Tuesday, March 30, 2010

International Comic Arts Forum Postponed for One Year

This announcement appeared on the Comics Scholars Discussion List today. While it's sad there won't be an ICAF 2010, I look forward to hearing about their big plans for 2011. (I was the chair of ICAF for a couple of years about a decade ago.)
30 March 2010

Announcement from The International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF)

The International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF), the foremost gathering for international comics studies and scholarship, has decided to postpone its annual conference for 2010 until 2011.

The 2011 conference will observe the 15th Anniversary of ICAF, and the Executive Committee has concluded that postponing for the 2010 calendar year will allow the organization to plan for a large and special 2011 event.

Please stay tuned for more details soon.  For interested students and scholars, the CFP will be released later this year, as will more details on the 15th Anniversary Themes, Guests, and Special Events.

Please bookmark our website:
ICAF website:

Any inquiries may be directed to Professor Cecile Danehy, Executive Committee Co-Chair, at cdanehy@wheatonma.edu

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Friday, March 26, 2010

CFP: Humor, Play and Identity in Comics: Academic Perspectives (6/1; 10/14)

I've been lucky enough to attend two Festivals of Cartoon Art. They're always wonderful. --GK--
On October 14, 2010 the Billy Ireland Cartoon Research Library & Museum, in collaboration with Project Narrative and the Popular Culture Studies Program at Ohio State University,  will host its second one-day symposium on “Humor, Play and Identity in Comics: Academic Perspectives." The gathering will serve as a prelude to the 2010 Festival of Cartoon Art, which runs from October 15-16. For the second time, the triennial Festival is sponsoring an academic pre-conference in recognition of the exciting developments in academic comics studies in recent years and the growing collaborations between comics creators and scholars. We are soliciting papers for three panels:

1. Humor, Play, and Identity in Comics
2. Perspectives from Narrative Theory
3. Krazy Kat at 100

The afternoon's events will conclude with a keynote address on George Herriman by Herriman biographer Michael Tisserand.  

To be considered for the panels, please send a 250-500 word abstract and a one-page vita to Jared Gardner at gardner.236@osu.edu. The deadline for abstracts is June 1, 2010.  Please contact Jared with any questions.

This year's Festival of Cartoon Art speakers and guests will include Matt Groening, Bill Griffith, Art Spiegelman, Roz Chast, Gene Luen Yang, James Sturm, Paul Levitz, Patrick McDonnell, Dan Piraro, Brendan Burford, Jan Eliot, Tom Gammill, Jen Sorensen, Dave Kellett, and Steve Breen. For more information about the 2010 Festival of Cartoon Art, see http://cartoons.osu.edu/fca2

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tales from the Green Scrapbook #3: Spider-Man Visits Milwaukee

Yes, it's been nearly two years, but it's the return of Tales of the Green Scrapbook - an occasional (very) series in which I scan comics-related items that I kept in an old notebook when I was a child...

This time out - Spider-Man visits Milwaukee, Wisconsin! The year is 1977 or '78 (I didn't make notes at the time), and the newspaper is filled with ads like this one, urging kids (and their money-spending parents, natch) to visit Gimbels, the big department store, in order to meet Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man! This ad is so large that I had to scan it in two parts. Nice John Romita, Sr. art here!

But it wasn't just ads that were in the paper. Gerald Kloss, the Milwaukee Journal's "Slightly Kloss-Eyed" humor columnist (example), also interviewed the man in the Spidey suit. (I wonder if such interviews are even possible anymore - perhaps Marvel would want to maintain the illusion for the kids better nowadays?)

Anyway: Here, possibly for the first time on teh internets, is that vintage interview. Enjoy!

PS: For whatever reason, I didn't get to go and meet my hero that time. However, I bet none of the kids who did get to meet him bothered to keep this stuff. Ephemera ftw!

