Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Comics Graduate Seminar

On Tuesday September 6th we were lucky to be part of the first ever graduate seminar sponsored by the Obermann Center. The focus of our seminar is comics. Students are reading works by each the comics creators we have invited to campus.

Comics Conference Schedule

Comics, Creativity, and Culture:
International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Wednesday, Oct 5

All Day Class Act Comics Conference for middle and high school students. (Contact the UI Museum of Art to register, 319-335-1730)
5:00-7:00 p.m. Ida Beam Lecture featuring Professor Phoebe Gloeckner, IMU Main Lounge
7:00-7:30 p.m. Reception for Phoebe Gloeckner, IMU North Room
8:00-10:00 p.m. Screening of Chico and Rita, directed by Fernando Trueba and Javier Marsical, IMU Main Lounge

Thursday, October 6

10:30 a.m. – Hands-on workshop by Phoebe Gloeckner at the Studio Arts
12:30 p.m. Building
2:30-3:30 pm “Comic/Books: A Workshop on Creative Book Design” with Craig Yoe (YOE! Books), UI Center for the Book, North Hall
4:00-5:30pm Panel Discussion – “Comics Pedagogy: Teaching the Making of Comics” featuring Jessica Abel (School of Visual Arts), John Porcellino (King-Cat Comics) and James Sturm (Center for Cartoon Studies), University Capitol Centre 2520D

Friday, October 7

9:30-11:30 a.m. Panel Discussion – “The Forms and Formats of Comics: The Comic Strip, Comic Book, and Graphic Novel” featuring Jeet Heer (Independent Scholar and Journalist, Toronto) Craig Fischer (Appalachian State University) and Charles Hatfield (California State University, Northridge), University Capitol Centre 2520D
1:30-3:00 p.m. Panel Discussion – “International Perspectives: European Comics” featuring Bart Beaty (University of Calgary) and José Alaniz (University of Washington), University Capitol Centre 2520D
3:00-3:15 p.m. Coffee and Refreshments
3:15-4:45 p.m. Panel discussion – “Preservation and Presentation: The Art and Business of Comics Publishing” featuring Peggy Burns (Drawn and Quarterly), Gary Groth (Fantagraphics Books) and Craig Yoe (YOE! Books), University Capitol Centre 2520D
5:00-7:00 p.m. First Friday event at the Englert Theatre sponsored by UIMA
7:30 p.m. Keynote Lecture and UI Lecture Committee Featured Speaker, Joe Sacco, Shambaugh Auditorium

Saturday, October 8
9:30-11:30 a.m. Panel Discussion - “International Perspectives: Asian Comics” featuring John Lent (Temple University) and Frenchy Lunning (Minneapolis College of Art and Design), University Capitol Centre 2520D
1:30-3:30 p.m. Round Table Discussion - “Editing Comics Criticism and Scholarship” featuring Gary Groth (Editor, The Comics Journal), John Lent (Editor, The International Journal of Comic Art) and Frenchy Lunning (Editor, Mechademia), University Capitol Centre 2520D
3:15-4:00 p.m. Round Table Discussion - “Writing Comics Criticism as a Fan and Scholar” featuring Bart Beaty (Conversational Euro-Comics, The Comics Reporter), Craig Fischer (The Panelists) and Charles Hatfield (The Panelists), University Capitol Centre 2520D
7:30 p.m. Keynote lecture and UI Lecture Committee Featured Speakers Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Shambaugh Auditorium
These events are sponsored by The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies Annual Humanities Symposium, an International Programs Major Projects Award, the Arts and Humanities Initiative Conference Grant (Office of the VP for Research), the Ida Beam Visiting Professorship Program, the UI Lecture Committee and the UI Museum of Art, with additional support provided by the UI Center for the Book.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Our schedule is finalized!

