Thursday, July 30, 2009

Early Comics Published in Belgium: A New Blog by Pascal Lefèvre

Internationally regarded comics scholar/historian (and friend) Pascal Lefèvre has announced his new blog. I'll let him describe it, from his initial posting:
This is my research blog on Early Comics published in Belgium before Hergé's Tintin (1929). I've been browsing through Belgian periodicals and popular prints for the last five years and found already scores of examples, but most of them are reprints and translations from abroad. So, this blog will be mainly about early comics from an international perspective. I'm hoping to share parts of my research and foster some dialogue with other researchers. I've lots of plans, various articles are waiting to be published (see [the complete blog post] for former and projected publications). By the end of this year I'll put up also a website about my research.
I became a fan of Pascal's work even before I had the pleasure of meeting him, upon discovering his book (with Jan Baetens) Pour une lecture moderne de la Bande Dessinée in the bookstore of the Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée [Belgian Comic Strip Center] in Brussels. I await his next post with great anticipation!

Image Credit: Dr. Lefèvre's page.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

CFP: First Annual International Crime, Media & Popular Culture Studies Conference, Indiana State U (Sept. 2; Oct. 5-7)

This conference was announced on the Comics Scholars list, but here's some additional information. However, for detailed instructions on submitting proposals, click here for the complete conference CFP.
Call for papers:
First Annual International
Crime, Media & Popular Culture Studies Conference

A Cross Disciplinary Exploration
October 5th, 6th & 7th 2009

Conference Registration Table will be Open in Conference Hotel Lobby
Sunday, October 4th, 2009 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Indiana State University
Terre Haute, Indiana

Sponsored by:
Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Indiana State University

Conference Chair:
Franklin T. Wilson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Indiana State University

Conference Administrative Assistant:
Ericka Schneider
Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Indiana State University

Conference Goals

The Annual International Crime, Media and Popular Culture Studies Conference was established to encourage an international cross-disciplinary exchange between both academic scholars and practitioners who are engaged in research, teaching and practices associated with crime, media and popular culture. The conference serves as a forum for the dissemination of knowledge associated with these areas of study in an effort to engender further growth of the discipline among students, academicians and practitioners.

ABSTRACT SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Wednesday, September 2, 2009
*Early abstract submission is recommended

REGISTRATION/PAYMENT DEADLINE: Wednesday, September 2, 2009

*Everyone planning on attending the conference, whether presenting or just attending, must register and pay a registration fee in order to gain access to conference presentations.

*If you are presenting, failure to register and to pay registration fee by this date will result in removal from program.

*If you are from ISU you only need to register if you are presenting.

*If you are just attending you must show your ISU ID Card at the door.

Keynote Speaker
Taylor Mali

Featured Speakers

Jeff Ferrell, Ph.D.
Texas Christian University
Victor E. Kappeler, Ph.D.
Eastern Kentucky University
David L. Altheide, Ph.D.
Arizona State University
Frankie Bailey, Ph.D.
University at Albany
Brett A. Mervis
University of South Florida
Gregory Snyder, Ph.D.
Baruch College, CUNY
Nickie Phillips, Ph.D.
St. Francis University
Staci Strobl, Ph.D.
John Jay College
Robert D. Weide
New York University
Vikas Kumar Gumbhir, Ph.D.
Gonzaga University


*Includes free access to lunch time and panel session snacks, Taylor Mali’s evening performance and any other on campus performance that may be scheduled as part of the conference.

Registration Categories
Presenter - $120.00
Non-Presenter Attendee - $140.00
Student Not from ISU (Presenter or Non-Presenter) - $70.00
ISU Faculty and/or Graduate Student Presenter - $40.00

REGISTRATION/PAYMENT DEADLINE: Wednesday, September 2, 2009
*Failure to register and to pay registration fee by this date will result in removal from program.


All abstracts and payments must be submitted on-line through the International Crime, Media and Popular Culture Studies Conference website. A submission does not guarantee that your paper or poster will be accepted for presentation at the conference. Please retain hard copies of both abstract acceptance confirmations and registration/payment confirmation. On the website you will be asked to indicate the type of submission you wish to make. Your choices are the following:

  • Individual Paper Presentations (Panel Presentation): Submissions for a regular session presentation must include a title and abstract (approximately 200 words), with author information including contact information.
  • Poster Presentations: Submissions for poster presentations must include a title and abstract (approximately 200 words), with author information including contact information. Posters should display data, policy analysis, or theoretical work in a visually appealing poster format to encourage interactive communication. All poster sessions will be held late Monday afternoon.


