The 294th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  January 26, 2021 at 7pm ET. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Victoria Lomasko on Evidence from Russia

When I consider which element should be most important in my presentations — my graphic reportage style or its context within Russian social issues — I realize that the two are inextricably linked; they create and complement each other.

If I were living in a European country, I would probably be working on a fine graphic series in a studio rather than working as a field journalist. During my presentation, I will be touching on the themes of narrative in Russian art and the role of the artist as witness in my country.

A bonus for those interested in politics will be my material from Minsk, where I was able to travel illegally in September inside a big zipped-bag to depict the peaceful Belarusian revolution.

Victoria Lomasko is a Russian contemporary artist, who is based in Moscow. She holds a degree in Graphic Arts from Moscow State University of Print­ing Arts. Describing her work as accurate, rather than political, Lomasko’s practice explores contemporary Russian society, especially the inner workings of the country’s diverse subcultures, such as LGBT activists, migrant workers, sex workers, prisoners, and so on. Her book Other Russias, thatwas published in six countries by n+1 in The USA and by Penguin in The UK for example, is a collection of ‘graphic reportages,’ a self-described style of art making and record keeping. During the past few years, mural making has become a central facet of her practice.

The 293rd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Januarry 19, 2021 at 7pm ET. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

A Working-class Artist: Jerry Moriarty

Rotart Sulli  is an artist who only makes art on assignment. He is not an independent painter or cartoonist, but an illustrator. He makes art for a client who determines the content, not for a muse or a gallery. Legendary “paintoonist” Jerry Moriarty investigates the problems of being “a working class guy working for a boss,” and those of the real-life artist working alone in a mysterious and uncertain world, in a narrative lecture that will also introduce his upcoming graphic novel, Visual Crime

Jerry Moriarty is a painter and cartoonist (self-described as a “paintoonist”) from New York. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Pratt institute, and is perhaps best-known for his comic, Jack Survives, first published in Art Spiegelman’s RAW. He taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York City for 50 years, and now lives in Binghamton, New York.

Order Visual Crime here.

The 292nd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Dec. 15, 2020 at 7pm ET. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

POSTPONED TO 2021. Catherine Anyango Grünewald: How will we know what to remember?

Catherine will speak about her graphic novel and drawing practice, which she uses to explore the interweaving of time, space and memory. In her work she is interested in using visual storytelling and comics as a way to study the other and the unknown, the visualization of the breakdown of order within a system, and how images change form over time, with images and identities haunting multiple types of production. She will demonstrate how drawing on spirit photography, colonial photography and crime scene photography as raw material is a chance to re-collect the events and people depicted and place a new remembering on the material.

In times of political and social extremism, nostalgia and the rewriting of history into ideals creates a reality that lacks specificity. Memory becomes oversimplified, generalised and reduced. Visual storytelling can remind people of the specificity of reality and the importance of remembering, envisioning and articulating our lives and the lives of others. Through her graphic novels Heart of Darkness, Scandorama, Terminal and Dead Man Walking Catherine will investigate nostalgia and haunting, revisit eugenic and colonial histories and explore the use of drawing to remember and memorialize contemporary victims of crimes.

Catherine Anyango Grünewald (born 1982, Swedish/Kenyan) is an internationally exhibited artist and lecturer. In 2010 her graphic novel adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness was published to critical acclaim and has been translated into eight languages. In 2018 she illustrated Scandorama, a dystopian Scandinavian graphic novel written by Hannele Mikaela Taivassalo, and her own upcoming graphic novel 2×2 explores the physical effects of guilt and corruption. She is also currently working on a graphic novel adaptation of Sister Helen Prejean’s Dead Man Walking which will be published by Random House in 2020.

Catherine’s drawing work uses the materiality of drawing tools to explore meaning, exploiting the physical properties of pencil and eraser to render events with realism, but to also explore unseen dimensions. Her drawings tackle the historical and contemporary systemic oppression of characters who have been marginalized and underrepresented. The process and labour invested in the work is a direct homage to the subjects, victims of violent domestic or institutional crimes.

In 2019 she was awarded the Navigator Art on Paper Prize, the largest award for work on paper in the world.

