Last Monday I had a chance to travel to Wright State in Dayton, Ohio to talk with a class that had been using Lisa’s Story as a course textbook and then to appear on a panel entitled “Lisa’s Story: Cancer in Popular Culture”. My fellow panelists included:
Steven Bogner the director of the Emmy Award winning A Lion in the House.
Julian G. Cambronero, PhD., Brage Golding Distinguished Professor of Research, Department of Biochemestry & Molecular Research, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.
Carol Loranger. PhD., Chair, Department of English Language and Literatures.
Yufeng Wang, PhD., Professor, Humanities Department, Sinclair Community College and a breast cancer survivor.
When I was twelve years old, it would have been hard to imagine that comic books would one day be studied in a college classroom and even more so that one of my comics would be studied. Never came up. Just wasn’t on the radar screen back then. However, comics, comic books and graphic novels have been making more and more inroads not only into popular culture, but colleges and university classrooms as well. So it was with pleasure that I was able to be on a panel with such distinguished fellow guests. The conversation was enlightening and the questions from the students insightful. It was fun to talk comics in such esteemed surroundings. Rather than recapitulate what was said, I’m simply going to leave you with some quotes without further comment. The first was new to me and came from the slide show that was put together for the evening panel:
“If you do not say anything in a cartoon, you might as well not draw it at all. Humor which does not say anything is worthless humor.”
The second comes from a Stan’s Soapbox from way back when:
“A story without a message is like a man without a soul.”
And finally this quote from Maureen Dowd which my dear wife slid across the table in this morning’s paper for my attention.
“Art is meant to explore all the unattractive inner realities as well as to recommend glittering ideals. It is not meant to provide uplift or confirm people’s prior ideological assumptions. Art says “Think,” not ”You’re right.”
As Stan used to say: “ ‘Nuff said.”