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Friday, March 19, 2010

May 15, 2010 Issue of BOOKLIST is Spotlight on Graphic Novels

The current issue of Booklist (March 15, 2010; vol 106, no. 14) is the "Spotlight on Graphic Novels," and it includes a wealth of comics-related content. Some of it is online: Top 10 Graphic Novels, Story behind the Story: Dash Shaw’s BodyWorld, Carte Blanche: Comic Books, Core Collection: A Comics Education, Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth, Read-alikes: New Narnias, RA Corner: The Librarian’s Guide to Graphic Novels for Adults, RA Corner: The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Graphic Novels. My thanks to Rebecca Lubin, ultra-cool librarian, for letting me know about - and giving me a copy of - this issue!

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

1st Annual Comic Expo: “Comics On the Wall” April 1st-3rd 2010 (Hot Springs, AR)

Comic Expo is "a Comic-Con type event [primarily for educators and students] to be held at the Artchurch Studio, Hot Springs National Park urban arts studio and gallery on April 1-3, and sponsored partially by Hot Springs High School and Henderson State University." For full details, visit the event's website: http://artchurch.org/comic-expo/

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

CFP: MLA 2011: Graphic Aging (3/19/2010; 1/6-9/2011)

Note the imminent deadline. --GK--

Graphic Aging
MLA 2011

The MLA Discussion Area in Age Studies and the MLA Discussion Area in Comics and Graphic Narratives are collaborating to assemble and propose a joint panel on comics for the 2011 MLA Annual Convention, to be held 6–9 January in Los Angeles.

Following is a Call for Papers for that panel. The submission deadline has been extended to next Friday, March 19. Please pass this on to colleagues in age studies, childhood studies, children's/youth literature and culture studies, comics studies, and other potentially relevant fields!

Graphic Aging: youth, ripening, and intergenerational relationships in Love & Rockets, Likewise, Token, etc. This panel explores how images and understandings of age inform each other in graphic novels, novel graphics, and related media.

Paper proposals might explore the following themes, but need not be limited to these ideas:
  • How do graphic novels render and thematize images of youth/aging/old age?
  • How are youth, aging, and elderhood rendered, valued, and made visible in graphic narratives and/or film?
  • What critical vocabulary is needed for readers to fully explore ages’ visual complexities?
  • How does a particular author/artist depict the complexities of age’s vitality, beauty, and grotesques?
  • How, or how well, do the comics and graphic narratives of a particular minority or majority community convey that group’s valuations and understandings of aging?
  • How do visual depictions of old age reinforce/resist ageist stereotyping?
  • When a character ages during the timespan of a text, what is the age-related somatic transformation process?
  • In flashbacks for which the “present” of the narrator is multiple decades from the “present” of the story, what is the visual presence of the narrator, and how does that add to the text?
  • When comics and graphic narratives transition from text to screen, what is the impact on the visual representations of age?
  • What aspects or sights of aging are left to the reader to imagine, and what are part of the text’s images?
  • How do the graphic renderings of intergenerational relationships reinforce/resist ageist stereotypes?
  • How do expectations about the audience’s age impact images of age in graphic narratives?
Submit 300+ word abstracts by 3/19/2010 to Leni Marshall at marshallel@uwstout.edu.

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Graphic Engagement: The Politics of Comics and Animation (June 18; Sept. 2-4)

The Purdue Comparative Literature Program
presents the 2010 Conference
Graphic Engagement:
The Politics of Comics and Animation
Purdue University – West Lafayette, IN
September 2-4, 2010

Comics and film animation are potent media that can have an effect far different from that of more tradition forms of literature. They are composite texts whose mixtures of image, word, and sound offer a more immediate exchange between author(s) and audience, where the visuals directly confront us and demand a reader response in ways that prose narrative does not. The resulting effects can have profound ideological consequences. Either in the form of a comics memoir, a Disney adaptation, a superhero saga, or a single-panel cartoon, graphic narratives shape the way we frame ourselves in terms of gender, race, religion, class, and nationhood.

