Posts Tagged ‘Jessica Abel’

New York Comic Con 2011 at a Glance

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

The sixth annual New York Comic Con is upon us! With it comes a fourth day of panels, screenings, back-issue browsing and celebrity sightseeing. I will once again be set up in Podcast Arena with all of my recording gear for my podcast, Comic Timing. Be sure to stop on by booth D14 in the Artist Alley to say hello, talk comics and maybe even buy some of the comics I’m getting rid of.

Before Thursday hits and we all get lost and overwhelmed, here are a few choice panels that should not be overlooked if you are looking to learn more about the nonfiction side of this here industry. I’m also including a few panels that might not be strictly nonfiction but could very well have some elements of nonfiction to them.


RWP 2.0 – The Future of Comics in the Classroom
Date: Thursday, October 13
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Location: 1A02

Speakers: Charlie LaGreca, Dr. Michael Bitz, Jessica Abel, Josh Elder, Matt Madden

Find out how YOU can help get comics into schools and get schools into comics in this informational seminar hosted by some of the biggest names in the world of comics and education. Join Josh Elder of Reading With Pictures, Dr. Michael Bitz of the Comic Book Project, Charlie LaGreca of Comic Book Classroom and Jessica Abel and Matt Madden of Drawing Words and Writing Pictures as they unveil their plans for 2012 and beyond.

I’m including this one for any comic book professionals or teachers out there that might be interested. This is only available to those with Professional badges; Thursday general hours begin at 4pm.


Reading in the Rain

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Despite the rain, a decent crowd turned out for the Brooklyn Book Festival, filling up the indoor spaces but still staking out spots for outdoor events like the talk with Sarah Silverman and even the graphic novel panels. The “International Graphic Novel” panel also had a special guest in form of a crazy lady who started shouting at the stage, though due to the crowds and weather it was hard for us in the audience to make out what she was saying, but Jessica Abel did her best on stage to hear the woman out.

The “Cabaret BBF Style” I mentioned was a bit of a bust; while I wondered whether they meant “comic” as in funny or as in the medium, it turned out to be neither. Perhaps the lack of a crowd in front of the Main Stage threw off their nerve a bit.

More enjoyable was the “Finding the Funny: The Humor of the Everyday” panel, which took place inside the Borough Hall Courtroom and featured John Hodgman, Sloane Crosley, Kristen Schaal, and Rich Blomquist. It really has nothing to do with comics, but I mention it so that you don’t think we were totally down on the festival.

Further images below the cut.


Brooklyn Book Festival: Nonfiction or Nuthin’

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

This past Sunday was the Brooklyn Book Festival, an annual gathering of book publishers and authors held at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Out of all the events taking place on this rainy Sunday, one stood out as a panel of interest for us, “The International Graphic Novel: Drawing from Life.”

The panel consisted of (left to right) Jessica Abel (La Perdida), Matt Madden (Drawing Words and Writing Pictures), Josh Neufeld (A.D.), and Nick Abadzis (Laika); we arrived at the festival in time to catch the last half-hour of the panel. Matt Madden was listed as moderator, but they appear to have chosen to let the conversation flow free-form instead. This may have been a mistake, as the panel wound up bringing up opinions on manga and fiction comics that may have come off differently than they intended. When asked about manga and whether or not it influenced any of their works, the panel as a whole decided to classify manga as a separate, though parallel medium to American comics. Bringing my own opinion into the matter, I think this is a very narrow way of looking at manga. There are tons of manga in Japan, many of which are based on nonfiction events or an author’s life story. Similarly, art styles vary depending on the story; not every manga is going to have big eyes and round heads. The only thing that makes manga different from American comics is that it is Japanese, and American comics are American. If we were to go along with this line of thinking, European comics would be separate but parallel as well, even if they do share similar references and style to what we have here. And yes, manga is usually presented in chapters in magazines before being collected in bigger volumes at a later date, but that is a distribution decision more than a style choice.

Then, there were Josh’s comments about fiction comics. When asked if any of the panel had a desire to do fiction comics, he replied that his imagination doesn’t really mesh with the ability to dream up the kind of science fiction you find in fiction comics. Yet again, genres are ignored here, accidentally or not. Romance comics have been published for years, most of which without any science fiction elements. Crime comics are the same as reading a good Sherlock Holmes novel, only there happens to be art to engage you along with the words. Workplace comedies, slice-of-life books; the list goes on. To group fiction comics simply as the realm of superheroes and science fiction is narrow and belittling. Would Josh be upset if his nonfiction books were to be written off as for children because they are comics? I assume he would be.

As a concession, it is very possible that due to the weather conditions and my overall mood at the time, I took these responses to mean a lot more than they were intended to be. Still, I feel that a panel of creators might want to choose their words a bit better in the future, to avoid any difficulties.

Out and About: September 11-12, 2010

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Tomorrow begins Small Press Expo 2010 in Bethesda, Maryland. Guests include Dean Haspiel (Billy Dogma) and Raina Telgemeier (Smile). In addition to shopping the floor, events of interest on the schedule:

Sunday, September 12

Autobiography in Pieces

3:00 | Brookside Conference Room

How do you tell the story of a life that’s still in progress? Is “story” even the right way to think about it? How do you winnow down the manifold details and data of your life? Cartoonists Sarah BecanGabrielle BellVanessa Davis, and Jesse Reklaw will discuss alternatives to the memoir with moderator Isaac Cates.

R. Sikoryak: Adaptation and Parody

3:30 | White Flint Amphitheater

Comics chameleon R. Sikoryak inventively adapts canonical Western literature using the visual styles and characters of historical American comic books and comic strips. These works have been collected in his 2009 book Masterpiece Comics (Drawn and Quarterly). Sikoryak will reveal his intensive working process and will discuss the history of parody and adaptation in comics in a discussion with Bill Kartalopoulos, curator of the recent exhibit  “R. Sikoryak: How Classics and Cartoons Collide.”

The show is open from 11am to 7pm on Saturday, and from 12 noon to 6pm on Sunday at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.

On a more local scale, the Brooklyn Book Festival takes place this Sunday from 10am to 6pm at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Vendors include Drawn & QuarterlyNot For Tourists, PictureBox, and For Beginners. Events of interest include:

2:00 P.M.

The International Graphic Novel: Drawing from Life. Three acclaimed cartoonists, whose work takes on social and political themes, talk about the on-the-ground research and background work they have all done in preparation for creating their books. Featuring author Nick Abadzis (Laika), Josh Neufeld (A.D.), and Jessica Abel (La Perdida). Moderated by Matt Madden (Drawing Words and Writing Pictures).


Youth Workshops at the Workshop Tent
(next to the Youth Stoop)
Workshops are first come, first served and limited to 12 participants

3:00 P.M.

The Comic Book Project presents When Commas Meet Kryptonite with Michael Bitz, Director of the Center for Educational Pathways. Join us to dream, design, and draft an original comic book. Transform ideas to ink and star in your own superhero story! (Ages 8-16).

Sam Anderson (New York Magazine) and David Rees (Get Your War On) are also doing a “comic” presentation as part of “Cabaret BBF Style” at 4pm but it is unclear whether they mean comic as in funny, or comic as in the medium. (With David Rees involved, hopefully it’s both.)