Posts Tagged ‘panel’

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.


MoCCA Fest 2011: On the Floor

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

For its 10th anniversary edition, MoCCA Fest may not be in its original location or time of year—through 2008 it was held at the Puck Building and until last year it was always in June—but its spirit of comics and community remains. The crowd was a healthy mix of creators and fans, big names and unknowns, distinguished publishers and self-publishers, young (sometimes very young) and old (not that old).

I arrived at the Armory at 11:10am on Saturday to discover a long line that wrapped around the block. Not unusual for MoCCA, especially so close to the opening time of 11, except that the doors weren’t even open yet, and wouldn’t open for another 10–20 minutes. Moreover, many exhibitors were still entering the building. I later spoke to an exhibitor who said that it was unclear on when and where the exhibitors were supposed to show up, so hopefully that’s a line of communication that can be improved in the future.

After the Sequential Non-fiction panel on Saturday was a panel titled, “Building a Book, From Start to Finish.” Panelists were Ben Katchor, Stephen DeStefano, and Lauren Redniss. We didn’t stick around for the whole panel, but Redniss talked up her recent graphic biography, Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout. She mentions doing research for the book that included visiting nuclear sites (including, I believe, Three Mile Island) and attending a conference on nuclear power, where she received phone calls from the company (FirstEnergy) that owned the sites she visited.

Walking around the floor revealed a wide variety of styles and people, with some interesting booths.


MoCCA Fest 2011: Sequential Non-fiction

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

As we mentioned it several times last week, it should be no surprise that we attended MoCCA Fest 2011 at the Lexington Avenue Armory this past weekend. We walked the floor, attended panels, and of course, bought lots and lots of comics.

At 12:30pm on Saturday they held the “Sequential Non-fiction” panel, which started a tad late as the previous panel about “Teaching Comics” ran over. The late start was not a problem; moderator Heidi McDonald managed to keep things running smoothly and ended the panel on time. The panelists were Dean Haspiel, Nick Bertozzi, Sarah Glidden and Nick Abadzis. I also spotted Lucy Knisley of French Milk in the audience, taking notes (and I’m sure she wasn’t the only one, as a few faces looked familiar).

Nick Bertozzi spoke about his recently-published Lewis & Clark graphic narrative, which was originally intended to be a mini-comic flip book that would read right-to-left in chronicling their journey west, then the reader would flip it around to read left-to-right for their return journey back east! The book ended up being a little too lengthy for that, so what we have instead is a fairly straightforward, 99% accurate account of their travels (Bertozzi admits he had to make dialog up). His next project is Shackleton, which deals with the famous Antarctic explorations of Ernest Shackleton.

The other Nick, Nick Abadzis, went into the origins of his graphic story Laika, about the first dog in space. He was inspired by a BBC article in which it was admitted that Laika did not survive very long on her journey. To create the book he did a lot of research in Russia, including visiting a private museum at the home of Gagarin (presumably Yuri Gagarin, but I’m not certain). The book was offered to several British publishers who were not interested, though one French publisher was. The book would have had its initial publication in French had First Second not made an offer for it. Abadzis is currently working on a book about the lives of his father and father-in-law.

Dean Haspiel went into his collaborations with Harvey Pekar and Jonathan Ames. Comparing the two, he said they were both very different in how they worked. Pekar turns in pages with stick figures and dialog, while Ames, despite being new to comics, understood instinctively to turn in full comic scripts that laid everything out. He also spoke about the origins of his book Cuba: My Revolution, where his friend Inverna Lockpez has been telling him bits and pieces of stories of her life in Cuba, and eventually he told her that she might have a real story to tell.

Of course, Sarah Glidden spoke about How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, and how she started off her career making daily journal comics to get into the habit, and doing the Birthright trip gave her an opportunity to write about a little more substantial. She originally started off making mini-comics about the trip (which she still had on sale at her table), but at a previous MoCCA Fest an editor Vertigo picked them up and asked her if she’d like to do an entire book.

When asked about the things that were most important in creating graphic non-fiction, Abadzis mentioned being balanced (and that his family was complaining he wasn’t), while Glidden cited this as a reason she didn’t like to tell other people’s stories, because she could mess up the facts. Haspiel emphasized it was important to him that he entertain his readers, while Bertozzi said something that is probably true of all the creators on the panel: he wanted a copy of his book in every library.

