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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

William Overgard (30 April 1926 – 25 May 1990, USA) was an American cartoonist and writer with a diverse opus, including novels, screenplays, animation, the comic strips Steve Roper and Rudy, and comic books.

Continue reading about William Overgard at Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Overgard

Explore items in the GCD with work by William Overgard — http://ow.ly/4ng3tq

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Sal Trapani (30 April 1927 – 14 July 1999, USA), brother-in-law of Dick Giordano, began his career in 1949, drawing for the publishers Hillman and Gilmor. He drew his first horror comics in Tales of Horror in 1954, while doing space comics for Charlton. He was the artistic director of Cambia Animation from 1961 to 1965. He joined the American Comic Group in the late 1960s, drawing comics for Forbidden World, Unknown World, Gasp and Adventures into the Unknown, but also for Warren’s Eerie and Creepy. He also worked for DC, doing fantasy, horror and mystery stories.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Trapani has worked on such series as ‘Doom Patrol’, ‘Green Lantern’, ‘Wonder Woman’, ‘Teen Titans’, and ‘Superman’. He also assisted José Delbo on the ‘Superman’ daily in the 1980s. From the mid-1960s, Trapani has worked for a variety of publishers, like Dell (‘Dr Who’, ‘Flying Saucers’), Gold Key (‘Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery’, ‘Twilight Zone’) and Marvel (inking many series).

From Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/t/trapani_sal.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Sal Trapani — http://ow.ly/4ng1Gu

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After her artistic studies, Vanna Vinci (born 30 April 1964, Italy) started to work in the advertising field. She worked at the Studio Mow Mow from 1987. She made her comics debut in Fumo di China with two short stories about the mummy ‘Naarik’. She then joined Granata Press, where she produced ‘L’Altra Parte’ (in Nova Express), and ‘Doppio Sogno’.

She illustrated the mini-series ‘Mondo Naif’ in Star Comics, and drew ‘Guarda che Luna’ with text by Giovanni Mattioli at Kappa Edizioni. She continued her collaboration with Mattioli with ‘Una Casa a Venezia’ for the Japanese publisher Kodansha. Again at Kappa, she illustrated ‘Ombre’, ‘Lillian Browne’, ‘L’Età Selvaggia’, and ‘Viaggio Sentimentale’. At Bonelli, she illustrated ‘Legs Weaver’, and for Linus, she produced the strip ‘La Bambina Filosofica’.

From Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/v/vinci_vanna.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Vanna Vinci — http://ow.ly/4ng0vO

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Michael Davis (born 29 April 1958, USA) lives and maintains a studio in New York City. He has not only worked in comic books, but also in television shows and reading programs. He pursued training as an illustrator at the High School of Art and Design and the Pratt Institute. His first comic book work was ‘Etc’, and it appeared under DC’s Piranha Press imprint in 1987. That same year, he founded his media company Bad Boy Studios, which became known for its mentor program in support of young artists.

Together with fellow African-American comic authors Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan and Derek T. Dingle he founded Milestone Media in 1992 in an attempt to correct the low representation of minorities in American comics. With its distribution deal with Time Warner, the company spawned a full-scale multicultural universe of comic characters and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Among the Milestone titles were ‘Hardware’, ‘Blood Syndicate’, ‘Icon’ and ‘Static’.

Continue reading about Michael Davis at Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/d/davis_m.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Michael Davis — http://ow.ly/4ndZzu

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Kevin Atkinson was born (29 April 1961) and raised in Texas. Between 1985 and 1988 he was in New Jersey to study at the Joe Kubert School. Since then he has done short stories and full-length comics for various publishers. He wrote and drew two series, ‘Snarl’ and ‘Planet 29’ and collaborated on another, ‘Rogue Satellite Comics’, which climaxed with a guest appearance by ‘The Flaming Carrot’. In addition, he has inked ‘The Tick’ comics and illustrated Drew Edward’s ‘Halloween Man’. He did a number of comic adaptions for the Graphic Classics series, including works by Mark Twain, Poe and Sabatini. He is also working on projects for Platinum Studios. His two biggest artistic influences are Will Eisner and R. Crumb.

From Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/a/atkinson_kevin.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Kevin Atkinson — http://ow.ly/4ndZ3B

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Mark van Oppen (born 29 April 1953, Belgium) studied interior architecture before choosing a career as illustrator. His first drawings appear in the Dutch science-fiction magazine Orbit, which he signed with Marvano. He continued making illustrations in the science-fiction genre for the publishers Heyne in Germany and Meulenhoff in the Netherlands.

By 1982, he stopped his architecture activities and became editor-in-chief of Kuifje, the Flemish version of Tintin. During his period he published his first comics in both Kuifje/ Tintin and Robbedoes+ (the Dutch version of Spirou Album +). In 1986 he was appointed head of the comics section of the Flemish publishing firm Den Gulden Engel.

Marvano’s first artistic claim to fame was his adaptation of SF novel ‘The Forever War’ by the American novelist Joe Haldeman, that was published as a trilogy in the Aire Libre collection of the publishing house Dupuis in 1988 and 1989. For these books, Marvano worked in close collaboration with the writer, who became a personal friend.

Continue reading about Marvano at Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/m/marvano.htm

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

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Lee Falk (28 April 1911 – 12 March 1999, USA) was the creator of two of the longest running newspaper comics, ‘The Phantom’ and ‘Mandrake the Magician’. From his days in high school, when he edited the school paper, and throughout his adult life, Lee felt the urge to write. He wrote stories, articles and poems for his college newspapers. After graduating from the University of Illinois, he found work as a copywriter for a St. Louis advertising agency. There, he met Phil Davis, with whom he created ‘Mandrake the Magician’, his first attempt at comic strip writing. In 1934, he succeeded in selling ‘Mandrake’ to King Features Syndicate. The success of the feature was so huge that Falk sold the silent avenger ‘The Phantom’ to King Features two years later. For this comic, Falk pencilled the first two weeks himself, but later worked with the artists Ray Moore, Wilson McCoy, Sy Barry and Bill Lignante, who mainly drew for Phantom comic books.

Continue reading about Lee Falk at Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/f/falk_l.htm

Read about Lee Falk at Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Falk

Explore items in the GCD with work by Lee Falk — http://ow.ly/4nblY3

(The cover of FEATURE BOOK #18, 1938, was drawn by Phil Davis.)

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Dick Ayers (28 April 1924 – 4 May 2014, USA) was a comic book artist and cartoonist best known for his work as one of Jack Kirby’s inkers during the late-1950s and 1960s period known as the Silver Age of Comics, including on some of the earliest issues of Marvel Comics’ The Fantastic Four. He is the signature penciler of Marvel’s World War II comic Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, drawing it for a 10-year run, and he co-created Magazine Enterprises’ 1950s Western-horror character the Ghost Rider, a version of which he would draw for Marvel in the 1960s. Ayers was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2007.

Continue reading about Dick Ayers at Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Ayers

Explore items in the GCD with work by Dick Ayers — http://ow.ly/4nblmh

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Paul Norris (26 April 1914 – 5 November 2007, USA) studied at the Dayton (Ohio) Art Institute and started working as an illustrator and cartoonist for the Dayton Daily News in the late 1930s. He moved to New York in 1940, where he got a job at Prize Publications, creating the comics ‘Power Nelson, Futureman’ and ‘Yank and Doodle’. Moving to work for National, he launched ‘Aquaman’, with Mort Weisinger, and collaborated on various other comics.

In 1942, he drew his first newspaper strip, taking over ‘Vic Jordan’ for the New York Daily PM. After returning from World War II, he was hired by King Features Syndicate, and worked on several comic books starring ‘Flash Gordon’ and ‘Jungle Jim’. Norris was was also the artist of several episodes of ‘Secret Agent X-9’ during the period 1943-46. His big break came in 1948, when he took over the ‘Jungle Jim’ Sunday feature from Austin Briggs. In 1952, he took over the ‘Brick Bradford’ daily strip from Clarence Gray, which he continued until 1987.

From Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/n/norris_p.htm

Read about Paul Norris at Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Norris

Explore items in the GCD with work by Paul Norris — http://ow.ly/4nbjWQ

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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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The Grand Comics Database Team
Comics Calendar
9,331 publishers
6,105 brands
4,914 indicia publishers
96,117 series
1,271,140 issues
54,909 variant issues
247,934 issue indexes
589,094 covers
1,681,924 stories