The 322nd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  December 7, 2021 at 7pm ET. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Jessica Brantley on Elephant and Castle and Reynard the Fox: Media-Consciousness in a Late-Medieval Prayerbook

Late-medieval books of hours were the most popular forms of personal media in their era:  the first book a family or an individual would likely own, these prayerbooks were read multiple times a day, and often were used to teach literacy to children. But if books of hours were foundational to fourteenth- and fifteenth-century literate culture, what do their forms reveal about the nature of late-medieval reading? Books of hours were often elaborately illustrated, making questions about the relation of text to image central to their construction. This presentation will examine the ways in which text and image interact in the experience of reading Walters MS W.102, an English book of hours made c. 1300. Replete with unusual texts in Latin and French, as well as numerous complicated images and image-sequences, this book implies a remarkable level of media-consciousness in both its production and its reception.

Jessica Brantley is Professor and Chair of the English Department at Yale University. Her first book, Reading in the Wilderness: Private Devotion and Public Performance in Late Medieval England (Chicago, 2007), shows that the format of a late-medieval miscellany reveals surprising connections between the private reading of a meditative lyric and the public performance of civic drama. Other projects in process include a forthcoming handbook on Medieval Manuscripts and Literary Forms and a monograph provisionally entitled The Medieval Imagetext:  A Literary History of the Book of Hours.

image from Walters MS W.102

The 321st meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Nov. 30, 2021 at 7pm ET. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Douglas Fordham: Between Caricature and Ethnography: The Illustrated Travel Book circa 1800

Art historians love categories, and there is a sizable art-historical literature dealing with caricature, on the one hand, and travel/ethnographic art on the other. But how clear was the distinction between “objective” ethnographic observation and visual satire for contemporary British consumers? Focusing on printmaking, and more specifically the medium of aquatint, this talk examines moments when the line blurred in late Georgian Britain.

Douglas Fordham is Professor and Department Chair of the Art Department at the University of Virginia. He is a co-editor of Art and the British Empire (MUP, 2007), and author of British Art and the Seven Years’ War: Allegiance and Autonomy (UPenn, 2010). His most recent book, Aquatint Worlds: Travel, Print, and Empire (Yale, 2019), examines the emergence of the aquatint travel book in Britain and the significant role that the format played in shaping British conceptions of India, Africa, and China.

Thomas Medland after Samuel Daniell, “A Boor’s wife taking her coffee,” 1806, aquatint and etching with hand-colouring, in John Barrow’s Travels into the Interior of Southern Africa

The 320th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  November 23, 2021 at 7pm ET. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email  comicssymposium@gmail.com  to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Peter Blegvad on his new book, Imagine, Observe, Remember (Uniformbooks).

Designed by Colin Sackett, its 250 profusely illustrated pages document an extraordinary life-long epistemological illustration project. In this talk Blegvad will discuss the project using the book as a guide.

“When one looks into the darkness there is always something there.” — W. B. Yeats. 

When one looks into one’s own interior there is always mental imagery. Imagine, Observe, Remember looks at the looking we do with the mind’s eye, offering practical exercises for the development of this mysterious faculty. The book is also a memoir, a portrait of the artist as he develops his craft from what is possibly his first drawing to his current status of seasoned practitioner. It is furthermore a series of meditations, observations, quotes, images and instructions that will constitute a valuable resource for artists, writers, teachers and any reader who agrees that the uncharted wilderness within is worthy of exploration.

Peter Blegvad – writer, artist, songwriter, broadcaster – was born in NYC in 1951 and is currently based in London.  He taught creative writing at Warwick University for many years, and was Senior Tutor in Visual Writing at the Royal College of Art.

An introduction to the Imagine, Observe, Remember project is online here: http://www.amateur.org.uk

Blegvad’s book Imagine, Observe, Remember is published by Uniforrmbooks: https://colinsackett.co.uk/uniformbooks.php

Related works have been exhibited in Kunstverein Hannover and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2004), in the Kunsthalle Luzern (2007), in Extra City, Antwerp (2010) and elsewhere. His comic strip, “The Book of Leviathan,” is published by Sort Of Books and the Overlook Press (in English) and is also available in Mandarin, Cantonese and French. His latest album is ‘Go Figure’ (2017) on the ReR MegaCorp label.

