Transitions: Illustrating the JJQ
In the last issue of the James Joyce Quarterly, we bid a heavy-hearted farewell to our long-time cartoonist Simon Loekle. For 22 years, his Dazibao panel ran in each issue of the journal and offered commentary not only on Joyce, but on literature, art, and the challenge of fashioning a world from words. Simon was at once learned and light-hearted—in my experience, a relatively unique combination. We saw that personality emerge in cartoons that became as familiar a part of the JJQ as the Checklist and our conference reports.
Although we can’t replace Simon, we’ve decided to keep up the tradition of featuring a regular cartoon in the JJQ—a little something to add visual zest and even some humor to our often-serious scholarly work. I’m thus pleased to welcome Robert Berry to the journal. His work should be familiar to anyone who has followed the expansive Ulysses Seen project, which Rob and his collaborators have led since 2009. This serialized adaption of Joyce’s novel seeks to transform it into the language of comics through a series of striking visual experiments.
Originally trained as a painter, Rob now works primarily as a cartoonist, illustrator, and digital artist. He teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and is currently developing a course on visualizing Ulysses that blends art, literature, and the digital humanities. We’ve featured one of his extraordinary illustrations for a new edition of “The Dead” on the cover of our newest issue, Volume 51 issue 4. And inside the issue, you’ll find his first contribution: a brilliantly colored set of panels in which Molly Bloom powerfully springs to life. In addition to his regular feature, Rob will also publish occasional illustrations and cartoons. Please join me in welcoming him to the JJQ.