15 episodes

The Graphic Possibilities Podcast is the official podcast of The Graphic Possibilities Research Workshop at Michigan State University. GP is a research workshop in the Department of English at Michigan State University that engages with comics through two interrelated branches, critical inquiry and engaged pedagogy New episodes drop on the first of the month. Follow along at https://graphicpossibilities.hcommons.org/

The Graphic Possibilities Podcast J. Chambliss

    • Education

The Graphic Possibilities Podcast is the official podcast of The Graphic Possibilities Research Workshop at Michigan State University. GP is a research workshop in the Department of English at Michigan State University that engages with comics through two interrelated branches, critical inquiry and engaged pedagogy New episodes drop on the first of the month. Follow along at https://graphicpossibilities.hcommons.org/

    Episode 15: "Rachel Marie-Crane Williams" (Summer 2022)

    Episode 15: "Rachel Marie-Crane Williams" (Summer 2022)

    In this episode, we speak with Dr. Rachel Marie-Crane Williams, the newly-minted Dean of the Division of Liberal Arts at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). She is the author of Run Home If You Don’t Want to Be Killed: The Detroit Uprising of 1943 (2021) and Elegy for Mary Turner: An Illustrated Account of a Lynching (2021). What has she learned about telling the story of race in the United States through comics? What lessons can we take from her experience in the classroom? In this conversation, we ask Professor Williams to reflect on using comics to tell stories about race and social justice.



    You can find more about Dr. Williams' work here: http://rachelwilliams.squarespace.com/ 

    As always, check out more Graphic Possibilities content here: https://graphicpossibilities.hcommons.org/

    • 49 min
    Episode 14: "Marek Bennett" (May 2022)

    Episode 14: "Marek Bennett" (May 2022)

    We are excited to be speaking with Marek Bennett, who joined us to speak about his contributions to the comics anthology Turner Family Stories: From Enslavement in Virginia to Freedom in Vermont, as well as some of his recent and upcoming comics projects!

    Marek Bennett is a New Hampshire-based based cartoonist, musician, and educator , who leads discovery-based Comics Workshops for all ages throughout New England and the world beyond!  His comics work includes the Daisy Turner book, the graphic novel series, The Civil War Diary of Freeman Colby, as well as drawing, translating, & editing for The Most Costly Journey (2021) with the bilingual El Viaje Project. His crowd-funded cartoon travel memoirs include Sharjah Sketchbook (2020) and SLOVAKIA: Fall in the Heart of Europe (2013).

    Marek is currently running a kickstarter for Freeman Colby volume three that runs until June 3rd. Go find it over at kickstarter.com, and stay tuned to the end of the episode for a preview from Marek himself!

    Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marekbennett/the-civil-war-diary-of-freeman-colby-vol-3-1864 

    We are proud to present the first episode in a short series of interviews with cartoonists who worked on the comics anthology Turner Family Stories: From Enslavement in Virginia to Freedom in Vermont. Edited by Jane Beck and Andy Kolovos, this anthology presents some stories from Daisy Turner, a black woman born in Vermont in 1883. Working with six New England cartoonists Turner Family Stories presents two of Daisy’s accounts from the life of her father, Alec Turner, by Marek Bennett and Joel Christian Gill, and two stories from Daisy’s own life by Francis Bordeleau and Lilllie Harris. The comics adapted from Daisy’s interviews are linked together through a story by Grafton native Ezra Veitch, based on a childhood encounter he and a friend had with Daisy one afternoon. Center for Cartoon Studies graduate Robyn Smith drew the volume’s cover. The book also features a Foreword by Gretchen Gerzina, Introduction by Graphic Possibilities’ own Julian Chambliss (!) and a Preface by Jane Beck.



    P.S. Thanks for y'all's patience in the gap between episodes. Graphic Possibilities has been BUSY this Spring!! 

