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.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

International Journal of Comic Art 19-1 Table of Contents

International Journal of Comic Art
Vol. 19, No. 1 Spring/Summer 2017

Freedom To Cartoon: An Endangered Concept
A Symposium
Edited by John A. Lent
Global Infringements on the "Right to Cartoon": A Research Guide
John A. Lent
From Socialism to Dictatorship: Editorial Ideologies in Chilean Science Fiction and Adventure Comics
Camila Gutierrez Fuentes
La Figura del Presidente Salvador Allende.Caricatura Politica e Imagenes Fatldicas
Jorge Montealegre I.
Control over Comic Books in Spain during the Franco Dictatorship (1939-1975)
Ignacio Fernandez Sarasola
Early Censorship of Comics in Brazil and Spain and Their Use as an Educational Resource as an Escape
Cristiana de Almeida Fernandes, Vera Lucia dos Santos Nojima, Ana Cristina dos Santos Malfacini, and Maria da Conceicao Vinciprova Fonseca
Two Life Times and 15 Years: A Cuban Prisoner's Coping Through Cartoons
John A. Lent
American Infection: The Swedish Debate over Comic Books, 1952-1957
Ulf Jonas Bjork
Seduced Innocence: The Dutch Debate about Comics in the 1940s and 1950s
Rik Sanders
Translated by Melchior Deekman
Pioneers in Comic Art Scholarship
"Acquire the Widest Possible Comics Culture": Au Interview with Thierry Groensteen
John A. Lent
Pioneers in Comic Art Scholarship
The Multi-Varied, 50-Year Career of a Fan-Researcher of Comic Art
Fred Patten
Gutter Ghosts and Panel Phantasms: Horror, Haunting, and Metacomics
Lin Young
World War II in French Collective Memory: The Relevance of Alternate History Comics.
An Analysis of the Wunderwaffen Saga
Simon Desplanque
Genre Hybridity as the Scheme of the Comics Industry
Jaehyeon Jeong
On the Pastoral Imaginary of a Latin American Social Democracy: Costa Rica's El Sabanero
Hector Fernandez L'Hoeste
Between Fine and Comic Art. On the Arab Page: Much Connects Art and Comics in Egypt and the Wider Middle East
Jonathan Guyer
"Art Is My Blood": A Short Interview with Nora Abdullah, Pioneer Female Malay Comic Artist
Lim Cheng Tju
Comics Theory for the Ages: Text and Image Relations in Medieval Manuscripts
Jesse D. Hurlbut
Examining Film Engagement Through the Visual Language of Comics
R. Brad Yarhouse
Hemispheric Latinx Identities and Transmedial Imaginaries: A Conversation with Frederick Luis Aldama
Janis Breckenridge
In Search of the Missing Puzzle Pieces: A Study of Jimmy Liao's Public Art Installations in Taiwan
Hong-Chi Shiau and Hsiang-wen Hsiao
Far from the Maddening Crowd: Guy Delisle as Cultural Reporter
Kenan Kocak
Portrayal of Massacre: A Comparative Study between Works of Joe Sacco, Art Spiegelman, and Fumiyo Kono
Sara Owj
Toriko's Database World
Bryan Hikari Hartzheim
Beyond Images and Gags: Comic Rhetoric in "Luann"
Veronica Anzaldua
Happy Ike, The Pink Kid and the American Presence in Early British Comics
Michael Connerty
The Swedish Phantom: Sweden's Domestication of an American Comic Book Hero
Ulf Jonas Bjork
Start Spreading the News: Marvel and New York City
Barry Pearl
Honore Daumier: Caricature and the Conception/Reception of "Fine Art"
Jasmin Cyril
China's Cartooning in the War of Resistance against the Japanese Invasion
Zola Zu
Belgian bande dessinee and the American West
Annabelle Cone
The Printed Word
John A. Lent
Book Reviews
M. Thomas Inge
David Lewis
John A. Lent
Lim Cheng Tju
Janis Breckenridge
Benoit Crucifix
Christopher Lee Proctor II
Michael J. Dittman
Leslie Gailloud
Exhibition and Media Reviews
Edited by Michael Rhode
Maite Urcaregui
Pascal Lefevre
Keith Friedlander

Thursday, May 4, 2017

New in Paperback! - Asian Comics

Asian Comics
By John A. Lent
University Press of Mississippi
ISBN 978-1-4968-1301-5, paperback, $30

For Immediate Release


The first comprehensive overview of comics production and creativity in Asia


Now available in paperback, Asian Comics (University Press of Mississippi) dispels the myth that outside of Japan, the continent is nearly devoid of comic strips and comic books. Relying on his fifty years of Asian mass communication and comic art research, during which he traveled to Asia at least seventy-eight times, and visited many studios and workplaces, John A. Lent  shows that nearly every country had a golden age of cartooning and, recently, has witnessed a rejuvenation of the art form.


