School of Art, Media, and Technology

New York Comics & Picture-story Symposium: William Anthony and Jonathan Bass

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The eighty-third meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 7:00 PM at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Presentations by William Anthony and Jonathan Bass.

William Anthony, satirical painter, draftsman and “cult  figure” (NY Times) will discuss his work, his mid-60s book A New Approach to Figure Drawing and the inspiration he found in student’s “mistakes.”

William Anthony was born 1934 in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. While majoring in history at Yale University, Anthony attended a few art courses, one of which was taught by Josef Albers.  After graduating Anthony studied art briefly at schools in New York and California.  In 1962 he taught a course in figure drawing at a commercial art school in San Francisco.  From this experience he wrote a book A New Approach to Figure Drawing  (1965, Crown, NY, and 1967, Odhams, London).  The book’s main idea was to show beginners the mistakes they are likely to make.  This was done with humor and exaggeration to get the point across. Then this idiotic looking at how-not-to draw the figure became the basis of Anthony’s style. In New York Anthony’s work may be found in the Met, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, the Morgan and the Modern as well as 25 other museums both in the US and Europe including the Hermitage.  He has been commissioned to do pages for Artforum, Art in America, The Paris Review and by Andy Warhol for his magazine Interview. Books  of Anthony’s satirical drawings include Bible Stories (Jargon, 1978), Bill Anthony’s Greatest Hits (Jargon, 1988) and  War Is Swell (Smart Art Press, 2000).  In 2013 Sam Jedig  wrote a profusely illustrated book Ironic Icons: The Art of William Anthony.  It currently may be seen at the bookstore at MoMA. Anthony is represented by Stalke Gallery, Kirke Sonnerup, Denmark.

Jonathan Bass will focus on experiments in narrative structure and genre in short comics. Examples will include early newspaper comics by R.F. Outcault and Winsor McCay; mid-century comics by John Stanley, Otto Soglow, and Ernie Bushmiller; and contemporary alternative work by Jason, Chris Ware, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez — as well as the Fight or Run comics of Kevin Huizenga. He will cover approaches to this work that draw on linguistics and anthropology. He’ll also discuss the use he’s made of these approaches in his comics classes.

Jonathan Bass has taught comics courses in the English Department and School of Fine Arts at Rutgers University since 2007.  His own comics and other graphic work can be found at:

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