Thursday, January 31, 2008

Happy National Gorilla Suit Day! (U.S.A.)

Created by Mad Magazine cartoonist Don Martin, NGSD gives license to folks who wish to indulge in fantasies of full-body hirsuteness without needing to either become a robot monster or kidnap Jessica Lange. For more information, see this post by Mark Evanier (courtesy of the Wayback Machine, proof that the intarwub truly has an elephant-like memory).

And for more on gorillas -- and apes, and monkeys -- in comics, see Michael Eury's Comics Gone Ape! The Missing Link to Primates in Comics.

PS: To non-U.S. citizens: Don't worry! Just for today, consider yourself an honorary American.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Guy Gilchrist's Cartoonist's Academy to Hold Monthly Seminars with Legendary Artists

Here's a press release about a series of artist appearances in New England - and information about Guy Gilchrist's Cartoonist's Academy:
Meet World-Famous Comic Book Artists of
Marvel Comics, Flintstones and Popeye:

Guy Gilchrist's Cartoonist's Academy to Hold
Monthly Seminars with Legendary Artists

Contact: Angie Gilchrist
Guy Gilchrist's Cartoonist's Academy
237 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, CT 06089
Tel. (860)651-4400, fax (860)651-6688
e-mail: info @

SIMSBURY, CT, January 24, 2008 -- Silver Age legend of major comic publishers, Marvel and DC, Richard "Dick" Ayers will kick off a monthly series of seminars as special guest at Guy Gilchrist's Cartoonists Academy. Located at 237 Hopmeadow St., Weatogue, the seminar will be held on Saturday, March 1, from noon to 3:00 p.m. Call early to register for this full afternoon of family fun, as there is limited seating, 860-651-4400.

Ever since serving his country in WWII, Dick Ayers has created some of the greatest comic book art of all time: The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos, Captain America, and the Two-Gun Kid. You have a chance to meet Dick and spend an afternoon hearing about his life and art. He will demonstrate drawing techniques, answer questions, autograph his books and art prints, and pose for photos. See original 1949 live TV footage in which Dick and his cartooning were featured on the CBS suspense show, The Comic Strip Murder, starring Lili Palmer. The film was lost for decades, and was only recently found. Refreshments will be served, and tickets are $30 per person to help the Academy fund the military scholarship, outreach programs, special enrichment programs such as this one, and the filming of this lecture for future students.

April's workshop, with Mike Valentine is two workshops in one: an hour will be spent on how to draw Flintstones, followed by a 2-hour course, "How to Draw Caricatures for Fun and Profit." Mike Valentine is the artist of all Hanna-Barbera characters, including The Flintstones, Captain Caveman, Scooby-Doo, Huckleberry Hound, and many more. Mike's seminar will be held at the Academy on Saturday, April 12, from noon to 3:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served and cartoons of featured characters will be shown. Admission is $25, and again, please call early. This is a great family event for all ages, and a wonderful chance to learn from a master caricature artist, with lots of one-on-one, in a small setting.

Yet to come is George Wildman, comic book editor, primarily known for drawing Popeye. All three legendary artists, Dick Ayers, Mike Valentine, and George Wildman, have decades of professional experience in many styles of illustration appearing in numerous forms of media. For more information, please call 860-651-5733 for availability and also visit

Guy Gilchrist is the award-winning cartoonist of Nancy®, Mudpie, Your Angels Speak, and The Muppets, and is a writer and illustrator of children's books. His internationally syndicated column Night Lights & Fairy Flights appears weekly in the Sunday Hartford Courant and in 100 papers around the world.

Note: For media interviews contact Angie at info @

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Cartoon International Meeting [RIDEP] January 18-20, 2008 (Carquefou, France)

Posted by the courtesy of press agent Caroline Violot. This looks to be a wide-ranging and important event; readers in France are encouraged to attend!
9èmes Rencontres Internationales du Dessin de Presse (RIDEP)
Carquefou (44) les 18-19-20 janvier 2008

THE CARTOON INTERNATIONAL MEETING will be held in Carquefou (France close to Nantes) from January 18-20. It will feature twenty-five cartoonists, including Chinese cartoonists from Peking and nineteen cartoonists from France. Plantu will appear with his "Cartooning for Peace" exhibit, which was shown in ONU.

The meeting will speak about freedom of press and human rights with guests from Amnesty International, Reporters sans frontières [Reporters without Borders] and of cartoons with the FECO....

Click here for more information.

en français...

La Chine et les dessinateurs chinois à Carquefou
Pour leur 9ème édition les RIDEP prennent les couleurs de la Chine pendant 3 jours sur le site de la Fleuriaye à Carquefou (métropole nantaise).

Une délégation de dessinateurs fera le voyage spécialement de Chine avec Xia Li Chuan, qui a réalisé l'affiche des RIDEP 2008, et ses confrères Fu Hong Ge, Xia Da Chuan, Xu Pengfei, Zhang Yaoning, Zheng Wei Hua...

A travers leurs dessins les plus grands noms du dessin de presse chinois et français (Ricord, Plantu, Mulatier Frap, Dominique Lemarié, Chaunu, Biz, Million, Alex, Alexis, Thieboly,...) permettront à tous de décrypter les médias mais aussi la culture et les codes d'un pays au coeur de l'actualité internationale.

