Pulitzer Prize-winning artist/illustrator Art Spiegelman will deliver a lecture in the Bradley Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, part of Lakeland College's celebration of comics and sequential art.
Spiegelman, the author of "Maus" and "In the Shadow of No Towers" and an influential artist for The New Yorker, will give a talk entitled "What the %@&*! Happened to Comics?" Tickets for the lecture are $10 and can be purchased by calling (920) 565-1536. His appearance is part of Lakeland's Krueger Fine Arts Series.
Spiegelman helped put comic books on literature shelves. In 1992, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his masterful Holocaust narrative "Maus"— which portrayed Nazi cats exterminating Jewish mice. "Maus II" continued the remarkable story of his parents' survival of the Nazi regime and their lives later in America.
His comics are best known for their shifting graphic styles, their formal complexity, and controversial content. In his lecture, Spiegelman takes his audience on a chronological tour of the evolution of comics, all the while explaining the value of this medium and why it should not be ignored. He believes that in our post-literate culture the importance of the comic is on the rise, for "comics echo the way the brain works. People think in iconographic images, not in holograms, and people think in bursts of language, not in paragraphs."
Spiegelman studied cartooning in high school and began drawing professionally at age 16. He went on to study art and philosophy at Harpur College before becoming part of the underground comix subculture of the 60s and 70s. As creative consultant for Topps Bubble Gum Co. from 1965-1987, Spiegelman created Wacky Packages, Garbage Pail Kids and other novelty items, and taught history and aesthetics of comics at the School for Visual Arts in New York from 1979-1986.
In 2007, he was a Heyman Fellow of the Humanities at Columbia University where he taught a Masters of the Comics seminar. In 1980, Spiegelman founded RAW, the acclaimed avant-garde comics magazine, with his wife, Françoise Mouly. "Maus" was originally serialized in the pages of RAW.
Currently, he and his wife publish a series of early readers called Toon Books—picture books in comics format—and have co-edited "A Toon Treasury of Classic Children's Comics" (Fall 2009). His work has been published in many periodicals, including The New Yorker, where he was a staff artist and writer from 1993-2003.
In 2004, he completed a two-year cycle of broadsheet-sized color comics pages, "In the Shadow of No Towers," first published in a number of European newspapers and magazines including Die Zeit and The London Review of Books. A book version of these highly political works was published by Pantheon in the United States, appeared on many national bestseller lists and was selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2004.
In 2009, "Maus" was chosen by the Young Adult Library Association as one of its recommended titles for all students (the list is revised every five years and used by educators and librarians across the country).
In fall 2011, Pantheon published "Meta Maus," the story of why he wrote Maus, why he chose mice, cats, frogs and pigs, and how he got his father to open up (the new book includes a DVD of the transcripts of Spiegelman's interviews with his father). "MetaMaus" has been awarded the 2011 National Jewish Book Award in the Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir category.
In 2005, a major exhibition of his work was arranged by Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, as part of the "Masters of American Comics" exhibit, which later traveled to the Milwaukee Art Museum. The same year, Spiegelman was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People.
See what Spiegelman is up to recently at facebook.com/ArtSpiegelman.
A recent interview with Spiegelman on NPR.
Re-Constructing Comics: Explorations in Sequential Art
Seven cartoonists push, dissolve and rearrange the borders of the comics form. Come explore the new shape of comics.
Re-Constructing Comics: Explorations in Sequential Art
Nov. 15-Dec. 12, 2013
Opening before Art Spiegelman lecture on Nov. 18, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
DERIK BADMAN is an artist, critic, and web developer who makes comics that are of interest, as he self-deprecatingly puts it, "to about a dozen people." Many of his works are created within specific formal constraints or through the appropriation and re-use of existing comics imagery. Badman's creations have appeared in "Comics as Poetry," "Abstract Comics: The Anthology," "Secret Prison," "The International Journal of Comic Art" and Carousel Magazine, as well as appearing in exhibits in New York, Virginia, Vancouver and Manchester, England. His comics have three times been an honorable mention selection in "The Best American Comics" anthology.
See more of his comics and writing about comics at MadInkBeard.com.
IVAN BRUNETTI lives and works in Chicago as a teacher, editor, illustrator and cartoonist, usually in that order. He is the author of the "disreputable" collections "Misery Loves Comedy" and "Ho!" and the comic book series "Schizo." On the more respectable front, he is also the author of "Aesthetics: A Memoir" and "Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice," as well as the editor of both volumes of "An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories." His drawings occasionally appear in The New Yorker, among other publications.
Ivan is currently on the faculty of Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches classes on comics, drawing and design.
VANESSA DAVIS is the award-winning cartoonist of the graphic novel and minicomic, "Spaniel Rage." Her new Drawn & Quarterly collection, "Make Me A Woman," was serialized online for Tablet Magazine and confirmed Vanessa's spot as one of the leading cartoonist and humorists of her generation. Using beautiful watercolors, refreshing honesty and humor, her comics made an immediate impression and have appeared in such anthologies as "Kramers Ergot," "Best American Comics," "Stuck in the Middle," "Best American Comics 2013," Yale's "Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons and True Stories" and First Second's recent "Fairy Tale Comics."
Experience more of Vanessa' work online at spanielrage.com.
AIDAN KOCH is an artist living and working in Northern California. She attended the Pacific NW College of Art in Portland, Ore., where she received a BFA in Illustration. Her work explores fragmentation and symbolism within comics and painting. Aidan's suggestive explorations of memory and image have appeared, among other places, The New York Times, The Believer and Bitch Magazine, as well as her own books, including "The Whale" and "The Blonde Woman."
The full range of this work can be found at aidankoch.com.
ANDREI MOLOTIU is an artist and art historian – a practitioner and scholar of the art of comics – who teaches at Indiana University, Bloomington. He recently edited the landmark collection, "Abstract Comics: The Anthology," the first collection devoted to the genre. "Nautilus," a collection of Molotiu's own abstract comics, was released by the Danish publisher Fahrenheit Editions. Andrei is also the author of "Fragonard's Allegories of Love" (Getty Museum, 2008).
See more of Andrei's experiments in comics form at blotcomics.blogspot.com.
ANDERS NILSEN began self-publishing in 1999, photocopying comics from his sketchbooks into a mini-comic called "Big Questions" – a process that ultimately led to a 600-page graphic novel of the same name, completed in 2011. In the time, his publications also include "Dogs and Water," "Don't Go Where I Can't Follow," "Rage of Poseidon" and "The End." Anders' work has garnered several Ignatz awards, and "Big Questions" received the 2012 Lynd Ward Prize for Graphic Novel of the Year, as well as a citation as one of 100 Notable Books of 2011 in the New York Times. He also still self-publishes now and then.
Anders' latest works and sketches are found at themonologuist.blogspot.com.
JOHN PORCELLINO was born in Chicago in 1968. His first graphic novel, "Invasion of the Incredible Blobs," was published circa 1977 by Sunshine Press. He has been self-publishing comics and other books ever since, most notably the acclaimed and influential series "King-Cat Comics and Stories," which he began in 1989. Selections from "King-Cat" and other examples of John's minimalist style can be found in, among other titles, "Map of My Heart," "Perfect Example," "Thoreau at Walden" and "Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man."
For more information on John's work, please visit www.king-cat.net.