Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award Winners; Colleen Frakes; Katie Fricas; Clough/Porcellino; Park on Reynolds; Spatial Frequency Analysis


Announcing the 2018 Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award Winners

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (BICLM) is pleased to announce the winners of the first annual Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award.  The award of up to $2500, named for the founding curator of the BICLM, Professor Emerita Lucy Shelton Caswell, supports researchers who need to travel to Columbus, Ohio to use the collections materials of the BICLM on site.

Thanks to the generosity of the Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation, we are able to give three 2018 awards in celebration of the launch of the program.  Moving forward, we will give one award per year.

We were delighted to receive a large and diverse range of proposals from both national and international scholars and artists. A panel of ten reviewers from a variety of disciplines at Ohio State was appointed to assess the proposals.

The recipients for 2018 are:

  • Dr. Daniel Worden, Visiting Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology’ School of Individualized Study.  He holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University.  His project is entitled “Oil Comics: Iconographies of Energy, Environment and Motion.” Worden’s research aims to chronicle the imbrication of comics with the oil industry and the normalized use of petroleum as a fuel source, from the late 19th century to the present.
  • Xavier Dapena, Ph.D. candidate in Hispanic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  His project is called “’They do not represent us’: Radical Imageries of Contemporary Spanish Graphic Narratives (1973-2011).” Dapena’s project centers on the intersection of graphic narratives and political imagination and seeks to understand how the political repertoire of images, symbols, and metaphors express three processes: memorialization, precarization, and legitimation.
  • Frank Santoro, creator of Pompeii, Storeyville and other comics.  He is also an educator who runs ComicsWorkbook, a training and residency program for cartoonists.  His research on “The Ohio School of Naturalist Cartooning” will look at how Billy Ireland’s influence on Edwina Dumm, Noel Sickles, Milton Caniff, and C.N. Landon informed a language of 20th century cartooning that has carried on into the 21st century.

Congrats, Frank!


Colleen Frakes: A Cartoonist’s Diary

Colleen Frakes


‘Stopping for Art and Conversation Along the High Line’
Katie Fricas looks at the group exhibition, Agora, in NYC.

Katie Fricas


One night group exhibition and book release with work and new publications by:

Clark Keatley
Leon Sadler
Stuart McKenzie
Tom Sewell
Viktor Hachmang
Yannick Val Gesto

At Dinner Party Gallery, Thomas Briggs Building, 2-4 Southgate Rd, N1 3JJ. Walk past reception to the door under the stairs.


John Porcellino

‘How do you compare the experience of taking acid with your later practice in Zen Buddhism?’
Rob Clough continues the long interview with John Porcellino, over at The Comics Journal.

[Clough] The long “Mr Dusty” letter from Mr Mike that you printed was epic. That was an intense amount of text to lay down, which made me wonder how you feel about lettering and how your lettering has developed over the years. Did you look to others for inspiration? Did you ever use any kind of guide? Have you ever considered developing your own font?

[Porcellino] When I first started King-Cat, the lettering was as sloppy as the drawing! I didn’t care about stuff like that. I was just slinging ink. As my drawing got more evolved, the lettering did too. I started to get a kick from lettering more legibly, making those E’s, S’s. When I’m doing it it can be quite enjoyable. One thing I’ve found is I have to concentrate, kind of empty my mind, and focus on things. I can tell when I’m lettering and my mind starts to wander, things get sloppy. Then I pull it back in and keep going. Just like meditation, I guess.

For guides, like a large bunch of text like a Snornose page or a letters column, I usually use the edge of a piece of paper as a ruler… line it up with the edge of the page and use it as a guide, siding it down a bit with each new line. But it’s not perfect and half the time I end up inking a page and it’s all on a slant. In my OCD days I would redraw it. Now I just kind of laugh at myself and let it go. Occasionally I’ve ruled bluelines to guide me, and at least once I used graph paper. I think that’s how  [Aaron] Cometbus does it. That sure helps, but maybe I don’t really wanna think that much about it.

When I look back at my lettering in the OCD years, it floors me, how precise it is! I was nuts! It’s beautiful, but the cost is too much maybe. I don’t know. The whole story of my post-meds career has been learning to balance that spontaneity I had before OCD with the precision I got from it. It’s taken me like ten years to start to figure it out.

Font: no.


Chris Reynolds

Mauretania Comics
Ed Park looks at the Chris Reynolds collection, The New World.

The stories start on solid ground, then twist like dreams. Reynolds sets everything in uniformly sized panels, edged in black like funeral invitations. His impossibly thick line lends weight to these uncanny dramas of lost time. Calling the comics black and white feels insufficient; they’re more like black and white and black. This starkness, and the stabs of poetic word-image interplay, can call to mind his stateside contemporary Raymond Pettibon, while the silent, depopulated spaces that loom throughout—abandoned houses, vacant cinemas, phantom transportation—suggest any number of uneasy de Chirico vistas.


Ruye Wang

Spatial Frequency Analysis – II

The contrast sensitivity as a function of spatial frequency (called CSF) can be obtained psychophysically from the test image below [above]. You will perceive a curve which peaks at some certain optimal frequency in the middle range of the image (depending on the viewing distance) at which the visual system is most sensitive to the contrast. The sensitivity is reduced when the frequency is either too high or too low.


Vision Box – 5-15-2018 – by Cameron Arthur


Joanie and Jordie – 4-15-18 – by Caleb Orecchio

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