PROSE Award Detroit Duke

I am thrilled to share the news that Unflattening has won the 2016 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) in Humanities!  (The work also won the sub-category, Media & Cultural Studies.) I’m excited for what it means for me, but perhaps more for what it means for greater acceptance for comics and alternative scholarship. This…

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Comics on the Rise

Some updates… Unflattening received a lovely review in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, by Dr. Amanda O. Latz, Ashleigh N. Bingham, and Jessika O. Griffin. I really appreciated that they drew attention to the educational themes of the work. A little excerpt from their opening and closing:  “Unflattening not only deroutinises the traditional dissertation form, it conveys the…

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Best Lists MLA Student Work

I’m pleased to report, Unflattening found its way onto a number of Best of 2015 lists to close out the year! I want to share a bit of that news, before getting into upcoming conference and speaking travel, and then the continuation of sharing excerpts from my fall class “Comics as a Way of Thinking.” The roundup: Forbes (!) includes Unflattening on…

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Choice, Kenyon Reviews, Student Work

This time out, I share some work from my comics as a way of thinking course, which just wrapped. But first, some news on Unflattening. The October issue of the American Library Association’s “Choice: Reviews” kindly called Unflattening “potentially revolutionary.” The full text reads: “For more than two decades, Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art (1993) has…

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Nature Moscow Best List

Unflattening made The Independent’s (UK) list of top graphic novels of 2015! It’s great company to be in, as the roundup includes Adrian Tomine and others, as selected by Neel Mukherjee who recently reviewed Unflattening for the New Statesman here. I’m pleased to have created a comic for the journal Nature on climate change in conjunction with the Paris climate conference beginning…

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Maxine Eugene

This week, I’m on the road again, heading to the University of Oregon in Eugene for talks on comics and education and alternative scholarship! For details on the events Thursday and Friday, please see UO’s events page here. If you know someone in the area – send them over! Also, I’m thrilled that my comic in…

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Utrecht Interdisciplinarians Notre Dame

Some news: If you happen to be in The Netherlands, Utrecht University is hosting an exhibition of images from Unflattening as part of the symposium Educating Interdisciplinarians. It opens Friday the 30th and will be up through the end of November. It sounds like a great conversation and given that my work very much grew…

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Texas Entropy Newsarama interview

My newest piece for the Boston Globe Ideas section came out October 3! “Against the Flow,” explores the idea of entropy and the moments when things swirl back against the downward dispersal of energy – vortices that emerge briefly. It was inspired by my dad’s physics lecture that references Robert Frost’s poem West Running Brook, and…

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Berlin, Jenkins interview, Grids & Gestures

Last week, I went on a whirlwind speaking trip back East, doing six talks in four days! It started at the Brooklyn Bookfest with a panel alongside cartoonist and comics educator Jessica Abel and moderator Alex Blumberg on Sunday the 20th, then back at Teachers College, Columbia, on Monday the 21st, followed by College Unbound in Providence…

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East Coast Swing

This weekend, I’m headed back East for a slew of talks and book events through the following week! First up, on Sunday September 20th at 11am, I’m excited to be a guest of the Brooklyn Book Festival! I’m doing a session titled Look and Listen: Stories of the Senses alongside Jessica Abel, who will be sharing from her new book on…

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Comics as Thinking Class

Excited to be back in the classroom with Comics as a Way of Thinking at the University of Calgary! See below for my thoughts on it – but first, a bunch of news from August. Really brilliant and insightful review conversation of Unflattening  by Peter Wilkins & Damon Herd on The Comics Grid. An excerpt:   [Unflattening] is attempting to…

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PrintMag Ruts Rain Sketches

Last week, I was quite pleased to be interviewed by renowned art director, design critic, and professor Steven Heller in Print Mag. It’s a lengthy conversation in which we talk about my background, process, and influences. I’m sharing a small excerpt here and the rest is on Print Mag’s site. Heller asked me about my influences – I spoke…

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Paris Review Brazil Interview Lifted Brow more

On this post, excited to share a roundup of new reviews and interviews, a video conversation, plus more process sketches. First up, I was interviewed in great depth by Tim Hodler for The Paris Review. Hodler’s questioning took the conversation in a number of directions I don’t normally go, and I greatly appreciated the opportunity. An…

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Quill & Quire, Midyear Best of Lists, Sketches

In this post, new reviews and detailed sequences of process sketches below. Extremely smart and insightful review of Unflattening in Canada’s Quill & Quire by Ian Daffern. He opens with the question, “Can comics inspire the next leap in the way we think about physics, philosophy, or even our everyday lives?” And closes by calling Unflattening “terrifically ambitious, and…

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BoingBoing InterReviews Magic Sketches

Over the last few weeks, Unflattening has received a great deal of kind attention from a wide range of outlets. Cory Doctorow’s feature on it in this article on Boing Boing introduced a lot of new eyes to the work. This bounced around the internet and was also picked up and reworked for features on Open…

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NYTimes, Globe, Upwards, Flatlessness

Unflattening was featured in the New York Times Book Review! Writer Douglas Wolk said, “Nick Sousanis’s Unflattening is a genuine oddity, a philosophical treatise in comics form. ‘Flatness,’ for Sousanis’s purposes, is not the quality of abstraction that Clement Greenberg lauded in modern art, but the lamentable condition of the inhabitants of Edwin A. Abbott’s ‘Flatland’:…

