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April 2, 2019, 11:00 PM
The 242nd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held at Parsons School of Design.
Guy Lawley on Comics, color and “Ben Day dots.”
"Roy Lichtenstein’s success story began when he painted enlarged versions of comic book images in the 1960s, including their colored dots —which he famously called “Ben Day dots.” Scholars of both Lichtenstein and comics have previously failed to discover how and why the comics’ original colors and dots were created. Beyond color, the dots also have a surprising part to play in the wider history of the medium. I will share my own new research, with vivid examples from the newspaper strips of the 1890s to the 1930s—when comic books abandoned genuine Ben Day dots for faster cheaper methods—and onward. The successors to Ben Day are equally fascinating and just as beautiful, creating from the necessities of cheap printing an accidental aesthetic—one which has endured long after the dots themselves faded out in the 1980s."
Guy Lawley is researching this subject for a PhD at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London, with supervisors Roger Sabin and Ian Horton.
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