UO Comics Prof. interviewed on Professor LatinX Videocast

The Ohio State University Prof. Frederick Luis Aldama, also known by his alter ego, Professor LatinX, is a major figure in the development of Comics Studies. His videocast features interviews with scholars and creators who discuss cultural production. UO Comics Studies Professor, Katherine Kelp-Stebbins appeared on the videocast in April, 2020 to discuss “art, money, power & planetary comics” as well as  “gatekeeping & capitalist global systems of power; politics of exclusion; formal elements of comics that resist conventions of reading and convey resistant political worldviews.”

Rose City Comic Con 2019

The Comics and Cartoon Studies Minor at the University of Oregon will be participating in Portland’s Rose City Comic Con September 13 – 15. Program director Professor Ben Saunders will be representing the minor alongside other current and previous professors, students, and alumni associated with the program and the university’s comics publication, Art Ducko.

If you’re feeling so inclined, you should stop by the University of Oregon’s booth located on the exhibit map at table 603. At the time of writing, we should be across from the Dark Horse table at the edge of Artist Alley by the entrance across from Lobbies B and C. The Duck will also, reportedly (allegedly), be in attendance.

Though we currently do not have programming information for the panels featuring our associated faculty and alumni, keep a weather eye out for panels with Professors Ben Saunders, Tara Fickle, Mat Johnson, Kate Kelp-Stebbins, Elizabeth Wheeler, as well as Dr. Andréa Gilroy and Turner Lobey. Information will presumably be on the programming page as the convention draws nearer.

In addition to supporting panels featuring our current faculty or alumni, check program listings for panels and tables including the following comics creators planning to attend this year’s event: Neal Adams, Marguerite Bennett, Mark Brooks, Amy Chu, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Aaron Duran, David Finch, Andy Fish, Veronica Fish, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Matt Fraction, Jocelyn Gageway, Adi Granov, Cully Hamner, Kyle Higgins, Jody Houser, Klaus Janson, Dave Johnson, Adam Kubert, Hyungsung “Creees” Lee, Mindy Lee, Matthew Loux, Ibrahim Moustafa, Cary Nord, Steve Orlando, Dan Panosian, Drew Rausch, Matthew Rosenberg, Greg Rucka, Dana Simpson, Josh Trujillo, James Tynion IV, and Joshua Williamson. All links will direct you to their Rose City profile. Though this list includes many highly-acclaimed creators and artists, we encourage potential attendees to also explore the work of unfamiliar names on this list in the lead-up to the event.

“Around the O” Features Professor Ben Saunders for his Curation of the Marvel Universe

Founder and Director of the innovative UO Comics and Cartoon Studies Program Ben Saunders has been featured on the UO Homepage and Around the O for his curation of three exhibits on the “Marvel Universe of Super Heroes.”

The first exhibit, housed in Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture, was the largest and most comprehensive exhibit of Marvel Comics materials in the world. The second and third exhibits are set to open April 13th and October 19th at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute and Edmonton’s TELLUS World of Science, respectively.

Around the O‘s feature, which includes this 2-minute YouTube presentation, emphasizes how Professor Saunders turned a lifelong passion for comics – materials that scholars had deemed uncritical and unworthy of consideration – into fodder for serious academic inquiry.

“Sometimes people ask, why study comic books? For me,” Saunders replies, “the real question is, why haven’t we been studying comic books for longer? Really, to not study comics is to neglect an extraordinary, powerful, rich, aesthetically compelling aspect of creative culture.”

Curating the exhibits, Saunders adds, represents an opportunity to “convince people that this is art that belongs on the walls of a museum and deserves to be taught in our classrooms.”

To that end, Professor Saunders regularly teaches comics and cartoon studies, including undergraduate classes on the Modern American Superhero (ENG 480) and graduate seminars on “Secret Identity Politics: Transmedia Economies and Postmodern Subjectivities” (ENG 607).

Want to learn more about the craft and culture of comics and cartoons? Join the Comics and Cartooon Studies Minor, an innovative and interdisciplinary program – the first of its kind in the United Stated – designed to help students think critically about the interaction of visuals, language, and narrative.