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Deleted Scenes 2 Sketching Rhizo MI

Following up on my previous post, I’m sharing a second deleted scene that appeared in the dissertation but was cut from the published edition. Like that previous one, which dealt with my process of Spin/Weave/Cut, this too comes from Chapter 4: “Our Bodies in Motion,” which delves into thinking about drawing through our perception. On this page, I took up…

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Deleted Scenes & Reviews

Unseen art – a deleted scene from Unflattening! I’ve been asked frequently how the published version of Unflattening differs from the dissertation. After I defended, I submitted the work to HUP and went up to Cambridge to work with my wonderful editor Sharmila Sen. We trimmed text throughout to tighten it up and keep a consistency of…

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Remix Diss, Review Roundup, RIT

Some recent reflections on doing my dissertation in comics form have just been published as part of a Media Commons collection on doing alternative scholarship in the academy. Fellow contributors include Cathy Davidson, Jade Davis, Gregory Donovan, and Amanda Licastro. This is a continuation of a conversation we had together at CUNY in NYC last…

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AERA, Aesthetics, Maxine

A fun week of early feedback, as people have been sending me pictures of Unflattening on bookstore shelves and arriving in their mail! I appreciate all the support and look forward to conversations to come over the work. It’s been sighted at The Strand in NYC, Tattered Covers in Denver, Quimby’s comics in Chicago, and alongside…

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Arrival! PW podcast, more…

With thanks to the US and Canadian postal services, I was thrilled for my very own copy of Unflattening to arrive last week! It was nearly a year ago that I defended the dissertation, just after we welcomed our daughter into the world, and as she turns one and is starting to get up on her…

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NAEA 15 + into the Wild!

Unflattening has been released into the wild! Copies have surfaced – and I’m itching to see mine! Last week, it got its first review from Publishers Weekly and a Starred Review at that! A little excerpt: “Sousanis has made a profound contribution to the field of comics studies and to semiotics, epistemology, and the burgeoning study of visible thinking. Essential…

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PW Review, Inside Higher Ed Interview

Welcome to my new site. While I’ve had this domain all along, it’s been bouncing to a blog for the past six years and it was finally time for an upgrade. This new home (courtesy of the good folks at Loudbaby.com – the architects behind the Detroit arts-mag I used to run) brings along my…

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Cover, Reframing Inquiry

About a month to go to the release of Unflattening! While I’ve yet to see all of it bound in one piece, I was pleased to get my hands on the proof of the cover and test prints for the interior pages! More info on Harvard UP’s site here. (Preorder available at places like Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and Powells, or…

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In Print: Threads Postmodern Fable

With less than two months to go, I’m eagerly counting down to March 9 and the release of my comics dissertation-turned book Unflattening – see more details on Harvard University Press’s site here! (And if you can’t wait,  I see it’s up for preorder at places like Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and Powells!) In the meantime, an essay I…

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Final Page and International Talks

As we continue to get settled in Calgary, I ended up drawing one final page for my book Unflattening (formerly-known-as-my-dissertation) due out from Harvard University Press in March of 2015. While with the exception of the cover, some additional title images, and cleanup, the drawing has been done since i defended in the spring, circumstances…

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Thanks NYC hello Calgary + Maxine

UPDATED with more info about my presentation at Genres of Scholarly Knowledge Production in Umeå, Sweden (below).  This week my wife, our nearly 8 month old daughter, and I packed up and said goodbye to New York City. From the educational community at Teachers College and the springboard it offered in making colleagues from all…

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Talking Visual Lit @ Toledo & Princeton

  This Friday, November 7, I’m pleased to be giving a keynote session at the International Visual Literacy Association’s annual conference, held at the Toledo Museum of Art. As the organization puts it – “visual thinking is a form of critical thinking,” “the ability to derive meaning from images of everything that we see –…

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Unflattening Harvard UPress

I’m pleased to announce that my comics dissertation will be published by Harvard University Press in March of 2015! Check out HUP’s catalog here to see all the specifics about Unflattening. This has been in the works for over a year now and I’m thrilled to be able to officially share the news! I’ve been…

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Upcoming Talks & Process Sketches (Multimodality)

Last week (10/10/14), I participated in the #remixthediss event on New Dissertation Models at the CUNY Graduate Center here in NYC. It was a terrific gathering, invigorated live audience, and it was live-streamed to audiences around the country and the globe – and in many sites they hosted their own parallel discussions. Primary organizer, Professor…

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Remix Diss and McGee at 90

This site has been quiet for a little bit. But that’s not to say I haven’t been busy. I’m looking forward to sharing a few announcement as to what I’ve been up to in just a few weeks. But in the meantime, I wanted to share an upcoming event I’m participating in and a non-comics/education…

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RSCON5, Visualizing References, and behind-the-scenes sketches

This Friday, July 12 at 5pm EST, I’ll be doing an online presentation of my work and the educational promise of comics as a keynote for the Reform Symposium Free Online Conference (RSCON5). This annual virtual gathering is put on by an organization of educators called “The Future of Education,” and I offer my thanks…

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Thank yous & Foot Project winners

So the dissertation is defended, finished, and I graduated. But as I prepare to move on to next steps, I thought it was important to pause here and publicly acknowledge all those whose support has helped make this possible. I’ve not only had a good team backing me on the home front, but also, as…

