Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
When I lived in Toronto, I would often hear it described as a hub of comics culture. I understood why. The city hosts an abundance of comic shops, including landmark locations for both alternative comics (The Beguiling) and nerd culture (The Silver Snail). There are also numerous expos and conventions to attend: Fan Expo, Anime North, and the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF), which has grown into one of the most diverse, well-reputed North American festivals.
However, a lot of what makes Toronto an important city for comics folks is less obvious to your average isolated comics fan. It is exciting to know that the city is home to a large community of writers and artists, that there is a long history of that community, built up and supported by figures like Darwyn Cooke and Ty Templeton. But, other than occasionally spotting Chip Zdarsky in the park, that aspect of the city remained largely invisible to me during my years there. My curiosity was provoked by the prospect of a city of artists hiding in plain sight: sharing apartments, working in studios, hanging out, supporting one another.
Ruptured Graphic Narrative as a Tool for Intersectional Knowledge: Chicana and Japanese Iconographies in “Flies on the Ceiling” and Skim.
Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature and Visual Studies at Penn State
This paper was meant to be a longer study regarding moments of rupture in graphic narrative, and how those moments open a space for intersectional aspects of the narrative to surface. By rupture, I mean moments in which the conventional linearity and sequentiality of comics is momentarily abandoned, or moments in which seemingly decorative but actually meaningful elements disrupt the page. If conventional comics are a woven pattern of panels and gutters, these moments are ruptures through which the spun fibers are visible for a moment. The knit fabric of the page reveals the twists of a gendered life, of an ethnic lineage, or a distant culture. By reading the graphic novel Skim by Canadian Japanese authors Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, and the comic “Flies on the Ceiling,” by Chicano author Jaime Hernández this paper discusses how the language of comics may illustrate alternative epistemologies or women’s epistemologies as coded in non-linear languages. Scott McCloud has named some of the techniques featured in these comics as “aspect to aspect” transitions, or “non sequitur.” Thierry Groensteen in turn has referred to how arthrosis may replace sequentiality in narrative moments of this kind. In line with McCloud’s and Groensteen’s formal language, I start from the premise that these works are conveying alternative ways of knowing that may seem unstructured from the point of view of logic and sequentiality. The comics illustrate a kind of alterity that concentrates on moments of intersectional tension in the lives of their women protagonists. In these moments, the artists introduce iconographic references that stress the close connection between these women’s gender/sexuality and their ethnic backgrounds.
Masters Student in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
For my Master’s thesis research in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I created an interactive webcomic on the philosophy of time (specifically Block Universe Theory, also known as four-dimensionalism or “worm theory”) through the lens of comics formalism. Through 4dtime.space, I explore various issues within four-dimensionalism, and expand upon them by creating new concepts such as the "spacetime sausage" and "corkscrew block universe.” I also connect the comics medium to string theory and multiple universe theory, as well as explore the ramifications of the comics medium as a "multiples medium" on issues of personal identity through time. The form of the website is in itself a block universe, where each section exists simultaneously and can be read in any order, and is currently live online. In the next section, I’ll walk you through the website with some excerpts for your reading pleasure...
Due to the ongoing pandemic crisis, ICAF was forced to cancel its events at the 2020 Small Press Expo. Over the next 16 weeks (give or take), we will be publishing