    • 46 min
    Episode 13: "Joel Christian Gill" (February, 2022)

    Episode 13: "Joel Christian Gill" (February, 2022)

    We are proud to present the first episode in a short series of interviews with cartoonists who worked on the comics anthology Turner Family Stories: From Enslavement in Virginia to Freedom in Vermont. Edited by Jane Beck and Andy Kolovos, this anthology presents some stories from Daisy Turner, a black woman born in Vermont in 1883. Working with six New England cartoonists Turner Family Stories presents two of Daisy's accounts from the life of her father, Alec Turner, by Marek Bennett and Joel Christian Gill, and two stories from Daisy's own life by Francis Bordeleau and Lilllie Harris. The comics adapted from Daisy's interviews are linked together through a story by Grafton native Ezra Veitch, based on a childhood encounter he and a friend had with Daisy one afternoon. Center for Cartoon Studies graduate Robyn Smith drew the volume's cover. The book also features a Foreword by Gretchen Gerzina, Introduction by Graphic Possibilities' own Julian Chambliss (!) and a Preface by Jane Beck.

    So, with that introduction, we’re excited to be speaking with Joel Christian Gill today!

    Joel Christian Gill is a cartoonist and historian who speaks nationally on the importance of sharing stories. He is the author of the acclaimed memoir Fights: One Boy's Triumph Over Violence cited as one of the best graphic novels of 2020 by The New York Times and for which he was awarded the 2021 Cartoonist Studio Prize. He wrote the words and drew the pictures for Fast Enough: Bessie Stringfield’s First Ride and the award-winning graphic novel series Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History, as well as 3 volumes of Tales of The Talented Tenth, which tell the stories of Bass Reeves, Bessie Stringfield, and Robert Smalls. He is currently at work on the graphic novel of Ibram Kendi's National Book Award-winning Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, forthcoming from Ten Speed Press in 2023. Gill has dedicated his life to creating stories to build connections with readers through empathy, compassion, and, ultimately, humanity. He received his MFA from Boston University and his BA from Roanoke College.

    • 39 min
    Episode 12: "Karlos K. Hill" (Oct. 2021)

    Episode 12: "Karlos K. Hill" (Oct. 2021)

    In this episode, we are joined by Karlos K. Hill, who spoke with the MSU community in a zoom webinar about his recent comic, The Murder of Emmett Till: A Graphic History.

    Karlos spoke with us about the life and legacy of Emmett; about bearing witness to and doing deep justice work to narratives of racial violence; the absolute necessity of community-engaged scholarship; and enhancing the pedagogical opportunities to graphic histories with archival, supplementary, and educational materials.

    Since this episode is part of our webinar series we’re doing this year, we’re going to preserve the conversation a little more than normal. We give brief intros to Graphic Possibilities, then Julian gives a wonderful introduction to Karlos, and then we jump into our interview.

    This episode is a little longer as a result, but it’s worth every minute of your time, I promise. Enjoy!



    Karlos K. Hill is an associate professor and chair of the Clara Luper Department of African and African-American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma. He is a community-engaged scholar and historian of the history of lynching, racial violence, and their legacies in the black experience.

    Hill has helped create an infrastructure to help provide high-level training on teaching the Tulsa Race Massacre through the annual Tulsa Race Massacre Oklahoma Teachers Summer Institute. Several hundred Oklahoma educators have participated in the summer institute, impacting thousands of middle school and high school students.

    Hill is the author of three books, Beyond the Rope: The Impact of Lynching on Black Culture and Memory, The Murder of Emmett Till: A Graphic History and The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History, which will be released in March. He is a board member for the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, the Clara Luper Legacy Committee, and the Board of Scholars for Facing History and Ourselves.

    You can find out more about his work at his personal website.