Out and About: MoCCA Festival 2011

Friday, April 8th, 2011

This Saturday and Sunday is the 10th annual Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival—MoCCA Fest for short—and in addition to a full stable of exhibitors showcasing new work, they also have two tracks of programming running each day. Panels of note:

Sequential Non-fiction
Saturday, 12:30, Room A

Moderator: Heidi McDonald (The Beat)
Panelists: Dean Haspiel (Cuba: My Revolution), Nick Bertozzi (Lewis & Clark), Sarah Glidden (How to Understand Israel), Nick Abadzis (Laika)

Painting real world stories, from autobiographical to historical, through the lens of the graphic novel.

The State of Editorial Cartooning
Saturday, 4:30, Room A

Moderator: Brian Heater (The Daily Cross Hatch)
Panelists: Ruben Bolling (Tom the Dancing Bug), Tim Kreider (The Pain — When Will it End), Ted Rall (Year of Loving Dangerously)

The trials and tribulations of creating political cartoons in 2011.

Almost True
Sunday, 12:30, Room A

Moderator: Calvin Reid (Publishers Weekly)
Panelists: Gabrielle Bell (Lucky), Joe Ollmann (Mid-Life), Leslie Stein (Eye of the Majestic Creature), Pascal Girard (Nicolas)

Where autobiography and fiction collide.

Pizza Island: The Panel
Sunday, 2:30, Room A

Moderator: Brian Heater
Panelists: Julia Wertz (Drinking at the Movies), Sarah Glidden (How to Understand Israel), Kate Beaton (Hark, a Vagrant), Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie), Lisa Hanawalt (I Want You)

Some of today’s brightest young cartoonists share a workspace in Brooklyn. Here is their story.

YA and Comics: Ever the Two Shall Meet
Sunday, 2:30, Room B

Moderator: Whitney Matheson (Pop Candy)
Panelists: Tracy White (Traced), Lucy Knisley (Stop Paying Attention), M.K. Reed (Cross Country)

Some of comics’ most fascinating titles and groundbreaking artists can be found in the young adult section of your local bookstore.

On Saturday night MoCCA (the actual museum) is hosting a fundraiser wine tasting, sponsored by Corked and The tasting is not included in admission to the Art Festival, so tickets will cost $15 for members and $20 for non-members. The wine tasting will be held at the museum, located at 594 Broadway, from 8–10pm.

It’s also worth noting that there’s also a pre-party for MoCCA Fest Friday night at the Sutra Lounge; this one is hosted by Top Shelf and Zip Comics and includes musical and art performances, as well as food. Cover charge is a $5 donation to MoCCA.

Food and Comics at C2E2

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

We’re still in recovery mode from C2E2, which just wrapped up in Chicago this past Sunday. Despite switching to a smaller hall at McCormick Place, attendance in the show’s sophomore year rose 24%, from 27,500 to 34,000 attendees. So things were looking up, and many artists we spoke to in the Artist Alley reported record sales and sell-outs. One title that sold out was the just-released Comic Book Comics #5, the all-lawsuit issue, so we weren’t able to procure a copy (yet).

One panel we neglected to mention in our highlight post was “Food and Comics.” Let’s take a peek at that description:

Food and Comics
Friday, March 18
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Join CB Cebulski, Rick Bayless and Chicago Tribune‘s James Beard award-winning food writer Kevin Pang as they discuss the art of food and comics, moderated by Ron Richards of iFanboy and “A Taste of Comics”.

Sound interesting? Well, it was, if you liked food and/or comics. They spoke about how the art of making a great dish was very similar to the art of making a great comic. The air was abound with similes such as how you can over-season the art on a comics page just as you can over-season a plate of food. Or how both young chefs and young pencilers are eager to use every technique in their toolbox when they first get started (leading to the mentioned over-seasoning).

