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The ninety-second meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Monday, July 28, 2014 at 7 pm at The School of Visual Arts, 132 West 21st St, 3rd floor studio. Free and open to the public.

Presentations by Tom Hart and Leela Corman. Moderator: Aaron Cockle
Updates from Tom Hart, Leela Corman, and The Sequential Artists Workshop

Presenter 1: Tom Hart
Former SVA instructor Tom Hart debriefs about the first 2 1/2 years of SAW, the non-profit, informal arts school he founded in central Florida 2012, going into detail about the curriculum, the teachers, the students, and the work that’s come out of there.
In addition he’ll preview his work in progress, Rosalie Lightning.

Presenter 2: Leela Corman
Leela Corman will show highlights from her last year of work including numerous non-fiction comics about dance and politics in Egypt, belly dancing on King’s Highway, sex trafficking in Cambodia, and the connections between her daughter and grandfather, a holocaust survivor, in the award-winning Yahrzeit.

hart 2yahrzeit_p01_smaller

The ninety-first meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Monday, July 14, 2014 at 7 pm at BHQFU, 34 Avenue A (near 3rd St.)

Presentation by Neil Dvorak. Moderator: Alexander Rothman

Well, How Did I Get Here? and Other Ramblings from a Lost Comic Soul
How is it that inside one single human there can exist such extremes? Why does my brain never agree with my gut? How can I love and hate something at exactly the same time? What does that say about me!? About the universe!? Delve into cosmic insecurity with Neil Dvorak, creator and writer of “Easy Pieces.”

Neil Dvorak received his MFA in drawing from SUNY Purchase in 2010. Since then he’s delved headfirst into comics with his web-comic “Easy Pieces.” He is proud to be hosted on the amazing Activate Comix site, and is thrilled to have found a medium that gives so much. His site is
Link to Summer Symposium Schedule:


The ninetieth meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Monday, June 30, 2014 at 7 pm at Columbia University, Butler Library, room 523. Free and open to the public.

Presentations by Alexander Rothman and Lior Zaltzman. Moderator: Karen Green

Presenter 1: Alexander Rothman
A History of Comics Poetry
It’s now widely accepted that comics can be “art” or “literature,” but what about “poetry”? What would it look like to make poems in comics’ visual language? This is a great moment to ask that question. It’s been just over a century since Krazy Kat’s lyrically weird debut, exactly 50 years since Joe Brainard joined New York School Poets to produce a seminal anthology that was equal parts comics and poetry—and for the first time, there’s a literary journal dedicated to the hybrid form.
Alexander Rothman is a poet and cartoonist who co-edits that journal, INK BRICK. His work has appeared in such publications as the Seneca Review, the Indiana Review, Suspect Device, The Brooklyn Rail, and The Rumpus. In this talk he briefly traces the history of comics poetry, with an emphasis on the exciting contemporary movement. Website:

Image Rothman Inkbrick COVER
Presenter 2: Lior Zaltzman
Comix Are Hard: My Comic School “Failures” (and Little Triumphs)
I’ll be talking about my experiences getting a BFA in cartooning and how different teachers and experiences have influenced the way I draw stories and my approaches to storytelling, leading to my different approaches to comics post-school, asking myself, and others, whether studying comics for four years is indeed a good idea.
Lior Zaltzman was born in Israel, grew up in Belgium and studied in the US. She got her BFA (with Honors) in Cartooning in 2013. She has been published in SVA’s Ink, Visual option and in BKLNYR magazine and has an upcoming story in Ninth Art Press’ Subcultures Anthology. She was awarded the Bob Guilgmo Alumni Scholarship to self publish Staring Ahead a fictional coming-of-age story that takes place in Tel Aviv. Website:

Image Lior ZaltzmanLink to Summer Symposium Schedule:

The eighty-ninth meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Monday, June 23, 2014 at 7 pm at The School of Visual Arts, 132 West 21st St, 3rd floor studio. Free and open to the public.

Presentations by Ralph Moreau and A.T. Pratt. Moderator: Aaron Cockle

Presenter 1: Ralph Moreau
Graphic Design Aesthetics in Comics
A brief presentation, followed by small group discussion, on graphic design aesthetics in comics. We’ll talk about theories of typography, composition, and design, and how artists can use these to accentuate their work.

Ralph Moreau is a designer in NYC and will be starting a graduate program in design and technology in the Fall. He is interested in exploring a graphic design in comics and, in his own work, he enjoys emulating styles and aesthetics. Website:,,

image ralph cover
Presenter 2: A.T. Pratt
Playing with the Page
A. T. Pratt will present his experimentations with the form and structure of the comic book page as well as book design through slides and printed editions of his most recent self-published works.  Every choice a cartoonist makes in the process of writing through art has potential to convey narrative, from the first steps of breaking down the story into sequence to the final steps of formatting and choosing materials for print.  We will examine how these choices evolve alongside content and evoke the passage through time and space.

