Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Call for Papers: 'Surrealism, Science Fiction, and Comic Books' (n.d.; 1/22/11)

Call for Papers:
'Surrealism, Science Fiction,
and Comic Books'

The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
22 January 2011

In his 1976 essay ‘Science Fiction and Allied Literature,’ David Ketterer wrote ‘it is rather surprising that the considerable affinity which exists between Surrealism and SF has not attracted more attention.’ This observation was repeated in 1997 by Roger Bozzetto and Arthur B. Evans, who lamented that the relations between Surrealism and science fiction ‘continue to be largely unexplored in SF scholarship,’ and that ‘there currently exists no in-depth study of SF and Surrealism.’ The points of contact and areas of overlap, along with the influences, differences, and antagonisms that lie between Surrealism, science fiction, and the related literature of the comic book will be explored in this conference to be held 22 January 2011 at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

Such observations take on extra force when we consider Surrealism’s historical context, along with its literary and pictorial culture. Emerging in France between the two world wars, it was well positioned to receive the writings of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells that initiated and defined the genre boundaries of early science fiction, along with the popularisation of the fourth dimension and the advent of the Theory of Relativity that such literature drew upon, whilst the writings of Alfred Jarry, Franz Kafka, and Raymond Roussel gave them a related comic, absurd, or fantastic perspective on the machine and technology. Indeed, Roussel’s boundless admiration for Verne was equalled by the similar veneration felt for Roussel by Marcel Duchamp and Roberto Matta, expressed in their art between 1912 and the 1940s. Furthermore, one of the most important figures in early French SF (and now almost forgotten), Jacques Spitz, was close to the Surrealists in the 1930s, and his books of the interwar years show a marked Surrealist tendency. In the 1940s, Matta’s work was affected more specifically by the worlds described in science fiction and also by comic books, which were a significant discovery for André Breton and the Surrealists in New York. Important to René Magritte’s art in the 1940s, comic books were also a key popular form for postwar Surrealism in Europe and America.

Because barely any scholarship exists on how far the art and writings of Surrealists in the forties and since were affected by SF and comic books, it is expected that postwar art and writings will form a significant strand of this conference (for instance, the writings of Malcolm de Chazal were described by their English translator as ‘science fictions’), as will the investigation of how the project to expand reality proposed by Surrealism in its imagery and poetry was extended by important SF writers such as Stanislaw Lem and J.G. Ballard, as well as for related novelists like Jorge Luis Borges, Alan Burns, and Thomas Pynchon.

Potential areas of exploration are:
  • Surrealism, SF, and the imagery of spiritualism
  • The comic book as a subversive accomplice of Surrealism
  • Surrealism, physics, and fiction
  • The spaces of Surrealist painting and the SF imagination
  • Legacies of Surrealism in contemporary comic books
  • The fourth dimension in Surrealism, modernism, and SF
  • Surrealist and SF geographies
  • The Gothic imagination in Surrealism, SF, and comics
  • Futurity in Surrealism and SF
  • SF and Surrealism in the postmodern novel
Paper proposals of about 250 words should be sent to gavin.parkinson@courtauld.ac.uk

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Call for Entries: Broadsided! The Intersection of Art and Literature (9/1; 10/2-31)

While this event is more for artists than academics, I know more that a few people who are both...
The Intersection of Art and Literature

October 2-31, 2009
23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, Oregon

Before books, before blogs and before mass media, there were broadsides. Historically, broadsheet posters were ephemeral in nature: often political or editorial proclamations or even advertising. Today, broadsides hang at the intersection of art and literature. Letterpress printed broadsides are valued as graphic fine art designed and printed by a true craftsperson; but also as fine literature featuring poetry or prose.

This exhibit is open to all letterpress printed broadsides. At least one element of the broadside must be letterpress printed and may be combined with any other artistic medium. The work may be created in whole by the artist or in collaboration with others. Broadsides will be judged on overall design, typography, cohesiveness of text and image as well as the level of craft and production quality. One broadside chosen by the jurors will be awarded a Best of Show Award with a cash prize of $300 and a solo show in the book room at 23 Sandy at a future date.