The Purdue University Comparative Literature Program will be sponsoring a conference devoted to this topic, welcoming papers that explore the ways in which comics and animation engage us politically. Our understanding of "political" is broad in scope, relating not only to affairs of state, but the praxis of graphic narrative and ways it impacts individual identity and community dynamics. Possible paper topics may include, but are not limited to:
  • Historical representations in graphic novels
  • The appropriation of national myths and folktales in animated film
  • Dynamics of humor and subversion in syndicated comic strips
  • Imaging the ethnic/racial other in comics and other forms of graphic narrative
  • Representations of gender and sexuality in anime and manga
  • Personal memoir in graphic novels or animation
  • The language of comics as a form of rhetoric
  • Representations of trauma in graphic narrative
  • Animation and its links to education
  • Socio-political issues surrounding graphic novels and library cataloging
  • Superheroes and the definition, or complication, of communal and national identity
  • Graphic narrative as transnational discourse
  • Political cartooning and its social impact
  • Hollywood and comics
  • Journalism, biography, and graphic narrative
  • Using comics and graphic novels as children's and adolescent literature
Email abstracts of 250 words, with a brief author biography, to:
Please include "Graphic Engagement Conference 2010" in the subject heading

Deadline for submissions is June 18, 2010

Hotel rooms have been set aside at the Union Club Hotel, Purdue Memorial Union
101 N Grant Street | West Lafayette, IN 47907 | (800) 320-6291

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

This blog has moved

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My latest review is up at the Ulysses "Seen" website. Feast your eyes on some gorgeous art by one of my favorite cartoonists, Steve Ditko!

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

"New York, the Super-City" Tuesday March 9th at 6:30 pm!

Here's a press release which explains what I'll be doing a week from today...

New York Center for Independent Publishing

"New York, the Super-City"
Tuesday March 9th at 6:30 pm!
New York served as the model for Gotham City, inspired Will Eisner as he created the noirish adventures of The Spirit, and became a recurring character during the 1960s resurgence of Marvel in comics such as Spider-Man and Iron Man. ForeWord Magazine contributing editor Peter Gutiérrez will moderate a high-energy roundtable on the relationship between superheroes and their favorite hometown... and on how comics culture has promoted potent and memorable images of New York to readers worldwide.

When: Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 6:30-8:30 pm
Where: 20 W. 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

Tickets $15 for general admission, $10 for CIP Members, and $5 for students - and they're tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Please email contact@nycip.org or call 212-764-7021 to reserve!

Speaker Bios:

Danny Fingeroth was the longtime group editor of Marvel's Spider-Man line and the writer of many comics featuring Spider-Man, Iron Man, The X-Men and other iconic characters. He is the author of Superman on the Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us About Ourselves and Our Society; Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics and the Creation of the Superhero, and the Rough Guide to Graphic Novels.

Peter Gutiérrez is an Eisner-nominated comics creator and a born-and-bred New Yorker who hopes that people don't learn that he now lives in New Jersey. Peter has written about pop culture for Graphic Novel Reporter, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Montclair Times, Screen Education, School Library Journal, Rue Morgue, the ALAN Review, and ForeWord Reviews, where he is the graphic novels columnist.

Gene Kannenberg, Jr. is the author of 500 Essential Graphic Novels: The Ultimate Guide (Collins Design, 2008) as well as articles about comics for the Comics Journal, Hogan's Alley, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the International Journal of Comic Art, and several academic essay collections, some of which come from his 2002 Ph.D. dissertation on comics. His new publishing house specializing in books on comic art will debut later this year. Currently he writes graphic novel reviews for the "Ulysses 'Seen'" website and is the director of ComicsResearch.org.

Frank Tieri is an award-winning writer and creator who has worked on some of the biggest franchises in comics including Wolverine, X-Men, Hulk, Iron Man and Batman. Current work includes: Wolverine/Wendigo, Wolverine/Mr. X, Web of Spider-Man, Deadpool Team-Up.

Billy Tucci is an award-winning illustrator, writer and filmmaker best known for his modern-day samurai fable Shi. Garnering praise in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, the character has also crossed over with many comic book icons, including Daredevil, Witchblade and Wolverine. Last year Billy won wide acclaim for his story "Flash Vs. Superman-To the Finish Line!" and a hugely successful run on Sgt. Rock-The Lost Battalion. He recently completed illustrating Jonah Hex, and is developing several new stories for DC Comics as well as a new Shi series and several other creator-owned projects.