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Reflecting on Maxine

This day, I’ll sadly be attending the funeral of professor Maxine Greene. A legendary educator and philosopher, Maxine was to me my teacher, an advisor, and most importantly my friend. I wanted to share a few thoughts on my time with her here. I had the good fortune to happen upon Maxine’s lecture in celebration…

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UCLA and Fabric

This week I’m taking a quick trip to Los Angeles to give a talk at UCLA’s Charles E. Young Research Library. The talk is free and open to the public, Thursday May 29 at noon. See here for further details if you’re in the area or know folks who’d like to check it out. I’ll…

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AERA14 and New Toes

This weekend, I’m off to Philadelphia for the American Education Research Association’s (AERA) annual conference. I was to participate in three sessions, but because of exciting news on the home front (See below), I will be making a shorter trip of it and only making the Saturday and Sunday ones. I’ll be giving away comics…

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Foot Work

Leave your footprints on my dissertation – and win a signed page! (UPDATED w/deadline below) I’m nearing the finale of the dissertation, and for the final chapter I’m seeking a little help from you – specifically in the form of your feet. Throughout the work, there have been a number of significant scenes involving feet…

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Coverage in the Chronicle and new page on Commuting

This past week, the Chronicle of Higher Education kindly featured my dissertation work alongside Dani Spinosa’s publicly-blogged dissertation in-progress. I’m overwhelmed by and grateful for all the support and enthusiasm this article has generated. Writer Sydni Dunn provided an indepth look into some of the backstory of how this came to be and its significance…

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Scheherazade, Art & Science

Finished Chapter Five a little while back and now racing through Chapter Six, and wanted to share the page on stories I teased an excerpt of earlier. This page takes up the importance of stories, with Scheherazade as point of inspiration I build around. I had in mind book pages, frames that expanded from one…

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Stories, MLA, & Microsoft

I’m nearly finished with chapter Five, which takes up the imagination, and sharing a small excerpt from a page here. It’s about stories, and stories within stories – thus Scheherazade makes an appearance. Visually, i’m playing with something like the book Zoom or Powers of 10, but as the page continues to snake along, it does…

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Ch5 Saccades and Superheroes

Plugging away at Chapter 5, addressing the imagination as way of seeing. (I posted the opening to the Chapter here.) Given that the entire work is taking up the ways in which we see as metaphors for how we think and how we learn, for this chapter I want to explore the link between perception…

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Ch5 Pointland plus Rumpus

So I’m plugging away on drawing Chapter Five, and wanted to share a little preview.  In this excerpt, we make a return to EA Abbott’s Flatland, which was initially introduced in the Interlude between Ch1 and Ch2, and has subsequently been referenced throughout. But I’m using this two-dimensional world here, and the even more bizarre…

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Classes and Symposium talk

I’m pleased to report that this spring I’ll be teaching my comics for educators course once again, at Teachers College, Columbia U. This will be the fourth time we’ve offered this course, and each one has been a rewarding experience and I’m eager to connect with the next group of students. We talk theory, explore…

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Ch4 Finished

Chapter Four is finished!! After Chapter Three dealt heavily with the distinction between visual and verbal modes, and some theorizing on the capacities of the comics form, this chapter dealt with perception, how drawing works, the creative process in general (and mine more particularly), and sought to expand the notion of what thinking is. I’ve only…

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Oxford Squared Science and Arts

So this week, I’m excited to be (sort of) in two places and specifically two Oxfords at once!  Physically, I’ll be traveling to the annual gathering of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies (AIS) – taking place this year at the University of Miami, in Oxford, Ohio. At the same time, a small excerpt from my dissertation…

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Varoom, Drawing, Comics Research Roundup

While I’m about to finish up Chapter Four – racing towards a spring finish/defense (!), I wanted to share a brief excerpt from that chapter and some other news and musings. First up, delighted to be featured in the UK’s Varoom illustration magazine, in their Autumn issue. Varoom’s John O’Reilly did a lengthy interview with…

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Marks

Another minimalist page, part of a five-page sequence segueing from my pages on perception (one of which I put up here) to talking about how drawing works. As mentioned last time, I’ll be sharing shorter excerpts going forward as I race to get this finished by spring! This page came out of thinking about the…

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Not a Game

While I’m plugging away on Chapter Four (you can see the finale to Chapter Three here, and the opening excerpt from the current chapter here), current discussions around war got me thinking about the page from “Possibilities,” my 2006 comic on games that takes up the subject. It’s not an attempt to offer answers, but perhaps a…

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New Horizons

I’m in the midst of drawing Chapter Four – in which I deal specifically with perception and discussions around drawing as a form of discovery. If Chapter Three dealt with the distinction between text and image, and comics as a means of uniting modes, this puts it all into practice. For various reasons, I may…

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Microsoft Video VSA Drawing

A month or so back, I gave a talk at Microsoft Research to accompany the exhibition of excerpts from my dissertation. (I posted images from the show here.) They recorded the talk, as it was also being streamed to Microsoft employees not physically in attendance, and they’ve now kindly put the talk together with slides…

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VSA Keynote & roundup…

This week, I’m off to Milwaukee to give the opening keynote for the Visitors Studies Association annual conference “Where Innovation Meets Rigor.” I’ll be discussing my dissertation and comics as a means of presenting complex information and ideas with clarity and without reducing their complexity. Recently, Brett Terpstra interviewed me for his 5by5 systematic podcast.…

