New York Comics & Picture-story Symposium: Eric Bernard

bernard-coverThe 122nd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 7pm at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Eric Bernard: A Child’s View: 19th Century Paper Theaters
 A rather unique and enchanting entertainment for children emerged at the beginning of the second decade of the 19th century.  Before the wide availability of children’s periodicals and mass-produced toys, small tabletop theaters—constructed out of printed paper, adhered to cardboard and mounted on a wooden frame—introduced a unique visual entertainment into homes.  Nearly every major European country, as well as the United States, developed its own tradition of paper theater during the 19th century into the early 20th century.  It was Juvenile Drama in England, Papiertheater or Kindertheater in Germany, théâtre de papier in France, dukketeater in Denmark, and teatro de los niños or teatrillo in Spain.  Today, these small theaters and their vast repertoire of plays remain invaluable records of contemporary professional stage performances and theater design of the 19th century.

Eric Bernard has collected antique paper theaters for 30 years and had an extended exhibition of his collection at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut in 2011.  He holds a BA in music from Texas Christian University and an MA in Arts Administration from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.  Eric’s career in arts management has included Lincoln Center Theater, the Museum of Modern Art, and, for the past 17 years, the Metropolitan Opera.

Wednesday Meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium

A special meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 7pm at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public. PLEASE NOTE: WEDNESDAY NIGHT EVENT THIS WEEK. The Tom Kaczynski event on Tuesday, April 21st has been CANCELED!


Beyond Handala: Editorial Cartooning and Comics in Palestine
Mohammad Saba’aneh, editorial cartoonist for the Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadid, shares his work and the work of his fellow Palestinian cartoonists, and discusses the landscape for cartooning and comics under Israeli occupation and beyond.

Mohammad Saba’aneh is a Palestinian cartoonist, born in the Occupied West Bank town of Qabatiya. He now lives and works in Ramallah, where his work is published in the daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadid, in addition to many other places around the Arab world and online. Saba’aneh, 34, has focused much of his work on the plight of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. In 2013 he himself was imprisoned for five months by the  Israeli army. In 2015 his work was subject to investigation by the Palestinian Authority.

Student of the Week: Suji Park

Suji loves to illustrate stories. Something about finding out the best visual solution within specified parameters is always exciting for her. It’s a process that requires personal interpretation within restrictions, but these restrictions often help Suji to be more creative. This talented illustrator works in many mediums and styles, and explored children’s books, portraits, as well as other types of book illustration. Regardless of which style she uses for each project,  her goal is to create an intriguing image that stirs the viewer’s interest!

Suji’s work can be found at and
To contact her for commissions, email:
Student: Suji Park
Student: Suji Park Student: Suji Park

New York Comics & Picture-story Symposium: Drew Friedman


The 120th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 7pm at The New School University Center, 63 5th Ave., room L104 (lower level). Free and open to the public. Please note new location this week only!

Drew Friedman on 40 Iconic Paperback Book Covers.
Artist Drew Friedman shares and discusses 40 of his favorite paperback book covers. Paperback books are the cheaply printed (held together by glue rather than stitches) books released by publishers in a low-cost format.  Friedman has amassed a large collection of vintage paperbacks over the years. The book covers were all scanned from his personal collection and range from pulp-fiction and non-fiction, horror, humor reprints, (MAD, etc), comic book reprints, (Tales From The Crypt, etc), cartoon collections, joke books and show business biographies, predominantly from the nineteen fifties and sixties. Featuring artwork by among others, drawing legends such as Harvey Kurtzman, Virgil Partch, Frank Frazetta, Sanford Kossin and George Wachsteter,  Friedman will dissect each cover and explain why they had a profound influence on him and his work over the years as a cartoonist, illustrator and fan of pop culture.

Award winning artist Drew Friedman‘s comics and illustrations have appeared in Art Spiegelman’s Raw, R. Crumb’s Weirdo, American Splendor, Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, SPY, MAD, The New Yorker, BLAB!, Time, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The New York Observer, Entertainment Weekly, among many others, as well as numerous book covers and art created for Topps and SHOUT Factory. His work has been collected in five anthologies, the most recent, TOO SOON?Drew Friedman’s Sideshow Freaks was published in 2011. Steven Heller in the The New York Times wrote of his three volumes of portraiture of Old Jewish Comedians: “A festival of drawing virtuosity and fabulous craggy faces. Friedman might very well be the Vermeer of the Borscht Belt”. His latest book of portraits, Heroes of the Comic Books, was published by Fantagraphics with a foreword by Al Jaffee. Friedman’s 8-page comic strip “R. Crumb & Me”, detailing his friendship and association with the artist R. Crumb, appears in Masterful Marks, edited by Monte Beauchamp and published by Simon & Schuster. Friedman lives in rural PA with his wife and frequent collaborator K. Bidus.

