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September 22, 2005


Jon Silpayamanant

I would go to this if only to hear Fang Cheng's presentation. This looks really exciting.


Thanks, Jon.

Jon Silpayamanant

Nothing to thank me for, Marc. I noticed that you're also a reviewer for the International Journal of Comic Art. How long have you been working/associated with the ICAF? Is the IJOCF affiliated with the ICAF at all, or are the completely separate entities?

I trust you'll give us a full report when you return? :)


There's no formal affiliation between IJOCA and ICAF, just a long friendship. IJOCA editor John Lent, as one of the world's top experts on international comics, has been a great friend in terms of putting us in touch with foreign cartoonists like Fang Cheng. We've started a small travel scholarship in his name, and we're proud that the fall issue of IJOCA debuts at our conference every year, but we're two separate entities.

As for my own work, I've been with ICAF since 2001, slightly less time than I've been reviewing scholarly books on comics for IJOCA (something I need to start doing again; I've been meaning to write something on Scott Bukatman's Matters of Gravity for a while now).

Jon Silpayamanant

I see. I keep coming across John Lent's name whenever I do searches for or info about international comics. So is the travel scholarship for presenters or for students?

I've read some interesting reviews of the Bukatman work. I'd be interested in reading your thoughts. Any plans on collecting your reviews for publication?


It's for graduate student presenters at ICAF, to help cover their travel expenses--not for original research abroad, unfortunately, which would be a more appropriate tribute to John but far outside our budget.

I'm still trying to collect my thoughts on Bukatman's book, but I found the two essays on superhero comics very useful--theoretically savvy but not shackled to any one approach, willing to engage in close textual analysis, attentive to social context without reducing comics to reflections of the culture, unafraid to read even the stupidest comics and coming up with some substantive insights in the process. I wish more comics scholarship followed his lead.

As for collecting my reviews for publication, I would need to write... let me see... another fifty or sixty?

Jon Silpayamanant

That's unfortunate (well, not for the Grad presenters) that the travel grants aren't for the researchers abroad.

unafraid to read even the stupidest comics and coming up with some substantive insights in the process.

Haha. Some of the strangest insights can be gleaned from the "bad."

I wasn't sure how many reviews you had written, or if you had any other papers (whether online or not) that you could expand into sections or chapters of a book.

Well, good luck with the Katrina dislocates. I'm not envying you your position, though I am wondering about that "cunningly expressed concluding paragraph." :)

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