Cleanup on Aisle 2023 (News Roundup)

Dave Blazek, Paul Kirchner, Michael de Adder, Chris Britt, Leigh Rubin, Randall Enos, Jerry Craft, Dan Piraro, Dan McConnell, and a couple more are featured in some reports that due to a hectic holiday schedule, were undeservedly not featured here. So before this month and year is ushered out…

The Wenatchee World reports local cartoonist Dan McConnell is contributing editorial cartoons to Counterpoint:


Dan McConnell, of Cashmere, recently started drawing cartoons for His cartoons will be used to pit liberal cartoons against conservative cartoons. McConnell is working with Amy Lago. Lago will write and McConnell will draw.

While he is working with Amy Lago who is Counterpoint editor, his cartoon collaborator seems to be Andy Cowan.


The Daily Cartoonist wasn’t the only site that has had troubles lately. Dan Piraro reports:

My Peyote Cowboy site, where I post new episodes of my graphic novel, is finally repaired, rebuilt, and functioning after a two-week hiatus. To celebrate, I’ve posted a new episode! “One Quick Question” is available to read here and now… [link added]

Peyote Cowboy by Diego Piraro is archived here.


Comics and graphic novels have been the flashpoint of culture wars since the 1950s, but with the 2024 election right around the corner, efforts to ban and censor controversial content really kicked into high gear this past year. Groups like PEN America, the American Library Association, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund have tracked a huge uptick in the number of titles under scrutiny at schools and libraries around the country, including some of the most highly-acclaimed works in the medium.

Rob Salkowitz reports for Forbes on attempts to keep books out of the hands of the public.

Even Jerry Craft’s Newbury Award winning New Kid (Quill Tree Books, 2019), a warm-hearted depiction of the experiences of a Black tween attending a mostly white suburban school, has been challenged in some school districts in Texas, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, for discussing issues of race in contemporary America in contravention of recently enacted bans on “critical race theory.”

Sidebar – Banning books is bad for the public but the publicity is good for the authors pocketbook.

From School Library Journal:

“When a book finds itself at the top of a national news story because it has received a challenge, sales go up,” says Kristen McLean, an NPD analyst. “But that doesn’t translate into an overall sales boost for other banned books.”


“Those Damn Pictures”

The Portland Press Herald got a letter about Randall Enos:

The political cartoon by Randall Enos on the Dec. 16 editorial page was incredibly offensive – a person in clown suit saying: “How did you know I was Republican?” to a person in a business suit. Contempt for the opposing party is the ground from which, when watered and fertilized by this sort of public remark, grows hatred and subsequent justification of violence…


Leigh Rubin, the “Rubes” cartoonist who got his start in the Antelope Valley Press, is going on 40 years in publication

The Antelope Valley Press profiles their homemade cartoonist Leigh Rubin and reviews his new book.

Rubin, an award-winning panel cartoonist whose first newspaper success was with the Valley Press, is the author of a new book, “Think Like a Cartoonist — A Celebration of Humor and Creativity.” The longtime Antelope Valley resident now lives on the Central Coast of California.

The “author byline” for the cartoonist’s book is actually “By Leigh Rubin and Friends,” and some of the creative personalities who contributed to the book include former editors and columnists William P. “Bill” Warford, Linda Warner, and Steve Hendrickson, and longtime Antelope Valley author and publishing consultant Robin Blakely.

The Topeka Capitol Journal spotlights some of those Topeka area friends.

One day, an unanticipated holdup posed a dire risk of terrorist attack upon [Roger] Aeschliman’s convoy, which happened to include then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

“Bullet-Sponges and Passwords,” Aeschliman’s story about that, is among tales told in the latest book put out by Leigh Rubin

[Deb Goodrich’s] story in Rubin’s book tells of two potential other-worldly experiences she had in Topeka that may have involved the spirit of prominent early Topekan and spiritualist Franklin Crane, who died in 1884.

Goodrich humorously sums up her message as being “Don’t let a little thing like death get in the way of making new friends.”


The Fangdellas is a new middle-grade graphic novel by political cartoonist Chris Britt, about the adventures of a multigenerational vampire family whose comfortable castle life is turned upside down when their son hurls insults at a few of the most famous monsters of all time. So we are also talking a class-conscious comedy it seems.

Jill Davis at Hippo Park has bought world rights to The Fangdellas graphic novel, and publication is slated for the autumn of 2026. Chris Britt’s agent, Timothy Travaglini at Transatlantic Agency, negotiated the deal.

Rich Johnston at Bleeding Cool reports on Chris Britt creating a new book.


Michael de Adder honored with appointment to the Order of Canada!

New appointments to the coveted Order of Canada(opens in a new tab) were announced Thursday and Maritime editorial cartoonist Michael de Adder was among the 78 people who made the list(opens in a new tab).

De Adder, originally from Riverview, N.B., says he has received quite a few awards during his career, but the Order of Canada “is on another level.”

“I feel incredibly proud, incredibly honoured,” he told CTV Atlantic. “Whenever cartooning is honoured these days, it’s a huge honour.”

De Adder’s work is featured in various publications, such as The Chronicle Herald, the Toronto Star and The Washington Post.

CTV News reports with a three minute segment and an accompanying transcript.


Says Brad Balfour:

I landed an editorial gig at Heavy Metal — the fantastic magazine built around a vast library of French and European graphic art stories. But it broadened itself beyond the foreign stuff by also drawing on art out of the National Lampoon camp and other hipster publications. One of those artists I got introduced to was Paul Kirchner who had created the Dope Rider for High Times and the strip “The Bus” for Heavy Metal. He penciled stories for DC’s horror line and wrote and illustrated occasional short features for Marvel’s Epic Illustrated. He illustrated the graphic novel “Murder By Remote Control.”

Brad recently interviewed Paul Kirchner for Times Square Chronicles.

PK: I have two ongoing projects, Dope Rider and “the bus.” I spend most of my time on Dope Rider, because it appears every month in High Times magazine and I have to meet a deadline. Also, they pay me for it, and the two most motivating things for a cartoonist are a deadline and a paycheck, and for an alternative cartoonist to actually get paid nowadays is almost unheard of.


And finally my favorite Old Year’s/New Year’s comic from Dave Blazek’s Loose Parts: