Images of America in the Comics of Percy Winterbottom, Dwig, and Ving Fuller.
Forgotten today, the comics of these three cartoonists were widely published and enjoyed a respectable readership in their successive eras. Presenting rare art and original research, comics scholar and writer Paul Tumey paints a four-color triptych of lost comics masters.
Percy Winterbottom (1866-1901) was a sly comic persona for George A. Beckenbaugh, a humorist-cartoonist who had a brief career in comics in the late 1890s until he died in 1901 at age 36. He conceived of one of the first meta-parodies in comics: a comic strip that was a lampoon of comics, pre-dating Mad magazine by more than half a century. His strip employs deliberately primitive art and language, and displays a parade of larger than life American archetypes while at the same time skewering them.
Clare Victor “Dwig” Dwiggins (1874-1958) came of age in idyllic rural America in the late 1800s and worked in comics from 1900 to the 1950s. He enjoyed a boyhood much like that of Mark Twain’s characters Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Working at first in whimsical illustrations, Gibson Girl art and virtuoso screwball comics. Dwig abruptly changed his work in 1913, becoming looser in style and obsessed with recapturing his childhood adventures in syndicated comics like School Days, and Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. He drew boyhood comics for the next thirty years, as if he had become frozen in time. Paul Tumey thinks he may have found the reason for this change. Dwig’s later boyhood comics reflect the rise of nostalgia in industrial America, as people began to yearn for a time when life was was simpler and perhaps less stressful.
Ving Fuller (1903 – 1965) worked in syndicated newspaper comic strips from the 1920s to the late 1950s. His work shows how a gifted cartoonist had much less creative freedom in mid-century America than earlier generations. Forced to hew to rigid stylistic formulas and gag formats, Fuller’s work nonetheless offers quirky and interesting moments. He was the barely successful cartoonist brother of famed Hollywood maverick filmmaker Sam Fuller, with whom his work shares a exploitative tabloid newspaper quality. Creator of the first psychiatrist in comics, Doc Syke, Fuller’s screwball strip dealt with a host of post-war American neuroses, including gags about the atomic bomb that first appeared mere weeks after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Tumey will make the case that Fuller’s work quietly foreshadowed the Underground comics of the 1960s, with buried undercurrents of sexuality, social breakdowns, and charged political topics.
When juxtaposed together, the lives and work of these three obscure cartoonists tell a larger story that helps shed light on American comics and culture in the first half of the twentieth century.
Paul Tumey was a co-editor and essayist for The Art of Rube Goldberg (Abrams ComicArts 2013). He was also a contributing editor and essayist for Society is Nix(Sunday Press, 2013). His essay on Harry Tuthill appears as the introduction to The Bungle Family 1930 (IDW Library of American Comics, 2014). His work can be read regularly in his column, Framed! at the online Comics Journal.
November 10, 2015 at 7pm
The 134th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015 at 7pm atParsons The New School for Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.
[above] Illustration by Patrick Crotty
Comics on the Northern Edge of Europe with Tom Oldham, Patrick Crotty, Tommi Musturi, and David Schilter. Moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos.
Bill Kartalopoulos in conversation with Tom Oldham, Patrick Crotty, Tommi Musturi and David Schilter discussing the alternative small press comics in the UK, Sweden, Finland and Latvia.
Tom Oldham is a co-founder of Breakdown Press, a comics publisher based in London, UK. Breakdown Press is dedicated to publishing the very best in comics art, whether the cutting edge work of new cartoonists or undiscovered classics of the past.
Patrick Crotty is an artist and the official boss of the Swedish PEOW! studio. PEOW! is a publisher, shop and risograph studio based in Stockholm, publishing intergalactic comics from Sweden and abroad.
Tommi Musturi is an artist and co-founder of KUTIKUTI, a non-profit contemporary comics association and artist collective formed in Finland. KUTIKUTI are ca. forty members who make, teach and publish comics. They operate internationally with an aim to maintain and develop comics as an art form.
David Schilter is a co-editor of kuš!, a small press publisher from Riga. kuš! promotes alternative comics in Latvia and abroad. Next to publishing international anthologies and mini comics, they organize exhibitions workshops and other comic-related events.
Event initiated by Ben Katchor and David Schilter
November 5, 2015 at 7pm
A special meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposiumwill be held on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 at 7pm at Parsons The New School for Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public. PLEASE NOTE: THIS EVENT IS HAPPENING ON THURSDAY!
on this new book,
The Art of Typewriting
Join Marvin Sackner for a celebration of the publication of his new book, The Art of Typewriting (Thames and Hudson) co-authored with his late wife, Ruth. Marvin Sackner will describe the genesis of the project, the process of assembling the book and his wonderful discoveries within the realm of typewriter art.
The book presents over 600 examples of work produced by the world’s finest typewriter artists — from late 19th century ornamental works produced by secretaries to recent works of typewriter art — the book highlights the unique position of the typewritten document in the digital age.
