Category Archives: Events

Making History Graphic @ the Los Angeles Central Library

ALOUD

Non-Kirby (but comics-centric) newsflash!

Next Tuesday, the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, as part of its lively, ever-ongoing event series ALOUD, will be hosting an event of special appeal to comics readers—as well as anyone interested in the challenges of turning history into story and art:

MAKING HISTORY GRAPHIC
Joe Sacco and Gene Luen Yang

Sacco, as drawn by Sacco Yang, as seen by Yang

Tuesday, November 12, 2013,
7:15 to c. 8:30 p.m.
Mark Taper Auditorium-Central Library
(The talk will be followed by a book signing in the auditorium lobby. See the bottom of this post for practical details!)
Join these two daring writers for a conversation on how the graphic novel and graphic nonfiction—rising from the frontlines of popular culture—can serve our understanding of history.

I have the honor of serving as interviewer and moderator for this event!

Angelenos, this is a great opportunity to hear firsthand two of the most acclaimed comics creators of our time—as they discuss projects of tremendous ambition and daring!

Sacco has just published The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme, a panoramic accordion book depicting that wrenching, transitional moment in the history of warfare.

Sacco's The Great War, unfolded

Detail from Sacco's The Great War

Yang has just published Boxers & Saints: two graphic stories, each in its own book, that tell two different sides of China’s Boxer Rebellion, together adding up a compelling dialectical tug-of-war but also a complete, and complex, novel.

Yang's Boxers & Saints, as a boxed set

Bao sees Vibiana (from Yang's Boxers & Saints)

Making History Graphic is happening at L.A.’s Central Library, 630 W. 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071. Follow the link for directions to and detailed information about the venue. Here’s what the ALOUD website says about tickets and availability:

Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most [ALOUD] at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

The Kirby Museum Goes Live in the Lower East Side!

The Kirby Museum's Prototype Alpha

Wow! Thanks to miLES (Made in the Lower East Side) and its successful Storefront Transformer campaign on Kickstarter, the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center will be a live, brick-and-mortar museum, a crackling storefront HQ of Kirbyness, this coming week!

The Jack Kirby Museum Prototype: Alpha

179 Delancey Street, New York, New York 10002

Monday, Nov. 4th, through Sunday, Nov. 10th, 2013

Daily hours 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m.; plus special events after 7:00 p.m.

This marks a milestone for the Jack Kirby Museum. Thus far the Museum has been an online venture mostly, but it hopes one day to establish a permanent brick-and-mortar space dedicated to Kirby’s life and work. That’s a dream and a cause I support with my whole heart! To get there, the Museum’s trustees have long dreamed of creating a pop-up museum—that is, a temporary exhibit—near Kirby’s birthplace in New York’s Lower East Side. Thanks to the trustees’ hard work, and miLES’s support, that dream has become a reality. Prototype: Alpha, a Kirbycentric space and an event in itself, will be happening all this week, Nov. 4th through 10th, at 179 Delancey. Noon to 7:00 at least, each day!

For a week, the Museum’s leaders—a dedicated, passionate, friendly, and welcoming bunch—will be celebrating all things Kirby, in that very part of NYC where Jack was born and raised. Prototype: Alpha will include an original art show, a biographical display, visits by local student groups, even drawing classes or demonstrations—and of course a shop, where visitors can purchase high-quality prints of Kirby art as well as Museum memorabilia.

There will be special events too! First, trustee Rand Hoppe will open the shop with a reception and brief talk on Monday, Nov. 4th, at 7:00 p.m. Then artist and historian Arlen Schumer will follow with a talk on Tuesday, Nov. 5th, at 7:00. Finally, artist James Romberger will appear in conversation on Sunday, Nov. 10th, at 5:00.

(Wish I could be there in person to help celebrate. Sigh, I’m on the wrong coast…)

More events, including Internet guests and video programming, are in the process of being planned—keep watching the Kirby Museum website for news!

Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center

Congratulations to Rand and all the Kirby Museum trustees on reaching this important goal!

