Acclaimed longtime X-men comics writer Chris Claremont will be joined by a slate of such comics creators as Bill Griffith, Ariel Schrag, Ben Katchor and others at, “Comic New York,” a two-day symposium at Columbia University, to be held March 24 and 25, to study the history and development of American comics in the city where the medium and its industry was born. Comic New York will be held at Columbia’s Low Library and will be free and open to public.
Organized by Columbia University professor Jeremy Dauber, Columbia University’s graphic novel librarian Karen Green and comics writer and editor Danny Fingeroth of the Museum of Cartoon Art, Comic New York will kick off with a keynote speech by Claremont and will celebrate the donation of his archive to Columbia in November 2011. Claremonth wrote the X-men comic for 17 years and is credited with creating strong female characters and introducing serious literary themes into superhero comics. During Claremont’s tenor as writer, the X-Men developed into one of Marvel’s most popular series.
The conference will highlight the donation of Claremont’s archive, which will set the basis for creating a resource center at Columbia to attract the donation of other comics archives and the study of “the interwined” histories of American comics and New York City, the center of the American comics industry. "New York has always been right at the center of the movements that have shaped American culture - and comics and graphic novels are no exception,” Dauber said.
The symposium will examine the impact of New York City on “generations of comics talent, as well as the political, periodical and underground nature of the comics themselves,” according to a release. Other comics creators participating in the symposium include Marvel Comics’s John Romita Sr. and his son, John Romita Jr., Peter Kuper, Lauren Weinstein, Emily Flake, Denis Kitchen, Dean Haspiel and others. Comic New York will run from 10 am to 6:30 pm.
“We're delighted to be able to study, talk about, and collect, works from and of this city that are iconic, subversive, ambitious, grandiose, earnest, sophisticated - everything that New York is itself,” Dauber said.