Entry deadline is September 1, 2009. Complete entry information and online entry form can be found here: www.23sandy.com/Broadsided/CallForEntries.html

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Tintin in a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these figures on the walls;
Bas-reliefs on long, white surfaces.

I've been to Brussels several times, but I don't believe I ever rode the metro. Which means that I missed the opportunity to see the giant Tintin murals in the Stockel metro station! Sob. (Surely, finding out this information was an omen: I must get back to Brussels soon, one way or another.)

But the next best thing might be to visit the station virtually, thanks to BrusselsPictures.com. Check out their exhaustive photo set of the 140 characters from Hergé's Tintin books appearing in the murals. As Captain Haddock might exclaim, "Ten thousand thundering typhoons!"

(Tip o' th' pin to The Ephemerist!)

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

"The Cresting Wave: San Francisco Underground Comix Experience": 7/10-8/22, 2009

Anyone have a spare airline or train ticket to SF? Looks like a great show. Thanks to ComicsDC's Mike Rhode for this info!FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Dan Fogel, comixpr[at]comcast.net

The Cresting Wave:
The San Francisco Underground Comix Experience
July 10 — August 22, 2009
Electric Works
130 8th Street, San Francisco, CA
www.sfelectricworks.com // 415 626 5496

Electric Works is pleased to present "The Cresting Wave: The San Francisco Underground Comix Experience," a group exhibition featuring underground comix artists from San Francisco, from the mid-'60's to the late '80's. Artists included are Mark Bode, Vaughn Bode, Guy Colwell, R. Crumb, Jay Kinney, Paul Mavrides, Dan O'Neill, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton, Larry Todd, Randy Vogel, and S. Clay Wilson. Culling work from private collectors and the artists themselves, guest curator, Underground Comix writer, publisher and historian Dan Fogel has amassed important work from each artist that spans personal drawings, well-known comix pieces, including covers and original comps, as well as other rare ephemera from the heyday of the San Francisco scene.

San Francisco was the birthplace of the underground comix scene in the mid 1960's: nowhere else on the planet was there such an concentration of talent, vision, and production. In a relatively short time, the artists who coalesced in the Bay Area changed the face of popular culture forever. Taking on issues of politics, race, sexuality, drugs, counterculture of the time, and intellectual property, these artists were able to push the bounds of propriety, "decency" and imagery more drastically than in any other medium of the era.

Complementing the robust gallery show, Electric Works will feature many other important pieces by the artist which will be available for viewing during the course of the exhibition in our flat files. In addition, Electric Works will be publishing limited edition prints, mini-prints, and a collaborative "jam" print featuring many of the artists in the exhibition, proceeds of which will benefit the S. Clay Wilson Special Needs Trust, benefiting their friend, who is recovering from serious injuries.
"Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime... the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run... but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. ...
"So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark -- that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."
-- Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, 1971.
Postcard graphic:
Jay Kinney, "Ronald's Rampage" (image for City Magazine), 1974
17 1/2 x 13". Ink, pencil, contact film on bristol board.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

[There may still be time to sneak in a submission...]

Call for Participation
Institute for Comics Studies
Comic Book Convention Conference Series


Atlanta, Georgia August 29-September 1, 2008

The Institute for Comic Studies and the Comics and Pop Art division of Dragon*Con are working together to develop an academic conference for the studies of comics and pop art to take place at Dragon-Con, the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the US.

Please submit a proposal for a 20-minute presentation that engages in substantial scholarly examinations of comic books, graphic novels, and pop art. A broad range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives is being sought, including literary and art criticism, philosophy, linguistics, history, and communication. Proposals may range from discussions of the nature of the comics medium, analyses of particular works and authors, discussions of the visual language of comics, to comics pedagogy, and more.

