Sequential Reporting: A Night on SVA's Comics History

As part of last year's exhibit "Ink Plots: The Tradition of the Graphic Novel at SVA" a few School of Visual Arts professors who work in the comics medium were brought together on a cold night in October to speak about their particular work in the medium and its history at the college. The moderator was John Carlin, whose work co-curating the "Masters of American Comics" exhibit had a large influence on me when I viewed it here in New York in 2oo5. The panelists were: Gary Panter- punk-rock comicsmith extraordinaire, David Sandlin- who (as Carlin wrote in his introduction to the exhibit's catalog) "straddles the fine art and printed narrative genres", and Jerry Moriarty- who surprised me with the scale and nature of his work; contemporary large-scale comics painted on multiple canvases is a relatively new concept to me. That was, in fact, the intended focus of the evening's discussion: narrative painting.

Carlin began the evening with a slide-show retrospective of masterpieces of art history that have been glossed-over or entirely ignored as sequential art. Sandlin spoke about his attemps to depict inner landscapes, both of his mind/history and of the country at large. Moriarty talked about the spiritual thinking he applies to his 'paintooning' work. He imagined himself opening a portal through time and space to some moment in the past AND PAINTED WHAT HE SAW AS A GIANT COMIC. Through this method he feels he finally successfully said goodbye to his late father. (But strangely, not to his late beloved dog. Just didn't have the same effect.)

They all also spoke a great deal about teaching comics at SVA.

Over on The Comicsmithy, I've started a new thing: a second webcomic titled "Framed" drawn by Josiah Sarr will feature only real accounts of comics-related events. The first of those comics is up now [Framed 1: "Gary Panter", at right] and depicts the events of the evening at SVA. I love comics about comics, personally, and I'm curious as to how people will react.

I wrote an editorial recently here on the Long and Shortbox Of It about sexism in the comics world and how my perception of it changed dramatically over 2o1o. Panter's confident assertion that in regards to the position of women in comics, things have changed is a hopeful one. He said it as matter-of-factly as he looks, the way Josiah drew him.

~ @JonGorga

P.S. ~ You know what makes me very sad? Never got to see the whole exhibit. Only about half. It was held at a different location from the theater and I went on a different day, but time was limited. I enjoyed what I saw.

Time, in reality, is not so easily frozen as the panels in a comic.

No comments:

Post a Comment