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November 16, 2006


Four Graphic Novelists to Present Work Nov. 30

On Thursday, Nov. 30, Bryn Mawr's Center for Visual Culture and Department of History will present four of the most acclaimed figures in the rising field of literary comics at "New Frontiers in Cartooning and Graphic Novels: Jessica Abel, Alison Bechdel, Gabrielle Bell and Lauren Weinstein." The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Thomas Great Hall at 8 p.m.

Each of the four artist/writers will give an illustrated presentation of her work; a general discussion and question-and-answer session will follow the presentations. The authors will autograph their books, some of which will be available for puchase at the event.

comic cover Jessica Abel is the author of the recently published graphic novel La Perdida, the story of Carla, a young Chicana who goes to Mexico to get in touch with her roots. Struggling with her guilt about her relative privilege as a U.S. citizen, Carla is befriended by some disaffected young people and finds herself swept up in a tide of violence. Abel's previous books include two collections that gather stories and drawings from her comic Artbabe, which she published between 1992 and 1999. She has also collaborated with Ira Glass on Radio: An Illustrated Guide, a nonfiction comic about how the radio show This American Life is made. Abel won both the Harvey and Lulu awards for "Best New Talent" in 1997; La Perdida won the 2002 "Best New Series" Harvey Award.
comic cover Alison Bechdel has won glowing praise from critics for her graphic memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. The bestselling coming-of-age tale has been called a "mesmerizing feat of familial resurrection" and a "rare, prime example of why graphic novels have taken over the conversation about American literature." Bechdel is the creator of the celebrated weekly cartoon Dykes to Watch Out For, a staple of gay and lesbian, feminist and alternative publications since 1983. The Utne Reader has recognized the strip as "one of the greatest hits of the 20th century." In addition to her comic strip, Bechdel has also done exclusive work for publications, including Ms., Slate, the Advocate, and many other newspapers, Web sites, comic books and 'zines.
comic cover Gabrielle Bell's "I Feel Nothing," a graphic short story, was published in the first issue of the high-profile anthology MOME. The story, like much of her early work, offers a slice-of-life look at a 20-something Brooklynites struggling to build relationships and find meaning in a monotonous daily grind. Bell's work has been widely anthologized. Her book When I'm Old and Other Stories was published by Alternative Comic Press in 2003, and her serial Lucky won the 2004 Ignatz Award for an outstanding minicomic. Drawn and Quarterly's anthology of Lucky is scheduled for release the week Bell is to appear on campus.
comic cover Lauren Weinstein is the author of Girl Stories, a collection of what Publisher's Weekly calls "short, bitterly hilarious stories of teenage-girl angst" that were first published on the Web site Weinstein teaches drawing and cartooning at the 92nd Street Y, the Parsons School of Design, the School of Visual Arts and the Y's Makor/Steinhardt Center. In 2003, she received a Xeric Grant to publish her first comics collection, Inside Vineyland, which featured many cartoons originally published in Seattle's weekly newspaper The Stranger. In 2004, she received an Ignatz award for "Promising New Talent."


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