When you submit your paper through the abstract submission, you will need to select one of the 14 primary categories listed below as well as one of the 5 subcategories. Your choice will be important in determining the kind of panel on which you are placed, and it will also aid in avoiding time conflicts for panels on similar topics when possible.

Only original papers may be presented; papers that have been published or presented elsewhere may not be presented. Submissions are interpreted as meaning that the proposed presentation satisfies these conditions.

Here are a few guidelines that may help you in selecting the most appropriate category and subcategory:

1. Category: In making your selection, focus on the aspect of your paper that you would describe as your primary concern in selecting the broad category. For example, if you would like to present a paper titled, “Bob Dylan and Social Justice” you might submit under: Music

  • Music
  • Literature
  • Graphic Novels (Comic Books)
  • Print Media
  • Film
  • Television
  • Internet
  • Internet News
  • Print News
  • Televised News
  • Video Games
  • Graffiti
  • Clothing
  • Other
2. Subcategory: When choosing your subcategory select the category that best fits your paper. For example, if you would like to present a paper titled, “City Ordinances and the Death of the Street Musician” you might choose the subcategory of Policy or Legal depending on the focus. The sub-categories will be used to help better determine the fit for panels.

  • Policy Focus
  • Practice Focus
  • Legal Focus
  • Theory Focus
  • Other
ABSTRACTS: All submissions must include abstracts limited to 200 words and should describe the general theme of the presentation and, where relevant, the methods and results. All submissions must include complete contact information and the aforementioned category and subcategory selection.


Wednesday September 2, 2009
(Failure to register by this date will result in the removal of your paper from the program)


The Conference will be held three full days and nights, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Conference Registration Table will be Open in Conference Hotel Lobby Sunday, October 4th, 2009 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Conference organizers cannot honor personal preferences for day and time of presentations.


LCD projectors will be available for all panel presentations to facilitate computer-based presentations (especially Power Point). While presenters do not need to bring their own personal computers Power Point presentations should be saved on either a CD or portable Jump/Flash Drive. Further, Power Point presentations should be formatted in MS Windows 2003 or 2007. In addition, all panel sessions will have overhead projector access. If you will require MAC applications please indicate this when you submit abstract.


Again, visit the conference website for complete information.

Image credit: Conference website.

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Comics Course Mentioned in Chronicle of Higher Education

This week's Chronicle of Higher Education contains one their occasional light-hearted columns, this time entitled "5 Courses We Wish We Could Take," by Ashley C. Killough. (Really, Chronicle, using a numeral in a title? As the first word? Sigh.) Anyway, it includes as one of its "5" courses Prof. Michael Burgett's "Far Side Entomology." "Using bugs featured in [Gary Larson's Far Side] comic strips, [Burgett] challenges students to explore the relationship between humans and earth's six-legged creatures." (And no, "Far Side" creator Gary Larson's name isn't featured in the brief paragraph.)The Chronicle is far from the first media outlet to make note of this course. Here are a few more examples:
Prof. Burgett is well-known apart from his non-comics-related work, particularly for his expertise on bees. Some more examples:
Congratulations to Prof. Burgett, who's not just a media-darling for his comics teaching, but an enthusiastic and well-respected all-around scholar and educator!

Image credits: Top - NPR Website, courtesy of Michael Burgett. Middle - The Daily Barometer, Photo Illustration by Justin Runquist.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

D+Q to Publish Dan Clowes' WILSON in May 2010

Even though I had some problems with his book David Boring, I think Dan Clowes is by far one of the best cartoonists working today. I'm curious to see what his work is like when it can afford to skip serialization and jump straight into OGN ("original graphic novel") territory. Thus my interest in this press release...For Immediate Release:

Drawn & Quarterly has acquired world rights to the original graphic novel WILSON by award-winning cartoonist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter and NEW YORKER illustrator Daniel Clowes. WILSON is the author's first novel not to be originally serialized in his seminal comic book series, EIGHTBALL, and his first book with D+Q.

"As a long-time fan of Eightball, it is thrilling to be able to publish Dan," said Chris Oliveros, Drawn & Quarterly Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. "WILSON is signature Clowes as the cartooning is seamless. It is funny, poignant and leaves an indelible impression on the reader. Wilson will take his place right alongside Enid Coleslaw, David Boring, and Dan Pussey."