The 319th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at 2pm ET. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public. PLEASE NOTE 2 PM ET START FOR THIS TALK!

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 willdemonstrate how a graphic adaptation of classic texts can place a new understanding of existing material, and how she uses the format to underline emotional undercurrents in written 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 memorialise 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 2022. 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 marginalised 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.

The 318th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 7pm ET. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Ryan Standfest: “From Rot New Growth Emerges or, How I Learned to Be a Publisher and Like It”

Founded in 2010, Rotland Press is a small publishing house in Detroit, Michigan, USA. It is a publisher of printed objects trafficking in the graphic and the satirical, that mingle mordant amusement with enthusiastic despair. Publisher and editor-in-chief Ryan Standfest will discuss the messy business of how and why he started the press and how he has somehow managed to keep it going for this long. After a two-year hiatus from new publications, in 2020, the ten-year anniversary for the press and the start of our pandemic way of life, Standfest refocused his editorial energies on Rotland. This renewed commitment to publishing was the result of making the best use of “hunkering down” time in what became a lengthy quarantine routine. Standfest will discuss the mis-steps and blind alleyways he has taken as an editor and publisher as well as the surprising successes that he had no hand in planning. He will also speak to the ways in which recent political, social and public health catastrophes have shaped a route for Rotland Press as it moves forward.

Some testimonials:

“Rotland Press is a mother lode of neo-underground comics in a print environment almost overwhelmed by constantly recycled industrial product. Browse their beautifully designed publications and take a tour of some of the best work produced by the best of today’s independent cartoonists.” —Bill Griffith

“Rotland Press seems to have its roots in the The Realist and Grove Press c. 1960s more than in the hippy underground press that followed or in the gentrified graphic novel presses that have come along since. Nihilists and other marginally socialized types will be glad to discover their satirical publications as I’ve been.” —Art Spiegelman

Ryan Standfest is an artist, arts writer, and the editor-in-chief and publisher of Rotland Press, which presents satirical publications of a culturally relevant nature. His publications and prints are in numerous major collections, and his work has been exhibited widely, both in the United States and abroad. Standfest has penned criticism and essays for the Detroit arts and culture journal Infinite MileDetroit Art Review, and Essay’d. He contributed a chapter on André Breton and l’humour noir to the book Radical Dreams: Surrealism, Counterculture, Resistance, edited by Elliott H. King and Abigail Susik, forthcoming from Penn State University Press in 2021. Websites: ryanstandfest.com (studio) and rotlandpress.com (publishing).

The 317th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at 7pm ET. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Karolina Głusiec: Everything wrong is imaginary – how memory and memories shape drawings, paintings and films rooted in what once happened thus in the past.

In the talk I will be discussing drawing as communication and a link between the non-material memories and language and with the references to various artists paintings, films and to my own drawing and animation practice, I will be talking different ways how memories can be materialized as artworks in a way we want to keep them – often as an impossible surreal mirrors against the reality.

The title of the talk has been inspired by the Album by Lilys that has the same title that was released in 2006 : https://lilysrocketgirl.bandcamp.com

Karolina Głusiec, (b.1986, Lublin Poland) visual artist working mainly across animated and diy film media, inspired by ways of seeing and ways of remembering. Frequent collaborator in projects inspired and rooted in music.

Currently working at Goldsmiths university, London and Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland along with other art universities and institution in England where teaching Drawing and Animation.

Visiting and faculty member lecturer in drawing and animation examining various ways of image-memorizing and perception. Currently working on a PhD thesis proposal on material and non-material memories in communication.

As a collaborator and visual artist or lecturer worked with or for the following: The Guardian, Azedine Alaia, Stara Rzeka, JAAA!, Royal College of Art, MÓZG Foundation, The House of Words, California Institute of the Arts, University of Arts London, Magdalen College Oxford, Kettle’s Yard Cambridge, TURF’s Projects Gallery, London Sinfonietta, King’s Place London, Instant Classic and Latarnia Records.

Over the last decade actively supporting and contributing to the idea of accessible art as a form of recreation and education by leading and facilitating workshops involving people being marginalized for various reasons.

Works and films have been presented and exhibited in the following : Entropia Gallery (Warsaw, Poland) PEER Gallery (London, UK) National Gallery (Washington, DC), Grunt Gallery (Vancouver, BC, Canada), Dzyndra Museum (Lviv, Ukraine), Mediations Biennale (Poznan, Poland) and BWA Drewniana (World / No World).