With all the talent on the stage (Rick Bayless is a PBS and Top Chef alum and Cebulski writes the Eataku blog), there was plenty of discussion of food or comics, but not really of the two together. Bayless and Beard didn’t talk about comics at all, responding more to questions asked of them by the other panelists or members of the audience. No plans were announced for say, a collaboration between the food guys and the comics guys, similar to Anthony Bourdain’s upcoming graphic novel Get Jiro!. In fact, no food comics were mentioned at all until an audience member asked why John Layman of Chew wasn’t on the panel. The basic answer was that he wasn’t at the con, but with all the great personalities that were at the con, they couldn’t find someone else to tie it all together?

Overall, it wasn’t a bad panel, but it wasn’t very filling either.

Out and About: C2E2

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Just a heads up that Ian and I will be in Chicago for C2E2 this weekend. You’ll find us wandering around the convention center Friday–Sunday, and perhaps Ian will stop by Podcast Alley for a bit, so just ask around if you need us.

Nonfiction comic panels of interest:

Departing the Text: Teaching Inference with Graphic Novels
Friday, March 18
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

This presentation will demonstrate why graphic novels should be included in middle and high school curriculum to build and support teaching inference, metaphor, and abstract thinking. It will also provide suggested lesson plans and classroom discussion forums using selected/recommended graphic novels.

CSC: Representing Science and Medicine in Comics
Saturday, March 19
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

MK Czerwiec (Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine) provides a detailed summary of the growing field of “Graphic Medicine,” the inclusion of graphic narratives as text and method in medical school humanities programs. David E. Beard (University of Minnesota Duluth) explores the undertheorization of the use of the graphic literary form for the evocation and inculcation of values—specifically, values about science.

CSC: The Difficulty of Definition: Autobiographical Comics, Black Sci-Fi, Comics in the Classroom
Saturday, March 19
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Ji-Hyae Park (Roosevelt University) examines how Julie Doucet’s 365 and Lynda Barry’s What It Is challenge the critique of autobiographical comics as navel gazing and elitist by reframing the creation of art as an everyday experience. Jiba Molei Anderson (Illinois Institute of Art–Schaumburg) explains what “Black Sci-Fi” is. Christina Blanch (Ball State University) looks at anthropology students’ attitudes regarding comics and their use in the classroom with Y: The Last Man as the sample.

Drawing Fire: Editorial Cartooning in a Partisan Age
Sunday, March 20
12:45 pm – 1:45 pm

There was a time when the loudest and strongest voice heard above the din on any political issue was the editorial cartoon, jumping off the page in dramatic black and white. In today’s climate of vitriolic banter and self-righteous talking heads, where does the editorial cartoon fit in? A panel of internationally known editorial cartoonists discuss their genre of cartooning in today’s changing media and political landscape. They will discuss how new media is reshaping how they reach an audience. They will share some of their recent more controversial cartoons, talk about reader reaction and impact, and share some cartoons that were killed by the editor because they were too controversial to print. Listen closely. Despite the decline of newspapers, editorial cartoonists can still be heard above the din.

Out and About: Alternative Press Expo 2010

Friday, October 15th, 2010

This weekend is Alternative Press Expo, and while we won’t be attending due to being on the opposite coast, there are two panels of interest to nonfiction fans:

Saturday, October 16

4:00-5:00 Spotlight on Lynda Barry—One of the most influential cartoonists of the past 30 years, APE special guest Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator, and teacher and has found they are all very much alike. With her publisher, Drawn & Quarterly, she launches her brand new book, the how-to/memoir/graphic novel Picture This, at APE. This uncategorizable book is the “how-to-draw” companion to the bestselling and Eisner Award–winning “how-to-write” book What It Is. At this panel, Barry will explore Picture This in an engaging slide show that is sure to be standing room only, thanks to Barry’s wildly enigmatic, popular, and hilarious stage presence, which not only commands the attention of every attendee but leaves them crying, laughing, and floored with inspiration. Seeing Barry in person is life changing!

6:00-7:00 Spotlight on Renée French—A conversation between APE special guest Renée French and publisher/comics historian Dan Nadel about Renée’s new book, H Day. How does a cartoonist translate something as abstract as a migraine into the concrete form of a book? And why? Renée will talk about this challenge, her drawing process, and will briefly look back at her extraordinary career.

