Tag Archives: graphic novel

Chris Ware: Building Stories

Adam Baumgold Gallery and Carl Hammer Gallery (Chicago) present an exhibition of 126 drawings by Chris Ware to coincide with the release of his new book Building Stories. Over ten years in the making, several of the drawings from this series were first published in The New York Times Sunday Magazine and The New Yorker. Building Stories takes its final form as 14 discrete books and booklets collected in a printed box. The result is something utterly unique-part graphic novel, part sculpture, and part mobius strip. The show runs from September 8 – October 27, 2012.

Reception for the artist, Saturday, September 8, 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

Adam Baumgold Gallery, 60 East 66th St. NYC

Will Eisner’s New York at MoCCA

The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art – MoCCA – is proud to announce Will Eisner’s New York: From the Spirit to the Modern Graphic Novel, an exhibit showcasing work of the comics and graphic novel master that was inspired by, and which spotlighted, his hometown, the city he always held closest to his heart: New York. The exhibition will run from March 1st-June 30, 2011. It is curated by Denis Kitchen and Danny Fingeroth.

From the Golden Age of Comics through the creation of the modern graphic novel (a form he was instrumental in popularizing), you will find New York City at the heart of Will Eisner’s work. Whether thinly disguised as “Central City” in the pages of his legendary creation, The Spirit, or more directly presented in his autobiographical graphic novels, New York was portrayed by Eisner as only a native of the city could know it.

This exhibition spotlights the city as reflected in all eras of Eisner’s work. It includes Spirit artwork, art from many of his classic graphic novels, including A Contract with God and To the Heart of the Storm, and original paintings by Eisner, as well as art by significant creators who were influenced by him, including Peter Kuper, Art Spiegelman, and Harvey Kurtzman.

Historical context for the over 100 pieces in the exhibit will be provided by wall text by the curators, as well as by a continually running slide show that traces the evolution of Eisner’s work. Also on continuous view will be Jon and Andrew Cooke’s award-winning 2007 documentary, Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist.

Like the legendary metropolis itself, there are infinite perspectives from which to look at and appreciate Eisner’s work. Will Eisner’s New York: From the Spirit to the Modern Graphic Novel provides surprising insights and moving revelations about the artist, his work, and his city.

Born in 1917, Will Eisner was raised in the tenement Bronx of the Great Depression. He was a pioneer in the creation of comics of the “golden age” of the 1930s and ’40s, achieving immortality with his noir crime fighting superhero, THE SPIRIT, the first character to star in a comics insert distributed in newspapers. At one time or another, just about every comics great of his own and succeeding generations worked with and for Eisner, including JULES FEIFFER, WALLACE WOOD, JACK KIRBY, AL JAFFEE, and MIKE PLOOG. When the Spirit ceased publication in 1952, Eisner devoted himself to producing educational and instructional comics. Then, in 1978, Eisner reinvented himself—and the medium—with his graphic novel A CONTRACT WITH GOD, the first of a series of works focused, for the most part—with a compassionate yet unsentimental lens—on early 20th century Jewish life in America. Other notable graphic novels included To The Heart of the Storm, A Life Force, and The Name of the Game. At the time of his 2005 death, Eisner was working on THE PLOT, a comics-form refutation of the resurgent Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which was released posthumously.


DENIS KITCHEN: As one of the original underground cartoonists, he founded Kitchen Sink Press in 1969 and for thirty years published the work of numerous leading artists, including Will Eisner. In 1986 he founded and for eighteen years oversaw the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the non-profit dedicated to defending First Amendment rights. After the demise of Kitchen Sink in 1999, he became a partner in Kitchen & Hansen Agency, then Kitchen, Lind & Associates, each representing prominent comics creators. His Denis Kitchen Art Agency handles original art sales for clients including the Eisner estate. As a writer and comics historian he has produced numerous books, including the award-winning Art of Harvey Kurtzman and Underground Classics for Abrams/ComicArts. Coming full circle as an artist, Dark Horse recently published The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen and his Chipboard Sketchbook is just out from Boom Town.

