The History of Comics Brought to Life at Pasadena's ArtCenter Today

Published : Saturday, February 16, 2019 | 6:05 AM

ArtCenter Professor Michael Dooley has a passion for comics and animation that go back to when he was just two years old and he likes to share that passion with Pasadenans by opening up his classroom for special speaking events.

One of them is taking place on Monday, Feb. 18, when Ben Dickow, a prime mover behind the Captured Aural Phantasy Theater, will “be coming to give his very personal history of comics.”

One month later, on March 18, Dickow will return to ArtCenter and Dooley’s classroom with the entire theater troop to perform.

Captured Aural Phantasy Theater, Dooley explained, is “something like a four-dimensional radio show combined with comics. It makes comics, mid-century comics, come to life on stage.”

The production usually imparts some lesson or other from the history of comics, he said, such their suppression in the 1950s.

A one-time creative services department director at the Los Angeles Times, Dooley started teaching the history of design at Loyola Marymount in 2007, and still does so, traversing the basin to-and-from a like job he signed on for at ArtCenter, shortly thereafter.

A watershed moment for Dooley came with the massacre of the staff at Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris. Four of those gunned down on Jan. 7, 2015, were graphic artists. Dooley described himself as “upset and outraged” at the violence committed by Muslim militants and began to write on the subject.

The live link was the fact that satirical Charlie Hebdo trafficked in political comics and soon enough Dooley, “started thinking about how I always wanted to teach the history of comics, because I’ve been researching them all my life.”

His department chair at ArtCenter was game and now Dooley teaches a class on the design history of comics and animation.

Ben Dickow’s talk on the history of comics, in the classroom of Michael Dooley, is “so free and open to the public you don’t even have to pay for parking.”

The talk starts 7 p.m., at LAT Media Center, Hillside Campus, 1700 Lida Street, Pasadena.

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