Showing posts with label International Journal of Comic Art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International Journal of Comic Art. Show all posts

Friday, December 03, 2010

International Journal of Comic Art 12:2/3 is out

The latest issue of the International Journal of Comic Art #12:2/3 is out. 712 pages in this issue. It's time to renew for 2012 at $45 / year.

George Washington University's Philip Troutman has a piece in the current issue, and the exhibit review section has work by me on local shows.

Table of Contents:
John A. Lent 1 Editor’s Note

Fabrice Leroy 2 Yves Chaland and Lue Cornillon’s Rewriting of Classical Belgian Comics in Captivant: From Graphic Homage to Implicit Criticism

Giancarla Unser-Schutz 25 Exploring the Role of Language in Manga: Text Types, Their Usages, and Their Distributions

Rick Marschall 44 Nurturing the Butterfly: My Life in Comic Art Studies

Derik A. Badman 91 Talking, Thinking, and Seeing in Pictures: Narration, Focalization, and Ocularization in Comics Narratives

Enrique Garcia 112 Coon Imagery in Will Eisner’s The Spirit and Yolanda Vargas Dulché’s Memín Pinguín and Its Legacy in the Contemporary United States and Mexican Comic Book Industries

Kerry Soper 125 From Jive Crows in “Dumbo” to Bumbazine and “Pogo”: Walt Kelly and the Conflicted Politics Reracinating African American Types in Mid-20th Century Comics

Robert Furlong and Christophe Cassiau-Haurie 150 Comic Books, Politics, and Manipulation: The Case of Repiblik Zanimo, the First Comic Strip and Book in Creole

Grazyna Gajewsk 159 Between History and Memory – Marzi: Children Should Be Seen and Not Heard Marzena Sowa and Sylvain Savoia

Matthew M. Chew and Lu Chen 171 Media Institutional Contexts of the Emergence and Development of Xinmanhua in China

Jörn Ahrens 192 The Father’s Art of Crime: Igort’s 5 Is the Perfect Number

Marco Pellitteri 209 Comics Reading and Attitudes of Openness toward the Other: The Italian-Speaking Teenagers’ Case in South Tyrol

Iren Ozgur 248 Have You Heard the One about the Islamist Humor Magazine?

Weidan Cao 251 The Mountains and the Moon, the Willows and the Swallows: A Hybrid Semiotic Analysis of Feng Zikai’s “New Paintings for Old Poems”

Candida Rifkind 268 A Stranger in an Strange Land? Guy Delisle Redraws the Travelogue

Daniel Stein 291 The Long Shadow of Wilhelm Busch: “Max & Moritz” and German Comics

Hannah Miodrag 309 Fragmented Text: The Spatial Arrangement of Words in Comics

Christopher Eklund 328 Toward an Ethicoaesthetics of Comics: A Critical Manifesto

Muliyadi Mahamood 336 The Malaysian Humor Magazine Gila-Gila: An Appreciation

Roy Bearden-White 354 Inheriting Trauma in Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth

Philippe Gauthier 367 On “Institutionalization”: From Cinema to Comics

Marc A. Londo 376 Mr. Tap and His African-American Cartoons of the 1940s/1950s

Marcia R. Ristaino 395 Two Linked by Another, Ding Cong: Interviews with Betty McIntosh and Shen Jun

Shelley Drake Hawks 402 Ding Cong’s “True Story of Ah Q” in Art and Life

John A. Lent and Xu Ying 425 Fengjing – The Town That Claimed Ding Cong

Phillip Troutman 432 The Discourse of Comics Scholarship: A Rhetorical Analysis of Research Article Introductions

Ross Murray 445 Referencing Comics: A Comprehensive Citation Guide

Sylvain Rheault 459 Curvy Alterations in “Gaston” by Franquin

Miriam Peña-Pimentel 469 Baroque Features in Japanese Hentai

Yuko Nakamura 487 What Does the “Sky” Say? – Distinctive Characteristics of Manga and What the Sky Represents in It

B.S. Jamuna 509 Strategic Positioning and Re-presentations of Women in Indian Comics

Meena Ahmed 525 Exploring the Dimensions of Political Cartoons: A Case Study of Pakistan

Camila Figueiredo 543 Tunes Across Media: The Intermedial Transposition of Music in Watchmen

Rania M. R. Saleh 552 Making History Come Alive Through Political Cartoons

Bill Kartalopoulos 565 Taking and Making Liberties: Narratives of Comics History

Toni Masdiono 577 An Indonesian Bid for the First Graphic Novel

John A. Lent 581 In Remembrance of Five Major Comic Art Personalities

Perucho Mejia Garcia 588 Ismael Roldan Torres (1964-2009) of Colombia: A Memorial Tribute

Zheng Huagai 598 Tributes to Two Famous, Anti-Japanese War Cartoonists: Zhang Ding and Te Wei

John A. Lent 614 The Printed Word

620 Book Reviews

644 Exhibition and Media Reviews

696 Correction

697 Portfolio

Friday, February 12, 2010

My new bookish thing

The new issue of the International Journal of Comic Art 11-3 is actually Comic Art, 2005-2009: A Global Bibliography, 626 pages of citations on comics compiled by John Lent and Mike Rhode. And it's got a special cover drawing done for us by Richard Thompson which makes it a collector's item (for collectors of Richard Thompson of course). You can buy it as a stand alone issue by sending $15 to John Lent. This is an addendum to John's previous 10-volume series of comics citations, and is a bargain because a set of those will cost you well over $1000.

