by Tim Regan February 4, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

Magic Bullet spread

Need something to read? The latest issue of D.C.’s free comic book newspaper, Magic Bullet, is out.

Inside the book, readers will find one-page comics and illustrations from dozens of locally sourced contributors, all organized and edited by small press comic book collective DC Conspiracy. This is the semi-annual newspaper’s 12th issue since it launched in 2010.

Here’s where to find new issues, sorted by the neighborhoods where they’re distributed: (more…)

by Tim Regan July 29, 2015 at 4:30 pm 0

Magic Bullet, Image via Upshur Books

Borderstan residents can now pick up a copy of the latest issue of D.C.’s free comic book newspaper, Magic Bullet.

The paper is organized and edited by small press comic book collective DC Conspiracy and features one-page comics and illustrations from dozens of locally sourced contributors.

This is the semi-annual newspaper’s 11th issue since it was created in 2010.

Copies can be found at the following Borderstan-area locations:

Adams Morgan

  • Crooked Beat Records (2116 18th Street NW)
  • Idle Time Books (2467 18th Street Northwest)
  • Red Onion Records (1901 18th Street NW)
  • Smash Records (2314 18th Street NW, 2nd Floor)
  • Songbyrd (2475 18th Street NW)
  • The Potter’s House (1658 Columbia Road NW)
  • Tryst (2459 18th Street NW)

Columbia Heights

  • Coffy Cafe (3310 14th Street NW)
  • Flying Fish Coffee and Tea (3064 Mt Pleasant Street NW)
  • Palace 5ive (2216 14th Street NW)
  • The Coupe (3415 11th Street NW)
  • Blind Dog Cafe (944 Florida Avenue NW)*

Dupont Circle

  • Fantom Comics (2010 P Street NW)

Logan Circle

  • Miss Pixie’s (1626 14th Street NW)
  • Peregrine Espresso (1718 14th Street NW)
  • Som Records (1843 14th Street NW)*
  • The Coffee Bar (1201 S Street NW)*

Petworth

  • Upshur Books (827 Upshur Street NW)

U Street

  • Ben’s Chili Bowl (1213 U Street NW)
  • Big Planet Comics (1520 U Street NW)
  • Joint Custody (1530 U Street NW)

Image via Upshur Street Books

*Denotes a business that was lumped in with its closest neighborhood for clarity

by Jared Holt July 6, 2015 at 4:00 pm 1 Comment

Joel Pollack Big Planet Comics

Big Planet Comics founder Joel Pollack loves to be compared to Jeff Albertson, the comic book guy from the Simpsons.

“Oh, you mean my idol,” he says with a laugh.

But in many ways, Pollack, who opened the first Big Planet Comics location in Bethesda 29 years ago, has surpassed his role model.

Since founding the company’s first shop, the 65-year-old comic seller has grown the company to include its own in-house publishing company and four locations — one of which resides in the upstairs space at 1520 U Street NW.

That store, along with its sister locations in Bethesda, Vienna and College Park, celebrated the company’s 29th birthday last weekend with a big sale.

Over the years, Pollack says his clientele has changed.

Though comic collecting was once thought of as the chosen hobby of basement dwellers, its appeal has grown to include businesspeople, educators and families.

“I’ve had many parents come in and thank me for getting their kids interested in reading again,” says Pollack.

When will Pollack stop selling comics? That’s debatable. But he adds the shop is doing so well that it might just outlive him.

“I still have people shopping with me from day one,” says Pollack. “I wish I was as healthy as the business.”

Image via Big Planet Comics’ Facebook Page

by Tim Regan June 1, 2015 at 10:30 am 0

Caped crusaders, local artists, and a smattering of celebrities packed the Walter E. Washington convention for Awesome Con last Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Ask one of the self-proclaimed geeks in attendance and they’ll all probably say the same thing: It was, well, awesome.

For many, the convention was a rare chance to embody a favorite character. Shaw and Foggy Bottom residents Andy Hill and Aaron Roenthal showed up as Street Fighter characters Guile and Zangief. Carlie Anne Peña, who lives in Columbia Heights, dressed as Jubilee from the X-Men.

“It’s my midlife crisis,” says Rich Willet from Sterling, Va. “Instead of buying a corvette, I bought a bat suit.”

For Matt Klokel, owner of Fantom Comics in Dupont Circle, Awesome Con is a yearly pilgrimage. “You can’t be a priest in the Catholic church and, when the pope comes to down, say, ‘eh, I’ll catch him later,'” he says. “This is why I got into comics. I love conventions.”

Local cartoonists Carolyn Belefski and Theresa Logan exhibited their work in artist alley. “It’s important to be here if you’re a D.C. area creator,” says Belefski, who illustrates and writes the webcomic Curls. “D.C. has a comic presence and it’s building heavily. Thanks to Awesome Con, we can have a bigger presence.”

“And it keeps growing,” adds Logan. “There are so many different cartoonists, comic artists, sequential artists here.”

But it wasn’t just comic book artists that showed up. One of the more heavily frequented booths belonged to the upcoming Museum of Science Fiction, where exhibitors set up an Oculus Rift so attendees could preview the museum in 3-D virtual reality.

“It’s D.C.’s Comic-Con,” says Museum of Science Fictions executive director, Greg Viggiano. “There is definitely a component of the museum that has a Comic-Con quality to it. On that basis, it’s pretty important that we be here.”

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