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Symposium on contemporary Canadian comic culture
Sequential Art & Speech Balloons
: May 17th at 6:00 pm



Panel presentations and open round table discussion on the issues Contemporary Canadian Comic culture moderated by Professor Will Straw (MTL), with John Bell (Ottawa), Michel Viau (MTL), Christine Redfern & Caro Caron (MTL).



Comics, and their cousins - the political cartoon and graphic novel(and everything in between) have fueled the human imagination for centuries, allowing readers of every age to enter alternate worlds both popular and unpopular. This panel presentation and open discussion will address the issue of contemporary Canadian comic culture in relation to cultural margins, and the recent spate of highly publicized museum exhibitions showcasing the comic form - and how this might be transforming the medium.

William Straw is professor at McGill in the department of Art History and Communication Studies. He is the author of Cyanide and Sin: Visualizing Crime in 50s America. New York: PPP Publications/Andrew Roth Gallery, 2006. Professor Straw as edited and written for numerous volumes of texts on cultural theory and mass media over the last 20 years.

John Bell is a senior archivist at Library and Archives Canada and is a leading authority on the history of English Canadian comic books. His contributions to the comics field include two publications, Canuck Comics and Guardians of the North, and the websites Guardians of the North and Beyond the Funnies. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario

Michel Viau is the author of the most authoritative guide to Quebec comics, BDQ : Répertoire des publications de bandes dessinées au Québec des origines à nos jours (2000). Since 1998 he has also been a major contributor to the BD Québec website (www.bdquebec.qc.ca). Michel Viau writes a regular column on comics in the fanzine Zine Zag, as well as occasional articles for the French magazine Le Collectionneur de bandes dessinées. Since November 2001, he has been assistant editor-in-chief of the humour and comics magazine Safarir

Christine Redfern & Caro Caron
Christine Redfern's drawings, videos and animations have been presented in solo and group exhibitions in Canada and the United States, including Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects in Toronto, George Adams Gallery in New York City and the Delaware Centre for the contemporary arts in Wilmington, Delaware. Her videos and animations have been screened at festivals from Projet/Projo in Montreal, Quebec to the Video-Performance Art Festival in Tallinn, Estonia.
In addition to her art production, Christine Redfern’s writings on the visual arts can be read locally in the Montreal Mirror, nationally in Canadian Art magazine and internationally in Contemporary magazine based in London, England. This year, Blind Spot, a comic book written and developed by Christine Redfern with drawings by Caro Caron, will be published in both French and English. Blind Spot is about the life and work of Ana Mendieta (1948 –1985), exposing intertwining threads of feminism, politics and the arts.