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SOIS Launches Comics Studies Lecture Series

Thursday, April 27, 2017

This academic year, the School of Individualized Study launched the Comics Studies Lecture Series. The series features artists, developers, executives, scholars, and writers who work on comics, graphic narratives, and comics-related media. The lecture series began in the fall with a workshop and public talk by New York Times best-selling and Eisner award-winning artist Ed Piskor. Piskor is the creator of the graphic novel Wizzywig: Portrait of a Serial Hacker and the multi-volume Hip Hop Family Tree, a documentary comic about the history of hip hop music. During his visit to RIT, Piskor led a cartooning workshop with RIT students, and gave a public talk about the deep connections between graffiti, hip hop music, and comics culture that inform his best-selling series.

This spring, SOIS partnered with the Digital Humanities and Social Sciences program in the College of Liberal Arts to bring digital comics developer Erik Loyer to campus for a public talk and class visits, where he discussed the digital comic Upgrade Soul and his new work. SOIS also partnered with the Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts to host cartoonist R. Sikoryak for a workshop and public talk. Sikoryak is the author of Masterpiece Comics and Terms and Conditions, a comics adaptation of the iTunes Terms and Conditions Agreement. While on campus, Sikoryak led a student workshop about incorporating found materials into comics art, and gave a public talk about Terms & Conditions.

We concluded our comics programming this spring with a visit to campus by Nancy Silberkleit, the Co-CEO of Archie Comics. Nancy met with RIT students over lunch, and she also had a public conversation on campus with SOIS faculty member Daniel Worden about her Rise Above Social Issues Foundation, her work producing comics about important issues, and how Archie Comics can increase environmental and social awareness. The event occurred during Earth Week, and showcased “Getting Drastic with Plastic,” an Archie comic about reducing plastic consumption published in Archie Funhouse Digest #26.

Planning for Comics Studies Lecture Series events in 2017-2018 is already underway. Feel free to contact Daniel Worden dxwind@rit.edu for more information.