This event is made possible thanks to the generous support of the New York State Council for the Arts, New York Comic-Con, Midtown Comics, and GraphicNovelReporter.com. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

About the NYCIP
The New York Center for Independent Publishing supports the craft and creativity of independent publishers, and promotes public awareness of how their work contributes to the creative economy, addresses the needs of underserved audiences, and furthers freedom of thought and expression. We support this mission by providing access to education for independent publishers, writers, and the general public, encouraging excellence and cultivating free expression through workshops and lectures. Our signature events include the Independent and Small Press Book Fair, the Round Table Writers' Conference, and The Poor Richard Award ceremony, an annual reception honoring a publisher for commitment to the independent community.

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Monday, March 01, 2010

CFP: "The Arts and the Public"; NEASA Conference (4/9; 10/1-3/10)

Note that this CFP mentions graphic novels...

The Arts and the Public
New England American Studies Association
Annual Conference

Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, MA
October 1-3, 2010

The New England American Studies Association welcomes proposals for its 2010 conference on "The Arts and the Public," to be held at the Massachusetts Historical Society, October, 1-3, 2010. Proposals for papers, panels, workshops, and other forms of presentation will be accepted at neasacouncil@gmail.com through April 9, 2010. Proposals are limited to 300 words. NEASA welcomes proposals from across the disciplines, from primary/secondary as well as higher ed, from artists as well as scholars, and from outside the academy as well as within. More information is available at www.neasa.org.

The relationship between the arts and the public has always been both contentious and celebrated in American life. From debates over the propriety of early American novels to present-day attacks on public-arts funding, from nineteenth-century responses to abolitionist literature to controversial post-9/11 representations of Muhammad, the link between the artistic and civic has long generated suspicion and argument. At the same time, the arts are frequently understood as an essential component of an education in democratic citizenship and have throughout the twentieth century been supported by the state. Indeed, the establishment and institutionalization of American Studies itselfowes a great deal to such state sponsorship. It is clear that the arts interpellate, just as they also help construct new publics - new collectivities based on race, gender, sexuality, and other orientations - that challenge dominant values of the public. The histories of social and identity movements are also the histories of art and aesthetics.

In inviting proposals for papers, panels, workshops, and presentations on this topic, NEASA conceives of "the arts" and "the public" very broadly. We welcome work on the visual, literary, print, (new) media, performance, photographic, musical, cinematic, plastic, fine, and popular arts, as well as material culture, industrial arts, kitsch, built environments, architecture, and folklore. We hope for papers and panels on public policy, public funding, Public History, Public Humanities, public art, public education, public sphere theory, and counterpublics. Papers may even challenge the very idea of "the arts" and "the public." Participants may address the topic historically, theoretically, politically. We are interested in the work of practitioners as well as scholars, of visual and performance artists as well as those who work with the arts in public institutions.

Additional fields and objects of engagement might include:
  • Black Arts Movement
  • Blacklists
  • The New Deal and WPA
  • Native-American arts
  • Arts and the border
  • Transnational arts
  • Documentary
  • Histories of public art
  • Folk art and folklore
  • Publication and circulation
  • Privatization of publishing
  • Free publishing
  • New Media and the public sphere
  • Popular music
  • Copyright, patent, and intellectual property
  • Open Source and open access
  • Open universities
  • Secondary Education and the Arts
  • NEA
  • Culture fronts
  • Relational aesthetics
  • Queer film, zines, poetry, fiction, performance . . .
  • Art of the book
  • Graphic novels
  • Illustration
  • Religious iconography
  • On-line learning
  • American Studies and the public
  • The history of American Studies and other disciplines
  • The crisis in the humanities
  • Cultural tourism
  • Art markets and criticism
  • Private/public splits
  • Questions of cultural identity and the public sphere
  • Citizenship and the arts
  • The neoliberal notion of culture
  • Controversies and censorship
  • Education and pedagogy
  • Culture wars
  • Public funding of the arts
  • Sociology of literature and art
  • The intersection of the aesthetic and the political
  • Museum studies
  • Democracy and the arts

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