Understanding Superheroes : The Art Gallery Updates


University of Oregon hosts Understanding Superheroes Conference October 23-24, 2009

Keynote speakers include Danny Fingeroth, Charles Hatfield and Henry Jenkins and other noted guest panelists

EUGENE, Ore. — (September 4, 2009) – In conjunction with the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art’s fall exhibition “Faster than a Speeding Bullet: The Art of a Superhero,” the University of Oregon hosts “Understanding Superheroes,” a two-day conference on October 23-24, 2009.

“Understanding Superheroes” will offer different viewpoints and insight to the genre of the superhero for enthusiasts and newcomers alike. The conference is free to attend but advanced registration is required. Activities include discussion panels with guest speakers, lectures, and a book signing at Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

“Faster than a Speeding Bullet: The Art of a Superhero” exhibition curator Ben Saunders has put together a panel of experts, enthusiasts, and industry-insiders to include keynote speakers Danny Fingeroth, Charles Hatfield and Henry Jenkins.

Danny Fingeroth is an American comic book writer and editor, and ran Marvel Comics “Spider-Man” editorial line for years. He has published the books “Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics and the Creation of the Superhero,” and “Superman On The Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us About Ourselves and Our Society,” which is now in its third printing. Currently, Fingeroth publishes “Write Now!,” a magazine about the craft of writing, and also teaches comics and graphic novel writing at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Charles Hatfield is a teacher at California State University, Northridge with the Department of English, and is also the author of the book “Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature”, published in 2005.

Henry Jenkins, professor of communication, journalism and cinematice arts at the USC Annenberg School for Communications and the USC School for the Cinematic Arts, is the author and/or editor do nine books on media and popular culture including “Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide,” “Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture,” “Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture” and “From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games.”

Other celebrated guest panelists attending the conference include Kurt Busiek, author of numerous Superhero titles for Marvel and DC Comics and the creator of the award-winning series “Astro City;” Greg Rucka, the co-creator of “Gotham Central,” “Whiteout,” “Queen & Country” and many other projects for Marvel and DC Comics; and Gail Simone, writer on Marvel’s Deadpool, DC’s “Birds of Prey”, the co-creator of “Welcome to Tranquility” for Wildstorm- she is also the current Wonder Woman writer.

The conference will also be welcoming panelists Trevor Dodge, Andrew Grace, Kom Kunyosying, Ramzie Fawaz, Micheal P. Harrison, Jenee Wilde, Beth Davis-Stofka, Jonathan Tanner, Douglas Wolk, Brannon Costello, Corey Creekmur, Dyfrig Jones, Luke Geddes, Nathan Gray, William Kuskin, Harry Brod, Josh Plencner, and Matt Yockey.

Attendees can register at http://jsma.uoregon.edu/understandingsuperheroes.

The “Understanding Superheroes” Conference is made possible by the generous support of the following institutions, UO departments and programs: The Oregon Humanities Center, The College of Arts and Sciences, The Arts and Administration Programs, The Department of Art History, The Comparative Literature Program, The Department of Creative Writing, The Center for the Study of Women in Society, the Department of English, The Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies, The Knight Library- Department of Special Collections, The Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Understanding Superheroes

Conference Schedule

Friday, Oct. 23

9 am                      Registration:      Lobby, Erb Memorial Union (EMU)

10.30-12 pm       Three Discussion Panels

Panel One           My Best Enemy: The Signifying Super-Villain

With Trevor Dodge, Andrew Grace, and Kom Kunyosying

(River Rooms, EMU)

Panel Two           Queer Power: Superheroes and Sexualities

With Ramzi Fawaz, Michael P. Harrison, and Jenée Wilde

(Ben Linder Room, EMU)

Panel Three        Being and Super-Beings: Existentialism, Temporality, and Eschatology

With Beth Davies-Stofka, Jonathan Tanner, and Douglas Wolk

(Fir Room, EMU)

12-1.30 pm          Lunch Break

1.30-2.30 pm      Collector’s Gallery Talk with Vincent Zurzolo of Metropolis Comics and Ethan Roberts, Ph.D. (JSMA)

4 pm                      Keynote Lecture by Writer/Editor Danny Fingeroth

Disguised As Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero

(180 Prince Lucien Campbell Hall (PLC))

Saturday, Oct. 24

8.30                        Bagels and Coffee.

9 – 10.30 am       Keynote Lecture by Professor Charles Hatfield

What Jack Kirby Did To The Superhero

(180 PLC)