Mix 2013, plus a blast of Kirby from Mix 2012

Mix 2013 logo

About a year ago, in October 2012, the Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) launched Mix, its annual series of symposia about comics. I hope it lasts forever. Under the leadership of CCAD’s Robert Loss, Mix is rapidly shaping up to be a key event in the comics studies calendar—and that first Mix, 2012, was a delight. I had the privilege of attending Mix then, and fondly recall working and hanging out with Robert, Douglas Wolk, my good friend, fellow scholar, and co-author Craig Fischer, local comics creators such as Ken Eppstein and Michael Neno, and a host of other fine folk.

Ach, would that I could attend Mix THIS time, but sadly I cannot. I still want to tell you about it! This coming weekend, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27-28, CCAD will put on the second annual Mix, i.e. Mix 2013, featuring keynote guest Jeff Smith, plus Carol Tyler, Tom Spurgeon, documentary filmmaker Dr. Jonathan Gayles, and a screening of Gayles’s White Scripts and Black Supermen, plus Jared Gardner, John Jennings, Mark C. Rogers, and many other comics scholars, both veteran and new. PLUS an exhibition of art from Smith’s RASL, and, talk about an embarrassment of riches, an exhibition of work by Gary Panter (visiting CCAD almost as I type this!). It sounds fantastic, and I wish Robert and everyone a stimulating, collegial, and fun event!

I had the pleasure of giving a talk at Mix last year, on Oct. 5, 2012, titled “Kirby Goes for Broke.” Thanks to Robert and his collaborators, video of that lecture, as well as other events from Mix 2012, has just gone online!

(Check out CCAD’s YouTube channel, CCADedu, for more!)

Giving that talk was a blast, especially the post-talk Q&A, which I thought was rich and interesting. It gave me a chance to think about Kirby “on my feet” before a very sharp and attuned audience, something I’ll always be grateful for. It’s all captured on this video!

Go to Mix 2013 if you possibly can.

A Birthday Bonanza!

A moment of joy and optimism, from Captain America's Bicentennial Battles (1976)

Today is the 96th birthday of the great Jack Kirby, and it’s wonderful to see the online outpouring of interest, affection, and commentary that this event has inspired!

There’s so much about Kirby on the Web today that knowing where to go could be a right challenge. Me, I recommend:

Or you could just turn off your computer, pick up and read a vintage Kirby comic, and get your mind blown all over again. :)

Hail Kirby!!!

Support Kirby4Heroes in Honor of Jack’s Birthday

Kirby4Heroes Facebook page--please lend your support!Good, good news! Once again Jack Kirby’s granddaughter Jillian Kirby has launched a donation drive to benefit The Hero Initiative, the nonprofit organization dedicated to helping veteran comic book creators in need. In honor of Jack, and in the spirit of generosity that he championed, the Kirby4Heroes drive seeks to raise money for The Hero Initiative so that the Initiative can continue to provide, as its website says, “a financial safety net for yesterdays’ creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work.” Last year Jillian’s initial Kirby4Heroes drive raised $6000 for the Initiative, and she has set the goal of $10,000 for this year—a worthy goal for a worthy cause!

Jillian Kirby, for Kirby4Heroes

Jillian’s article at Hero Complex (the Los Angeles Times‘s pop culture blog) explains how the campaign will work, and how you can lend your support. Please read the article and consider donating to the cause! Also, you can see Jillian’s new video about the campaign via YouTube, courtesy of the Nerdist Channel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVhB2PGh4lg

Supporting Kirby4Heroes is simple. You can donate online via The Hero Initiative’s website, at heroinitiative.org (be sure to type “Kirby4Heroes” in the space for “special instructions”), or by good old-fashioned mail at:

Kirby4Heroes Campaign
c/o The Hero Initiative
11301 Olympic Blvd., #587
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Or simply shop at your local comic book store on Jack’s 96th birthday, Wednesday, August 28. Many comic book shops in California and across the country will be donating a percentage of their sales on that day to Kirby4Heroes—in a show of respect for an artist without whom there might be no comic book stores to speak of!

The Hero Initiative

Please consider donating to Kirby4Heroes—help Jillian Kirby support our comic book heritage! Visit and “like” the Kirby4Heroes Facebook page now to show your support!