I talked about this on Facebook several months ago, but now that the official schedule has been released, it is my pride, privilege and deepest honor to announce that I’ll be a featured presenter at the Comic Arts Conference at San-Diego Comic-Con!!!
Now, anyone reading this has undoubtedly heard of Comic-Con. At this point, it’s the biggest cultural event of the year and where basically every project–TV, movies, comics, whatever–gets announced. It’s enormous. But what, you might be wondering, is the Comic Arts Conference?
Well, that’s simple: if Comic-Con is the largest gathering of nerds in the world, then the Comic Arts Conference is the world’s–okay, America’s–largest gathering of nerdy academics. It’s four days of panels and presentations on all things comics put through an academic lens.
For some reason, the full schedule isn’t available yet, but I can tell you what I’m presenting on. More specifically, who I’m presenting on.
His name is Carl Barks and he’s considered one of the greatest cartoonists of all time. From 1942 to 1968, he wrote and drew over 500 comic book stories featuring Disney icons like Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie and Scrooge McDuck (who he created). The man’s work is tremendous and over a half century later, his work still reads fresh and relevant.
If you grew up watching DuckTales as a kid, you have Barks to thank. He’s a true titan.
So what specifically about Barks am I presenting? Well, that has to do with another guy named Will Eisner. Anybody who recognizes that name knows that Eisner is “the godfather of comics.” Everybody else: there’s a reason the American comics industry’s top awards are the Eisner Awards.
In his lifetime, besides being one of the true comics pioneers–he even created the graphic novel–Eisner also wrote three instructional volumes about comics: Comics and Sequential Art, Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative, and Expressive Anatomy, the last of which was published after his death in 2005.
Basically, I’ve been taking the rules for comics Eisner sketches out–literally and figuratively–in those books and showing how, in Barks’ work, he demonstrates all of those principles and then some.
I’ll be talking more about Barks soon, don’t worry! And definitely before I leave for the CAC, there’ll be some more posts. In the meantime, you can see examples of Barks’ greatness here and here. See you soon!