Spiegelman & Comixland


Here below is introduction I gave last night to a presentation by Art Spiegelman.  He was our featured writer at this year’s Annual Writers Conference in Honor of Elmer Kelton.

It is my honor and my pleasure to introduce our featured writer Art Spiegelman who will present to us his lecture “What the %@&*! Happened to Comics?”

I was selected to introduce Mr. Speigelman because I am fortunate to serve as head of the Department of English here at Angelo State and because of my own interest in the storied marriage of pictures and words.

I like to think that our ancient selves began to take on humanity as soon as we could make sense of ourselves and our surroundings through a combination of handmade images (drawings and tracings, carvings and molded figures) and mouthmade sounds (grunts and shouts, warnings and songs). 

At some point in our shared journey, we used the handmade to stand for the mouthmade, to record our victories and defeats, our wealth and our debts. 

The letters we finger on our keyboards and keypads and touchscreens are the iconic debris of this handmade language of ancient recording.

In a later chapter in our long history, the image makers and the word makers divided company, turning their backs on one another so that they could explore the far flung horizons of picture and of text.  These journeys were long and they were fruitful.  Many of these tribes spread around the globe.

And just beyond those far horizons, members of the image and the word tribes suddenly came upon each other face to face.   

And they fell in love.  Made a new tribe.

And they built a new language.  Handmade of pictures and words. 

I give you a visiting member, a leading historian, and an acclaimed storyteller of this new tribe:  Art Spiegelman.