Dear Comics Fans!
We have great news! Our schedule is finalized. We have posted it on this following website:

We are so excite about all of the upcoming events!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Comics Workshop for k-12 teachers

On June 22, the Art Education Department, UIMA, and the Belin-Blank Center hosted an all day workshop for teachers. The workshop was led by Rachel Williams and Corey Creekmur. We looked at comics in American culture from the birth of Superman comic books to the present. Our whole group traveled to the UIMA where we were treated by Dale and Chris to a sneak peek at the new educational collection of comics. This collection features the work of Jeff Lemire, James Turm, Jessica Abel, Matt Madden, Phoebe Gloeckner, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Chip Zadrsky, and Jay Stephens. Next we traveled to the UI Main Library to work in the new TILE classroom. We did a series of writing exercises inspired by Lynda Barry, and some fun comics games. We discussed ways to analyze comics and then explored the grassroots comics method created by world comics. Finally we ended the day at Daydreams Comic Bookstore on Dubuque street. Below are some pictures of the workshop. What a great day and a talented group of educators.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Getting ready for Graphic Language

This week we finished acquiring all of the original works for the graphic language exhibition from Felix de la Concha, Ana Merino, Corey Creekmur, and Adam Mix. The pieces we were able to choose from included original works by Steve Ditko, R. Crumb, Phoebe Gloeckner, Will Eisner, and Alison Bechdel. We also have some great complete stories from E.C. comics published in their heyday of the 1950s! Our prized piece is an original Windsor McKay. We will pair these with works from the University of Iowa permanent collection including prints from Goya, Picasso, and Blake.

Here we are checking in pieces from the amazing collection of Adam Mix.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Contribution from Gary Frost

“These scrappy little books are to historians among the most interesting productions of the sixteenth-century printing press. But they were no immediately thought of as worthy of a place in a respectable collection; often we owe their survival to the interest of collectors who in their own day would have been thought of as distinctly eccentric. Now these small books are very precious, but four centuries of hard living has dispersed them throughout the thousands of libraries around the world. This fact – that much of the output of the first age of print was seen at the time as being of no consequence – has meant that it has until now been very difficult to write the whole history of the first age of print. The books we now know best are those that were collected into libraries. On the whole these were the largest, most scholarly and most valuable, the sort cherished by scholars and rich collectors, then and now. Scholars who have written of the print revolution of the sixteenth century have likewise tended to concentrate on the most eye-catching achievements of the new art: the great multilingual bibles, notable achievements of scientific publishing, milestones of scholarship, the most richly and lavishly illustrated texts.

The more mundane productions of the press inevitably attracted less attention and admiration. But such books – almanacs and calendars, prayer books and pamphlets – were the bedrock of the new industry. They also offer the most eloquent window into the thought world of the sixteenth century’s new generation of readers.

How can one access the full extent of this trade, when so many of these publications have been almost completely lost? Happily this is one respect in which the new technological revolution of the twenty-first century has come to our aid. Tracing the sole surviving copy of these little books has been an almost impossible task. Now through, the sudden proliferation of online resources, catalogues and search engines allows us to gather together a vast amount of data that will permit us to match and compare information on almost all the books known to have been published in the first age of print – wherever they may be. This book presents a first attempt to take advantage of these global searches. The results are profound. We can for the first time chart a coherent narrative of print, from the first experiments of the 1450s to the dawn of a mass information society. For all the twist and turns, reverses, disappointments and misunderstandings, it is an arresting story.”

Andrew Pettegree, Prelude, The Book in the Renaissance, 2010.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Comics, Creativity and Culture

Comics, Creativity, and Culture: Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives

October 6-8 Fall 2011
Partners: The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, International Programs at the University of Iowa, and the University of Iowa Museum of Art.


Comics, Creativity and Culture: Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives, will take place on the University of Iowa campus October 6-8, 2011. This event, which has already received generous support, seeks to explore the historical, cultural, and artistic role of comics by bringing prominent creators together in dialog with teachers and students. In addition to the planned symposium, a series of linked events will offer participants a diverse range of activities that together seek to emphasize the significance of this always popular but once critically dismissed or ignored area of international cultural production and consumption.

June 22, 2011- One day training opportunity for k-12 teachers about using comics in the classroom hosted by Belin-Blank and the UI Art Education Department

September 24-December 11, 2011
Graphic Language: Comics, Creativity and Culture an Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives
Exhibition at the IMU Black Box Theatre
Featuring the private collections of Adam Mix, Corey Creekmur, Ana Merino and Felix de la Concha

October 6-8 2011-Symposium at various locations in Iowa City and around the UI campus

October 5, 2011 Mini conference for high school and middle school students hosted by the University of Iowa Museum of Art

Who: Phoebe Glockener, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Joe Sacco, Jessica Abel, and James Sturm as well as comic scholars such as Jeet Heer and Charles Hatfield.

Contact Information:
Neda Barrett at the UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies (
Heidi Vekemans at International Programs (
Professor Corey-Creekmur
Professor Ana Merino-
Professor Rachel Wiliams-