Panel Discussions

Panels will take place on Saturday, February 24th, 2018
in Michigan State University’s Main Library, 3rd Floor West

Comics Grammar: Language, Visual Representation, and Narrative Structure
11:00am-12:15pm, REAL Classroom

Comics frequently experiment with new narrative tactics as a means of both engaging the reader and challenging existing artistic norms. Exploring a range of comics modes, this panel considers the artistic and linguistic challenges comics offer and how the development of a kind of grammatology of comics is useful in rethinking how to read and interpret graphic works.

Nancy Pedri, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
Greg Smith, Georgia State University
Tiffany Babb, Independent Scholar

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Utilizing Comics in the Context of Afro-Latinx Identity and Futurism
11:00am-12:15pm, Beal Classroom

This panel will discuss social resistance through representation, challenging the Eurocentric ideologies pervasive throughout the academic and comics communities. The intersecting identities of the panelists are constantly called into question as black, queer, mixed race, working class artists and, as such, are often implicitly or overtly asked to justify our existence as people who occupy such identities. This panel seeks to continue the conversation about the implications of constant othering in the context of Afro-Latinx scholars and artists. The panelists will explore experiences of struggle, resistance and resilience of othered groups as a means of creating meaningful allyship and disseminating knowledge.

Vicko Alvarez, University of Illinois at Chicago
David A. Brame, Independent Scholar
Elena M. Costello, The Ohio State University
Bria Royal, Independent Scholar

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Keynote Speaker: Diana Schutz
12:30pm-1:45pm, REAL Classroom

Diana Schutz is an award-winning editor who has been working in comics for almost forty years.

She was senior executive editor at Dark Horse Comics, where she edited major contributions such as Frank Miller’s Sin City and 300, Matt Wagner’s Grendel, Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo, Paul Chadwick’s Concrete, and Larry Marder’s Beanworld. She also served as editor for  international material in translation such as Blacksad and The Manara Library. She has worked with authors Michael Chabon, Neil Gaiman, Harvey Pekar, and Harlan Ellison, among others, and she was Will Eisner’s Dark Horse editor until his death in 2005.

Presently, Schutz is an adjunct instructor of Comics Studies at Portland State University, a published author of both comics and prose, and the first woman to be inducted into the Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame. Semi-retired, she now works as a literary translator of European comics, including work by Moebius, Manara, Muñoz & Sampayo, and more.

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Super Myths of Nationhood: Latinx Legibility in Comics
2:00pm-3:15pm, REAL Classroom

This panel seeks to increase legibility for Latinx comic producers and Latinx subjects associated with their work. We explore how comics, including other popular media such as film inspired by comic forms, create complex narratives of history and migration. By analyzing how concepts of gender, race, nationality, and immigration status operate in these texts, we strive to deepen our understanding of Latinx experiences and ways of knowing. In the context of rapidly escalating hostility toward Latinx and immigrant communities in the U.S., we address the following questions: how does the comic form provide a space to forge new and more nuanced representations of Latinx identities? What possibilities and limitations result from using the comic form as a vehicle for resistance to marginalization and racialization?

Danielle Orozco, The Ohio State University
Natalia Colón Alvarez, The Ohio State University
Stacey Alex, The Ohio State University
Frederick Aldama, The Ohio State University

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Plague, Trauma, and Ruins: Dystopian Visions in Graphic Narrative
2:00pm-3:15pm, Beal Room

Comics have long been a location for witnessing tragic and traumatic events and embracing dystopian visions of both the present and future. Presenters on this panel will consider comics as a means of communicating about death and disease, violence, and trauma as they occur in dystopian spaces, along with the mystical and psychological experiences that assist in coping with trauma.

Jason Archbold, Independent Scholar
Preeti Singh, The Ohio State University
Zach Rondinelli, Brock University, Canada

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Reconceptualizing Feminist and Queer Identity Across Genres
3:30pm-4:45pm, REAL Classroom

Recent scrutiny of the comics medium has invited not just queer and feminist readings of these comics texts but revisions within within the medium itself and the kinds of narratives that are being produced. Exploring intersectional issues of race, gender, as well as fluid, non-binary existences, this panel considers comics as a means of offering readers a democratic political message that invites reflection on and consideration contemporary sociopolitical issues.

Olivia Hicks, University of Dundee, Scotland
Nicholas Miller, Hollins University
Mihaela Mihailova, Michigan State University

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Cyberpunk Comics
3:30pm-4:45pm, Beal Room
This panel brings together three papers that explore cyberpunk comics at the levels of history, economics, genre, and aesthetics, moving from a case study of Otomo’s use of cyberpunk to envision capitalism as horror, to a historical contextualization of the generic conversation around Otomo’s Akira, and finally to a consideration of the aesthetics of cyberpunk at play across cyberpunk comics, but refigured in the 1990s graphic novel Batman: Digital Justice.

Andréa Gilroy, Portland State University
Martin de la Iglesia, Heidelberg University
Sean Guynes-Vishniac, Michigan State University