The academic track of Dragon*Con represents the Institute for Comics Studies’ mission to promote the study, understanding, and cultural legitimacy of comics and to support the discussion and dissemination of this study and understanding via public venues.

100-word proposals due: ASAP or by August 1, 2008:

Matthew Brown
Dragon*Con Mini-Conference Chair
mattbrown @ ucsd.edu
Subject line: "ICS: Dragon*Con Proposal"

Due to the tight deadline and scheduling constraints, early submission is the best guarantor of acceptance

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

June 22 at The Met - Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy

More information on the "Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy" exhibit can be found here. And ComicsResearch.org's information on the exhibit's accompanying book can be found here.
Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy
Sunday at the Met
Sunday, June 22, 2008
All programs are in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
and are free with Museum admission.

This all-day event of lectures and panel discussions brings together leading international scholars, critics, and designers to discuss the world of costumes and comics. Themes include the appropriation of the uniform, the adaptation of superhero costumes for the screen, the creation of modern mythologies, and the role of the superhero as metaphor in contemporary society.


E Pluribus Unitard: Notes toward a Theory of Superhero Costuming
Peter Coogan, director, The Institute for Comics Studies

Writers Panel
Danny Fingeroth, author, Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero; Richard Reynolds, author, Super Heroes: A Modern Mythology; and Paul Levitz, president and publisher, DC Comics

The Boys in the Hoods: The Costumed Vigilante as Urban Dandy
Scott Bukatman, associate professor, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University

Costume Designers Panel
Geoff Klock, assistant professor, Borough of Manhattan Community College; and Adi Granov and Phil Saunders, illustrators and concept Designers, Iron Man

Artists Panel
Alex Ross, comic artist; Stanford Carpenter, assistant professor, Visual and Critical Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Arlen Schumer, comic book art historian, The Dynamic Duo Studio, Inc.

The Gods of Greece, Rome, and Egypt Still Exist—Only Today They Wear Spandex and Capes!
Michael Uslan, executive producer, The Dark Knight

The exhibition and its accompanying book are made possible by Giorgio Armani.

Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

CFP: Comics and Graphic Novels at New Jersey College English Association, 31 March 2007

Looks like it's academic "call for papers" season again!
30th Annual New Jersey College English Association
Spring Conference
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ

Over the past twenty years, the "graphic novel" has become a mainstay -- if second-class citizen -- of the popular media. But can we say the form is properly understood when two of the most highly regarded "Graphic Novels" -- Spiegelman's Maus and Satrapi's Persepolis -- are not "novels" at all? This panel seeks papers challenging conventional perspectives of comics and graphic novels. Papers on all topics are welcome, but considerations of non-genre works are encouraged.

Presenters should consider delivering their work in a pedagogical manner, rather than simply reading papers. Visual and rhetorical aids (i.e., handouts, illustrations) are encouraged, as is sharing work with other panelists and distributing completed papers to the audience. For suggestions, see: de Jonge, Julie Stephens. "A Reflection on the Conference Paper Format and Ideas for Change." Modern Language Studies 35.2, 2006. 82-90.

Please send abstract and CV by Jan 2, 2007 to: Edward Shannon, Associate Professor of Literature, Ramapo College of NJ. eshannon@ramapo.edu

Edward A. Shannon, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Literature
Convener of Literature
School of American and International Studies
Ramapo College of New Jersey
505 Ramapo Valley Rd.
Mahwah, NJ 07430
(201) 684-7425 Phone
(201) 684-7973 Fax

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CFP: Comics as Art, Entertainment and Design - Scotland, 25-26 May 2007

Just received this call for papers. Note the January 31 deadline for submissions.

Biff! Bam!! Crikey!!!
Comics as Art, Entertainment and Design

Comics are an important and vital part of popular culture, shaping the early reading experiences of many children, as well as commanding an increasing body of adult readers. They can offer slapstick fun or serious literary themes and have spread into every imaginable genre (comedy, horror, war, adventure, autobiography, documentary and so on). Comics therefore have the potential to be both popular entertainment and provocative art, and have a profound influence on various other media and art-forms, including film, animation, computer games, and television.

