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The 269th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  March 3, 2020 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public.

Will Eisner Week event.

A Contract with God: Curator’s Collection with John Lind and Danny Fingeroth

About the Curator’s Collection: Will Eisner’s A Contract with God—one of the most influential graphic novels of all time—is in this collection reproduced from Eisner’s original art—both pencil layouts and finished inked artwork! The deluxe slipcase, two-volume hardcover set, edited and designed by John Lind, provides a rare glimpse into the creative process of the Champion of the Graphic Novel and the making of a comics masterwork. The collection includes commentary from Frank Miller, Dave Gibbons, Denis Kitchen, and John Lind. 

John Lind, editor/designer of the Kitchen Sink/Dark Horse Curator’s Collection series, gives an insightful visual presentation on his 2019 Eisner Award-winning edition of “Will Eisner’s A Contract with God: Curator’s Collection,” followed by a conversation on Eisner and his work with comics scholar and historian Danny Fingeroth.

 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 comics medium—with his first graphic novel, A Contract With God, followed, until his 2005 passing, with many acclaimed graphic novels and textbooks.

John Lind is the multi award-winning creative director of Kitchen Sink Books, an imprint of Dark Horse Comics. He has designed and art directed books for publishers including Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster, Chronicle Books, Abrams, and Disney.

Danny Fingeroth is the Chair of Will Eisner Week. A comics writer, editor and historian, he’s author of books including A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee (2019, St. Martin’s Pres/Macmillan).

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The 268th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  February 25, 2020 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th Street, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, room I202 (Second floor). Free and open to the public.

John Cuneo on “Some of the Lines I’ve Fallen For.”

John will be talking about some specific drawings that have influenced him one way or another.  He will show a few examples from a handful of artists , all of them “drawers” with distinctive lines, and attempt to explain their seductive effect. There will also be examples of his own work; drawings that relate either stylistically or by theme or subject matter —these will mostly personal drawings, culled from sketchbooks and the like.

John Cuneo is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist whose drawings appear in most major magazines and newspapers here and abroad. Clients include The New York Times, The LA Times, Variety, The New York Review of Books, Mother Jones, Esquire, Bon Appetit, GQ,  and Atlantic Magazine. He has done several covers  for the New Yorker and many illustrations and cartoons over the twenty years that he’s been working with the magazine. His work has received Gold and Silver medals from the Society of Illustrators, been featured in American Illustration, and is displayed in several public museums and private collections. Several book collections of his personal and sketchbook work have been published.

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The 267th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  February 18, 2020 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public.

Stepan Shmytinsky on the Russian comic-book industry.

A survey of Russian comics from ancient lubok and Soviet caricatures to today. The appearance of Russian superheroes and political magazines.  Is the comic book industry important in Russia, and which comic books are prohibited?  How many Russian comic-book artists are working for the U.S. industry?  All of that and more, including some gossip and funny stories from an industry insider.

 Stepan Shmytinsky has been working in the comic-book industry in Russia for nine years. Back in 2011, he witnessed the very beginnings of the Russian “Bronze Age” of comics. After working for a few years with mainstream titles like TMNT, Deadpool, and Adventure Time, in Komilfo, the biggest Russian publishing house that focuses exclusively on comic books, Stepan resigned to become one of the founders of the first Russian indie-comic book PH, ComFederation. It features a catalogue composed of rare foreign titles and Russian talents. 

Stepan also takes part in organizing the largest comic-book conventions and festivals in Russia. Starting in 2019 Stepan became an acquisition editor of the comic book branch of EKSMO, the largest Russian publishing company. However, he continues to be the heart and soul of ComFederation, now bringing major titles alongside alternative gems to the Russian comic-book market.

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Ninja Turtles and the Russian Bear, c. 1990

The 266th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  February 11, 2020 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public.

Christopher M. Smith on Medical Illustration: Combining art and science to reconstruct the evolution of human anatomy.

Throughout history, medical illustration has revolutionized the way we understand science and medicine. Modern medical illustration as we know it, originated in the early 20th century as a distinct profession founded by those such as Max Brödel at Johns Hopkins University. The field has evolved much since then, especially in the variety of media used to clarify and communicate increasingly complex scientific topics. This talk will cover the history of medical illustration and delve into my current work as an artist, anatomist and anthropologist where I meld my artistic training with scientific techniques to better understand the evolution of human anatomy.