Other special guests at this year’s APE include Daniel Clowes, Megan Kelso, Rich Koslowski, Tommy Kovac, and Tony Millionaire. Alternative Press Expo 2010 will be held on October 16–17 at  the Concourse Exhibition Center (635 8th Street) in San Francisco, California.

Out and About: New York Comic Con 2010

Monday, September 27th, 2010

The New York Comic Con schedule is up, and while it’s a little light on events dealing specifically with nonfiction comics this year, there are a few points of interest:

Rationalizing Comics and Sequential Art in the Classroom
Friday, October 8
3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

This workshop will feature educators discussing their reasons for bringing comics/sequential art into the classroom, focusing on both reading and generating comics. Practical suggestions, along with evidence illustrating student learning, is discussed. Participants will be encouraged to bring ideas for discussion in small groups.

Extending Conversations about Graphic Novels
Friday, October 8
4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

Educators will discuss how to use graphic novels to extend learning beyond literal comprehension, including engaging in critical literacy activities. Social studies, art, and English/language arts educators will be paired to discuss how to make cross-curricular conversations and move students’ understandings beyond the classroom. Participants will engage in an activity which pushes them to think beyond the confines of the classroom walls.

Remembering Harvey Pekar
Friday, October 8
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

After 35 years of innovating in—having virtually invented—the personal comics genre with his American Splendor series, Cleveland’s Harvey Pekar died this past July, in the middle of several projects finished and unfinished. This panel celebrates Pekar’s life and work. It includes Harvey’s editor on The Pekar Project, Jeff Newelt; artist on Harvey’s The Quitter and other works, Dean Haspiel; Peter Kuper, who not only has drawn for Harvey, but as a comics-loving kid in Cleveland, spent much time hanging out and learning from him; and Rick Parker, an artist on The Pekar Project. The panel is moderated by Danny Fingeroth, who memorably interviewed Harvey at The YIVO Institute in 2009, and wrote of Harvey’s importance in The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels. Some surprise last minute guests may appear on the panel, as well.

Comics and Graphic Novels in the Secondary English/Language Arts Classroom
Saturday, October 9
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Educators who utilize texts in the secondary English/language arts curriculum will discuss practical ideas for including particular graphic novels in the classroom. In particular, educators will discuss how to embed graphic novels in the traditional curriculum by connecting graphic novels/comics with canonical texts and helping students create their own texts. Educators will think through criteria they can create to evaluate appropriate gns for curricular adoption.

Political Cartoonists
Saturday, October 9
5:15 pm – 6:15 pm

Join some of the best, current political cartoonists!

Unusual Manga Genres
Saturday, October 9
8:45 pm – 9:45 pm

Thanks to the importing of manga you can read veterinarian manga, salaryman manga, fishing manga, and manga about baking bread! Erin and Noah from the Ninja Consultant podcast present the absolutely most insane manga titles available in English – and a few titles which won’t be translated anytime soon.

The Sons of Liberty, a Graphic Novel: The New World of Historical Fiction
Sunday, October 10
11:00 am – 12:00 pm

The Sons of Liberty, a new graphic-novel quartet for middle grade readers and beyond tells the story of two young slaves in the wake of the Revolutionary War. History is brought to life in full color by the illustration of Marvel Comics veteran Steve Walker and Oren Kramek. Join authors Alexander Lagos and Joseph Lagos and illustrators Steve Walker and Oren Kramek in conversation about the creation of this new series.

Culinary Manga
Sunday, October 10
1:45 pm – 2:45 pm

Competitive bread baking manga Yakitate!! Japan is just the tip of the culinary manga iceberg in Japan! Join Erin and Noah of the Ninja Consultant podcast as they discuss manga about gourmet food critics (Oishinbo), pastry chef manga (Antique Bakery), and several series about wine (Drops of God, La Sommelier).

In addition, you’ll be able to see Ian (and his friends) talk about podcasting and blogging at the…podcasting and blogging panel. Check it:

A Geek’s Guide to Podcasting and Blogging
Friday, October 8
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Room 1A17

This panel is designed to show how to start and promote your very own podcast. The world of podcasting has grown by leaps and bounds over the last five years and many people do not have a clear guide on how to podcast. This panel will walk you steps of podcasting and give advice on all aspects of having your own show.

