2010 UF Conference on Comics
“ImageNext: Visions Past and Future”
The University of Florida’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences held the 2010 UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, “ImageNext: Visions Past and Future,” in Gainesville, Florida on March 26 and 27. Guest speakers included Davide Kunzle (The History of the Comic Strip, Father of the Comic Strip: Rodolphe T�pffer) and John Porcellino (King Cat).
UPDATE: Guest artist Molly Kiely, originally scheduled for a keynote address on Saturday at 1:00 PM, was not able to attend.
This year’s conference on comics focused on comics that explore human history and alternate histories. Comics discussed included reimaginings of the past (both personal and cultural), projections of the future and revisions of pre-existing timelines, fictional and historical. Presentations were welcome to address comics that represent historical periods and/or genres (i.e. classic comics, steampunk, etc.) or the historical precedents of comics as we now understand them (i.e. political cartoons in nineteenth-century newspapers, narrative paintings, etc.). We used the term “comics” in its broadest sense, to include animation, manga, anime, graphic novels, webcomics, political cartoons, and even some “fine art.”
The conference was held in Room 1A of Smathers (Library East) on the University of Florida campus.
David Kunzle, Professor of Art History at UCLA, is an acknowledged expert in the study of the works of Rodolphe T�pffer, who pioneered the field of comic strip creation in the nineteenth century. He has published two recent books on the subject, Father of the Comic Strip: Rodolphe T�pffer (2007) and Rodolphe T�pffer: the Complete Comic Strips (2007). Kunzle is also the author of The History of the Comic Strip, a multivolume text widely hailed for breaking new ground in comics scholarship.
Corey Creekmur is the Director of the Institute for Cinema and Culture at the University of Iowa, where he works as an Associate Professor of English and Film Studies. His recent work has included an exploration of alternate histories involving African American comic book superheroes.
John Porcellino is the creator of the self-published zine, King-Cat Comics, and author of Perfect Example (2000), Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man(winner of the 2005 Ignatz award) and the recently-produced Thoreau at Walden. His short comic, “Chemical Plant/Another World” (part of the Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man series) appeared on display at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco and was collected in Harvey Pekar and Elizabeth Moore’s 2006 Best American Comics anthology. In his largely-autobiographical comics, Porcellino uses a simple, uncomplicated line and subtle narrative style to evoke the eerie and the extraordinary in moments of everyday life.
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, The Yavitz Fund through the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, Alachua County Library District, ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Council, Sweetwater Organic Coffee
Katherine Shaeffer, Dan Brown, Will Walter.