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.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Swann Foundation accepting fellowship applications

The Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, administered by the Library of Congress is accepting applications for its graduate fellowship, one of the few in the field, for the 2014-2015 academic year. Deadline for receipt of applications is February 14, 2014. Please email or call (202) 707-9115 if you have questions. For criteria, guidelines, and application forms, please see:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

MSU Libraries reprint classic comic Tim Tyler's Luck

I'm a big fan of MSU's Comic Art Collection.

MSU Libraries' Comic Art Preservation Project releases first volume

The Michigan State University Libraries, home to one of the world's largest collections of comic art, have established the Comic Art Preservation Project (CAPP), with the goal of making classic comics more widely available to libraries, collectors, and fans.

The first CAPP volume reprints two and a half years of Tim Tyler's Luck, a Golden Age adventure strip created by Lyman Young and distributed by King Features Syndicate from 1928 to 1996. The reprint is authorized by King Features.

The reprint volume contains daily strips from July 1, 1937 to December 30, 1939, and follows young Tim as he faces wild animals, dangerous criminals, and constant excitement as a member of the "Ivory Patrol," a fictitious law enforcement organization in Africa.

The strips were scanned from original proof sheets in the collections of the Michigan State University Libraries, resulting in a clear, crisp reproduction. The MSU Libraries have more than one million proof sheets from King Features Syndicate, along with more than 200,000 comic books and an extensive collection of books and journals about comic art.

The volume also features an introduction by Reade W. Dornan, a recently retired faculty member from MSU's Department of English. In her lively essay, Dornan examines the pop culture influences of the time – including Westerns, the Rough Riders, and boys' adventure books – and compares the adventure hero Tim exemplified to the superheroes created a decade later.

"The years of Tim Tyler's Luck reissued in these volumes showcase Young's career at the top of his game," says Dornan in the introduction. "By 1937, nine years after the strip started, Young has figured out how to tell a whopping good story."

"Newspaper comic strips like Tim Tyler were – and are – read daily by millions of people, but they're virtually lost to historians if not collected into volumes like this," explains Clifford H. Haka, director of the MSU Libraries. "We're extremely happy to help preserve this wonderful piece of American popular culture."

Tim Tyler's Luck is printed on the MSU Libraries' Espresso Book Machine, and available through for $18 plus shipping:

For more information, contact  Ruth Ann Jones, Michigan State University Libraries, 517-884-0910,

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

IJoCA vol. 1 # 1 reprint available now

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu. You can now buy a reprint of the sold-out Spring 1999 first issue of IJoCA at Lulu will print and ship the issue to you directly. The cost is $15 plus shipping. Table of contents: 1. Editor's Note: Finally, an International Journal for Comic Art 2. Comics Criticism in the United States; A Brief Historical Survey 3. A Framework for Studying Comic Art 4. Comic Art in Scholarly Writing: A Citation Guide 5. The Marumaru Chinbun and the Origins of the Japanese Political Cartoon 6. Proving "Silas" an Artist: Winsor McCay's Formal Experiments in Comics and Animation 7. William Hogarth: Printing Techniques and Comics 8. Breaking Taboos: Sexuality in the Work of Will Eisner and the Early Wordless Novels 9. Comics in the Development of Africa 10. Featuring Stories by the World's Greatest Authors: Classics Illustrated and the "Middlebrow Problem" in the Postwar Era 11. Recovering Sensuality in Comic Theory 12. The Horrors of Cartooning in Slim's Algeria 13. Mr. Punch, Dangerous Savior Children's Comics in Brazil: From Chiquinho to Monica, A Difficult Journey 14. Brazilian Adult Comics: The Age of Market Postmodern Spatiality and the Narrative Structure of Comics

Friday, May 10, 2013

New IJOCA issue is out

The new, paper-only issue of the International Journal of Comic Art (15:1) is out although the website hasn't been updated with the table of contents yet.

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