Portland State University and Comic Book Legal Defense Fund are joining forces with a week of special events to celebrate the hundredth birthday of Will Eisner, the legendary cartoonist whose influence defined the contours and possibilities of American comics in his lifetime and beyond!
Will Eisner Week is an annual celebration around the week of March 6th. It celebrates “graphic novels, literacy, free speech awareness, and the legacy of Will Eisner.” Eisner is best known for championing the development of the graphic novel as a literary form, and for creating The Spirit, the iconic 1940s hero that redefined newspaper comics. However, Eisner’s achievements stretch even further. In celebration of Eisner’s centennial, Will Eisner Week engages with his legacy for a week of thought-provoking events on the PSU campus.
Will Eisner Week 2017 Events at PSU
Race, Religion, & Stereotypes in Will Eisner’s Comics
Like Disney, Tezuka, Hergé, and other 20th Century masters, Will Eisner’s influential body of work is marred by the use of stereotypes in his images and writing, most notably through the Spirit character Ebony White. In his later career, Eisner acknowledged Ebony’s problematic characteristics and created work that fought stereotypes, most especially as applied to Judaism in The Plot. Join panelists Barry Deutsch, Jemiah Jefferson, and David Walker for a discussion of how to engage with 20th Century images, stereotypes, and storytelling for 21st Century audiences. Moderated by CBLDF Executive Director and Eisner/Miller author Charles Brownstein.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
12 noon – 1:30 p.m.
Smith Memorial Student Union room #238
1825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201
Documentary Screening of “Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist”
This award-winning full-length feature film is the definitive documentary on the life and art of Will Eisner, father of the graphic novel, and includes interviews with Kurt Vonnegut, Michael Chabon, Jules Feiffer, and Frank Miller, among others. The documentary will be followed by a discussion between Marvel Comics best-selling writer Brian Michael Bendis and Eisner’s former Dark Horse editor Diana Schutz.
Friday, March 3, 2017
12 noon – 3:30 p.m.
Cramer Hall room #150
1721 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201
The Spirit of Rebellion: How Will Eisner’s The Spirit Changed the Art & Commerce of Comics
Will Eisner lived a life of constant innovation. At the age of 22, with war on the horizon, he walked away from a lucrative partnership at the Eisner and Iger studio to develop a new kind of comic book—the newspaper comic book supplement—and the first creator-owned business model in comics. In the 1950s and ’60s, when comics were vilified in mass culture, he used the medium to create educational tools for military and industrial clients. In late life, he championed the graphic novel at a time when the idea of serious adult fiction in comics was laughably unlikely. Panelists Jim Valentino, Diana Schutz, and Dan Schkade are joined by moderator Charles Brownstein to discuss Eisner’s rebellious creativity and consider how his example is relevant today.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Cramer Hall room #53
Broadway, Portland, OR 97201
About the Panelists
Brian Michael Bendis is an award-winning comics creator, New York Times bestseller, and one of the most successful writers working in mainstream comics. For the last fifteen years, Brian’s books have consistently sat on the top of the nationwide comic and graphic novel sales charts. Brian has won five Eisner awards, including “Best Writer of the Year” two years in a row and was honored with the prestigious Inkpot award for comic art excellence. Brian is the recipient of the Cleveland Press “Excellence in Journalism” Award and was named “Best Writer of the Year” by Wizard Magazine and Comics Buyer’s Guide for three consecutive years.
Charles Brownstein has served as the Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund since 2002. During his tenure the organization has achieved numerous legal victories, been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court, and has become the leading source of education and advocacy for combating the rising tide of comics censorship in libraries and schools. Brownstein is a prolific and sought-out lecturer on the history of comics and censorship who has addressed audiences across the United States, as well as in Canada, Japan, Lebanon, Norway, and the United Kingdom. In addition to his work at CBLDF, he also writes extensively about comics; his publications include Eisner/Miller, The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen, and Monsters & Titans: Battling Boy Art on Tour.
Barry Deutsch’s best-known creation is the Oregon Book Award-winning Hereville series of graphic novels, about “yet another troll-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl.” With co-creator Becky Hawkins, he also creates the webcomic SuperButch, about a lesbian superhero in the 1940s. His political cartoons, which can be read at leftycartoons.com, have appeared in dozens of publications and won the Charles Schulz Award. Barry had the good fortune to study under Will Eisner at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He currently lives in Portland, in a bright blue house with bubble-gum pink trim.
Jemiah Jefferson is an editor at Dark Horse Comics where she works mostly on European and manga titles as well as archival reprints of classic comics including Flash Gordon, Herbie, Captain Midnight, and Creepy. She is also a multiply published fiction writer whose titles include Voice of the Blood, Wounds, Fiend, and A Drop of Scarlet. She is an avid fan of genre movies and television, especially anything having to do with superheroes. Find her work at www.jemiah.com.
