How to Read Nancy
Where: Society of Illustrators
128 E. 63rd St.
212-838-2560 Price: $15
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Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden will introduce their new work, a unique meditation on the elements of comics as seen through the molecular deconstruction of the August 8, 1959 daily episode of Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy. Columbia University comics librarian Karen Green will chat with Mark and Paul about the genesis of this decade-long project and the author’s quest to isolate the blood, sweat, and tears that go into the making of a single comic strip.
How To Read Nancy is part encyclopedia, part history, part biography, part treatise, part humor theory, and part how-to-be-a-cartoonist-in-43-easy-lessons-sorry-folks-no-refunds!
A book singing and reception will follow the presentation.
“As one of the members of the first graduating class of How to Read Nancy, I can insure that anyone who wants to understand the mechanics of comics should snap up this thorough (and thoroughly entertaining) extended autopsy of Bushmiller’s genius. I learned more about reading pictures from it than I did from seven years of art school.” – Chris Ware
“A stirring examination of the perfect comic strip and a touching love letter to its creator.” -Dan Clowes
“Anyone who can come away from this book not understanding the complex thought that inhabits handcrafted objects, minimal abstraction, formalism, the hidden value of orchestration or Nancy should just give up on art as inscrutable and imponderable.” -Gary Panter
“How to Read Nancy details the agony involved in making comic strips. It is also a very funny book.” -Ben Katchor
“Professors Karasik and Newgarden want to take you to school. They throw down an inky gauntlet, and then back it up with almost absurd levels of elucidation. Filled with valuable lessons, this book is a tribute to the art of the simple, as exemplified by a master cartoonist.” -David Mazzucchelli
“A crazy idea for a book.” -R. Crumb
Paul Karasik is the co-author (with David Mazzucchelli) of the graphic novel City of Glass, adapted from the book by Paul Auster and chosen by The Comics Journal as one of the “100 Best Comics of the 20th Century”. His cartoons appear in the New Yorker. Paul teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Mark Newgarden is a cartoonist and author of the book We All Die Alone, the co-creator of “Garbage Pail Kids”, and the co-author (with Megan Montague Cash) of the award-winning Bow-Wow series of children’s books. Mark teaches at Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design at The New School, and The School of Visual Arts.
Ernie Bushmiller, the creator of Nancy, began working as a copy boy at The New York World at the age of 14. His career spanned the better part of the 20th century, paralleling the rise and fall of the American newspaper comic strip. At its height, Nancy was published daily in more than 900 newspapers worldwide. Bushmiller died in 1982.
Karen Green is Columbia University’s first Curator for Comics and Cartoons. She has served as a judge for the Eisner Awards, been a Pulitzer Prize juror, and is a member of the Society of Illustrators’ board of directors, while also speaking at universities and comics events across the country and around the world. She teaches a summer course at Columbia on “Comics as Literature,” which features the original “How to Read Nancy” essay.