District Comics: An Unconventional History of Washington, DC

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Overview

District Comics is a graphic anthology featuring lesser-known stories about Washington, DC, from its earliest days as a rustic settlement along the swampy banks of the Potomac to the modern-day metropolis. Spanning 1794–2009, District Comics stops along the way for a duel, a drink in the Senate's speakeasy, a look into the punk scene, and much more.

Featuring stories by:

  • Scott O. Brown, award-winning man of comics and Harvey Award nominee
  • Chad Lambert, five-time Howard E. Day Memorial Prize finalist and writer for Kung Fu Panda and Megamind
  • Jim Ottaviani, creator of The New York Times bestseller Feynman
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"From Colonial-era Georgetown through Obama-era downtown, more than three dozen cartoonists weave a richly textured tapestry of the capital." —The Washington Post

"District Comics is already one of my all-time favorite graphic novels. Whether or not you read it in 2012, or plan to read it in 2013, it will most likely end up on your "favorites" list as well." —Katie's Korner: Graphic Novel Reviews for Schools and Libraries

"District Comics ... is one of the top graphic titles of the year for use in social studies classes." —School Library Journal

Winner of the 2013 Shel Dorf's Original Graphic Novel of the Year Award

Winner of the 2012 American Graphic Design Award

Finalist in the Best Anthology category from The Harvey Awards

2nd Place Winner in the Graphic Novel category for the 2014 SPACE Awards

Library Journal
All cities and neighborhoods have their hidden histories, fertile for storytelling. In rough chronological order, these 22 tales pick up on lesser-known moments and unique personalities from our nation's capital. Many are politics related, but the stories also touch on outsider art, baseball, a 1932 veterans demonstration, the bootlegger who supplied Congress during Prohibition, the early punk-rock scene, the Washington Metro, shoeshining, and police badges for the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. VERDICT Dembicki (ed., Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection) offers here enjoyable and insightful reading for teens and adults, in and out of the District. His work may even inspire equivalent gatherings from other locales (e.g., Harvey Pekar's Cleveland). The color art is uniformly good and varied, generally much better overall than in many such collections. A few stories don't quite come through—for example, the otherwise excellent "Karat" seems unfinished. Another concern: no sources are given, although any sizeable nonfiction work should include at least brief source notes or bibliography. There's anthropological and civic relevance here, too. But please, add source documentation.—M.C.
Kirkus Reviews
Editor Dembicki's (Trickster, 2010) latest collection is an anthology of illustrated stories and vignettes from Washington D.C.'s colorful past. Spanning the birth of the capital to 2009, this collection unearths vivid moments from the District's history. These moments include anecdotes, such as one about James Hampton's religious art made from garbage in Andrew Cohen's "Dark Was the Night," as well as deeper looks at specific moments in history. One such can be found in Rebecca Goldfield and Paul W. Zdepski's "Taps," an in-depth look at the bugle player from John F. Kennedy's funeral and at the mourning of the nation. The storytelling and art styles vary greatly, with stand-out uses of the graphic form found in Michael Rhode and Kevin Rechin's comical and cartoonish take on the Army Medical Museum ("Not Such a Collection as the Timid Would Care to Visit at Midnight") and in Peter S. Conrad's spy drama "Karat." While there is the occasional misstep--stories with too much exposition or not enough context--weaker pieces are easily compensated for by the more successful, such as Grant Jeffrey Barrus and Jacob Warrenfeltz's "Rolling Thunder," a tribute to Vietnam veterans told in a past/present narrative with dual, monochromatic palettes and a huge emotional punch. This anthology is marked by style consistently well matched to substance in a vast range of topics. A well-rounded collection of stories with something for everyone, sure to inspire readers to research the full history of their favorites. (editor's note, contributors) (Graphic historical fiction. 10 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555917517
  • Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/7/2012
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 296,949
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Matt Dembicki

Matt Dembicki, a member of the D.C. Conspiracy—a comics creators collective in the nation’s capital—previously edited and contributed to the Eisner-nominated and Aesop Prize–winning Trickster: Native American Tales, A Graphic Collection.

Scott O. Brown, the award-winning Man of Comics, has worked in the comics industry for more than 10 years as a writer, letterer, and publisher. He won an IP award for independent publishing while at Cyberosia, as well as a Harvey nomination and award for his lettering work on High Moon. Visit his website at manofcomics.com.

Writer/producer Rebecca Goldfield’s documentaries have been commissioned by National Geographic Television, Discovery Channel, PBS, the Smithsonian, and NPR, among others. Her short stories have appeared in the Potomac Review, and her upcoming graphic novel The Captive of Friendly Cove will be published by Fulcrum Publishing in 2014.

Chad Lambert is a five-time Howard E. Day Memorial Award finalist and two-time Champion City Award nominee for his work in small press comics. His writing credits include Kung Fu Panda and Megamind from Ape Entertainment, as well as the biography Saturday Night Live from Bluewater Comics.

Jim Ottaviani began writing comics about scientists in 1997 and has published nine graphic novels so far, with a few more in the pipeline. Feynman, his most recent book, with art by Leland Myrick, spent more than two months on the New York Times Best Seller List and was a 2012 Science Books & Film Prize Finalist from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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