Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

A Couple of Signal Boosts

Just stuff I think you should know about.

First of all, comics artist Craig Hamilton could use your help.

Craig Hamilton, for those who don’t know, is the guy that drew the 1986 Aquaman.

Or, as I usually put it, “the best Aquaman.”

It’s criminal that DC has collected so many other Aquaman runs and somehow keeps ignoring this one. It was wonderful. First time Ocean Master really felt like a threat.

His Aquaman alone would be enough to put Mr. Hamilton in the top tier of comics talent, but he’s done lots of other stuff too.

And now he’s in trouble. Mr. Hamilton took a bad fall and shattered his right ankle. It’s going to require some serious surgery and, like most freelancers, he doesn’t have adequate insurance for this kind of medical disaster.

His friend and partner, writer Nancy Collins, has put together a GoFundMe for him. Details here.

We kicked in a few bucks. (I figured being the artist on my favorite Aquaman ever was enough to rate a donation from our household, apart from the fact that comics are a family for us and family helps out, or it’s supposed to, anyway.) I hope you can too.

Here’s one more Hamilton piece just because.

And, speaking of comics and family, here’s another item that I wanted to let you know about. I’m currently on a hiatus from teaching because the pandemic blew a giant hole through the AfterSchool Arts program, but that doesn’t mean ‘our kids’ aren’t still keeping in touch and doing projects. Like this one.

Lonn was one of the most talented kids I ever had. They were in my class at Aki Kurose, a little over a decade ago.

In the years since, they went on to get a degree from Cornish College of the Arts where they studied under Ellen Forney (It will never not delight me that when we were at an event at Cornish, Ellen had no idea who I was, despite our doing a panel together at the Seattle Public Library a few years ago, but she knew Lonn’s name instantly. Lonn made all their teachers proud.) Here’s Julie and Lonn together at graduation.

These days Lonn’s come out as queer and continues to do comics about the struggle to figure out one’s personal identity. This is the latest, done as part of an arts exhibit about the Vietnamese experience. Here is the description…

I’m Vietnamese But I Don’t Know How To Speak It

In 2020, Friends of Little Saigon from Seattle, WA hosted their first art exhibit to celebrate the success of opening a community space. They asked artists who identify as Vietnamese Americans to share their diverse perspectives and experiences of what OWNING IT means to them.

The comic I’ve submitted shares a personal story about my relationship to the Vietnamese language. A journey from being content with only understanding Viet, the strong desire to learn, feeling left out and being shamed, and finally meeting a compassionate stranger at a bus stop who left a lasting impression. It inspired me to OWN the fact that it’s okay I can’t speak it, but I can always learn and should never feel ashamed.

HUGE thanks to Friends of Little Saigon for hosting this exhibit! I encourage anyone who felt inspired to share their story in any shape or form.

It’s available as a pay-what-you-will downloadable PDF, here. I hope you’ll check it out.


And there you go. Desperately trying to get back on schedule here, so I’m hoping to be back next week with something cool from the Shelf of Shame– a very deep dive into comics culture that I hope you’ll find as fascinating as I did. See you then.


  1. Thanks for pointing out Lonn’s work. That was a really sharp little comic — honest and straightforward, with deceptively simple artwork that carries a lot of emotion. As someone who took 4 years of German in high school without learning a damned thing, I could relate that that part of their struggle. But of course, the stigma of not speaking one’s own “native” tongue is something else all together, and that came across very powerfully.

    1. Thanks for stepping up. I’ll spare you the rant about how it shouldn’t be necessary in a civilized country.

      People helped us when it was our turn…. And it was overwhelmingly the comics community. Church just clucked a little but comics fandom (spearheaded by our own Jim MacQuarrie) put together the equivalent of the Labor Day telethon for MS in hours. We were out of the woods in a week. We’ve never forgotten that and we’ve always done what we can in the times since then. Sure, it’s about being a good human too, but… these are OUR humans, you know?

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