Karolina Glusiec: Sketchbook drawings and notes from home on Mission and 25th, drawing on a4 paper, coloured pencils, San Francisco, 2019

The 316th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, October 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. Watch a recording on YouTube.

Aaron Rossner: ’The Draw of Novelties & Odd-ball Toys’

For many years, Aaron has collected and researched old toys, games and other vintage amusements.

In this talk, he will share a selection of unusual, strange and humorous finds that have inspired him, and will also show some of his artwork.

Aaron Rossner works with various media on paper and creates small sculptures from wood, metal and plastic.  His work has been shown in Victoria, Vancouver & Toronto.

A fascination with old-time production processes has led him to experiment with mold & die-making, pewter casting and plastic injection-molding.   He is in the process of starting a small business – ‘Wingnut Toys,’ through which he’ll produce limited runs of his own toy designs. He lives in Victoria, BC.

The 315th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, October 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. Now on YouTube.

Fanny Grosshans: About the necessity to have a floppy arm to trace a straight line

One day, I was drawing swing dancers in a public place. A beautiful old and elastic man invited me to join in. It was an awkward dance session for both of us, but the main thing I remember, was his advice:«keep arms floppy!»
About drawing, in my personal practice,  it isn’t only arms which need to be floppy, the body must be floppy, the spirit must be floppy. Only the world around me, seems solid by comparison.
But to stay floppy isn’t an evidence when the spirit is focused on an activity.

I want to talk about every day tricks to save a cartoonist from his sheet of paper and keep on believing that drawing isn’t a so important thing.

How to enter in the wonderful world of the margin (of the paper, of the work, of publishers) and how to forget why you arrived in this place.

Fanny Grosshans is a French comic artist,  born in 1987, who draws stories published in small press, after having spent five years at the Angoulême Art School.
She’s mostly related to the small press publishers «Les Machines»and «Radio As Paper».
She’s fond of vernacular drawing in medieval art and children construction wooden blocks.
Her stories are fed by the every-day’s details and digress toward something different.
When she grabs her nib or reed pen, the most tiny sheet of paper become a large space of ice where she can skate on.
Most of times, she misses a drawing but that is another opportunity to cut, mix, assemble and finally let go, because, sometimes, it’s good to manage to finish something.
Her work is accessible at: https://grandpapier.org/fanny_grosshans/



The 314th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 7pm ET. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public. Now on YouTube.

Bharath Murthy: Indian Comics- Trouble growing up

The talk will take you through a brief history of Indian comics and offer some speculations on the present and future of comics in India from the perspective of a practicing cartoonist. 

Bharath Murthy is a cartoonist and filmmaker. He works on publishing, film and animation projects as a partner in Studio Ekonte. He edits and publishes Vérité, a comics magazine for adults, under the Comix India label. His first book-length comic, The Vanished Path: A Graphic Travelogue was published in 2015 by HarperCollins, India. He has also taught film direction at Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.

In 2017, he co-founded Indie Comix Fest, a festival for self-published comics.

The 313th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, October 5, 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 case study: EGG by Martina Scarpelli

From idea development to actual film production, through the highest highs and lowest lows of animation filmmaking: inspirations turned into ideas, film funding, producers, some sneak peeks into the making of animated scenes, and an opportunity to talk about the journey of a director on making a personal film.

About EGG: A woman is locked in her home with an egg. She eats the egg, she repents. She kills it. She lets the egg die of hunger.

Martina Scarpelli (1988) is an Italian filmmaker and producer with a bachelor in Fine Art from “Academy of Brera” in Milano, and a bachelor in Animation from “Experimental Cinematography Center” in Turin. Alumni of European workshops “ASF – Animation sans frontieres”, “Anidox” and “Open Workshop Residency” in Viborg – DK.  She is board member of Viborg based Art Collective “Plastic”. 

Martina’s short film Egg was selected at more than 150 festivals and won over 45 awards. Among others: a crystal for first film at Annecy, a Golden Dove at Dok Leipzig, Grand Jury Award at AFI Fest, and got shortlisted for the 2020 Cesar award.
She is now working on her first feature film “Psychomachia”, an animated opera.