Friday, January 02, 2009

Cartoonist's literary reading

Jamie Smith, cartoonist and wiseacre, will be giving a literary reading on Saturday, January 3rd, 7 pm at the Bear Gallery at Alaskaland (a.k.a. "Pioneer Park" for you newcomers to Fairbanks). (Whose bright idea was it to hold one of these right after New Year's?) This is part of the Fairbanks Arts Association Reading Series. Jamie is an instructor of drawing and sequential art at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and a regular contributor to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, The Ester Republic, and now the Anchorage Press.

It may seem odd at first blush, but cartoons and literature are not mutually exclusive. Jamie's presentation will be on "Image + Text", a quick & dirty introduction to the field of sequential art, plus a show & tell of some classic & contemporary examples + discussion of graphic novels.

One example of the literary power of the medium that comes to mind right off the bat is Maus: A Survivor's Tale, by Art Spiegelman, about the difficult relationship between a survivor of the Holocaust and his son (among other things). There are others that I'm sure you can come up with.

The talk ought to be interesting, and should broaden the perspectives of would-be writers. (One problem many graphic novel authors have is in being accepted as "real" writers by the rest of the literary crowd. Same prejudice exists with regard to cartooning and sequential art as "real" art. Still, these attitudes are slowly fading as people become more informed about the medium and good-quality works become available to a larger audience.)

1 comment:

Ishmael said...

I would love to be there for that!

Happy New Year! Here's to another rousing year of literary excellence from Ester!