Reading Eagle’s Craig Schaffer featured in ‘Cartoon Picayune’ comic

Heads up, comics fans. Here’s something you might want to add to your collection.


That’s issue 7 of the Cartoon Picayune, which is being released today.

Craig Schaffer of the Reading (Pa.) Eagle tells us that the comic book…

…will be available to order at, on the comixology app and at a few select comic book stores. It’s a non-fiction comic by news illustrators. Issues cost $4.

Craig took the time to answer a few questions for us:

Q. What more can you tell me about the work you did for this issue? Did you write and draw it, or just draw it?

A. I tried to answer the question “Why is there a pagoda on the mountain overlooking Reading?” I’m not originally from here and didn’t know the answer to that question. It’s a unique symbol of our community.


Q. How many pages is this story you illustrated?

A. It’s only 2 pages and got picked up for the issue after I had completed it and Josh Kramer [the comic's editor] learned of my work. Normally, they use 10-page stories.

Q. How long have you been working on this?

A. I wrote and illustrated mine in about two weeks.

I tweeted it to some other comic creators who inspired me from a book called Syncopated and they directed me to Josh. Issue #7 has a “chance” theme. I’ve never seen a copy in person. This is my first.


Q. What do you use? Markers? Pens? Bush-n-ink? Wacom tablet?

A. I use pen and ink, sometimes a brush, then a wacom tablet and Photoshop to color. I letter the page in illustrator.

A 1998 graduate of the Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Mass., Craig spent several years as an archaeological illustrator before joining the Intelligencer of Doylestown, Pa.


He moved to the Reading Eagle in 2005. He creates a weekly graphic for the Eagle‘s business section. Find a gallery of his Snapshot work here.


Yeah, that one is about famed book designer Chipp Kidd. Read more about that piece here.

For a while, Craig also produced a “hand-drawn nature column” called Sketchbook that appeared every Wednesday in the Eagle‘s Berks Country section. Find his Sketchbook gallery here.

Find Craig’s online portfolio here and his blog here. Find his Twitter feed here.

Order a copy of Cartoon Picayune No. 7 here.

Longtime WaPo designer moving to Beijing Weekly magazine

Longtime Washington Post visual journalist Pamela Tobey will depart this week for a new adventure.


She posted recently on social media:

I will start a visuals position at Beijing Weekly magazine in Beijing.

It’s an English-language news weekly and I will be in the visuals group, participating in design, graphics training and creating graphics. Their print edition goes to many diplomats and business people, and they have a monthly Africa edition, ChinaAfrique, in French and English.

It will be a challenging and exciting year in Beijing. Especially with being in a Chinese business, so I will need to also learn the office culture, which is different than here. I should also add that the magazine is a part of the China International Publishing Group, founded in 1949, and Beijing Review began publishing in English in 1958.

She received her visa Friday and is scheduled to depart D.C. tomorrow.

A 1981 graduate of Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, Pam spent a year as a reporter and artist for the Beaumont Enterprise-Journal and then two more years at the Austin American-Statesman before moving to the Post in 1984. In addition, she wrote and illustrated for Fashion Doll Quarterly magazine.

Pam left the Post in November after 30 years. Find her Twitter feed here.

Birthdays for Tuesday, April 21

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to three excellent visual journalists…


Jose Enriquez is assistant presentation editor/delivery desk chief for the Victoria (Texas) Advocate. A 2012 graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, Jose worked on the student paper there, the Shorthorn. He started out as a copy editor, moved up to page designer and design editor and finished up as managing editor for print. He served an internship on the copy desk of the Dallas Morning News and then spent a year as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise before joining the Advocate a year ago. Find Jose’s Twitter feed here.


Kurt Helland is the former assistant news editor of the Des Moines Register. A 1983 graduate of Iowa State University, Kurt spent two years as a copy editor at the Owensboro (Ky.) Messenger-Inquirer before moving to Des Moines in 1999. After 29.5 years, Kurt’s position was eliminated last fall by Gannett. Kurt turns 55 today.


Warren Taylor is a freelance photographer in Des Moines, Iowa. A 1970 graduate of Drake University in Des Moines, Warren spent 38 years as a photographer, picture editor and director of photography for the Register. He retired in 2008.

Jose, Kurt and Warren share a birthday with actors Rosalie Anderson Andie MacDowell, Anthony Salvatore Iadanza (better known as Tony Danza), James McAvoy, Charles Grodin, Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca (better known as Anthony Quinn); musician Robert James Smith (of the Cure), James Newell “Jim” Osterberg Jr. (better known as Iggy Pop); sports greats Edward John “Ed” Belfour (hockey), Carnell Lamar “Cadillac” Williams and Antonio Ramiro “Tony” Romo (both football); naturalist John Muir; novelist Charlotte Bronté; comic book artist Michael Layne Turner; U.S. Congressman Gary Adrian Condit; Johan Anthoniszoon “Jan” van Riebeeck, the founder of Cape Town, South Africa; Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, the Queen of England and HLN Morning Express anchor Robin Meade.

