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, July 30, 2014

PSA: Help support Asian comics at Michigan State University's Comic Art Collection

Asian Comics Cataloging at Michigan State University

"I always recommend the MSU Comic Art Collection to fellow comic researchers since it is the world's most comprehensive and internationally oriented collection in the field." Matthias Harbeck, doctoral candidate, Carl von Ossietzky Universität, Oldenburg, Germany

Help make our Asian comics accessible!

Comics are truly a global phenomenon, and an important goal of our Comic Art Collection is to document how cultures around the world have adopted and transformed the medium.

That's why our collection ranges from Golden Age adventure strips to South American fotonovelas, and from Japanese manga to a nearly complete run of THE 99 – the world's first comic series with Muslim superheroes.

However, it's not enough to acquire these diverse materials. It's essential to catalog them as well, so users near and far can determine what we have available.

Thanks to recent gifts, we have far more Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese comics waiting to be cataloged than we can handle – even with the broad range of language skills among the cataloging team!

Fortunately, help is available. We can send the work to an outside contractor, Backstage, which performs research-level cataloging in some 70 different languages. Backstage can complete about 150 of the most needed items for $5000 – and we have already have a generous gift of $1000 to start us off.

The Comic Art Collection is heavily used by MSU students and faculty working in the fields of history, literature, and cultural studies. Help us support their research by putting more Asian comics on the shelf!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

International Journal of Comic Art Spring 2014 issue out now

International Journal of Comic Art Vol. 16, No. 1, Spring 2014

Guest Editorial
The Books Are Selling Just Fine, Thank You, or Scholarship and the Permissions Problem
Joseph Thomas
Comics Scholarship: Its Delayed Birth, Stunted Growth, and  Drive to Maturity
John A. Lent
Towards a Global History of the Political Cartoon: Challenges and Opportunities
Richard Scully
Chica moderna o mujer tradiconal? Intersections of Modernity and Tradition in Gabriel Vargas' La Familia Burron
Brittany Tullis
Comics Don't Need to Be Literature with a Capital L: An Interview with Leah Moore and John Reppion
Jeffery Klaehn
Atomic Horror: Entertaining Comics and "One World or None"
Eric A. Holmes
The Misshitsu Trial: Thinking Obscenity with Japanese Comics
Patrick W. Galbraith
Representation through Anti-Representation: Showing the Unspeakable in Stassen's Déogratias
Anna Howell
"You Can't Deny the Uncomfortable Truths": Carol Tyler and Her Frank Autobiographical Comics
John A. Lent
Semiotics of Filipino Komiks-to-Film Adaptation: Decoding Lapu-Lapu (1954)
Joyce L. Arriola
The Emergence of Black Cartoon Animators in South Africa: A Spotlight on the Work of Mdu Ntuli
Pfunzo Sidogi
Voices from the Margins:
The Place of Wilderness in Watchmen
Aaron A. Cloyd
Doomed Hybrids: Three Cases of Fatal Mixing 
in the War Comics of Tezuka Osamu
Ben Whaley
Allied, Japanese, and Chinese Propaganda: Cartoon Leaflets During World War II
John A. Lent
Women Cartoonists and Illustrators  Draw Covers for American Magazines: Case Studies from The Library of Congress's Prints & Photographs Division
Martha H. Kennedy
The Art of Splicing: Autofiction in Words and Images
Maaheen Ahmed
R for Reason Gone Rampant? The Intricate Interplay between Madness and Rationality in the Graphic Novel V for Vendetta
Marco R. S. Post
Writing History, Day by Day, From My Point of View: The Philosophy of Sudanese Cartoonist Khalid Albaih
Mark Anderson
Classical Categories, Prototypes,  and the Graphic Novel
Achim Hescher
"Let's part before we become mushy": Femininity and Female Antagonists in Will Eisner's "The Spirit"
David Hayes
I Voted Only for the Head Too: Visual Satire and Democratic Governance in Africa
Jimoh, Ganiyu Akinloye
Text and Images: Varying Sizes of Word Balloons in Comics
Gary Dufner and Joo Kim
From Boom to Bubble and Bust: Comical Economics in Aleix Saló's Troika Trilogy
Ryan Prout
Comics for the Blind and for the Seeing
Jakob F. Dittmar
Kampong (Village) Boy Lat and Icons of Malaysian Nationhood
Nasya Bahfen, Zainurul Rahman, and Juliette Peers
The Next Generation of Comics Scholarship 
Sandman and Greek Mythology  in The Song of Orpheus
Daniela Marino
Japanese Honorifics Including Openings, Closings, and Terms of Address in a Japanese Animation Film: Using Authentic Texts in Second Language Teaching and Learning
Cherie Hess
"Topolino canta Napoli" : Mickey Mouse as Testimonial of Piedigrotta Festival
Armando Rotondi
Personal Remembrances
John A. Lent and Xu Ying 
Bi Keguan in My Eyes
Wang Dejuan
Translated by Xu Ying
The Printed Word
John A. Lent
Book Reviews
Exhibition and Media Reviews
Edited by Michael Rhode
The Clever Cartoons of Ross Thomson

