The 165th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Oct. 25, 2016 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Crossing Kirby: The “King of Comics” in context of social issues and “fine” art

The groundbreaking exhibition “Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby” at California State University, Northridge in summer 2015 and its accompanying catalog advanced interesting ideas about this visionary pop artist’s cultural significance and his intersection with issues of commercial creativity, representations of otherness, personal trauma and more. Panelists are include the exhibition’s curator Charles Hatfield (CSUN), the catalog’s co-editor Ben Saunders (University of Oregon), artist and “Black Kirby” co-founder John Jennings (UC Riverside), playwright Crystal Skillman and writer/comics historian Fred Van Lente (who collaborated on the play King Kirby), designer Rand Hoppe (curator, Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center), writer/filmmaker Ann Nocenti (catalog contributor, legendary scripter of Daredevil and, recently, the Kirby-created Klarion), artist, activist and Kirby scholar James Romberger, and artist/writer Amy Reeder (currently co-scripting the Kirby-inspired Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur). Moderated by catalog contributor, cultural critic and comic writer Adam McGovern.


The 164th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Oct. 18,  2016 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public

Colette Gaiter on “Emory Douglas: 50 years of Revolutionary Art”

Colette Gaiter will talk about former Black Panther Party Minister of Culture, artist, designer and illustrator Emory Douglas’s work on The Black Panther newspaper in the 1960s and 70s. His subversive and proactive political cartoons, collages and drawings visualized the Black Power movement and galvanized activism that persists into the twenty-first century. He currently travels globally to give talks about his previous work and collaborates with indigenous activists in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico—any place where people use art for liberation from injustice and oppression.
The New Museum in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles are on the long list of international museums and venues that have featured his work in solo exhibitions. The AIGA awarded Douglas a 2015 Medal for his contributions to the field of design and visual communication.

Colette Gaiter is an Associate Professor of Visual Communication at the University of Delaware. She wrote the introduction for the second edition of Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas, which also contains her essay on his work. Her writing on Douglas’s work also appears in West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977. Since 2004, she continues to write about Douglas’s work for a variety of publications.
After working in graphic design she became an educator, artist and writer, exhibiting her work internationally and in galleries, museums and public institutions in the United States. Her work ranges from digital prints and artist books to web sites and interactive installations. Venues include the Studio Museum in Harlem, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston.


Original image, 1976, The Black Panther Newspaper. Right: Black Lives Matter poster. © 2015 / Emory Douglas / Artists Rights Society, New York

The 163rd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Oct. 11, 2016 at 7pm at The New School, 66 West 12th St., Room A510. Free and open to the public. PLEASE NOTE 12TH STREET LOCATION FOR THIS EVENT!

Filip Pagowski on “My Father and I. Graphic Arts Across Generations and Oceans.”

I would like to introduce my father Henryk Tomaszewski’s graphic oeuvre followed by the presentation of my own work. My father’s segment will consist of a chronological show of his work, mostly posters, with some book covers, illustrations and satirical drawings, starting in the mid 1940s and continuing till the early 1990s. I wanted to present the social, historical and political meaning of that time period in Poland and how it influenced, or not, the work and creative process of the leading member of the so called Polish School of Posters.
After that, I want to present my own path within the graphic arts world, its ups and downs and its geography: America, Europe and Asia.
I think that the lecture as a whole with my work in the context of my father’s might prove interesting to an audience that will follow, judge or compare any similarities or differences of style, visual language and times in which we worked.
HT’s work, even the one from the 40s, 50s or 60s still seems very young and fresh. After 2014 massive retrospective at the Warsaw National Gallery, I was surprised to see how many young people came to see the show, the ones who where too young to remember my father or even know his designs. Young people were the majority of visitors and the show broke the records with over 30 000 visitors in 90 days.

Henryk Tomaszewski
1914 Born in Warsaw
1934-39 Studies painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw
1952-85 Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw
1958 Member of Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI)
1976 Honorary Royal Designer for Industry, Royal Society of Arts, London1936 Published his first work
1939 1st Award for design of the Polish Industrial Pavilion, World Exhibition, New York
1948 Five gold medals, International Poster Exhibition, Vienna
1953 Polish Goverment National Award.
1958 Award of the Polish Prime Minister for illustrations of children’s books
1959 Award of magazine” Przegląd Kulturalny”
1963 1st Prize at the 7th Biennale, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Gold medal for the book of drawings “Complaint book”, Leipzig.
1966 Silver medal at the International Poster Biennale, Warsaw.
1970 Gold medal at the International Poster Biennale, Warsaw
1979 1st Prize at the 3rd Poster Biennale in Lahti, Finland.
1981 1st Prize at the Colorado International Poster Exhibition, Fort Collins.
1984 The Award of the Alfred Jurzykowski Foundation, New York.
1986 ICOGRADA Excellence Award.
Gold and Silver medal at the International Poster Biennale, Warsaw .
Warsaw City Award.
1991 Bronze medal, Toyama International Poster Triennale, Japan.

