Fans of comic books and graphic novels have a must-see event on the calendar this season: “Ink Plots: The Tradition of the Graphic Novel at SVA” is a new exhibition of original drawings, books, prints and animation by over 100 artists. Showing at the Visual Arts Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, October 8 – November 6, “Ink Plots” traces the development of sequential art over four decades, with selections by SVA faculty members and showcases the work of alumni who are pushing the boundaries of the graphic novel today.

The show is curated by Marshall Arisman, chair of the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Department, and Thomas Woodruff, chair of the BFA Illustration and Cartooning Department. “‘Ink Plots’ pays tribute to some of the most important artists responsible for the invention and development of the graphic novel,” says Arisman. “The years many of these artists spent teaching at SVA has greatly influenced the present generation of graphic novelists.” Participating current and former faculty members include Sal Amendola, R. O. Blechman, Sue Coe, Will Eisner, Tom Gill, Edward Gorey, Burne Hogarth, Klaus Janson, Frances Jetter, Ben Katchor, Peter Kuper, Harvey Kurtzman, Keith Mayerson, David Mazzucchelli, Jerry Moriarty, Mark Newgarden, Gary Panter, Jerry Robinson, David Sandlin, Walter Simonson and Art Spiegelman.

“We’re in the midst of the new platinum age for sequential art,” says Woodruff. “Using multicultural influences and ambitious new formats, SVA alumni are expanding the boundaries of the graphic novel to include traditional and experimental adult-themed long-format works, diarist comics, fantasy epics, and cutting edge examples of ‘Amerimanga’ the hybridized East-West form taking hold in our cartooning canon.” Participating SVA alumni include Russell Braun, Sungyoon Choi, Erik Craddock, Pascal Dizin, Nathan Fox, June Kim, Bill Plympton, Nate Powell, Lauren Redniss, Dash Shaw, Koren Shadmi, Raina Telgemeier, Michael Townsend, Steve Uy and Sara Varon, among others. A full list of participating SVA alumni can be downloaded here (PDF).

There will be a public opening reception for “Ink Plots” on Thursday, October 14, 5:30 – 7pm. In addition, the College is presenting four related events: Will Eisner, Master Teacher at SVA, a panel discussion moderated by author, comics historian and faculty member N. C. Christopher Couch, on Monday, October 18, 7pm, at the SVA Theatre, 333 West 23 Street; Every Picture Tells a Story: Comics and Narrative Painting, a panel discussion moderated by new media guru and comics scholar John Carlin, Wednesday, October 20, 7pm, at the SVA Theatre; Jerry Robinson: Ambassador of Comics, a Q&A with comics-industry legend and former SVA faculty member Jerry Robinson, on Wednesday, November 3, 7pm, at 209 East 23rd Street, 3rd-floor amphitheater; and a Distinguished Alumnus Lecture from Dash Shaw (BFA 2005 Illustration) on Thursday, November 4, 7pm, at the SVA Theatre. All events are free and open to the public.