We got this list of panels and whatnot at SPX yesterday — for times, you can go to the SPX website, but it looks like an absorbing, thought-provoking weekend:
Q+A and Spotlights
Joost Swarte Q+A
Joost Swarte has produced comics, illustrations, graphics and architectural designs that have made him a legend in his native Netherlands. His clear line-influenced avant-garde comics were introduced to American audiences in RAW and his illustrations have graced the covers and pages of The New Yorker. Cartoonist, teacher and editor Paul Karasik will moderate a special spotlight session with the artist.
Ben Katchor Spotlight
Ben Katchor has long chronicled the pleasures of urban decay and small-scale ambition in comic strips including Julius Knipl: Real Estate Photographer, Hotel and Farm, and The Cardboard Valise. He is also the author of the graphic novel The Jew of New York and has collaborated on theatrical productions with musicians Bang on a Can and Mark Mulcahy. Today he will present full-color strips from his monthly series in Metropolis Magazine and answer questions moderated by comics scholar Mike Wenthe.
Bryan Lee O’Malley Q+A
Bryan Lee O’Malley has gained an enormous audience as the author of the multi-volume “Scott Pilgrim” series, combining manga-influenced artwork with contemporary pop culture motifs to spin a bubblegum saga of youth’s modern pursuit of romance and rock. Comics critic Joe “Jog” McCulloch will lead the discussion.
James Kochalka in Conversation
Alt-comics perennial James Kochalka will reflect on his career to date in a wide-ranging conversation with Heidi MacDonald, covering his whimsically semi-autobiographical Magic Boy character, his online autobiographical comic strip American Elf, children’s comics, and, of course, Super F*ckers.
Richard Thompson Spotlight
Richard Thompson is an illustrator whose work has appeared in The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly and a cartoonist whose weekly strip Richard’s Poor Almanac appears in the Washington Post and whose daily strip Cul de Sac is syndicated nationally. In this special spotlight presentation Richard will discuss his work and career with comics scholar Mike Rhode.
Join faculty members Robyn Chapman and Alec Longstreth join CCS graduate Joseph Lambert for a presentation on The Center for Cartoon Studies’ unique curriculum and a hands-on cartoon workshop. Robyn will present some of CCS’s most successful classroom exercises, including a comic book revision of the classic fable, Tortoise and the Hare. Audience members will be invited to join in a cartooning exercise and make their own page of comics. No matter how much or little experience you have, you will leave this workshop having drawn a comics page!
A panel of comics critics will consider crucial topics facing the art form and industry in a special roundtable session. Panelists will include Rob Clough, Gary Groth, Tim Hodler and Joe “Jog” McCulloch in a session moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos.
Cartooning in Collaboration/Collaboration in Cartooning
Co-moderators and mini-comics collaborators Isaac Cates and Mike Wenthe will lead this unique panel discussion on the challenges, problems, and pleasures of collaborative comics making. Panelists Becky Cloonan, Mike Dawson, Jim Ottaviani, Frank Santoro and Dash Shaw will discuss their varying experiences with the collaborative process.
The Page as Canvas
Alongside the word balloon, the formal device most closely associated with comics is the panel grid itself, the framework that provides structure and sequence to most comics pages. What happens when artists break the grid and use the page more broadly as a narrative canvas? What problems and opportunities does this approach present? Moderator Austin English will explore this topic with panelists Molly O’Connell, Juliacks, Jillian Tamaki, and Lauren Weinstein.
Background, Setting and Subject
Sometimes considered a separate element – and even a separate craft – in commercial comics, the rendering of background or setting is often itself a major subject in auteurial comics. Moderator Rob Clough will delve into this topic with panelists Kevin Huizenga, Jason Lutes and Ben Katchor.
Hergé and the Clear Line
In 1977 Joost Swarte coined the term “clear line” to describe the style employed by Tintin creator Hergé. Since then Swarte has been one of several artists to employ elements of that style to vastly different ends. Moderator Bill Kartalopoulos will narrate a slideshow presentation about the clear line style, followed by commentary and discussion by Jason Lutes, Swarte, and Kim Thompson.
The Kramers Ergot 7 Panel
One of the most hotly anticipated (and occasionally controversial) comics projects in recent years is Kramers Ergot 7, the forthcoming installment of the landmark contemporary comics anthology series, which offers contributing cartoonists the opportunity to produce new work at Little Nemo-scale in a deluxe full-color hardcover format. Moderator Bill Kartalopoulos will discuss the project with publisher Alvin Buenaventura and contributing artists including CF, Kevin Huizenga, Ben Katchor and Matthew Thurber.
Kim Thompson: Vingt Sur 20
Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thomspon presents “Vingt sur 20: French Comics from Goscinny to Satrapi,” a slideshow lecture on the twenty men and women who, over a generation, redrew la bande dessinée française from a children’s medium into le neuvième art.
Children’s and YA Comic Books
Comics were long considered a children’s medium before ambitious cartoonists began making comics for an adult audience. More recently, good work for children had nearly become an endangered species before a contemporary resurgence in comics for younger audiences. Panelists Frank Cammuso, Hope Larson, Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier will discuss issues related to making comics for children and young adults.
Small Press Publishers’ Roundtable
A group of small press comics publishers discuss the opportunities and challenges of publishing comics and reaching audiences today. Moderator Rob Clough will lead a discussion with publishers including Leon Avalino (Secret Acres), Alvin Buenaventura (Buenaventura Press), Randy Cheng (Bodega), and Dylan Williams (Sparkplug)
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.