Dan Schkade is a freelance comic book writer and artist from Austin, Texas. His credits include Will Eisner’s The Spirit, Battlestar Galactica: Gods and Monsters, San Hannibal, and The Fowl. He lives in Portland, Oregon, where he is a member of the comics creator collective Helioscope.
Diana Schutz’s efforts as editor, writer, educator, and staunch supporter of creators’ rights have made her a venerable icon in the industry. She made immense strides not only in opening the mainstream comics world to independent, creator-owned works, but also opening the doors for women to work in positions of power. From her editorial work on acclaimed series like Sin City, Grendel, and Usagi Yojimbo, to her close relationships with other icons like Will Eisner, Neil Gaiman, and Frank Miller, Schutz has helped shape the modern era of comics for almost four decades and has laid the foundation for its future.
Jim Valentino started his career in the late 1970s creating small-press, self-published comics, graduating to small-press acclaim with the superhero parody normalman and the autobiographical series Valentino. After a stint as a storyboard artist for various animation features, he returned to comics in the late 1980s, creating the era-defining run on Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel. Valentino is best known as a founding partner of Image Comics, where he created the series ShadowHawk, served as publisher from 1999-2004, and continues to publish innovative creators under his Shadowline imprint.
David F. Walker is an award-winning comic book writer, author, filmmaker, journalist, and educator. His work in comic books includes Shaft (Dynamite Entertainment)—winner of the 2015 Glyph Award for Story of the Year—Power Man and Iron Fist, Nighthawk, Luke Cage, Occupy Avengers, Deadpool (Marvel Comics), Cyborg (DC Comics), The Army of Dr. Moreau (IDW/Monkeybrain Comics), and Number 13 (Dark Horse Comics). He is also the creator of the critically acclaimed YA series The Adventures of Darius Logan. He teaches part-time at Portland State University.
Farel Dalrymple, Barry Deutsch, Ben Fisher, Michelle Nguyen, Mike Murphy, and Celina Hernandez appear at Cosmic Monkey Comics on Saturday, December 19, 2015 from noon till 3:00 PM!
Cosmic Monkey Comics
5335 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213
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Barry Deutsch signs at Powell’s Books on Thursday, November 15th at 7:30PM.
3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR
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Greg Rucka, Barry Deutsch, Laura Hudson, and Shannon Wheeler sign at Powell’s Books on Thursday, July 14 from 7:00pm – 10:00pm!
The Eisner Awards are the highest honor in comics, and before the winners are announced at Comic-Con International later this summer, 2011 Eisner Award nominees and Portland residents Greg Rucka, Barry Deutsch, Laura Hudson, and Shannon Wheeler head to Powell’s Books (3723 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland, OR) to sign books and have a panel discussion about comic books and the Portland comic scene. We hope you’ll stop by!
Barry Deutsch: Cartoonist of “Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword,” yet another story about a troll-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl, nominated for Best Publication for Teens.
Laura Hudson: The editor-in-chief of the AOL blog ComicsAlliance, nominated for Best Periodical/Journalism.
Greg Rucka: Writer of “Stumptown,” a hard-boiled private eye comic set in Portland, and the story “Post Mortem” from Marvel’s “I Am an Avenger.” Nominated for Best Limited Series and Best Short Story respectively.
Shannon Wheeler: The creator of Too Much Coffee Man and New Yorker contributor presents his Eisner-nominated book of New Yorker rejects “I Thought You Would Be Funnier” in the Best Humor Publication category.
The Comix Galaxy Returns to Miami Book Fair International This November
A FULL SCHEDULE OF PROGRAMS CELEBRATING COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS –
AUTHORS, EVENTS, EDUCATION WORKSHOPS, INTERACTIVE PRESENTATIONS & MORE!
MIAMI, September 14, 2010 –The 27th edition of the nation’s finest and largest literary gathering, Miami Book Fair International, presented by the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College (MDC), will take place November 14-21, 2010, at the college’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami and will again feature the popular Comix Galaxy.
The New York Times hailed the Miami Book Fair as the model for all book festivals. The Fair again broke new ground two years ago when it launched The Comix Galaxy, a program that celebrates the place of comics and graphic novels in American literature with panels, sessions for educators, workshops for kids and teens, and more.
The Comix Galaxy invites teachers, librarians, parents, and comics and graphic novel creators to participate in the School of Comics, to be held on Thursday, November 18 and Friday, November 19.