Here's a sample from the 2010 version I'm working on now - the new citations for 2010 are marked with *:

Comic Book Sales
-Flage, Karon. 2001. Ranking and List Position [comic book sales]. Sequential Tart 4 (2: February):
-Gustines, George Gene. 2009. Graphic Books Best Seller List: May 9. New York Times Art Beat blog (May 15):
-Gustines, George Gene. 2009. Graphic Books Best Seller List: June 6. New York Times Arts Beat blog (June 12):
*Hibbs, Brian. 2010. Looking At Bookscan: 2009. Comic Book Resources' Tilting at Windmills (February 12):
-Miller, John Jackson. 2007. Comic Sales Analysis: January 2007–Snows, fifth week spur big month. Comics and Games Retailer (182; May): 26-27
-Reid, Calvin. 2009. February Comics Bestsellers. Publishers Weekly’s PW Comics Week (February 3):
-Reid, Calvin. 2009. June Comics Bestsellers. Publishers Weekly (June 15):
-Sheriff, Amanda. 2008. Comic Sales Figures Circulate. Scoop (December 5):
*Unknown. 2010. Graphic Books. New York Times (February 4):

Saturday, November 21, 2009

IJOCA 11-2 table of contents

The new issue of the International Journal of Comic Art is out and here's the table of contents -

Vol. 11, No. 2, Fall 2009


Indian Cartooning Symposium

Edited by John A. Lent


An Illustrated History of Indian Political Cartooning

John A. Lent



Vivalok Comics: Celebrating All That Is Small in India

Karline McLain



G. Aravindan's "Small Men and the Big World":

Re- Defining the "Comic" in the Strip

Gokul T. G.



Making People Laugh:

Toms and K. J. Yesudasan, Premier Cartoonists

in Kerala, India

Shevlin Sebastian



The Most Popular Polish Comics (1957-1989)

Radoslaw Bolalek



The Smartest Comic on Earth:

Metafiction in Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library #16

Paul Cheng



Lessons My Father Taught Me about Komiks

Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr.



"Sex and the City":

The Graphic Novel Series Aya

as West African Comedy of Manners

Marla Harris



The Next Generation of Comics Scholarship

Sandino and Other Superheroes:

The Function of Comic Books in Revolutionary Nicaragua

Bram Draper



Both Everyman and Other:

"Dilbert" as an Exemplar of Newspaper Comics' Simultaneous Identification and Distance

Julie A. Davis



Chronicler of Most of a Century:

Cartoonist Ding Cong (1916-2009)

John A. Lent and Xu Ying



"The Greatest Story Ever Drawn!"

Cleopatra in American Comics

Gregory N. Daugherty



Press Cartoons in France: A Short History

Jean-Marie Bertin

English translation by Micheline Maupoint and Alex Noel Watson



Vive la France, Now Who Are We?

Bande Dessinée, the 16 July 1949 Law,

and the Political Re-imagining of Post-World War II France

Joel Vessels




Beyond High and Low:

How Comics and Museums Learned to Co-exist

Kim Munson



Affect and the Body in Melville's "Bartleby"

and Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki's Skim

Patti Luedecke



Working Around Words:

Rauf Talishinsky's Azerbaijani Web Cartoons

Interview and Commentary by Alison Mandaville

Translation by Nikki Talishinsky



Drawn to Distraction:

Comics Reading in Kevin Huizenga's "Lost and Found"

Benjamin Stevens



From Bumpkin to Blessed --

Comics and National Identity: A Brazilian Case Study

Gêisa Fernandes D'Oliveira



Comic Book Artists and Writers and Philosophers

Jeff McLaughlin



An Essay

The Spirit Passes:  The Second Coming

of the Comic Strip's Golden Age

Charles Natoli



"How to Draw Thinking" Panel,

Small Press Expo, Rockville, MD, Oct. 14, 2006

Isaac Cates



An Essay

From Cartoon Art to Child Pornography

Murray Lee Eiland



Hong Kong Manhua after the Millennium

Connie Lam



Moebius, Gir, Giraud, Gérard:


Maaheen Ahmed



Political Commentary and Dissent

in the Tapestry and the Cartoon Strip

Jamie Egolf



The Printed Word

John A. Lent



<Book Reviews>

Starr Hoffman

Héctor Fernández L'Hoeste

Sol M. Davidson



<Exhibition and Media Reviews>

edited by Michael Rhode

Ian Gordon

R.J. Gregov

Pascal Lefèvre

 Michael J. Dittman

Ron Stewart

Sarah Lightman

Ariel Kahn

Michael Hill

Michael Rhode

Ofer Berenstein

Peter R. Sattler

Beth Davies-Stofka

Nathan Atkinson

Jose Alaniz





Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ed Stein interview at Comics Riffs

After talking to Drew Litton yesterday, Michael also called the Rocky Mountain News' other cartoonist, Ed Stein - "As More Cartoonists Draw Severance, Honor Them While You Can," Michael Cavna, Washington Post Comic Riffs February 27, 2009. Stein also did Denver Square, an excellent strip that he ended a year or so ago.

Here's my review from the International Journal of Comic Art 6:1, Spring 2004, which is sadly dated now especially the line about newspapers supporting their cartoonists:

Charles Brooks, editor. Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year 2003 Edition, Gretna, LA: Pelican, 2003. ISBN 1-58980-090-7.
Ed Stein. Denver Square: We Need a Bigger House!, Gretna, LA: Pelican, 2003. ISBN 1-58980-115-6.
John Chase. The Louisiana Purchase: An American Story, Gretna, LA: Pelican, 2002. ISBN 1-58980-084-2.
Bob Artley. Christmas on the Farm, Gretna, LA: Pelican, 2003. ISBN 1-58980-108-3.
Bob Artley. Once Upon a Farm, Gretna, LA: Pelican, 2001. ISBN 1-56554-753-5.
Una Belle Townsend and Bob Artley. Grady’s in the Silo, Gretna, LA: Pelican, 2003. ISBN 1-58980-098-2.