DANNY FINGEROTH is MoCCA’s Sr. VP for Education. He was a longtime editor and writer for Marvel Comics. Fingeroth has written books about comics including Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics and the Creation of the Superhero (Continuum) and The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels (DK Publishing). For his TwoMorrows-published Write Now magazine, Fingeroth interviewed Will Eisner, in depth, in 2003. The interview has been reprinted in The Best of Write Now. Fingeroth has spoken about Eisner and his career at Columbia University and other venues. His upcoming book, The Stan Lee Universe, co-edited with Roy Thomas, will be published by TwoMorrows later in 2011. Danny’s MoCCA course,  “How to Write Comics and Graphic Novels,” starts May 2nd, and he will be teaching comics writing this June in Milan, Italy, at the MiMaster Open Workshop.

The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is located at:
594 Broadway, Suite 401 (between Houston and Prince), New York, NY 10012

The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art – MoCCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts education organization dedicated to the preservation, study and display of all forms of comic and cartoon art.  The museum promotes greater understanding and appreciation of the artistic, cultural and historical significance of comic and cartoon art through a variety of events, exhibitions, and educational programs.

For more information about MoCCA, please visit www.moccany.org

MoCCA is open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays from 12:00-5:00 pm.
Suggested donation to the museum is $5 but free for MoCCA Members as well as for children 12 and under (when accompanied by a paying adult).

Illustration Professors in Ink Plots show at SVA

Full-time faculty members Ben Katchor, Nora Krug and Lauren Redniss will be part of INK PLOTS, an exhibition curated by Marshall Arisman and Tom Woodruff, featuring original drawings, books, prints and animation by over 100 artists, showcasing the work of School of Visual Arts alumni who are pushing the boundaries of the graphic novel today. Other exhibitors include Sue Coe, Will Eisner, David Sandlin, R.O. Blechman, Gary Panter, Art Spiegelman, and many more.

Reception: Thursday, October 14 · 5:30pm – 7:00pm

Location: Visual Arts Gallery, 601 West 26 Street, 15th floor, New York, NY

From the Vault: Gareth Hinds interviewed by School Library Journal

Parsons Illustration Alum Gareth Hinds was interviewed by School Library Journal back in January.  With a final release date (October 12th!) set for his upcoming graphic novel adaptation of The Odyssey, we thought it would be great to revisit that interview.  Here’s a snippet:

Are there some stories that won’t work as graphic novels?

There are stories that don’t lend themselves quite as well to the graphic novel medium, but there are no stories that can’t be done. I’ve put off doing certain books because they were just too huge—War and Peace, for example, is not only incredibly long, it covers a very long period of time, includes a lot of characters, and would require a tremendous amount of historical research. I may adapt War and Peace someday, but not in 2010!

I’ve never hit an actual dead-end once I started working on a book, but occasionally difficult scenes can bog me down, and I have to walk away from them and work on something else for a while. For example, the very end of The Odyssey is rather abrupt in the original. I wanted to somehow slow down the last few pages and tie up some of the themes and plot threads, but I didn’t want to add any new material or change the story. That took a while to figure out.

What’s special about your version of The Odyssey?

For one thing, at 256 pages it’s a lot longer than anything else I’ve done, or most graphic novels for that matter. It has a more expansive, epic feeling than my other books, with a lot of landscape, open ocean, and crowd scenes. What I think distinguishes my books from other graphic novel adaptations is the way I approach the classics. It’s very important to me that my adaptations do justice to the originals, and to me that doesn’t just mean not changing the story too much, it also means bringing a high level of art, craft, and sophistication to the way the story is told in the new medium—like the original author did. That’s a tall order, of course. I don’t think it’s enough to give a classic story the gloss of a modern comic or dress it up with special effects. To whatever extent my adaptations succeed, it’s because I have equal dedication to the source material, the craft of telling a story in pictures, and the creation of a beautiful book.

Read the rest of this interview here.  And over on his blog, Gareth has posted tons of progress updates about The Odyssey so can follow his creative process.  Definitely check them out here.

Congrats to Gareth on his new book!

Abby Denson’s Dolltopia hits NYC!


Saturday, October 3, 2009, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m

Giant Robot is proud to celebrate the release of Dolltopia with a signing by writer and artist Abby Denson (Parsons Illustration Alum!).

