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Dogging it with ‘Flo & Wendell Explore’

An illustration from William Wegman’s new children’s book “Flo & Wendell Explore.” William Wegman

Dogging it

It may be a bit chilly for camping but not for the brother and sister dogs who star in William Wegman’s new children’s book “Flo & Wendell Explore” (Dial). Wegman, whose Weimaraners have been integral to his career as an artist, combines photographs of his dogs with colorful paintings to tell the story of a camping adventure that unfolds close to home.

Independent Comics Expo

Fans of comics and graphic novels are invited to meet up with more than 150 cartoonists and writers exhibiting their work at the fifth annual Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE) next weekend. Handmade mini-comics and zines will be displayed alongside graphic novels from mainstream publishers.


Two books being highlighted at MICE typify its quirky and educational impulses. “SubCultures: A Comics Anthology” (Ninth Art), edited by Whit Taylor, showcases, among others, ham radio operators, homeschoolers, people preparing for the end of the world, belly dancers in Vermont, wristwatch fanatics, and comics nerds. “Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750” (Fulcrum), edited by Jason Rodriguez and created in partnership with the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Concord Museum, features tales about free thinkers, female business owners, Jewish settlers, and other little-known real-life characters.

MICE is a joint effort of the Boston Comics Roundable and the Art Institute at Lesley University, which hosts the expo at University Hall, 1815 Mass. Ave., Cambridge. Graphic novelists Paul Hornschemeier and Raina Telgemeier, former Vermont cartoonist laureate James Kolchaka, and Box Brown, creator of “Andre the Giant: Life and Legend” (First Second), are among the featured speakers. Sessions include a live drawing contest and panel discussions about business essentials and editing anthologies. Oct. 5 is Kids Comics Day. Details at www.micexpo.org.

Statue to honor Poe

Edgar Allan Poe is returning — in a manner of speaking — to a city he loathed. A bronze statue of the poet, papers flying out of his bag, a raven at his side, will be unveiled at the corner of Boylston and Charles streets on Sunday at 2 p.m. Former US poet laureate Robert Pinsky and a representative of Mayor Martin J. Walsh will address the gathering.


The weekend’s festivities will start at 1 p.m. Saturday when Paul Lewis, chairman of the Edgar Allan Poe Foundation, leads a walking tour of Poe’s Boston, beginning at 78 Charles St. The 90-minute tour will pass Poe’s birthplace and highlight the poet’s controversial appearance at the Boston Lyceum in 1845. On Sunday, a bevy of Poe fans will take to the stage at the Boston Park Plaza from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Speakers include Stefanie Rocknak, the sculptor who created the Poe statue, and novelist Matthew Pearl, author of “The Poe Shadow” (Random House). Space is limited at the Oct. 5 events.

Boston’s connections with Poe figures prominently in New Hampshire resident J.W. Ocker’s “Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe” (Countryman), being published in October. Ocker devotes a chapter each to Poe sites in Great Britain, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and five other states.

Coming out

 “Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America”

by Linda Tirado (Putnam)

 “John Marshall: The Chief Justice Who Saved the Nation” by Harlow Giles Unger (Da Capo)

 “Burn” By James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Little, Brown)

Pick of the week

Phil Wilcox of Tres Gatos in Jamaica Plain recommends “Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change” by George Marshall (Bloomsbury): “Through 42 breezy but thought-provoking (and surprisingly funny) chapters, Marshall, a founder of the Planet Outreach think tank, offers advice on confronting climate change head on, stepping away from Green Guilt, and putting potentially world-saving policies into action.”


Jan Gardner can be reached at JanLGardner @yahoo.com.