Author Archives: Karen Green

EVENT: “¡Actívate! Activism + Representation in Latinx Comics”–Thursday, 9/19, 6 pm

Activate-panel flyerIn honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Comics@Columbia will host a panel discussion on the history of Latinx-American comics, and the roles that activism and representation have taken in them.

Cartoonist and CUNY professor Sara Gómez Woolley will moderate the conversation with comics artists Sandy Jimenez (World War 3 Illustrated) and Nicole Virella (City of bones), along with comics writers Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez (La Borinqueña) and Julian Voloj (Ghetto Brother). The event is co-sponsored by Be’chol Lashon.

 

The event will be held on Thursday, September 19, at 6 pm, in Butler Library room 523. A reception and signing will follow. Click here to register for this event. Continue reading

A Rare Hatless Herriman, with Scotties

George Herriman, creator of the newspaper strip “Krazy Kat,” is generally acknowledged as one of the true geniuses of the comics medium. The endless invention of his strip’s setting, Coconino County, combined with Krazy’s philosophical musings conveyed in a playfully creative language, led cultural critic Gilbert Seldes to devote a chapter to the strip in his book, The Seven Lively Arts, describing it as “the most amusing and fantastic and satisfactory work of art produced in America today.”

Yesterday, Jens Robinson presented us with this remarkable undated Herriman artifact, from the personal art collection of his father, Jerry Robinson:

Herriman sketch Continue reading

An oddity in the comics collections

A true treasure trove of a gift has been coming over the past few years from Jens Robinson, the son of illustrator and Golden Age comics artist Jerry Robinson. In addition to all of Jerry’s Playbill art, his strips, his book illustration, and other materials, Jens has been giving us Jerry’s library.

In preparation for his book The comics: an illustrated history of comic strip art, 1895-2010, Jerry collected a lot of comic strip history. One oddity is this long, slender, staple-bound publication (32 cm/13 in):

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A Classic Cartoonist, Hiding in Plain Sight

Sometimes, despite the best efforts of an impressive team of catalogers and processing archivists, an error can cause a work to become nearly invisible. Such was the case when a curator happened across a folder in our Art Collections flat-files, labeled “Eebster, H T.”:

An unusual name indeed! Closer inspection revealed a beautiful piece of original cartoon art by cartoonist H.T. Webster. The “W” in his signature, at lower right, is sideways, looking almost as if it were added by another hand, caused the cataloger to believe the signature read “Eebster.” Comics historian Rick Marschall, however, notes that that tilted capital was a Webster hallmark from his earliest days. Continue reading

RBML Acquires Underground Comix Artist S. Clay Wilson’s Archives

Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML) has acquired the papers of artist S. Clay Wilson, a transgressive pioneer of underground comix, whose mark on creative movements extended from the Beats to punk.

Born and raised in Nebraska, Wilson lived briefly in New York in 1965, where he worked for the East Village Other. Fellow artist Robert Gustafson convinced him to head to San Francisco in 1968, where he drew for a number of underground publications before becoming known for his posters and comics. He would go on to become an icon of the counterculture, and a profound influence on his fellow underground artists, with R. Crumb going so far as to describe Wilson as the strongest and most original artist of their generation.

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