Organized by regions of East, Southeast, and South Asia, Asian Comics provides detailed information on comics of sixteen countries including their histories, key personnel, characters, contemporary status, problems, trends, and issues. As only Japanese comics output has received close and by now voluminous scrutiny, Asian Comics tells the story of the major comics creators outside of Japan.  The nations covered here include China, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.


This book is the first comprehensive overview of Asian comics books and magazines (both mainstream and alternative), graphic novels, newspaper comic strips and gag panels, and cartoon/humor magazines. Lent has done exhaustive research on the subject and the volume is crammed with facts, fascinating anecdotes, and interview quotes from many pioneering masters, as well as younger artists.


Readers may be surprised to learn that Indonesia had a self-named graphic novel in 1965, that the revered King of Thailand solicited the drawing skills of a famous cartoonist to illustrate his books, that sexual and scatological cartoon magazines have thrived during Nepal's annual Cow Festival, or that a member of royalty, a national leader, and the founding heads of state in four countries drew those nations' first cartoons.


Liberally illustrated in some cases, with rarely seen images, and well documented with plentiful bibliographies, Asian Comics is a rich resource that will be of much interest to many types of audiences.


John A. Lent has founded and chaired or edited numerous organizations and periodicals, including Asia and Pacific Animation and Comics Association, Asian Research Center on Animation and Comic Art, Asian Popular Culture group of the Popular Culture Association, Asian Cinema Studies Society, Malaysia/Singapore/Brunei Studies Group, the International Journal of Comic Art, and Asian Cinema. He is the author or editor of seventy-six books.




For more information contact Courtney McCreary,

Publicity and Promotions Manager,
Read more about Asian Comics at

Monday, April 10, 2017

On sale now: The Lent Comic Art Classification System

Now available:

The Lent Comic Art Classification System

Paperback, 146 Pages

Price: $20.00
Prints in 3-5 business days
A worldwide classification system of comic art, including comic books, comic strips, animation, caricature, political & editorial cartoons, and gag cartoons based on John A. Lent's pioneering bibliographic work. Created in honor of Lent's 80th birthday.

For Lent's 70th birthday, a group of comics scholars got together and did a parody of his  International Journal of Comic Art -

Interplanetary Journal of Comic Art: A Festschrift in Honor of John Lent

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

IJOCA 18-2 correction in Richard Thompson article

Richard Thompson actually passed away on July 27, 2016 and not July 28 as was incorrectly stated in "Remembering Richard Thompson (1957-2016)." The author regrets the error and apologizes to IJOCA's readers.

Mike Rhode
the author

International Journal of Comic Art 18-2 Fall / Winter 2016 is out

See for ordering details. On a personal note, I have a remembrance of my friend Richard Thompson in it.

