Friday, April 24, 2009

Craig Yoe Talks about Joe Shuster's Fetish Art on Yesterday's "Fresh Air"

On last night's broadcast of "Fresh Air," NPR's Terry Gross interviewed my pal Craig Yoe, author of the new book Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s Co-Creator Joe Shuster. I got a peek at the book a few months back at the New York Comic Con, and it looks great! I can't wait to get a copy of my own. Much of this work has laid "undiscovered" for decades; Craig's done a great service by presenting and discussing this work, showing us another side of the artist who's best-known (possibly only known) to the general public for having created, with Jerry Siegel, that obscure comic book character Superman.

Listen to Terry Gross' interview with Craig Yoe here.

I've heard rumblings from a (very) few comics fans who lament the book's existence, saying that it sullies Joe Shuster's memory. I couldn't disagree more; the book adds to our knowledge of Shuster, revealing where his opportunities lay once DC Comics had no more use for his services and showing us how his art "matured" (in more than one sense) after he drew the Man of Steel. I've also heard fans say that the art in this book will "overshadow" his work on Superman. Honestly, could that really happen? Will people now remember only this work and forget his co-creation of Superman? Hardly. Or, to put it another way, it's simply inconceivable.

For more information on the book, check out's feature page for Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman’s co-creator Joe Shuster. We also have info on some of Craig's other books, like Clean Cartoonists' Dirty Drawings and Modern Arf: Artists + Models: The Naked Truth. And no, Craig doesn't just write books with nekkid ladies in them - check out his website for a complete list. Obviously, I need to add - and OWN - the rest of his books!

Addendum: As everyone who's met him or read his book-blog knows, Craig Yoe is one of those shy, retiring types, never one to toot his own horn without painful prodding. I'm not sure who was holding a gun to his head, but somehow he was convinced to create an image promoting his radio appearance:
Very clever, Craig! But I know your secret. You stole - er, appropriated - that face from the original version of your new book's cover.Image credits: Top - cover to Secret Identity, probably Copyright © 2009 Abrams ComicArts. Middle: Copyright © 2009 Craig Yoe. Bottom: A "yoe-toe-shopped" mash-up of the two by moi.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

CFP: Comics Conference on Sex, Gender, and Sexuality (University of Florida, 3/21-22/2008)

Just announced, and highly recommended:
The University of Florida's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce the 2008 UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels: "ImageSexT: Intersections of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality," which will be held in Gainesville, Florida, on March 21-22, 2008.

The sixth annual conference on comics will focus on issues of representation in the most literal sense: that of the image on the page (screen, monitor, etc.). We are interested in papers that move beyond facile reiterations of identity politics to explore the complexities and complexes of bodies and desires for artists, writers, and readers of comics. Here we are using "comics" in its broadest sense, to include animation, manga, anime, graphic novels, webcomics, political cartoons, and even some "fine art." Theoretically grounded work is preferred, but we also have an interest in archival, historical, and creative papers. The goal of this conference is to encourage interdisciplinary discussion incorporating diverse approaches to the comics representation of sex, gender, and sexuality.

Confirmed guests for this year include Phoebe Gloeckner (Diary of a Young Girl) and Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman); invited guests include Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets).

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
  • Autobiographical and authorial issues of sex and gender in comics, including issues of veiled autobiography, writing across gender lines, collaboration, and adaptation (Stuck Rubber Baby, Fun Home, The Authority, Fritz the Cat)
  • Archival/historical work on depictions of the body, intercourse and identity including persistence and/or revision of stereotypes (Tijuana Bibles, Charles Atlas ads, homosexuality in early animation, Air Pirates Funnies)
  • Who's drawing my body? Self- and Other-representations and culture wars (Goth comics, Superhero[ine] physiques, Dirty Plotte)
  • Fans turn Pro (and vice versa): sex and gender issues at the boundary between and in the transition from fandom to professional comics (letters pages, undergrounds, fanzines, weblogs, fanfic, slash and doujinshi origins)
  • Indeterminacy, including queer readings, secret identities, and the act of passing in and through comics (How Loathsome, Death Note, Black Hole, The Book of Lost Souls)
  • "How ethics spoiled my pleasure": including how female fans read and enter comics, our implication in – and pleasure from – objectification, and the comic as part of a cultural circuit of capital and power (, Women in Refrigerators, Sequential Tart)
  • The comic book fetish, including the materiality of the comic, the pleasure of reading, and "slabbing"
  • The perversity of children's narratives (Strawberry Panic, Hikaru no Go, Lost Girls, Diary of a Young Girl)
  • Politics and sex, including political allegory in comics, metaphors of otherness, and sex and censorship (V for Vendetta, Y the Last Man, Alias, Superfly)
  • Representation and its necessary problems, from signifying male- or femaleness to figuring sex and desire, through drawings of bodies and acts, or depicting intimacy and pleasure (Diary of A Dominatrix, Clumsy, Playboy comics, [non-] explicit animation)
  • International issues, including trade and censorship, translations, and taboos (scanlations, fansubbing, "official" translations, cross-cultural marketing and audiences)
Abstract submissions should be approximately 250-500 words in length. Presentations will be 15 minutes with 5 minutes of question and answer. The deadline for abstract submissions is December 1, 2007.
Image: UG Graphic Novel Conferences header, by Dylan Horrocks.

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