The New York Comics & Picture-story Symposium is a weekly symposium for artists and writers in different text-image forms to show and discuss their current work. Held at Parsons School of Design in New York City, the symposium features a new artist and/or writer each week and their comic, animation, etc.

auth“I don’t even care, I just want to do the stuff” – Kim Deitch on his work at the symposium.

On January 26, 2016, the symposium welcomed veteran writer and artist Kim Deitch. Born in 1944 to animator Gene Deitch, Kim (along with his brothers and fellow artists Seth and Simon) had grown up around art and animation. Deitch is known for his contribution to underground comics in the 60s, first writing for the New York City underground newspaper East Village Other. Later, he became the editor of the comics tabloid section of said underground newspaper.

Among his works are two of his more famous cartoon style characters, the black cat Waldo the Cat and Uncle Ed, the India Rubber Man, who are recurring in his comics. Deitch’s published works have been highly acclaimed. THE STUFF OF DREAMS earned him an Eisner Award and Time magazine chose his BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS to be included in their “100 best English graphic novels ever written.” He currently lives in New York City with his wife Pam, to whom he lovingly draws a wonderful portrait for every Valentine’s day.

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“When you’re able to  get into it, you have to just keep going and not stop” – Kim Deitch on the issue of ‘draw-er’s block’

At the symposium, Kim Deitch presented his current unfinished graphic novel. The audience was shown samples from the current work, which is still in progress and has been for the past three years.  The yet-to-be-titled work is a pseudo-autobiography. The stories revolve around a young Kim Deitch as the main character with an overarching theme of reincarnation.

The inspiration for the story came from a discussion Deitch had as a child while playing with a friend. His friend brought up the topic of death and heaven, leading to metaphysical thoughts on reincarnation that stayed with him ever since. Many of the stories in this new work include real life events, such as divorce, that are then exaggerated upon. A majority of the fantastic events in the stories are not true. Also, the stories intertwine in creative and fascinating ways. For example, one story involves a four-year-old Deitch being approached by an elderly man. The elderly man mistakes Deitch for an old friend, who is later remembered to be deceased. Interestingly, the last name of the deceased friend is the same name as Deitch’s pet cat. Needless to say, I will be looking forward to the completion of this comic.

Click Here for info on the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium past and future events! 

Next week’s symposium features Monroe Price. This event is titled: “An Image Dump:  Sleeping Reputations and Narratives of Meaning from Five Decades of Collecting.” This will involve topics on image collection. The event will be held on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 7pm at The New School, 66 West 12th Street, Room A 712 (Orozco Room) and is free and open to the public.

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