Pulp Culture Comics Arts Festival and Symposium

October 19, 2017toOctober 21, 2017

Page from Berlin, by The Center for Cartoon Studies faculty Jason Lutes

October 19-21, 2017, the Pulp Culture Comic Arts Festival and Symposium will present a series of five panels throughout the day that explore different aspects of nonfiction cartooning. Drawing together cartoonists, writers, and academics, including CCS faculty and alum, the hour-long panels will foster a rich dialog between panelists and audience. Panels will be held in the Fleming Auditorium (Room 101) in the Fleming Museum, just downstairs from the Cartoonist Exhibition Hall.

You can see multiple current and former teachers on different panels. Sophie Yanow, the newest addition to the teaching staff at The Center for Cartoon Studies as well as a student and a fellow there (she’s done it all), recently released her third graphic novel, What Is a Glacier? Jason Lutes, one of many beloved figures at CCS, is working away at Berlin, releasing issue 21 last year. James Kochalka was a teacher, wrote the CCS fight song, and later became the first Vermont Cartoonist Laureate. Marek Bennett, former applied cartooning adviser, continues his work with summer workshops combining comics, music, and education.

Autobiographical Cartooning

With roots in the confessional work of underground cartoonists such as Aline Kominsky-Crumb (Need More Love, MQ Publications, 2007) and Justin Green (Binky Brown Meets the Virgin MaryMcSweeney’s, 2009), autobiographical cartooning first truly blossomed in 1990s and continues to thrive into the present day. Moderated by Isaac Cates (Cartozia Tales, editor), this panel features four outstanding Burlington, Vermont, cartoonists whose work is grounded in personal experience. Panelists include: Glynnis Fawkes (Greek Diary, 2017), CCS alum Iona Fox (Almanac: 2015, Rod + Cone, 2015), James Kochalka (American Elf: Volume 1, Top Shelf Books, 2004), and Rachel Lindsay.

Comics Journalism

Journalism has arguably been the most successful area of nonfiction cartooning. The growth of online outlets such as The Nib, and the recent New York Times Magazine all-cartoon issue serve as international markers of recognition for a field born less than 25 years ago through the pioneering work of avowedly journalistic cartoonists such as Joe Sacco (Palestine, Fantagraphics, 2001). In recent years Sacco has been joined by an array of talented cartoonist—Jen Sorensen (Slowpoke), Matt Bors, Josh Neufeld (A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, Pantheon Books, 2010), Sophie Yanow (What Is a Glacier?, Retrofit, 2017), Josh Kramer, Eleri Harris (The Nib, editor), and many others—all applying their skills to the journalistic endeavor. Panelists include: Joe Sacco and CCS faculty Sophie Yanow.

Sophie Yanow (’16, fellow ’14/15)

Ethnography: Comics and Culture

Although drawing has long been a part of the field practice of anthropologists and other ethnographers, only very recently have researchers begun to explore the use of comics as a medium for representing human experience and culture from an ethnographic perspective. This panel explores emerging use of cartooning in the context of ethnographic representation and the paths taken by three anthropologists and a folklorist as they began to explore how comics and cartooning inform ethnographic practice and can function practically and conceptually in the service of ethnographic representation. Panelists include: Sally Campbell Galman (Shane, the Lone EthnographerAltaMira Press, 2007), Andy Kolovos, Teresa Mares, and Chitra Venkataramani.

Graphic Medicine

Coined by Ian Williams, MD, the term graphic medicine encompasses the use of comics and cartooning in the context of healthcare—including the broad scope of experiences by patients, medical professionals, and loved ones. Interest in graphic medicine among healthcare professionals has exploded in recent years, as have the number of illness-related memoirs produced by cartoonists for general audiences. This panel will provide an opportunity for attendees to converse with one of the founders of the Graphic Medicine movement, MK Czerwiec (aka “Comic Nurse”), as well as learn about specific applications of cartooning in the service of healthcare in Vermont and beyond. Panelists include: MK Czerwiec (Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371, Penn State University Press, 2017), Julia Doucet, and Dana Walrath (Alizeheimer’s, Penn State University Press, 2016).

Historical Narrative

Historical narratives, both fictional and nonfictional, have long been part of the comics scene. This panel brings together a broad group of comics professionals who work with primary source historical materials, secondary sources, and in historical fiction, to use the medium of comics as a platform for bringing the experience of the lived past to contemporary audiences in bold, graphic form. Panelists include: Marek Bennet (The Civil War Diary of Freeman Colby, Comics Workshop, 2016), Box Brown (Tetris, First Second, 2016), Trevor Getz (Abina and the Important Men, Oxford University Press, 2015), CCS faculty Jason Lutes (Berlin 1: City of Stones, Drawn and Quarterly, 2000).

Sponsored by Burack Distinguished Lecture Series, Fleming Museum, German and Russian Department, Carolyn and Leonard Miller Center for Holocaust Studies, Jewish Studies Program, Mollie Ruprecht Fund for Visiting Artists, Vermont Humanities Council, UVM Humanities Center,UVM Marsh Professor-at-Large Program, and The Center for Cartoon Studies.

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