Catherine taught at the Royal College of Art in London for ten years and is now a Senior Lecturer in Illustration at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm.

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The 291st meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Dec. 8, 2020 at 7pm ET. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Sharon Rudahl on Ballad of an American – A Graphic Biography of Paul Robeson

Veteran graphic storyteller Sharon Rudahl discusses her checkered career, her hot-off-the-press graphic biography of black athlete performer and activist Paul Robeson, and political action in time of plague.

Sharon Rudahl was born in Arlington, Virginia, in 1947. As a teenager, she marched with Martin Luther King. She studied art at the Cooper Union in New York City, living in the East Village in its heyday. Proceeds from her feminist erotic novel Acid Temple Ball paid for her art supplies and rent.

After college, she helped start the anti-Vietnam War underground newspaper Take Over. She worked on underground newspapers in San Francisco in the early 1970s and began drawing comics in the first Wimmen’s Comix. Her major works include A Dangerous Woman: The Graphic Biography of Emma Goldman, The Adventures of Crystal Night – reprinted in Abrams’ Art in Time, Lincoln For Beginners, and large portions of the graphic version of Studs Terkel’s Working, Harvey Pekar’s Yiddishkeit, and Bohemians with Paul Buhle. She is married to a professional chessplayer and has two adult sons and two lynx point cats. They live in a 110-year old Hollywood bungalow so overgrown by foliage it cannot be seen on Google Earth, threatened on all sides by developers.

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The 290th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Dec. 1, 2020 at 7pm. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Hoji Tsuchiya: The unexpected image

In the early 2000s, I began to make animation with a video camera. I will explain the works produced so far and the methods that have been tried.

Hoji Tsuchiya is working as an artist in animation film using techniques such as cutouts and paper collages.  Couples in Distress (2007) was selected for the Animation Division Grand Prize, Cineastes Organization Osaka. Elementary school Situation (2011) was selected for outstanding performance award from TBS Digicon6 Awards. Spring time-old man (2017) was awarded best animated music video of Anifilm.

Currently he is producing animation series on Japanese educational TV, music videos, and experimental animations. He is based in Japan.

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The 289th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Nov. 17, 2020 at 7pm ET. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Gardeners in the Garden of The Mother: The Comics of Dominique Goblet & Kai Pfeiffer

 Kai Pfeiffer, comics artist from Berlin, talks about working as a duo with fellow comics artist Dominique Goblet from Brussels: How two minds, drawing and writing together, form a „third author“, their first book Plus si entente, and its use of „concrete poetry“ in form of profile texts from men on French dating websites; about its continuation in their follow-up project Le jardin des candidats, in which they extend their comics’ universe into the spatial dimension of the room as installation, and its re-translation into book form; about a „fake news“ social media performance gone perfectly wrong; about self-censorship as provocation, and life imitating art at the Nabokov Museum in St. Petersburg; and about the world of The candidates’ Garden unexpectedly coming alive as spontaneous „living theater“ at the Arts Factory gallery in Paris.

 Dominique Goblet & Kai Pfeiffer have been working together on comics, paintings, sculptures and installations since 2011; their first graphic novel, Plus si entente, was co-published in 2014 by Frémok and Actes sud BD for the French original, and has been translated in Dutch and German. Their upcoming book Le jardin des candidats will be published by Frémok in 2021. In parallel to their work in comics and fine arts, Dominique is a professor for comics and narrative drawing at art schools L’Erg and Saint Luc in Brussels; Kai has been teaching comics at Kunsthochschule Kassel, and is a professor for storytelling at Hochschule Hannover.

The 288th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Nov. 10, 2020 at 7pm. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Carlo Quispe: PICTURE IT 

Making comics about Super-aliens, terrible leaders and Queer immigrants from 2016 to the present. Cartoonist Carlo Quispe reading and talking about making new alternative comics in a troubled environment.

Carlo Quispe‘ s comics include Uranus from Printed Matter, Inc., Hairy Tales (also an animated short), CARLITO from Paper Rocket Comics and upcoming ANITA in the next edition of WW3 Illustrated. www.carloquispe.com

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The 287th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Nov. 3, 2020 at 7pm ET. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Vanessa German: Love & Grief & Imagination & Staying Alive, Really, Really Alive

 .citizen artist vanessa german shares ingredients & incantations from the dimensional ecosystem of her practice. 

