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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


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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George Freeman (born 27 May 1951, Canada) is a comic book penciller, inker, and colorist. His comic-book illustrating career began with Richard Comely’s independent Canadian publication, Captain Canuck. He subsequently worked on several superhero comics, such as DC Comics’ Green Lantern and Aquaman, and Marvel Comics’ Jack of Hearts, and The Avengers. He drew a story in Batman Annual #11, written by Alan Moore.

He was one of several rotating artists on the short-lived horror comic anthology Wasteland by writer and actor Del Close and writer John Ostrander. Freeman alternated with artists Don Simpson, William Messner-Loebs, and David Lloyd on drawing one of the three horror stories in each issue, the fourth artist providing the cover.

In 1991, Freeman co-founded Digital Chameleon, a Winnipeg-based comics coloring and inking studio. He was a 1996 Eisner Awards nominee as Best Colorist for Topps’ The X-Files comic. In 2010, he was inducted into the Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame.

From Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Freeman_%28comics%29

Explore items in the GCD with work by George Freeman — http://ow.ly/xNXs300DkSG

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Lectrr (Steven Degryse, born 27 May 1979, Belgium) was born in Rumbeke but has set up his headquarters in Ghent. His absurd, hilarious cartoons can be found in magazines all over Europe, and are translated into french, german, turkish and english. He has published his ‘Hara Kiwi’ cartoons in Maxim, Veronica Magazine, Mo*, Algemeen Dagblad, Stripgids and many others. Lectrr also publishes in various comic-related magazines like Myx, Ink or Zone 5300. His comic strip ‘Lars’ is published in Algemeen Dagblad, and was collected in the book ‘Lars Attacks!’. He is the regular cartoonist for De Standaard since early 2011. In that same year he was appointed municipal artist-in-residence of the city of Turnhout for a period of two years.

From Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/l/lectrr.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Lectrr — http://ow.ly/nncI300DgT9

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

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Roger Melliès (27 May 1901 – 2 February 1969, France) started his career as an illustrator in the early 1920s. He started out making aircraft drawings for an American factory, located in Paris. He then became the longtime illustrator of catalogues for the Lafayette department stores, and for the magazine L’Auto. After working several years as a commercial artist, Melliès created his first aviation comic, ‘Pilotes des Sables’, published in Pierrot in 1939.

Continue reading about Roger Melliès at Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/m/mellies_r.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Roger Melliès — http://ow.ly/HSwW300Dgmi

(The image shown is from the Lambiek Comiclopedia page for Roger Melliès.)

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Tom Mandrake (born 26 May 1956, USA) studied at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art. He did artwork on DC’s ‘Batman’, ‘Sgt. Rock’, ‘The Spectre’, ‘Swamp Thing’, ‘Wonder Woman’, ‘Justice League’ and ‘Hawkworld’ from 1980 through the early 1990s. For First Comics, he worked on Classics Illustrated, Hamlet and Grimjack, among others. At Marvel, he drew ‘Weapon X’, ‘Dr. Strange’, and ‘The Precinct’. He created his own ‘Creeps’ comic at Image Comics. He is married to comic artist Jan Duursema.

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

Read about Tom Mandrake at Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Mandrake

Explore items in the GCD with work by Tom Mandrake — http://ow.ly/YvJ9300BgOr

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Herb Trimpe (26 May 1939 – 13 April 2015, USA) was a longtime Marvel artist who is best remembered for his work on ‘The Incredible Hulk’. He joined Marvel in 1967, after a year in Vietnam and three years as a student at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. He was hired by Stan Lee as a production assistant. His first pencil artwork appeared in the western comic books ‘Kid Colt, Outlaw’ and ‘Rawhide Kid’.

Trimpe worked on several titles for the next three decades, mainly on ‘The Incredible Hulk’, but also on other superhero titles like ‘Fantastic Four’, ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Defenders’. During the 1970s, he illustrated several Marvel series based on Japanese figures, such as ‘Shogun Warriors’ and ‘Godzilla’. He also pencilled titles like ‘Nick Fury’ and ‘The ’Nam’.

Continue reading about Herb Trimpe at Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/t/trimpe_herb.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Herb Trimpe — http://ow.ly/WK72300BgdN

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Indexing milestone: TV Century 21 #89 (1 Oct 1966) (http://www.comics.org/issue/583541/) is our 250,000th indexed comic on the site! Thanks to indexer Steve Jenner, and to all the indexers who preceded him and continue to contribute.

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Nick Bertozzi (born 26 May 1970, USA) is a comic book writer and artist, as well as a commercial illustrator and teacher of cartooning. His series Rubber Necker from Alternative Comics won the 2003 Harvey Awards for best new talent and best new series. His project, The Salon (published by St. Martin’s Press), examines the creation of cubism in 1907 Paris in the context of a fictional murder mystery.

Continue reading about Nick Bertozzi at Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Bertozzi

Explore items in the GCD with work by Nick Bertozzi — http://ow.ly/Obuj300Bf1A

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Disclaimer
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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Statistics
9,379 publishers
6,147 brands
4,952 indicia publishers
98,034 series
1,280,536 issues
56,156 variant issues
250,189 issue indexes
594,525 covers
1,702,597 stories