The decline of comic art in America, whether comic strips, comic books, editorial cartoons or most recently hand-drawn animation, has been an accepted belief for at least a decade. Given the proliferation of cartoon characters in all media with attendant licensing, the movies based on comic books, dozens of museum and library exhibits per year, and the rising consumption of manga, I wonder how accurate this truism is. When a small American publisher like Pelican publishes over a dozen books by cartoonists, perhaps the field is changing and not diminishing. Pelican’s recent offerings run an interesting gamut – for this review, I have one editorial cartoon collection, one comic strip collection by an editorial cartoonist, one historical comic strip collection, and three apparent children’s books by an editorial cartoonist (see IJoCA 3:1 & 4:2 for other Pelican reviews).

Brooks’ 31st collection of editorial cartoons continues his useful sampling and should be a regular purchase by anyone interested in the field. Clay Bennett of the Christian Science Monitor (see IJoCA 5:1) won most of the major awards in 2002, including the Pulitzer, but to my eyes, his obviously computer-generated work is overly slick and reproduces badly in black and white. Ongoing Catholic church scandals got a hard-hitting section, as did, in a sign of the second Gilded Age, Enron’s collapse. 2002, and thus the book, was heavy on terrorism cartoons, and the youthful suicide bomber wrapped in dynamite sticks needs to be retired. An especially unfortunate example of a terrorism cartoon was Steve Kelley’s cartoon of Snoopy deciding to go after Bin Laden. Inexplicably, no cartoons by 2001 Pulitzer winner Ann Telnaes were included.

Ed Stein is a political cartoonist for the Denver Rocky Mountain News, and he also does a non-syndicated comic strip for them. “Denver Square” has been published since 1997, and a selection of strips from five years is included in the book. The strip follows a middle-class family of three, who are joined by live-in in-laws. Stein consciously decided to make his strip local, so the Denver Broncos football team, local wildfires, the Columbine High School murders, and the excesses of the tragic Jon Benet Ramsey murder investigation all are topics of the strip. As this list makes clear, Stein’s political cartoonist instincts are frequently on display in the strip. Both despite and because of its local focus, Stein’s strip is a good one, and this book is a nice example about what is still possible when newspapers support their cartoonists.

Non-fiction comic strips such as “Texas History Movies” (see IJoCA 5:2) have recently been rediscovered, and Chase’s “The Louisiana Purchase” is a reprint of 1950s strips with a text introduction that adds more detailed context. Moving far beyond Jefferson’s purchase, Chase begins with the discovery of America, and slowly moves through various explorers and a basic history of the settlement of the United States, even including two strips on the creation of the dollar sign. The strips are well-drawn competent basic history which I enjoyed, and much of IJoCA’s readership should too, but I am not sure today’s students have enough interest in comic strips for this reprint to attract a school-age audience.

Cartoonists have written children’s books (i.e. books written specifically for children and not collections of their work) throughout the entire twentieth century, and many recent notable examples spring to mind – masters such as Steig and Seuss, but also Breathed, Larson, Bliss, Spiegelman, Sfar, and Stamaty. Retired midwestern editorial cartoonist Artley illustrated Townsend’s true story of a cow caught in a feed silo. There is nothing particularly ‘cartoony’ about his illustrations, and my five-year-old daughter pronounced the story as ‘nice.’ Artley’s other two books recall his experiences growing up on a farm in the 1920s and collect drawings from his syndicated cartoons and “Once Upon A Farm” weekly half-page. These books are packaged as children’s books, but are really for an older audience; perhaps even one that remembers a lost rural way of life. Artley’s text is serviceable, and his drawings, either pen and ink or watercolor, are very good. There is some overlap between the two books, and the cartoon component of either is slight, but both are recommended.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

New International Journal of Comic Art blog

It's not as scintillating as some posts here, but there's a list of the book reviews coming up in the Spring issue in this new blog I've started.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

International Journal of Comic Art's new blog

It's not going to be a thrill-a-minute at the new IJOCA blog, but editor/publisher John Lent and I will try to keep you up-to-date as to the status and content of the new issues and anything else you need to know.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The fall 2008 International Journal of Comic Art

Ok, back to the fall 2008 International Journal of Comic Art issue that clocks in at 872 pages. Editor & publisher John Lent wrote an introduction to it in which he highlighted the current issue and also looked back at the past 10 years of publishing. Here's some of John's introduction:

This issue marks the tenth anniversary of the International Journal of Comic Art, and fitting the occasion, is packed with informative, entertaining, and even some provocative articles and reviews. Two symposia are offered, one of 14 articles on women and cartooning worldwide; another, the fifth installment of the “Pioneers of Comic Art Scholarship Series,” featuring Seetha Srinivasan of University Press of Mississippi and Bi Keguan of China.

A couple of granddaughters of famous cartooning personnel provide insights gleaned from primary sources about their grandfathers. Nicky Heron Brown (nee Wheeler-Nicholson) refutes statements made by David Hajdu about her grandfather, Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, one of the “inventors” of the modern American comic book in the 1930s. Her article is especially welcomed as perhaps the first of a number of expected published accounts of the Major’s career planned by his family. Carolyn Wong contributes a second article on her grandfather, Huang Yao, a Chinese cartoonist who worked throughout East and Southeast Asia for decades; she unearthed new findings about his World War II work which supplement the article on World War II Chinese cartooning Xu Ying and I wrote in 10:1.

