The 183rd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  April 4, 2017 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Blutch on “A European Education.”

I am currently working on a book called Variations (Dargaud, September 2017), where I recreate a series of famous graphic novel sequences by great masters of European comics. This work forces me to ask myself questions regarding the ambiguous nature of sequential art.

Neither literary nor plastic, it is what Harold Rosenberg, referring to painting, once defined as an anxious object. How do we decode it? Where does it stand in our society? A graphic novel can receive a Pulitzer, cartoonists’ work is exhibited in great museums while the art establishment is still indecisive on weather to consider it a minor or a major art. Personally, I call my work ‘paradoxal literature.’

The pages that compose Variations follow each other with no beginning or end. Just fragments of stories that allow me to reach what I feel is hidden somewhere beyond the boundaries of my storytelling: sequential art as a brand new form of poetry. That is, a form of literature ‘to observe.’ Sculpted literature.

Born in Strasbourg on 27 December 1967, Christian Hincker, otherwise known as Blutch, obtained a degree in illustration from the Decorative Arts College in his hometown. Later, his drawings embellished the columns of Liberation, New Yorker and Inrockuptibles, a huge sign of success in the industry. But above all, he wanted to produce a graphic chronicle of daily life and its turpitudes. His works resembled thumbnail reports in which the characters of a comic tragedy become bogged down with far-fetched and fantastic digressions in the mirror.

He put his early youthful indiscretions into cartoon form in Fluide Glacial from 1990 onwards and collated them all in one album entitled Waldo’s Bar (Audie, 1992), which was soon to be followed by Mademoiselle Sunnymoon and then Blotch.

While continuing to regularly enrich the contents of these prestigious humorous cartoon-based magazines, he found his way into many small independent publishing houses which were starting to become well-established. The magazine Lapin featured stories which were to become Sunnymoon, tu es malade (Association, 1994). Cornélius published Lettre américaine (1995), followed by the series of booklets entitled Mitchum.

His contribution to the monthly A Suivre in 1996 marked the recognition of his very specific style, demonstrated in a powerful black and white production. In this, he presented a large section of Peplum, a homosexual tragedy based on Satiricon by Petrone, the uncut version of which was presented by Cornélius in 1997 (published in English by New York Review Comics, 2016). From that moment on, Blutch never hesitated to tackle controversial subjects.

In 1998, he produced Rancho Bravo for Audie, in collaboration with Capron. At Editions du Seuil publishing house, he illustrated texts by Hortense Dufour (Charivari, Melle Noémie), H. M. Enzensberger (Les Sept voyages de Pierre) and Fabio Viscogliosi (Le Pacha). His work was also to be found in Alain Beaulet publications (Le Cavalier blanc, n°2), as well as La Présidente, with J. C. Menu, in the collection Noire est la Terre and Brüsel (Piccoli).

After systematically using all black-and-white resources, Blutch adapted his expressionist work so as to profit from the support of the colorist Ruby in Vitesse moderne (Dupuis 2002, Europe Comics in English in 2017), exploring an almost fanciful Paris, haunted by stray creatures and shadows which you could swear were real even though they were only part of this unclassifiable creator’s fantasy.

Blutch collaborated with Jazzman magazine from 2000 to 2004, which resulted in the creation of Total Jazz (Cornélius). For Futuropois he wrote Bonheur, Volupté and Beauté between 2005 and 2008. He also worked with Alain Resnais (posters, graphics) and occasionally took on acting in a number of films.

In 2011 he released Pour en finir avec le cinema with Dargaud (So Long Sivler Screen, PictureBox 2014, Europe Comics 2017).

In 2014 Blutch released the totally surreal Lune l’envers (Dargaud 2014, Europe Comics 2017), which deals with an author suffering from writer’s block, buckling under the weight of self-doubt and daily responsibilities.

Playful, surreal and poignant, Blutch is undoubtedly one of the most prolific and challenging authors of our time.

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The 182nd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  March 28, 2017 at 8 pm at Parsons School of Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public. Please note 8 pm starting time!

Jules Feiffer Honors Will Eisner at 100.
A Will Eisner Week Event.
[Jules Feiffer will appear live via Skype.]

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 medium of comics―with his first graphic novel, A Contract With God, followed, until his 2005 passing, with many additional graphic novels and textbooks.
From 1946 until The Spirit’s end in 1952, Eisner counted as part of his close-knit, talented staff, a precocious teenager named Jules Feiffer, who worked on The Spirit and Clifford for Eisner, and also took on the self-appointed role of Eisner’s social conscience and resident smart-ass. In the years since, Feiffer’s own multifaceted career as satirical cartoonist, screenwriter (Carnal Knowledge), playwright (Little Murders) and children’s book author (The Man in the Ceiling)―and most recently, creator of his own trilogy of graphic novels (so far Kill My Mother and Cousin Joseph have been released, with the third volume in the works)―has blossomed in a unique and spectacular manner. But he did get his start with Will Eisner, with whom he was friend and colleague―and admirer―through the rest of Eisner’s life.
Tonight, Jules will speak about his experience working for Eisner, what he learned from him and how Eisner influenced his own work, and why Eisner, a century after his birth, is still an important figure in the past, present and future of comics and graphic novels and in our culture as a whole.
Jules will speak and present via Skype, and will be joined by in-person panelists, including Paul Levitz (author of Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel) and Danny Fingeroth (co-editor of The Stan Lee Universe and Chair of Will Eisner Week).

