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The 144th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 7pm at Parsons The New School for Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Paula McDowell  on Making and Breaking the Category of Ephemera:
The Eighteenth Century as Test Case
“Ephemera” is not a thing but a classification.  The category of “ephemera,” like the category of “Literature,” is not transparent, timeless, or universal, but a classification, existing in history, that has done and continues to do powerful rhetorical, practical, ideological, and disciplinary work.
This talk begins by suggesting how collectors, librarians and archivists, literary scholars and others have defined “ephemera” since the 1960s.  It then steps back in time to the eighteenth-century in Britain, arguing that the categories of “ephemera” and “Literature” were reciprocally constructed as part of an attempt to control the spread of print.  For satirists such as Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift, “ephemera” was not so much a logical or practical category as a smear word that could be applied to just about anything (from weighty folios to broadsides and newspapers).  But today, new digital resources are powerfully destabilizing centuries-old categorical distinctions such as “ephemeral” vs. “enduring” works.  Understanding eighteenth-century authors’ classification schemes and labors can help us to think through the challenges and opportunities we face as we construct and deconstruct “ephemerality” in the digital age.

Paula McDowell is Associate Professor of English at New York University, where she teaches eighteenth-century British literature and media and the History of the Book. She is the author of The Women of Grub Street: Press, Politics and Gender in the London Literary Marketplace, 1678-1730 (Oxford, 1998), Elinor James: Printed Writings (Ashgate, 2005), and articles on models of the Enlightenment, the epistemology of ephemera, the eighteenth-century novel, and many other topics.  Her latest book, The Invention of the Oral: Print Commerce and Fugitive Voices in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Chicago, 2016), examines the oral/literate binary as a heuristic — a tool for understanding that itself has a history — and argues that the concept of “oral culture” was in fact a back formation of the explosion of print commerce.  Continuing this interest in the dynamic relationship between media forms, she is currently working on a study of the multi-media satirist and political commentator John “Orator” Henley and the origins of public debating societies in Britain.

Dunciad Variorum title page (1729, A. Dod) 72dpi good
Dunciad Variorum (1729), title page.

The 143rd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Archie Rand on The 613.
Rand discusses his five-year long project, The 613 — the visual transformation of every one of the 613 mitzvahs into a painting.

Archie Rand, born 1949, is an artist from Brooklyn, New York. Rand’s work as a painter and muralist is displayed around the world, including in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. There have been over 100 solo exhibitions of his work. He has published collaborative work with poets Robert Creeley, John Ashbery, Clark Coolidge, David Plante John Yau, David Lehman and Jim Cummins. He was awarded, among numerous honors, the Achievement Medal For Contributions to the Visual Arts by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and he received the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Visual Arts at Columbia University he is currently the Presidential Professor of Art at Brooklyn College, CUNY. His home and studio are located in Brooklyn.


The 142nd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 7pm at The New School, 66 West 12th Street,  Room A 712 (Orozco Room). Free and open to the public.

Monroe Price on An Image Dump:  Sleeping Reputations and Narratives of Meaning from Five Decades of Collecting.
This is a speed tour through a wide variety of images, mostly works on paper: children’s drawings from a Japanese internment camp in China, examples of Kitaj’s “autobiography” drawn from screened book covers,  commissioned portraits of US soldiers in Iraq found in Baghdad’s Green Zone, works of obscure artists who need reputational upgrading, large apocalyptic woodcuts, drawings from 1920s cross country travelogue, propaganda works from socialist times, the output of a famous Mexican print workshop and transformations in Hungarian communist aesthetic practice.  Is there a common theme?  Is there a “collection,” or merely an assemblage of works?  What’s the fate of such an accumulation?

Professor Price is on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication and at Cardozo Law School in New York. The work has been assembled over 50 years of marriage to the art historian Aimée Brown Price.

Illegible, Procuress 72dpi


The 141st meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 7pm at The New School, 66 West 12th Street, Room A510 (the Klein Conference Room). PLEASE NOTE: NEW LOCATION.  Free and open to the public.

Kim Deitch on a work in progress.
Kim Deitch will discuss and show samples of the book he’s been working on for the past three years.  It’s a pseudo autobiography in that almost nothing in it is true.  The over-riding theme is reincarnation — a concept  that the author has no firm convictions about one way or the other.

