Schedule of events

Friday, Feb 26, 2016:
Keynote Address with Sergio Aragones – 7:00-8:30pm

Location: Residential College in the Arts & Humanities Theatre, Snyder/Phillips Hall Basement, Michigan State University

Sergio Aragones will be our Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker. Aragones is the most honored cartoonist, having won every major award in the field including the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award and the Will Eisner Hall of Fame Award.  He is widely known for his contributions to Mad Magazine and his long-running comic book series, Groo the Wanderer.  Recently, Aragones completed a Groo vs. Conan crossover with artist, Tom Yeates, and continues his more than 50 years of contributions to Mad Magazine.

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016:
Private Tour of the MSU Special Collections Library – 10:00am.

Home of the world’s largest public comic book collection. Reservation required, walk-ups not admitted.  Email with subject heading: SPECIAL COLLECTIONS TOUR

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016:
Artist Alley and Panel Discussions – 11:00am-5:00pm

Location: Residential College in the Arts & Humanities LookOut! Gallery, Snyder/Phillips Hall 2nd floor, Michigan State University

The Forum will feature an Artists Alley with over three dozen creators exhibiting their work in comics. For more information on individual artists featured, please reference our website:

Throughout the day there will be several panel discussions with academics studying comic books and professionals working in the comic book industry.

Feb 23 –Mar 4, 2016:
Gallery Exhibition – Latin American Comics

Location: Residential College in the Arts & Humanities LookOut! Gallery, Snyder/Phillips Hall 2nd floor, Michigan State University

The exhibit will feature examples from The Comic Art Collection housed in Michigan State University’s Special Collections. The Comic Art Collection holds over 250,000 items and is the primary library resource for the study of U.S. comic book publications.

Thursday, Feb 25, 2016:
PERSEPOLIS Film Screening and Discussion with Kaveh Askari of Western Washington University – 8:00 pm

Location: B122 Wells Hall, Michigan State University

A free showing of the graphic novel to film adaptation, Persepolis, the story of a precocious and outspoken Iranian girl growing up during the Islamic Revolution, with discussion to follow.


Panel presentations and discussions

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016: – 11:00am-5:00pm

Panel: Narrative Possibilities of Social and Literary Interpretations in Comics
Time: February 27th, 11:00am – Noon
Location: Snyder/Phillips 2nd Floor classrooms

Description: Like other visual media, comics have a unique ability to interpret and reinterpret myriad social and literary texts, offering readers particular insights that are at once reflective of the creators of those comics and the cultural context in which they were developed. This panel considers how comics present interpretations of literature, historical events, and social issues such as gender and identity.

Presenters and Presentation Titles:
Tom Inge – “Masters of the Macabre: Edgar Allan Poe and Richard Corben”
Ellen Moll – “Hypertextual History in ‘The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage'”
Greg Baldino – “Gendre: Reading Comics, Reading Gender”
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Roundtable: Comics in Special Collections: Opening the Doors of the Two Largest Comics Library Archives
Time: February 27th, 12:15 – 1:15pm
Location: Snyder/Phillips 2nd Floor classrooms

Description: With the rapid growth of comics scholarship as a field, it has become more important than ever for development of research libraries and collections dedicated to comics for the benefit of scholars and the public alike. Michigan State University and The Ohio State University are two libraries to have taken up this charge, and respectively, they offer the world’s largest collections of comics and cartoon art. This roundtable will explore both of these important collections and the benefit they offer.

Caitlin McGurk (The Ohio State University) and Randy Scott (Michigan State University)
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Artist Spotlight
Time: February 27th, 1:30 – 2:30pm
Location: Snyder/Phillips 2nd Floor classrooms
Description: Join 2016 MSU Comics Forum Keynote Speaker, Sergio Aragonés, for an informal discussion of his work, his process, and what’s next with MSU Comics Forum Director, Ryan Claytor.
Sergio Aragonés with Ryan Claytor
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Panel: Reflexivity in Comics Now and Then
Time: February 27th, 2:45pm – 3:45pm
Location: Snyder/Phillips 2nd Floor classrooms

Description: Building on the work of Matthew Jones in his essay “Reflexivity in Comic Art,” speakers on this panel will consider the role of reflexivity in a variety of contexts, particularly how readers were able to interact and gain insight into comics’ means of production as well as how reflexivity reveals the inherent subjectivity of comics narratives that present themselves as objective. This panel moves across comics eras and genres, and in each case discussed, the speakers will demonstrate how the various roles of reflexivity create meaning for graphic narratives.

Presenters and Presentation Titles:
Dale Jacobs – “The Impossible Man Visits Marvel Comics: Paratexts, Reflexivity, and Editorial Intrusion, 1976”
Jay Rankin – “Reading Subjectivity: An Exploration of Reflexivity in Creative Nonfiction Comics”
Irene Velentzas – “Self-Reflexivity and Recreating Remembrances in Scott Chantler’s Two Generals”
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Panel: Locating Witnesses and Trauma in Graphic Narratives
Time: February 27th, 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: Snyder/Phillips 2nd Floor classrooms

Description: Academic interest in trauma moves across disciplines and is pursued in diverse fields such sociology, psychology, public health, history, and literature to create a more nuanced understanding of the role that trauma plays in social development as well as the construction of narratives. The narrative role of both witnesses to trauma and the experiencers of it has been an ongoing concern in literary and comics studies alike, and this panel explores considerations of trauma in graphic narratives and the ways in which comics are uniquely able to investigate its narrative, historical, and sociological roles.

Presenters and Presentation Titles:
Elizabeth Nijdam – “Anke Feuchtenberger’s Feminist Aesthetics”
Julianne Kaiser – “Trials of Our (Grand)Fathers: Transgenerational Trauma in Lucy Knisley’s Displacement.”
Nick Potkalitsky – “Al Davison’s The Spiral Cage: Trauma, Disability, and the Serial Projection of Subjectivity”

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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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