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Ch3 Finale

At long last, Chapter Three is complete! Although it’s overall structure/length stayed more or less the same from my initial notes, this chapter just kept growing on me in complexity as I got deeper into it. This second half of the chapter was all about how comics work – and in this metacommentary approach –…

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Microsoft Exhibition Wrap

Back from an amazing trip in Seattle and sharing a little update on all that went on in the exhibition and talk at Microsoft Research – Building 99. A huge thank you to Microsoft Research, the folks behind the Studio 99 space, and especially the beyond generous support, enthusiasm, and patronage from MSR’s Donald Brinkman.…

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Multimodality and Microsoft Exhibition

Ok, I haven’t quite finished the chapter when I’d hoped. This page on multimodality kept asking for more thinking, and then more… I finished last week, and was hopeful to finish the remaining two before posting all together, but because of travel (see below) I won’t quite finish them till next week, so posting this…

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Visual-Verbal Intermingle

The slow but steady march to finish chapter three continues. Another new page, this time addressing how the unique ecosystem that is comics facilitates visual-verbal interaction – with mentions of the work of RC Harvey, David Lewis, and Edward Tufte. These and many other references I drew on to think through this page (including the…

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A unique thought-space

Thrilled to finally be able to share this page, which represents the culmination of my thinking on this medium and along with the sequence leading up to it, really gets at the heart of my theorizing on why comics are cool! For some time, I’ve been working on comics as integrating the sequential and simultaneous…

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Simultaneity and process sketches

Sharing just a single new page this week, along with process sketches that led to the recently released page on the sequential nature of comics. First up, this page on the simultaneity of the comics page is the only page that borrows an existing composition nearly note for note, specifically a page from my journal…

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Aesthetics and analysis – Conference wrap

Catching up from my conference trip a couple weeks back (which ended up being six talks in six days after a last minute invitation to join Anna Smith & company for a session at AERA on emerging literacies research methods, which was a really cool and generative discussion).   The trek included a few solo…

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Five Talks Six Days!

Embarking today on a week long road trip with five talks about comics and my work in a period of six days! Starting out in Toronto, at HASTAC’s 2013 conference friday morning and then off to San Francisco for conference presentations Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at the American Education Research Association’s (AERA) annual gathering. The…

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Ch3: Sequential Art by any other name…

At last, two long overdue pages! Very pleased with what emerged and worth all the time they took. The first page addresses what to call this thing? I have this conversation all the time: “I’m doing my dissertation in comics form.” Confused response, “Oh, you mean graphic novels?” “Yes, that.” It seemed like at some…

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Beat Review! and arts journalism

Two weekends ago, I was pleased to participate in the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art’s annual festival. I had a great time meeting new people, talking about my work, and checking out other works when time permitted to sneak away from my table. It was a well run event all around and a healthy…

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Image-Text Talk: Comics as a Tool for Inquiry

So last May, I presented at the SequentialSmart conference centered around comics and education at Juniata College in southern Pennsylvania. The organizers asked to include that talk in their publication, and so i created an image-text version from the images i shared and a recreation of what I said. That’s now in digital print in…

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MoCCAfest 2013!

This weekend, April 6 and 7, I’m pleased to participate at the Society of Illustrators/Museum of Comic and Cartoon Arts annual festival at the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington between 25th and 26th. The event features 100s of local, national, and international cartoonists and comics authors, publishers like First Second, Pantheon, Drawn & Quarterly, and…

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Ch3 sequence Where words fail

At long last, the next sequence to chapter three! Travel, teaching, and the complexity of elements I put into play for this short sequence – continued to take longer than expected, but I’m pleased to be able to share now and follow up on what was laid out in the opening to the chapter (all…

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Roundup: NYC Talk, GradHacker, …

An invitation for those in NYC: on Thursday, March 28, I’m delighted to be presenting on my dissertation and comics as a new form of scholarship at Adelphi University’s Manhattan campus. In addition to sharing work from the dissertation and exploring distinct ways that comics can present meaning – I also plan to engage attendees in…

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Talking Comics and Education: Texas and NYC

This week (storm permitting), I’ll be off to Fort Worth Texas to participate in the National Art Educators Association’s (NAEA) national conference. On Thursday March 7, I’m part of a panel talking comics, education, and research that stemmed from the special issue of the Journal of Visual Arts Research devoted to comics. My piece “The Shape…

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Flatness, Ch1, and Detroit exhibition

As I’m plugging away at Chapter Three (the first sequence of which can be seen here), an excerpt from Chapter Two is on view as part of an exhibition opening Friday, March 1st at the Detroit Artists Market (Ch2 in its entirety can be found here). In thinking about Detroit, I’m realizing that while I’ve posted parts…

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Ch3 opening: Amphibious Refraction…

At last, I’m able to share the opening sequence to Chapter Three! In this sequenceI make a specific turn to the heart of my argument for comics and the importance of considering modes other than the verbal. The chapter title takes its name from my article in the Journal of Visual Arts Research, and in…

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Dim Sum & Descartes

Recently, the team behind the Dim Sum Warriors comic/app, Yen Yen Woo and Colin Goh, invited me along to say a few words on the workings of comics as part of their interview with Patrick Cox of Public Radio International’s “The World in Words.” The Dim Sum Warriors comic-app is a pretty neat merger of…

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Talking Comics as Way of Thinking

New interview with me courtesy of the iTeach Podcast! Some background…. Back in late November, I was pleased to be contacted by Chris Malmberg of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks about a podcast he and his colleague Brooke Sheridan had made in which they devoted their inaugural session to a discussion of my work and the…

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Chapter Two – In Full!