His works are at collections of :the Warsaw and Poznań National Museums; Museu de Art Moderna, Sao Paulo; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Villa Hugel, Essen. Museum of Modern Art Kanagawa, Japan: Stadelijk Museum Amsterdam; Colorado State Uniwersity, USA: The Museum of Modern Art, Toyama, Japan.

Selected Exhibitions:
1969 – Palais des Congres, Biel-Bienne, Switzerland
1991 – Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1992- Ginza Graphic Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1996- School of Visual Arts, New York, NY, USA
2013- Ginza Graphic Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2014- Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
2016- National Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Filip Pagowski
Born and educated in Poland.
Studies painting; then poster design, under his father prof. Henryk Tomaszewski, at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts.
From 1980 to 2010 lives and works in New York City.
Early on starts doing freelance illustration work for book covers, magazines and newspapers. Also does set and prop design for the new emerging market: the music videos.
In 1992 starts a long lasting collaboration with the New Yorker doing illustration work, lettering and logotypes for different sections of the magazine. Around the same time produces ads for Barneys New York department store and works for French clients, editorial and advertising, among them Le Monde daily paper.
From 1999 on, works on numerous projects for the Japanese fashion house: Comme des Garçons, on assignments ranging from brochures, ads and logotypes to prints for men’s and women’s garments.
His work with Comme des Garçons label triggers collaborations with a multitude of Asian clients resulting in numerous art and design projects in Taipei, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo.
Starting in 2013 and following in 2014 for a 100 year anniversary of his father’s birth, organizes a retrospective of Henryk Tomaszewski’s work at Tokyo’s ggg Gallery, then at the Warsaw National Gallery and in 2016 at the National Gallery in Ljubljana(Slovenia).
In 2016 is contacted by the musician Drake to create the single cover, logotypes and billboards for the release of what became a chart breaking and award winning album Views.
Since 2010 FP is living back in Warsaw, Poland.
Pagowski small image

The 161st meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Sept. 27, 2016 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Martha Rust on
Circles, Lines, and Coils: Picturing Life Stories in Medieval Manuscripts and Rolls.

The set of all points in a plane that are equidistant from a given point, a circle is also an image of totality and completeness. Any two points in the circumference of a circle define a line, making a line the figure of connection and also of boundaries. A version of a circle, a coil suggests cycles as well as wholeness. By way of a separate etymology, “coil” also denotes the busy tumult of life, the “mortal coil” made famous by Shakespeare. All three of these design elements feature in medieval images and diagrams depicting typical life stories and exemplary life practices that were meant to aid a viewer in successfully negotiating that busy tumult. Among these works, images of the Wheel of Fortune are primarily pictorial while Wheel of Sevens diagrams based on the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer are primarily textual. In between are diagrams that feature a smaller circular element, the roundel. A look at the use roundels in a range of contexts–in stained glass, in Books of Hours, in genealogies–demonstrates that unlike the all-encompassing circle, the roundel isolates specific items of information and lends them visual emphasis.The use of roundels in a diagram displaying the ten stages of human life renders each a subject of contemplation, even as the lines connecting all ten roundels to a central hub pictures an individual life as part of a larger cycle. By contrast, the use of roundels of the “Pater Noster Table” in the Vernon Manuscript creates a visual hierarchy of information, in which the content of the roundels not only have priority over the lines of text that connect them but also become subject to a viewer’s mental manipulation.

Martha Rust is an associate professor of English at New York University, specializing in late-medieval English literature and manuscript culture. Her first book, Imaginary Worlds in Medieval Books: Exploring the Manuscript Matrix (Palgrave, 2007) envisioned the confines of a medieval manuscript as the potential territory of a virtual world; her current book project, Item: Lists and the Poetics of Reckoning in Late-Medieval England theorizes the list as a device that enables thinking in a variety of modes. She has also written about comics and picture stories in an essay entitled “It’s a Magical World: The Page in Comics and Medieval Manuscripts.”
Psalter of Robert de Lisle - caption: 'Wheel of the ten ages of

Wheel of the ten ages of man – Psalter of Robert de Lisle (c.1310), f.126v – BL Arundel MS 83

The 160th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Sept. 20, 2016 at 7pm at Parsons The New School for Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Seymour Chwast on GOD WAR SEX
Many of my illustrations and work that I do for myself fall under these categories. The subjects are graphically important to me.

