Panel to focus on Southern identity in cartoons

Stereotypes and Southern identity in cartoons and comic strips will be the focus of a panel discussion at Western Carolina University that will feature a WCU political scientist and three working cartoonists.

The event, “Stereotypes and Caricatures in the Funny Pages,” will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 14, in the auditorium of Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center. The discussion is being held in conjunction with the exhibit “Comic Stripped: A Revealing Look at Southern Stereotypes in Cartoons,” which will be on display at the museum through Tuesday, May 14.

Three artists – Brent Brown, David Cohen and Randy Molton – will join in the discussion with Chris Cooper, associate professor and head of WCU’s Department of Political Science and Public Affairs, who will supply political commentary.

Brown specializes in caricatures, cartoons and graphic design, and for several years has produced a comic strip for the Mountain Xpress newspaper. Cohen is a nationally syndicated cartoonist whose work has been seen on CD covers, in newspapers and in magazines ranging from Funny Times to Sierra. Molton’s cartoons often tweak local officials and hot-button issues, and his creations have been published in newspapers such as the Asheville Citizen-Times and the Rocky Mountain News.

For more information about the March 14 event and the “Comic Stripped” exhibit, contact the Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129.