Sunday, May 4, 2014

IJOCA nominated for an Eisner award

The International Journal of Comic Art has been nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award in the Best Scholarly / Academic Work category. We are appreciative of the honor.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New book: Southeast Asian Cartoon Art ed by John Lent

Southeast Asian Cartoon Art
History, Trends and Problems

Edited by John A. Lent

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-7557-5
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-1446-5
52 photos, notes, bibliography, index
256 pp. softcover (6 x 9) 2014

Price: $40.00

About the Book
This is the first overview of cartoon art in this important cultural nexus of Asia. The eight essays provide historical and contemporary examinations of cartoons and comics in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and sociocultural and political analyses of cartooning in Singapore, Myanmar, and Malaysia. The collection benefits from hundreds of interviews with Southeast Asia's major cartoonists, conducted by the four contributors, as well as textual analyses of specific cartoons, on-the-spot observations, and close scrutiny of historical documents.

All genres of printed cartoon art are studied, including political and humor cartoons, newspaper comic strips, comic books, and humor and cartoon periodicals. Topics of discussion and comparison with cartoon art of other parts of the globe include national identity, the transnational public sphere, globalization, alternative media forms, freedom of expression, consumerism, and corporatism. Southeast Asian cartoon art has a number of features unique to the region, such as having as pioneering cartoonists three countries' founding fathers, comics that gave their name to a national trait, some of the earliest graphic novels worldwide, and a king who hired a cartoonist to illustrate his books.

About the Author
John A. Lent was a professor for 51 years in universities in the United States, the Philippines, Malaysia, Canada, and China. He founded and has edited or presided over a number of periodicals and organizations. He lives in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

      John A. Lent 1
Part I: Historical and
Contemporary Overviews
1. Cartooning in Indonesia: An Overview: John A. Lent 6
2. Philippine Komiks: 1928 to the Present: John A. Lent 39
3. The Uphill Climb to Reach a Plateau: Historical Analysis of the Development of Thai Cartooning: Warat Karuchit 75
4. The Swerving Status of Cambodian Comic Art: John A. Lent 105
5. Cartooning in Vietnam: A Brief Overview: John A. Lent 122
Part II: ­Socio-Cultural and Political Issues
6. Chinese Cartoonists in Singapore: Chauvinism, Confrontation and Compromise (1950-1980): Lim Cheng Tju 142
7. Political Cartoons and Burma's Transnational Public Sphere: Lisa Brooten 178
8. Cartoonist Lat and Malaysian National Identity: An Appreciation: Muliyadi Mahamood 205
About the Contributors 215
Works Cited 217
Index 231

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Timothy Perper, 74, Writer/Researcher obituary

Timothy Perper, 74, Writer/Researcher

Timothy Perper, 74, writer and independent researcher on courtship as
well as advocate for Japanese manga and anime, died of cardiac arrest
on Tuesday, January 21st, at his Bella Vista home.