11 am                    Writing The Contemporary Superhero

A Comic-Creator Panel with Kurt Busiek, Greg Rucka, and Gail Simone

(180 PLC)

12.30 pm              Lunch Break

1-2 pm                  Book Signings at Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

2.30– 4 pm          Three Discussion Panels

Panel One           Wearing The Flag: Nationalism, Regionalism, and Race

With Brannon Costello, Corey Creekmur, and Dyfrig Jones

(182 Lillis)

Panel Two           Beyond The Movies: Superheroes and Other Media

With Luke Geddes, Jonathan Gray, and William Kuskin

(282 Lillis)

Panel Three        Secret Identity Politics: Religion, Ethnicity and Superheroes

With Harry Brod, Josh Plencner, and Matt Yockey

(129 McKenzie)

4 – 4.30 pm         Coffee Break

4.30 pm                Keynote Lecture by Professor Henry Jenkins

“The Man Without Fear”: David Mack and the Formal Limits of the Superhero Genre

(180 PLC)

About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest visual arts center for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to Russian Icons and art from China, Japan, Korea, America and elsewhere as well as changing exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of six museums in Oregon accredited by the American Association of Museums.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is a world-class teaching and research institution and Oregon’s flagship public university. The UO is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of 62 of the leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada. Membership in the AAU is by invitation only. The University of Oregon is one of only two AAU members in the Pacific Northwest.

Contact: Debbie Williamson-Smith, 541-346-0942, [email protected]

Erick Hoffman, 541-346-3162, [email protected]

Link: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, http://jsma.uoregon.edu

There are other bits of news from the show I have to get to.  Sent to me while I was out of town that I now how access to now that I have returned to the homestead from the mighty state of Washington and the wonderful heart swelling might of the PAX Flu.

“Faster Than A Speeding Bullet: The Art of the Superhero” offers a full array of public programs

Guests include Peter Coogan, Douglas Wolk, Marc Andreyko, Michael “Doc” Allred, Gail Simone, and more.

EUGENE, Ore. — (September 11, 2009) – A full series of public programs at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon compliment “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Art of the Superhero.” Programs including lectures, a film series, a two-day conference, and family-friendly events and classes are slated throughout the exhibition, on display from September 26, 2009 through January 3, 2010.

“Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Art of the Superhero,” features rare and valuable works by some of the most admired artists in the history of superhero comics, gathered from private collections from across the country. The exhibition breaks new ground in its critical evaluation of the artistic and cultural importance of this particular comic book genre.

Public programs provide the opportunity for individuals to learn more about the exhibition and the artists through a variety of programs including lectures, films, and free family-oriented events.

Scheduled guest speakers and presenters include Peter Coogan, director of the Institute for Comics Studies and co-founder and co-chair of the Comic Arts Conference; Douglas Wolk, critic and author of “Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean;” Marc Andreyko, comics and screenplay writer; Michael “Doc” Allred, comic writer and artist; and Gail Simone, current ongoing writer of “Wonder Woman” and author of “Welcome to Tranquility” and “All-New Atom.”

The programs include:

Free Preview Reception: Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Art of the Superhero

Friday, September 25, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Join us at a free celebration for the opening of our Superhero exhibition.

Schnitzer Cinema: Superheroes
Wednesday, October 7: CONFESSIONS OF A SUPERHERO

5:30 p.m.
Enjoy a full bill of superhero cinema each month. Richard Herskowitz, film curator, Houston Cinema Arts Society, and faculty, UO Arts and Administration, has unearthed three rarely screened but artistically exciting superhero feature films, to be preceded each week by a classic Max Fleischer Superman cartoon and a surprise short subject.

Saturday Celebrations
Saturday, October 10, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Join us for a family-friendly free evening of art, food and fun celebrating the art of the Superhero! The evening includes exhibition tours and hands-on art making activities for all ages.

Curator’s Gallery Talk

Wednesday, October 14, 5:30 p.m.

Explore the art of the superhero in Faster Than a Speeding Bullet with exhibition curator Ben Saunders, UO Associate Professor of English.