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Episode 11: "Alina Pete and Kel McDonald; Guest host: Dr. Gordon Henry, MSU"

    Episode 11: "Alina Pete and Kel McDonald; Guest host: Dr. Gordon Henry, MSU"

    In this episode Julian and Justin are joined by guest host Dr. Gordon Henry to speak with comics creators Alina Pete, who is Nehiyaw (Cree) and Kel McDonald about their new comics Kickstarter, The Woman and the Woods and Other North American Stories: an all-new anthology of fantastic comics inspired by original North American folktales―from the thrilling tale of Chokfi the trickster rabbit, to the stirring story of the White Horse Plains― as told by Indigenous creators.



    We talk with Alina and Kel about the significance of bringing together an all-Indigenous group of creatives, as well as the necessary responsibilities in faithfully following storytelling protocols set down by each group. Then, Gordon and Alina speak to the tension between literature and oral traditions over who gets to tell the stories and which stories, before getting into how comics offer ways of representing these storied beings who travel with these stories -- especially when some of these storied beings can never be named. We hear from Kel and Alina about the power of graphic narratives to reach kids and educators, and to bring authentic folktales to unfamiliar audiences through visually representing diverse populations. AND, while we were recording, the Kickstarter reached a significant milestone: $80,000! At time of posting (9am), the Kickstarter is live for two more weeks and ends on September 10th, 2021 at 11:59pm (and it's nearing $90,000!). Go check it out! 



    Alina Pete is a Cree artist and writer from Little Pine First Nation in western Saskatchewan. They are best known for their Aurora award-winning webcomic, Weregeek (weregeek.com), and for their Shuster-nominated anthology, Life Finds a Way. Alina also writes short stories, poems and RPG supplements, and their work has been featured in several comic anthologies, including Moonshot Volumes 2 & 3.

    Kel McDonald has been working in comics for over a decade—most of that time has been spent on their webcomic Sorcery 101. More recently, they have organized the Cautionary Fables and Fairytales anthology series while contributing to other anthologies like Dark Horse Presents, Smut Peddler, and Sleep of Reason. They have also worked on Buffy: The High School Years. They recently finished their creator-owned series, Misfits of Avalon, and the Eisner-nominated Stone King. They're currently working on their self-published series, The City Between. Their work can be found at  kelmcdonald.com.

    Guest host Gordon Henry is an enrolled member of the White Earth Anishinaabe Nation in Minnesota. Dr. Henry is also a Professor in the English Department at Michigan State University, where he teaches American Indian Literature, Creative Writing and the Creative Process, in Integrative Arts and Humanities. He serves as Senior Editor of the American Indian Studies Series (and the series sub-imprint Mukwa Enewed) at Michigan State University Press. Under his editorship the AISS has published research and creative work by an array of scholars, working in a variety of disciplines, related to the larger field of American Indian Studies.

    • 32 min
    Episode 10: "Sadam Issa and Valentina Denzel" (March 2021)

    Episode 10: "Sadam Issa and Valentina Denzel" (March 2021)

    In this episode we speak with Valentina Denzel and Sadam Issa from Michigan State University’s Graphic Narratives Network about the use of comics in language-specific and multilingual classrooms!

    Sadam Issa is an Assistant Professor at the Linguistics Department and Michigan State University. His research interests range from discourse analysis and sociolinguistics, to research on anxiety in the classroom, the use of technology, visual rhetoric, and lastly, political cartoons. He has also published articles in a number of journals including Pragmatics and Society, Arabic Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Politeness Research, Popular Music and Society, Visual Studies, and the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. He is currently writing a book on Arabic political cartoons.

    Valentina Denzel is an Associate Professor of French Literature at the Department of Romance and Classical Studies at Michigan State University. Her fields of interest are Italian and French Literatures, Queer and Gender Studies, travelogues, and popular cultures. In her book Les mille et un visages de la virago. Marfisa et Bradamante entre continuation et variation, she analyzes the evolution of the representation of the woman warrior in French and Italian literatures from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment. Valentina’s second book project examines the impact of the Marquis de Sade on the punk and post-punk movements, as well as on punk-porn feminism and comic books in France, the UK, and the US.

    • 52 min

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