Category Archives: Comic Events

Cons, readings, and other live action comic book madness.

Thanks for Another Successful MSU Comics Forum!

MSU Comics Forum LogoThe 6th Annual MSU Comics Forum came to a close Saturday night and I just have to thank all of the brilliant artists, attendees,  and panelists for their help making the event as awesome as it possibly could have been. We had it on an odd weekend, the first couple days of Spring Break, but that being said the turnout was exceptional.

On Friday night Nick Bertozzi gave a rousing keynote speech on the importance of the narrative arc, applying it to his own life and the seemingly endless string of failures he faced on his quest for comics glory. A gentleman and a scholar than one. Then Saturday rolled around and we really kicked the Forum into gear, the culmination of months and months of planning, hundreds of emails, and more planning. And it went off without a hitch!

I was sequestered in our Panel Discussion room for a majority of the Forum, but never have I been more happy to moderate such an esteemed host of professionals and scholars. I’d like to give a huge shout out to our individual presenters Zack Kruse (a fellow first-year writing warrior and writer of Mystery Solved), Justin Wigard, and Andre Peltier for their incredible scholarship. Also esteemed librarians Lisa Rabey, Kristin LaLonde, and Andrew McBride deserve a round of applause for preserving our rich comics history in their respective libraries.

Also I’d like to thank our Artist Spotlight panelists Nick Bertozzi, Josh Neufield, and Jerzy Drozd for imparting what I imagine was invaluable advice for aspiring artists everywhere. The Artist Spotlight is the only chance I get to wander the Alley, Jay takes over the moderator reigns, so I always try to grab as much as I can before I’m back in the saddle. This year I picked up work from: Chad Sell (Manta-Man), Darryl Holliday (The Illustrated Press), Matt Feazell (Cynical Man), Joe Foo (Desmond’s Comic), and Zack Kruse (Mystery Solved).

Comics I purchased at the MSU Comics Forum
MSU Comics Forum Swag!

And let’s not forget our Comics Journalism panelists Joyce Rice, one of the big brains behind Symbolia (read my interview with her partner in crime Erin Polgreen here), Darryl Holliday of the Chicago Illustrated Press, and Josh Neufield, pulling double panel duty like a champ. We had a great round table discussion with these folks, and particularly interesting was the conversation about what makes comics journalism so compelling? What kind of stories lend themselves to the art form?

Lastly I’d like to thank Shawn Huston for bringing his film, Comic Book City, Portland, Oregon USA to the Forum and for closing out our panels in such a satisfying fashion. I really can’t say enough about everyone who contributed this year. I’m honored you graced our Forum with your work and and I’m very proud to have met you all.

Finally, thanks to my fellow organizers Ryan Claytor and Jay Jacot, because without you guys we wouldn’t even be doing this bad boy. Thanks for letting me be a part of it. And Ethan Watrall, thanks for manning the website and giving us a launchpad for our digital presence. Last but not least, thanks to my incredible girlfriend for helping clean up at the end of the day. You are the bee’s knees.

Thanks again folks, and here’s to another incredible Forum!

Advertisements

The MSU Comics Forum is NIGH!

MSU Comics Forum Logo

 

That’s right folks, the coolest comics conference on campus will be here in just a little over a week and I want to make sure that you know exactly what to expect when you show up. To that end I’ve ganked the Forum’s schedule that me and my compatriots worked so hard to on. Want to know who’s presenting scholarly panels and when? Got you covered. Want to know anything else? Go to our website! And now that we have our Artist’s Alley lineup finalized, you’re definitely going to want to see who’s dropping by. You know, so you can pick up awesome swag!

Feb 18th – Mar 1st , 2013:

Gallery Exhibition – Comic Books and the 1950’s
Location: Residential College in the Arts & Humanities LookOut! Gallery, Snyder/Phillips Hall 2nd floor, Michigan State University

The exhibit will feature examples from The Comic Art Collection housed in Michigan State University’s Special Collections. The Comic Art Collection holds over 200,000 items and is the primary library resource for the study of U.S. comic book publications.

Thursday, Feb 28th, 2013:

Documentary Screening – Wham! Bam! Islam! – 7:30pm
Location: MSU Main Library North Conference Room (4th floor West), Michigan State University

Wham! Bam! Islam! tells the story of Naif Al-Mutawa and his venture to create the first team of superheroes from the Muslim world called THE 99. Following the tumultuous journey of THE 99 from concept to reality, from acclaim to censure, from the edge of bankruptcy to a multi-million dollar animation series, Al-Mutawa dodges cultural minefields and confronts the harsh realities of the global marketplace in pursuit of his vision to bring new heroes to children around the world.

Friday, Mar 1st, 2013:

Keynote Address with Nick Bertozzi – 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Residential College in the Arts & Humanities Theatre, Snyder/Phillips Hall Basement, Michigan State University

Nick Bertozzi, award-winning comics creator and professor will deliver this year’s keynote address.  Bertozzi received a Xeric Grant and multiple Harvey Awards and Ignatz Awards for his cartooning. He is the writer and artist of the graphic novel Lewis & Clark (First/Second).  He collaborated with Jason Lutes on the graphic novel Houdini: The Handcuff King (Hyperion/CCS) and drew Glenn (The Colbert Report/Daria) Eichler’s STUFFED! (First/Second).  Bertozzi is author of The Salon (St. Martin’s Griffin) a graphic novel about Picasso, the discovery of Cubism, and magical absinthe.