“Legal Kryptonite: Superman’s Creators & Copyright”

Wednesday, October 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Who owns Superman? Delve into the saga of Superman’s copyright history with Dominick Vetri, Professor, University of Oregon Law School as he analyzes four significant events in the history of this legendary superhero. Superman vs. Captain Marvel and infringement issue; two unsuccessful lawsuits by Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster; and the successful 1997 lawsuit (decided in 2008) made by Siegel’s heirs.

Understanding Superheroes Conference

October 23 – 24, 2009

This interdisciplinary symposium offers multifaceted insight into the genre of the superhero for novice and aficionado alike. Exhibition curator Ben Saunders has assembled an exceptional panel of experts and industry insiders, including keynote speakers Danny Fingeroth (author of Superheroes On The Couch and Disguised As Clark Kent) and Charles Hatfield (author of Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature). Guests panelists include Kurt Busiek (author of numerous Superhero titles for Marvel and DC and creator of the award-winning Astro City series), and Gail Simone (writer on Marvel’s Deadpool, DC’s Birds of Prey, co-creator of Welcome To Tranquility for Wildstorm, and current Wonder Woman scribe).

Understanding Superheroes is made possible by the generous support of the following institutions, UO departments, and programs: The Oregon Humanities Center; the College of Arts and Sciences; the Arts and Administration Program; The Department of Art History; The Comparative Literature Program; The Department of Creative Writing; The Center for the Study of Women in Society; The Department of English; The Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies; the Knight Library, Department of Special Collections; The Office of the Vice President For Research and Graduate Studies; and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

For more information, visit http://jsma.uoregon.edu/understandingsuperheroes.html

The Essence of the Superhero
Wednesday, October 28, 5:30 p.m.

Peter Coogan, director of the Institute for Comics Studies and co-founder and co-chair of the Comic Arts Conference, discusses the essence of the superhero and clears up the critical haze in his talk “Heroes Ain’t Superheroes: An Examination of the Essence of the Superhero Genre.” Douglas Wolk, critic and author of Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean, explains the peculiar Venn diagram of superhero cartooning, cartooning and visual art in his talk “Super-Aesthetics.”

Superhero Costume Party

Friday, October 30, 7:00 p.m.

$30.00 per person, $27.00 for JSMA and UO Alumni Association members

Leave your secret identities behind. Jump into the nearest phone booth and don your cape and mask for a superhero-themed Halloween bash at the JSMA. All superheroes, sidekicks, alter egos, and supervillans welcome! Call (541) 346-3027 for additional information and reservations. Cosponsored by the UO Alumni Association and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Schnitzer Cinema: Superheroes
Wednesday, November 4: DANGER: DIABOLIK

5:30 p.m.
Enjoy a full bill of superhero cinema each month. Richard Herskowitz, film curator, Houston Cinema Arts Society, and faculty, UO Arts and Administration, has unearthed three rarely screened but artistically exciting superhero feature films, to be preceded each week by a classic Max Fleischer Superman cartoon and a surprise short subject.

Saturday Celebrations
Saturday, November 7, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Join us for a family-friendly free evening of art, food and fun celebrating the art of the Superhero! The evening includes exhibition tours and hands-on art making activities for all ages. Our November program includes a manga demonstration 5:30-6:30 p.m. by artist Marianne Walker and a manga-making activity. Co-sponsors: Copic Markers Products/Imagination International Inc.

Writing Mature, Adult-Themed Superhero Comics
Wednesday, November 11, 5:30 p.m.
Marc Andreyko, comics and screenplay writer, leads a talk on his experience writing mature, adult-themed superhero comics. In 1994, Andreyko’s publication The Lost debuted and earned him a Harvey Award nomination. He has also partnered with P. Craig Russell, Jill Thompson, and Brian Michael Bendis. Andreyko continues to chronicle the adventures of Kate Spencer, a.k.a. Manhunter, in Batman: Streets of Gotham and is at work on new projects.

Comic Book Heaven:  The Creative Process of a Guy who Lives on the Oregon Coast
Wednesday, November 18, 5:30 p.m.
Michael “Doc” Allred, comic writer and artist, has worked on virtually every major comic book icon, including, Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four and Sandman, but he is best known for his cultish creation Madman and his history of rock and roll told via the perspective of an alien clone known as Red Rocket 7. Allred has also created Marvel mutants with Peter Milligan on the X-Force and X-Statix series. He lives on a lake on the Oregon coast with wife and sometime colorist Laura Allred.

