Monday, May 14, 2012

Presentations this week...

A full week ahead of talking comics. Tonight (Monday, May 14), i'll be sharing briefly about my dissertation with the newly formed NY Comics and Picture-Stories Symposium. It's a great group of creators and thinkers on comics, just formed by NYC cartooning legend Ben Katchor. Catch the second session tonight and be part of whatever this group becomes as it grows...

Also, this weekend i'll be taking part in this conference on comics and education at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA: The event will host a number of us talking comics and education for teachers to use in their classroom, and features keynotes by Matt Madden (and a workshop!) and Eric Shanower. Should be good!

Finally this week, my class on understanding comics for educators starts up at Teachers College for summer term. TC/Columbia U students interested in thinking/making/teaching comics - come join us! Info at - Nick

Saturday, May 12, 2012

elaborate structures

This is about the 7th or possibly 8th page of my dissertation! I've done all the pages leading up to it, and as things get finalized, I'll post more of them - in order as well. This has text, but it's not quite finalized yet. Figured there's enough here sans words... Also, this page revisits what i did last year in the untitled "learning pathways" piece. Actually, the entire first chapter to the dissertation is a much expanded version of the first page of learning pathways. Oh yes, to get this on the web, i greatly reduced its resolution and size thus obliterating some of the detail at the tiniest, fractal-esque levels... - Nick

Monday, May 7, 2012

A page?

So, I've finished several pages from the first chapter of the dissertation - and will post bits of it soon. Today, I was stuck with what will roughly be the seventh page - and started playing with alternative versions of what I had in mind. One, I got so excited about, I decided to do it to completion - regardless of whether I had a spot for it. Right now, I don't. Kind of crazy to do an extra page in the midst of this - but likely either a spot will open or something will come of it. Either way - here is a page that relates to all the ones I've done before, but doesn't quite have a spot within the narrative I've constructed - yet.... - Nick

Thursday, May 3, 2012

MoCCAfest Reflections

Of late, this blog has started to transform into a blog proper - instead of solely serving as a repository for new comics. As I'm in the midst of a very long form comic in the form of my dissertation, this trend will continue for a while (and also, i have a proper site in the works! More on that later.).

MoCCAfest 2012 represented my first time at a comic convention on the creator side of the table. A learning experience. Had a great time, particularly meeting other creators. Thought I'd share a quick rundown of a little bit of what I saw - limited by the fact, I didn't leave my table for long...
My first visitor on the first day was legendary comics artist P.Craig Russell! A real treat - I recall his ink work (over Jim Starlin) way back to Detective Comics #481 (i had to look up the issue number, but I did remember the story) - and have been inspired by his approach to comics ever since. (Sandman - Ramadan issue, adaptation of Gaiman's "The Dream Hunters" - among other great stuff.)

For reasons unbeknownst to any of us, I found myself nestled between the Scandinavian comics artists contingent! Good folks and a lot of exciting work. Check out the Swedish Comics Association and all that they're doing to support artists and promote comics here. I shared a table with Wisconsin native turned-Norwegian, Max Estes. Delightful storyteller - in nearly silent tales. Also, I was seated next to the folks behind Sikhtoons - and enjoyed watching as their work invited conversations with all sorts of visitors to the festival. Great use of aesthetics and humor for opening dialogues.

I was kitty corner to Jessica Abel and Matt Madden (creators of Drawing Words and Writing Pictures and series editors of the Best American Comics) where they were showing off their new book Mastering Comics - available everywhere May 8! Expect Mastering Comics to join their original Drawing Words/Writing Pictures text as a must have for teachers of comics, comics makers, and more. This dynamic duo continues to give greatly to the comics medium.

Caught up with fellow doc student and comics artist Jarod Roselló and was introduced to his thinking about art in comics - a blend of fun storytelling and serious pedagogical discussions.

Jarod in turn introduced me to the Australian cartoonists (now on Tour!) This grand gathering included Pat Grant - whose book Blue from TopShelf is set to make serious waves. In my view it is seriously smart cartooning - a master class in thinking of how to convey story in comics. Definitely highly recommended.

Susie Oh stopped by my table - and shared her lovely and thoughtful illustrated stories. She was kind enough to share a few words on my work on her blog here. (On that note, thanks again to the Beat's Torsten Adair for including my work in his overview of Day 1 at the festival.)

Ran across yet another doctoral student also making comics - Marjee Chmiel and picked up her book (beautifully illustrated in black and white by Sandra Lanz) "Luci's Let Down." Smart and wildly imaginative in text and image.

Though not exhibiting this time, received a visit from Yen Yen Woo & Colin Goh - creators of the comic/app Dim Sum Warriors (one of the most interesting blends of tech and comics i've seen - check it out).

Thanks to everyone I met (this is only a little sampling - good energy all around) - and a big thank you to the organizers at MoCCA and all the volunteers - who made this happen!

Next up, I'll be heading down to Huntingdon, PA for the Sequential SmArt comics and education conference hosted by Juniata College. A great crew of comics makers/educators will be assembled. In the meantime - drawing away at this dissertation. I have pages to share - and will do so soon... - Nick