Representation in Comics and Graphic Novels


Sun, 03/11/2018 - 11:30am

Location: Social and Behavioral Sciences Tent, UA Mall



John Jennings, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, Sherine Hamdy, and Coleman Nye explore the importance of expanding the representations of race, religion, gender, and geographic region in comics and graphic novels on many levels, from the authors of the texts to the characters they create and the issues they choose to confront. This panel is a part of the Tucson Festival of Books. 


John Jennings is a Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Riverside. His work centers around intersectional narratives regarding identity politics and popular media. Jennings is co-editor of the Eisner Award-winning collection "The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art" and co-founder and organizer of The Schomburg Center's Black Comic Book Festival in Harlem. He is also the co-founder and organizer of the MLK NorCal's Black Comix Arts Festival in San Francisco and of SOL-CON: The Brown and Black Comix Expo at the Ohio State University. Jennings is a 2016 Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Studies Fellow with the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. His current projects include the art collection "Black Kirby: In Search of the Motherboxx Connection," the horror anthology "Box of Bones," the coffee table book "Black Comix Returns" (with Damian Duffy), the supernatural crime noir story "Blue Hand Mojo" and the New York Times best-selling graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler's classic dark fantasy novel "Kindred."


Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez is the writer and creator of the critically acclaimed and best-selling graphic novel, "La Borinqueña," which he self-published under his own studio, Somos Arte. Edgardo's debut as a writer for Marvel's anthology, "Guardians of the Galaxy: Tales of the Cosmos," has been received with critical acclaim similar to his initial work with Marvel as curator of two exhibitions Santerians: The Art of Joe Quesada and Marvelous Color. This fall he debuted the comic book series "Freak," a collaboration with the award-winning actor and writer John Leguizamo. He is also co-founder of the publishing company Darryl Makes Comics with his business partner, Darryl DMC McDaniels and this fall released their third graphic novel "DMC #3." Via his studio Somos Arte, he has a client roster that includes Marvel, Columbia University, and Atlantic Records for which he designed the cover for The Hamilton Mixtape and Lin-Manuel Miranda's benefit single for Puerto Rico, Almost Like Praying.


Sherine Hamdy is co-author (with Coleman Nye) of "Lissa: A Story of Medical Promise, Friendship, and Revolution" (illustrated by Sarula Bao and Caroline Brewer), a work of ethno-fiction in comics form and the debut book of the University of Toronto Press' ethnoGRAPHIC series, for which she is now the Series Editor. She is also the author of "Our Bodies Belong to God: Organ Transplants, Islam, and the Struggle for Human Dignity in Egypt." Hamdy was a professor of Anthropology and Middle East studies at Brown University for 11 years before joining the faculty at the University of California, Irvine in the fall of 2017. She is the author of a forthcoming young adult graphic novel (illustrated by Myra El-Mir) that tells the coming-of-age story of a Muslim American girl living between New York and Egypt


Coleman Nye is an assistant professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. She is co-author (with Sherine Hamdy) of the ethno-graphic novel "Lissa: A Story of Friendship, Medical Promise, and Revolution." Her current book project, "Speculative Science: Gender, Genetics, and the Futures of Life," examines the performative dimensions of breast and ovarian cancer genetics in the contemporary United States. She holds a PhD in theatre and performance studies and an MA in anthropology from Brown University. She teaches and researches on a range of topics related to technoscience, art and culture and has a background in theatre and performance.


Co-sponsored by College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies