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Jurgen Banned Art Comics Contest


With imagination, wit and skillful visual storytelling, VCU students created comics that explored the events and issues surrounding the censorship of James Branch Cabell's Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice in 1920. The format for the inaugural arts competition was a single-page multi-panel comic strip similar to the Sunday funnies that author James Branch Cabell might have read in 1920s newspapers. Cabell is the  namesake of VCU's Monroe Park Campus library. VCU Libraries created the contest. 

Contest judges were: Arts Research Librarian Carla-Mae Crookendale; Robin Farmer, a member of James Branch Cabell Library Associates; Chris Irving, of communication arts, VCU School of the Arts; Bizhan Khodabandeh, illustrator and faculty in Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture in the College of Humanities and Sciences; Terry Oggel of the Department of English in the College of Humanities and Sciences; and John Zuegner, a member of James Branch Cabell Library Associates. 

Having come to the conclusion of the first Jurgen Comics Contest, Digital Outreach and Special Projects Librarian Alice Campbell reflected, "All good contests involve a challenge. That's part of the fun. VCU students rose to the challenge of the unfamiliar–both the history of Cabell and the censors, and the format of Golden Age newspaper comics. From the beginning of this project, VCU Libraries set out to recognize and support developing artists, and now, having seen what they've accomplished, we're delighted to share their work."