As a biology professor at Rutgers New Brunswick in the 1970s, Perper
became fascinated by how couples first meet and then decide whether or
not they are attracted to each other. He obtained a grant from the
Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation to study conversations and pick-ups
in singles bars. His book, Sex Signals: The Biology of Love (1985),
was described in the New York Times as "lively and provocative" and by
CHOICE magazine as "highly readable and well-researched." He
identified a body language sequence typical of courtship:
approach-talk-turn-touch-synchronization. This research attracted the
attention of the media, and he was interviewed by Dr. Ruth Westheimer,
Regis Philbin, and the Playboy Channel, among others. "We human
beings," Perper wrote in Forum magazine in 1987 "do not fall in love
by telepathy: we have to move into proximity with each other." Yet, as
he told L.A. Life in 1995, "it is behavior, vivacity that attracts
people, not looks, beauty, not elegance of dress."

Later, upon learning that Japanese manga comics depict courtship and
sexuality differently than did most American comics at the time,
Perper began to study and write about manga and anime in Mangatopia
(2011), Graphic Novels Beyond the Basics (2009), and in essays and
reviews online and in journals and anthologies. "Anime and manga
represent living evidence of what nonwestern, erotophilic, and
female-positive sexuality can look like," he wrote in the newsletter
Contemporary Sexuality (2005). "Manga and anime provide ways to
connect with young people and initiate conversations about sexuality."
He served as book review editor for The Journal of Sex Research, The
Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, and Mechademia: An Annual Forum
for Anime, Manga, and the Fan Arts.

Perper also wrote quirky fiction, some published in Analog and in
Oziana, the literary annual of the International Wizard of Oz Club. He
delighted in creating cunning, oddball comebacks to spam emails and
devising humorous wordplay. In recent years, his special love was
creating the adventure/comedy webcomic The Adventures of Princess
Adele of Utopia ( in collaboration with Martha
Cornog, his wife of nearly 30 years, and artist Jamar Nicholas. He
enjoyed visiting South Street-area bars, where he was sometimes known
as "Uncle Tim" and "Dr. Pepper."

Even while at Rutgers, Perper treated his students to unusual
experiences. "He told me about his 'cockroach lecture' to dramatize
evolution,' said his wife. "He would start by drawing a long parade of
roaches across the blackboard, and then erase many of them--those were
the ones that died young, before they could reproduce. Only the ones
that lived long enough to mate could pass along their genes. And they
sure did--roaches are extremely hardy insects and go back to over 100
million years ago."

Growing up in Greenwich Village, Perper obtained his undergraduate
degree in biology and genetics from CCNY (1961) and a doctorate from
CUNY (1969). He worked briefly in the pharmaceutical industry
(1969-1972) before joining the faculty at Rutgers (1972-1979). Upon
obtaining the Guggenheim grant (1980), he turned to independent
research and worked from home with his wife, a librarian and writer
and sometimes his collaborator. He never tired of watching people
flirt in singles bars. "If the magic is less mysterious than we
thought," he told Forum magazine in 1987 when describing his findings,
"it is no less entrancing."

He is survived by his wife and a nephew, photographer Robert Daniel
Ullmann, who together with Perper's friends and drinking companions
will hold a memorial gathering to honor him on March 14th, 5:00 p.m.,
at the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. Contributions in his
memory may be made to the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia
( and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

Written by / Family contact:
Martha Cornog (wife),

Friday, January 31, 2014

Sara Duke's biographical sketches of cartoonists book available now (updated)

Biographical Sketches of Cartoonists & Illustrators in the Swann Collection of the Library of Congress

Paperback, 340 Pages 
Price: $17.00
Ships in 3-5 business days
Inside this book are short biographical sketches about the many artists represented in the Library of Congress' Swann Collection compiled by Erwin Swann (1906-1973). In the early 1960s, Swann, a New York advertising executive started collecting original cartoon drawings of artistic and humorous interest. Included in the collection are political prints and drawings, satires, caricatures, cartoon strips and panels, and periodical illustrations by more than 500 artists, most of whom are American. The 2,085 items range from 1780-1977, with the bulk falling between 1890-1970. The Collection includes 1,922 drawings, 124 prints, 14 paintings, 13 animation cels, 9 collages, 1 album, 1 photographic print, and 1 scrapbook.