Lecture Examines Comics as the Ninth Art

Dr. Matthew J. Smith, comics expert and graphic novel specialist, will give the lecture “Beyond BIFF! BAM! POW! Reclaiming Comics as the Ninth Art” on  Monday, Sept. 17 as part of the UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication Artist-in-Residence program.

The presentation is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the College of Business Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Smith, a professor of communication and director of Cinema Studies at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, will talk about how there is much more to comics than Archie and Batman and that comics are worthy of academic study.

Smith specializes in teaching graphic storytelling and has taught a popular course on graphic novels for the past six years. He has taught a specialized course on the works of Alan Moore and is the creator of the Comic-Con field study program. Smith is co-author of five books including The Power of Comics: History, Form and Culture, a textbook for the comics studies classroom; and Critical Approaches to Comics: Theories and Methods, nominated for a Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best Educational/Academic Work. Another collaborative volume, Icons of the American Comic Book, is currently in press.

Smith will visit classes in the Department of Communication to discuss the professional world of comics. He will be accompanied by Stephen Cunningham, a public relations student, who traveled to San Diego with ten other students from around the world to attend Comic-Con International 2012 as part of a field study created by Smith. The field study is available to students interested in comics and ethnography through Wittenberg University. They will share their experiences from the convention and study of the intersection of fan-culture and marketing.

Smith’s program is being sponsored by the Department of Communication.For more information, contact Dr. Nelle Bedner at nelleb@uca.edu or (501) 450-5601 or online at the UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication Artist-in-Residence website at http://uca.edu/cfac/category/artists-in-residence.