Public Program

Talking Comics: Panel discussion on the art of Collier, Finch, Lemire and McLeod

Saturday, May 30, 2015 | 2 pm – 4 pm

Join co-curators of the exhibition Between the Panels: The Comics Art of David Collier, David Finch, Jeff Lemire and Kagan McLeod, Dr. Dale Jacobs, Associate Professor, English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing and Dr. C. Suzanne Matheson, Associate Professor,  English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing, University of Windsor, as they moderate a Panel Discussion including artists David Collier and Kagan McLeod. Pay-what-you-can admission.

About the panellists...

David Collier (b. 1963), a gifted observational cartoonist, is best known for his nonfiction and autobiographical comics, published in his own comic book, Collier’s, and collected in various comics anthologies. He has also published prose-rich comics essays in newspapers such as The Globe and Mail, National Post, and Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. His work first appeared in Robert Crumb’s underground magazine Weirdo in 1986; Collier has since maintained a rich correspondence with this significant and controversial artist. The underground and alternative comics movement of the 1960s and 1970s, which Crumb helped shape, dealt overtly with social and political subjects that shocked audiences. Collier’s quietly subversive perspective on contemporary culture—whether manifested in a rural artists’ collective, a Canadian military base, or on a city street—is one legacy of this movement, together with his distinctively rustic line, characteristic use of cross-hatching, and deep engagement with text.

His collections of work include Just the Facts: A Decade of Comics Essays, Portraits from Life, Hamilton Sketchbook, and The Frank Ritza Papers, which won the Doug Wright Award for Best Book in 2005. Chimo (2011), Collier’s most recent work, is a wry account of his ambition to become a war artist, chronicling his brief stint aboard a navy frigate, courtesy of the Canadian War Artists Program, and his subsequent decision to re-enlist as a Reservist. Chimo documents the physical, mental, and social effects of basic training on a 40-something year-old freelance artist, but it also shows the absolute centrality of drawing in Collier’s life and his thoughts on a national identity he has pledged to both protect and represent.

Kagan McLeod (b. 1978) is an illustrator whose work has appeared in a wide range of publications, from comic books and magazines to posters and newspapers. He has created long-form comics in popular genres such as martial arts and science fiction. His graphic novel, Infinite Kung Fu, which he began serializing in 2000, was published in collected form to critical acclaim in 2011, while Kaptara, a new science fiction series on which he is collaborating with writer Chip Zdarsky, debuted in April, 2015. Most of his artistic output has been in short-form comics and illustrations in high-profile magazines and newspapers such as Glamour, GQ, The Saturday Evening Post, Maxim, Women’s Health, Esquire, Maclean’s, and The Wall Street Journal; he has also worked as a staff illustrator for the National Post. McLeod’s work in these venues typically addresses the real personalities of his era—celebrities, actors, musicians, politicians, athletes—and their public lives. Through short-form comics on subjects as diverse as musician R. Kelly, the 1950s execution of the Rosenbergs, and the 2015 trial of Senator Mike Duffy, McLeod uses the sequential form to record both current events and their translation into popular memory. Through illustrations and caricatures of figures such as Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman, and Colin Kaepernick, McLeod records our collective fascination with celebrities, a task intensified by his recent assignments to live draw both the Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards for the National Post. With a sensibility honed both by popular culture and narrative media, McLeod unerringly chronicles the media-obsessed world in which we live.

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