The 224th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Oct. 9, 2018 at 7pm at The New School, Room A404, 66 West 12th Street. Free and open to the public.

 Izar Lunaček on Slowhatnia? The Best of Slovenian comics.

Izar Lunaček, a Slovenian cartoonist and comic activist takes us on a tour through the surprisingly engaging history of his country’s comics, ranging from anthropomorphic adventure classics through 60s’ counterculture erotica all the way to internationally awarded social critiques of the century’s close finishing with his own recent IDW miniseries. The talk will be enlivened by impromptu translations of passages from selected works.

Born in 1979, Lunaček has been drawing and publishing comics in Slovenian newspapers and magazines since the late 90s. So far, his work has been collected in seven books, the most recent two also securing translations in Spain and the US. Apart from drawing, he runs a comic book shop in the city of his home-town of Ljubljana and has founded his country’s first ever comics festival, currently in its 5th year.

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The 223rd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Oct. 2, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public.

Zoe Beloff presents her new book – Between Worlds: An Asylum Seeker in America
I will discuss an ongoing body of work that explores the relationship between fascism in the 1930’s in the United States and its resurgence today. Its focus is on the status of the refugee and the undocumented in New York City and beyond. It takes the form of three elements in dialog with each other: a panoramic history painting on cardboard, a film and a documentary picture book. The focus of my presentation will be on the book, Between Worlds that follows the journey of an asylum seeker in the United States. His story is both unique and representative of the millions uprooted by conflict throughout the world who are attempting to start a new life in America. Since filming his journey and incarceration in an immigration detention center was impossible, I decided to draw his experiences as he described them to me.
Zoe Beloff is an artist and filmmaker. Projects often involve a range of media including films, drawings and archival documents organized around a theme. Her work aims to connect the present to past so that it might illuminate the future in new ways. Themes include proposals for new forms of community; The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society and its Circle 1926 – 1972 or The Days of the Commune staged as series of street performances to new ways about thinking about labor in The Infernal Dream of Mutt and Jeff and Emotions go to Work. Zoe particularly enjoys working in alternative spaces that are free and open to the community for events and conversations. These have included in New York City; The Coney Island Museum, Participant, Momenta and The James Gallery at the CUNY Graduate Center. You can find more about her projects at
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The 223rd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Sept. 25, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public.

Drew Friedman: Schtick Figures

Artist Drew Friedman discusses four decades of drawing old Jews, comics,  sideshow freaks, and Donald Trump, in a visual talk moderated by Columbia’s curator for comics and cartoons, Karen Green. Friedman was instructed at the School of Visual Arts by comics legends Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner and Art Spiegelman, and his comics first appeared in Spiegelman’s RAW and in R. Crumb’s Weirdo. Friedman would go on to create monthly work for Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, and SPY, where he would first render a relatively still unknown short-fingered New York real estate developer. He conceived concept art for TOPPS, including the legendary BARFO candy, and has produced regular illustration work for publications such as Entertainment Weekly, TIME, MAD, BLAB!, The New York Observer and The New Yorker, among others. Drew Friedman will discuss the highs and the lows of an award winning career as a comics artist, illustrator, and pop-culture historian. The evening will also include a sneak preview of his upcoming book.

Drew Friedman’s comics and illustrations have appeared in countless publications over the last 40 years, many which no longer exist.  His work has been collected in six anthologies, the most recent Drew Friedman’s Chosen People, (Fantagraphics), and he illustrated Howard Stern’s two best-selling books. Steven Heller writing in The New York Times wrote of his three volumes of portraiture of Old Jewish Comedians: “A festival of drawing virtuosity and fabulous craggy faces. Friedman might well be the Vermeer of the Borsht Belt”. His two volumes of Heroes of the Comics were recently published by Fantagraphics, the second volume nominated for an Eisner award. In 2014, the Society of illustrators hosted a two-floor showing of his original Old Jewish comedians art, the opening attended by none other than Abe Vigoda. Filmmaker Kevin Dougherty is currently filming a documentary on Friedman’s career, Vermeer of the Borscht Belt. Drew Friedman and his wife and frequent collaborator, K. Bidus live in rural PA with their beagle, Gunther.

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The 222nd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Sept. 11, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public. Skype presentation.

Sharad Sharma on Grassroots Comics: By the people, for the people.

