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The International Comic Arts Forums

This is Daniel from the Grand Comics Database Board of Directors. I just returned from the 2016 International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF). It was well worth my time, and I can’t tell you how glad I am to have had the opportunity to attend. I want to especially thank the ICAF host, Qiana, for her time. She answered all my questions and introduced me to the audience, giving me a chance to speak. I want to also thank the Comic Studies Society President, Charles Hatfield, for his kind words to the conference about the GCD and our contributions.

The Grand Comics Database Project aspires to be the world's most comprehensive online comics database for comic readers, collectors, scholars, and professionals. In 2014, we ramped up our outreach to comic readers and collectors with a stronger presence at conventions, comics shops, and shows across North America and Europe. It is just as important for us to reach out to the scholars who use the GCD database for their research.

ICAF and the Comics Studies Society (CSS) are the types of forums that provide us another glimpse at what the database offers the entire comics community. It is my hope that we can strengthen our relationship with these institutions, learning how we might be able to better address their concerns and using their insight to improve what has already been a valuable resource.

What is ICAF? Started in 1995, ICAF is an annual conference dedicated to promoting the scholarly study and appreciation of comics. They actively seek collaboration with scholars, historians, critics, teachers, journalists, curators, artists, and comics professionals from around the world. I first heard of ICAF through fellow member and fellow convention boother Ray Bottorff. It was too intriguing to let it go, so I made the 443-mile journey to the University of South Carolina in the heart of Columbia, South Carolina (14–16 April 2016). If you want more information, I encourage you to visit http://www.internationalcomicartsforum.org/.

I also discovered The Comics Studies Society during my three day visit. The CSS “is the U.S.’s first learned society and professional association for comics researchers and teachers. It is an interdisciplinary society open to all comics scholars — whether working in the academy or independent — who share the goals of promoting the critical study of comics, improving comics teaching, and engaging in open and ongoing conversation about the comics world” (from the ICAF program). At least two GCD members are also members of the CSS, and I hope to see more in the future. You can learn more at http://www.comicssociety.org/.

I am neither a comics scholar or academic, but I found the panels interesting and understandable. The three days were busy from 0900 through 1700 (and sometimes later). Special guests included Cece Bell, Howard Cruse, Sanford Greene, Dominique Goblet, Gary Jackson, and Keith Knight. I was particularly impressed with the academic panels. There were a total of 14 panel presentations representing 39 colleges and universities. I was only able to attend 7. You can get details at http://www.internationalcomicartsforum.org/2016-schedule.html.

I will make every effort to go to another ICAF conference in the future. I will be looking into areas of mutual interest to ICAF and the GCD, and I will see what I can do to promote academic involvement from those scholars within our membership.

Thank you again to ICAF, CCS, and especially Qiana. It was memorable and fascinating.


GCD Comics Timeline


Stan Goldberg (5 May 1932 – 31 August 2014, USA) started his career in 1949 at the age of sixteen, as a staff artist for Timely (which is now Marvel), where he was in charge of the color department. Goldberg continued to color Marvel comics until 1970, and has created the color designs for many famous Silver Age characters, including ‘Spider-Man’, ‘The Fantastic Four’ and ‘The Hulk’. He also illustrated a couple of ghost stories for Atlas titles like Marvel Tales. Goldberg went freelance in 1958, and also enrolled in New York City’s School of Visual Arts to study TV storyboarding.

In addition, he succeeded Dan De Carlo as the artist of the ‘Millie the Model’ title, making it a bit more realistic in the 1963-67 period. He also worked as an artist and co-plotter with Stan Lee on the teen title ‘Patsy Walker’. Goldberg left Marvel in 1969 and began working on a couple of DC’s teen titles, including ‘Date with Debbie’, ‘Swing with Scooter’ and ‘Binky’.

