The 335th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, April 26, 2022 at 7pm EST. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Simone Chess : Broadside Ballad Woodcuts: Premodern Visual Culture, Popular Media, and Queer Coding

Broadside ballads—single sheet songs on all topics, often printed with woodcut images—were wildly popular in the early modern period, but these popular and prolific illustrations have only recently begun to be considered as significant media in their own right. This talk will briefly review the history and impact of broadside ballad woodcut images in general, and then zoom in on the woodcut’s iterative lives of increasing meaning through reproduction and reuse. As certain images were reprinted in new contexts, they took on significance and meaning beyond any one use, becoming what Katie Sisneros has called “Early Modern Memes.” Building on the idea of woodcut images as signifiers beyond any single use, I’ll argue that certain woodcuts took on queer connotations, coming to be used to signal and advertise content related to nonnormative genders and sexualities. Tracking the lives of these queer-coded broadside ballad woodcuts deepens what we know about premodern visual vocabularies and puts our own queer visual language in conversation with its possible past. 

Simone Chess is Associate Professor of English and Director of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit. She is the author of Male-to-Female Crossdressing in Early Modern English Literature: Gender, Performance, and Queer Relations (Routledge, 2016) and co-editor, with Will Fisher and Colby Gordon, of a special issue on “Early Modern Trans Studies” in The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies (JEMCS, 2019). She is completing a book on Shakespeare and trans culture for the Routledge “Spotlight on Shakespeare” series; another book project in progress will be about early modern disability, queerness, and technologies of sex. 

Woodcut image from “Watten Towns-End,” c. 1672, National Library of Scotland Crawford EB.91, English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA) 32833.

The 334th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  April 19, 2022 at 7pm EST. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Céline Hudréaux on her work.

In her presentation, Céline Hudréaux will shed a light on her passion for printmaking and her heroes: the authors and illustrators from the past and present who have deeply marked her practice and kindled her desire to make her own books. Her talk will be a walk along surrealism, waking dreams and nightmares, magical thinking, outsider artists, engravings, etchings, and visual and experimental comics. She will address what it means not to know how to draw and what role documentation plays in her practice. And since no-one can do everything alone, she will speak about her collaboration with her editor Ria Schulpen of Bries and the authors who surround them. 

Visual artist Céline Hudréaux (°1979, Marseille) studied Fine Arts at Villa Arson in Nice (France) and Sint-Lucas in Ghent (Belgium), where she lives now.  

Her preferred medium is non-toxic printmaking. Especially in this age of ubiquitous digital carriers, the graphic techniques, characterized by their materiality, are both a necessary counterweight and an enriching complement. Today, she teaches printmaking at Sint-Lucas Antwerp and the Academy of Waasmunster in Belgium.  

Primitive art, folk culture and dream images inspire her visual language. Céline Hudréaux’s work was exhibited from Borgerhout to Tokyo. She published two graphic stories at the Antwerp based publishing house Bries: It’s Not an Ocean (2013, in collaboration with Geert Ooms) and Maelstrom (2019, based on a short story by Edgar Allan Poe).  

The 333rd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  April 12, 2022 at 7pm EST. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Brecht Vandenbrouke: Trial and error

I will talk about my practice, how I develop my comics and writing, my influences and the themes that interest me.

Brecht Vandenbroucke (°1986, Belgium) paints, write stories, makes sculptures, illustrations and comics. 

He studied fine arts and graduated as an illustrator at St-lucas Hogeschool in Ghent (Be) in 2008. He made illustrations for the New York Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Variety, MIT Technology Review, Wired and lots of Belgium papers and magazines. Other clients include Diesel, Lacoste & Prada. He published the comic books ‘White Cube’ (2013) and ‘Shady’ (2021).  Right now he is working on his next book.

https://www.instagram.com/brechtvandenbroucke/

http://brechtvandenbroucke.blogspot.be

The 332nd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  April 5, 2022 at 7pm EST. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email  comicssymposium@gmail.com  to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Adrian Seville: The Game of the Goose in the Cartoon Idiom

The Game of the Goose is a simple race game, recorded from the fifteenth century but still active today, having generated thousands of variants in printed form. In many of these, a picture-story unfolds along the track. Not surprizing, then, that the format has attracted famous cartoonists. Games by Gus Bofa, Fernand Fau, Daaniel Hoeksma, Georges Wolinski and Benito Jacovitti will be illustrated and discussed.