You’ll find Ian at the Comic Timing booth (table 524) in Podcast Alley on Friday and Saturday (near the events stage), while I’ll be mostly wandering the floor and panels for those two days. We’ll both be absent on Sunday due to a prior personal engagement.

Telling A Story With Imagined Pictures

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

The New York Comic Con was held at the Jacob Javits Center this past February 6–8, and with the number of TV, movie, and video game panels/booths available it’s quickly starting to rival the San Diego Comic-Con in size and scope, though it still lacks the prestige and probably will so for years to come. They’ve had trouble nailing down a date for their first four years, and the next installment will take place in October of 2010, a date they assure us will be steady for the next few years.

Buried in amongst the industry panels and Hollywood premieres were a few nuggets of intellectual or artistic goodness; there was a panel on “Asians and Superheroes” that talked about the role of Asian characters in general in superhero comics, promoting a new anthology that comes out in April featuring the work of numerous creators like Bernard Chang and Gene Luen Yang.

Saturday saw an actual nonfiction comics panel called “Telling a Story With Imagined Pictures,” featuring various panelists who worked on nonfiction narratives for publishers like First Second and Random House. Present at the panel were:

They answered a lot of questions about the creative process, especially the research involved in depicting real events. Both Crowley and Dawson noted it was difficult depicting events that people would have their own memories of. A lot of fact-checking was involved; Jones studied dancing and old travel guides to get the visual look of the book right, and she later had her dance drawings fact-checked to make sure they were correct. O’Connor had a different problem in that photo-reference wasn’t available for his subjects. He mentioned that the book has a whole scene depicting Mohawk armor, except that no visual records existed of the armor for him to accurately depict it. Instead, he had to rely on the cartoony visual style of the book to cover up the specifics of the armor.

When asked about the editorial process for graphic novels, all agreed that their editors have been largely hands-off, and speculated that it might be due to the newness of major publishers (like Random House) to the graphic novel scene.

A Tasting of Comics

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Luxee and Abby

This past weekend was the 2nd edition of the New York Anime Festival over at the Javits Center, run by Reed Exhibitions (the same people who do New York Comic Con and Book Expo America). It went pretty well, despite being (by many accounts) pretty dead on Friday, and lacking in industry participation (no Viz panel, for example). There were some good panels, including something a little different from the usual con fare on Saturday:

Shounen? Shoujo? Both are getting pretty stale. What’s the genre du jour Cooking Manga. That’s right, Cooking Manga. Grab yourself a plate as some of the genre’s leading experts and authors dish about this delicious new entry onto the manga menu. Featuring a guest from Japanese-French dessert café Luxee! Includes a raffle for Kitchen Princess 1 and 2 from Del Rey Manga!

The panelists were one of the chefs from Luxee (I forgot to write down her name), and Abby Denson of City Sweet Tooth.

City Sweet Tooth is a column that appears every other week in L Magazine, which is a digest-sized weekly magazine you can usually pick up for free in local bookstores and restaurants. She reviews the many bakeries and cafes that appeal to sugar-loving New Yorkers, using bright illustrations and short passages to get right to the heart of each location.

As for the Japanese side of things, the panelists discussed several manga, with Abby doing most of the talking. She admitted that they were limited to what the companies gave them information on, and what had been released in the United States. Titles discussed (with US publisher):

  • Yakitate Japan! (Viz)
  • Oishinbo (Viz)
  • Antique Bakery (Digital Manga Publishing)
  • Kitchen Princess (Del Rey)
  • Mixed Vegetables (Del Rey)
  • Iron Wok Jan (DrMaster)
So even though Viz had no official presence at the con, their presence was certainly felt here. One, for giving out freebies, but also for being the publishers of the upcoming English release of Oishinbo, considered the granddaddy of cooking manga. It has been published since 1983, comprises over 100 volumes, and had an anime aired from 1989-1993. It follows the story of a food critic and features recipes and tips on cooking. Despite an ongoing storyline, the American release is going to be grouped by foods instead, so it will appeal to foodies and hopefully forestall the releases being canceled before the good installments get their chance to be published. Over at Amazon you can pre-order Volume 1, Sake, and Ramen/Gyoza, but none of them are due until 2009, with volume 1 set for publication January 13.