This week, I’m on the road again. First up, a visit to Detroit’s College for Creative Studies for a day of workshops and class visits all connected to Unflattening being their common freshman read. From there it’s off to Ann Arbor to do some workshops and work with folks as a participant in the two-day colloquium held at the University of Michigan “Humility in the Age of Self-Promotion“, which, among other things features a public talk from NYTimes columnist Charles Blow on Friday evening October 20th. Will be good to be back home – even for a whirlwind visit…
A few weeks back, I was at UC Santa Cruz, and delighted to speak to 400-some students of UCSC’s Cowell Residential College, where Unflattening was one of their common summer reads! This core course introduces students to university level reading, writing and thinking through the theme of “Imagining Justice.” I had a great time talking with this sharp and spirited group (and pleased they all took part in grids & gestures), and feel extremely fortunate to have my work taken up so seriously by these students and to see them start looking at comics and visual work in a new way.
Maine’s College of the Atlantic has been doing various ecological explorations with Unflattening as their jumping off point!
And high schools are taking up the work as well. Wellesley High School made various 3-D responses to Unflattening (see video on YouTube). And Omaha Central High School created a series of sculptural objects, furniture, and even food as responses! Grateful to all the students for their explorations and their teachers for sharing this in their classrooms and back with me!

In publication news, I’m pleased my co-authored chapter “How to Draw Comics the Scholarly Way” is out in the just-released Handbook of Arts-Based Research edited by Patricia Leavy! Grateful for collaborators Marcus Weaver-Hightower & Paul Kuttner for all the hard work that went into this and the years of conversations at conferences that led up to its genesis. The chapter features several examples of comics by people working in academic settings  (including Trevor Getz, Rachel Marie Crane-Williams, Marcus, and me). We tackled everything from the affordances of the form to the practical of things like working with a collaborator, with the aim of getting those interested in using comics in their research a foothold on how to get going. It’s a small part of an expansive collection of leaders in the field of arts-based research providing insight into their particular practices on everything from craft to publishing in this new terrain. Looks pretty great and I’m looking forward to exploring all of it myself! Details plus discount thru Nov 1 with promo code AF25PL on Guilford’s site here: Thanks for having a look…

A month or so back (mentioned here along with my talks at Temple & Penn), I did an interview with Shea Fitzpatrick for The Queue called “Why You Should Draw Comics Even If You Don’t Draw“, Shea has just published a related story on experimental comics on – that’s pretty cool and I contributed a few resources to help her on her quest. Pretty cool piece I recommend checking out.

In August, I was in Brazil for the launch of Unflattening in Portuguese and to present at the International Comics Conference in São Paulo. That Jornadas talk I gave was recorded and available here. (with live translation by Érico Assis who translated the book into Portuguese.) Thanks for the support – good thoughts to all. – N