A natural follow-up to Denson’s critically acclaimed, self-published, yaoi-influenced comic zine about high-school love, Tough Love (which became a Lulu Award-winning anthology in 2007), Dolltopia is a highly stylized depiction of dolls trying to bust out of the stereotypical boxes that they are packaged in. Will the protagonists, who resemble Barbie and G.I. Joe, liberate themselves from their suburban and he-man trappings? The art is disarmingly simple and the raw storytelling has the rare quality of being able to tap into a reader’s recollections of youthful confusion and feel genuine to young people themselves.

In addition to Denson signing copies of her work, there will be cupcakes and a doll makeover contest. Whoever brings the best made-over doll will receive a signed copy of Dolltopia!

Denson will be signing the long-awaited graphic novel from 6:00 to 8:00 on Saturday, October 3.

Giant Robot Gallery
437 East 9th Street
Between 1st Ave.& Ave. A, in the East Village
New York, New York 10009
(212) 674-GRNY(4769) | grny.net

Quick Hit: Cartooning and Comics for the Kids

adventures cover

James Sturm and two of his former students, Alexis Frederick-Frost and Andrew Arnold, have created Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles Into Comics.  Here’s the official description:

In this action-packed cartooning adventure, kids will have as much fun making comics as reading them!

Once upon a time . . . a princess tried to make a comic.  And with the help of a magical cartooning elf, she learned how – well enough to draw her way out of an encounter with a dangerous dragon, near-death by drowning, and into her very own adventure!  Like the princess, young readers will discover that they already have the drawing and writing skills it takes to make a comic – they just need a little know-how.  And Adventures in Cartooning supplies just that.


Here’s what Booklist has to say about it:

Not quite a how-to book, as the cover might suggest, this is rather a stupendous new high for children’s graphic novels, spearheaded by comics maestro Sturm (Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, 2007). Ostensibly, this is the adventure of an eager knight, a sweet-toothed horse, and a magic elf hunting down a gum-chewing dragon, and those reading for the adventure itself will not be disappointed, filled as it is with humor, action, and a great girl-empowering twist. But along the way, lessons in the language of sequential art are woven seamlessly into the narrative, explaining the basics of how elements such as panels and word balloons work, while concluding bonus features offer specifics on terminology (like gutters and stems) and common symbols (like speed lines). Newcomers Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost, using varying page compositions to keep the sizable volume visually captivating, have constructed a tale that works just as well as a read-aloud for the very young as it does a lesson for everyone from fans of the form to the wholly uninitiated. As an examination of the medium, it’s a supremely worthy spiritual legacy to Scott McCloud’s seminal Understanding Comics (1993). As a straight-up graphic adventure, it may be the best of the year.

Grab a copy for your little one (or yourself) here.

Howard Zinn’s illustrated “A People’s History of the American Empire”

Historian and activist Howard Zinn, working with comic artist Mike Konopacki, has produced an illustrated book called A People’s History of the American Empire. Here’s an excerpt from the publisher’s write-up:

Adapted from the bestselling grassroots history of the United States, the story of America in the world, told in comics form.

Since its landmark publication in 1980, A People’s History of the United States has had six new editions, sold more than 1.7 million copies, become required classroom reading throughout the country, and been turned into an acclaimed play. More than a successful book, A People’s History triggered a revolution in the way history is told, displacing the official versions with their emphasis on great men in high places to chronicle events as they were lived, from the bottom up.

Now Howard Zinn, historian Paul Buhle, and cartoonist Mike Konopacki have collaborated to retell, in vibrant comics form, a most immediate and relevant chapter of A People’s History: the centuries-long story of America’s actions in the world. Narrated by Zinn, this version opens with the events of 9/11 and then jumps back to explore the cycles of U.S. expansionism from Wounded Knee to Iraq, stopping along the way at World War I, Central America, Vietnam, and the Iranian revolution. The book also follows the story of Zinn, the son of poor Jewish immigrants, from his childhood in the Brooklyn slums to his role as one of America’s leading historians.

Shifting from world-shattering events to one family’s small revolutions, A People’s History of American Empire presents the classic ground-level history of America in a new form.

Grab your copy here!

Bonus: Here’s a short film called “Empire or Humanity?: What the Classroom Didn’t Teach Me about the American Empire” by Howard Zinn and narrated by Viggo Mortensen.


Extra Special Bonus: This weekend, Howard Zinn and Mike Konopacki will be appearing at Cooper Union to talk about the book.

Jillian Tamaki releases new book!


