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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


Carmine Infantino (24 May 1925 – 4 April 2013, USA) was a legendary comic book artist from both the Golden Age and the Silver Age of Comic Books, and the former editorial director of DC Comics. Born in Brooklyn, New York City into a family of Italian origins, young Infantino began his career in comic books while in high school. He was part of the first generation of comic book fans. Too young to be drafted during the war, he got the opportunity to replace the men he had idolized just a few years before. He did his first jobs for comic book packager Harry “A” Chesler, and worked with Frank Giacoia as the inker of the ‘Jack Frost’ feature for Timely’s USA Comics in 1942. Infantino would remain associated with Giacoia, who became his inker throughout the 1940s to 1960s.

He also produced features like ‘Airboy’ and ‘The Heap’ for Charles Biro’s shop, that were published in comic books by Hillman Periodicals. Hen enrolled in the Art Students League at age 19, and subsequently attended the Brooklyn Museum of Art. He also did contributions to Fawcett Comics and Holyoke Publishing before beginning his longtime association with DC Comics (National Periodicals). His first work was a ‘Johnny Thunder’ story for Flash Comics in 1947, in which he created the ‘Black Canary’, but he was mainly noted for his regular work on Golden Age ‘The Flash’, ‘Green Lantern’ and ‘Justice Society of America’.

Continue reading about Carmine Infantino at Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/i/infantino.htm

Read about Carmine Infantino at Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmine_Infantino

Explore items in the GCD with work by Carmine Infantino — http://ow.ly/6Nq2300vSP9

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Journalism graduate Alfred Andriola (24 May 1912 – 29 April 1983, USA) spent a lifetime in newspaper comics. In the mid-thirties he entered the studios of Noel Sickles, where he collaborated with Milton Caniff on his ‘Terry and the Pirates’ strip, as well as on ‘Scorchy Smith’. Caniff’s influence would color the rest of Andriola’s career. In 1938, he was assigned by the McNaught Syndicate to make a strip adaptation of Earl Derr Biggers’ ‘Charlie Chan’. He drew this series, assisted by Charles Raab, until 1942.

Continue reading about Alfred Andriola at Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/a/andriola.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Alfred Andriola — http://ow.ly/jhke300vSiW

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Louis-Michel Carpentier (born 24 March 1944, Belgium) was born in Uccle. After his education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels, he initially focused on animation, and found employment with the Belvision studios of Éditions Lombard in 1967. He was an inbetweener on the films ‘Astérix et Cléopâtre’ and ‘Tintin et le Temple du Soleil’, and chief animator for ‘Tintin et le lac aux requins’, the ‘Lucky Luke’ film ‘Daisy Town’ and ‘La flûte à six schtroumpfs’.

By 1975, Carpentier adapted a few novels by the Countess of Ségur to comic stories for the women’s magazine Femmes d’aujourd’hui. Casterman collected them in ten books between 1975 and 1984.

Continue reading about Louis-Michel Carpentier at Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/c/carpentier_l.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Louis-Michel Carpentier — http://ow.ly/Vfc8300vRI3

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Walter Moers (born 24 May 1957, Germany) is one of the most successful and popular present-day German comic artists, although the lives a reclusive life and avoids publicity. Born in Mönchengladbach, he started publishing his work in the fanzine PLOP in 1984. Since 1985, he has written radio plays, animated and puppet series for television, and children’s books, like ‘Professor Schimauski’ (1987). His creation ‘Käpt’n Blaubär’ has starred in books, on TV and in a musical, and in 1999, Moers started his popular novel series ‘Zamonien’.

Continue reading about Walter Moers at Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/m/moers_w.htm

Explore items in the GCD with work by Walter Moers — http://ow.ly/3QuT300vRlT

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John Bolton (born 23 May 1951, UK) is a comic book artist and illustrator most known for his dense, painted style, which often verges on photorealism. He was one of the first British artists to come to work in the American comics industry, a phenomenon which took root in the late 1980s and has since become standard practice.

Continue reading about John Bolton at Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bolton_%28illustrator%29

Explore items in the GCD with work by John Bolton — http://ow.ly/aGRu300tdn7

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Mike Deodato (born 23 May 1963, Brazil) started drawing for American comics in the 1990s, and his clear style and craftsmanship soon gained him credits on various famous titles. Among his earliest works was a comics version of the film ‘Beauty and the Beast’ for Innovation Publishing in 1993. He then broke through with a run on ‘Wonder Woman’, after which he turned to ‘The Mighty Thor’ with Warren Ellis and ‘Glory’ for Extreme Studios. Deodato’s photo-realistic comic style has appeared on such popular titles as ‘The Incredible Hulk’, ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ and ‘The New Avengers’. Further credits include ‘Turok’, ‘Flash’, ‘Squadron Supreme’ and ‘Thunderbolts’.

From Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/d/deodato_mike.htm

Read about Mike Deodato at Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Deodato

Explore items in the GCD with work by Mike Deodato — http://ow.ly/3vKN300t9SA

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Jan Steeman (born 23 May 1933, Netherlands) is a cartoonist. He is the winner of the 2005 Stripschapprijs, the award presented annually by Stripschap, the Dutch organization of comics fans.

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

Explore items in the GCD with work by Jan Steeman — http://ow.ly/M5QM300tb82

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Andrea Pazienza (23 May 1956 – 16 June 1988, Italy) made his debut in 1977, at the age of twenty. He published his first work, the series ‘Le Straordinarie Avventure di Penthotal’, in Alter Alter, a supplement of the monthly magazine Linus. The events of this series were set in Bologna, and reflect the mood and unease of a generation which led to the youth protests of the 1977 Movement. During these years, Pazienza worked for magazines such as Cannibale, for which he created a parody of Disney’s Goofy, and Frigidaire, a monthly publication using cartoons to accompany the stories and photographic reports.
In 1980, he created ‘Zanardi’, a series revolving around three young students - Colasanti, Petrilli and, of course, Zanardi - opportunists, cynical and violent, symbolizing the crisis of values and the emptiness which afflict the younger generation in the 1980s. He also contributed to the reviews Corto Maltese and Comic Art, where he started to publish ‘La storia di Astarte’. Andrea Pazienza unfortunately died before he could finish this series.

From Lambiek Comiclopedia — https://www.lambiek.net/artists/p/pazienza_andrea.htm

Read about Andrea Pazienza at Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrea_Pazienza

Explore items in the GCD with work by Andrea Pazienza — http://ow.ly/JdIF300tat1

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

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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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