James Sturm, award-winning creator of graphic novels such as "Market Day" and "The Golem's Mighty Swing," visited VCU this past September to give a special lecture to the local community of comics and art enthusiasts. Sturm described the arc of his career, noting his influences and inspirations, and commented on the discipline necessary for succeeding in the comics industry. The event is cosponsored by the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, Communication Arts in the VCU School of the Arts and VCU Libraries.
About the Artist
Sturm's major solo debut came in 1991, when Fantagraphics began publishing his Eisner Award-nominated comic-book series "The Cereal Killings." The same year, he completed a Master of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, moved to Seattle and co-founded the alternative weekly newspaper The Stranger. During the next five years he was the art director of The Stranger and collaborated with syndicated columnist Dan Savage to produce two issues of the comic book "Savage Love." In 1996, Sturm received a Xeric grant for his comic "The Revival."
From 1997 to 2001, he lived in Savannah, Ga., where he taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design in the sequential-art department. In 1998, Drawn and Quarterly published his "Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight," the second installment in a trilogy of American historical-fiction pieces that would later be collected in "America: God, Gold and Golems." The last installment, the celebrated and best-selling graphic novel "The Golem's Mighty Swing," was named "Best Comic" for 2001 by Time magazine. Sturm also wrote and designed the 2004 Eisner Award-winning "Unstable Molecules," a four-issue series and trade paperback that featured characters based on the Fantastic Four and was published by Marvel Comics.
Sturm is the director of the Center for Cartoon Studies, a two-year cartooning school located in White River Junction, Vt. His most recent books include "Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow"; "Adventures in Cartooning," created in collaboration with Center for Cartoon Sturies alumni Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost, and "Market Day." His writings and illustrations have appeared in scores of national and regional publications including The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Onion, The New York Times, Slate and The New Yorker.