The 229th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Nov. 13, 2018 at 7pm at The New School, Room A404, 66 West 12th Street. Free and open to the public.

Jason Lutes on Berlin, 20 years in the making

Celebrated cartoonist Jason Lutes speaks about completing his two-decade-long project Berlin; a sweeping graphic novel masterpiece that charts Berlin through the rise of Nazism.

Berlin is an intricate look at the fall of the Weimar Republic through the eyes of its citizens, weaving a wide cast of characters’ lives into the larger fabric of a city slowly ripping apart. The city itself is the central protagonist in this historical fiction. Lavish salons, crumbling sidewalks, dusty attics, and train stations: all these places come alive in Lutes’ masterful hand. Weimar Berlin was the world’s metropolis, where intellectualism, creativity, and sensuous liberal values thrived, and Lutes maps its tragic, inevitable decline. Devastatingly relevant and beautifully told, Berlin is one of the great epics of the comics medium.

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, cartoonist Jason Lutes became the assistant art director of Fantagraphics Books in 1991. His “big break” came in 1993, when he began drawing a weekly comics page called “Jar of Fools” for The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative paper. By 1995 he had become the paper’s art director, but upon collecting and self-publishing Jar of Fools in 1996, he left The Stranger and made the leap to becoming a full-time cartoonist. Lutes then began working on his magnum opus Berlin; a historical fiction graphic novel set in the twilight years of the Weimar Republic. Lutes currently lives in Vermont with his partner and two children, where he teaches comics at the Center for Cartoon Studies.

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The 228th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Nov. 6, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public.

Patrick Kyle on Working Without a Predetermined End

A working philosophy coined by Chicago Imagist Barbara Rossi, Patrick Kyle will discuss how “Working Without a Predetermined End” has helped him maintain and develop his practice as an Illustrator, Cartoonist and Fine Artist and informed the process of his most recent book Roaming Foliage published by Koyama Press.

Patrick Kyle is a Commercial Illustrator from Toronto, Canada. Since graduating from The Ontario College of Art and Design in 2009 he has created illustrations for The New York Times, Lucky Peach, Bloomberg Businessweek, The MIT Technology Review, Transworld Skateboarding and many others.

He is the author of the graphic novels Black Mass (Mother Books, 2012), Distance Mover (Koyama Press, 2014), Don’t Come in Here(Koyama Press, 2016), Everywhere Disappeared (Koyama Press, 2017) and Roaming Foliage(Koyama Press, 2018)

Patrick is an active member of Toronto’s independent comic book and zine community and has contributed to organizing the small press portion of The Toronto Comic Arts Festival since 2009. He became a co-organizer of the annual small press exhibition Zine Dream in 2015.

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The 227th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Oct. 30, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public.

Claudia Orenstein on Understanding Puppets: Comics’ Performing Cousin

Puppetry has undergone a renaissance in the last twenty years, breaking out of its constricted association with children’s entertainment, and appearing everywhere from avant-garde venues to Broadway houses. It interconnects in new ways with disciplines like dance, film, and robotics. Terms like “performing objects” and “material performance” have emerged to encompass this expanding art. How do scholars and performers understand the new realm of puppetry today? How do we read objects in performance onstage? How does visual imagery express meaning in a stage world that mixes images, objects, human actors, and other media? Orenstein offers a view into the variety of performances included under the umbrella term puppetry today and ways into understanding this proliferating art. She also brings to light some of the terrain shared between puppetry and comics.

Claudia Orenstein is Professor of Theatre at Hunter College. She has dedicated over a decade to invigorating puppetry scholarship through her writing, teaching, and organizing of talks and conferences on puppetry. She writes on traditional puppetry in Asia as well as contemporary forms worldwide. Her books include The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance (co-edited with Dassia Posner and John Bell) and the forthcoming Women and Puppetry: Critical and Historical Investigations (co-edited with Alissa Mello and Cariad Astles). She served as dramaturg for the mixed-media puppet productions Shank’s Mare and Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and creates performances with her company, Trade Winds Theatre.

