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.

Friday, October 9, 2020

New Issue of IJOCA is out - 22-1 Spring/Summer 2020 table of contents

Cultural Imperialism Strikes Back: A South American Symposium

 

Cultural Imperialism Strikes Back: A South American Symposium

Martin Alejandro Salinas and Sebastian Horacio Gago

2

One World, Many Batmen: From Cultural Imperialism to the Culture of the Empire

Martin Alejandro Salinas

10

"What Does a Few Lives Matter?'': Notes on Two Comic-book Invasions of Hector Oesterheld (1974-1977)

Sebastian Gago

Translated by Alejandra Pina Mas and Martin Salinas

43

Graphic Narratives, a Tool of Imperialism in South America?

Deconstructing American Superheroes in Brazilian and Chilean Comics (1960-1970)

Ivan Lima Gomes

63

Writing the History of Comics: The Case of. the Di Tella Biennial (Buenos Aires, "1968)

Lucas R. Berone

Translated by Mariana de Madariaga and Lucas Berone

83

Disney Academy: Donald Duck as the Western Imperialism Paradigm

Rodrigo Browne S. and Rosmery-Ann Boegeholz C.

99

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Toxic Reading Material: Techniques Used by Society and Governments to Control Comic Books

Ignacio Fernandez Sarasola

115

Book Review Essay

Hector Fernandez L'Hoeste

154


Graphic Narratives in Sikh Comics: Iconography and Religiosity as a Critical Art Historical Enquiry

of the Sikh Comics Art Form

Jasleen Kandhari

170

Tintin: From Violent, Communist-Hating Conservative to Radical Peacenik

Marty Branagan

187

Lost in Modernity: Doodling in the Digital Age

Levi Obonyo and Njoki Chege

207

Sacrificing Healing: The Loss and Resilience of Yurok Healing in Chag Lowry and Rahsan Ekedal's Soldiers Unknown

Robyn Johnson

232

This Land Is Whose Land? Voices of Belonging in Three First-Generation American Graphic Memoirs

Mirvat Mohamed and Kirsten Mellegaard

257

Representations de l'autre solitude dans quelques BD et comics canadiens dont l'histoire se passe a Montreal (1st partie)

[Representations of the Other Solitude in Select Canadian Comics and BDs Which Take Place in Montreal (Part 1)]

Chris Reyns-Chikuma

274

Representations de l'autre solitude dans quelques BD et comics canadiens dont l'histoire se passe a Montreal (2· partie)

[Representation of the Other Solitude in Some Canadian BD and Comics Which Take Place in Montreal (Part 2)]

Chris Reyns-Chikuma

311

Chinese Comic Art Museums and Centers Part One: A Personal Mission

John A. Lent

347

Chinese Comic Art Museums and Centers Part Two: The China Comics Village

Yan Chuanming, Xu Ying, John A. Lent

358

Anime and Gender Roles in Kuwaiti Islamic Culture: A Conflict of Cultural Values?

Ahmed Baroody

366

The Outdatedness of Superheroism? The Condition of the Superhero Myth: Past and Today

Michal Chudolinski

401

Hans Jaladara, Creator of Indonesia's Panji Tengkorak

Iwan Zahar and Toni Masdiono with John A. Lent

413

Ganesh TH, the Author of Si Buta dari Goa Hantu: The Most Celebrated Comics of the Indonesian Comics Golden Age

lwan Zahar and Toni Masdiono

424

Nearly 50 Years Ago

An Early Glimpse of China's Maoist Comics: A Review

David Kunzie

432

"You're a star if you can louse up 70% of the time": Sport in Jeff MacNelly's "Shoe"