For the complete feature, written by Emily Halnon and beautifully photographed by Nicolas Walcott, follow this link to Around the O.

Superheroes Decoded

This weekend (4-30-17), the History Channel will be airing a two-part special on the history of the superhero called Superheroes Decoded featuring a University of Oregon Professor of English–our very own Dr. Ben Saunders, the founder of the Comics and Cartoon Studies program! We have been informed by producers that portions of his interviews will appear in both parts of the documentary.

Ramzi Fawaz, who delivered a guest lecture on The Fantastic Four here on campus last spring, will also appear in the series. In addition to academic speakers, Superheroes Decoded will also feature interviews with Stan Lee, George R. R. Martin, Superman director Richard Donner, Iron Man director Jon Favreau, and Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/The Falcon in the Captain America and Avengers films), among many others.

Part One airs on Sunday April 30th, at 9pm EST; Part Two airs the following night, Monday May 1st, at 9pm EST. Both air on the History Channel. Be sure to tune in!

Lecture: Michael Tisserand

“Birth of the Krazy: The Early Days of George Herriman and Krazy Kat








Monday April 17th – 4:00 PM – 123 PAC

Please join us for a fascinating look at the intersections of race, popular culture, and the publishing industry in the first half of the twentieth century.

Comics and Cartoon Studies would like to thank the Oregon Humanities Center and the Departments of Art History, Comparative Literature, and English for their generous co-sponsorship of this event.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please email gilroy@uoregon.edu

Art Ducko Call for Essays

Calling all writers interested in comics and/or cartoons! Art Ducko, the University of Oregon’s comics and cartoons magazine, is currently looking for an article for their next issue, coming out in winter term. The theme is science fiction. It can be any kind of science fiction, such as space travel, futuristic technologies, dystopia or utopia, parallel universes, apocalyptic stories, time travel, alternate history, alien life, and more (if you are unsure about whether or not something counts as sci-fi, feel free to ask!). The essay must be related to either comics or cartoons (or both). It can be focused on one work or many. If you have an essay or article already, or if you are interested in writing one, please email lbryant@uoregon.edu .

Deadline: Monday, January 9, 2017
Length: usually around 2300 words (though length is flexible)

“Aliens, Monsters, and Madmen” in The Oregonian and on KLCC

Check out this early coverage of “Aliens, Monsters, and Madmen” in The Oregonian newspaper by reporter Steve Duin. Read the full Oregonian article here

There is also an interview with Curator Ben Saunders on KLCC 89.7, listen to the interview here.

New! An article in Eugene Weekly by Aaron Ragan-Fore, “Raising Eyebrows” view the Eugene Weekly article here

Exhibit: “Aliens, Monsters, and Madmen: The Art of EC Comics”


To celebrate the opening of the “Aliens, Monsters, and Madmen: The Art of EC Comics” exhibit, the the Jordan Schnizter Museum of Art will host an exhibition opening on Friday, May 13, 2016 from 6:00pm-10:00pm in the Jordan Schnizter Museum of Art. The opening is free to all UO students and faculty. There will be food, drinks, and a DJ!

Entertaining Comics (EC) was the most aesthetically ambitious and politically radical commercial comic book publisher of the 20th century.  Primarily active between 1950 and 1955, the company produced such sensationalist, satirical, and subversive titles as Tales From The Crypt, Weird Science, Frontline Combat, and Mad.  At odds with the ideological conservatism of the era, EC rebuked racists and warmongers, critiqued the paranoid state, and mocked commercialism and consumer culture — provoking the ire of parents, schoolteachers, politicians, and cultural critics alike.  In fact, the company was ultimately forced out of business by the forces of reaction — with the notable exception of Mad, which survived the 1950s anti-comics backlash by becoming a magazine (and is still in print today).

The exhibition will feature over 120 original art pages on display, including several complete stories.  Every major EC artist and title, including Mad, will be represented by key works.

This exhibition is sponsored by the Coeta and Donald Barker Changing Exhibitions Endowment; The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation; a grant from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the arts, a federal agency; Oregon Humanities Center’s Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities; Philip and Sandra Piele; UO Comics and Cartoon Studies Minor; UO College Scholars Program; and JSMA members.