I presented on Marvel Comic's Black Panther as part of the 10th Comics and Popular Art Conference at Dragon-Con in Atlanta on September 1st. I've never attended CPAC, but like the Comics Arts Conference (CAC) at San Diego Comic-Con, the competition to get into the CPAC is extremely fierce. I'm lucky I teamed up with Phillip Lamarr Cunningham ( Quinnipiac University) Gabriel Cruz (Bowling Green University) for this panel on race and representation in Marvel Comics. I've written about the Black Panther before, but his analysis is specifically about the new series written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Of course, I think there s synergy between Coates' essays for The Atlantic and his run on Black Panther. I think I managed to make some great points. Now, I need to find the time to move these ideas forward.
The academic road show? A better title than the one I picked perhaps. I've been on the road with the interlocking narrative of personal history and academic engagements creating odd synergy. My title for this blog, Hybrid Graphic Space captures an element of my overall thinking. I only do one thing, it seems strange to people, but I'm concerned with space and place. Whatever the medium I'm dealing with, this idea is there. I'm often asking the question, "How much is the socially inscribed meaning linked to people and events shaping our action when we look this?"
In practice, I'm often articulating a way to capture the effect of the intersection of community, identity and policy. Visualization has an important place in that process because the photography and urbanization have deep and complex roots. Suffice to say that the ability to capture the reality of an urban moment and use it to document process has had a powerful effect on the city. Contemporary tools allow students to take up that historic mantle and follow in the footsteps of women and men that wanted to improve the community as part of a broader progressive ideology. The fact of the matter is that we do more than people like J. Horace McFarland with photo and map technology available to us on our phone! We can create visual narratives that can document community in powerful ways. The tools change faster than I can keep track of and that is ok. My goal is not defined by the tool, it is always driven by the idea. Nonetheless, a tool like Knightlab's SnapMap is exciting. It uses the 20 most recent geotagged photos on an Instagram account to create a map. Simple in many ways, with intention this could be a powerful tool to document the community. The SnapMap below emphasizes the often stated idea about me...I get around (people mean that in the best possible way, get your mind out of the gutter).
While the goal for comic book creators like Hannibal Tabu is to entertain, a broader cultural aspiration is linked to their efforts. Can their vision find traction in the marketplace? How does their success or failure serve as a marker of societal evolution?Read More