Comics conference

If you attended one or more sessions of the comics conference, then you can earn extra credit by posting a reply to this blog post. Please write 150 or more words about what was discussed at the session you attended, and how it relates to the topics we have been considering in this course.

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Published in: on April 2, 2010 at 6:00 pm  Comments (2)  

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  1. I attended a talk done by about an Italian artist who goes by the name Gipi. He is an amazing artist whose narratives say more than words. In one of his strips, it showed the character looking back after every six steps to show his caution. He made his comics into Auto/Biographical texts that were based on childhood experiences with his parents and the war. His main character has no courage and is always portrayed as inferior to the other characters who are the storytellers. This does not have much interesting typography but I loved the way the illustrations went above and beyond words.

    Spoke about the origin of superheroes and enlightened the audience to the face that a deceased/murdered parent or parents was a common introduction and beginning of superheroes. He talked about how this was the final breaking point for the character, an event that pushed them to become something they may not have been comfortable with before. This event causes the character to take the law into their own hands, not being above the law. This may be considered a mental break for the character. The law has failed them in capturing the criminal and they are preventing this injustice from happening to other families. I found this little bit of history of superheroes very interesting. I wish we could have had more about Television culture in the class.

  2. I was at the event for a few sessions. These are two that stood out to me:

    Jan-Erik Ella from the University of Gottingen had an intriguing presentation on Alan Moore’s “From Hell”. He discussed Alan Moore’s use of “synchronicity” which was described as “a series of unrelated events that come together to form meaning”. Materially speaking, this concept could be extended to the material properties that form comic books themselves, wherein panels of differing compositions and styles coalesce into a singular entity. These comic books themselves are then often combined into larger tomes (“graphic novels”) which could then also become pieces of an author’s oeuvre. Further discussion centered on the representation of the male figure in “From Hell” as a bastion of reason and understanding in contrast to the female figure which had to be controlled by the reason of the male. Jack the Ripper’s ultimate failure to do so representing the failure of the male to completely control the female in this manner.

    Corey Creekmur’s talk on “Race, Revision and Revenge: Alternate Histories of the African American Superhero” touched upon black superheroes and the struggle to rewrite the segregated history of the superhero. One example cited involved an attempt to rewrite the Marvel Universe by setting a story in the future in which prominent black superheroes played crucial roles, thus forcing the ongoing saga of the “present” Marvel Universe to shape itself around these characters. The concept of altering the future to control the present is not unique to the comic book, but with the many-layered and increasingly complex multi-verses of seemingly unending comic book lore being constantly micro-managed by multiple authors, it has established itself as a crucial recurring convention of the genre. Creekmur also cited the “DC: The New Frontier” story as an interesting use of materiality, where memories were artistically depicted in a style reminiscent of 70s silver-age comics. This sort of material self-awareness is reminds me of Bryan Lee O’ Malley’s use of classic videogame typography (although that it doesn’t necessarily indicate the past in the same sense).


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