19 September, 2005

Kochalka in Literary Festival

Jason X-12 might not be able to believe James Kochalka can write books, but the Burlington Literary Festival is including Kochalka and other Vermont cartoonists in its impressive slate of events, planned for this coming Saturday, September 24th in Burlington, Vermont.

Here's a rundown of the comics-related events, from the Festival's website:

James Sturm, Graphic Novelist
Fletcher Free Library

James Sturm is the director of the newly opened Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction. Sturm's comics and graphic novels have been translated into several languages and have won numerous awards including "Best Graphic Novel of 2001" by Time Magazine.

Comics Panel with Tom Devlin, Gregory Giordano, James Kochalka, Steve Bissette
Fletcher Free Library

James Kochalka, Tom Devlin and Gregory Giordano discuss the world where art and literature meet.

Moderator Steve Bissette is best known for his multiple award-winning collaborations with Alan Moore on Saga of the Swamp Thing (DC). He was awarded the comics industry Inkpot Award for Superior Career Achievement in 1998.

James Kochalka's comics have been published internationally by almost every alternative comics publisher; he's recorded several music CDs under the name James Kochalka Superstar (making him a favorite at college radio stations across the country); and he's developed animated cartoons for Nickelodeon. Best known for his graphic novel, Monkey vs Robot, and his critically acclaimed Sketchbook Diaries, Kochalka currently lives in Burlington, Vermont.

Tom Devlin is the publisher and visionary behind the art-comics publishing house Highwater Books. In the past, Devlin has guest-edited The Comics Journal, designed covers and content for nearly all the other independent comics publishers as well Harvard University Press, sat on the Steering Commitee of the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland, lectured at Universities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Montreal, had artwork displayed in galleries in Boston and Portugal, and managed a comic store.

Gregory Giordano is a Burlington artist. He has published the comics Inside Out, Surface and Tentacle among others. His website is www.flameape.com

Cartoonists Panel with Alison Bechdel, Harry Bliss, and L.J. Kopf
Fletcher Free Library
Alison Bechdel, Harry Bliss, and L. J. Kopf discuss their work as cartoonists.
Bechdel's comic strip "Dykes To Watch Out For" reproduces the texture of 21st century life, queer and otherwise, in exactingly high resolution. From foreign policy to domestic routine, breastfeeding to chemotherapy, postmodern theory to parenting practice, the finely-drawn characters of Dykes To Watch Out For fuse high and low culture in a serial graphic narrative suitable for humanists of all persuasions. The Comics Journal says, "Bechdel's art distills the pleasures of Friends and The Nation; we recognize our world in it, with its sorrows and ironies." Her most recent volume, Dykes and Sundry Other Carbon-Based Life-Forms to Watch Out For, was released by Alyson Books in the fall of 2003. Her bi-weekly strip is syndicated in over 50 periodicals.

Harry Bliss was born in upstate New York and studied painting at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Illustration at The University of the Arts (BFA) and Syracuse University (MA). Bliss was illustrating for Gentleman's Quarterly, McCall's, Business Week and other national magazines in his final year at The University of the Arts. In 1997 he was asked by the art editor of The New Yorker to submit cover sketches. His first cover for The New Yorker appeared on January 5, 1998. Shortly thereafter, his black and white cartoons began appearing in The New Yorker.

L. J. Kopf had his brief bid for local fame when his EDGE cartoon appeared in every issue of the twelve year (1978-1990) run of the Vanguard Press, a Burlington news and arts weekly that laid the groundwork for Seven Days. A collection of the best of those EDGE cartoons, entitled Into Every Life A Little Edge Must Fall, was published by Fantagraphics Books and is still available. Mr. Kopf continues to draw cartoons. His day job is Children's Librarian at the Richmond Free Library.

For more information, visit The Burlington Literary Festival website; thanks to Steve Bissette for the heads up!


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