Vanessa German is a visual and performance artist based in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Homewood. Homewood is the community that is the driving force behind German’s powerful performance work, and whose cast-off relics form the language of her copiously embellished sculptures. As a citizen artist, German explores the power of art and love as a transformative force in the dynamic cultural ecosystem of communities and neighborhoods. She is the founder of Love Front Porch and the ARThouse, a community arts initiative for the children of Homewood. Her work is in private and public collections including Everson Museum of Art, Figge Art Museum, Flint Institute of Arts, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, David C. Driskell Center, Snite Museum of Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College. German’s fine art work has been exhibited widely, most recently at the Figge Art Museum, The Union for Contemporary Art, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, Flint Institute of Arts, Mattress Factory, Everson Museum of Art, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Studio Museum, Ringling Museum of Art and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Her work has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR’s All Things Considered and in The Huffington Post, O Magazine and Essence Magazine. She is the recipient of the 2015 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, the 2017 Jacob Lawrence Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2018 United States Artist Grant and most recently the 2018 Don Tyson Prize from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

The 286th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Oct. 27, 2020 at 7pm. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Ilan Manouach on Applied Memetic: Comics and Artificial (artificial) intelligence 

 While speculations about the growing role of machines in artistic production have been a consistent trope in modern and contemporary art debates throughout the 20th century, comics from their early beginnings, have been symbiotically expanding with the development of printing, distribution, communication and media technologies. These industrial processes of completion based on generalized automation, standardization practices and an orchestrated division of labour are so embedded in the ways we understand and consume comics that have become an essential feature for the conceptualization of artistic practices in the medium. A typical production line of manga comics, for instance, involves dozens of people handling specialized roles in a quasi-taylorist production belt, often in ways that have been criticized for resembling a sweat shop, while distribution has been increasingly involving massively digitized operations of logistics and global supply chains. Comics is an industrial form of artistic expression. 

 At the same time, the comics industry has been quite reticent in embracing the complex nature of technological developments in automation and especially in artificial intelligence. Synthetic and generative processes might soon reshape the ways we produce, consume, archive and distribute comics artefacts. A more wide adoption of artificial intelligence in different strata of the industry might reconfigure existing readership(s) market(s) and will ultimately force a radical realignement for the practitioners’ artistic ethos and contribute to the formation of new reader sensibilities. 

 During my talk, I would like to present two published book projects I did, that used different processes of automation, and a third one on the making. 

 The research for this talk was supported by the Onassis Digital Residency Program (Athens), the Kone Foundation (Helsinki) and the Federation Wallonie Bruxelles – soutien a la bande dessinee program (Brussels). 

Ilan Manouach is a conceptual comics artist. He currently pursues a PhD at Aalto University in Helsinki (adv. Craig Dworkin) where he examines how the comics industry is undergoing historic mutations in the midst of increasingly financialized, globalized technological affordances of the XXIst century. He is mostly known for being the creator of Shapereader, an embodied system of communication designed for blind and partially sighted readers/makers of comics. He is the founder of Applied Memetic, an organization that researches the political repercussions of generative and automated content in the comics industry and highlights the urgency for a new media-rich internet literacy and the director of Futures of Comics, an international research programme that proposes to map the social, economic, racial and gendered forces that shape the industry’s commercial, communication and production routines. He is equally the curator of the Conceptual Comics selection for Monoskop and Ubuweb, and the initiator of Topovoros, an hyper-local publishing initiative based in Athens. His work has been written about in Hyperallergic, e-flux, World Literature Today, Wired and Kenneth Goldsmith’s Wasting Time on the Internet. When not in stealth mode, he is an Onassis Digital Fellow and a Kone alumnus.

ilanmanouach.com artist website

shapereader.org official Shapereader website

futuresofcomics.org global research program on comics

appliedmemetic.com research and development of generative media

echochamber.be production backend office

topovoros.gr publishing initiative located in Athens

ubu.com/contemp/manouach/index.html artist page in Ubuweb

monoskop.org/ Conceptual_comics collection of conceptual comics.

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