When I was looking back on 2020 in my January 2021 post, I wrote that the best decision I made was quitting my job at a multinational company in the summer of 2020 (in spite of the pandemic, etc). I was grateful for that decision each and every day of 2021. Though freelancing is hard, it is getting easier and easier to find work. I still could not support myself financially if I lived alone, but I do not live alone, and I can rely on a partner who supports my freelancing projects. All year round, I could work on projects that make sense, which is a wonderful feeling.
I got some teaching gigs in the spring term, and got even more in the autumn. This is fantastic, I love teaching. I have taught a history of comics class at METU, academic writing at AMFI, “Good and Evil,” a critical thinking course at Milestone, a comics making workshop at MOME, and two practical comics making and comics as thinking classes at MOME and METU. I have put some of my syllabi online, just follow the links. I will be teaching full time (though with 4 different contracts) in 2022.
INTERNATIONAL DISCUSSIONS OF COMICS
During the summer, I was asked to join the editors of the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics as the new book reviews editor. I really enjoy this work, which has allowed me to get to know some fantastic academics from all over the world.
In the summer, I was invited to take part in Lyon BD and attend the professional workshops for organizers of comics festivals. This was AMAZING! I have never been to a French comics festival before, and even with the restrictions due to COVID, I felt the love and culture of comics.
In October, I was invited to Lebanon, to speak at the American University of Beirut and to attend the Beirut Comics Art Festival. I learnt so much in Beirut and I met brilliant comics artists and students – I have posted about it on this site, too. In preparation for my trip, I interviewed Lina Ghaibeh, organizer of the festival and chair of the Arab Comics Initiative about Arab comics and about life in conflict-ridden Lebanon – link to the article on The Comics Journal. I have also written a report on the festival, here it is.
At the end of the year, I was invited to join the History in Comics Erasmus BIP project. We will organize a conference in September, 2022, so stay tuned! This is our website: historyincomics.org.
JOURNALISM IN HUNGARIAN
I continued writing to various cultural magazines and portals. This is a cause for continuous conflict in me, because these magazines and portals pay so little that if you write a good, long, well thought-out article, your wage is something like 1-2 dollars/hour. My journalistic work is collected here, and here is a list of the long and interesting things I could write about: on Alois Nebel, a cool Czech comic, report on horror in Hungary, report on conserving old paper documents, interview with writer Anita Moskát, interview with Anna Gács on memoirs.
POPULAR SCIENCE IN HUNGARIAN
I started writing about current academic topics in the field of comics studies in essays. I would like comics to be more accepted here and I would like to contribute to the canonization of comics studies as a valid academic discipline. I have written three essays: on Chabon’s Kavalier and Clay and its translation; on graphic medicine; on Paul Williams’s book on the origins of the graphic novel.
This year I haven’t written or published any articles in English -and that is okay. I feel I need more time to find a topic after my book – and I am still grateful every day that I could write a book and publish it with the Ohio State University Press. I published two book reviews, though.
I already have a number of teaching contracts and promises that I am very excited about. I am also looking forward to our meetings with the History in Comics research group, and I hope I’ll find a research topic and I start writing articles again.
I wish you the very best, creative energies, piece, long walks, friends for 2022!
- Comics of the Lebanese Revolution – Abstract, IGNCC 2022 conferenceThis is the abstract of the paper that I will present next week in Dún Laughaire at the International Graphic Novels and Comics Conference. … More Comics of the Lebanese Revolution – Abstract, IGNCC 2022 conference
- Violence, Politics, and the Graphic Novel – Virtual PanelA Virtual Roundtable with Hugo Frey, Hillary Chute, Mark McKinney, and Eszter Szep, moderated by Aubrey Gabel. … More Violence, Politics, and the Graphic Novel – Virtual Panel
- Showcasing New Hungarian Comics and Graphic Novels (PDF!)A catalog showcasing contemporary Hungarian comics came out in fall 2021, but I completely forgot to share the news here. I was working on New Hungarian Comics and Graphic Novels: Speech Bubbles to … More Showcasing New Hungarian Comics and Graphic Novels (PDF!)