One of the most important cartoonists of our time, Clowes has been hailed as a "bona-fide cult hero" by THE NEW YORKER and the "country's premier underground cartoonist" by NEWSWEEK. In WILSON, Clowes creates a thoroughly engaging, complex and fascinating portrait of the modern egoist-outspoken and oblivious to those around him, but who sincerely wants to find his place in the world. Working in a single-page gag format and drawn in a spectrum of styles, the cartoonist of GHOST WORLD, ICE HAVEN and DAVID BORING gives us his funniest and most deeply affecting novel to date. The full color graphic novel will be published in North America by D+Q in May 2010 and distributed in the U.S. by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and in Canada by Raincoast Books. International rights will be represented by Samantha Haywood of the Transatlantic Literary Agency.


For more information contact:
Peggy Burns
Drawn & Quarterly, Associate Publisher
publicity [at]

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Book from UPM - Komiks: Comic Art in Russia

As many followers of this blog already know, the University Press of Mississippi has been "the comics scholar's best friend" for nearly two decades, beginning with their publication of M. Thomas Inge's Comics as Culture in 1990. February 2010 will see UPM release José Alaniz' Komiks: Comic Art in Russia, which is featured on the front cover of their Fall-Winter 2009-2010 Catalog (view online or download the PDF). I'm happy and honored to have know José for many years, and I've heard bits and pieces of this book at various conferences, so I know that Komiks will be not only authoritative but interesting as all get-out. Congtratulations on making the cover, José!
Komiks: Comic Art in Russia
José Alaniz

The first study to trace the evolution of Russian comics
from Soviet bête noire to post-Perestroika art form

José Alaniz explores the problematic publication history of komiks -- an art form much-maligned as "bourgeois" mass diversion before, during, and after the collapse of the USSR -- with an emphasis on the last twenty years. Using archival research, interviews with major artists and publishers, and close readings of several works, Komiks: Comic Art in Russia provides heretofore unavailable access to the country’s rich—but unknown—comics heritage. The study examines the dizzying experimental comics of the late Czarist and early revolutionary era, caricature from the satirical journal Krokodil, and the postwar series Petia Ryzhik (the "Russian Tintin"). Detailed case studies include the Perestroika-era KOM studio, the first devoted to comics in the Soviet Union; post-Soviet comics in contemporary art; autobiography and the work of Nikolai Maslov; and women's comics by such artists as Lena Uzhinova, Namida, and Re-I. Alaniz examines such issues as anti-Americanism, censorship, the rise of consumerism, globalization (e.g., in Russian manga), the impact of the internet, and the hard-won establishment of a comics subculture in Russia.

Komiks have often borne the brunt of ideological change—thriving in summers of relative freedom, freezing in hard winters of official disdain. This volume covers the art form's origins in religious icon-making and book illustration, and later the immensely popular lubok or woodblock print. Alaniz reveals comics' vilification and marginalization under the Communists, the art form's economic struggles, and its eventual internet "migration" in the post-Soviet era. This book shows that Russian comics, as with the people who made them, never had a "normal life."

José Alaniz is associate professor of Slavic languages and literatures and comparative literature at the University of Washington, Seattle. His work has appeared in the International Journal of Comic Art, Comics Journal, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema, Ulbandus, and other periodicals.
FEBRUARY, 288 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches
21 color and 69 b&w illustrations, bibliography, index
Cloth $38.00, 978-1-60473-366-2

Image credits: Top: UPM's website. Bottom: UPM's Fall-Winter 2009-2010 Catalog.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Pop Phenomena: A Comic Book Exhibition (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Some how I missed the announcement of this exhibit's opening, dangit. However, even if you won't happen to be in the Fort Lauderdale, FL area between June 30 and September 20, you can page through these books virtually by visiting the exhibit's website.
Broward County Main Library's Bienes Museum of the Modern Book is pleased to present its new exhibition: POP PHENOMENA: A COMIC BOOK EXHIBITION, June 30- Sept. 20, 2009.

The exhibition showcases approximately 60 vintage comic books (and their precursors: Big Little Books and early Blue Ribbon pop-up books) from the collections of the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book. The comics and other items date from the 1930s to the 1980s, and includes titles such as The Amazing Spider-Man; Archie; Betty and Veronica; Daredevil; The Defenders; the Fantastic Four; the Incredible Hulk; Iron Man; Jughead; Marvel Tales; Marvel Team-Up; the Sub-Mariner; and Star Wars.

Image credits: From the exhibit website.

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CFP: Critical Approaches to Teaching Graphic Narratives in the Literature Classroom (edited collection; 9/15/2009)

Thanks to pal Dennis Gouws for the tip.
Friends from graduate school + Facebook = networking deluxe!

Critical Approaches to
Teaching Graphic Narratives
in the Literature Classroom

Deadlines: proposal by September 15, 2009; essay by December 15, 2009.

This edited collection is tentatively titled Critical Approaches to Teaching Graphic Narratives in the Literature Classroom. Commonly known as book-length comics, graphic narratives cover a broad range of topics and formats. The past three decades have seen an increase of readership of graphic narratives as well as scholarly interest in this subject. This collection brings together scholarly essays that discuss the challenges, methodologies, and strategies for using graphic narratives in both undergraduate and graduate classes. This volume hopes to fill in the gap between the texts and the classroom by providing a platform for scholars to discuss the connection between graphic narratives and other genres, themes, criticism, and theories. With scholarly essays from various disciplines as well as interdisciplinary fields this collection aims to promote discussion on critical approaches and pedagogical and methodological challenges facing instructors. Emphasizing a combination of practical and theoretical strength, this collection encourages dialogues among teacher-scholars, advances the new constellation of scholarship on the teaching graphic narratives, and provides students with useful references and critical approaches to analyzing particular texts as well.

Each chapter is between 6000 and 7000 words including notes and works cited (MLA format). Please send a 500-word proposal, a 2-page CV, and a paragraph of bio note by September 15, 2009. Essays are due by December 15, 2009. Please do not submit works that are under consideration elsewhere or have been published previously.

Send inquiries and proposals to:

Lan Dong
English Department, UHB 3050
University of Illinois
Springfield, IL 62703

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

CFP: Studies in Comics (journal; September 1, 2009)

Last night we posted the initial announcement for the new journal Studies in Comics. Here's their first CFP.
Call for Papers

Papers are invited for Studies in Comics, a new international and interdisciplinary academic journal that aims to describe the nature of comics, to identify the medium as a distinct art form, and to address its formal properties. The inaugural edition will launch our investigations with a selection of world-class academic articles that explore the formal properties of comics, advancing their own theory of comics or responding to an established theoretical model. We also welcome reviews of new comics, scholarship, criticism and exhibitions, as well as unpublished creative work.

We are now inviting the following submissions:

Articles of 4,000-8,000 words from any discipline. These should have a strong critical focus and seek to apply hitherto unexplored theoretical approaches to the medium of comics or respond to published theories about the medium’s formal properties. Possible areas include:

  • Comics and visual language in the context of communications theory
  • The grammar of comics
  • Narrative structure
  • The relationship between panel, page, and the multiframe
  • Composition and panel transitions
  • The treatment of time and space
  • Responses to published theorists such as Scott McCloud, Will Eisner, Thierry Groensteen
We also welcome reviews of new publications and exhibits and short creative work of 1-5 pages in length. Creative work should be relevant to some aspect of comics, although there are no other thematic or stylistic restrictions. Metafictional submissions that deal with the processes and theories of comics creation are encouraged.

Please send all submissions to

Article submissions: please send 300 word abstracts and include the word ARTICLE in the subject heading. Submissions should be received by 1 September 2009 in the first instance. Please indicate the intended word count of the article. Completed papers will be required by 30 October 2009. All submissions will be peer reviewed. Papers must be submitted in English.

Reviews of publications and exhibitions: please include the words REVIEW PUBLICATION or REVIEW EXHIBITION in the subject heading.

Creative submissions: please include the word CREATIVE in the subject heading.

Reviews and creative work must be received by the same deadlines indicated above (1 September 2009 for statements of intention, 30 October 2009 for final work).

Submissions are welcome from both scholars and enthusiasts. Contributors are encouraged to approach comics from any discipline and to turn their attention to comics from all countries and in all languages. So whether you’re a semiotician, philosopher, scientist, historian, enthusiast, cultural, literary or film critic – Studies in Comics welcomes you!