The Six Cities Design Festival and the University of Dundee are pleased to announce this international conference, to be held in Dundee on May 25th and 26th 2007. It will celebrate the history of comics in Dundee, but will also explore wider themes, including comics as art, popular culture and design.

Suggested topics include: comics in Scotland, British comics, the intersection of British and American comics, topical and controversial comics, defining comics, and comics and other media.

Dundee is the perfect venue for this conference as the comics of Dundee-based publisher DC Thomson are known all over the world, and 2007 marks the 70th anniversary of The Dandy, widely recognised as the world'€™s longest running comic. The Dundee programme will include the publication of a comic published by DC Thomson highlighting design and innovation in Dundee.

Papers will be 20 minutes long. Proposals of around 300 words should be sent to the address below by January 31st 2007. It is the intention that the conference proceedings will be published. For further information regarding the conference contact:

Dr Chris Murray
Department of English
162 Nethergate,
University of Dundee

e-mail: c.murray@dundee.ac.uk

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Friday, October 13, 2006

"See You in the Funny Papers": New York Times on "Masters" Exhibit

Thanks to The Queen of Everything for letting me know about "See You in the Funnypapers," a review of the current "Masters of American Comics" exhibits currently running at the Jewish Museum in New York City and the Newark Museum in New Jersey. The article was written by Michael Kimmelman and published in today's New York Times.

Along with the lengthy and positive review, you can also view a slideshow of art from the exhibits, as well as the "Close Reading" of Jack Kirby's work which I wrote about here earlier.

Pictured: The cover to the companion catalog, "Masters of American Comics."

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Canada's "Conceptual Comics" & "Comic Craze"

The Canadian city Banff, in Alberta, sounds like a must-see destination for comics connoisseurs this summer - specifically, the exhibits and programming at the Banff Center's Walter Phillips Gallery.

First up: Conceptual Comics (April 27 - August 3), "a survey of over 50 books drawn from the inventory of Printed Matter, Inc., the artists' bookstore located in New York City." Consisting of artist's books that employ comics conventions, this one should be of interest to anyone interested in the formal aspects of comic art, particularly OuBaPo fans (en français ), as well as to book arts aficionados. Curator's tour Thursday, May 4, 7:00 p.m.

The other exhibit, "Comic Craze" (May 4 - September 3) focuses on French- and English-language comics from across Canada. Cartoonists include, among others, Marc Bell, Rupert Bottenberg, Shary Boyle, Chester Brown, Geneviève Castrée, David Collier, Rebecca Dart, Jeff Lemire, Billy Mavreas, Marc Ngui, Joe Ollman, Michel Rabagliati, Seth, Rick Trembles, and Maurice Vellekoop. This one appears to be pretty large, and conducive to reading, not just looking at, some great work:
For this exhibition, the Gallery is being transformed into a reading space. A black and white woodland forest, filled with luminous snails and hundreds of comic books, 'zines, and mini-comics accessible for on-site reading, is the stage for a unique experience in appreciating the visual and literary pleasure of reading comics.
Curator'’s Tour May 8, 6:00 p.m.; Opening Reception May 20, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.; Exhibition Tour July 7, 7:30 p.m.

In conjunction with this exhibit, the Banff Centre will host the Comic Craze Symposium from May 4 - May 6. The list of featured speakers includes artists, scholars, curators, publishers, and fans, so it promises to offer wide-ranging appeal. One particularly interesting feature, given the recents (and welcome!) spate of comics gallery exhibits, is a session on "Curating Comics," designed to "provide an opportunity to discuss and debate the strategies that are currently used to represent this field of visual culture."

Unless someone has some airfare to spare, we'd appreciate any and all visitor's reports on these events.

Above: "Between Gentlemen" (excerpt), Rupert Bottenberg, 2003. Extra-special mega-thanks to The Queen of Everything for letting me know about these shows!