Happy New Year! This post was set to go out on the solstice until an internet outage prevented it. So with the new year upon us, I’m pleased to be able to share the entirety of chapter two here. While all but the title page have been posted previously, this is a chance to read them…

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Ch 2 Finished – Odyssey Final Sequence

Chapter two is complete! This thing kept growing on me somewhat outward and frequently inward. The sequence here concludes the chapter. It’s a journey with a few references to the Odyssey (from cyclops, to Ithaka, and more), a lot of triangles and tetrahedrons, and a weaving together of a number of diverse philosophical perspectives (as…

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Did it flow? Connectedness in Joyce

While I still have one more page to draw to finish Chapter two, I wanted to share a single page from the final sequence of the chapter. This page plays off the faucet passage in James Joyce’s Ulysses from the Ithaca episode. I first read this in high school (twice forward and once backward at…

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Comics class & Conversations

I’m pleased to announce that the comics course for educators i developed at Teachers College will once again be offered in the Spring term. It’s under a new name and department, but a similar focus on understanding, making, and exploring ways to incorporate comics into the classroom. More info below and on my comics classroom…

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UAF Podcast – “Why can’t my dissertation have pictures”

Out of the blue Monday evening, I received an email from Chris Malmberg, a professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, sharing a podcast he had done with his colleague Brooke Sheridan titled “Why can’t my dissertation have pictures too?” on the use of comics in education and was in large part a discussion around…

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NY Comics & Picture-stories Symposium

Tonight (November 26) at 7pm, I’ll be talking comics at the 27th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-stories Symposium hosted by Ben Katchor. I’ll be talking on my dissertation and comics as a means of legitimate scholarly discourse. Also, first up tonight, Mark Lerer will be talking on the history of comics fanzines. The…

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Testing, testing… extended sequence from Ch 1

As I’m putting together the final pages of Chapter Two, wanted to share a few unseen pages and a complete sequence from Chapter One – reflections on being stuck and how systems perhaps built with the best of intentions, end up becoming a trap. I shared two pages on “Boxes” before as they were on…

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Speaking at Kutztown U

Thursday, November 15, I’ll be talking comics and my dissertation at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania thanks to professor Lynn M. Kutch. Should be fun! – Nick

A dog’s view…

As this entire second chapter (and the dissertation in total) has been a discussion of ways of seeing, I sought to clarify that by “ways of seeing” i also mean to be inclusive of means of perception beyond the visual in a literal sense. To that end, I thought of no better example than my…

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Labels…

My return to making comics was triggered by an invitation to participate in a political art show in Detroit on the eve of the 2004 election. That piece, “Security” was quickly followed up by with a second piece “A Show of Hands” immediately after the election. Much that emerged in that second piece shapes the…

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Rhizomatic, Kaleidoscopic, multiperspectival…

After a great trip to Ohio State for a conference with arts educators and a chance to share my work, snuck back to NYC just before the storm hit. Fortunate to have dodged most of the effects of the storm, and have been plugging away on new pages. At the conference there was a lot…

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Discussions of interdisciplinarity

Ok, off today for the third conference of the month – another chance to talk comics! In the midst of this, I’ve been getting pages done, albeit a bit more slowly than I’d like. Sharing an entire sequence here, that’s the middle of Chapter Two, and focus specifically on the concept of interdisciplinarity – which…

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Conference Wrap-ups – Expanding Forms of Inquiry

The last two weeks saw a full schedule of conferences with a public talk in between. I’ve had terrific experiences all around, and each gathering has provided an excellent opportunity to share my work, and explore with audiences the ways in which we think and make meaning beyond text for learning and scholarly work. First…

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Interview in Russian Journal – Theory and Practice

Wow – so a few weeks back I was contacted by Katya Korableva a journalist working for the Russian arts-education magazine Theory & Practice to talk about my dissertation in comics. The interview with images of the work now appears on their site – entirely in Russian! Please see here for the interview with images.…

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Talking Comics at Oakland U

Next week, I’ll be talking comics and my dissertation at Oakland University. It’s open to the public, so if you’re in the area… Thanks to Ben Bennett-Carpenter for making this possible. – Nick  Oakland’s web-announcement and flyer. Nick Sousanis: Visual-Verbal Artist-Academic presents his work in comic books on “Creative & Critical Minds” Wednesday, October 10, 2012,…

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Copernican Revolutions…

New pages from Chapter 2! These two were not part of my working outline, and as I finished the previous pages on ways of seeing and Eratosthenes’s unflattening of the earth and was looking ahead to the next pages, I kept feeling there was a missing transition visually and conceptually. Copernicus’s reenvisioning of the known…

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the Shape of Our Thoughts in VisArts Journal

My piece “The Shape of Our Thoughts” a meditation on thinking and how comics work has just seen print in Visual Arts Research Journal, Vol.38 No.1, Issue 74 Summer 2012 (whew!). The entire piece is devoted to the graphic novel and art education – all scholarship in comics form. You can check the full issue…