He is hard at work on a cartoon biography of Lenny Bruce for Houghton-Mifflin, written by Harvey Pekar and you can read his ongoing sci-fi/fantasy cartoon, Persimmon Cup, for free every week at ACT-I-VATE (http://activatecomix.com). For the past several years Bertozzi has been teaching cartooning at NYC’s School of Visual Arts, as well as teaching stints at Rhode Island School of Design and at The Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont.  For more information visit his website at: http://www.nickbertozzi.com/

Saturday, Mar 2nd, 2013:

Artist Alley and Panel Discussions – 11:00am-5:00pm

Location: Residential College in the Arts & Humanities LookOut! Gallery, Snyder/Phillips Hall 2nd floor, Michigan State University

The Forum will feature an Artists Alley with dozens of creators exhibiting their work in comics. For more information on individual artists featured, please reference the Artists Alley page on this website.

Panel: Comics Redefined
Time: March 2nd, 2013 from 11:00am – Noon
Location: Snyder/Phillips 2nd floor classrooms
Description: This panel explores new approaches and ideas in comics through elements of culture, creator, and character.
Presenters and Presentation Titles:
Zack Kruse – Steve Ditko, Spider-Man, and the Romantic Hero
Justin Wigard – It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s Edward Cullen!
Andre F. Peltier – (De)Constructing Masculinity in Fan Boy (and Fan
Girl Cultures)

Panel: Golden Age: Comics and Graphic Novel Resources in Libraries
Time: March 2nd, 2013 from 12:15pm – 1:15pm
Location: Snyder/Phillips 2nd floor classrooms
Description: Have you ever wondered how your local library feels about comics?  Librarians deliver a lively and informative presentation on what is available to comics readers at different kinds of libraries across the country, followed by a question and answer session.
Presenters:
Lisa Rabey (Librarian)
Kristin LaLonde (Librarian)
Andrew McBride (Librarian)

Panel: Artist Spotlight
Time: March 2nd, 2013 from 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Location: Snyder/Phillips 2nd floor classrooms
Description: Do you want to break into the comics industry? Are you curious about the trials and tribulations of self-publishing? Do you have process, craft, or other technical questions about comics creation? We have you covered. Our artists will share their wisdom and answer any question you might have.
Presenters:
Nick Bertozzi – (2013 MSU Comics Forum Keynote Speaker, Lewis and ClarkHoudini the Handcuff King)
Josh Neufeld (University of Michigan Knight-Wallace Fellow in journalism, A.D.: New Orleans After The Deluge)
Jerzy Drozd (Cartoonist and Teaching Artist, The Front)

Panel: Comics and Journalism: Practice, Publish, Innovate
Time: March 2nd, 2013 from 2:45pm – 3:45pm
Description: A star-studded roundtable of industry professionals will discuss the developing field of comics journalism with a focus on key learnings for up-and-coming creators.
Presenters:
Darryl Hollida (Writer and Founder of the Illustrated Press)
Josh Neufield (University of Michigan Knight-Wallace Fellow in journalism, A.D.: New Orleans After The Deluge)
Erin Polgreen (Co-founder, editor, and publisher of Symbolia)

Panel: Documentary Screening of Comic Book City, Portland, Oregon, USA
Time: March 2nd, 2013 from 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: Snyder/Phillips 2nd floor classrooms
Description: Comic Book City is a documentary film from Shaun Huston which explores the community of comics creators who live and work in Portland, Oregon. It is grounded by conversations with artists and writers about their creative processes and their choices to locate in Portland.
Presenter:
Shaun Huston (Comic Book City, Portland, Oregon, USA)

MSU Comics Forum – The Poster Unveiled!

Hey everybody! Yesterday I talked a little about the awesome 1950s comic exhibit that will be on display at the MSU Comics Forum, but today I want to show you the AWESOME poster that Nick Bertozzi, this year’s Forum’s keynote speaker, dropped on us. Honestly, this thing is beautiful.

MSU Comics Forum Poster
MSU Comics Forum Poster

Look at that puppy, pun intended. The use of negative space is gorgeous and the colors work so damn well! Now I know I included Nick’s bio in a previous post, but I want everybody to be able to check out his awesome work, so here you go again!

Nick Bertozzi, award-winning comics creator and professor will be our guest of honor and keynote speaker on Friday, March 1st, 2013.Bertozzi received a Xeric Grant and multiple Harvey Awards and Ignatz Awards for his cartooning. He is the writer and artist of the graphic novel Lewis & Clark(First/Second).  He collaborated with Jason Lutes on the graphic novelHoudini: The Handcuff King (Hyperion/CCS) and drew Glenn (The Colbert Report/Daria) Eichler’s STUFFED! (First/Second).  Bertozzi is author of The Salon (St. Martin’s Griffin) a graphic novel about Picasso, the discovery of Cubism, and magical absinthe. He is hard at work on a cartoon biography of Lenny Bruce for Houghton-Mifflin, written by Harvey Pekar and you can read his ongoing sci-fi/fantasy cartoon, Persimmon Cup, for free every week at ACT-I-VATE (http://activatecomix.com). For the past several years Bertozzi has been teaching cartooning at NYC’s School of Visual Arts, as well as teaching stints at Rhode Island School of Design and at The Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont. For more information, visit his website: http://NickBertozzi.com/

Hoping to see you all at the Forum!