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The 226th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Oct. 23, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public.

Michael Kupperman on Turning Family Into Narrative: The Process of Creating All the Answers.

A few years ago Michael Kupperman set out to understand his father’s childhood, when his dad had been a nationally famous child genius, appearing in the radio and TV show Quiz Kids. This led to a lot of realizations, discoveries and emotions. This talk covers the process of turning personal experience into narrative, the presentation of history, using the internet for research, and the other assorted challenges involved in a project of this size. Kupperman will also talk about the task of being serious after a lifelong career as a humorous artist.

Michael Kupperman’s comic drawings and strips have appeared in dozens of publications including The New Yorker, Fortune, The New York Times, Nickelodeon magazine, Forbes, Fast Company, Esquire, Heavy Metal and McSweeneys; comic books for DC, Marvel, and others; and been collected in multiple books, including five of his own. They’ve also been animated for Saturday Night Live, Adult Swim, and Comedy Central. Conan O’Brian described him as “probably one of the greatest comedy brains on the planet.” Michael lives in Brooklyn with his wife Muire and son Ulysses.

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The 225th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Oct. 16, 2018 at 7pm at The New School, Room A404, 66 West 12th Street. Free and open to the public.

Robert Seidman on Joseph Pulitzer’s Pictures

Seidman will celebrate, in vivid and colorful detail, the staggering visual innovations of The World, Joseph Pulitzer’s NYC daily newspaper.  The Sunday World was the most profusely illustrated daily journal in U.S. history. Pulitzer understood the appeal of the visual in a way that few did.  After 1895, the illustrations were in color, then an impressive advance. His talk is based upon an essay he published in Art In America.

Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People, directed by Oren Rudavsky and co-written by Seidman and Rudavsky, is a feature-length documentary scheduled to air on the national PBS series “American Masters” in April 2019. The film unfolds the rags-to-riches story of an immigrant Hungarian whose contentious, wildly popular newspapers became a Gilded Age phenomena, able to present New York City and eventually the entire country with a boldly humane and progressive agenda. Even after becoming a multimillionaire, Pulitzer’s (1847-1911) beliefs remained fiercely egalitarian. In hundreds of editorials and articles he opposed miscreants large and small, from the misnamed “Trusts” to the local dairy farm that sold adulterated milk to children.

Robert J. Seidman is a novelist, Emmy-winning screenwriter and literary critic. Moments Captured was published in the U.S. by The Overlook Press in fall 2012 and in England by Duckworth Press in spring 2014.  The work is based loosely on the work and life of the pioneering 19th century photographer Eadweard Muybridge.  Seidman’s One Smart Indian, a novel about a Northern Cheyenne set in mid-nineteenth century America, was published by the Overlook Press in 1980.  It has never been out of print.

Seidman’s screenwriting credits include the Emmy-nominated A Life Apart:  Hasidism in America, a 90-minute documentary. He co-wroteMargaret Mead:  An Observer Observed, a 90-minute docu-drama about Mead’s life, intellectual contributions and the creation of her legend.Seidman also wrote In Our Time, the final program of a nine-part series ambitiously titled, Art of the Western World.  The hour film focuses on American and European art after World War II. Robert Seidman is co-writer of Waiting for Beckett, a documentary on the work and life of the Nobel Prize Winning author. Seidman wrote Wallace Stevens:  Man Made Out of Words, an hour documentary about Stevens’ poetry and life. The Stevens’ documentary appeared in the award-winning Voices and Visions series, thirteen films about American poets. Seidman was co-writer of Billy Strayhorn:  Lush Life. This film won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best Documentary, a George Foster Peabody Award, and the Emmy for Best Documentary, 2007.  We believe that Lush Life was the only film to win all three awards.

With Don Gifford, Robert Seidman is co-author of Ulysses Annotated:  An Annotation of James Joyce’s Ulysses, University of California Press, 1988. The annotation has never been out of print.  

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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 http://zoebeloff.com
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