is Hikikomori Satori, by Kyle McLean and Ryan Dumas of Baltimore. "'Hikkomori,' as I've just Googled, is a condition where the outside world is shunned, which, like this comic, is interesting and also fairly obscure," Landers says. "I'm a sucker for characters and a story, and I can see this one going somewhere interesting if it doesn't get too clever for its own good." And Berd, by Penny Sulzbach of Forest Hill, takes second, and she wins $100 for her efforts. "Smart, dry, and not afraid to be cute, Berd is reminiscent of Peanuts without imitating it," DesHarnais says. "Little twists add to the charm."

And 2008's winner--it gets a year's run in City Paper, with pay--is Important Comics, by Dina Kelberman of Baltimore. DesHarnais comments, "Yeah, it's pretty simple looking, but the characters have a lot of expression for just being shapes, plus there's a willingness to experiment." Skokna says, "While I expect a lot of people to disagree with this choice--it's pretty arty, and not your typical humor comic--it adds up panel to panel, week to week, like math, to something very cool."

As for the other entrants, find many of them here.

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Related by keywords

Ten Jobs I Have Known in Comics Feature 9/10/2008

War Profits : New Biography Reveals WWII's Toll On Willie & Joe Cartoonist Bill Mauldin 9/10/2008

Open Secret : Closed Caption Comics Creators Gaining Local Notice Just as Some Are Leaving Town 9/10/2008

The Rest : Submissions to City Paper's 2008 Comics Contest 9/10/2008

Moldy Cheese Bin : Honorable Mention, City Paper 2008 Comics Contest 9/10/2008

Hikikomori Satori : Third Place, City Paper 2008 Comics Contest 9/10/2008

Berd : Second Place, City Paper 2008 Comics Contest 9/10/2008

Important Comics : First Place, City Paper 2008 Comics Contest 9/10/2008

Drawing Blood : Lulu Eightball's Creator Sits Down With Instructional Tomes On How to Bring Comics to Life 9/10/2008

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