Julia Round and Chris Murray (Editors)

M. Thomas Inge and Dean Chan (Associate Editors)
Paul Gravett (Review and Exhibitions Editor) and Roger Sabin (Consulting Editor)
Douglas Noble (Creative Submissions Editor)

Image credit: Cover to Studies in Comics, v1 no1, courtesy of editor Chris Murray. Artwork by Chris Ware.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Journal: Studies in Comics

At this year's Popular Culture Association conference, my friend and mentor Tom Inge mentioned that this journal was in the works. And now, here it is!

Studies in Comics
a new, peer-reviewed journal
published by

Edited by Julia Round (, Chris Murray (, Dean Chan ( and M. Thomas Inge (, Studies in Comics aims to describe the nature of comics, identify the medium as a distinct art form, and address its formal properties.

The emerging field of comics studies is a model for interdisciplinary research and this journal welcomes all approaches and methodologies. Its specific goal, however, is to expand the relationship between comics and theory and to seek to articulate a 'theory of comics'.

The editors welcome articles that explore the formal properties of comics, advance their own theory of comics, or respond to an established theoretical model. The journal will also contain reviews of new comics, scholarship, criticism, and exhibitions, as well as unpublished creative work.

For submission guidelines please write to Thank you.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

R.I.P. Martin Vaughn-James

Sad news for fans of avant-garde comics: Martin Vaughn-James, author of the enigmatic album The Cage, passed away on July 3. See Tom Spurgeon's obituary for Vaughn-James at, as well as this brief story at ActuaBD. (And thanks to afNews where I first learned this sobering news.)

If you're not familiar with The Cage, here are a couple of images to give you a feel for it. It's sort of a trip inside an apparently abandoned building, with no people anywhere to be seen. Even with the accompanying "explanatory" text, The Cage doesn't exactly present any sort of traditional narrative. It's also not a tour or even a travelogue. The Cage is, simply (or better, complexly) The Cage.

At the 2002 Popular Culture Association conference in Toronto, the Comic Art & Comics Area was honored to present a lecture by noted comics critic and scholar Thierry Groensteen on The Cage. By happy coincidence, not only had Vaughn-James produced The Cage while living in Toronto, but Prof. Groensteen himself had recently published a study of book, La construction de "La Cage." I was the Chair of the CA&C Area for 2002, and when I received Thierry's abstract, I knew that this presentation deserved a special session all its own. We had an overflow crowd for the talk, and I believe Thierry made a lot of converts that day.
Sadly, The Cage hasn't been available in English since its original publication in 1975, but it is in the collections of several libraries. It is also back in print in French, from the Belgian publisher Les Impressions Nouvelles. Even if you can't read French, it's an amazing, mind-blowing work. I can't recommend The Cage highly enough - it's near the top of my "Why Isn't This Book Available in English???" list.

Forgot about image credits! Self-portrait and images from
La Cage @ 2009 Martin Vaughn-James, sourced from Les Impressions Nouvelles web pages. Comic Art & Comics flyer @ 2002, 2009 Gene Kannenberg, Jr. and the Comic Art & Comics area of the Popular Culture Association.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009's "Comics in the Classroom: 100 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Teachers"

The Blog posted a great entry this past Sunday: Comics in the Classroom: 100 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Teachers. I'll let the site speak for itself...
Gone are the days of children sneaking comics past diligent parents and teachers watching out for sub-par literature. The comics of today not only have plenty to offer, they are gaining well-deserved recognition and awards. Take advantage of the natural affinity children have for comics and use them as a powerful teaching tool in your classroom. The following tips, tools, and resources will get you started.
They've organized these 100 links into the following categories:
  • Understanding Benefits and Usage in the Classroom
  • Resources for Using Comics in the Classroom
  • Suggested Comics for the Classroom
  • Tools
  • Creative Ways to Use Comics in the Classroom
  • Lesson Plans for Elementary
  • Lesson Plans for Middle School
  • Lesson Plans for High School
  • Lesson Plans for All Ages
  • Manga and Anime
  • Free Comics for Educators
That website again: Comics in the Classroom: 100 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Teachers.

Big thanks for the tip to sister-in-law extraordinaire Alessandra Gillen, who in turn found this website listed on MetaFilter. Those among you who study comics or use comics in the classroom will be at turns encouraged, saddened, and horrified by the comments posted at the MetaFilter link. Many of them are textbook examples of people arguing "from the gut," knowledge or facts be damned. Sigh.

