“Kid Code” and “Malice in Ovenland”: Rosarium Publishing Mixes and Remixes It Up

Here’s another post from the “Elkhart Truth” archives, originally published February 2015. The fourth and concluding issue of “Malice in Ovenland” has since been released, in August 2016. “Kid Code” is still on issue one, but Damian Duffy and John Jennings have been busy with other projects, most notably a graphic novel version of Octavia Butler’s classic science-fiction novel “Kindred.”

Even more exciting, especially for my Goshen readers, keep an eye out for a visit from Rosarium Comics’s Bill Campbell on March 13, 2018. Campbell will be visiting Goshen College as part of the English Department’s S.A. Yoder lecture series.

Disclosure statement: Rosarium provided me with free access to their comics titles.








Being raised in an all-white community in the United States during the 1970s and ‘80s, I often felt like I was imprisoned in the “Land of Can’t,” says Bill Campbell, founder of Rosarium Publishing, in his testimonial for the Comics Empower Project. He cites his mother as one influence who helped him dismiss negative messages about being black. The other was comic books, which gave him “the chance to explore a world, ever so briefly, where fantastical things such as flying were possible, a world where the Land of Can’t could never be found on the map.” Continue reading ““Kid Code” and “Malice in Ovenland”: Rosarium Publishing Mixes and Remixes It Up”

“The Juggler of Our Lady,” by R. O. Blechman

Another lost post from the Elkhart Truth archives: this is one of my favorites. Check out the video links at the bottom if you don’t have time to read the whole thing. Enjoy your holidays, all, and stay tuned for more reviews in 2018!

Thanks to Better World Books, 215 S. Main St. in Goshen, for providing me with books to review. You can find all of the books I review at the store.

When veteran animator and illustrator R.O. Blechman graduated from high school, his art teacher refused to write him a recommendation.  As Blechman told Jeet Heer in a 2011 interview in “The Comics Journal,” “She basically said ‘Look, I can’t say anything good about you, and I won’t say anything bad about you so I won’t say anything.’”

Blechman and his now-signature wobbly lines probably didn’t translate very well to traditional high school art assignments. Fortunately, his professors at Oberlin College encouraged him to develop his own style, however idiosyncratic. When he graduated and got his first break—to write a Christmas story for the publisher Henry Holt—he chose a simple story to match his simple illustrations, and drew up a manuscript in a single night. Continue reading ““The Juggler of Our Lady,” by R. O. Blechman”

Intrigue! Romance! History! ‘The Property’ by Rutu Modan

Originally published on GoshenCommons.org March 17, 2014



Author photo by Dominika Leclawek, from npr.org.

Last post I reviewed “The Great War,” by comics journalism pioneer Joe Sacco. Turns out that Sacco, most famous for “Palestine,” his first-person exploration of the history of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, interviewed this week’s author, Rutu Modan, back in 2008. Modan, well-known in her home country of Israel and rapidly gaining broader recognition, had just released her Eisner Award-winning book “Exit Wounds.” Continue reading “Intrigue! Romance! History! ‘The Property’ by Rutu Modan”