This anniversary issue is also enriched by an interview with Nakazawa Keiji of Barefoot Gen; a comprehensive “family tree” of educational comics by Sol M. Davidson (with help from his wife, Penny), many of which are culled from their collection; an analysis of Burmese political cartoons published in exile, written by Lisa Brooten; and articles or reviews written by cartoonists -- Trina Robbins and Matt Wuerker of U.S., Frank Hoffmann and Marlene Pohle of Germany, Ġorġ Mallia of Malta, Raquel Orzuj of Uruguay, and Arcadio Esquivel Mayorga of Costa Rica. It is the first time Burma, Costa Rica, Malta, and the Indian Ocean were featured in the International Journal of Comic Art. Besides articles on the American “Popeye,” Maus, Johnny the Homicidal Killer, Sin City, “Feiffer,” Captain America, war comics, and political cartoons, others in this issue dealt with Australia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Europe more generally, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.

So that's what you get in the current issue. Here's what the ten year period saw overall:

At least two articles (Fredrik Strömberg on Sweden and Fabio Gadducci on Italy) were developed into monographs by their authors, and many other articles were reprinted in books and very frequently cited in the scholarly literature. The journal is known worldwide, gracing the shelves of 111 university libraries, comic centers, art institutes, museums, and comics publishers in at least 20 countries; some of them are British Library, Library of Congress, Victoria & Albert Museum, Serieteket (Stockholm), Centre National de la Bande Dessinée de l’Image Bibliotheque (Angoulême), New York Public Library, Ivy League universities (Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Yale), MIT, Stanford, UCLA, Georgetown, School of Visual Arts, and University of Chicago.

We take pride also in the quantity of production. In 20 issues, the International Journal of Comic Art published 493 articles, including 16 symposia [see list], 71 book reviews, and 141 exhibition reviews, the latter very ably handled by Michael Rhode. The total number of pages was 9,198. At least 357 different authors (151 in Vols. 1-5, 206 in Vols. 6-10) wrote articles;* some of them had multiple contributions. Sixty countries were written about individually and others were treated less exhaustively in regional treatments on Africa (2 articles), Asia (1), East Africa (2), East Europe (1), Europe (3), Francophone Africa (1), and Latin America (1). The most articles dealt with North America (U.S., 179; Canada, 6) with 185; Europe (107), Asia (100), Latin America (40), Africa (31), and Australia/New Zealand (14). Nineteen countries of Europe were featured in articles, followed by 14 each for Africa and Asia, nine for Latin America, and two each for North America (U.S., Canada) and Australia and New Zealand. The top ten countries with articles were U.S., 179; Japan, 45; France, 24; England, 23; China, 18; Russia, 14; Spain, 13; Australia, 12; Brazil, 11, and Argentina, 9.

He wraps up with a list of special issues in case any of these are of interest to you (we're working on a plan to get the out of print issues back into print):

List of Symposia

10:2 “Women in/of Cartooning: A Symposium” -- edited by John A. Lent (14 articles)
“Pioneers of Comic Art Scholarship Series, Part V” -- (2 articles)
10:1 “Biff! Bam!! Crikey!!! A Comics Conference in Scotland, 2007 -- edited by Christopher Murray (10 articles)
9:2 “Gallery Comics: A Symposium” -- edited by C Hill (4 articles)
“Egyptian Cartooning: A Symposium” -- edited by John A. Lent (4 articles)
9:1 “Kibyōshi: The World’s First Comicbook?” -- edited by Adam L. Kern (7 articles)
“Cartooning in Australia: A Symposium” -- edited by John A. Lent (6 articles)
8:2 “Racial Identity: A Mini Symposium” -- edited by William Foster, III (4 articles)
8:1 “Ever-Ending Battle: A Symposium” -- edited by A. David Lewis (8 articles)
7:2 “Pioneers of Comic Art Scholarship Series, Part IV” -- edited by John A. Lent (5 articles)
7:1 “Late/Post-Soviet Russian Komiks: A Symposium” -- edited by José Alaniz (10 articles)
5:2 “Spanish Comics: A Symposium” -- edited by Ana Merino (10 articles)
“Pioneers of Comic Art Scholarship Series, Part III” (4 articles)
5:1 “Pioneers of Comic Art Scholarship Series, Part II” (4 articles)
4:1 “There at the Beginning: Early Days of Comics Scholarship”
(“Pioneers of Comic Art Scholarship Series, Part I”) -- edited by John A. Lent (9 articles)
3:2 “Latin American Comic Art: A Symposium” -- edited by John A. Lent (10 articles)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

New issue of International Journal of Comic Art shipped

The latest issue of IJOCA shipped earlier this week John tells me. He's also working on getting the website updated. It's renewal time and next year goes to three issues per volume, so send him your check ($45 for individuals in the US) now! And remember, you can still order the parody Interplanetary Journal of Comic Art with the proceeds going to support the real thing.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Speaking of IJoCA...

... today is founder, publisher and editor John Lent's 72nd birthday! Happy birthday, John!

Friday, July 25, 2008

New book of wordless graphic novels by David Berona

Some years ago, I worked on a wordless comics bibliography - "Stories Without Words : A Bibliography with Annotations" compiled by Michael Rhode, Tom Furtwangler, and David Wybenga, International Journal of Comic Art,v. 2, no. 2 (Fall 2000), p. 265-306.

David Berona's done more than anyone else to bring some forgotten works back to public view. Here's a profile of him: "Central alum writes the book on wordless books; David Berona links wordless books of '30s to today's graphic novels," By Andrew McGinn, Springfield News Sun Thursday, July 24, 2008.

Needless to say, the bibliography's out of date. Lio's my current favorite wordless comic strip.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Book review: Marvel Graphic Novels and Related Publications

This will appear in the fall's International Journal of Comic Art, but I'll give Rob a plug here as well.