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Asian American ComiCon: July 11, 2009, Museum of Chinese in America, NY

I nearly forgot about this upcoming event until I saw Larry Hama mention it on Facebook. He didn't mention that he was winning the Kiyama award, though. Congratulations, Larry! I first learned of the event at MoCCA Art Fest '09, when Charles Hatfield I had a great conversation with (and bought cool comics from!) Ken Wong. Ken's only one of the many cartoonists with stories in Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology.

Here's some information about the Con, which looks to have a very interesting, widely varied line-up of panels. But for full info, be sure to visit the Asian American ComiCon website.

Asian American ComiCon
The Museum of Chinese in America
215 Centre Street, New York, NY
July 11, 2009, 10 am to 5pm

As artists, editors, writers and fans, Asian Americans have been a key creative force behind the graphical storytelling movement.

That's why some of the industry's leading Asian American creators have collaborated to organize this celebration of the unique contemporary role and historical legacy of Asians in the world of comics and cartoon art.

The event will bring together top artists, writers, fans and readers of mainstream and alternative graphic fiction with the larger Asian American community for a one-of-a-kind gathering, incorporating education, dialogue, spontaneous creativity, intergenerational outreach and the chance for established and emerging talent to show off their work.
The organizers of AACC want this annual award to recognize the contribution of Asian and Asian Americans to U.S. comic book culture. No one better exemplifies that contribution than Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama, whose career represented the convergence of two worlds and industries, and whose work pointed the way to the future of graphic storytelling.

Kiyama published his breakthrough book The Four Immigrants in 1931. A poignant collection of cartoon stories about life as a Japanese student expatriate in the U.S. in San Francisco during the early part of the 20th century, it explores the issues these early immigrants faced in a world whose language, culture and traditions are new, strange and confusing.

Though the stories were originally intended for newspaper serialization, Kiyama never published them in that form, ultimately releasing them as a single book-length collection. This publication format, along with the fact that the stories in Four Immigrants featured a group of semiautobiographical characters (based on Kiyama and his friends) who grew, evolved and contended with real historical issues and events, has led some to advocate that it be recognized as the first original graphic novel published in America (arriving a decade before Virginia Lee Burton's 1941 Calico the Wonder Horse and nearly two decades before Arnold Drake, [Matt Baker,] and Leslie Waller's 1950 It Rhymes With Lust.

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

"The Cresting Wave: San Francisco Underground Comix Experience": 7/10-8/22, 2009

Anyone have a spare airline or train ticket to SF? Looks like a great show. Thanks to ComicsDC's Mike Rhode for this info!FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Dan Fogel, comixpr[at]

The Cresting Wave:
The San Francisco Underground Comix Experience
July 10 — August 22, 2009
Electric Works
130 8th Street, San Francisco, CA // 415 626 5496

Electric Works is pleased to present "The Cresting Wave: The San Francisco Underground Comix Experience," a group exhibition featuring underground comix artists from San Francisco, from the mid-'60's to the late '80's. Artists included are Mark Bode, Vaughn Bode, Guy Colwell, R. Crumb, Jay Kinney, Paul Mavrides, Dan O'Neill, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton, Larry Todd, Randy Vogel, and S. Clay Wilson. Culling work from private collectors and the artists themselves, guest curator, Underground Comix writer, publisher and historian Dan Fogel has amassed important work from each artist that spans personal drawings, well-known comix pieces, including covers and original comps, as well as other rare ephemera from the heyday of the San Francisco scene.

San Francisco was the birthplace of the underground comix scene in the mid 1960's: nowhere else on the planet was there such an concentration of talent, vision, and production. In a relatively short time, the artists who coalesced in the Bay Area changed the face of popular culture forever. Taking on issues of politics, race, sexuality, drugs, counterculture of the time, and intellectual property, these artists were able to push the bounds of propriety, "decency" and imagery more drastically than in any other medium of the era.

Complementing the robust gallery show, Electric Works will feature many other important pieces by the artist which will be available for viewing during the course of the exhibition in our flat files. In addition, Electric Works will be publishing limited edition prints, mini-prints, and a collaborative "jam" print featuring many of the artists in the exhibition, proceeds of which will benefit the S. Clay Wilson Special Needs Trust, benefiting their friend, who is recovering from serious injuries.
"Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime... the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run... but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. ...
"So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark -- that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."
-- Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, 1971.
Postcard graphic:
Jay Kinney, "Ronald's Rampage" (image for City Magazine), 1974
17 1/2 x 13". Ink, pencil, contact film on bristol board.

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