Associate Professor Carol Tilley will participate in a panel discussion at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) this weekend. A celebration of independent comics, CAKE features workshops, exhibitions, and panel discussions as well as comics for sale.
On June 2, Tilley will moderate a panel featuring legendary comic artists Nicole Hollander, Mimi Pond, and Jim Woodring. She looks forward to her conversation with the panelists, especially in light of the personal connection she has with the works of Hollander and Pond.
"From my adolescence forward, my life and politics have been immeasurably enriched by Nicole Hollander's brain as channeled through her alter-ego Sylvia, the chain-smoking comic strip denizen whose satiric observations urge us to be better," Tilley said. "I first encountered the works of the brilliant Mimi Pond in my adolescence too: among her time-capsule books is 1982's The Valley Girl's Guide to Life, which proved to be a delicious introduction to the world beyond my small town."
While Woodring's work is newer to her, Tilley describes it as hallucinatory, introspective, and infinitely layered with references to nature, art, and religion. During the panel, she plans to focus the discussion on the artists' childhoods and early influences, along with "oddball things from their careers."
"Mostly I'm looking forward to saying 'thanks' to each of them for putting comics and other illustrated works into the world that have helped shape my life," she said.
At the iSchool, Tilley teaches courses in comics reader's advisory, media literacy, and youth services librarianship. Part of her scholarship focuses on the intersection of young people, comics, and libraries, particularly in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. Her research has been published in journals including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), Information & Culture: A Journal of History, and Children's Literature in Education. Her research on anti-comics advocate Frederic Wertham has been featured in The New York Times and other media outlets. An in-demand speaker on the history of comics readership and libraries, Tilley was a 2016 Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards judge and currently serves as president of the Comics Studies Society.