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Emerald City Comic Con

“The message that we send when we don’t represent the broader culture in our stories is that ‘You are other,'” said Kelly Sue DeConnick, writer of Marvel’s Captain Marvel title and Pretty Deadly at Image. “… As a community, as an organism, it is a thing that makes us ill. It is actually bad for us.”

-Jefferson M. Robbins “ECCC: Rucka, DeConnick, and More on How Comics can be More Inclusive” at CBR

I recommend you do not read the comments. I never seem to be able to stop myself, unfortunately. Emerald City Comic Con was this weekend, and it was crazy. Several great panels, including this one. I didn’t make it to this panel, but I’d heard about it several times by the time CBR posted its review. I was at DeConnick and G. Willow Wilson’s Carol Corps panel, which seemed very much in line with this. One thing I’m noticing this year is a demand on the part of female fans to be respected and included. A Carol Corp meet-and-greet was the kickoff event for the con. Everywhere I turned I saw a Captain Marvel or Miss Marvel. Female creators were celebrated, and female characters were a lot of the draw. It’s good news, as far as I’m concerned, and about time. Right now Marvel seems to be paying better attention to its female fans than DC, and that seems to be going well for them ($$$). Hopefully, the industry will take notice.

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SDCC Sells Out in Record Time

I’ve got some complicated feelings about the news that San Diego Comic Con, the biggest comics convention in the US, and one of the biggest in the world, sold out of tickets entirely in 72 minutes. The con has regularly been drawing over 130,000 attendees. Beware, this meanders a bit!
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Classes Brimming

 

 

I’m excited to announce that the last time I checked, the four classes being offered in Comics Studies for the the Spring 2014 term are full; some even have wait lists! The four classes are Intro to Comics Studies (ENG 280 by Veronica Vold), Superheroes and Beyond (ENG 399 by Ben Saunders), and two sections of Comics and War (COLT 370 by me).

This is great news for the Comics and Cartoon Studies at the University of Oregon and promises many full courses in the future!

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Return from the Dead!

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Forgive our inexcusably long hiatus (attempted excuses: comprehensive exams, prospectuses, the terror of starting our dissertations). We’re back, and dedicated to being better bloggers. Call it a New Year’s resolution.

Despite the absence here, Comics Studies at the University of Oregon has been growing exponentially. In the past two years:

I hope this gives us a little leeway. Here’s to 2014!

Next Meeting: This Friday!

We’re please to announce a shared meeting with Mesa Verde this Friday, November 18th at 4:00PM in Rennie’s Landing. We met with Mesa Verde last year to discuss Moyasimon and had a fantastic time (Paul even skyped in, which was pretty swell). This year we’ll be reading two graphic novels, Mat Johnson’s Dark Rain and Josh Neufeld’s A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge. For that extra theoretical punch, we’ll also be reading Nancy Tuana’s “Viscous Porosity.”
See you there!

In Memory of…

The comics world has been shocked today to hear of the sudden passing of writer Dwayne McDuffie.

image courtesy of Comic Vine

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, McDuffie was perhaps best known for writing and producing the animated series Justice League Unlimited. Within the industry, he was widely praised for his commitment to bringing a sense of diversity that is still sorely missing in mainstream comics. In 1993, he and group of African American writers and artists founded the DC imprint “Milestone Media” in an effort to address this very issue. McDuffie said,

If you do a black character or a female character or an Asian character, then they aren’t just that character. They represent that race or that sex, and they can’t be interesting because everything they do has to represent an entire block of people. You know, Superman isn’t all white people and neither is Lex Luthor. We knew we had to present a range of characters within each ethnic group, which means that we couldn’t do just one book. We had to do a series of books and we had to present a view of the world that’s wider than the world we’ve seen before. (Interview)

Besides his creations for Milestone Media–including Static Shock, Blood Syndicate, and Icon— and television writing, McDuffie wrote for many of the biggest titles in both the Marvel and DC universe. He won the 2003 Humanitas Prize for “Jimmy,” a Static Shock episode addressing juvenile gun violence, he has been nominated for two Emmys for the TV series Static Shock, a Writer’s Guild Award for the Justice League TV series,  and three Eisners for his work in comic books. McDuffie also won the Golden Apple Award in 1996 for his “use of popular art to promote and enhance human dignity.”

“Man, all I want today is just to be a better person today. That’s all I want. To measure up to Dwayne.”
Mark Waid, author of Kingdom Come.

“Dwayne McDuffie has died– too soon, too young, too goddamn talented. a writer that never failed to make me work harder.”
Matt Fraction, Casanova and Invincible Iron Man

His latest work was the script for the animated film of All Star Superman, which comes out on Blu-Ray and DVD today.


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from the UO Comics Reading Group!

We had grand plans to have another reading (of birthday boy (well, grandpa) Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind) before the last term ended. Ends-of-terms being what they are, our plans fell through. My New Year’s resolution is to be better about updating this blog.

Veronica and I are excited about this term’s upcoming meetings! I’ll post an official announcement regarding the date and our readings by the end of this week.

Here's to 2011

-Andrea