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Parallax and Eratosthenes

I’ve begun Chapter Two in earnest! Pages are roughed out and starting to assembled finished pages. The first page here is a reworking of a piece i did some time ago called “Mind the Gaps” as a chapter for a book by my advisor Ruth Vinz on narrative inquiry. One side note, in the earlier…

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On Exhibit: Quantified Self

This week, i’m revealing two pages from Chapter One of the dissertation. They’re a couplet (as many have been throughout Ch1 and the Interlude) and will be on display starting this week as part of the exhibition “Quantified Self” at Gallery Project in Ann Arbor, MI. The show features local and national artists, and apparently…

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Flatland Interlude concludes…

With these three pages, I wrap up the Flatland-related sequence (Part one here) that bridges the gap between the heavily metaphorical Chapter One and the slightly less so Chapter Two. I’ve also included a process photo as I was working to figure out the “tear” effect on the first page. In my sketches, the sandals…

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District Comics

A while back, award-winning science comics writer and great guy Jim Ottaviani invited me to collaborate with him on a story he was writing for the anthology District Comics – an unconventional history of Washington, D.C. edited by Matt Dembicki, who had previously put together the award-winning Trickster anthology. The chance to work with Jim…

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visiting EA Abbott’s Flatland

Last post, i shared an incomplete preview page to accompany an article professor Morna McDermott wrote incorporating some of my work on flatness. Now I’ve got a complete segment of pages, that comprise the first half of the interlude spanning Chapters One and Two. They pick up the themes of the first chapter, but start…

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Flattening education – preview image

The other day, i had the opportunity to connect with Prof. Morna McDermott and the two of us went to visit with Maxine Greene (see my comic on her here). The ensuing conversation sprawled all that’s going on with education and possibilities for change. Morna wrote up her reflections incorporating some images of my work…

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Tops – Chapter One Complete!

Chapter One is completed!! This first chapter has been a long process to say the least – but excited with how it’s all come together. This pair of pages is essentially the close of the chapter, there’s a brief coda that follows, which i may post here. I’ve actually not posted very many of the…

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Comics & Education – News/interviews

Briefly: the Denver – Rocky Mountain Comics/Ed conference rocked! Got to hang out and learn from folks like Maureen Bakis, James Bucky Carter, Charles Hatfield, RC Harvey, and Scott McCloud! Plus met a lot of new folks doing great work in comics along the way. Thanks to Christina Angel and crew for hosting a fantastic…

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Rocky Mt Comics conference and Rabbits at GLC

This week, I’ll be hitting the road for Denver to present at the Rocky Mountain Conference for Comics and Graphic Novels – attached to the Denver Comic Con. I’m giving a talk on my dissertation work entitled “Comics as a Tool for Inquiry: A Dissertation in Comic Book Form Reimagines Scholarship”, which builds on previous…

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Arts & Humanities…

This past year I’ve served as a PAGE fellow (Publicly Active Graduate Education) within the Imagining America consortium. A little while back in the midst of presidential candidate debates, PAGE hosted a tele-conference to discuss the importance of the university experience and Arts & Humanities education to push back against some of the candidates’ views. After…

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Boxes – dissertation pages

Wanted to share two recent pages from the first chapter of my dissertation. These are around pages 8 and 9. When i finish the chapter – I may post the earlier pages and all of it in its entirety. Anyhow, this has to do with the boxes we find ourselves in and the boxes we…

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Presentations this week…

A full week ahead of talking comics. Tonight (Monday, May 14), i’ll be sharing briefly about my dissertation with the newly formed NY Comics and Picture-Stories Symposium. It’s a great group of creators and thinkers on comics, just formed by NYC cartooning legend Ben Katchor. Catch the second session tonight and be part of whatever…

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elaborate structures

This is about the 7th or possibly 8th page of my dissertation! I’ve done all the pages leading up to it, and as things get finalized, I’ll post more of them – in order as well. This has text, but it’s not quite finalized yet. Figured there’s enough here sans words… Also, this page revisits…

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A page?

So, I’ve finished several pages from the first chapter of the dissertation – and will post bits of it soon. Today, I was stuck with what will roughly be the seventh page – and started playing with alternative versions of what I had in mind. One, I got so excited about, I decided to do…

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MoCCAfest Reflections

Of late, this blog has started to transform into a blog proper – instead of solely serving as a repository for new comics. As I’m in the midst of a very long form comic in the form of my dissertation, this trend will continue for a while (and also, i have a proper site in…

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After MoCCAfest Day One – B4 Day 2

Finished up a long first day of MoCCAfest – plenty of good conversations and interest in expanding what comics can do. The Beat’s Torsten Adair was kind enough to post a few words about what i’m up to in his reflections on MoCCAfest day One column here! He mentions the Rabbit page from my Possibilities…

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Collection in Print and MoCCA Fest!!

This week sees the release of the collection of nearly all my comics over the last several years! Thanks to the good folks at Wooden Horse, this volume puts my works from 2004 to 2011 in print chronologically and serves as a primer to where I’m going with my dissertation (and look for more excerpts…

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Spin, Weave, and Cut gets a Logo!!

