News about the premier academic journal devoted to all aspects of cartooning and comics -- the International Journal of Comic Art (ISSN 1531-6793) published and edited by John Lent.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Art of Atila Ozer museum exhibit opening in Pittsburgh

The ToonSeum
945 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

The Art of Atila Ozer will open February 11th with a reception featuring Deniz Cil on the 16th at 7pm. Cil is managing editor of the Journal of Conflict Resolution and the niece of Atila Ozer and will speak on behalf of the late Atila Ozer.

Ozer was a top international cartoonist who spent his life creating intriguing, meaningful cartoon art, while also educating others on the craft. Ozer's illustrations commented on world peace through the symbolic iconography of cartoons and depicted the medium's powerful language. His research, presentations, and articles emphasized cartoon art's place in international culture as a means of communication. As a member of the Turkish Cartoonists Association (FECO) since 1975, Ozer certainly helped put Turkey on the map as a force in the cartoon art community.
The exhibition which runs through April, is supported in part by The American Middle East Institute in collaboration with the Toonseum and Atila Ozer Cartoon House.

 The American Middle East Institute is an independent, non-profit organization headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that is focused on building business, educational and cultural ties between the United States and the countries of the Middle East. We believe these kinds of connections represent a powerful form of diplomacy and bridge-building. 

The American Middle East Institute:

The Atila Ozer Cartoon House 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Superheroes: Good and Evil in American Comics (2007) exhibit review

"ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950," the exhibit curated by the late Jerry Robinson has arrived at the Jewish Museum of Maryland in downtown Baltimore. I reviewed an earlier, smaller version of the show for IJOCA in 2007 (issue 9:1) which is reprinted below. The current exhibit includes some different pieces and some art mentioned here, such as Hasen's Dondi page aren't in the 2013 version, although a superhero page by Hasen is. - Mike Rhode

Superheroes: Good and Evil in American Comics. Jerry Robinson with Ali Gass. New York, NY: Jewish Museum, September 15, 2006-January 28, 2007.

    As Art Spiegelman pointed out when withdrawing from Masters of American Comics, this exhibit was a smaller version of Robinson’s 2005 "ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950." What Spiegelman neglected to mention is that Robinson most likely was asked to step in and provide his exhibit to literally fill the space left by Spiegelman’s withdrawal. The curators attempted to recast it to better fit the venue of the Jewish Museum by noting the legacy of Jewish creators in superhero comic books. Quoting from the press release, “with these fictional heroes, comic book creators often reflected their own lives as immigrants– frequently Jewish immigrants from European countries. Keenly aware of their own sense of cultural marginalization, these artists struggled to define themselves in terms of mainstream American culture. By extension, they created characters whose identities largely reflected this aspect of the immigrant experience.” These argument is an old one – Jules Feiffer made it around forty years ago – but the exhibit struggled to make the point, although the text by Robinson and Gass was well done.

    However, Superheroes was an enjoyable look at comic book art, and if taken on those terms, worked just fine. The original art by Fred Ray for the iconic Superman #14 cover showing Superman in front of an American shield as an eagle lands on his forearm remains stirring, although perhaps not as much so as it did in the first days of World War II. Many of Jerry Robinson’s golden age collaborators and friends at DC Comics (National Periodical Publications at the time) were represented including Mort Meskin, Joe Shuster, Simon & Kirby, Joe Kubert, as well as those who worked primarily for other companies like Mac Raboy, Alex Schomburg, and Lou Fine.  Mort Meskin’s “Bombshell”, a hand-colored splash page from Boy Comics was especially fine and drew attention to the fact that more widespread notice should be taken of Golden Age artists. Other pieces of note were a model sheet for Captain America from 1941, probably by Joe Simon, Charles Biro’s cover of Daredevil Comics #6, an early Dondi page by Irwin Hasen – oddly out of place in a superheroes show, Alex Schomburg’s cover to Human Torch #16, and Mort Meskin’s concept page for the Vigilante. Of special historic interest were Bill Finger’s script from Batman #31, Robinson’s original Joker sketch, and a Siegel & Shuster profile of Superman inscribed to Robinson. Joe Siegel’s typewriter occupied some weird iconic space as it should; it was just a typewriter, but... In some ways, this exhibit seemed to be a selection of Jerry Robinson’s Collection’s Greatest Hits, and that was just fine -- educational and a lot of fun.

The Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom 13th International Editorial Cartoon Competition

The Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom 13th International Editorial Cartoon Competition

1.The theme for the 13th International Editorial Cartoon Competition is:

Hard times and free speech

When journalists and cartoonist face economic uncertainty or threats to their employment, there is great pressure to give up on tackling tough stories, give in to self-censorship or give attention to sensationalist journalism in the service of commercial sustainability. But can free speech survive hard times?

2. Prizes: three prizes will be given: a first prize of $1500 plus a certificate from the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, a second prize of $750 plus a certificate, and a third of $500 and certificate. All sums are in Canadian dollars. Ten additional cartoons will receive an 'Award of Excellence.' Regrettably no financial remuneration accompanies the Awards of Excellence.

3. Only one cartoon will be accepted from each cartoonist. It may be either in color or black and white and must not have won an award.

4. The size of the cartoon should not exceed A4; 21 by 29.2 cm; or 8.50 by 11 inches.

5. The name, address, telephone number and a short biography of the cartoonist must be included in the submission.

6. The Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom shall have the rights to use any of the cartoons entered in the Competition for promotion of our Editorial Cartoon Competition and World Press Freedom Day. Entrance by the cartoonist is deemed acceptance of this condition.

7. The winners of the Cartoon Competition will be announced at the World Press Freedom Day Luncheon held at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada on May 3, 2013 as well as being advised by e-mail. The winner's names and their cartoons will be posted on the CCWFP web site:

8. The winning cartoons will be exhibited at the luncheon.

The deadline for receipt of cartoons is 5 p.m. GMT, Friday, March 29, 2013.
Send submissions by e-mail to :
Cartoons should be in jpeg format at 300 dpi

Thursday, January 17, 2013

ICAF Lent Scholarship Deadline - Feb. 1


ICAF John A. Lent Scholarship in Comics Studies - Applications due February 1, 2013

The International Comic Arts Forum is proud to hold each year the John A. Lent Scholarship in Comics Studies competition. The Lent Scholarship, named for pioneering teacher and researcher Dr. John Lent, is offered to encourage student research into comic art. ICAF awards the Lent Scholarship to a current student who has authored, or is in the process of authoring, a substantial research-based writing project about comics. (Preference is given to master's theses and doctoral dissertations, but all students of comics are encouraged to apply.)

The Scholarship is subject to the condition that the recipient present a half-hour talk, based on her or his research, during ICAF. The award consists of up to US $500 in kind to offset the cost of travel to and/or accommodations at the conference. A commemorative letter and plaque are also awarded. No cash is awarded.

Applicants must be students (or have been students since the last ICAF was held), or show acceptance into an academic program at the time of submission.  For example, applicants for ICAF 2013 would have to prove their student status in calendar years 2012 or 2013, or provide evidence that they have been accepted into an academic program beginning in academic year 2013-2014.

The Scholarship competition is adjudicated by a three-person committee chosen from among the members of ICAF's Executive Committee. Applications should consist of the following written materials, sent electronically in PDF form:

  • A self-contained excerpt from the project in question, not to exceed twenty (20) double-spaced pages of typescript.
  • A brief cover letter, introducing the applicant and explaining the nature of the project.
  • The applicant's professional resume.

A brief letter of reference, on school letterhead, from a teacher or academic advisor (preferably thesis director), establishing the applicant's student status and speaking to her/his qualifications as a researcher and presenter.

PLEASE NOTE that applications for the Lent Scholarship are handled entirely separately from ICAF's general Call for Proposals. Students who may have submitted abstracts to the general CFP are welcome to apply separately for the Lent Award. 

The deadline for the next Lent Scholarship is February 1, 2013. Please send application materials via email to José Alaniz ( of the ICAF Executive Committee. The next ICAF conference, run with our host institution the University of Oregon, is taking place at the White Stag Building in Portland, OR, May 23-25, 2013.  

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- posted by Qiana Whitted, ICAF Exec. Cmte