Jeffrey 0. Segrave and John A. Cosgrove

439

Flexible Comics?: Sequential Images on Screen Media

Jakob F. Dittmar

460

A Transmedia Case Study: Batman - The Animated Series

Jason D. DeHart

475

Remembrances

John A. Lent

484

The Printed Word

John A. Lent

489

Book Reviews

Maite Urcarcgui

Marie Sartain

Misha Grifka Wander

John A. Lent

Edward Salo

Sam Cowling

Patrick ljima-Washburn

492

Exhibition Review Essay

Exhibitions of the 47th Angouleme International Comics Festival

Nick Nguyen

511

Exhiibition Reviews

Nick Nguyen

525




 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Book Review: Ms. Marvel’s America: No Normal

by Matthew Teutsch


Jessica Baldanzi and Hussein Rashid (eds.) Ms. Marvel's America: No Normal.  University Press of Mississippi, 2020. 280 pp. 978-1496827012, $30. 
https://www.upress.state.ms.us/Books/M/Ms.-Marvel-s-America


While Kamala Khan first appeared in the background of a panel in Captain Marvel #14, she formally debuted on the last page of Captain Marvel #17 in November 2013, with the writer hinting that the second-generation Pakistani immigrant, Muslim-American teenager from Jersey City would become the next Ms. Marvel. In February 2014, Khan became the latest Ms. Marvel, also becoming, as Jessica Baldanzi and Hussein Rashid note, "the first Muslim superhero to headline her own series" (vii). Khan, created by editor Sana Amanat and writer G. Willow Wilson, is more than a "Muslim superhero" as she does not embody one, monolithic identity. As Sika A. Dagbovie-Mullins and Eric Berlatsky point out in "'The Only Nerdy Pakistani-American-Slash-Inhuman in the Entire Series': Postracialism and Politics in the New Ms. Marvel," Khan "is American and Pakistani, human and Inhuman, brown and white," and I would add a teenager, a comics' culture fan, a video game fan, and more (66).

Baldanzi and Rashid's Ms. Marvel's America: No Normal serves as the first scholarly volume on Khan, collecting essays from scholars in various disciplines. While Baldanzi and Rashid mainly focus the scope of the collection on Ms. Marvel's first volume, issues #1-19, the editors provide readers with a wide range of articles that examine everything from the troubled publication history of Khan's predecessor Carol Danvers, to discussions of identity and politics within the series, to insights into using Ms. Marvel in the classroom, to the atypical fandom surrounding Khan. In this manner, the collection serves as a starting point for numerous discussions surrounding Khan in relation to the comics' industry, teaching, activism, fandom, and more.     

The first section, "Precursors," contains two essays which examine two of the most prominent forerunners to Khan: Carol Danvers and Dust (Sooraya Qadir). In "Mentoring Ms. Marvel: Marvel's Khan and the Reconstitution of Carol Danvers," J. Richard Stevens looks at Danvers' publication history and the lead up to Khan's appearance in Ms. Marvel where she receives the superhero mantle from Danvers. Stevens dives into Danvers' source texts, pointing out that while she became a symbol of feminism as a female superhero in the male Captain Marvel's 1960s series, "her role in the series was to serve as a damsel in distress for Captain Marvel" before she received her superpowers and her own Ms. Marvel series in the late 1970s (7). With her series cancelled, she was arguably raped while part of the Avengers and written out of the team. Upon her reintroduction as Captain Marvel in 2012 and the subsequent creation of Khan, Danvers became a mentor to the teenage hero, bringing an "interaction between second-wave feminism and post-feminism" to the series, even though as Stevens argues, the positioning makes her "less relevant to the concerns of millennials" (17). Martin Lund's contribution examines the representation of both the X-Man Dust and Khan within "superhero comics [which] use space to frame issues of identity and belonging," specifically following 9/11 (22). Lund emphasizes that out of her one hundred and twenty-two appearances, Dust only speaks in sixty-eight of them and plays a leading role in three issues. Lund focuses on issues where she speaks, and he details how Dust merely exists and "functions strictly as an Other," playing into readers' preconceived notions about Muslim men and women (28). With Khan, he argues focus is on "to what extent and how she negotiates a sense of cultural citizenship that is both flexible and multicultural" instead of the question of whether or not she belongs (31). Ultimately, Khan's position as both an outsider and someone who feels at home in Jersey City makes her relatable to readers, and it also underscores the internal struggles she has with her own identity as a teenage girl, Pakistani-American, Muslim, daughter, and superhero.       