Christopher Smith is a Ph.D. candidate in Physical Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology. A Maryland native, he always had a passion for scientific exploration and artistic expression. After graduating from Salisbury University with a degree in Exercise Science, he spent the following year studying at the Schuler School of Fine Art Atelier in Baltimore, MD. There he trained in classical artistic techniques of the old masters, studying oil painting, sculpture and drawing. Christopher graduated from the Art as Applied to Medicine Department at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2014. A Board-Certified Medical Illustrator, he has received numerous awards for both his medical and biological illustrations from the Association of Medical Illustrators, and the Association Européenne des Illustrateurs Médicaux et Scientifiques. Chris has authored and illustrated many peer-reviewed research papers as well as scientific textbooks on the evolution and development of human anatomy. While Chris’ scientific interests lie in all fields of biology and medicine, his deepest passions reside in paleoanthropology, the evolution of human anatomy and anatomical education.


The 265th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  February 4, 2020 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public.

Cynthia Roman on Royal Divorce in the Media: Georgian Satire and the Queen Caroline Affair.

Two hundred years ago the newly crowned King George IV charged his long-estranged wife with adultery, in an attempt to sever all ties and exclude her from upcoming coronation. The resulting “trial” of Queen Caroline through a bill in Parliament gave his political opponents a powerful platform and the reform movement adopted Caroline as their figurehead. Tawdry details of marital scandal and theatrical legal maneuverings became the center of a media frenzy in which London print sellers and booksellers produced an enormous variety of prints, pamphlets and broadsides feeding a politically polarized public hungry for news and gossip.

This talk draws on the content of an exhibition and associated conference jointly organized by Yale’s Lewis Walpole Library and Lillian Goldman Law Library, titled “Trial by Media” which examined the role of print media in documenting the Queen Caroline affair and shaping public opinion.

Dr. Cynthia Roman is Curator of Prints, Drawings and Paintings at the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University and an expert in the history of the printed image. Roman has particular expertise in long-eighteenth century British visual satire and their collecting histories and has published widely on both printed images under her care and those held internationally, including the 2016 edited volume Hogarth’s Legacy (Yale University Press). She was co-curator with Mike Widener (Rare Book Librarian, Lillian Goldman Law Library) of the fall 2019 exhibition “Trial by Media: The Queen Caroline Affair.”

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The 264th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  January 28, 2020 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public.

Jenny Romaine on Ornamentation Is Resistance: Spectacular Strategies for Resistance and Resilience

This talk will feature a selection of images and stories from 30 years of projects and processes by puppeteer Jenny Romaine/Great Small Works and her partner radical traditionalists exploring visual storytelling, adornment, festival and flamboyant aesthetics as a method for building power.  What do the Eggplant Fearies mean by the “three lavender shields of fun, friendly and unexpected?” Come on down and find out.

JENNY ROMAINE is a director, designer, puppeteer and co-founder of the visual theater collective Great Small Works. She is music director of Jennifer Miller’s CIRCUS AMOK and artist in residence at Milk Not Jails.  She has directed community based spectacles for numerous projects in New York City and around the world. Romaine was a sound archivist at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research for 13 years and for several decades has drawn on Yiddish/Pan Jewish primary source materials to create art that has contemporary meaning.  Her projects include the Sukkos Mob (featured in the film Punk Jews), community Purim Shpiln with the Aftselakhis Spectacle Committee, The Revival of the Uzda Gravediggers, and Muntergang and Other Cheerful Downfalls with Great Small Works.  Romaine has worked extensively as an educator in public schools, prisons, universities and museums. She currently is a Visiting Professor at the Pratt Institute department of Performance Studies. She was the first recipient of the Adrienne Cooper Award for Dreaming in Yiddish (2014), received a Marshall Meyer Risk-Taker Award from Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (2015). and is featured in Dazzle Camouflage: Spectacular Theatrical Strategies for Resistance and Resilience a monograph by Ezra Berkley Nepon.