Kim Deitch has a reserved place at the first table of underground cartoonists. The son of UPA and Terrytoons animator Gene Deitch, Kim was born in 1944 and grew up around the animation business. He began doing comic strips for the East Village Other in 1967, introducing two of his more famous characters, Waldo the Cat and Uncle Ed, the India Rubber Man. In 1969 he succeeded Vaughn Bodé as editor of Gothic Blimp Works, the Other’s underground comics tabloid. During this period he married fellow cartoonist Trina Robbins and had a daughter, Casey. “The Mishkin Saga” was named one of the Top 30 best English-language comics of the 20th Century by The Comics Journal, and the first issue of The Stuff of Dreams received the Eisner Award for Best Single Issue in 2003. Deitch remains a true cartoonists’ cartoonist, adored by his peers as much as anyone in the history of the medium. [from Fantagraphics bio.]

Kim Deitch image 72 small


spring 2016 Symposium poster 72dpi

The 140th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2015 at 7pm at Parsons The New School for Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public. PLEASE NOTE: THIS EVENT IS HAPPENING ON MONDAY EVENING!

DOPPELGÄNGER, on echoes, shadows, avatars and other singular doubles, an illustrated talk by Peter Blegvad

Peter Blegvad is a writer, graphic artist, songwriter and broadcaster. He was born New York City and is based in London, England.
He has been making music since the mid 70s with Slapp Happy, Faust, Henry Cow, The Golden Palominos, John Zorn, Andy Partridge and others.
His weekly comic strip, Leviathan, ran in the Independent on Sunday from 1991-’98 and The Book of Leviathan was published by Sort of Books in 2000 in the UK and by Overlook Press in the US. A Mandarin translation was published by the China Times in 2010. A French translation published by l’Apocalypse won le Prix de Révelation at Angoulême Festival in 2014.
Peter has supplied BBC Radio 3 with ‘eartoons’ since 2002, and has won two Sony awards for his radio work, one in 2003 and one in 2012 (for “Use It Or Lose It” a collaboration with composer Iain Chambers).
He taught Creative Writing at the University of Warwick from 1998 to 2013, and was Senior Tutor in Visual Writing at the Royal College of Art from 2012 to 2015. He has taught workshops for several years at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Lucerne.
In 2011 he was elected president of the London Institute of ’Pataphysics.
In 2014 his book Kew. Rhone. was published by Uniformbooks (“this delightful book, full of wit, pictures and Blegvad’s densely literary considerations, sprouting thickets of footnotes” —Clive Bell, The Wire, 372).
He co-hosts the Amateur Enterprises website with Simon Lucas.

Dead of Night film stillMichael Redgrave in Dead of Night (1945).

The 139th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 at 7pm at Parsons The New School for Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Collaborators, translators and friends of the legendary cartoonist Hugo Pratt discuss his work and place in comics history.  With Fiore Sireci, Patrizia Zanotti, and Marco Steiner.


Fiore Sireci teaches Anglo-American social history as well as writing in the visual arts at Parsons and the New School, and British literature at Hunter College. He is also a translator, editor, and writer. He has a long time love of comic books and graphic novels and is currently working on translations of the works of Hugo Pratt.

Born in Argentina, Patrizia Zanotti started working with Hugo Pratt at the age of 17, in 1979. She began as a colorist for Pratt’s comics, and then went on to manage dealings with various publishers. She also was involved in the graphic design and editing of Pratt’s books and eventually came to oversee his international exhibitions, including shows in Buenos Aires, Paris, Venice, Milan, Rome, Siena and Lugano. She travelled with Pratt on many business trips throughout Europe, North America and the Pacific as well as other locations over the course of 17 years. In 1994, she partnered with Pratt to create the Italian publishing company Lizard Edizioni, which published graphic novels of Italian and foreign authors, among which were: Milo Manara, Marjane Satrapi, Hergé, Juan Canales and Guarnido and thanks to her knowledge of the Pratt works, Patrizia has managed and has led CONG, Hugo Pratt Art Properties, since 1995.

Born in Rome in 1956 Marco Steiner lives in Rome and New York. He’s a doctor who loves held a passion for reading and writing adventures stories. He has always been an avid traveller and photographer. His mentor and friend, Hugo Pratt, suggested the central European pen name. One year after Pratt’s death, Steiner completed Pratt’s novel Corte Sconta Detta Arcana, published by Einaudi in 1996.
Accompanied by the Swiss photographer Marco D’Anna, he has been travelling in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and South America covering all the geographic locations frequented by Corto Maltese in his adventures. The texts and images from those trips became the introductions to the 14 Corto Maltese books. In Steiner’s second novel Il Corvo di Pietra, a young Corto Maltese appears in this new adventure set in 1902. The book is published by Sellerio in Italy and by Denoël in France.

Corto_Bantam_SuiteCaraib_Page 21 copy


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