Adrian Seville is an international expert on the history of printed board games, specialising in research on the cultural history of the Game of the Goose. This research is supported by his private collection, assembled over many years and now ultimately destined for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. He has published widely on printed board games, speaking on them in Europe and in America, where in 2016 he curated a public exhibition of his collection at the Grolier Club of New York. His recent book, The Cultural Legacy of the Royal Game of the Goose, was published by Amsterdam University Press and is the first comprehensive academic study of the genre. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

The 331st meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  March 29, 2022 at 7pm EST. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email  comicssymposium@gmail.com  to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Eike Exner on Comics and the Origins of Modern Manga.

In Comics and the Origins of Modern Manga, his recent book based on multiple years of archival research in Japan, Eike Exner argues that modern manga are more accurately understood as the offspring of 1920s and 1930s translations of foreign comic strips rather than the product of a gradual evolution from older Japanese art. Comic strips imported from abroad, primarily the United States, were immensely popular among Japanese newspaper and magazine readers at the time, and quickly emulated by Japanese artists at the request of editors. The central difference between the foreign comic strips and existing Japanese graphic narrative (itself strongly influenced by European and American cartoons and picture stories) was their depiction of sound and motion, which obviated explanatory narration and coincided with the spread of similar modern entertainment such as music records and the cinema.

Eike Exner is a historian of East Asian, European, and North American graphic narrative of the 19th and early 20th centuries. He writes about and translates old cartoons and comic strips on the Instagram account @prewar_manga.

The 330th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  March 22, 2022 at 7pm EST. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Dan Zettwoch: Cutaway Comics and other Schematic Devices

Symbolic pictorial gadgets are deeply wired into the circuitry of cartooning, from the speech bubble to the arcing sweat droplet. In this revealing chat we’ll examine the use of larger, system-wide structures for diagramming the world hidden inside the panels of a comic. Zettwoch will zoom through a semi-historical overview of scientific visual vernacular, from ancient petroglyphs to Popular Mechanics and beyond, landing on usage in his own practice. Focus will be one one particular contraption: the cutaway rendering. No need to bring your X-Ray specs.

Dan Zettwoch is a cartoonist, information designer and printmaker born in Louisville, Kentucky now living and working in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to many self-published zines and handcrafted mini-comics, his books include BIRDSEYE BRISTOE (Drawn & Quarterly), AMAZING FACTS & BEYOND (Uncivilized Books), and Science Comics: CARS: ENGINES THAT MOVE YOU (First Second). His goofball illustrations and jam-packed diagrams have also been seen in the Missouri History Museum, the State Capitol Museum, and in homemade screenprints commemorating local birds, baseball and strange foods.

Please note: There’s no meeting this Tuesday, March 15, 2022. We’re taking a spring break.

See you on March 22th for a talk by Dan Zettwoch.

The 329th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  March 8 2022 at 7pm EST. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email  comicssymposium@gmail.com  to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Dustin Holland on Slapstick Poetics – poetry, play and madness in comics. 

In this talk, Dustin will explore the long-standing relationship between poetry and comics, and discuss the ways in which an understanding of poetic devices can enhance both the process of reading and making comics. 

Starting with readings of Winsor McCay, Walt Kelly and Ernie Bushmiller before moving on to William S. Burroughs’ failed forrays into the comics medium and contemporary artists like Jim Woodring and Keren Katz in addition to his own work – Dustin will attempt to illustrate the numerous ways in which poetics have helped to push comics towards new and exciting directions. 

Dustin Holland is a cartoonist living in Colorado. He is the former poetry editor of Kleft Jaw Press and Cheeseburger Nebula Galactic Press. Dustin writes about comics for Comic Book Resources. His work has appeared in Bubbles Fanzine, Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station News Stand and numerous self-published zines and comics, many of which can be found for sale on Wigshop Webshop and Domino Books. Visit his website: Gorchverse.com

The 328th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  March 1, 2022 at 7pm EST. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Comics and Sequential Art:  Will Eisner, Teacher and Mentor [A Will Eisner Week 2022 event]

Famous for his iconic Spirit character and for his groundbreaking graphic novels, Will Eisner also spent 20 years teaching the art and craft of comics, mostly at New York’s School of Visual Arts. Most important to him was the teaching and mentoring of the next generations of cartoonists; passing along to them the knowledge he acquired over a lifetime in the industry. From those classes emerged Eisner’s three essential textbooks: Comics and Sequential Art, Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative, and Expressive Anatomy for Comics and Narrative. Join noted comics creators including Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man), Emil Ferris(My Favorite Thing is Monsters),Dean Haspiel (The Red Hook), and Jennifer Hayden (The Story of My Tits) will teach lessons out of Will’s textbooks, leavened with their own personal insights. Also, see rare footage of Eisner, himself, demonstrating his artistic principles. Danny Fingeroth, Chair of Will Eisner Week, will moderate.