Vol. 18, No. 2 Fall/Winter 2016

Pioneers in Comic Art Scholarship
My Drifting Manga Life
Frederik L. Schodt
Pioneers in Comic Art Scholarship
I Am Just a Comic Book Reader Who Became Curious ...
Waldomiro Vergueiro
Heroism Reversed: Graphic Novels About the Great War
Sylvain Rheault
A Collaborative Journey: Malcolm Whyte, Troubador Press, and the Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco
Kim Munson
How the French Kickstarted the Acceptance of Comics as an Art Form in the US: the Books and Exhibitions of Maurice Horn
Kim Munson
A Brief History of the Translation of American Comic Strips in Pre-World War II Japan and the Origins of Contemporary Narrative Manga
Eike Exner
Gene Luen Yang's Graphic Bi-Bye to China/town
Sheng-Mei Ma
From Phylacteries to Balloons: Consequences of Epistemological Evolution in Pictorial  Representation of Discourse Support
Fabio Mourilhe
Food in Post-Soviet Russian Comics
Jose Alaniz
The Influence of Cartoon and Animation for the Elaboration of Visual Art in the Electronic Dance Music Genre
Citlaly Aguilar Campos
Hippies, Rogues, and Urban Losers: Subjects of the Indian Graphic Novel
Preeti Singh
Graphic Adaptations of Pride and Prejudice: Pastiche, Parody, and Intertextuality
Kirsten Mollegaard
Comics Journalism: An Interview with Josh Neufeld
Dominic Davies
Poetics of Sound and Death: The Function of Nature and Effects in Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service
Kay K. Clopton
I Will Not Bow: Analysis of the Feminine Refusal of Hegel's Master-Slave Dialectic in Jnuyasha
Robyn Johnson
An Interview with English Comic Book Artist Arthur Ranson
Jeffery KJaehn
Remembering Her 50 Years in Japanese Girls' and Ladies' Comics: An Interview with Chikae Ide
Kinko Ito
The Neurotic Gaze: Jules Feiffer Seen Through a Feminist Lens
Amadeo Gandolfo
Violence Representation in Horror Comic Books
Edilaine Correa
Remembering Richard Thompson (1957-2016)
Mike Rhode
How Realism is Shaping Korean Webtoons
Alyssa Kim
"YES SIR!" 50 Years of Nationalism and the lndo-Pak War in Narayan Debnath's Bnatul the Great
Sourav Chatterjee
Fiction, Transmedia Storytelling, and Cartoons: The Life and Death of Re Bordosa
Luiza Lusvarghi
How a Shojo (a Japanese Girl) Transcends National Borders Through an Incestuous Body: Shojo Manga from the 1970s to the 2000s
Fusami Ogi
An Interview with Comic Book Artist Paul Gulacy
Jeffery KJaehn
Writing the Picture: Ramayana Narrative in a Graphic Novel Form
Varsha Jha (Singh)
The Next Generation of Comics Researchers
The Visual Ideograph: The Advent and Departure of the Abu Ghraib "Hooded Specter"
Joseph Hancuch
(YA)ru, (O)kasu, (I)kaseru: Do Him, Rape Him, Make Him Cum: Rape, Loss, and the Silence of Queer Identity in Boys Love Manga
Zac Clifton
The Printed Word
John A. Lent
Book Reviews
Jose Alaniz
John A. Lent

Monday, September 12, 2016


The current issue is shipping now and subscribers should receive it soon.

Vol. 18, No. 1 Spring/Summer 2016

Calvinball: Sport, Imagination and Meaning in Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes
Jeffrey 0. Segrave and John A. Cosgrove
Mali & Werner's Mike: Underground Sensibility in a German Advertising Comic
Paul M. Malone
The Meanings of Comics
Chris Gavaler
Founding a Dynasty and an Art-Form: John Doyle (1797-1868)
Richard Scully
Tactility Meets Visuality: Race, Sexuality, and Texture in Howard Cruse's Stuck Rubber Baby
Ashley Manchester
Forbidden Readings: The British Parliamentary Debate on "American-Style" Comic Books
Ignacio Fernandez Sarasola
Corruption Among the Cats: Hypocrisy Exposed by Liao Bingxiong
Linn A. Christiansen
Eye/I: Rodolphe Topffer's Style and the Concept of Graphiation
Charlotte Pylyser
Art and Science in Pere Joan's Nocilla Experience (2011)
Benjamin Fraser
Comics as Borderlands: The Asymmetrical Relations of Power in La Perdida, by Jessica Abel
Thayse Madella
An Independent Production: Comics in Paraiba (1963-1991) Regina Maria Rodrigues Behar
Waldomiro Vergueiro
Traces of Mauritian Origins and National Identity in Two Mauritian Comics
Aurelie Meilin Pottier
Syntax of Sound Symbolic Words: A Study of the Hindi Comic Books in India
Subir Dey and Prasad Bokil
Migration of Comics Onomatopoeia to Other Supports
Thiago de Almeida Castor do Amaral
Burma's Loudspeaker
An exclusive report by The Surreal McCoy
Grim Reapers and Shinigami: Personifications of Death in Comics and Manga
Marc Wolterbeek
Economy of the Comic Book Author's Soul
Nathaniel Goldberg and Chris Gavaler
Si Jin Kwi's Comic by Otto Suastika (Siauw Tik Kwie)
Toni Masdiono and lwan Zahar
Revenge, Roads, and Ronin: Finding the Weird West in Contemporary Japanese Anime
Joseph Christopher Schaub
Kenya's Kham and His Multi-Faceted Career
Msanii Kimani wa Wanjiru
Caricaturing lmran Khan during His Anti-Electoral-Rigging Campaign in Pakistan - Naveed Iqbal Chaudhry
Amna Ashraf
Hong Kong Comics after the Mid-1990s
Matthew M. Chew, Boris L. Pun, and Kofi P. Chan
It Started With A Kiss: Reframing Superheroines' Visual Narratives
Chadwick L. Roberts and Anita K. McDaniel
The "Not So Dark" World of the Dark Knight
Rima Bhattacharya
History and Philosophy of Manga Translation in North America
Katherine Lundy
Cultural Revolutions and Stylistic Evolutions or, Reboots and Remakes: A Conversation with Derf
Janis Breckenridge
Character Consumption and Character Industries in Japan
Zhiyu Zhang, Feng Su, Chang Fengxia
    The Next Generation of Comics Scholarship
Huang Yao's Roar of the Nation I (1938): Multi-media Approach to Wartime Cartooning
Harrison Douglass
Two Frameworks for the Interpretation of Metaphoric and Literal Size Depictions in Comic Books
Christopher Crawford and Igor Juricevic
    An Essay
Exploring Wakanda: Black Superheroes, Comic Books, and Persistent Tropes
Douglas Clarke
    A Preliminary Study
Feminine Representation in Misty: Brazilian and American Editions
Daniela Marino
It's a MAD World After All: Confessions of a MAD Collector
Jason Levine
The Printed Word
John A. Lent
Book Reviews
David Kunzle
John A. Lent
Kirsten Mollegaard
Lim Cheng Tju
Exhibition and Media Reviews
Edited by Mike Rhode
Ayanna Dozier
Janis Breckenridge

