• Comics@CSUN logo by Jed McGowan

Comics and Visual Culture 2018 (you can read the conference program here)

March 7, 2018

Below is the complete schedule for the Comics and Visual Culture 2018 symposium, the second in Comics@CSUN's biennial series. Join us as we celebrate student research and observe Will Eisner Week!

Comics and Visual Culture 2018

Saturday, March 10, 9am-6pm

California State University, Northridge

University Student Union, East Conference Center

In honor of Will Eisner Week, graphic novels, comics and comics literacy, and free speech!


Meet, Greet and Sign-In


Welcome and Opening Remarks (Lake View Terrace)

Frances Gateward and Charles Hatfield, CSU Northridge


CREATORS’ KEYNOTE (Lake View Terrace)

J2D2 Arts, Black Comix, and Adapting a Classic

J2D2 Arts is the team of John Jennings (UC Riverside) and Damian Duffy (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), co-creators of Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation (2017), co-editors of Black Comix Returns (2018), and creators, editors, or curators of numerous other projects.



Panel A: Drawing Gender (Altadena)

Moderator: Nicole Eschen Solis, CSU Northridge

“The Representation of Women in Comics,” Hannah Farley (Cal Poly)

“The Dichotomy of Sexism and Feminism in Heavy Metal Magazine,” Gage Greenspan (Cal Poly)

“Women’s Disabled Bodies in Comic Books: Reclaiming Agency by Drawing Herself,” Jessica Penzner (CSU Northridge)


Panel B: Aesthetics, Philosophy, Memory (Tujunga)

Moderator: Colleen Tripp, CSU Northridge

“Shine the Way,” Bersain Gutierrez (San Francisco State)

“Science Fiction: Aesthetics and Philosophy,” Liam Espinoza (CSU Northridge)

“Never Real Historians, Always Near Poets: Memory and the Dimensions of Architecture of the Graphic Novel,” Nicole Vandever (CSU Fullerton)





SCHOLAR’S KEYNOTE (Lake View Terrace)

Crossing the Line(s): An Interdisciplinary Approach to Comics Studies

Susan Kirtley, Director of Composition and of Comics Studies at Portland State University, is the author of Lynda Barry: Girlhood through the Looking Glass (2012). She is currently writing a book on comic strips by women viewed from a rhetorical perspective.



Panel C: Disability and Dismodernism (Altadena)

Moderator: José Alaniz, U of Washington, Seattle

“Looking for Accurate Representations of Disability in Alderaan Places: The Use of Darth Maul as the Other to Overthrow the Discourse of Disability,” Montana Clark (CSU Northridge)

“Identity and Disability: Darth Vader as a Dismodernist Villain in Marvel’s Darth Vader,” Ashley Aminian (CSU Northridge)

“Poverty and Defective Bodies: Grimjack as a Dismodernist Text,” Arthur M. Maturo (CSU Northridge)


Panel D: Social and Cultural Politics (Tujunga)

Moderator: J.C. Lee, CSU Northridge

“Cross-Dressing Female Protagonists, Description in Shōjo Manga, and Japanese Society,” Maki Takase (Portland State U)

“The Incitement to Discourse: Cultural Generalizations of Iran from the Literary Analysis of Persepolis,” Veronica Campos (Colorado College)

“Up, Up, and A-Wepa: Puerto Rican Cultural Politics in La Borinqueña,” Katrina Martinez (Williams College)



Panel E: Nation and Ideology (Altadena)

Moderator: Kinitra Brooks, U of Texas at San Antonio

“Trumpism and the Wall,” Billy Gardner (Cal Poly)

“‘Captain America Must Die:’ How a Supersoldier Became a Patriot,” Mackenna Johnson (Cal Poly)

“Holy Morality, Batman!”, Joseph Jaffray (CSU Northridge)


Panel F: Rethinking Comics: Form and History (Tujunga)

Moderator: Krystal Howard, CSU Northridge

“Queering Comic Historicity,” Blaine Malcolm (Cal Poly)

“The Role of Synthesis in Rodolphe Töpffer’s Humor,” Nick Wirtz (Portland State U)


Closing Remarks (Lake View Terrace)