PAMLA invites all of its in-person conference attendees to join us for one of the highlights of this year’s PAMLA Conference: Frank Quitely and Laurence Grove’s “Cities and Simulacra: An Interactive (Comics) Destruction,” on Thursday, November 11 (3:30 PM – 5:00 PM) in Congo III/IV at the Sahara Las Vegas Hotel!

Frank Quitely was born in Glasgow in 1968 as Vincent Deighan, but realizing that, quite frankly, his work might offend his family, he hid behind the spoonerism penname. In 1996 he started working for DC Comics, initially on Flex Mentallo, before going on to The Sandman, Pax Americana, and We3. Frank Quitely’s output is vast and varied, but for many it is the Superman and Batman duo that makes him the boy wonder of comics. He will present a time-lapse recording of his illustration of a metropolis, as it is created, and then destroyed.

Laurence Grove is Professor of French and Text/Image Studies and Director of the Stirling Maxwell Centre for the Study of Text/Image Cultures at the University of Glasgow. His research focuses on historical aspects of text/image forms, and in particular bande dessinée. As the renowned comics artist, Frank Quitely, presents a time-lapse recording of his illustration of a metropolis, as it is created and then destroyed, Laurence Grove will theorize and examine Frank Quitely’s process.

Specifically, this session illustrates how Las Vegas, a simulacrum city cited by Jean Baudrillard, is the perfect setting in which to consider the comic-book creation of the fake metropolis, dream utopia that can often stand as the ideal of modern living. To create such a simulacrum can be to create a City of God, even in a pagan world, and for some the only reality. To destroy such cities is to destroy an ideological canon. A theoretical overview of these concepts, drawing on examples from a chronological variety of artists such as Winsor McCay, Hergé and Benoît Peeters and François Schuiten, will be followed by a discussion of the cityscape in the work of Frank Quitely. Here examples will include Flex Mentallo, All Star Superman, and Jupiter’s Legacy, with reference to the Netflix rendering. Our finale will be the enactment of concepts through the live artistic creation of a city, albeit a fake one on paper, followed by its symbolic destruction. Thus, in this session, we will explore Quitely’s time-lapsed creation and destruction of an illustration of a city, while Dr. Grove will explain and interpret the very act of creative destruction at hand. A general Q&A will follow.

Mark it on your calendar and double check our schedule!