Un pays, un dessin, un message...
Abritant un cinquième de l'humanité, la Chine connaît de profonds bouleversements et un développement économique sans précédent. Mais à quel prix ? Censure, répression, crise écologique, économie sans régulation... les Droits de l'Homme et la liberté d'expression ne s'accordent pas toujours avec les réalités de la Chine d'aujourd'hui. Avec les dessinateurs qui dessineront la Chine et les chinois en toute liberté et en collaboration avec des experts de la Chine et du dessin de presse, nous apporterons un éclairage sur ce pays aux multiples facettes.

En route vers la Chine !
3 jours de rencontres et d'échanges uniques sous le trait de crayon des dessinateurs !

Au programme :
  • Animations : films, jeux chinois, cérémonie du thé, calligraphie

  • des expositions de photos (revue Mad in China par les journalistes et photographes du collectif Tendance Floue, photos du prix Niepce 2007 Bertrand Meunier), l’Exposition Dessins pour la Paix de Plantu, et le tour du monde de l’actualité avec plus de 250 dessins de presse exposés
  • des conférences-débats sur des thématiques actuelles : le métier de dessinateur de presse, les droits humains en Chine, la liberté de la presse et les Jeux Olympiques à Pékin, la Chine à deux vitesses, une Chine verte pour demain ?
En collaboration avec plus de 25 dessinateurs, des journalistes, des photographes, des sinologues, Amnesty International et Reporters Sans Frontières, la FECO (Fédération des Organisations de Dessinateurs), Marianne, la FNAC, le CLEMI...

Contact Presse: Caroline Violot Communication, 06 22 72 17 47, 02 51 800 873, cviolot @

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

CFP: Out of the Gutter: Essay Collection on Comics and Graphic Novels

Posted on behalf of Dan Hassler-Forest. Note the impending deadline for abstracts: 15 February 2008.

Out of the Gutter:
Collection on Comics and Graphic Novels

Over the course of the past two years, there has been a marked increase of academic interest in comic books and graphic novels, from a cultural theory perspective as well as from the fields of media studies and literature. However, there have been surprisingly few book-length studies on this topic published from any of these disciplinary perspectives. Hence, while Scott McCloud’s groundbreaking book Understanding Comics raised public and academic interest in this under-theorized and challenging medium, and helped to theorize the medium-specific qualities of sequential pictorial narratives, his book suspends the question of how specific disciplinary perspectives might be engaged.

This new interdisciplinary collection will bring together the work of scholars writing about comic books and graphic novels. Our collection of essays from a wide selection of academic perspectives will not only demonstrate the far-reaching influence of this exciting medium across disciplines, but it will also make this still-controversial subject accessible to a wider scholarly audience of teachers and students alike. Abstracts (1000 words) are welcome for, but not limited to, the following proposed chapters:
  1. Origin stories: The history and development of the genre

  2. What we talk about when we talk about comics: Theory and terminology

  3. "Out of the gutter": Graphic novel adaptations

  4. Men in tights?: Superheroes in the graphic novel

  5. Drawing history: Non-fiction in graphic novels
Please submit abstracts and/or full-length papers (±5000 words) no later than 15 February 2008 to:

Dan Hassler-Forest, University of Amsterdam, Dep. Media Studies, Turfdraagsterpad 9, 1012 XT Amsterdam, The Netherlands - d.a.hassler-forest [at]

Dr. Joyce Goggin, University of Amsterdam, Dep. English Literature, Spuistraat 210, 1012 VT Amsterdam, The Netherlands - j.goggin [at]

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Publication: Essay on Peanuts Parodies

Delayed Notification Dep't: The academic journal Studies in American Humor published my essay "Chips Off the Ol' Blockhead: Evidence of Influence in Peanuts Parodies" a while back (New Series 3 no. 14 [2006]: 91-103). (Actually, I think the issue wasn't published until 2007, although I could be mistaken.)

Like this announcement, the piece itself is a bit dated, but still worth it (if I do say so myself). I originally wrote the essay at the request of my good friend and mentor M. Thomas Inge, for a special memorial session on Charles Schulz and Peanuts at the Modern Language Association's 2000 convention. I was honored to be asked and to be able to discuss my deep admiration for Peanuts in a public forum. And public it was: Given people's general love of Peanuts, and Schulz's then-recent passing, the panel attracted a standing-room-only crowd. Lots more people than this then-graduate student had ever addressed before!

The panel generated lots of discussion, both during and after. The New York Times even featured an article about the panel (Hey Mom, I'm in the Times, I've made it!). Sadly, not everyone thought the panel was appropriate for a scholarly venue; nevertheless, I proudly wear our condemnation by the "research group" Accuracy in Academia as a badge of honor ("Sanity MIA at MLA Panels").

Finally: Although I wouldn't have written this essay without Tom Inge's invitation, I never could have written this essay if it weren't for my younger brother John. When we were kids, he bought practically every Peanuts book ever offered by the Scholastic Book Club, the grade school kid's best friend. Thanks for letting me read all your books over chicken soup at lunch, bro!

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