A.T. Pratt is a cartoonist from New York City who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration in 2013.  His work has appeared in Happiness Comix 2 & 3, Plus 13, Odium Comix 1 & 2, Inkmaggot Zines (Talking Shit, The Future) and his own self published comic books since 2010.  One of his recent comics, Stupid Cupid, was selected to be part of the first ever Society of Illustrators Comic and Cartoon Art Annual, and original art from the book will be on display at The Museum of the Society of Illustrators from June 24 to July 19.  A. T. Pratt’s comics can also be seen online at  He spends his days walking dogs in Cobble Hill and his daily dog portraits can be seen on  Contact:, @A_T_Pratt

image pratt playingwiththepage

Link to Summer Symposium Schedule:

The eighty-eighth meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Monday, June 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM at The School of Visual Arts, 132 West 21st St, 3rd floor studio. Free and open to the public.

Presentation by R. Orion Martin: Image Remix: Appropriated Comics

Discussions of comics often focus on the painstaking process of hand-drawn illustration. Remixed comics collaged from digital images offer an alternative that emphasizes flexibility, speed, and adaptation. Orion Martin will give a brief overview of the possibilities in appropriated comics.
About the Speaker: My goal is to create innovative comics that challenge assumptions about what the medium can be. I’m also interested in applying the critical discourse of contemporary art to comics. Recent projects have included appropriating images to comment on the history of comics production and exploring the intersection of science fiction and social commentary. For people who are interested to know more, I send monthly process-based updates about my work to my supporters on I also write about Chinese art. The archived interviews and essays I’ve done can be found here in both Mandarin and English. Website: | Orion Martin on Tumblr and Twitter
Link to Summer Symposium Schedule:
Orion Martin


The eighty-seventh meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Monday, June 2, 2014 at 7:00 PM at Columbia University, Butler Library, Room 523 (map). Free and open to the public.

Presentations by Scott Cunningham and Peter Kuper. Moderated by Karen Green.

Bad For You co-author Scott Cunningham will read the opening comic about America’s comic book censorship and burnings during the late 1940s and 50s, as well as other excerpts from his book with Kevin C. Pyle.BFY Cover

Bad For You: Exposing the War on Fun! It chronicles all things that are supposed to be bad for kids (but really aren’t). And not just the things that modern parents fear like violent video games, social media, and dirty hands. The book takes a historical look at the hysterical horror adults have felt about kids starting back with Plato (yeah, that one) and his worries over the new “technology” from his time: the written word!

Cunningham has worked as both an illustrator and writer (and sometimes even an illustrator/writer), for publications such as Heavy Metal, Mad Magazine, Mad Kids, Nickelodeon Magazine, Archie Comics, and a slew of DC Titles, including Vertigo, Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo and Cartoon Network Block Party. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, daughter, dog and WAY too many cats.

Speechless: Wordless Comics
Peter Kuper will present a survey of work from Franz Masereel to the present. In conjunction with the release of an new edition of The System, he will be discussing his exploration of wordless storytelling including Spy vs Spy, Sticks and Stones and Eye of the Beholder.
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The eighty-sixth meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 7:00 PM at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Presentations by Gabrielle Bell and Jonathan W. Gray

Gabrielle Bell will discuss her recent work
Gabrielle Bell was born in England and raised in California. Her work has been selected for the 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013 Houghton-Mifflin Best American Comics and the Yale Anthology of Graphic Fiction. Her work has also been featured in The Guardian,The Big Issue,Vice Magazine, McSweeney’s, Bookforum, The Believer, and Flare. The title story of Bell’s book, Cecil and Jordan in New York, (2009) has been adapted for the film anthology Tokyo! by Michel Gondry. Her most recent book,The Voyeurs, was released in 2012 by Uncivilized Books. Truth is Fragmentary: Travelogues & Diaries is scheduled to be released in May 2014, also by Uncivilized Books.

gabrielle Bell 72

Jonathan W. Gray on Machine-Men: Race and Technology in American Superhero Comics.
Jonathan W. Gray will discuss why Black superheroes are so often also cybernetic hybrids, as with characters like the newly relevant Deathlok, Cyborg, Misty Knight and War Machine. Given that people of African descent were often linked to primitivism in the cultural imagination in general and in comic strips and early comic books in particular, do these post-human Black heroes induce us to understand both race and heroism differently? Is the incorporation of technology into the Black body simply a plot device in superhero comics, or is it an innovative way to visually represent the divided and conflicted racial subject? Is post-human the same as post-racial?

Jonathan W. Gray, associate professor, John Jay College–CUNY, works on post-WWII American culture, specifically the various ways that the Civil Rights movement continues to shape cultural production. He is the author of Civil Rights in the White Literary Imagination: Innocence by Association (University Press of Mississippi, 2013) and has contributed articles on comics and popular culture to Entertainment Weekly and Salon. He is currently co-editing Feats of Clay: Disability and Graphic Narrative, which applies the insights of disability studies to contemporary graphic narratives.

jonathan gray image 72

A special meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 8:00 PM at  The New School,  66 West 12th Street, Room A407. Free and open to the public.