Marvin Sackner is a Word Art collector based in Miami, Florida. Today the Sackner Archive of Visual and Concrete Poetry, created over four decades with his wife Ruth Sackner, is the world’s largest collection of its kind, housing tens of thousands of pieces from hundreds of artists and writers from around the world.
November 3, 2015 at 7pm
The 133rd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 at 7pm atParsons The New School for Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.
Pat Cummings, long-time children’s book illustration faculty at Parsons, talks with Tomie dePaola, one of the most beloved creators of children’s literature, tomorrow Oct 27th at 6pm at the Central Library, Dweck Center. More event info here.
Parsons alum, Ru Kowahata will be returning to Parsons to share her experiences as an animator. As a part of the Tiny Inventions duo, Kowahata uses a unique system of 3D models that are integrated into digital animation. Her expertise in mixed media visuals has contributed to her successes in a multitude of film festival awards, publications and contracted work for an assortment of clientele.
Any and all students interested in pursuing a career in production, animation and storytelling are encouraged to join us for this incredible opportunity to get intel on the industry as an independent animator.
The lecture will be held on November 5th at 12 pm at 66 West 12th St., room 407
“Adrian Tomine has more ideas in twenty panels than novelists have in a lifetime,” wrote Zadie Smith.
The artist behind the comic-book series Optic Nerve, which he began self-publishing at the age of 16, is known for his New Yorker covers and the graphic novels 32 Stories, Sleepwalk and Summer Blonde. His new book, Killing and Dying, is a stunning showcase of the possibilities of the medium and a wry exploration of loss, creative ambition, identity and family dynamics.
Adrian Tomine will sign copies of Killing and Dying and his prints following the event. Books and prints will be available for purchase.
Purchase a ticket and be automatically entered to win a signed print (size 18’”x 24”) of his illustration “Missed Connection,” one of his most popular New Yorker covers!
Click here to purchase your tickets!
The following events have been added to the New York Comics & Picture-story Symposium. Keep an eye out for more updates in the near future about both events!
Nov. 5th at 7pm: Comics on the Northern Edge of Europe with Tom Oldham, Patrick Crotty, Tommi Musturi, David Schilter. Moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos.
Dec. 21 at 7pm: Peter Blegvad: DOPPELGÄNGER, on echoes, shadows, avatars and other singular doubles,
an illustrated talk.
Check below for all events and the recently added ones:
RELEASE EVENT: RED ROSA
A Graphic Biography of Rosa Luxemburg – November 5 – Brooklyn, NY
Rosa Luxemburg is one of the foremost political thinkers of the 20th century. Her philosophy of socialism and democracy was present in every aspect of her life—her work as an economist and educator, her activism against war and socioeconomic injustice, her relationships with friends and lovers.
Red Rosa, a new graphic novel by Kate Evans, published by Verso Books in collaboration with the RLS–NYC, opens up Luxemburg’s intellectual world to a new audience, grounding her ideas in the realities of an inspirational and deeply affecting biography.
Join us at Verso Books on Thursday night, November 5, to celebrate the release of Red Rosa with a special event featuring Kate Evans and New York-based artist and writer Molly Crabapple. Evans will open the event with a presentation about the process of creating this graphic novel. She will then be joined by Crabapple for a dialogue about what it means to be a political feminist graphic artist in this day and age.
Please RSVP here.
The event will be followed by a reception with drinks and light snacks.
Matthew Sontheimer will discuss his drawings: The role text and images play in his works, and his continued exploration of “conversational drawings.”
Matthew Sontheimer received a BFA from Stephen F. Austin State University, in Nacogdoches, Texas, and an MFA from Montana State University, in Bozeman, Montana. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing in The Department of Art and Art History at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. His work is represented by the Talley Dunn Gallery, in Dallas, Texas, and the Devin Borden Gallery, in Houston Texas, and can be found in the collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, in New York.
October 27, 2015 at 7pm
The 132nd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015 at 7pm atParsons The New School for Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.
60 objects of affection.
McGuire will discuss 60 of his favorite people, works of art and design, songs, films, poems, etc.
Richard McGuire is a regular contributor to The New Yorker. His work has appeared in The New York Times, McSweeney’s, Le Monde, and Libération. He has written and directed for two omnibus feature films: Loulou et Autre Loups (Loulou and Other Wolves,2003) and Peur(s) du Noir (Fear[s] of the Dark, 2007). He has also designed and manufactured his own line of toys, and he is the founder and bass player of the no-wave band Liquid Liquid. The six-page comic Here, which appeared in 1989 in Raw magazine, volume 2, number 1, was immediately recognized as a transformative work that would expand the possibilities of the comic medium. Its influence continues to be felt twenty-five years after its publication.
October 20, 2015 at 7pm
The 131st meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 at 7pm atParsons The New School for Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.