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A Graphic Discussion

Four popular graphic novelists talk about coupling the picture and the word

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April 22, 2010 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Join four popular graphic novelists in a discussion about the graphic novel and its impact in the world of literature Wednesday, May 5, at Northwestern University.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, on the University's Evanston campus. A question-and-answer session and book-signing will follow the discussion.

Panelists in the event, titled "Partnership of the Picture and the Word," include:

  • Jeffrey Brown, perhaps best known for his bittersweet autobiographical graphic novels. The author of "Bighead," "Clumsy," and "Every Girl is the End of the World for Me," Brown received an Ignatz Award in 2003, and, in 2006, created a short animated music video for the band Death Cab for Cutie. His work has been published in McSweeney's and in Drawn & Quarterly Showcase. He has been a guest on public radio's "This American Life" program with Ira Glass.
  • Ivan Brunetti, editor of "An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories" and a second volume of the same name, both published by Yale University Press. The graphic novelist is author of "Misery Loves Comedy," "Haw" and "Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti." Perhaps best known for his largely autobiographical series "Schizo," Brunetti has illustrated magazine covers of The New Yorker and an album cover for American stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt.
  • Anders Nilsen, author and artist of "Big Questions," "Dogs and Water" and "Monologues for the Coming Plague." Nilsen's work has been translated into numerous languages and featured in Interview, The Chicago Reader, Mome, Utne Reader and other publications. A Los Angeles Times reviewer called "Don't Go Where I Can't Follow," his graphic memoir, "a tribute by a good artist to the life and death of a woman he loved and to the redemptive power of art." Nilsen has won two Ignatz Awards for his work in the graphic novel genre.
  • Chris Ware, author of "Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth," arguably the biggest graphic novel success since Art Spiegelman's "Maus." Ware's works -- which explore themes of social isolation, emotional torment and depression -- have been published in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Esquire, nest and other publications. He is the winner of numerous awards, including the 2000 Eisner Award for Best New Graphic Album. He earned the 2001 Guardian First Book Award for "Jimmy Corrigan," which marked the first time a graphic novel won a major British book prize.

"Partnership of the Picture and the Word" is sponsored jointly by Northwestern's Center for the Writing Arts and the Block Museum of Art. For further information, call the Center for the Writing Arts at (847) 467-4099, e-mail words@northwestern.edu or visit http://www.northwestern.edu/writing-arts/index.html.