About Will Eisner:

WILL EISNER (1917-2005) innovated and pioneered comics in two different eras. Eisner helped invent the comics industry in the 1930s and created The Spirit in the 1940s as a heroic crime-fighting figure who appeared in a Sunday newspaper comics insert. The Spirit walked through a world of noir-inflected, urban drama, one suffused with humor and insight into the human condition, a world not afraid to essay the occasional Yiddish in-joke or Bronx social drama vignette. Then, after producing comics for training and education, Eisner, in 1978, re-invented himself—and the comics medium—with his first graphic novel, A Contract With God, followed, until his 2005 passing, with many acclaimed graphic novels and textbooks.

About the Panelists:

BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS is an award-winning comics creator, Amazon and New York Times bestseller, and one of the most successful writers working in mainstream comics. For the last twenty years, Brian’s books have consistently sat on top of the nationwide comic and graphic novel sales charts. Over the years at Marvel entertainment, Brian completed historic runs on titles including Spider-Man (18 years), Avengers (9 years), Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, and X-Men. Moving over to DC Comics in 2018, Bendis had memorable runs on Man of Steel, Superman, and Action Comics. Recently, Bendis has brought his creator-owned Jinxworld imprint over to Dark Horse Comics, where his publications will include his classic Powers (with Michael Avon Oeming) and (with Stephen Byrne).  

EMIL FERRIS is a graphic novelist whose first book My Favorite Thing Is Monsters has been praised by critics since its publication in 2017. Her book—which presents itself as the lined notebook diary of a pre-teen self-avowed werewolf who questions her sexual identity—is set in Chicago in the 1960’s. The book is autobiographically infused as Emil—like her protagonist Karen Reyes—was witness to the highly charged political and social climate of that time. The main character’s obsession with B-movies of the Hammer and Universal varieties and EC horror magazines is evident. Journalists have noted how the book parallels themes of monstrosity and “otherness.” Not only are EC-inspired horror comic covers recreated in ballpoint pen by Emil’s protagonist, but so are many significant paintings that hang in the Art Institute of Chicago. Ferris cites art-making as being critically important to her survival of childhood disability as well as subsequent physical challenges. My Favorite Thing is Monsters has now been published in nine languages and has been honored with numerous awards, among them: The Lambda Literary Award, multiple Eisners, the Ignatz and the Fauve d’or at the Angouleme Festival, France. Emil has exhibited her art extensively in the U.S. and Europe and was most recently honored to teach classes at the Louvre.

Emmy and Ringo award winner, DEAN HASPIEL created Billy Dogma, The Red Hook, illustrated for HBO’s “Bored To Death,” was a Master Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, is a Yaddo fellow, a playwright, and helped pioneer personal webcomics via ACT-I-VATE. Dino has written and drawn many comix for Marvel, DC, Image, Archie, IDW, Dark Horse, Heavy Metal, and LINE Webtoon and has collaborated on comics with Harvey Pekar, Jonathan Ames, Inverna Lockpez, Jonathan Lethem, Stoya, and Stan Lee.

JENNIFER HAYDEN is a New Jersey-based graphic novelist whose Eisner-nominated breast cancer memoir The Story of My Tits was translated into Italian and Spanish and is coming soon in French. She is currently working on a graphic travel novella about France called Le Chat Noir, as well as an anti-cookbook (her first work in color) called Where There’s Smoke There’s Dinner.

DANNY FINGEROTH is the Chair of Will Eisner Week and is an author and historian whose latest book is A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee, currently out in paperback from St. Martin’s Press. Legendary cartoonist/screenwriter (and Eisner collaborator) Jules Feiffer has said of the book: “Danny Fingeroth gives us, page after page, rapid and cogent insights into the Marvel world, the comics universe, and Stan Lee as innovator, ring master, high-stakes gambler, con man, and an indefatigable charmer. And visionary, as well.”  Fingeroth was a longtime writer and editor at Marvel, and is the author of Superman on the Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us About Ourselves and Our Society and Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews Comics and the Creation of the Superhero.  For more info: www.dannyfingeroth.com

To find out more about WILL EISNER WEEK (and how to plan an event in your community or online), go to: http://www.willeisner.com/

The 327th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  February 22, 2022 at 7pm EST. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Through the eye of Clara Bessijelle.

A chronological look inside the world of Clara Bessijelle’s comics. A world where Face Man, The Doctor, Lobster King and other strange characters wreak havoc!

Clara Bessijelle Johansson is a cartoonist born in Stockholm, Sweden.

Her work is usually about odd characters who spend their time in richly illustrated environments. Clara has published comics and has been anthologized in both European and American publications. Her comic Face Man, published by Domino Books, was nominated for The Ignatz Awards as Promising New Talent 2012.