Via Skype, Sharad Sharma,  will share hundred of stories of common people using Grassroots Comics that tell a local story. They are a communication tool for all citizens that can transcend the barriers of language, literacy, media access, social classes and even resources. For these reasons, grassroots comics have been extremely successful in both rural and urban, remote and low literacy areas widely in Indian subcontinent. The simple format and participatory methodology made the grassroots comics popular worldwide. In last 20 years his organization World Comics has conducted more than 1200 comics workshop in most remote and disturbed areas of the globe and trained over 1,00,000 common people. He will also share the impact of his work.

Sharad Sharma is a cartoonist and Ashoka Fellow based in New Delhi, India and founder of World Comics Network. He was associated with many newspapers and magazines and also worked for TV. In mid-nineties he conceptualized the idea of Grassroots Comics.  He took the art of cartooning and comics to the rural hinterland of India and other parts of the globe. He has extensive experience from workshops with a variety of organizations in India and internationally. He has published several books and manuals.  He has been helping small organizations working in remote areas to initiate social campaigns using grassroots comics on issues like infanticide, foeticide, corporal punishment, local governance, paedophilia, stereotypes.  He was awarded Communication For Social Change Award by the University of Queensland, Australia and University of Massachusetts, USA.

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The 220th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  September 4, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public.

Arne Zaslove: From the Art of Italian Commedia to the Art of Cartooning and Stand-up Comedy.

Almost 500 years ago, a satirical, acrobatic kind of theater spilled into the streets of Italy.  Commedia dell’Arte featured professional actors on outdoor stages, improvising on well-known scenarios that mocked the social hierarchy of the time.  The actors wore leather half-masks distilling stock characters (the miser, the Doctor, the clever servant, the braggart soldier), and women made their appearance on stage for the first time.

Commedia spread through Europe, and its influence was felt by Shakespeare and Moliere, and eventually seen in English panto, Music Hall, burlesque, silent cinema, circus and today’s standup comedians.

Arne Zaslove has been exploring the expressive physicality of Commedia in theater productions and classes for the past five decades.  Arne demonstrates the stock characters, using his own extensive collection of authentic leather masks. He then goes on to show, with visuals and film clips, how the paradoxical archetypes of Commedia continue to live in our popular culture.  Lively and irrepressible, the spirit of Commedia is as fresh now as it was when it first appeared.

As a student at Carnegie Mellon, Arne Zaslove met the brilliant and mercurial Commedia dell’ Arte master Carlo Mazzone-Clementi.  Arne’s apprenticeship with Carlo started with the immortal words: “You want to learn? Here, carry the bags!” Carlo later headed west and founded the Dell’ Arte School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, California.  Arne headed east, winning a Fulbright to become the first American to study at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris.

Having imbibed deeply from the European traditions of mask and physical theater, Arne gained inspiration from approaching Shakespeare as a living playwright, and from his own passion for American popular culture.  These influences have fueled a directing career marked by the physicality and imagination of Arne’s productions, and a parallel teaching vocation that has launched several generations of students into successful careers in theater and film.

Arne’s work has taken him from the National Theatre School of Canada to the Stratford Festival in Ontario and Cirque du Soleil, with stints at Seattle Repertory Theater, his own Bathhouse Theatre in Seattle, and countless theaters and training programs throughout North America and Europe.  More recently, he has been a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the Iceland Academy of the Arts in Reykjavik and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.

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The 219th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  August 28, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public.

Frank Mouris on “my life in pictures”
i had always wanted to do something artistic,
but i could not draw or paint or sculpt that well,
and while i loved photography, it didn’t move…
me. i found that photographic images cut from
magazines could make me a collage animator.
while caroline and i also made documentaries,
a romantic comedy live-action feature, tv titles
and ads, ”sesame street” animations, and music
videos, only photo collage animation truly does it
for us in our personal film experiments.
bio bits:
born in key west (boston dad in navy), 9/6/44.
raised in arlington (boston suburb), 1945-62.
catholic schools, fifth grade to high school senior (high school scholarship), ’62.
scholarship student, harvard college, architectural sciences (only ‘visual’ major), b.a. cum laude, ’66.
loan student, yale school of art and architecture, graphic design (only choice w/ no real art portfolio), b.f.a./m.f.a, “69.
internship with richard williams (3 animation oscars), london, summer of 1969.
freelance graphic designer and grant filmmaker (a.f.i., c.a.p.s., n.e.a., guggenheim), new york city, 1972-75.
academy award, ”frank film”, 1974, best animated short film of 1973.
paying student, american film institute, directing major, 1975-78.
freelance animator/filmmaker, los angeles, 1975-83.
freelance animator, nassau, new york (albany area) 1983-present.

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The Fall 2018 lecture series begins on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018 with animator, Frank Mouris.

Fall 2018 Symposium poster