 Great Small Works (GSW) was founded in 1995 by a collective of six artists John Bell, Trudi Cohen, Stephen Kaplin, Jenny Romaine, Roberto Rossi and Mark Sussman, all veterans of Bread and Puppet Theater – to create theater of high artistic quality, and to keep theater at the heart of social life.  The company draws on folk, avant-garde and popular theater and puppetry traditions to address contemporary issues. GSW performs in theaters, schools, parks, libraries, museums, prisons, street corners, and other public spaces, producing work on many scales, from gigantic outdoor spectacles with scores of volunteers, to miniature shows in living rooms. Its six members create and tour original theatrical productions, and host festivals, exhibitions and cabaret evenings that serve the field by keeping a multi- generational and diverse community of artists connected ( i.e. Toy Theater Festival, HONK! festival of radical street bands, Purim & Spaghetti Dinners.) GSW mentors younger artists and supports them financially and professionally. Several collective members are renowned puppet scholars and historians who teach at the university level, publish, and lecture internationally.   GSW has created hundreds of community events, spectacles and performances that engage the public in art. In the past year GSW has performed at festivals in Quebec, Chicago, northern Germany, Finland, Mexico, France, and at the Baltimore Theatre Project.  On any scale, GSW productions seek to renew, cultivate and strengthen the spirits of their audiences, promoting theater as a model for participating in democracy.

GSW has received a Village Voice Obie Award (1997) and two UNIMA/USA Citations for Excellence (1997 and 2008); a New York Foundation for the Arts Community Assets Grant (1998), and the Puppeteers of America’s Jim Henson Award for innovation in puppetry (2005).

jro 3 at force majeure 1914

The 263rd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  January 21, 2020 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public.

Augenblick Studios: 20 Years of Animation.

Brooklyn-based Augenblick Studios is celebrating their 20th anniversary in animation with a screening at the The Comics and Picture-story Symposium at Parsons. This screening will showcase their very best animation from the past two decades, including Ugly Americans, The Jellies, Wonder Showzen, and Superjail. Plus never-before-seen rarities! The screening will be followed by a Q&A with founder Aaron Augenblick and creative directors Katie Wendt, Jeremy Jusay, and Devin Clark. 

About Augenblick Studios: 

Augenblick Studios is an independent animation studio located in Brooklyn, NY.  Notable productions include The Jellies (Adult Swim), Losers (Netflix), Ugly Americans (Comedy Central), Superjail! (Adult Swim), Golden Age (Comedy Central), and Wonder Showzen (MTV).  Augenblick Studios is one of the leading animation companies in the world, well renowned for their unique brand of adult cartoon comedy.   

Aaron Augenblick is the founder of animation company Augenblick Studios. After graduating from SVA, he worked at MTV Animation on the shows Daria and Downtown. He left in 1999 to open his own independent studio in Brooklyn, NY. He has designed, animated, and directed on many of the studio’s productions, including Wonder Showzen, Superjail, and Ugly Americans. He wrote and and directed the independent short film Golden Age, which was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and winner of the Grand Prix at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Aaron’s graphic novel Tales of the Great Unspoken was a recipient of the prestigious Xeric Award and distributed by Top Shelf Productions.

Katie Wendt graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2010 and has been a regular at Augenblick Studios ever since. She’s served as Animation Director for The Jellies! (Adult Swim) as well as lead animator, storyboard artist, and almost every position between on productions including Ugly Americans (Comedy Central), Golan the Insatiable (FOX), The Snackdown (Cooking Channel), numerous TED-Ed animated shorts, and more. She also serves as a board member for the Lady Tech Guild and will feed your pets while you’re away for the weekend, if you need someone to stop by.

Jeremy Jusay got his arts education at NYC’s School of Visual Arts where he befriended his future employer Aaron Augenblick. He is currently the senior layout director at Augenblick Studios, which has been responsible for such shows as Wonder Showzen, Superjail, and Ugly Americans. He also self-publishes several comics, the latest of which is his annual tribute to EC comics, Jusay Pulp, and occasionally illustrates for zines like I Love Bad Movies and Strange Paradise, as well as designing posters for the Criterion Collection, Cain’s Tavern, and Matt Timm’s Takedowns.

Devin Clark is a New York based animation producer, director, designer, and illustrator. He was the creator, director, and executive producer of the cult hit “Ugly Americans” which ran for 3 seasons on Comedy Central. He produced the viral hit animated web series, Lifehacker Explains, for Gizmodo Media Group. He created the hit animated web series, Instant Life Lessons, for Official Comedy in 2014. His freelance clients include HBO, MTV, Comedy Central, TCM, Adult Swim, and Cartoon Network. His films have been featured in Stash Magazine, Animation Block Party, Rooftop Films, Ottawa Film Festival, Platform, Atom films, and BDA.

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