Schnitzer Cinema: Superheroes
Wednesday, December 2: MISTER FREEDOM

5:30 p.m.
Enjoy a full bill of superhero cinema each month. Richard Herskowitz, film curator, Houston Cinema Arts Society, and faculty, UO Arts and Administration, has unearthed three rarely screened but artistically exciting superhero feature films, to be preceded each week by a classic Max Fleischer Superman cartoon and a surprise short subject.

NewArt Northwest Kids: Heroes and Heroines Reception
Saturday, December 5, 11:00 am – noon

Join us for this much-anticipated special reception honoring the students whose work is on view in NewArt Northwest Kids: Heroes and Heroines. Our Holiday Family Day and Open House follows.

Holiday Family Day & Open House
Saturday, December 5, noon-3:00 p.m.

This free family day celebrates the art of the superhero. Enjoy holiday performances, gallery tours, and art activities for the whole family. Design your own superhero cape, watch demonstrations by Disney artists Janet and Michael Gilbert and work alongside them to invent your own superheroes and heroines, create your own comic, and more!

Gender & The Superhero
Wednesday, December 9, 5:30 p.m.
Author, activist and Wonder Woman expert Andy Mangels interviews Gail Simone about her career as the writer of superhero comics and animation. Simone first came to fan attention with her website Women in Refrigerators, listing the many instances in which female comic book characters were the victims of violent attacks because of their gender or whose attacks were used as a plot device for a male character. Best known for penning DC’s Birds of Prey, Simone is the writer of Welcome to Tranquility and All-New Atom and, in 2007, became the ongoing writer of Wonder Woman. Portland, Oregon-based Andy Mangels is the author or co-author of over twenty books, including two best-sellers, and nearly one hundred comic books, including an award-winning anthology.

Children’s and Family Classes and Workshops

Adventures in Art: Parent/Child Art Class
Eight Tuesdays: September 29; October 6, 13, 20, 27; November 3, 10, 17
10:00-11:30 a.m.
Instructor: Sisy Anderson
Cost: $75/child; accompanying adult is free
Ages: 3-6

Experience the entrancing world of art through your child’s excited eyes and growing skills! This class is designed to present the fundamentals of art, a variety of media, and the tools an artist uses in a series of hands-on, engaging art projects. Lessons this term will be inspired by art of the superhero and the museum’s current exhibition Faster Than a Speeding Bullet and will include the exploration of line, color, words, and images.

After School Art Class: Superheroes and Heroines
Eight Wednesdays: September 30; October 7, 14, 21 and 28; November 4, 11, 18
3:30 – 5:00p.m.
Instructor: Liz Parr
Cost: $75
Ages: 7-11

Explore your inner superhero! Participants will create their own secret superhero identity, design superhero costumes and explore the Faster Than a Speeding Bullet exhibition in the museum galleries. Comic supplies are provided. Capes are optional!

Guest-curated by Ben Saunders, a professor of English at the University of Oregon, “Faster Than A Speeding Bullet” explores the imaginative world of some of the most compelling fantasy figures to emerge from twentieth-century popular culture — the superheroes of American comic books.

“Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Art of the Superhero” is sponsored by the Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation, The William C. Mitchell Estate, and JSMA members. Community partners: Imagine Graphics and Image King Signs. Media Partners: Eugene Magazine and KLCC 89.7 FM.

About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest visual arts center for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to Russian Icons and art from China, Japan, Korea, America and elsewhere as well as changing exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of six museums in Oregon accredited by the American Association of Museums.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens and high school students.  Free admission is given to ages 13 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is a world-class teaching and research institution and Oregon’s flagship public university. The UO is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of 62 of the leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada. Membership in the AAU is by invitation only. The University of Oregon is one of only two AAU members in the Pacific Northwest.

Contact: Debbie Williamson-Smith, 541-346-0942, [email protected]

Erick Hoffman, 541-346-3162, [email protected]

Link: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, http://jsma.uoregon.edu

I honestly don’t think this could have been put together better than it has been.  I’ve also never been as excited for an event as I am for this one.  I didn’t even get this worked up about an event when I Co-Organized a Eugene Comic Convention.  So I must give full credit to guest curator Ben Saunders and the Jordan Schnitzer museum of art for putting together when is the best event this city has seen for comic fans.  While I know a lot of you reading this are mighty brits I’m hoping enough people on the west coast are excited enough that they might pop out for a visit to really lay their eyes on the amazing work that is being put on display starting tomorrow.

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