Continue reading about Stan Goldberg at Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/g/goldberg_stan.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Stan Goldberg — http://ow.ly/4nqSBd

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Toby Cypress (born 5 May, USA) attended the Joe Kubert Art School, when he met Brian Wood. After his graduation in 1997, he has worked for most publishers in the comic book industry. With Wood, he created the crime comic ‘The Tourist’, published by Ait/PlanetLAR in 2006. Cypress contributed to anthologies like ‘Popgun vol. 1’ (Image), ‘Swallow Book Four’ (IDW) and he has worked on Dark Horse’s ‘Predator’, Image’s ‘Killing Girl’, DC’s ‘Batman/Nightwing’ and Marvel’s ‘Uncanny X-Men’. He also works as a storyboard artist and conceptual designer for clients like Tokyo Pop and Nike.

From Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/c/cypress_toby.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Toby Cypress — http://ow.ly/4nqNbe

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It was 1951 when Octave Joly (5 May 1910 – 7 June 1988, Belgium) wrote ‘Comment naquit la Marseillaise’ in cooperation with Jean-Michel Charlier for Dino Attanasio. It was the first ‘Belle histoire de l’Oncle Paul’ that he wrote and about 1200 followed. Joly was the most productive writer of this educational series of short stories about history that were published in Spirou. Throughout the years, Joly also worked with well-known artists, like Eddy Paape, Victor Hubinon, MiTacq, Jean Graton, René Follet and the Funckens. Apart from the Oncle Paul’s, Joly has written ‘Stanley’ for Hubinon, ‘Marco Polo’ and ‘Tom et Nelly’ for Uderzo and ‘Winston Churchill’ for Paape.

From Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/j/joly_octave.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Octave Joly — http://ow.ly/4nqQNH

(This image of the character Oncle Paul is from the Lambiek Comiclopedia page for Joly.)

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Greg (Michel Regnier, 5 May 1931, Belgium – 29 October 1999, France), one of the most prolific of French-Belgian comics creators, has worked in a variety of genres, from realism to humor. He is best known for such humorous series as ‘Achille Talon’, ‘Rock Derby’ and ‘Zig et Puce’, and as the writer of the realistic comics ‘Comanche’, ‘Bernard Prince’ and ‘Bruno Brazil’.

Continue reading about Greg at Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/g/greg.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Greg — http://ow.ly/4nqP8x

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David Lloyd (born 5 May 1950, UK) debuted in 1977, drawing for Halls of Horror, TV Comic and Marvel UK. His first works include the highly acclaimed ‘Night Raven’, created with Steve Parkhouse, and another series for Marvel UK featuring ‘Dr. Who’. With Alan Moore, he created ‘V for Vendetta’, published in the British monthly magazine Warrior. ‘V for Vendetta’ relates the adventures of a masked vigilante figure waging war against a totalitarian Britain.

Continue reading about David Lloyd at Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/l/lloyd_david.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by David Lloyd — http://ow.ly/4nqO00

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John Broome (4 May 1913 – 14 March 1999, USA), who additionally used the pseudonyms John Osgood and Edgar Ray Meritt, was an American comic book writer for DC Comics. As a youth, he enjoyed reading science fiction, and began writing for science-fiction pulp magazines in the 1940s. By then he was already writing for some of the earliest American comic books to be published, beginning with a two-page “Pals and Pastimes” humor strip, illustrated by Ray Gill, in Centaur Publications’ Funny Pages #7 (Dec. 1936). By 1942 he was writing text fillers for Fawcett Comics, at least one under the pseudonym Ron Broom. When his agent, Julius Schwartz, became an editor at what would become DC Comics during the 1930-40s “Golden Age of Comic Books”, Broome was recruited to write superhero stories starring the Flash, Green Lantern, Sargon the Sorcerer and others. His first known script for the company was the 13-page Flash story “The City of Shifting Sand” in All-Flash #22 (May 1946). He wrote text fillers under the pen name John Osgood.

Continue reading about John Broome at Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Broome_%28writer%29

Explore items in the GCD with work by John Broome — http://ow.ly/4noFls

(The cover of SHOWCASE 22, September-October 1959, was created by Gil Kane.)