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

"Scratchy sketchbook drawings, doodlings, exquisite caricatures and humorous paintings": Reviewing Richard Thompson's last books

by John A. Lent, publisher and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Comic Art. This
review will appear in print in the Spring/Summer 2016 IJOCA issue later this summer.

Apatoff, David, Nick Galifianakis, Mike Rhode, Chris Sparks, and Bill Watterson. The Art of Richard Thompson.  Kansas City: Andrews McMeel, 2014. 224 pp. $35. ISBN 978-1-4494-4795-3.

*Thompson, Richard and Mike Rhode (editor). The Incompleat Art of Why Things Are (preview edition).  Arlington, VA: Comics DC, 2015. 179pp.
*Thompson, Richard, with Mike Rhode and Chris Sparks.  Compleating Cul de Sac, Asheville, NC: Team Cul de Sac & Arlington, VA: Comic DC, 2015. 146 pp.

            Richard Thompson, who has had exalted praise heaped upon him from the likes of Arnold Roth, Pat Oliphant, and Edward Sorel, figured as the subject or author of three books since 2014*, on all of which, IJOCA exhibitions and media reviews editor Mike Rhode was a main sparkplug.  For at least two decades, Mike has enriched comic art and its scholarship through his many bibliographies, resource aid to researchers (check out acknowledgements in books by comics researchers and you are likely to see Mike’s name), and interviews with cartoonists published in his online Comics DC, IJOCA, Washington City Paper, and elsewhere.
            Mike is a close friend of Thompson, recognized by Richard sometimes in jest, such as when he signed a copy of his book for Mike: “to my friend, chauffeur, source, & #1 stalker.”  I assume the “stalker” label has to do with Mike’s hounding him to gather together in books the abundance of strips, gag cartoons, humorous drawings, and paintings Richard has penned over the years.
            With The Art of Richard Thompson, Mike was part of a team of editors that also included David Apatoff, Nick Galifianakis, Chris Sparks, and Bill Watterson.  In the credits, Mike is listed as “Editor, Project Coordinator, and Copy Editor.”  Mike’s key role was noted with a touch of humor in Galifianakis’s “Introduction”: “…Mike was called in to focus our collective ADHD.  He took to the job, maybe too well, eventually nicknaming himself ‘The Enforcer.’  He’s been superb.  We will never speak to him after this, but he has been superb.”   Mike was sole editor and his Comics DC co-publisher of The Incompleat Art of Why Things Are and co-editor with Chris Sparks of Compleating Cul de Sac.  Comics DC also co-published Compleating Cul de Sac. 
            Now, to Richard Thompson and the books under review.
Thompson's original art for IJOCA
            Richard Thompson is best known for his “Cul de Sac” comic strip that was nationally syndicated for five years in 150 newspapers.  Starring four-year old Alice Otterloop and her eight-year-old brother Petey, the strip dealt with their relationship and the foibles of living the suburban life.  Thompson retired the strip in September 2012, three years after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
            Richard Thompson’s genius has been spread over different forms and genres (magazine, book, and newspaper illustration, comic strips, caricature, humorous paintings) and shared by an assortment of audiences during his long stints with periodicals such as The New Yorker, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, and National Geographic.  He is much respected by other artists for his widespread knowledge, whimsical drawings, articulate use of words, and experimentation with styles and formats.   
            The Art of Richard Thompson captures the life and career of the artist through interviews or discussions with Galifianakis, Peter de Sève, Gene Weingarten, and John Kascht, and essays by Thompson himself and Apatoff.  The book is attractively designed with hundreds of Thompson’s art works, including scratchy sketchbook drawings, doodlings, exquisite and wall-displayable caricatures and humorous paintings, parodies of other masters’ work (e.g. “Little Neuro in Slumberland”), regularly published strips (“Cul de Sac,” “Richard’s Poor Almanac(k)”), and one-shot (sometimes rhyming), multi-panel, nonsense-filled “instructive” comics.  Some cartoons could easily serve as editorial cartoons.  Acclaimed illustrator John Cuneo summed up Thompson’s art very well:

