The sixty-third meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Monday, October 21, 2013 at 7:00 PM at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Presentations : Aaron Beebe will discuss his artwork and the relationship between text and image outside the realm of illustration, delving into the chart, the map, and the curatorial label as material for art making.
Aaron Beebe is a Brooklyn based artist and curator. His work uses many of the conventions of museological display and archival practice to explore the picture-story relationship.  His use of text, his carefully crafted frames and surfaces, and the often surprising windows and vitrines embedded into his paintings merge text and image to create stories in an indirect and evasive fashion that evokes rather than explains – engaging a method of scholarship that obscures as much as it defines and celebrates curiosity more than it embraces certainty.  Much of his work uses typographic and cartographic elements, as well as framing and binding techniques that play with the conventional boundaries of the painting, the artists’ book, and the curatorial label.

Phil Nel on Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby: The Greatest Comic Strip You’ve Never Read
Philip Nel investigates the appeals of Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby (1942-1952), a comic strip critically acclaimed but rarely read. Starring its 5-year-old title character and Mr. O’Malley (the lad’s loquacious con-artist of a fairy godfather), the strip combined fantasy and satire, a child’s feeling of wonder and an adult’s wariness, highly literate jokes and a keen eye for the ridiculous. This delicate balance of wit and whimsy is both the genius of Barnaby, and the reason for its limited ― if devoted ― following. The darling of the smart set then and now (its fans include Dorothy Parker, Art Spiegelman, Duke Ellington, Chris Ware), Barnaby has come to embody Mark Twain’s definition of a classic: “a book which people praise and don’t read.” Helping us understand why we should read it, Nel’s illustrated presentation explores the wry humor, modernist aesthetic, and inspiration behind Johnson’s comic.
Philip Nel is University Distinguished Professor of English and Director of Kansas State University’s Program in Children’s Literature. His most recent books are: Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby Volume One: 1942-1943 (co-edited with Eric Reynolds, 2013), Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature (2012), and Keywords for Children’s Literature (co-edited with Lissa Paul, 2011). He also blogs at Nine Kinds of Pie <www.philnel.com> and tweets as @philnel.

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