Robert G. Weiner. Marvel Graphic Novels and Related Publications: An Annotated Guide to Comics, Prose Novels, Children's Books, Articles, Criticism and Reference Works, 1965-2005. McFarland, 2008. $49.95. ISBN-13: 978-0786425006. or 800-253-2187.

Rob Weiner, a librarian at Texas Tech University, has attempted a Herculean task in this amazingly ambitious annotated bibliography. Marvel’s publishing history runs for over sixty years and, through licensing, covers dozens of publishers. In his preface, he notes, “This volume is intended to be a handbook, not only for the Marvel Comics fan and collector, but also for academic, public, and school librarians, who want to include Marvel graphic novels in their collections. While many of the publications in this work are known to most Marvel collectors, it is my hope that even the most knowledgeable collectors will find something new in it. There are some entries in this volume, which, to my knowledge, describe material not documented anywhere else.”
Weiner lists citations with annotations for all kinds of publications from Marvel. He has attempted to bring some order to the citations by breaking them up into seventeen categories, three of which are appendices, along with two introductory “Background Highlights” sections on the history of both graphic novels and Marvel Comics.

A typical citation, chosen at random (p. 73), reads:

DeFalco, Tom, Pat Olliffe, Al Williamson, et al. Spider-Girl: A Fresh Start. New York: Marvel, 1999. ISBN: 0785107207. Reprints Spider-Girl 1-2.
Peter Parker’s teen-age daughter, May Day, inherits amazing powers from her father. She becomes Spider-Girl, much to her father’s dismay. She defeats Crazy Eight and encounters Dark Devil.

One can see both the strengths and limitations of bibliography here. One is given the basic information about the book, along with a plot summary of the story and who Spider-Girl actually is, except that in standard Marvel continuity, Spider-Man does not have any children. In fact, since 2008, he is not even married – a deal with the devil erased his marriage to save his Aunt May’s life. So one must come to a project like this with a good bit of existing knowledge, namely that Marvel published a series of comic books set in their character’s ‘future’ in which the normal aging not usually permitted fictional characters had taken place.

As mentioned above, Weiner broke up the book into sections. The major category “Marvel’s Superheroes” is divided into sections like “Major Characters, Teams, and Team-Ups” which is then further reduced into subsections like “Conan / Kull” and “Fantastic Four / Dr. Doom and Inhumans.” A sampling of other subsections include “Epic Comics Graphic Novels,” “Marvel/DC Crossovers,” “Movies and Television,” “Prose Novels” and “Scholarly Publications,” the last of which cites several articles from this Journal. The three appendices include single line citations for 2005 publications, game books, and possibly unpublished books for which an ISBN exists.

As with any project of this size and complexity, one can quibble. Weiner’s introduction is too concerned with rationalizing the importance of the study of comic books. Anyone willing to even glance at his bibliography does not need to read an argument which sums up “Epic Stories like Earth X, Kree/Skrull War and Marvels exhibit as much character development, and thought, as any work by Shakespeare, Stephen King, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, Margaret Mitchell, or Jack London.” (p. 7) By engaging theoretical critics, Weiner gives them both too much credibility and ammunition. His work is a bibliography of an aspect of popular culture, and as such, does not need defense or apology, let alone attempting to reach an intellectual high ground. Any library or scholar interested in studying Marvel Comics, and especially their publishing history, should add this bibliography to their collection.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Reviews for three local exhibits

Here are reviews for the fall issue of the International Journal of Comic Art that I just turned in tonight. I'm posting them here first because I usually say that I'll be doing a more complete review, but don't get around to it until the last minute. 2 of these shows are gone, but the Herblock exhibit is still up and well worth seeing.

Scrooged! Arnold Blumberg, Andy Herschberger, and John K. Snyder Jr. Baltimore, MD: Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, February 29-May 31, 2008.

Thanks to the generosity of curator Arnold Blumberg, I saw this exhibit almost a month before it officially opened. All the artwork had been hung, but its final form was different with more labeling and information. Carl Barks was the focus of the exhibit – the title derives from Uncle Scrooge, Barks’ most enduring creation for Disney. The exhibit was rather diffuse, not focusing on any particular aspect of either Scrooge or Barks. It included the complete original artwork for the Scrooge story “North of the Yukon,” oil paintings of the Disney Ducks, oil paintings of landscapes from the 1960s, prints of “Famous Characters In Fictions As Waterfowl,” i.e. Robin Hood as a anthropometric duck, from when Disney was not permitting Barks to paint their ducks, pencil sketches of Disney work, and Another Rainbow objects such as a Faberge egg with Scrooge inside. All the items exhibited are apparently owned by museum founder and Diamond Distributors owner Steve Geppi.

Certainly displaying the entire original “North of the Yukon” artwork is justification enough for a small exhibit on Barks, and I enjoyed this show even though it did not really hold together. See Barks’ small landscapes which were obviously done for his own pleasure, scenes as so many cartoonists do in their retirement, was satisfying. Seeing him draw rather sexy dancing female ducks was odd, but interesting. Blumberg said to me, “I found it most fascinating looking at the paintings. There’s something really luminescent in the way the characters leap off the painting. It’s so much more than a casual viewer expects from a cartoonist.” Blumberg may be selling many cartoonists a bit short, but there is a peculiar fascination in seeing Donald Duck rendered using Old Master techniques, and the exhibit was worth visiting to see examples of Barks’ art beyond the pages of the comic book.

The museum’s current exhibit is “Out of the Box” – a playroom for the type of toys that will eventually make it into the Museum.

Heroes of the Negro League. Mark Chiarello, Michael Barry and Leslie Combemale. Reston, VA: ArtInsights, March 29-May 30, 2008.