In addition, today is Kindergarten Day, Bulldogs are Beautiful Day and National Surprise Drug Test Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, you three! Have a wonderful birthday today!

Behind that cool illustration afront Sunday’s KC Star

Charles Gooch, A1 designer for the Kansas City Star, took time Sunday to tell us about his paper’s big presentation on domestic terrorism.

He tells us:

I really liked the way that the whole package came together.

The story itself was a nearly year-long enterprise project by Judy Thomas that started after a tragic shooting spree at the Johnson County Jewish Community Center by white supremacist F. Glenn Miller in 2014.

Sunday was day one of the series (it will conclude next Sunday) and dealt mainly with how, 20 years after the Oklahoma City bombings, federal authorities have failed to prevent recent attacks from domestic extremists and how the threat from those sort of attacks is growing.

The cover itself came out of a series of sketches by the great Hector Casanova, who singled in on the concept of terror groups “metastasizing” inside of the U.S. like cancer cells would inside of a person.


The concept of his watercolor illo of blue and red cells making up an American flag growing and fighting paired well with the project title “Ignoring the terror within.”

As for the page itself, Mike Fannin (our editor) and Greg Branson (AME of presentation and innovation) had been planning on going big with this from the beginning. (After all, the story and its sidebars fill five full inside pages.)

Once Hector’s illustration started coming together, we realized that we’d need the entire width of our page (and most of the depth) to do it justice. The scope and feel of the page (and inside as well) is definitely a departure from our norm. We felt it was a story that commanded the attention of the readers and deserved a visual approach that could push that idea forward.

Here are the inside jump pages 16 and 17. Click for a larger, readable view:


Here are pages 18 and 19:


Page 20 shows the 52 people killed by domestic terrorism in the U.S. since 9/11.


As the intro copy notes, this does not include victims of the Boston bombings or the shootings at Fort Hood. The FBI does not consider “copycat” incidents such as these to be true terrorism.

Charles adds:

In addition to the print component, there’s also a very nice digital build that was put together by our programmer Jay Pilgreen.


A 1998 graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, Hector Casanova spent six years as an artist for the Star. He left in 2005 to work as a comics artist, an art gallery director and an instructor at his alma mater.

He returned to the Star in 2008 but continued to handle freelance assignments for clients such as Sprint, Andrews & McNeel, Scholastic Books, MTV and Coca-Cola.

Hector has drawn two graphic novels: The Lurkers (in 2006 with writer Steve Niles) and Screamland (in 2008 with writer Harold Sipe).

A few samples of his work from my collection:





Find Hector’s portfolio site here and his Facebook fan page here. Find an extensive Q&A with him here.

Average daily circulation for the Kansas City Star is 200,365.

This week is ‘tornado week’ for Advance’s Alabama papers

We’re coming up soon on the fourth anniversary of the gigantic tornado outbreak that killed 254 people in Alabama.

The Huntsville area was hit particularly hard that day. The Huntsville Times observed the anniversary with an enormous package and spectacular front-page illustration Sunday.

Click this for a larger look:


The Alabama News Group’s director of publications Jeff Glick tells us:

The design was a collaboration between me and Rick Frennea and it appears in both Huntsville and Birmingham.


Alabama actually holds the record as the state with most tornado-related deaths and the most F/EF5 tornadoes. So just as hurricane season is a big deal for coastal states – tornadoes are a big deal in Alabama.

Our goal was to take a “Shark Week” approach to the topic and the content and elevate the presentation to inform our readers in print and online. As well as our new digital edition (we’re now a 7-day publication on tablet and smartphone.)

We partnered with a very well-known meteorologist in the southeast that’s known for severe weather forecasting.

The first inside jump page is led with a file shot of damage from an EF5 tornado that struck Rainsville, Ala., nearly four years ago.


Much of the rest of the page is taken up by interesting stats and figures about giant EF5 storms, including what parts of the state are most likely to be hit.

The facing page contains a map showing EF5 storms across the state since 1966.


The “Tornado week” theme carries through to the opinion page, where the paper calls on the state government to offer tax incentives for building storm shelters.


Jeff writes:

So Tornado Week will own the paper for this week.

Find all the stories online here.

Also, we have a five-parter on the anniversary of the Gulf oil spill. That started on Friday.

Find those stories here.