Even though I have plans for a longer piece on comics and academia for my debut column with Digital America, I thought I would write a quick blog post about this year's Small Press Expo (SPX). SPX is a comics festival for independent comics and is held once a year in Bethesda, Maryland. Bethesda is only about a two-hour drive from Richmond so it is pretty easy for me to make my way over. My comics family from the Sequential Artists Workshop (SAW) in Gainesville had to drive for twelve hours. They are hardcore. In fact, the level of dedication my SAW friends have to comics is one of the reasons I look forward to attending SPX. Everyone should check out SAW and all of the fantastic work that they do.
SPX is pretty well known for being a friendly and welcoming event. Everyone I met was so nice; it was a little overwhelming. Meeting the great Lynda Barry was definitely an amazing experience. I plan on devoting one chapter of my dissertation to Barry's One Hundred Demons so just being in the same room with her was a big deal.
I also got to meet a bunch of people that I follow through social media. It was great to see their smiling faces and confirm that they are actual human beings. Creating things like comics or most kinds of writing are often very solitary pursuits; it was really satisfying to be around so many people that understood that.
I do regret that I did not sit in as many panel discussions as I could have. On Saturday I attended the SAW comics drawing workshop which was taught by Josh Bayer and Sally Cantrino. Even though I have now known Sally for a couple of years, this was the first time I have had the opportunity to see her teach. Sally and Josh are both great at educating and engaging an audience. On Sunday I attended the "Making Art for the Internet" panel. This panel had cartoonists Sam Alden, Emily Carroll, Blaise Larmee, and Rebecca Mock engaged in conversation on creating work intended for online platforms. I am really glad I attended this panel. Sam Alden is one of my favorite cartoonists and I loved the work of the other panelists as well.
Overall, it was a great trip and I am really glad I went. SAW friends, I miss you already! I can't wait until next year.
Hello, fellow scholars and random people of the Internet. I am updating this blog with some good news; I will be presenting a paper at this year's Popular/American Culture Association in the South (PCAS/ACAS) conference! My paper is on the X-Men character Storm and stereotypes of black women. I am so excited about this conference, this year it will be held in New Orleans. I hope I can see a tiny bit of the city while I am there. Also, at least one fellow comics scholar friend will also be attending. I am definitely looking forward to meeting more academics that have similar research interests. The conference isn't until October so I am sure I will have a few more updates before then!
One of the most fulfilling projects I have gotten involved with in my second year at VCU is Digital America. Digital America is an online academic journal that focuses on digital culture. The journal is interdisciplinary in nature and publishes traditional academic works as well as more experimental pieces.
This semester we have published some really amazing pieces. I am really impressed by the quality of writing that I have seen in our submissions. A lot of our contributors are undergraduates. Additionally, I have learned so much from Meghan Rosatelli,Digital America's Director. Meghan has created such a positive learning environment. She really inspires the team to do the best work possible.
I am super excited that Digital America will be launching a comics section. This special section will be about comics and digital culture. I am really interested in having both original art and comics criticism in the new section. If you are interested in contributing to this section please contact me or submit directly to Digital America here. I look forward to hearing from many different types of scholars/writers/thinkers.
This website enables me to showcase my work online and maintain a cohesive web presence. As someone who has worked in public relations, I understand how important it is to establish a branded online identity. My academic areas of interest include comics/graphic novel studies as well as the digital humanities. As someone who studies comics and has written about fashion blogging practices I recognize that these subjects are usually thought of as belonging to pop culture. It has become important to me to share with others why topics like these deserve serious critical inquiry. It is also important for me to relate any relevant parts of my research in a way that is accessible to nonacademic audiences. Since I am also a freelance writer I want to remain appealing to nonacademic publications.
It is important that this website has a blog that I update regularly. Along with traditional academic publishing, blogging is a way to establish myself as knowledgeable in my field. It can be a place for less formal writing or interesting bits of research that may not end up in finished projects. The blog will update visitors of the website to any changes or updates in my academic career. It is also a way that I can connect with other creative people such as comic artists, who may or may not see my work published in more traditional academic journals or conferences. This is important because I am particularly interested in contemporary artists that are currently producing comics. On a more pragmatic note, having a blog that is updated regularly helps with your rankings on Google and might make it easier to find my work online.
Is anyone out there? I hope deciding to add a blog to this website was not a terrible idea. Anyway, I am starting off this blog with an image of one of my favorite graphic novels.