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The 102nd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 8 pm at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public. Please note 8 pm starting time.

Presentation: Jay A. Gertzman: Look, Look, Just Look: Scopophilia and the 20th century Illustrated Book.
My talk  will be about the way 20th century drawings illustrate texts by substituting the mutual sexual  contact and its fulfillment—which is the subject of the narrative—with images which stimulate auto erotic responses in the viewer. Freud’s phrase for this is scopophilia, the substitution of the eye for the penis. What results is prurience and the substitution of shame for pleasure in establishing a loving relationship.
After a few book illustrations exemplary of gazing and fantasizing,  I will show three types of graphic illustrations. The first are drawings prepared for wealthy consumers: erotic bookplates, extra-illustrated images in finely printed editions of classic pornography, and a deluxe privately printed 1930s edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
The next class of drawings was used to sell prurient but not explicit materials that could be used to interest, but not shock, middle- and working-class consumers with conventional sexual tolerances, given the moral  consensus of their communities. Illustrations for mail order fiction, non-fiction, and correspondence clubs, as well as pulp magazines and paperback novels, are rich sources for judging what these purveyors of  borderline  material wanted to tease their customers with.  Many of these also show men looking at females—the keyhole motif was famous for its frequent appearance in advertisements as well as books themselves.
A final set of slides would illustrate materials sold to, or created by, underclass and outcast people.  These are for the most part explicit (regarding various sexual acts and full nudity) and at the same time more expressive of unruly desires than they are prurient teases: playing cards, tattoos, Tijuana Bibles (“little dirty comics”),  sketches on boarded-up windows of Times Square bookstores and peep palaces,  graffiti, and  covers and interior drawings for hard core paperbacks.
In all three categories, there are drawings which subvert the concept of prurience and the identification of sex with furtive masturbatory pleasure.

Jay A Gertzman retired in 2000 as a professor of English at Mansfield U. He taught a diverse set of courses: radical themes in modern literature, noir crime fiction, D H Lawrence, Shakespeare, literary censorship, in addition to composition at the freshman and upper class levels.
His research specialty is publishing history. He has published four books on this subject.
In Bookleggers and Smuthounds: The Distribution and Prosecution of Erotica, 1920-1940 (U of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), he discussed publishers, distributors and dealers and their symbiotic relationship with private “decency” groups and police.  The book details  the methods of underground publishing and the way booksellers got sexually explicit texts into readers’ hands. His Samuel Roth, Infamous Modernist, was published in the spring of 2014 by the U. Press of Florida. It is a biography of the man who served two federal prison terms for distributing erotica through underground sources and the U.S. mails.  After publishing parts of Ulysses in 1926 without explicit permission from James Joyce, he was denounced as a “thief” and “pirate,” although there was no international copyright agreement at the time.  Roth’s long career as editor, poet, and iconoclast  culminated in Roth v. U.S. (1957), a major event in First amendment liberalization.

Bond sign final“Men Ogle the Female Form” 1948.

The 101st meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 7 pm at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public. Please note 7 pm starting time.

Presentation: World War 3 Illustrated 1979-2014
Celebrating the release of a new 320 page hard-cover anthology, artist/editors Peter Kuper, Seth Tobocman, Sabrina Jones and Sandy Jimenez will give you a behind the scenes history of the of the long-running zine’s past, present and future with visual presentations.

Peter Kuper is co-founder of World War 3 illustrated and has written and drawn “Spy vs Spy” for Mad magazine since 1997.  His graphic novels include The System, Sticks and Stones, and Stop Forgetting to Remember, and he has also published the sketchbook diaries Diario de Oaxaca and Drawn to New York, as well as graphic adaptations of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and Kafka’s The Metamorphosis.  His cartoons have appeared in The New York Times, Time, and Newsweek. He teaches comics courses at The School of Visual Arts and Harvard University.

Seth Tobocman, co- founded the magazine World War 3 Illustrated.  He is the author of a number of graphic books including: You Don’t Have to Fuck People over To Survive, War in the Neighborhood, Disasters and Resistance and Understanding the Crash. His illustrations have appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice and many other publications. His art has been displayed at The Museum of Modern Art, The New Museum Of Contemporary Art among many other museums and galleries. His images have been used as posters, banners, murals, patches and tattoos by people’s movements all over the world.

Sabrina Jones created her first comics for World War 3 Illustrated and went on to edit many issues. Her graphic biographies have covered historical visionaries from Isadora Duncan and Walt Whitman to FDR and Jesus. She has illuminated the work of justice advocates in “The Real Cost of Prisons Comix” and “Race to Incarcerate, A Graphic Retelling.”

Sandy Jimenez is a comic book artist and filmmaker who has produced scores of varied and original illustrated stories since graduating from The Cooper Union in 1990, he is best known for creating the independent comic book series Marley Davidson, and the long running and critically acclaimed “Shit House Poet” stories for World War 3 Illustrated. His next work, an illustrated adaptation of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea will appear in the upcoming Graphic Canon YA collection for Seven Stories Press.

WW3 Cover

The 100th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 8 pm at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public. Please note 8pm starting time.

Presentations: Michael DeForge, Simon Hanselmann & Patrick Kyle.

Michael DeForge goes through different finished and unfinished projects he’s thrown away before publication. He discusses the value of abandoning projects, scripted versus improvised storytelling and the importance of digressions in the writing process.

