Saturday, December 8, 2012


Greg Hatcher writes for the “Comics Should Be Good” department of
Comic Book Resources. Involved in cartooning programs at Madison
and Aki Kurose Middle Schools, Greg sent two publications from the
YMCA of Greater Seattle..  If he sent a cover letter with these two
magazines, it disappeared into the office of a blogger who has the
organizational skills of a howler monkey.

Hatcher is the editor of Doodle Inc. The Cartooning Class Reunion
[March 2011; $5].  This 68-page, black-and-white magazine
features the work of several young cartoonists and the quality of
their work is remarkable.  All stories and art are copyrighted to
their respective creators.

“Sailor Spiderman & Tuxedo Batman” by Brianna Edwards is subtitled
“Comics and Me, a Love Story.” It’s the most accomplished of four
stories about cartooning, not surprising given that Edwards is now
an art teacher.  But there’s a wonderful enthusiasm to the pieces
by Aja Reb, Amanda Stephens and Katrina Varney, the mag’s assistant
editor.  I found myself smiling at Varney’s charming drawings and
her struggles with deadlines.

Rounding out the magazine are “Chef” by David Lloyd, an interesting
tale of chefs involved in international diplomacy and intrigue, and
a selection of pin-ups by cartooning class alumni who didn’t have
time to produce full strips.  

From the back cover...

Thank you!!! The proceeds from the sales of this book support not
just our own Cartooning programs at Madison and Aki Kurose Middle
Schools, but many other YMCA art and activity programs running in
partnership with the Seattle School District, including Drama,
Dance and Young Authors.

Drawn In [Spring 2012; no cover price listed], the second magazine,
was edited by Varney and features three long stories by Stephens,
Edwards and Alisha Dacus. 

In “One Wish” by Stephens, a lonely young man wishes upon a star.
He wishes for a friend and, the next morning, a friend he’s never
seen before shows up to walk to school with him.  While the art in
the story could use some refinement, the story’s heart carries it.

“Maneki Neko” is an exuberant cat story by Dacus, whose work didn’t
appear in the previous volume. It was fun stuff.

Edwards offers a long snippet of her webcomic “Faleria,” a fantasy
serial involving a dream world that becomes very real to the young
woman dreaming about it.  I’m not a big fantasy fan, but, as noted
earlier, Edwards is an accomplished artist.  I’d like to see a bit
more certainty of storytelling and visualizations of the creatures
feared but not seen.

Neither of these two magazines offers a clue as to how one might be
able to order them.  I’m hoping Greg chimes in with a comment that
provides that information.

More “October Surprise” reviews tomorrow.

© 2012 Tony Isabella


  1. Sorry about that, Tony-- there WAS a cover letter somewhere, I'm sure of it. It's vastly more likely that I forgot to put it in the envelope with the books than it is that you lost it.

    Those were our fundraiser books that we sell when we attend local shows; like PBS, we have premiums, and one of those go to anyone who kicks in five dollars to donation box we have on the table for the program. Ten dollars gets you both of them. We still have a few and we'll be at the Emerald City show in Seattle in March again this year, and also at the Olympia Comics Festival in the spring. Or you can get them directly from me by emailing me at hatcher (at), and I'll get you fixed up. Right now we can do Paypal, or you can mail a check; I keep TRYING to get an online portal set up for the school to take money for these things directly, but glaciers move faster than the school bureaucracy.

    I should add two things. The young people that did the work on those books are all graduates of the cartooning program I teach. They came back to do their old instructor a solid by contributing their work and their time for free for the "Doodle Inc." book. They had so much fun getting the band back together that they wanted to do it again, and that's where "Drawn In" came from. That one was the girls' own project but they gave us the back cover ad for free and also gifted me with about seventy-five books to sell as fundraisers. So they deserve credit not just for talent but also for niceness and decency.

    The second thing is that funds raised benefit ALL our after-school programs, not just Cartooning. There's also homework help and tutoring, dance, theater, and arts programs, and pretty much any sports program -- girls' volleyball, say, or track and field-- that's not football.

    Glad you liked the books, Tony, and we appreciate the press!

  2. These are the sort of books that I hoped that you would receive with your offer and review. They fall way beneath the radar of CBG and other reviewers, so it's nice to see these folks getting recognition.

    Looking forward to more of these in the next few months.