This exhibit is reviewed by virtue of Chiarello’s position as art editor for DC Comics. In 1990, Chiarello, in collaboration with his best friend Jack Morelli, created baseball cards for forgotten baseball players from the Negro Leagues, who had never had cards in America before. These paintings were watercolors over pencil that were based on photographs. The exhibit came about as the paintings were collected in a book, Heroes of the Negro Leagues (Abrams, 2007; $19.95, ISBN-10: 0810994348). Chiarello and Morelli did research at Cooperstown and the Schomburg Center in Harlem, and Chiarello painted the images from photographs and, surprisingly baseball cards – which had been issued in Cuba and Venezuela for some of the players.

Gallery co-owner Leslie Combemale interviewed Chiarello for a March 10th press release that is no longer on the gallery’s website. An exchange on Chiarello’s techniques is worthy of reprinting here:

LC- The Negro Leagues players portraits have a depth that goes beyond just (an image) How do you find the perfect picture to use?
MM- I can look through 200 or more pictures and only one is just right. With my portraits, I try to let the viewer know who that person is, just by looking in their eyes. I think the Cool Papa Bell is the most successful at's why I chose it for the cover. I know the moment I find the right picture for reference, and I'll keep looking as long as it takes...
LC- Once you find that picture, how do you proceed from there?
MC- I pencil it out as tightly as I can. It’s my roadmap, so there's not much guesswork. After that I just try to get out of the way.
LC- I see your two styles of painting as so different from each other. One being the watercolor you used for the Negro League illustrations and the other the style you paint in oil, used for the Star Wars Celebration "Enlist Now" propaganda limited edition. I think of watercolors as unforgiving, hard to do, and hard to control.
MC- A lot of people say that and I disagree. Maybe it can't be controlled, but that's what's so great about it. After I pencil the image in, painting in watercolor is all about feel, control is beside the point. Your brain has to stay out of it and you have to stay out of the way of the paint. It becomes itself.
LC- What do you mean by that?
MC- For me it becomes about the emotional connection between the artist, the subject, and the wetness of the paint. The watercolor helps you-
LC- If you know what you're doing...
MC- Watercolor is in the moment. It flows into weird shapes and if you corral these shapes, they form the person's face. But you'll never see it if you have expectations or try to control the outcome too much from the beginning. With watercolor, once you have the roadmap a drawing creates, you've done most the work. After that you just have to enjoy the ride...Really my two styles are diametrically opposed. When I paint in oil it's very cerebral, I have to map the entire piece out from start to finish. It’s very precise work. Watercolor is all about flow.

Chiarello was also featured in the April issue of Juxtapose magazine for anyone who would like more details on this project; the paintings were technically excellent and appealing and the exhibit was worth seeing.

The gallery, which sells artwork (including the Negro League paintings) had other items of interest to IJOCA readers. There was an original story book artwork page from Snow White as well as an original movie cel with a background. Other cels from Lady and the Tramp, The Fox and the Hound, Aristocats, Fantasia and Peanuts lined the walls. Combemale told me that for fourteen years the focus of the gallery had been on animation, but recently they were widening their scope. "Tim Rogerson's World of Disney Color," their next exhibit, opens on July 12th.

Herblock’s Presidents: ‘Puncturing Pomposity’. Sidney Hart. Washington, DC: National Portrait Gallery, May 2-November 30, 2008.

Herbert ‘Herblock’ Block died in 2001, but his images linger on in Washington, at least partly because his estate donated over 10,000 of his cartoons to the Library of Congress with the proviso that they be displayed regularly. Curator Sidney Hart, a historian by trade, undertook the current exhibition and did a very credible job. Hart made two key decisions to define the show – it would be on presidents and the cartoon had to be negative. Hoover was not included because he “didn’t fit the theme of our show.” The two decisions had three points backing them up – 1.) Herblock’s presidential cartoons were among his most powerful, 2.) a negative cartoon was a more constructive force and, 3.) the exhibit went into the Presidential Gallery space.

The show was arranged by president beginning with Roosevelt. Herblock’s line was visibly smoother and he used the texture of the paper for shading. On the gallery tour, Hart pointed out some of his favorite cartoons. In one on McArthur and Truman, Truman is on a treadmill that McArthur is pulling in a different direction. For Eisenhower, Herblock drew him in a boat, blowing on a paper sale, while not running the motor on the boat. Another Eisenhower cartoon featured Herblock’s hated foe, Senator McCarthy, who is shown mugging the State Department and the Army, while Eisenhower is told, “Relax – he hasn’t gotten to you yet.” Hart noted the curious omission of no Kennedy cartoon for the Bay of Pigs; the JFK cartoons were usually positive so it was harder to find ones for the exhibit. Herblock’s best cartoon of Lyndon Johnson, from January 6, 1967 read “That’s a little better, but couldn’t you do it in luminous paint.” It showed Johnson looking at a painting of himself and referred to his official White House portrait -- which showed a heroic Johnson, but since LBJ did not like it, it rests in the next gallery over in the Portrait Gallery. Herblock’s Nixon cartoons were among his most famous – the exhibit included ones of Vice President Spiro Agnew in a sewer and the Saturday Night Massacre when Justice Department investigators of the Watergate break-in were fired on Nixon’s orders.

The Ford cartoon that Hart focused on showed both the President and the economy going to hell in a hand basket. Reflecting Block’s fondness for Alice in Wonderland, Jimmy Carter was depicted as the Cheshire Cat. One of the Carter cartoons showed an amazing detail from Block’s working methods – the paste-up corrections were done on mailing labels! Reagan and Nixon got the most cartoons with five each. Reagan was the president that Block disliked the most and his cartoons showed it. Clinton disappointed Herblock and his cartoons frequently showed Clinton with mud from scandals on him.