Jillian Tamaki (Illustration Adjunct Faculty) has illustrated a new book called, Skim. Here’s the official synopsis:

Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls’ school. When her classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself because he was (maybe) gay, the entire school goes into mourning overdrive. It’s a weird time to fall in love, but that’s what happens to Skim when she starts meeting secretly with her neo-hippie English teacher, Ms. Archer. When Ms. Archer abruptly leaves the school, Skim has to cope with her confusion and isolation. Her best friend, Lisa, tries to pull her into “real” life by setting up a hilarious double-date for the school’s semi formal, and Skim finds an unexpected ally in Katie.

Skim, which was a collaboration between Jillian her cousin Mariko Tamaki, was written up in Publisher’s Weekly earlier this month. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The Tamakis, although cousins, did not know each other well before beginning the project. However, the collaboration process proved to be remarkably smooth, especially considering neither had worked on a comic before. Jillian noted, “It was a cocreation, in the purest sense of the world.” Mariko, who is a performer as well as an essayist and novelist living in Toronto, sent to Jillian, in Brooklyn, scripts consisting of narration and dialogue, but little direction as to what should happen on the page. Jillian had a free hand to illustrate the story as she saw fit. “My job was to make this a visually beautiful object,” she said.

Both author and artist strove to create a high school story that moved beyond the stereotypes and melodrama that typically make up the genre. Mariko explained, “I tried to get the dialogue as close to what I remember teenagers sounding like,” adding that she trusted Jillian to create “teenage bodies that looked like teenage bodies.” The two have tried to create a work of literary depth that also offers hints about even minor characters’ lives beyond the central story line of Skim. Mariko stresses that ultimately the book is about “the instability of relationships in high school—the slow complicated way friendships break up and change.”

Read the rest of the article here, and learn more about Skim at Jillian’s website (click on “Books”).

Congratulations, Jillian!

James Sturm gives a preview of Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow

sturm’s paige sample

James Sturm, illustrator and head of The Center for Cartoon Studies, is offering a fantastic preview of his upcoming work Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow. You can look at illustration drafts, see sample pages from the finished work, and read an interview with Sturm. Here’s an excerpt:

How did you settle on Satchel Paige as a subject?

Satchel Paige was the suggestion of Brenda Bowen who was the instigator of this series of books. I love American history and Paige’s life certainly highlights several compelling and tragic aspects of the American experience. I’ve always been fascinated by the Negro Leagues and the obstacles that those players faced on and off the ball field.

Rather than present a straightforward biography of Satchel Paige, the book creates a story about Emmet Wilson, a Black Alabama sharecropper of the 1930s, for whom Satchel Paige becomes a major touchstone. What made you decide to take this approach?

Paige did a great job of mythologizing himself and it was hard to separate the facts of his life from the fiction. And in the end, I didn’t want to. What was important to me, and what I decided I wanted the book to be about, was the impact he had on society and those that followed his career.

Read the complete interview here and also stop by Drawn!, who gave us the heads up about this exciting resource.

(Image by James Sturm)

Upcoming show at Giant Robot: Adrian Tomine

tomine at giant robot

Illustrations and art by Adrian Tomine will be shown in a new show at Giant Robot, which opens on December 8th with a book signing. Adrian’s most recent work, Shortcomings, has garnered critical praise from all over. Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times book review:

Tomine has always been attracted to love gone wrong among the hesitant young men and women of the bourgeois-bohemian set, but he gets his subject across in the unsentimental style of an anthropologist’s report. Unlike the more playful graphic novelists who influenced him, Daniel Clowes (“Ghost World,” “David Boring”) and the Hernandez brothers (“Love and Rockets”), Tomine isn’t given to flights of surrealism, rude jests or grotesque images. He is a mild observer, an invisible reporter, a scientist of the heart. His drawing style is plain and exact. The dialogue appearing inside his cartoon balloons is pitch-perfect and succinct. He’s daring in his restraint.


Read the full text of the review here, head over to Giant Robot website to see a little sneak peek of the art that Adrian will be showing, and if you can’t make it to the show, pick up your own copy of Shortcomings through Drawn & Quarterly.

Adrian Tomine
Shortcomings and Goings
Opening: Saturday, December 8th @ 6:30 p.m.
Giant Robot
437 East 9th Street