Michael DeForge was born in 1987 and grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. He moved to Toronto for school in the mid 2000s where he became an integral part of the local comics scene. His debut work, Lose #1, was published in 2009 and was quickly followed by a catalog of minis, zines, short stories in anthology collections, and four more issues of Lose.  In 2010 DeForge won for “Best Emerging Talent” at the Doug Wright Awards, and in 2011 he won the award for non-narrative and nominally-narative work for his Spotting Dear. In 2013 Koyama Press published DeForge’s book collection of work entitled Very Casual.


Simon Hanselmann will discuss the Australian comics scene, the virtues of Tumblr as a distribution platform, making money, ‘the future’ and his general comics making process. Also: various crackpot theories and obscure in-jokes.

Simon Hanselmann is a Tasmanian born cartoonist best known for his Megg, Mogg and Owl series. In July 2013  Fantagraphics Books published his  200-page collection of strips Megahex. In August 2013, Simon Hanselmann was nominated for an Ignatz award for his comic St.Owl’s Bay. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.

hanselmann image 2

Having self-published comics for the better part of the last decade, Patrick Kyle will discuss the logistics of playing publisher while balancing careers as both a cartoonist and illustrator.

Patrick Kyle lives and works in Toronto, Canada. He is the co-founder and editor of Wowee Zonk, a contemporary comic book anthology featuring upcoming narrative artists from Toronto. He has been previously nominated for Doug Wright and Ignatz awards for his comic book series Black Mass and Distance Mover. Patrick’s illustrations have appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, The Walrus, Transworld Skateboarding Magazine, and Vice Magazine.



The ninety-ninth meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 8 pm at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public. Please note 8pm starting time.

Presentations: Yvan Alagbé and Dominique Goblet

Yvan Alagbé and Dominique Goblet will discuss their careers and their most recent work in a conversation moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos (Series Editor, The Best American Comics).
Yvan Alagbé (France) and Dominique Goblet (Belgium) are key and influential figures in the development of contemporary Francophone comics. Alagbé co-founded the French publishing house Éditions Amok, and Goblet was an early contributor to Frigorevue, the flagship anthology of the Brussels-based publisher Fréon. The two publishers later merged to form Frémok, which continues to publish work by both of these artists and to advocate for ever more sophisticated explorations of comics form.
Alagbé’s own work, rendered in ink and wash, expresses in both harsh lines and soft tones his clear-eyed, penetrating narratives of mysterious desire and explosive cultural conflict, evident in his celebrated Nègres jaunes et autres créatures imaginaires and in his most recent book, École de la misère. Goblet has produced a challenging body of work that questions the distinctions between fiction and autobiography, and between narrative comics and poetic image-making. Her latest book, Plus si Entente, was produced collaboratively with German cartoonist Kai Pfeiffer.

The ninety-eighth meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 8 pm at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public. Please note: 8pm starting time.

Presentation: Brian Maidment on The Comic Image in the British Marketplace 1820-1850.
Brian Maidment is Professor of the History of Print at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. His most recent book is called Comedy, Caricature and the Social Order 1820-1850 (Manchester University Press 2013).

maidment image small
Anonymous wood engraving The Literary Dustman circa 1832

The ninety-seventh meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 7 pm at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Presentations: Part 1. A Conversation with Thierry Smolderen
To celebrate the publication of the English-language edition of Thierry Smolderen’s new book The Origins of Comics: from William Hogarth to Winsor McCay, (University Press of Mississippi) the author joins us, via Skype, from France for a conversation.
Thierry Smolderen is a comics writer and scholar who teaches at the École européenne supérieure de l’image in Angoulême, France.

Part 2. Comics in the University.
Panelists : Ben Katchor (Parsons), Peter Kuper (SVA and Harvard), Jonathan W. Gray (John Jay College, CUNY), and  Nick Sousanis (Parsons, Teachers College), lead an audience discussion on the teaching of writing/drawing, history and critical study of comics and text-image work in the university.

origins of comics cover

The ninety-sixth meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Monday, August 25, 2014 at 7 pm at BHQFU, 34 Avenue A (near 3rd Street).  Free and open to the public.

Presentations by Juliacks, and Alexandra Atiya and Salman Toor.

Presentation 1: Juliacks
Comics: Art, Narrative, & Time
This talk is all about looking at the stories and art of the previous millennia to talk about the comics narratives of today. Human understanding and language is based in the creation of stories. Still, each story is like a math formula whose variables and structure can be manipulated. The stories, they reaffirm, reject, deny, and reconstruct our past, our identity and our values. Presenting a mirror, our stories foretell a kind of future. As part of the talk, Juliacks will discuss her current work in progress, the comic book Architecture of an Atom.


Presentation 2: Alexandra Atiya and Salman Toor
Work-in-Progress: Electricity Thieves
Pakistani painter Salman Toor and American writer Alexandra Atiya discuss their collaboration on a graphic novel set in contemporary Pakistan. Toor and Atiya began collaborating on the project earlier this year, after Toor suggested certain scenes of life in Lahore that he wanted to capture in a visual narrative form. Atiya responded by developing a plot that could include a number of these scenes. The plot of the graphic novel revolves around the kidnapping of the adolescent son of an upper-middle-class family. Most of the action takes place during a mid-summer electricity crisis, when power can be out for hours each day. Toor, a figurative painter who received his MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, will also discuss representations of Pakistan in other media, such as photojournalism, and the dearth of graphic novels representing everyday Pakistani life.



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