The essays in "Nation and Religion, Identity and Community" present varying, and differing, examinations of the ways that Khan and Ms. Marvel navigate the community and setting in which she exists.  Focusing on the multiple identities and spaces that Khan occupies and navigates, Hussein Rashid's "Ms. Marvel is an Immigrant" argues that we need to look at the ways that Khan, not Ms. Marvel, traverses and engages with the multiple pulls in her life, and in this manner "we can more clearly see how the hybridity process functions and the changes it makes" (48). Throughout the essay, Rashid shows that we do not need to read Khan "as a Muslim superhero" because reading her narrative in this manner "flattens her character and misses the ways in which she is doing important cultural work"; rather, we need to think about Khan "as a superhero who is Muslim" (61). David Lewis' "Hope and the Sa'a of Ms Marvel" explores the ways that Islam influences Khan's narrative and works in conjunction with her identity and community within the narrative. Lewis argues that these connections showcase that "Khan's religious identity is not peripheral to her mission as a superhero; it is quietly integral" (126). It is central because it informs her reaction to the apocalyptic events outside of her control and the ways that she works to save her community in Jersey City, even as New York and other areas encounter the same destructive forces.   

In their essay, Dagbovie-Mullins and Berlatsky examine the ways that Ms. Marvel exists as the product of large corporations who value the bottom line more than they value true diversity; as such, while Khan and the series presents positive diverse narratives, "it is also important to acknowledge the limits of the post-racialist discourse in which it partakes" (84). These limits cause the series to be more apolitical and assimilationist instead of speaking to national and global politics.  Jessica Baldanzi's "'I Would Rather Be a Cyborg': Both/And Technoculture and the New Ms. Marvel" looks at Dana Haraway's 1984 "Cyborg Manifesto" in relation to Ms. Marvel. Ultimately, Baldanzi argues that through interrogating discussions and terms used to describe technoculture Ms. Marvel "find[s] interconnections rather than divisions" that point to the work that we still have to do (110).  

Building upon the previous section, the essays in "Pedagogy and Resistance" draw attention to the impact that Khan has within the classroom on students in the real-world, not just within the pages of Ms. Marvel. Drawing on the critical pedagogy of Paulo Freire and on critical race theorists such as Mari Matsuda and bell hooks, Peter Carlson and Antero Garcia's "The Transformational Resistance of Ms. Marvel in America" shows the ways that "Khan's civic voice and agency are intertwined with her personal identity; her growing, adolescent sense of self; and her initially conflicted feelings about how her superpowers are presented" (134).  By tracing Khan's movement towards transformational resistance throughout the series, Carlson and Garcia point out how the series helps students, especially students of color, explore and come into their own civic voices and duties.

In "'Classroom Heroes': Ms. Marvel and Feminist, Antiracist Pedagogy," Winona Landis looks at the ways that Ms. Marvel works in the classroom as "a feminist, anti-racist pedagogical tool" (154). Landis does this by highlighting the ways that she incorporates Ms. Marvel into her classes and the ways that students respond to Khan and other characters within the text. While she does, as others do throughout the collection, note some of the problems with Ms. Marvel, Landis points out that "it is the nuance and imperfection therein that allows this comic . . . to reach wide audiences and to affect students in noteworthy and powerful ways" (167). Kristin Petersen's contribution showcases the ways that Khan's fashion functions a visual form of resistance, specifically by tracing Khan's costume from the un-pc costume that Carol Danvers originally wore to the more conservative Ms. Marvel costume which she fashions out of her burkini, leggings, and sweatshirt. Khan's costume and fashion works to "visually demonstrate that the intersection of cultural values that Ms. Marvel represents are essential to American culture" (185).