There was one major flaw in this exhibit for viewers. Some cartoons were matted badly and had their titles covered, or had no titles on them. The June 28, 1990 cartoon of George H.W. Bush crossing a bridge labeled “no new taxes” makes little sense without its caption “Anyhow, it got us across.” Frequently the individual cartoon labels, while full of historical information, were no where near the piece they were describing.

Also on display were Block’s Pulitzer Prize from 1941, a Reuben Award from 1956 and his Presidential Medal of Freedom from 1994 as well as some of his art supplies. A kiosk in the corner had hundreds more cartoons on it. The exhibit had only forty cartoons in it, but they were well selected. The exhibit was of the artwork, not necessarily the content, and seeing the cartoons on a screen detracted from the ideal of the museum in this reviewer’s opinion. As a museum curator myself, I would have stuck the kiosk in the exhibit as well since one always feels that more information is better, but it was not really needed in the show. I believe it became technically possible this year as the Herblock Foundation is planning on issuing a book with an accompanying DVD of 16,000 cartoons for Block’s 100th birthday next year.

Herblock: Drawn from Memory was an accompanying program by Hart who moderated with Pulitzer prize-winning Washington Post reporter Haynes Johnson, Washington Post editorial writer Roger Wilkins and Pulitzer prize-winning cartoonist Tony Auth. The three men mainly talked about Herblock’s mid-career at the Post, especially the Nixon and Johnson years. Block’s internationalist, and thus interventionalist, approach to foreign policy and the display of this in his cartoons was a particularly interesting part of the evening. Auth also made an extremely interesting observation. While Block was a good enough caricaturist to avoid labeling everyone, he still used labels on characters regularly. Auth said, “I was struck going through the exhibit here today – I always thought of cartoons as having kind of a half-life. They being to lose their power – and sometimes it’s a very long half-life and sometimes it’s eternal because it’s beyond the moment – but many cartoons have a relatively short half-life. I realized his use of labels extends that so that coming to a cartoon of his that was done forty years ago, you really can figure out what it’s about whereas a lot of cartoonists expend a lot of energy trying to get away from labels and they end up with cartoons that maybe a week, or two weeks later, you can’t figure out because you don’t know exactly what stimulated this drawing.” For those interested in the program, a recording of it can be found at

Overall Hart did an excellent job boiling down a massive amount of material to a coherent exhibit which, while not large, was well-done and informative.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Nominate yourself for the Lent Scholarship (students only)



The International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF) is proud to announce once again the annual John A. Lent Scholarship competition. The Lent Scholarship, named for pioneering teacher and researcher Dr. John A. Lent, is offered to encourage student research into comic art. ICAF awards the Lent Scholarship to a current student who has authored, or is in the process of authoring, a substantial research-based writing project about comics. (Preference is given to master’s theses and doctoral dissertations, but all students of comics are encouraged to apply.)

The Scholarship is subject to the condition that the recipient present a half-hour talk, based on their research, during ICAF. The award will consist of hotel accommodations for the duration of ICAF (that is, three nights’ hotel) at ICAF’s expense, or the equivalent in reimbursement for travel. A commemorative letter and plaque will also be awarded.

Applicants must be students, or must show acceptance into an academic program, at the time of application. For example, applicants for ICAF 2008 must show proof of student status for the academic year 2007-2008, or proof that they have been accepted into an academic program for the academic year 2008-2009.

The Scholarship competition will be adjudicated by a three-person committee chosen from among the members of ICAF’s Executive Committee. Applications should consist of:

* A self-contained excerpt from the project in question, not to exceed twenty (20) double-spaced pages of typescript.

* A brief cover letter, introducing the applicant and explaining the nature of the project.

* The applicant’s professional resume.

* A letter of reference, on school letterhead, from a teacher or academic advisor (preferably thesis director), establishing the applicant’s student status and speaking to her/his qualifications as a researcher and presenter.

PLEASE NOTE that applications for the Lent Scholarship are handled entirely separately from ICAF’s general Call for Papers.

Applicants for the 2008 Lent Scholarship should send their application materials by JUNE 13, 2008 to Dr. Cécile Danehy, ICAF Academic Coordinator at:

Dr. Cecile Daney
Department of French Studies
Wheaton College
26 East Main Street
Norton, Massachusetts 02766-2322

Email inquiries should be sent to Dr. Danehy at

Applicants should expect to receive confirmation of the competition results by Friday, June 27, 2008.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Feiffer interview at Cosmos Club coming to IJOCA

I just finished transcribing Alan Fern's interview of Jules Feiffer at the Cosmos Club in Washington last year, on the occasion of the McGovern award. It will appear in the Fall 2008 issue of the International Journal of Comic Art. Subscribe now!

Here's a sample, with Feiffer talking about bringing his portfolio to show to Will Eisner and being told his art was no good:

...But I had long ago established a habit of responding to unpleasant truths by not hearing them, or changing the subject, and I sure as hell was not going to walk out of this meeting with Will Eisner, my hero, with my tail between my legs, being told I had no talent. This was not the way this was going to end, so I started improvising and the only thing I could think of talking about was him and his work. Now here was a guy who had revolutionized comic book art and he had three highly crafted professionals in the other room who didn’t give a damn about his work. Who thought he was kind of out of date, and didn’t know anything about his career, and then he met me and I had a whole dossier. I knew everything he ever had done. I could talk about it not just as a little boy, but as a knowledgeable fan. He had no choice but to hire me as a groupie.

[audience laughs]

Saturday, April 05, 2008

new International Journal of Comic Art is out!