Why “Spin, Weave, and Cut?” Invented to describe my creative practice (and give this site a name), S/W/C describes a kind of visual-verbal DJ’ing – a notion initially prompted after seeing the documentary “Scratch” in 2001(articulated in the virtual pages of thedetroiter.com here).     Spin = revolution and continuity; Weave = intersect and integrate;…

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The Shape of Our Thoughts (Final V)

Off to the American Education Research Association (AERA) conference in Vancouver today. I’ll be talking my dissertation and comics with educators – along the lines of the presentation I did at HASTAC in December. I’m posting here, the final version of the piece, the Shape of Our Thoughts, as I draw on it heavily for…

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Interview on Microsoft’s Daily Edventures

Microsoft’s Anthony Salcito’s Daily Edventures has done a feature profile on me and my dissertation in comic form as part of their daily look at educators around the world. They’ve been featuring some amazing educators and I’m humbled to be included among them. The interview is here. (Thanks to Bridget for her kind words and…

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an image…

There’s been a lot of talk about what I’m up to of late, but not a lot of pictures. I have been drawing a lot – road mapped the whole dissertation, laid out about a third of it, and have now drawn several pages to completion. I’ll be sharing selectively as I go. Wanted to…

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Interview in Chronicle of Higher Ed

Brief interview with me regarding my dissertation, now up on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s site. Curiously released on April 1, but thankfully there’s no “Pow!” in the title… Thanks to interviewer Nick DeSantis for his kind words and making this happen. For more info, check out Maureen Bakis’s lengthy interview here and comic-like version of my HASTAC talk from December. –…

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Overview of some comics

Since the minor twitter outbreak stemming from Maureen Bakis’s original article fueled by Cathy Davidson’s subsequent post, (a huge thank you to both!) numerous folks have posted links to the interviews or other excerpts from my work. Very cool – grateful to all for the support. Occasionally though some of the reposts have been misconstrued…

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Diamond Interview and…

A while back, Maureen Bakis, author of the Graphic Novel Classroom, visited my class at TC, and followed up with an e-interview of me. It’s just now published on Diamond Bookshelf’s site here. In the work, I share on my thoughts on comics and education, resources for teachers, and what i’m up to with a…

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In the news!

A brief interview on my work in comics and creativity at Teachers College in the school’s monthly publication. Check it out here. Thanks to Siddhartha Mitter for the writeup.

For more on what i’m up to on the dissertation – check out this pdf of a December talk i gave.

More new comics to come…
Nick

quick update

A lengthy stint of jury duty has delayed some updates here – but a few things. First up, check out this interview on graphic novel reporter with the super cool Maureen Bakis – teacher and author of the Graphic Novel Classroom, who visited my class back in the fall. Maureen was a great guest and…

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Hastac Talk

Happy New Year! Fall of 2012 saw few updates to this site – but not because i wasn’t making new comics. Rather the opposite, I was immersed in two big projects that i’ll post more on soon, as well as lots of thinking on comics through the course I developed and taught this fall at…

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In Print: “New Maps” – Interdisciplinary Studies

As with the recent “The Importance of Seeing Double,” “New Maps” was created for the Association of Integrative Studies’ newsletter for their October edition. They should be seen as companion pieces, and likely I’ll find a way to integrate(!) them into a single piece as part of my dissertation.  Wanna know more about the study…

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In print: The Importance of Seeing Double

This piece was created for the Association of Integrative Studies’ newsletter Integrative Pathways March 2011 edition. It’s also being reprinted in a textbook on integrative studies due out soon. I’ve got a related piece in the forthcoming edition of AIS’s newsletter this fall. I’ll post it after it appears in print. Interested in interdisciplinary studies?…

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On View: Seeing Red Feeling Blue

Thanks to an invite from Gan Golan (co-creator of Good Night Bush), my piece about the ridiculousness of red states and blue states made during the run-up to the 2008 presidential election is now on view as part of the Po Boy Art Gallery’s “The Comic Show/People’s Art of Portland” in Portland, Oregon. (Info here: http://poboyart.com/). I…

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Hold Close (Tsunami Essay)

In the midst of the initial batch of headlines coming out of Japan, I found myself viscerally compelled to respond in some way. Perhaps on the second or third night after the tsunami hit, I had jotted down some notes about an initial idea for this piece, before going to sleep. I couldn’t sleep, and…

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In Print!: Mind the Gaps

Another piece sees print this month, this time “Mind the Gaps” (which I first posted here) specifically created for my advisor Ruth Vinz’s (and co-author David Schaafsma’s) text Narrative Inquiry: Approach to Language and Literacy Research. My piece serves as the final chapter, initially a sort of “fable for the future” (as Ruth terms it)…

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In Print!: Maxine Says

While I’m in a bit of a slowdown on comics-making (mostly due to my organizing the upcoming conference on Creativity, Play, and the Imagination at Teachers College), there’s an upsurge of my work appearing in print of late. I thought I’d share a few links to the publications and to the work. First up my…

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of consequence

Continuing my attempt at a weekly comics piece for Robbie McClintock’s course… Not sure i’m going to make the weekly part. But still going to work through some ideas conceptually and visually as I go. – Nick

learning pathways (untitled)

This term, I’m sitting in on my advisor Robbie McClintock’s final  course – a look back at his formative educational experiences. I set myself a small goal of making a short piece inspired by something that occurred in the class or the reading. I include the quote from Robbie to start it off, and then…