The fourth section examines comics fandom and Aaron Kashtan's and Nicholaus Pumphrey's essays each challenge the narrative of comic fans solely consisting of male fans who constantly resist change. Kashtan highlights Khan's own fandom of comics and shows how as a fangirl "Khan demonstrates that comics are not the exclusive property of white male fanboys, and that traditional comics fandom is not the only way to be a fan" (192). Kashtan details the ways that Khan positions herself as a fan of comics, science fiction, video games, and more; he shows how she navigates these spaces as well, engaging in massively multiplayer online role playing games and writing fan fiction about her favorite superheroes. In all of these endeavors, Khan counters earlier depictions of fandom in comics through "her creative (or 'transformative') fan practices and because her fandom is presented in a generally positive light" (197). Pumphrey continues Kashtan's exploration by looking at "the racist and sexist commentary from white male fans" to the introductions of Miles Morales and Khan to the Marvel Universe (207). Pumphrey presents statistical evidence highlighting the misnomer of comics' fans as "fanboys," and he argues that calls for continuity in comics "preserves the institutionalized racism of the 1960s" (215). At its core, Pumphrey's essay explores the tensions between fans' reactions, comics company's bottom lines and marketing strategies, and the growing need for "diverse representation" in the medium (221). In this manner, Pumphrey points out that while Morales, Khan, and other characters present diversity, the continued presence of "the fanboys of yesterday" push back, and in order to move forward "diverse representation needs to be mandatory and widespread from the top down."

Overall, the collection presents a wide range of examinations of Ms. Marvel. In this manner, the essays provide ways to look at Kamala Khan and the series while the last two parts of the collection present teachers with ways to incorporate Ms. Marvel into the classroom and challenge the still-prevailing myth of comic book readers as solely white males. At the end of the collection, Shabana Mir's interview with G. Willow Wilson touches on the themes that the essays in the collection explore. Along with this, the "Coda" contains an a single-panel piece by Jos√© Alaniz that encapsulates the importance of Khan through the anecdote he shared of encountering Madia, a deaf teenager from Somalia, who tapped Alaniz on the shoulder as he read Ms. Marvel and told him, "That girl is me."        

 

A version of this review will appear in print in IJOCA 22:2.

Friday, August 28, 2020

CFP Libraries/Archives/Librarians in comics

Friend of the blog, librarian Rob Weiner, is working on a new book.

Call for Essays: 

Libraries, Archives, and Librarians in Graphic Novels, Comic Strips and Sequential Art edited by Carrye Syma, Donell Callender, and Robert G. Weiner. 

 

The editors of a new collection of articles/essays are seeking essays about the portrayal of libraries, archives and librarians in graphic novels, comic strips, and sequential art/comics. The librarian and the library have a long and varied history in sequential art. Steven M. Bergson's popular website LIBRARIANS IN COMICS (http://www.ibiblio.org/librariesfaq/comstrp/comstrp.htm; http://www.ibiblio.org/librariesfaq/combks/combks.htm) is a useful reference source and a place to start as is the essay Let's Talk Comics: Librarians by Megan Halsband (https://blogs.loc.gov/headlinesandheroes/2019/07/lets-talk-comics-librarians/). There are also other websites which discuss librarians in comics and provide a place for scholars to start. 

            Going as far back as the Atlantean age the librarian is seen as a seeker of knowledge for its own sake. For example, in Kull # 6 (1972) the librarian is trying to convince King Kull that of importance of gaining more knowledge for the journey they about to undertake. Kull is unconvinced, however. In the graphic novel Avengers No Road Home (2019), Hercules utters "Save the Librarian" which indicates just how important librarians are as gatekeepers of knowledge even for Greek Gods. These are just a few examples scholars can find in sequential art that illustrate librarians as characters who take their roles as preservers of knowledge seriously. We will accept essays related to sequential art television shows and movies e.g., Batgirl in the third season of Batman (1966); Stan Lee being a librarian in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) movie. 

Some possible topics include: 

Libraries and librarians in the comic strip Unshelved. 

Oracle/Batgirl as an information engineer in the DC Universe.  

Libraries and Librarians in the Marvel Universe 

Archives in the Star Wars Comics 

Archives/Librarians in the X-Men series  

The Librarian in Neil Gaiman's Sandman series  

The librarian in the Buffy Comics 

Libraries and Librarians in early and contemporary comic strips 

Libraries and Librarians during the Golden Age (1940s/1950s) comics.  

How is information seeking portrayed in graphic novels? 

Librarians/Libraries in independent comics and graphic novels.  

