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 and a transcript! If you’re up for seeing and listening to me in action – you can check out the video courtesy of Microsoft research here. (A live-blog of it can be found here.)

I made an image-text version of a talk from last summer and that’s available here. My talks over the past few years have really helped me organize my thinking for the dissertation, and have fed where I’m going. In turn, as i make new pages, those end up feeding my talks. It’s been an energizing feedback process. By clicking on the dissertation tab at the right, you can get up to speed with pages from the dissertation itself. Including the finale to Chapter Three, which is the heart of my theorizing on comics.

Also, more recently I had the opportunity to be the opening keynote speaker for the Visitor Studies Association’s annual conference in Milwaukee. Had an absolute blast, welcoming group all around, and was thrilled to get all of the nearly 200 folks gathered that morning to make comics with me! It’s an exercise I made up that approaches spatially organizing a comics page in an abstract sense that I call “Grids and Gestures.” Without going into detail, it asks the maker to think about carving up a sheet of paper into forms that represent the shape of their day. In the process, it’s designed to help challenge and open up what it means to draw. Some time soon, I’ll get together something more shareable about it. (I go into it in some detail in the final third of the Microsoft video). Anyhow, a few pictures from what attendees made below.

Finally, I was pleased to get a kind nod in The Atlantic’s 1book140 August reading group focus on graphic novels. This August, they’ll be reading and discussing on twitter some key graphic novels, and shared my recent page on multimodality as a way of introducing comics. The article was by Nate Matias who also live-blogged the talk at Microsoft here.

Deep into Chapter 4 at the moment. Onward! – Nick

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