Comics in the 1950s – An Exhibition

Little Hiawatha
Little Hiawatha

Hey all. What’s crappinin? Anyway, I just wanted to mention that there’s some cool stuff that will be happening around, up to, and through the MSU Comics Forum. And by cool stuff I mean that Randy Scott of the MSU Special Collections Library is preparing an exhibit that highlights American comics in the 1950s.

Here’s the prospectus for the exhibit:
The 1950s in American comic books is not an easy period to characterize. It is true that the golden age of superheroes had ended, and the silver age of superheroes had not yet begun, but a lack of superheroes doesn’t tell the story. The Korean War, the cold war, the atomic age and fear of juvenile delinquency were potentially defining in retrospect, but these themes are not pervasive.  This exhibit will show one comic book cover for each month of the decade, and introduce the viewer to an era that is both complicated and almost unknown.  This kind of view has probably never been available until now.  The exhibit will invite generalizations about the titles shown, but will not provide them.  The suggestion is that interesting generalizations are not possible.

TARZAN BUNDULO!
TARZAN BUNDULO!

Very cool all by itself, but it’s doubly nice because I, along with several other incredible volunteers, get to help him prepare it. What does that mean? Well Randy is going to show a comic for every month of the 50s, so 12 months x 10 years = 120 amazing works of art put on display! How am I helping? Well I’m reading these comics, along with the other volunteers and Randy himself, and we’re writing little 50-100 word summaries of the books. The summaries provide a cool look at the characters, genres, and story lines that were popular way back when and give you a little glimpse into the past.

Honestly, it’s an absolute treat looking at these old books. I’ve read some Crime Does Not Pay, super old Journey into Mystery stuff, Rawhide Kid, Tarzan, Lone Ranger, Batman, the ever popular Dell work, and a Bob Hope comic! It’s wild to think that some of these yellowing floppies are 60 years old. I’m gettin my hands on history!

Anyway, if you’re into awesome old comics, you need to head over to the MSU Comics Forum and check out the 1950s Comic Exhibition. Really. Oh and the racism in Little Hiawatha? Incredible.

The Art of War at NYCC

The Art of War made it’s first comic con debut at NYCC, and now that the madness is over and the dust has settled, Kelly and Mike would like to thank everyone who came out to say hello and get their books signed. Over 25 people showed up to the HarperCollins booth to shoot the breeze and have some pages inked by our dynamic duo. Props to everyone who said hello and be on the lookout for more The Art of War news in the very near future!

Keep up to date with the NYCC Facebook Event Page
Get the book right now!
 

Check out the 3-chapter sample of The Art of War at http://www.theartofwargraphicnovel.com
Like The Art of War Facebook page
Follow me on Twitter at Kingofbreaker for more The Art of War comic book madness!

Kelly Talks The Art of War on Scripps News

Ramping up to Kelly and Mike’s awesome appearance this Friday at New York Comic Con, Kelly talked with Andrew A. Smith, of The Memphis Commercial Appeal and Captain Comics, about crafting the unique and brutal world of The Art of War. They talk about The Art of War’s inspiration, Kelly’s use of Sun Tzu’s original text, the writing process and much more.

Head over to Scripps New and give the article a read, and don’t forget, if you’re in the New York area or are attending NYCC, to drop by the HarperCollins booth and get your copy of The Art of War signed by Kelly and Mike!

Keep up to date with the NYCC Facebook Event Page
Get the book right now!
 

Check out the 3-chapter sample of The Art of War at http://www.theartofwargraphicnovel.com
Like The Art of War Facebook page
Follow me on Twitter at Kingofbreaker for more The Art of War comic book madness!

The San Francisco Chronicle Reviews the Art of War

Hey everybody, I’ve been keeping an eye open for more Art of War reviews and if you’re looking for something short, sweet, and stellar then David D’Arcy’s review at the San Francisco Chronicle absolutely takes the cake.

“As gestures and grimaces make for ingenious (camera-ready) composition, the novel has the feel of a ballet or an opera, with the added nightmarish specter of cunning Chinese conspirators plotting world domination that sold the alarmism of Fu Manchu potboilers by Sax Rohmer in the 1920s and 1930s. In 2012, sheer overstatement stanches that paranoia.”

This gentleman knows what he’s talking about, but don’t take my word for it, check out Mr. D’Arcy’s review for yourself!

Get the book right meow! 
Check out the 3-chapter sample of The Art of War at http://www.theartofwargraphicnovel.com
Like The Art of War Facebook page
Follow me on Twitter at Kingofbreaker for more The Art of War comic book madness!