The use of graphic novels such as Matt Upson, C. Michael Hall, and Kevin Cannon's Information Now. 

Webcomics and Libraries and Librarians 

In what other ways is the traditional role of librarian portrayed in other types of characters in comics? (oracle, seer, three witches, etc.)


            These are just a few suggested topics. Any topic related to librarians/archives/librarians in comics and sequential art will be considered. 

We are seeking essays of 2,500-5,000 words (no longer) not including notes in APA style for this exciting new volume. 

Please send a 300-500-word abstract by November 15th to  

 

Carrye Syma Carrye.Syma@ttu.edu  

Assistant Academic Dean and Associate Librarian 

Texas Tech University Libraries 

 

 


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Long-form Webcomics in Southeast Asia panel by IJOCA contributor CT Lim

Long-form Webcomics in Southeast Asia
Moderated by CT Lim, Southeast Asian comics scholar and editor Panelists: Reimena Yee (Malaysia), Erica Eng (Malaysia), Ann Maulina (Indonesia), Eurika Gho (Singapore

Usually when people think of online comics in Southeast Asia they think of short, humourous strips posted on social media. This panel instead focuses on long-form webcomics - comics with a sustained narrative and a cast of characters. How does the internet offer the freedom for creators to tell their own stories and work on their own IP? What are the different platforms available to host these webcomics? And what are these creators' unique circumstances in crafting a long-form webcomic, and finding their audience?

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

IJOCA CFP for winter issue, from John Lent

Call for Conference Papers

As some of you know, many papers that were published in INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMIC ART during the past nearly 22 years have come out of conferences. Often, I solicited the papers directly from the presenters after they presented. Now that conferences have gone viral, that is not possible. Please, if you wrote a paper for a recent conference, consider sending it to me for consideration in IJOCA. I am now planning the next issue, Volume 22, Number 2, Fall/Winter 2020. The deadline is December 1, 2020. Let me know now if you plan to send a paper for that deadline.

Remember to follow IJOCA style, which is listed on ijoca.net and the IJOCA blog at http://ijoca.blogspot.com

If you are submitting a book or exhibition review, contact assistant editor Mike Rhode (mrhode@gmail.com). My preferred email is jlent@temple.edu.

I hope to hear from you soon.  Stay safe and well, John

John A Lent
669 Ferne Blvd.
Drexel Hill, PA, 19026 USA
http://www.ijoca.net

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Wisconsin Funnies Shows Comic’s Deep Roots in the American Midwest: A Review (updated)

by Chris Yogerst


Wisconsin Funnies: Fifty Years of Comics. James P. Danky, J. Tyler Friedman, and Denis Kitchen with contributions by Paul Buhle. West Bend, WI: Museum of Wisconsin Art and Milwaukee, WI: MOWA-DTN, August 8-November 22, 2020. $15 (MOWA) / Free (MOWA-DTN).   https://wisconsinart.org/exhibitions/wisconsin-funnies-fifty-years-of-comics.aspx

In 1973, Denis Kitchen purchased a farm in Princeton, Wisconsin, to house the headquarters of his growing publishing company Kitchen Sink Press. The eventual 2015 Eisner Award recipient would use this rural location to shepherd independent artists by providing a platform of free expression without the strings attached to a major publisher. The farm would be immortalized in a drawing by R. Crumb in 1985. A life-long defender of boundary-pushing comics, Kitchen helped found the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in 1986 and took the debate to the national stage on Larry King Live in 1989.  

 

This staunch defender of the artform now has his collection of Wisconsin comics on display, along with work loaned from ten other artists, in Wisconsin Funnies: 50 Years of Comics which is split between the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) and Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel in Milwaukee. I was only able to visit MOWA for an exhibit preview of the half of the exhibit described on their website as “a comprehensive overview of comics in Wisconsin” (The other half is “comics with a political bent.”) The parent museum is gorgeously placed along the banks of the Milwaukee River. Masks were required and everyone remained respectfully socially-distant. The price of admission is $15, which will also get you access to the museum for an entire year.

