MSU Comics Forum: 10th Anniversary

February 25, 2017 - 11:00am - 5:00pm
Snyder-Phillips Hall
362 Bogue Street
East Lansing, MI 48825
United States

Now in its tenth year, the Comics Forum will feature an Artists Alley with over three dozen creators exhibiting their work in comics. For more information on individual artists featured, please reference the Artist Alley page.

Throughout the day there will also be several panel discussions with academics studying comic books and professionals working in the comic book industry.  Please see descriptions below.

Roundtable: Don’t Lecture—Show Me a Story! The Power of Graphic Novels in Teaching Other Cultures

Time: February 25th, 11:00am – Noon
Location: Snyder/Phillips 2nd Floor classrooms

Description: This roundtable will introduce audience members to the rich and growing field of German comics and graphic narratives through the lens of intercultural storytelling, with a particular eye toward classroom potentials. A striking number of recent German graphic novels thematize life stories bridging cultural gaps between German and other cultural contexts. Some of these do so via the genre of biography, some present generational family narratives of immigration and exile; yet others problematize the division and unification of East and West Germany as a culturally complex phenomenon. For teachers at all levels, these stories present an innovative conduit for appreciation of cultural differences.


Katie McEwen, Michigan State University
Christian Klein, Bergische-Universität Wuppertal, Germany
Elizabeth Mittman, Michigan State University
Elizabeth Nijdam, University of Michigan

Panel: Keynote Speaker: Charles Hatfield

Time: February 25th, 12:15pm – 1:15pm
Location: Snyder/Phillips 2nd Floor classrooms

Description: A longtime contributor to The Comics Journal and The Jack Kirby Collector, Charles Hatfield, is the author of Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature (2005) and the Eisner Award-winning Hand of Fire: The Comic Art of Jack Kirby (2011). He is co-editor of The Superhero Reader (2013) and Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby (2015), and curated the US’s largest-ever Kirby exhibition at CSU Northridge in 2015. Hatfield has served on the boards of the International Comic Arts Forum, the MLA Forum on Comics and Graphic Narratives, and is the founding President of the Comics Studies Society.

Panel: Transformative Narratives in Comics and Comics Adaptation

Time: February 25th, 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Location: Snyder/Phillips 2nd Floor classrooms

Description: As a narrative medium, comics frequently experiment with new narrative tactics as a means of both engaging the reader and challenging existing artistic norms. In both the comics underground and its mainstream, such challenges are frequent. The most successful of these challenges reshape the comics are produced as well as the impact they have on their readers and the culture at-large. Finally, this panel will consider how historically impactful comics and their visual innovations serve as the visual matrix for adaptations of comics narratives.

Haniyeh Barahouie: “The Theatrical Adventures of Tintin”
Wade Simpson: “Reporting for Duty: Character Diversity in Marvel’s G.I. Joe Comics”

Panel: Comic Book Cosmpolitics

Time: February 25th, 2:45pm – 3:45pm
Location: Snyder/Phillips 2nd Floor classrooms

Description: From the inception of the medium, comic books have been at the front lines of numerous political battlegrounds, and in the era following World War II, the medium increasingly took on issues that contemporary scholars would refer to as cosmopolitanism. Exploring issues of race, gender, as well as fluid, non-binary existences, this panel considers comics as a means of offering readers a democratic political message that allowed readers insight into contemporary sociopolitical issues.

Blake Scott Ball: “Every Girl Her Own Wonder Woman: The Struggle to Reach and Empower Girls through Comics in the 1980s”
Ellen Moll: “Drawing Boundaries: Refugees, Embodiment, and Media”
Sean Guynes: “‘Am I Doing the Right Thing?’: Milestone Comics, Black Nationalism, and the Cosmopolitics of Static”

Don't miss these other Comics Forum events!

February 20 - March 3: LookOut! Art Gallery Exhibit 


Wednesday, February 22: Public Lecture and Book Discussion

7:00 pm, MSU Main Library


Friday, February 24: Comics Forum Creator Keynote Address with James Sturm

7-8:30 pm, RCAH Theatre


Saturday, February 25: Private Tour of MSU's Special Collections Library

10:00 am, MSU Library. Reservations Required.