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CANCELED DUE TO STORM. The 181st meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  March 14, 2017 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Jonathan H. Grossman and Ellen Truxaw on A Duo of Nineteenth-Century Digital Art Projects: The Crowd-Pleasing Cover Art of Railway Novels & George Cruikshank’s Eye. Come see some stunning nineteenth-century visual images and witness their re-birth in the digital age! The topic will be two new digital projects: one on the crowd-pleasing cover art of railway novels and the other, in progress, on presenting an archive, held by the Hammer museum, of George Cruikshank’s caricatures and prints.

Jonathan H. Grossman is Professor of English at UCLA. He works on nineteenth-century British literature.
Ellen Truxaw, PhD candidate in English at UCLA, is writing a dissertation about the relation between image and text in the nineteenth century.

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Collins, Wilkie, 1824-1889, Basil: A Story of Modern Life, Publisher: J. Blackwood,  1856

The 180th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  March 7, 2017 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Tiger Moody on Shooting Dope, Noosing Rope, and Other Things the Funnies Learnt Me:
The harrowing true saga of one young delinquent’s quest for salvation within a box of lurid mildew.

Tiger Moody is the author of the novels Induction of the Sycophant, Heart of Brass, and the forthcoming Scabs. His cartoons, complaints, and short-fiction have appeared in The Buyer’s Guide to Comics Fandom, Dear Jesus, Paper Magazine, and Facebook, amongst others. He is a poet in-residence at Ray’s Candy Store, and a frequent contributor to the bathroom-walls of the Lower East Side.

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The 179th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Feb. 28, 2017 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Mort Gerberg on The Magazine Cartoon: Telling a Story in Only One Panel
The magazine cartoon is said to be the most challenging to create of all the cartoon forms, because it must communicate a complete narrative in the space of only a single, motionless frame, in about four seconds – contrasted with multi-panel pages, comic strips, animations and graphic novels.
A cartoon is instant visual/verbal communication of a funny idea, designed so that a reader gets its message in a glance – during the flip of a page.
A cartoon is a split second in time – the one precise moment during some continuous action that not only perfectly describes that action, but also tells what immediately preceded it, and perhaps implies what will happen next.
To be successful, this split second must be the correct freeze frame chosen from the imagined movie, that tells the whole story.  The drawing itself does not move, but it is not a still life.
In creating a single panel cartoon, the challenge is not only to envision the correct moment, but to reproduce it so that readers can see it, too.  To do this, the cartoonist employs a number of elements commonly associated with art and drama.  These include, among others, cast, dialogue, gesture, setting, composition, and clichés.
In my presentation, I’ll show examples of my own and others’ cartoons, chosen from two familiar subjects.  Many of my points of discussion are those I used in the classes I taught at Parsons, “Cartooning For Communication,” which I later used in writing my book, “Cartooning: the Art and the Business.” – Mort Gerberg

Mort Gerberg is a longtime multi-genre cartoonist and author best known for his magazine cartoons in The New Yorker, Playboy and numerous other publications.  He was voted as Best Magazine Cartoonist of 2007 and 2008 by the NCS, and was a six-time finalist in other years in other categories.  He was also a founding member and president of The Cartoonists Guild.
Gerberg has drawn several nationally-syndicated newspaper comic strips and has written, edited and/or illustrated 43 books for adults and children, including Cartooning: The Art and the Business, which has been the most respected instructional/reference work in the field for over 30 years.
He also has written and drawn for television, online and home video and he taught cartooning for 15 years at New York City’s Parsons School of Design.
For clients in the business world he creates customized art and humorous writing for their advertising and public relations, and is a creative consultant for ideation focus groups.
Gerberg is also a popular public speaker, particularly on the subjects of creativity and positive aging.

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The 178th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Feb. 21, 2017 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Daniel Savage on  Rhythm and animation
Exploring rhythm in everyday life and finding obscure inspiration for animated films.

Daniel Savage is an independent designer and animation director based in Brooklyn, NY. He has created projects such as Yule Log 2.0 and mixed.parts. His work has been recognized by Wired Magazine, The Webbys, and One Show to name a few. In 2012 he was named a Young Gun by the Art Directors Club. He has taught design and animation at SVA, NYU, and guest lectured at a wide variety of schools and events.

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The 177th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Feb. 14, 2017 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Zoe Beloff on
A World Redrawn: Eisenstein and Brecht in Hollywood
Zoe Beloff will discuss her exhibition and book A World Redrawn inspired by unrealized film scenarios by the Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein and the German playwright Bertolt Brecht.  Through films, drawings, architectural models and archival documents, she re-imagines their ideas for today.

Zoe Beloff is an artist working in film, installation and drawing. Her work focuses on drawing new time lines between past and present to help us think against the grain of reactionary ideology. Her projects include The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society and its Circle 1926-1972, The Days of the Commune and most recently A World Redrawn: Eisenstein and Brecht in Hollywood. She is currently producing an exhibition “Emotions go to Work” about the commodification of affect and the Internet of Things. Zoe’s has been featured in international exhibitions and screenings. Venues include The Whitney Museum, Site Santa Fe, the M HKA museum in Antwerp, the Pompidou Center in Paris and Freud’s Dream Museum in St Petersburg.  She is a Professor at Queens College CUNY.
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Still from the film “A Model Family in a Model Home”