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The Shape of Our Thoughts

Subtitled, “a meditation on and in comics,” “The Shape of Our Thoughts,” is an exploration of how comics work, what their potential for conveying and exploring meaning is, and a tiny bit on implications for art/and comics education. It’s intended as a journal article and culled from material from my dissertation proposal. As this visual-verbal…

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Dissertation Preface to Unflattening

My dissertation proposal was handed in this week and defense is around the corner. I prepared this preface for it – which gives a hint at where i’m heading with the dissertation itself, “a visual-verbal inquiry into curiosity” – that is a comics narrative as academic dissertation. In starting this with a nearly all verbal…

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Five Critical Senses with professor Tim Eatman

This piece was produced for and with Professor Timothy K. Eatman, of Syracuse University and the director of research for Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life. In the midst of a conversation in which Tim was taking me through his presentation on the five critical sense of engagement, i was struck by his use…

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Mind the Gaps- Narrative Research as Drawing…

This piece was created for my advisor Ruth Vinz’s forthcoming book on Narrative Research, co-authored with Dave Schaafsma. Given that i just finished it and that it’s going in a book, there may be some changes before the final, final version. Essentially, it’s a piece about approaching research using a metaphor of seeing, or drawing,…

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My Evolution

As a final project for Visual Explanations – thinking about the concept of visual analogies in comics with colleague Andrea Kantrowitz. Created this quick overview of how my process has developed over the last few years and what issues i’m interested in exploring in the medium. – N Excerpts from my work include: “Security“; “Show…

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quilt of student stories

I was asked by Erick Gordon head of TC’s Student Press Initiative (SPI) to do a comic corresponding to the project they were doing in 5 schools with all English as a second language students. SPI works with schools and students to produce books of their own writing. This group of students came from all…

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Sketching

This piece is prepared for a project for Dr. Barbara Tversky’s Visual Explanations course in collaboration with Andrea Kantrowitz. Full citations to follow.

Threads: a spinning fable

This work was created for Dr. Ruth Vinz’s course on Postmodern Textual Practices. We were asked to draft a postmodern take on a fairy tale or myth. At the same time we’d been mapping out our definition of what postmodernism means. Mine includes a lot of developments in science and mathematics and music – sampling…

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Cosmology of Ideas

A sort of comic, prepared for a catalog for a forthcoming exhibition at Macy Gallery at Teachers College. The subject of the show is studio practices, and so i focused on how ideas are generated, or born, in my notebook. It was in part shaped by a conversation with my dad on how stars form.…

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Little Boxes (Final Version)

Created in conjunction with Graeme Sullivan’s “Visual Arts Research” class at TC. Closely related to the recent “Bi(bli)ography” as well as a spiritual cousin to “In the Box/Out of the Box” from some time ago. – Nick Little Boxes is also designed to be put together as a cube – or little box itself. Arrows…

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Bi(Bli)ography – Final Version

At last – the final version of “Bi(Bli)ography: A Life of Privilege.” This replaces previous, in-progress versions. I welcome your feedback. – Nick


Bi(bli)ography – text only

Ok, it’s been a long time since there’s been a new piece. Not because i’ve not been working on new projects, but rather because of how each project has grown as i’ve delved into it. This is the case with the following – intended to be a two-page, quick essay, it blew up fractal-like as…

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Old and New again

I’m in the process of adding some older short comics I made to this archive. To preserve the continuity of when they were created, they appear earlier in the blog posts, even though they’ve only been added now. – Nick

Children’s Artistic Development Two

The sequel to the first installment on artistic development in children prepared for Dr. Judith Burton’s class on that subject. – Nick (You can find the initial one here)

Seeing Red, Feeling Blue

A comic about divisions and over-simplification in four pages. Created in October of 2008. – Nick 

In the Box, Out of the Box

This piece was first created literally out of a block (box) of wood sliced in 8 pieces (drawn on with a Sharpie) for an art fundraiser in Grosse Pointe, MI. It occurred at nearly the same time as a box show fundraiser at the Detroit Artists Market. Boxes and blocks were on my mind. In…

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Chrysalis

This comic created in summer of 2007, was the first one I made entirely digitally. Mostly just a test of the tools, with the hopes of speeding up some elements of the process and making my lettering legible! – N

A Conversation with Charles

This piece was created in Spring of 2006 for an exhibition at the Detroit Artists Market. I am currently working on a biography of Charles McGee for Wayne State University Press – due out as soon as I can finish the text!

Possibilities: The Rabbit Page and more…

This comes from the graphic essay “Possibilities” that accompanied Game Show Detroit (www.gameshowdetroit.com) Produced in the spring of 2005, it’s 16 pages long with full color cover. I may add other pages from it to this archive at some point. Also, for those curious, this is the piece I used as part of my interview…

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Show of Hands

This was created for “Defending the Tree of Liberty,” part two of the exhibition at Detroit’s Zeitgeist gallery – which was post-Presidential Election 2004. Along with the piece for part one “Security”, i credit these pieces as getting me back into making comics after a rather lengthy hiatus. – N

Security

This was created for an art show “Defending the Tree of Liberty” at Zeitgeist Gallery in Detroit immediately preceding the 2004 Presidential Election. Participating in this project (with very short notice), helped get me back into making comics in a very real way again. – N