Seymour Chwast is co-founder of Push Pin Studios and has been director of the Pushpin Group where he reintroduced graphic styles and transformed them into a contemporary vocabulary.  His designs and illustrations have been used in advertising, animated films, and editorial, corporate, and environmental graphics.  He has created over 100 posters and has designed and illustrated more than thirty children’s books.  His work has been the subject of three books including, Seymour Chwast: The Left Handed Designer (Abrams, 1985).  Many museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and the Library of Congress (Washington D.C.) have collected his posters.  He has lectured and exhibited worldwide and is in the Art Directors Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of the 1985 Medal from the American Institute of Graphic Arts.

god in mexico

(above) God in Mexico.



The 159th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Sept. 13, 2016 at 7pm at Parsons The New School for Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Tommy José Stathes on his work as an early animation archivist and researcher.
Animation historian and archivist presents an overview of the 1913-1927 animated films produced by the pioneering Bray Studios of New York City. Stathes shares rare Bray film clips, images, and information from his archives while also discussing his work in finding rare early ‘orphaned’ films and reintroducing them to modern audiences.

Tommy José Stathes is an archivist, historian, exhibitor, distributor, and educator in the realm of early animated films. Stathes is best known in film history circles for creating the Bray Animation Project research initiative; the Cartoons On Film early animation release label and Cartoon Roots Blu-ray home video releases; supplying early animated films to and co-hosting them on Turner Classic Movies; as well as for the 16mm Cartoon Carnival film series in New York City. He is also Consulting Producer on Cartoon Carnival: The Documentary, an educational film about silent- era animation as well as Stathes’ related work in archiving and exhibiting this subgenre, which is currently in production.

How Animated Cartoons Are Made still small


The 158th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Sept. 6, 2016 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

CJ Suzuki on Pushing the Boundary of Manga: Gekiga and Japanese Counterculture

In present Japan, gekiga loosely refers to a body of Japanese comics (manga) with a long narrative (story manga) that is oriented toward teen and older male readers, typically with little or no humor. In manga criticism, gekigahas been defined in contrast to mainstream manga in terms of visual style and content. Whereas postwar mainstream manga was formed around Osamu Tezuka’s (quasi-Disneyesque) cartoony style, gekigais frequently associated with more “realistic” drawing style with serious or darker themes. Though fully integrated into present Japanese manga culture, gekiga, from its nascent state, assumed a distinct characteristic of being (arguably) alternative to the mainstream manga.
This talk explores the socio-historical and cultural context of the development of gekiga by examining the shifting media ecology of Japanese comics industry, important comics artists and their works, and the impact of gekiga on other artistic and cultural practices. The focus will be on two major “alternative” magazines: Garo (1964 – 2002) and COM (1967-1972), both of which offered an outlet for innovative, unorthodox, and transgressive artists. Both comics magazines not only expanded comics expressions but also pushed the conceptual horizon of manga, attempting to legitimize the artistic value of comics while maintaining a sense of unruly proclivity by being “alternative.” Gekiga rose in tandem with the counterculture of Japan in the 1960s when Japan witnessed the rise of student revolt, civic and intellectual participation in politics, and artistic experimentalism–all of which synchronically shared the global cultural and political climate of the time. This talk traces the emergence and development of gekiga in the context of postwar Japanese visual culture, mainly from mid-1950s to early 1970s, illustrating how both these comics magazines played a role in shaping the visual culture of Japanese counterculture.

Shige (CJ) Suzuki is Assistant Professor of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature at Baruch College, The City University of New York (CUNY) where he teaches courses in Japan Studies such as Japanese literature, film, and popular culture. Professor Suzuki received his Ph.D. in Literature from University of California at Santa Cruz in 2008. His current research interests are comparative literature, cultural studies, critical theory, and comics/manga studies. He has published articles in both English and Japanese. Recent published articles include “Tatsumi Yoshihiro’s Gekiga and the Global Sixties: Aspiring for an Alternative” in Manga’s Cultural Crossroads, edited by Jaqueline Berndt and Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (2013), “Traversing Art and Manga: Ishiko Junzō’s Writings on Manga/Gekiga” on Comics Forum (2014), “Autism and Manga: Comics for Women, Disability, and Tobe Keiko’s With the Light” in International Perspectives on Shojo and Shojo Manga: The Influence of Girl Culture, edited by Masami Toku (2015).

Garo+Com copy small

images: Garo (top) and COM (bottom)