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2017 MSU Comics Forum Keynote Speeches Archived

For those unable to attend this year’s event, the 2017 MSU Comics Forum Keynote speeches have been archived:

2017 MSU Comics Forum Creator Keynote Speech – James Sturm:

2017 MSU Comics Forum Scholar Keynote Speech – Charles Hatfield:

Thanks, again, to our keynote speakers, James Sturm and Charles Hatfield!

2017 MSU Comics Forum Wrap-up


The 2017 MSU Comics Forum has come and gone and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on last weekend, as well as thank the folks who made it possible.

Our Creator Keynote Speaker, James Sturm, took the stage on Friday, Feb 24th:


And spoke to a healthy crowd of comics scholars, artists, and community memebers.


Our two keynote speakers (James Sturm and Charles Hatfield) were part of a limited tour of the MSU Special Collections Library (the largest public collection of comic books in the world) on the morning of Saturday, Feb 25th.  Charles Hatfield in foreground, below:


Randy Scott, MSU Special Collections Comics Bibliographer, administers the tour while James Sturm, 2017 MSU Comics Forum Creator Keynote Speaker, looks on in the foreground:


After the tour, both keynote speakers sign some of their work pulled from the MSU Special Collections Library:


Shortly after noon on Saturday, Feb 25th, our Scholar Keynote Speaker, Charles Hatfield, spoke to a full room about “Collage in Comics”:


After the event was over, I recorded a couple of interviews with our keynote speakers for season #2 of the MSU Comics Art and Graphic Novel Podcast, which will air next academic year.  I was joined by Zack Kruse, MSU Comics Forum Panel Coordinator, for the interview with Charles Hatfield.


There was also an exhibition of Underground Comix which ran from Feb 20th-Mar 3rd.  Selections were pulled from the MSU Special Collections Library and the exhibit was curated by Susan Bandes’ Museum Studies course:




In closing, I’d like to thank all of our sponsors for helping this event to take place, all of the artists who exhibited their comics in our Artist Alley, the book discussion on Ms. Marvel that was sponsored by Muslim Studies (an event from which, sadly, I do not have pictures), the MSU Comics Forum Promotions Committee for helping spread the word and take care of event planning details on our big weekend, both of our accomplished keynote speakers who not only helped to make our 10th year a benchmark but were incredibly giving of their time throughout the weekend, and finally the MSU Comics Forum Core Committee; Jay Jacot, Zack Kruse, and Jason Larsen, this couldn’t happen without you.  I’m extremely pleased with our 10th anniversary event and I’m looking forward to the next decade and beyond.

Ryan Claytor
MSU Comics Forum – Director

International Travel Ban Affects Forum

Due to the recent travel ban, a number of our international scholars are unable to participate in their originally scheduled panel discussions. Based on this news, the panel discussions have been reorganized. Please see the Schedule page for the updated panel discussions. We appreciate your understanding regarding these circumstances, and we wish our international colleagues the very best.

Zack Kruse
MSU Comics Forum – Panel Coordinator

Keynote Speeches will be LiveStreamed

If you’re unable to attend the Comics Forum this year, both keynote speeches will be LiveStreamed at:

James Sturm
2017 MSU Comics Forum Creator Keynote Speaker
Starting at 7pm EST, Friday, Feb 24th

Charles Hatfield
2017 MSU Comics Forum Scholar Keynote Speaker
Starting at 12:15pm EST, Saturday Feb 25th

2017 MSU Comics Forum Schedule and Artist Alley Updated

The 2017 MSU Comics Forum schedule and Artist Alley list are now completely up-to-date for this year’s events.  We hope you’ll take a moment to familiarize yourself with what we have lined-up at the end of February.

All events are free and open to the public.

2017 MSU Comics Forum Poster Revealed

It is my pleasure to formally reveal the 2017 Michigan State University Comics Forum poster illustrated by this year’s keynote speaker, James Sturm.

James’ keynote address will place on Friday, February 24th from 7-8:30pm in the Residential College of Arts & Humanities Theater.

Feel free to repost this electronic image to help us promote the many events surrounding this year’s MSU Comics Forum.

Finally, if you are a business owner or manager and would like to receive a few posters to hang in your place of business, please contact me (Ryan Claytor, MSU Comics Forum Director at by Friday, Jan. 20th, 2017 to be added to our mailing list.

Ryan Claytor
MSU Comics Forum – Director

2017 Keynote Speakers

The Michigan State University Comics Forum is proud to announce not one, but two keynote speakers for our 10th Anniversary event to be held on the final weekend of February 2017.


Our Creator Keynote Speaker, James Sturm, has garnered many awards for his work including a Xeric grant, an Eisner Award, and Time Magazine’s Graphic Novel of the year. He’s also a founder and teacher at the Center for Cartoon Studies and has worked for a number of comics publishers including Marvel Comics, Fantagraphics, First Second Books, and Drawn and Quarterly to name but a few.


Our first Scholarly Keynote Speaker, Charles Hatfield, is the author of Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature (2005) and the Eisner Award-winning Hand of Fire: The Comic Art of Jack Kirby (2011), as well as many articles and book chapters. He is co-editor of The Superhero Reader (2013) and Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby (2015), and curated the US’s largest-ever Kirby exhibition at CSU Northridge in 2015. A longtime contributor to The Comics Journal and The Jack Kirby Collector, Hatfield has been writing about comics for more than twenty years. At CSU Northridge, he teaches courses that specialize in comics, popular culture, and children’s literature. Hatfield has served on the boards of the International Comic Arts Forum and the MLA Forum on Comics and Graphic Narratives, and is the founding President of the Comics Studies Society. He is now collaborating with Bart Beaty on a guidebook to comics studies and with Craig Fischer on a study of cartoonist Eddie Campbell.

2017 Keynote Announcement on MSU Comics Podcast

Tune into or download Episode #3 of the MSU Comic Art and Graphic Novel podcast to find out who will be our keynote speaker at this coming year’s event. Episode release date, Nov. 1st, 2016 at


2017 Call for Artist Alley Submissions

This year’s MSU Comics Forum Artists Alley will be taking place on Saturday, Feb. 25th, 2017. It will be in the Lookout! Gallery and surrounding classrooms located on the 2nd floor of the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities in Michigan State University’s Snyder/Phillips Hall in East Lansing, MI. There is no cost to request table space for the MSU Comics Forum.

To request table space complete the requested information at the following form by Tuesday, December 20th, 2016:

Due to limited space the Artist Alley is juried and not all requests will be met. Once the application is received it will be reviewed and you will be notified via e-mail by Saturday, January 7th, 2017 as to whether or not we are able to meet your request.  Accepted Artists will receive table space free of charge

2017 Call for Panel Submissions

The MSU Comics Forum will be accepting submissions for individual presentations, panel sessions, and roundtables as part of the event?s academic panel discussions on Saturday, Feb 25th, 2017.  Submissions will be accepted from a variety of disciplines and must be received by Dec. 20th, 2016 at 11:59pm EST.  Download PDF file for details:

MSU Comics Forum 2017 – Call for Submissions  (PDF)

Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.

The Michigan State University Comics Forum is sponsored by The MSU Department of Art, Art History and Design, The Journal of Popular Culture, Clem's Comics and Games, The MSU Department of English, The MSU Special Collections Library, Hollow Mountain Comics, Games & Collectibles, the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, MATRIX: The Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, MSU Muslim Studies Program, and BRD Printing.

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