Presentation: Antonin Baudry on his recent book Weapons of Mass Diplomacy.
Antonin Baudry, author of the award-winning graphic novel Weapons of Mass Diplomacy (illustrated by Christophe Blain), will discuss his bestselling satire of Franco-American relations in the lead up to the Iraq War. Baudry, who is Cultural Counselor at the French Embassy in New York, will discuss the genesis of the book (published in France as Quai D’Orsay), which draws on his experiences an advisor to former French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin. He will talk about the motivations behind his satire of diplomatic life and why he chose to write it in comic book form. Drawing on the political situation that underpins the book, as well as the vibrant French bande dessinée scene, this talk will provide a unique insight into the creative and diplomatic processes, and will interest anyone with a passion for politics, culture, and comedy. Weapons of Mass Diplomacy was recently adapted into an acclaimed movie, directed by Bertrand Tavernier and starring Thierry Lhermitte and Julie Gayet, which will be released in the US in 2014 (as The French Minister).

Abel Lanzac is the pseudonym of Antonin Baudry, a French diplomat who is currently the Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy and Permanent Representative of the French Universities in the United States. Previously he was an Advisor for International Economic and Cultural Affairs for former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin. Baudry’s career has been a hybrid of diplomatic and cultural enterprises. As Abel Lanzac, Baudry received the prize for best album at the Angoulême International Comics Festival with designer Christophe Blain in February 2013 for their graphic novel Quai d’Orsay (published in English as Weapons of Mass Diplomacy).  The film adaptation of Quai d’Orsay premiered in November 2013 and won the special jury prize for best screenplay at the Saint-Sébastien Film Festival in September 2013. The film was also chosen as a special presentation at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  It is nominated for a 2014 César award for best adaptation.
Weapons of Mass Diplomacy_Cover (low res)

The New York Comics & Picture-story Symposium will hold an informal meeting at the Free University event at Madison Sq. Park from noon to 1pm at location “C” on Thursday, May 1, 2014. A full schedule of the day’s activities can be found here. Rain or shine.

John Bulwer MD's Chironomia (1644)

The eighty-fifth meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Presentation: Ariela Freedman on Charlotte Salomon.

Charlotte Salomon was a young Jewish artist from Berlin who fled Germany after Kristallnacht, and who hid in the South of France. From 1940 to 1942, she created over thirteen hundred small gouaches and sketches that together comprised a fictionalized autobiography. Salomon rejected a number of the gouaches, leaving a narrative sequence of nearly eight hundred paintings, which she left in the keeping of a family friend when she was deported to Auschwitz, where she was murdered. The paintings combine text and image. Early in the sequence, she wrote the textual element of the story on separate, semi-transparent pieces of paper, which she taped as an overlay above the paintings. Later on, she incorporated text into the images themselves. The entire series, including the paintings that Salomon rejected, is one of the most extraordinary and understudied artworks of the century. Salomon’s work is one of a kind; it is hard to imagine how she imagined her work would be seen at all, let alone how it might be adequately reproduced. As Griselda Pollock writes, Life? Or Theatre? is “one of the twentieth century’s most challenging art works…Yet, I, for one, am not sure that I can know fully what I am looking at.” But what if we say we are looking at a comic? Leben? Oder Theater? Ein Singespeil (“Life? Or Theater? A Melodrama”), might be among the most powerful graphic narratives ever drawn and written. But it is almost entirely absent in critical discourse on comics and on graphic narrative. Part of the reason for Salomon’s absence from comics history is that Life? Or Theater? is not a comic, strictly speaking: it was not drawn to be mass-produced, and was created largely in isolation from a comics tradition. Salomon’s work provides valuable precedent for one of the most significant movements in contemporary comics, graphic memoir and testimonial. In her playful, leading, open title as question — “Life? Or Theatre?”—she introduces the tension inherent in staging autobiography. In her concurrent claim to comics and high art, Salomon anticipates the move of contemporary comics back to the gallery wall. Her foregrounding of the personal and domestic against an implicated dark history prefigures the attempts of writers like Spiegelman, Satrapi and Eisenstein to map their own stories. Life? Or Theatre? may not be exactly a comic, but it is instead something richer and stranger: a graphic narrative of an ambition and scale that has not yet been replicated, that in many ways anticipates the conventions and preoccupations of contemporary graphic memoirs. This presentation will use the semiotic vocabulary developed by comics theorists to explore Salomon’s use of word and image, to argue for Salomon’s place in the emergent comics “canon” and her importance as a multidisciplinary artist.
Ariela Freedman is an Associate Professor at the Liberal Arts College, Concordia University, Montreal. She is the author of Death, Men and Modernism (Routledge, 2003) and has a PhD in English Literature from NYU. She has published widely on literary modernism, and in the last few years has begun to publish on comics in The Journal of Modern Literature and Literature Compass and to present in forums including the “Graphic Details Symposium” (New York, 2012) and “Comics and Medicine: Navigating the Margins” (Toronto, 2012). She currently holds a SSHRC Insight Development Grant on “Charlotte Salomon, Comics and the Representation of Pain” (2013-2015) and is actively seeking cartoonists and picture-story artists whose work is influenced by Salomon. Her essays on Salomon are forthcoming in the Graphic Details anthology (2014) and in the journal Criticism (2014).



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