Nearly 200 works by 31 artists are featured, all of which are included in a 250-page catalog with high resolution images of each piece in the exhibition ($45 + shipping, ISBN 978 -0-9994388-5-5). The exhibit opens with a mural on the second floor that was not yet completed when I was there. [Curator Tyler Friedman explains, "We commissioned three 30x30" panels for the exhibition lead-in wall to give the appearance of a giant comic strip. Peter Poplaski, Jeff Butler, and John Porcellino contributed a panel a piece."] Through the glass doors you will find expertly framed artifacts, a mixture of comic books and original art, complete with historical descriptors that add context to every piece. (I was told a couple cases of other ephemera will be going up but they were not installed when I was there.) One not need be an expert in independent comics to find value here. The exhibit offers a wonderful learning experience and each section provides a nicely bracketed story. Wisconsin Funnies was co-curated by Kitchen, director of the print culture center at UW-Madison James P. Danky, associate curator of contemporary art at MOWA Tyler Friedman, with contributions by historian Paul Buhle.


The exhibit is intended to mesh with the political passions accompanying the Democratic National Convention slotted to begin on August 17th in Milwaukee. With that sprit in mind, Wisconsin Funnies does not disappoint. Coming into the exhibit one can find a series of hand sketched originals as well as printed pages from comic books and strips. The exhibition offers an opportunity to learn about not only the history of Wisconsin comics, but also an opportunity to see the evolution of an art form. The artists featured in this collection serve as a primer for the political and social struggles of the postwar era through the Reagan years.

Kitchen Sink Press not only championed independent artists, but also collaborated with industry giants. Stan Lee and Marvel collaborated with Kitchen on Comix Books, which featured work by Trina Robbins and Art Spiegelman. Selections of original art from Robbins’ One Flower Child’s Search for Love is featured in Wisconsin Funnies and serves as an illuminating exploration of love and relationships during the 1970s, pushing back on preceding generations of conservative social strictures. Kitchen also published reprints of classics such as Harvey Kurtzman’s The Grasshopper and the Ant as well as Will Eisner’s The Spirit and A Contract with God. Selections of original art from these important works are included. 

 
One series of panels that particularly stood out to me are from Dan Burr’s Harvey and Eisner awards winner Kings in Disguise. The story is about a kid during the Great Depression searching for his father. The feelings of despair and longing jump off the panels. The imagery is stunning and reminiscent of the Hollywood films made in the early 1930s that were depicting the economic destruction as it was happening. One film in particularly that shares the aesthetic of Burr’s art is William Wellman’s Wild Boys of the Road (1933), which follows young teens who leave their burden-ridden families. Burr’s story, published in 1988, is just as moving as the images created and distributed during the Great Depression. Original pages by Burr from Kitchen’s underground newspaper Bugle (1975-1976) are on display as well.

 Peter Poplaski’s original cover art for Corporate Crime Comics #2 is of special interest for its nod to classic Dick Tracy comics. A quick glance will remind one of the “round up the usual suspects” line from Casablanca. What makes this cover special upon deeper reflection is how Poplaski depicted not standard supervillains or street thugs. Instead, the lineup is full of white-collar criminals guilty of tax evasion, pollution, and unsafe work environments. In 2014, Poplaski sketched Kitchen with Stan Lee as they appeared in 1974, which is also featured in Wisconsin Funnies.


Additional artists featured in Wisconsin Funnies are Al Capp, Ernie Bushmiller, Lynda Barry, Jim Mitchell, and many others. There is plenty to learn in this wonderful exhibit. I come to comics from the film studies world and could not pass up an opportunity to learn more about influential comic writers and artists who shook up the industry from right here in Wisconsin. Anyone in the Milwaukee area interested in the history of comics, politics, and popular culture should visit MOWA and absorb the power of this historic collection.

Educational activities included, or will include, the following:
Teen Masters: Become a Zinester | Tuesday, August 4.
Virtual Artist Lecture with Paul Buhle | Thursday, September 17 | More Info to Come.
Virtual Panel Discussion with The Nib | October 2020 | More Info to Come.

A version of this review will appear in print in IJOCA 22:2 (Fall/Winter 2020). Updated on August 18, 2020 with one sentence explaining the 'mural.'