February 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm By:

Heroes has been kind enough to let me moderate 28 Discussion Groups over the past 3 years. I have enjoyed myself immensely and I hope that those who have attended have found them worthwhile.

The most recent round table that focused on Chris Ware’s epic Jimmy Corrigan may very well have been my favorite discussion group to date.

A total of fifteen of us met on Saturday afternoon and the Charlotte weather was so agreeable we conducted our discussion outside across the street at the Philosopher’s Stone. In attendance were several of our Stalwart Discussion Group members (whom I want to take a moment and thank for their ardent support!): Shawn Daughhetee, Heather McKinney, Seth Peagler, Matt Knapik, Matt Plummer, Charles Skender, Mark Sullivan, Zack Kirchberg, Bobby Gemmell and Discussion Group Emeritus: Dustin Harbin.

We were joined by two of the members of Sketch Charlotte:
Tom Davidson — see his work here.
Henry Eudy — see his work here.
as well as…
Ben Towle —  you can see his work here and read the first 2 chapters of his fantastic Oyster War here.
Craig Fischer an associate professor in the English Department at Appalachian State University. You can read some of the Prof’s musing on comics at TCJ’s The Panelists.

So we had an English Professor, six artists, five enthusiastic readers, two not-so enthusiastic readers, one slightly fuzzy moderator and a waiter plying us with potent (and non potent) potables!

To try to summarize the near two and one half hour discussion would be rather difficult, but here a few of the many highlights:

* Cartoonist Ben Towle (Midnight Sun, Amelia Earhart) discussed the intricacies of specific Ware page lay-outs
* We considered the challenges of a three hundred plus page book where the main character is purposely under-developed.

* We discussed the importance of history, time and families on every day life.

* We analyzed why a lot of the discussion came back to the relationship between the blase Mr. Corrigan and his (non) relationship with his parents.

* We touched on Ware’s use of symbolism in regards to super heroes and how parents often have heroic roles projected on them from children.

Need to read more about Chris Ware? (who doesn’t?)

Here is a recent interview on The Comics Journal and here is a re-examination of the book, also at The Comics Journal.

Here is a link to a PDF copy of Dan Raeburn’s fabulous and sorely missed magazine The Imp about Ware.

So what do we do for a follow up?  What will be the topic of discussion Group #29?  At this point, I’m not saying officially, but here is a hint:

Sing with me: I’ve got a good reason, for taking the easy way out. It shouldn’t take you so long, to find out, but you’ll find out!

If you’ve never been to one of these meetings, please consider joining us; we’d love to have ya! We’ve posted more photos from the event on Facebook. For those of you who have never met me, I can assure you that the Heroes official camera adds close to 47 pounds to any subject it captures. I swear on a stack of pancakes.



Filed Under: DISCUSS, Discussion Group, Photos

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