Talking ‘Bout

Today, Rob Clough's High-Low column returns in an installment about Stanford University's Graphic Novel Project. An excerpt:

The noticeable rise of comics as a viable field of instruction at art schools, as well as the rise of comics-only art schools, has been well-documented over the past decade. What has been less discussed is the pedagogy of comics at traditional four-year colleges, though there have been a few schools here and there who have made the study and/or creation of comics a priority. Ohio State's Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum has made the school a center of comics research. The University of Florida has held symposiums about comics for some time now. Duke's extensive collection is notable for its focus on zines and the small press as well as mainstream comics. The University of Cincinnati has Carol Tyler on their faculty in the fine arts department. However, I've yet to see any school with such a particular and exhaustive focus as Stanford, with its Graphic Novel Project.


—Department of Interviews with Guys Named Matt. Editor & Publisher talks to Life in Hell creator Matt Groening, The Beat talks to Boy's Club creator Matt Furie.

—Department of Manga-related Interviews. Anime News Network interviews both the man behind Pluto and Monster, Naoki Urasawa, and hentai pioneer (he's often called the creator of tentacle porn) Toshio Maeda.

—Department of Comics Academic Interviews. Comics Grid talks to former Comics Journal columnist Bart Beaty on the release of his new, much-anticipated book, Comics vs. Art. I haven't read it yet, but anticipate that this book is going to spark a fair amount of debate during the rest of 2012.

—Department of Your Regular Check-in with Alison Bechdel. The Burlington Free Press has you covered this time around. It's a good one, though.

—Department of Sorta Comics-Related. Frederik Pohl remembers his longtime friend Harry Harrison, and his own role in convincing Harrison to leave his art career behind for prose.

—Department of Barely Comics-Related At All. Am I the only one who didn't know that Whit Stillman started out as an agent for cartoonists? And why does that blow my mind so much? It seems exactly the kind of job one of his characters might have.

6 Responses to Talking ‘Bout

  1. Jeet Heer says:

    There’s a discussion of Carl Barks work in one of Stillman’s movies, The Last Days of Disco, I think.

  2. Robert Boyd says:

    When that came out, my co-workers and I repeated quoted to each other a Chloe Sevigny line which went something like, “Scrooge McDuck is sooo sexy”. Of course, we substituted any number of nerdy, un-sexy things for “Scrooge McDuck”.

  3. Kim Thompson says:

    Beautiful women knowledgeably discussing or mentioning comics has a certain fetishistic allure to fanboys, from which I do not exempt myself. I was listening to a DVD commentary track on a Danish movie by Iben Hjejle, one of my top favorite actresses (the girlfriend in HIGH FIDELITY), and when she referred offhandedly to a character with severely slicked-down curly hair as sporting a “Gladstone Gander haircut” it gave me a little thrill. Then a little later on she referred to the Beagle Boys, and my day was complete.

    It’s also a reminder of how EVERYONE in Scandinavia is a Carl Barks fan.

  4. Tim Hodler says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot that scene.

  5. R. Maheras says:

    And a Don Rosa fan!

    Don was telling me at the Comic-Con this year that for one of his convention signings a while back in, I think, Norway, they built a beautiful recreation of Scrooge’s “Money Bin” inside a corner of the convention center — complete with a cartoon-style breech in a side wall with Beagle Boys footprints leading out. From the photos Rosa showed me, it looked to be about 20’x20’x15′ in size, and was a pretty amazing prop for a book signing!

  6. Knut Robert Knutsen says:

    I don’t remember that at any of his convention appearances in Norway, it might be in Sweden, Denmark or Germany. Or I just didn’t catch that display that year.

    I do remember that at one of the Norwegian conventions he was at when he was still active, the signing line went almost the full length of the top floor of the concert hall it was held in, down the stairs and out the front door. They cut it off by sticking a poster on the back of the guy last in line and it still took 3 hours to finish.

    He signs constantly from the convention opens until it closes, breaking only for interviews and panel appearances. He’s so huge over here that after they published the Complete Carl Barks Library (in Norwegian) in , they started doing the hardcover Don Rosa Library. Oversize editions.

    All of Don Rosa’s work has been printed in 1) The weekly comic, several times 2) 10 Hardcovers in the Disney Hall of Fame Series and 3) now 9 (I think) oversize volumes in the Don Rosa Library series.

    His Pertwillaby Papers have also been reprinted once in Norway (although in English) and is now being offered in a new edition.

    He’s pretty big in Europe and always gives a nice interview, and is the most pleasant convention guest I’ve ever seen (apart from Sergio Aragones), shame about his eye problems.

    A rough estimate would be that if a convention has 3000 guests on a weekend when Rosa is in attendance, 1000 of them are there mainly to see him.

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