The Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts in Camden New Jersey is hosting, “Compulsive Stories: Narratives that Must Be Told,” an exhibition of comics and other works that will run from January 16 to April 26 and include comics artists as Carol Tyler, Julie Doucet, Lance Tooks, David Small, Ellen Forney and others. In addition Nathan Fox, veteran comics artist and chair/founder of the MFA Visual Narrative Dept. at the School of Visual Arts has been commissioned by the school to create three comics posters promoting SVA that will be posted on New York City subway platforms.

Compulsive Stories: Narratives that Must Be Told,” was curated by Cheryl Harper, an independent curator and artist, and will feature 15 artists (10 comics artists and five artists who work in other media), including a talk by acclaimed comics artist Chris Ware (Building Stories) who is not in the show. In a phone interview with PW, Harper said the exhibition showcases artists “who have psychologically driven, or autobiographical stories or experiences that they just had to spill.” There will be catalogue. “These artists tell of horrific childhoods, mental illness, sexual exploration, family history, wild adventures, unconventional friends, and alter egos,” according to materials about the exhibition. Other comics artists included in the exhibition are Peter Kuper, Gilad Seliktar, Justin Green, John “Derf” Backderf and Sandy Jimenez.

The show will also feature a variety of programming that will run from January 16 through April. On Wednesday January 29 there will be a reception featuring much-lauded comics artist Chris Ware who will give a comics-related presentation at 7:30pm that is free to the public. The reception will also feature appearances by Sandy Jimenez, Lance Tooks (back from Spain where he lives), as well as printmaker Marcus Benavides, painter Hiro Sakaguchi and others. On April 4 there will be a panel on the show moderated by Harper that will include David Small (Stitches), Peter Kuper (Diario de Oaxaca) and sculptor Mark Newport. Harper said there are also plans to hold a mini comic con at the gallery on April 5 and 6.

Back in New York City, Nathan Fox, chair/founder of the Graduate Visual Narrative Department at SVA (as well as a SVA graduate) has been commissioned to create three posters in his vividly florescent style that will be used to promote SVA in the New York Subway. Fox has produced illustrations for Wired, the New York Times and others as well as working on comics for Vertigo, Marvel and many other publishers. The commission, according to SVA spokesperson Lisa Batchelder, is through the SVA Subway Poster Campaign, a 60 year-old program that has tapped the work of such artists and designers as Milton Glaser, Steve Heller, Stefan Sagmeister and many others.

Batcheldor said the three posters focus on the fictional story of Tako, “an artist who brings her fantastic creations to life and travels to imaginary places.” The posters feature the slogan, “What’s Your Story?," aimed at inspiring commuters as well as luring new students to SVA’s historic comics and illustration programs.

Fox penciled, inked and colored the illustrations, Batcheldor said, which feature a 3D effect. The florescent effect couldn’t be achieved with standard offset printing, she said, so all the posters were screen printed. The posters will be posted on New York subway platforms through February and can be seen below.