602 pages! US$15.00! There's lots of manga, manwha and Rusty Witek's call to academic arms from the 2007 ICAF, "American Comics Criticism and the Problem of Dual Address." The website is out of date but the ordering information is still current.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

INTERPLANETARY JOURNAL OF COMIC ART: A Festschrift in Honor of John Lent repost

INTERPLANETARY JOURNAL OF COMIC ART: A Festschrift in Honor of John Lent is now available.

Editor's note - The first issue of the new InterPlanetary Journal of Comic Art (or IPJOCA as we call it around the virtual office) is now available. We are proud to invite you to the 43rd indispensable academic organ published by JOHN LENT MULTIMEDIA ENTERPRISES. All are personally hand-edited by our founder and publisher JOHN LENT, and we remind you that any suggestions of forced labor or involuntary servitude were completely dismissed in Temple University grad students v. JOHN LENT FAMILY CONGLOMERATE. This issue is slightly late, and we apologize for that. Editor JOHN LENT was traveling widely with stops on Pluto, Venus, Charon, Deimos and Phobos, Antarctica, Cyprus, Monte Carlo and the French Riviera, interviewing aging cartoonists and presenting learned discourses on the history of comic art. LENT's presentation on Pluto, "Which came first? The planet or the dog?" was particularly well-received and will appear in a future issue of IPJOCA. IPJOCA is a proud successor to the Colonial Journal of Comic Art, the Union Journal of Comic Art, the Confederate Journal of Comic Art, and the Imperial Journal of Comic Art, as well as the continuing flagship International Journal of Comic Art.

Actually, IPJOCA is a work of satire and parody, published on the occasion of John's seventieth birthday in 2006, give or take a few months. Since 1960, John has published, taught, and lectured widely on comic art, and since 1999 has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of the academic International Journal of Comic Art. In March of this year, John served on the Pulitzer Prize Nominating Juries in Journalism. John has published over 70 books and 800 articles on comic art, mass communication and Asian studies.

John's colleagues in the comic world have come together to create a tribute book, and to present it to him on April 6th at the Popular Culture Association meeting in Boston. The fully-illustrated book features a front cover by cartoonist Nick Thorkelson, and a back cover by Ralph Steadman as well as 100 pages of witty articles.

To order your copy for $10, go to; to subscribe to the International Journal of Comic Art, go to
and follow the instructions.

Table of Contents

Lent Knows – cover by Nick Thorkelson

Seqart Scholarship across the United Planets: A Brief Survey - Josty Ketew (Randy Duncan)

ICAF Times – comic strip by Roger Sabin & C. Hill

"Domus inferna Sancti Guthlaci": A Rediscovery of the twelfth-century narrative of "The Saint and the Money Pit" - K. A. Laity

ICAF Round-table: 'The Contribution of John Lent' - Rogerius Sabinis

Give It Up For Lent! – cartoons by E.C. Lockett, from ideas by Sabin & Rhode

The Exegesis of John Lent's Exegesis: A Postmodest Explalicinalysis of John Lent's Comicological Scholarship - Dr. Solomon Davidoff

Cartooning on Venus: A Problematic Field - Michael Rhode

Cheroots of the Gods: Ancient Contact with Talking Animals from the Stars - Er'q Vondan Iken (Steve Thompson)

Letters - Fusami Ogi

From the X-JOCA Family Archives - K.A. Laity

Men's Comics are from Mars, Women's Comics are from Venus: A Visual Exploration - M.O.D.O.C.A. (Barbara Postema)

A Dozen True Facts about Fredric Wertham That I Will Only Reveal For John Lent - Bart Beaty

Japanese Comic Art History's Mystery Bearded Figure - Ronarudo Suchuwaato (Ron Stewart)

Battle of the Titans: The Great National Geographic - New Yorker Cartoon Rivalry - Cathy Hunter and Michael Rhode

Out of this World (…and back again…) – autobiographical comix by Craig Fischer

Animated Yoga - Cathy Hunter

News - Fantagraphics Books Searches for Saints - Ana Merino

Obituaries - Therian Blackenshort, Theban political cartoonist - Mark C. Rogers

Faded Star Column - Rad Signal by Weary'in Ellis -Michael Rhode

Book Reviews
Leonardo da Vinci, The da Vinci Codex - Trina Robbins

Purty Pitchers All In A Row: A Review of The Interplanetary Comic Art Bibliographies of JOHN LENT Comprehensive Companion Series - Dr. Solomon Davidoff

Martianorum Mangorum Universalis Historia - Marcus Titus Pellitterius (Marco Pellitteri)

Exhibition and Media Reviews
The McDuck Collection: World's Greatest Collection of Rarities, Duckburg Museum - Michael Rhode

Disney Planet Amusement Facility, the dwarf planet formerly known as Pluto, Sol system - Gene Kannenberg, Jr.

Corrections - Leonard Rifas

Anticipatory Errata - Charles Hatfield

Comic Art Bibliography - New Resources in the Field - Michael Rhode

So Who is JOHN LENT really? - Xu Ying

Contributors' Self-Serving Biographic Blurbs

The Serious Art of Laughter – back cover by Ralph Steadman

Sunday, November 18, 2007

IJOCA's editorial

Some changes need to be made in IJOCA's distribution thanks to the Post Office's new rates for magazines. Here's what editor-in-chief Lent had to say. Write to him at john.lent at if you have an opinion, especially on the overseas issues. Click on the page to make them larger and legible.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

new International Journal of Comic Art's Table of Contents

We're still having website problems, but here's scans of the table of contents for the new issue. You can order a copy by clicking on the link in the column on the right and sending a check to John Lent at the address on the website. Note there's articles on Spiegelman's 9-11 comic book, Egyptian comics, Art Gallery comics, Brazilian comics, French prints, World War I cartoons... and all for $15!