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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

Massimo De Vita (born 29 May 1941, Italy) Massimo De Vita was born in Milan as the son of the Italian Disney artist Pier Lorenzo De Vita. He followed his father’s footsteps in the Disney comics world, after working in the animation studios of the Pagot Brothers (‘Calimero’).

After a collaboration with the editorial staff of Topolino, Massimo De Vita drew his first Disney comics in the early 1960s. At first illustrating other writer’s stories, he soon took on the scenario work of his comics as well. He is the creator of ‘Il Professor Zapotec’, who appears in the Italian Disney stories. Massimo De Vita is the main artist on the ‘C’era una Volta... in America’, about ancestors of Mickey Mouse during important moments in American history.

Throughout the years, Massimo De Vita has established himself as one of the best Italian Disney artists.

From Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/d/de-vita_massimo.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Massimo De Vita — http://ow.ly/hwGA300GJyO

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Ryoichi Ikegami (born 29 May 1944, Japan) saw his first short comic published in the magazine Garo. This comic was noticed by Shigeru Mizuki, who took Ikegami as his assistant. He started his first series, a western trilogy, at age 24. Success came in 1973 when he took on the series ‘Aiueo Boy’, along with scenarist Kazuo Koike. Two of this series, both published by Shôgakukan, were introduced on the American market in 1987 and 1989: ‘Mai the Psychic Girl’ (with Kazuya Kudo) and ‘Crying Freeman’ (with Kazuo Koike).

This first series was one of the comics that started the success of manga in America, and the second was about the war of police and Japanese gangs against the Chinese mob. Other series that Ikegami made are ‘Otoko Ozorga’ (with Tetsu Kariya), ‘Sanctuary’, ‘Strain’ (with Sho Fumimura) and ‘Nobunaga’ (with Kazuya Kudo). Ikegami has additionally illustrated works like ‘Katsuotoko Boï’ (1991), ‘Oritsuin Kumomaru no Shogaï’ (1992), ‘Kyoko’ (1995-96), ‘Odyssey’ (from 1996), ‘Heat’ (from 1999) and ‘Ruygetsu-sho’ (from 2000).

From Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/i/ikegami_ryoichi.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Ryoichi Ikegami — http://ow.ly/XHiJ300GJpi

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Tom Moore (28 May 1928 – 20 July 2015, USA) was a comic book artist who had a longtime association with Archie Comics. He started out as a cartoonist while serving in the US Navy during the Korean War, creating the ‘Chick Call’ strip for military service publications. Back in civil life, he attended the Cartoonist and Illustrator School in New York and joined Archie Comics shortly afterwards, in 1953.

He drew one comic book a month until 1961, when he went to work in public relations. He made his comeback in the 1970s as an artist for ‘Snuffy Smith’, ‘Underdog’ and ‘Mighty Mouse’, before eventually returning to Archie. During this period, he was mostly working on the ‘Jughead’ character. He retired in the late 1980s, and subsequently taught at El Paso Community College. He passed away in his hometown El Paso, Texas, in July 2015, aged 86.

From Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/m/moore_tom.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Tom Moore — http://ow.ly/DtCX300FIY4

(The image shown is from the Lambiek Comiclopedia page for Tom Moore.)

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As a student at the Vancouver School of Art, Lynn Johnston (born 28 May 1947, Canada) leaned towards commercial illustration. After graduation, she first worked in an animation studio, and then at McMaster University as a medical illustrator. During her first pregnancy however, she created numerous panel cartoons which led to three books: ‘David, We’re Pregnant!’, ‘Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad!’ and ‘Do They Ever Grow Up?’.

In 1978, Johnston signed a contract with Universal Press Syndicate and her masterwork ‘For Better or For Worse’ debuted on 9 September 1979. She continued the strip throughout the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s; Universal has been distributing reruns since 2010. Lynn Johnston was given the society’s coveted Reuben for 1986 and its Best Newspaper Comic Strip in 1991. The International Museum of Cartoon Art inducted her into its Hall of Fame in 1997, making Johnston the first woman to be so honored. She lives and works in Ontario.

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

Read about Lynn Johnston at Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynn_Johnston

Explore items in the GCD with work by Lynn Johnston — http://ow.ly/96FF300FIlV

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Joakim Pirinen (born 28 May 1961, Sweden) is an illustrator, author, and comic creator. One of the most acclaimed artists to make his debut during the 1980s wave of ‘artistic’ and ‘adult’ comics in Sweden, Pirinen was, and still is, a regular contributor to the Swedish alternative comics magazine Galago.

Pirinen's comic album debut came in 1984 with Välkommen Till Sandlådan (‘Welcome to the Sandbox’), but his true breakthrough came with Socker-Conny (‘Sugar-Conny’) in 1985, a graphic novel about an anarchistic borderline personality.

Pirinen has a very distinct and unique style, playing as few of his peers with art and language, with time and space. He has also written some rather unusual prose.

From Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joakim_Pirinen

Explore items in the GCD with work by Joakim Pirinen — http://ow.ly/gXwd300FHU5

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Scottish artist Sydney Jordan (born 28 May 1928? 1931?, UK), initially drawn towards a career in flying, studied at the Miles Aircraft Technical College in Reading. Unable to find a job, he joined a small artists’ studio in Dundee, his place of birth. He assisted Len Fullerton on his comic ‘Dora, Toni and Liz’ and came up with a new science-fiction character, Orion. In 1952, he moved to London and started working for the agency Man’s World. Here, he came up with ‘Dick Hercules’, and submitted his Orion character to the Daily Express, who advised him to make his hero an RAF pilot: Jeff Hawke was born.

After the first few aircraft episodes, ‘Jeff Hawke’ took off into space and became a popular feature of the Daily Express. Sydney Jordan and his friend Willy Patterson, who wrote the scenarios, devoted themselves to this series, which appeared until 1974 and was translated and published in countries all over Europe. In the mid 1970s Jordan produced the one-shot ‘Hall Star’ for the Dutch comics weekly Eppo, which he didn’t complete until the mid 1980s. It was published in 1987 and 1988 as ‘Stranded on Thyton’.

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

Explore items in the GCD with work by Sydney Jordan — http://ow.ly/cgQq300FHv6

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Charles Berberian (born 28 May 1959, France) stands as one of the leading present-day comics authors, together with his writing companion Philippe Dupuy. Berberian was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and spent many years of his childhood in Lebanon. At the age of 18, he took courses in Fine Arts in Paris, where he met François Avril. Berberian’s first comics works were published in the fanzine Band’à Part, where he developed a style influenced by Ralph Steadman and Tomi Ungerer.

In 1983, he met Philippe Dupuy, with whom he has worked on several projects ever since, each cooperating on both scenario and artwork. Dupuy and Berberian began their collaboration with an homage to Hergé and several works in P.L.G.P.P.U.R. These first efforts for the latter were collected in the album ‘Les Héros ne Meurent Jamais’ by L’Association in 1991. They then joined Fluide Glacial magazine, for which they created ‘Red, Basile et Gégé’ and most notably, ‘Le Journal d’Henriette’, the diary of a timid young adolescent girl. This series, which was later retitled to simply ‘Henriette’, was continued in Je Bouquine from 1995 and in Spirou from 2003.

Continue reading about Charles Berberian at Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/b/berberian.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Charles Berberian — http://ow.ly/MQXA300FGX4

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Aldo Capitanio (28 May 1952 – 20 September 2001, Italy) was born in Camisano Vicentino in 1952. He studied at the Institute of Art and Crafts of Padua, and started his career in 1972, when he published the story ‘Nel Giorno delle Nozze’ in magazine Eureka. A year later, he started working for Il Giornalino, creating short comics stories, some with writer Renato Gelardini. In 1980, Aldo Capitanio was employed by publisher Mondadori to draw for the series ‘Storia i Fumetti’, with text by Enzo Biagi. In 1989, he started his collaboration with the publishing house Bonelli, where he made a few episodes of ‘Nick Raider’, written by Claude Nizzi, and also worked on ‘Tex Willer’, for which he received an award in 1995. Aldo Capitanio continued to work for Bonelli until his death in September, 2001.

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

Explore items in the GCD with work by Aldo Capitanio — http://ow.ly/zm4G300FGxs

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Mark Wheatley (born 27 May 1954, USA) is an illustrator, writer, editor, and publisher in the comic book field. Wheatley’s comic book and pulp creations include Breathtaker, Mars, and Blood of the Innocent, all illustrated by his frequent collaborator Marc Hempel. Wheatley has written books, comic books, and television shows, and his illustrations have appeared in magazines, books, comic books, and games.

Continue reading about Mark Wheatley at Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Wheatley_%28comics%29

Explore items in the GCD with work by Mark Wheatley — http://ow.ly/rmaW300DmOb

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Albertine Randall (27 May 1863 – 7 January 1954, USA) was one of the earliest female cartoonists. She was born in San Francisco, the youngest of four children, and attended the San Francisco School of Design. She drew magazine illustrations for Harper’s Bazaar, Harper’s Young People, St. Nicholas and others.

The artist married San Francisco businessman and Harvard graduate, Fairfax Henry Wheelan, in San Francisco in 1887. They had two sons, Edgar Stow Wheelan and Fairfax Randall Wheelan. Edgar Wheelan created the comic strip ‘Minute Movies’, and also went on to become a nationally syndicated comic artist. When her husband died in San Francisco in 1915, the artist settled in New York City, and signed many of her later works with her married name, Albertine Randall Wheelan.

In 1931 she created and self-published the popular comic strip, ‘The Dumbunnies’, about the cute little rabbit family who live in the small town of Rabbitboro. After first reading ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Albertine was “fascinated by the delightful lunacy of the March Hare and the fussy White Rabbit,” so she decided to create this little community of humanized rabbits. She suggested that “if you follow carefully the antics of Dad, Ma, Dick, Dora, Daniel, and Dummy, maybe you’ll discover that you, too, have a little Dumbunny in your home.”

She illustrated many children’s books and contributed art to several holiday covers for the New York Herald Tribune’s Sunday supplements as well as other periodicals. In later years the artist worked from her studio in Greenwich Village, before retiring and living with her two sons in Connecticut. Mrs. Wheelan lived an active life to age 90, and died peacefully in January 1954.

From Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/r/randall_albertine.htm

(The image shown is from the Lambiek Comiclopedia page for Albertine Randall.)

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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.
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