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).