The first day of the School of Comics will be a Day of Education for teachers, librarians and parents on how to expand the academic curricula with graphic novels, and will be held on Thursday, November 18. Programming will be keynoted by Dr. William Ayers, education theorist, professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and author of To Teach: The Journey, in Comics. Also on this program will be James “Bucky” Carter, professor of English at the University of Texas at El Paso and author of Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels, Chris Schweizer, professor of Sequential Art and Animation at Savannah College of Art and Design-Atlanta and author of Crogan’s March, and Adam Johnson, professor of Creative Writing at Stanford University and co-editor of the Stanford University Graphic Novel Project. Practical examples of how comics and graphic novels have been integrated into curriculum will be part of this event as well as lists of titles that work in the classroom environment. The Day of Education will be moderated by Carol Fitzgerald, publisher of the popular website site GraphicNovelReporter.com.
On Friday, November 19, a second day of School of Comics programming will address aspiring comics creators with an emphasis on established creators teaching their craft and talking about how to get published. Participating creators include Amy Ignatow (The Popularity Papers), Tracy White (How I Made It to Eighteen) and Raina Telgemeier (Smile).
For the past two years, the weekend portion of The Comix Galaxy has presented panels by diverse and exciting creators from all facets of the comics and graphic novel industry. This year promises to be just as inspiring with David Axe (War Is Boring), Barry Deutsch (Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword), Sid Jacobson (Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography), Mat Johnson (Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story), Chip Kidd (Shazam! The Golden Age of the World’s Mightiest Mortal), Denis Kitchen (The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen), Inverna Lockpez and Dean Haspiel (Cuba: My Revolution), Lars Martinson (Tonoharu), Mark McKenna (Banana Tail), Vanessa Davis (Make Me a Woman), Jaime Hernandez (The Art of Jaime Hernandez: The Secrets of Life and Death), Joan Hilty (Senior Editor, DC Comics/ Vertigo), Joe Sacco (Footnotes in Gaza), Joshua Hale Fialkov (Tumor), Alex Simmons (Archie) and many others.
Original drawings and final page blowups from the graphic novel Cuba: My Revolution (DC Comics/ Vertigo) by DeanHaspiel and Inverna Lockpez will be on display throughout the week of the Fair and beyond, part of an exhibition at Miami Dade College’s Center Gallery. Another exhibition will tie in with the Fair’s celebration of Mexican culture. It will consist of pages from a 12-issue comic book series about the Mexican Revolution by artist Jose Luis Pescador, written by some of the greats of contemporary Mexican literature.
Another favorite, Kids’ Comic Con, returns from New York City with hands-on workshops and portfolio reviews! Last year’s crowd-pleasing activities got kids and teens drawing and writing alongside professional artists/teachers. Free and open to all over the three-day weekend Street Fair, November 19-21, Kids’ Comic Con is the place for every kid who dreams of creating the next Superman or Wimpy Kid.
The return of School of Comics and Kids’ Comic Con to Comix Galaxy 2010 is part of the Miami Book Fair’s continued celebration of comics and graphic novels. We look forward to sharing more names of participating graphic novelists and comic book artists in the weeks to come.
For updates on the Miami Book Fair, please visit www.miamibookfair.com, call 305-237-3528, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MIAMI BOOK FAIR INTERNATIONAL AND FLORIDA CENTER FOR THE LITERARY ARTS
Miami Book Fair International is the largest and is regarded as the finest literary gathering in America. It is the premier event of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College. The Center promotes reading and writing throughout the year by consistently presenting quality literary activities open to all in South Florida. Literacy projects target children of all ages—from kindergarten to high school—as well as college students and adults. Established and emerging writers from South Florida and all over the U.S. read, lecture, and teach workshops. They work with K-12, MDC students, and diverse members of the community, helping to deepen their understanding of literature, and encouraging their work of writers at all stages of development. The Center envisions South Florida as a nexus of literary activity in the Americas and beyond, and will continue to champion its mission of promoting the advancement and appreciation of the literary arts in all forms.
Miami Book Fair International is made possible through the generous support of the State of Florida and the National Endowment for the Arts; the City of Miami; Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; Miami-Dade County Public Schools; the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Miami Downtown Development; and the Friends of the Fair; as well as many corporate partners.
ABOUT MIAMI DADE COLLEGE
Miami Dade College has a long and rich history of involvement in the cultural arts, providing South Florida with a vast array of artistic and literary offerings including The Miami Book Fair International, The Florida Center for the Literary Arts, The Miami International Film Festival, the Cultura del Lobo performance arts series, The Cuban Cinema Series, the Miami Leadership Roundtable speakers’ series, numerous renowned campus art galleries and theaters, and the nationally recognized School of Entertainment and Design Technology. With an enrollment of more than 170,000 students, MDC is the largest institution of higher education in the country and is a national model for many of its programs. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 300 distinct degree programs including baccalaureate, associate in arts and science degrees and numerous career training certificates leading to in-demand jobs. In 2006, MDC admitted its 1.5 millionth student.