Everything in a Richard Thompson drawing is funny--each line is put down with a caricaturist’s eye and cartoonist’s vigor.  It’s a rare and daunting thing to pull off; a sofa in a room is somehow drawn ‘funny’ the same way the person sitting on it is.  And also the dog, the side table, the lamp, the vase of flowers, the teacup and the lettering--everything gets filtered through a visual sensibility that’s grounded in exquisite draftsmanship and giddy comic exaggeration.  It becomes a wholly realized world--and it’s delightful. 
            The prose of The Art of Richard Thompson suits the drawings: casual, to the point, and sometimes meant to be funny.  Half (9) of the sub-chapters were written by Thompson; three others were interviews with him.  Thompson’s articles recounted all types of subjects--his new favorite nib, music, caricaturing Berlioz, thinking up a funny name for his “Cul de Sac” family, and the circumstances surrounding his doing a drawing during a Deep Brain Stimulation surgical procedure performed on him. 
            The Incompleat Art of Why Things Are and Compleating Cul de Sac are part of Mike Rhode’s continuing efforts to fill out the Richard Thompson story.  “Why Things Are” was a weekly column by Joel Achenbach in The Washington Post, which Thompson illustrated with a cartoon.  In the foreword to the book, Achenbach said he would pose a question for the column and Thompson would come up with an hilarious drawing.  An example: The question--Why is time travel impossible?  The illustration-- a man in a time machine hovering over Adam and Eve and the snake and disappointedly bellowing, “Oops! Too Late.”  Or, “Why do we presume that human meat tastes worse than, say, cow meat or pig meat?”  Thompson’s image--a meat counter called “Downer Pass Gourmet” with a butcher standing next to meats called “Franks,” “Chuck,” and “Steak Diane.” 
            Compleating Cul de Sac supplements Thompson’s The Complete Cul de Sac, which Rhode and Sparks explain is not complete, because Thompson was ill while compiling the book and “accidentally left out some strips,” actually more than 100.  Compleating Cul de Sac collects the “lost” strips, as well as “the early inchoate musings about what the strip should be, the promotional material, the sketches for fans, and finally some fugitive Team Cul de Sac charity art,” the latter to benefit the fight against Parkinson’s Disease.  As with the other two books above, Compleating Cul de Sac is a rich compendium of brilliant art going back to his high school newspaper strip, “Fleabag Theater,”  Thompson interviews with Rhode and John Read, three live Post website chats Thompson participated in, and, of course, the missing “Cul de Sac” strips. 
            Together or apart, these books provide hours of enjoyment at the same time that they describe in an interesting fashion how a top-level artist got to where he is, how he generates ideas, characters, and strips, and how he copes with adversities.  Rhode and the others responsible for compiling this material have done a great service not just to Thompson’s name, but also to comic art practitioners, those waiting in the shadows to become cartoonists, and to the growing field of comics scholarship.  

            *Both Compleating Cul de Sac and The Incompleat Art of “Why Things Are” are no longer available from  Instead, Lost Art Books under Joseph Procopio has undertaken The Richard Thompson Library project and will be publishing editions of them this fall.  Compleating Cul de Sac will be published in a second, substantially expanded edition with additional interviews and recently-unearthed artwork. After these two volumes, other books are projected in the series -- one on caricature by Thompson, pulled together by Scott Stewart, another collecting the best of his comic strip “Richard's Poor Almanac” compiled by Rhode, and likely a Thompson sketchbook.