Student of the Week: Sarah Berman

Sarah J Berman is an illustrator and designer from the Hudson River Valley of upstate New York. She is passionate about the magical grey areas between art, nature, and science that tell stories about existence and life. Sarah uses a playful and whimsical lens to expose others to the beauty of complex subjects, and to capture fleeting moments of time. She is currently focusing on illustrating energy attached to the human body, and how we use these energies to communicate with one another and our environments. She can most recently be found painting with fluorescent Bacteria in Brooklyn, serving green juice & coffee on 5th avenue, or illustrating DOMO in an office downtown.

Instagram: @sarahjberman

Student: Sarah BermanStudent: Sarah Berman Student: Sarah Berman

New York Comics & Picture-story Symposium for March 31, 2015

The 119th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 7pm at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Two presentations:

1. Rick DesRochers on The Family Act Goes to School – The Marx Brothers, Vaudeville, and Americanization.
The link between the Marx Brothers in their vaudeville days and the popular comic strips of the early twentieth century can be seen with the Marx Brothers’ beginnings in the third-tier vaudeville circuit where they formed the core comedic trio of Chico, Harpo, and Groucho – their apocryphal names created in 1910 during a poker game after the comic strip character “Knocko the Monk.” The comic strip Knocko the Monk spawned a fad of nicknames ending in O, prompting vaudevillian Art Fisher to nickname Harpo for his harp playing skills; Groucho for his personality and his “grouch” bag that hung from his neck for safety; Chico for his penchant for “chasing the chickens” –  the girls. By bookending the vaudeville performances of the Marx Brothers and their school act beginning in 1910 with Fun in Hi Skule to their highly successful 1932 film, Horse Feathers, this lecture will examine how the Marx Brothers commented on and satirized progressive education reforms through their multiple versions of the school act, and the immigrant experience of being Americanized through public school education reforms.
Rick DesRochers, Ph.d., is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Long Island University Post.  He has served as the Literary Director of New Play and Musical Development for the Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival and The Goodman Theatre of Chicago, as well as the Artistic Director of the New Theatre in Boston. He holds an M.F.A. in stage direction and dramaturgy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a Ph.D. in theatre from the City University of New York, Graduate Center. He is the author of The New Humor in the Progressive Era – Americanization and the Vaudeville Comedian for Palgrave Macmillan, and The Comic Offense from Vaudeville to Contemporary Comedy – Larry David, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Dave Chappelle for Bloomsbury.


2. Ian Lewis Gordon on The Boy Comic Strip: Towards an International History of Comics
Trying to write international histories of comics presents numerous problems including most obviously command of a range of languages.  But beyond that what sort of organizing principles would best capture the interplay across countries and cultures. Should people try to write histories that trace artists and influences across national boundaries with attention to whom influenced whom and the extent of that influence and similar sorts of questions? Or perhaps focusing on genres of comics, like various incarnations of the mischievous boy in comics, might show more about similarities and differences across different comics traditions.
In this discussion I will examine a range of “mischievous boy” comics to talk about some of the possibilities of using genres to create international histories of comics. How can we use this cavalcade of kid strips to talk about the history of comics? I think these strips show the similarities and differences across cultures. For instance the mischievous boy is not something that is particular to a given culture. But what these strips tells us is that this plays out in different ways. Some of this is cultural difference writ large and some of it is cultural difference writ small. I will look at comics from America, Australia, the UK and France to suggest a direction for research.
Ian Gordon is an Associate Professor in History at the National University of Singapore. For the academic year 2014-2015 he is a visiting scholar at NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis. He is the author of Comic Strips and Consumer Culture, and editor of two collections Comics & Ideology, and Film and Comic Books.


Student of the Week: Brittany Naundorff

Brittany has always been fascinated by everything spooky and strange. As a child, she spent her time obsessing over Goosebumps books and convincing her friends that she was a part time vampire. Brittany is and always has been constantly inspired by urban legends, folklore, and mythology of various cultures – pulling from these tales and twisting them to create her own characters and worlds through comics, character design, and short stories.
Find her at:
brittttish @ instagram and twitter