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

"Stars, Crosses & Stripes"

The "Gene" described at left is not me. I don't have that kind of fortitude; I've begged and sworn plenty, for far less cause.

That image is only the tiniest portion of a "gallery comic" entitled "Stars, Crosses, and Stripes" by cartoonist and teacher (not to mention friend) Christian Hill, prime mover behind Kameleo Comics. You can view the entirety of the piece here, and read a review of it, by Derik A Badman, at Comic Book Galaxy.

"Stars, Crosses, and Stripes" is a verbal and visual meditation on war, sacrifice, family, pride, and more, providing much food for thought - especially in these times. I would describe its design as "extremely and appropriately clever," but clever seems too trivializing a word in this context. "Stars..." proves a powerful reminder that "Comics" and "The Funnies" are not synonyms.

Way to put that theory into practice, Christian - thanks.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Yoe! Here's the Love!

What better day to start a blog called "Arf Lovers" than Valentine's Day?

That Craig Yoe, he's no love-struck fool; he's in love with comics for the long haul, as his series of "art+comics" books, Arf, makes abundantly clear. Arf Lovers promises to pass along new comics curiosities every day; and, as Craig himself is one of the most curious folks I know, I'm sure we won't be disappointed.

Arf Lovers previews both the first book in the Arf series, Modern Arf (index at ComicsResearch.org) and the newest entry, Arf Museum; from the on-line preview, it looks like we need this one on our shelves here right-quick. With treats like never-before seen Yellow Kid paintings; a true-life comics story by Mort Walker concerning Roy Lichtenstein; Art Young in Hell; and the debut of Craig's new character, Mr. Smart-Ass, Arf Museum is bound to be another kornucopia of kwality.

Craig might not yet have covered Victorian Valentines in Arf, but it's probably only a matter of time. Given Arf Museum's section on "gorillas and damsels in distress," I'm sure he'll be interested in just whose job it was to "lead apes in Hell"...

Above: Portrait of Craig Yoe by the late Kelly Freas.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Geektasm Alert: Free Superman Poster

Dateline Metropolis: As part of the state of Illinois' "Discover Offbeat Illinois" campaign, the IL Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is offering a free poster (several choices) to anyone who requests one. (The offer might be for US residents only; I didn't read the fine print). The poster touting the city of Metropolis' Favorite Son is pictured above (I've already ordered mine, natch); there's also one for the Tallest Man in the World, in Alton; Berwyn's Car-Kabob; Rockford's Jane the T-Rex (somebody order this one for me! Thanks, Kate and Queen!); and more.

To see all the posters, click here. To order your own, click here.

Super-special thanks to sister-in-law extraordinaire Alex "Scoop" Gillen for the tip. Here's another tip: See the world in new ways by visiting Phosgraphia, her ultra-cool photo-blog!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Superhero Renaissance?

No, I'm not suggesting that superhero comics have suddenly "seen the light." Pal Miron Murcury alerted me to this Photoshopping contest at Worth1000.com. The theme this time should be pretty clear from the examples I've posted here: "Blue Boy Wonder" by the pseudonymous "Snowcrash," "Superdegas" by "DerPartnerSweeny," and "Wonder Woman" by FlashDaz.

Not all the entries are as accomplished as these three, but there are several here that are amusing and unexpected. Maybe not worth 1000 looks, but definitely worth a look or two; check it out here.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Can't Wait for this New "Graphic Novel"

cover, Eco's 'Loana'In general, I really dislike the term "graphic novel" -- it's an empty concept, one I'll ramble on about soon. But one upcoming book really seems like it actually will be a "graphic novel" that does justice to the term: Umberto Eco's The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, due out in June. I heard about it from the friendly Harcourt rep at last December's Modern Language Association convention, and I immediately knew I had to have this book. Besides being, well, a novel by Eco (I re-read Foucault's Pendulum nearly every year while I was in my twenties), it also apparently contains a visual orgy of images -- a concept which the cover gets across pretty clearly. Anyone got a review copy to spare?

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