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Alé Garza began his career at the age of 18, working at the Wildstorm studios in La Julla, California. He has worked on such DC and Wildstorm titles as ‘Gen 13’, ‘Zero’, ‘EVE Protomecha’, ‘Batgirl’, ‘Superman/ Thundercats’, ‘The Losers’ and ‘Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day’. In addition, Garza has worked on Marvel’s ‘Marvel Knights Spider-Man’ and ‘Starjammers’, as well as Top Cow’s ‘Witchblade’.

From Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/g/garza_ale.htm

Explore items in the GCD Alé Garza — http://ow.ly/4noHPX (some explicit covers)

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John Ridgway (born 4 May 1940, UK) initially worked as a professional design engineer and did his first comics for D.C. Thompson on the side. He contributed to books like ‘Commando War Stories’ and ‘Commando Action’, before becoming a fulltime comics artist in 1984. He has worked for many companies, including 2000 AD, Gutenberghus, Marvel Comics and DC Comics.

Continue reading about John Ridgway at LambiekComiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/r/ridgway_john.htm

Read about John Ridgway at Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ridgway_(comics)

Explore items in the GCD with work by John Ridgway — http://ow.ly/4noEgA

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Joseph F. Loeckx (born 4 May 1937, Belgium), best known as Jo-El Azara, studied art at the Saint Luc art school in Brussels. Azara met Willy Vandersteen during a holiday, and the master of Flemish comics asked him to work at the Vandersteen Studios, where he collaborated on the ‘Suske en Wiske’ episode ‘De Lachende Wolf’ in 1953. In 1954, he drew a short story about ‘Hamlet’ for Junior/Ons Volkske.

Between 1954 and 1961, he was employed by Studio Hergé, where he assisted on two albums starring ‘Tintin et Milou’. By 1958, he was drawing for a variety of magazines under pseudonyms like Jo-El, Ernest and eventually Jo-El Azara. Besides publications in Caravane and Spirou, he collaborated with Will on the Peyo series ‘Jacky et Célestin’ for Le Soir Illustré in 1961-62.

Continue reading about Jo-El Azara at Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/a/azara.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Jo-El Azara — http://ow.ly/4noCEe

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Nestor Redondo (4 May 1928 – 30 September 1995, The Philippines) was born in Candon, Ilocos Sur. From a very early age he drew comics, influenced by American comics such as ‘Tarzan’, ‘Flash Gordon’, ‘Buck Rogers’ and ‘Superman’. Because his elder brother, Virgilio, was already a comic book artist, his parents felt that he should take up architecture instead. After trying it for a year, Nestor Redondo turned to drawing comics anyway. His first professional job was with Bulaklak Komiks. It soon became apparent that Nestor was a better draftsman than his brother, and Virgilio turned his talent to writing comics instead. The two of them teamed up and produced popular series like ‘Palos’, ‘Tagisan ng Agimat’ and ‘Diwani ang Gagamba’. Nestor’s popularity really skyrocketed when he was commissioned to illustrate the blockbuster series ‘Darna’, written by Mars Ravelo, in the early 1950s.
By the late 1950s, Nestor Redondo was illustrating for several comic books at the same time, Pilipino Komiks, Tagalog Klasiks, Hiwaga Komiks and Espesial Komiks. Each of these books came out bi-weekly, and Nestor would have two or more series going at the same time on any of these four titles. Nestor Redondo did all the penciling and inking himself. Besides doing dozens of pages every week, he also made a lot of book covers.
Continue reading about Nestor Redondo at Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/r/redondo.htm
Explore items in the GCD with work by Nestor Redondo — http://ow.ly/4noDtJ

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The Grand Comics Database Project (GCD) is a volunteer project with the goal of documenting and indexing all comics for the free use of scholars, historians, researchers, and fans.
The GCD acknowledges that the all-encompassing research nature of the project may result in the posting of cover scans for comics with images that some may find objectionable.
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