The School of Information hosts the Marantz Picturebook Research Symposium at Kent State University. This symposium is graciously funded by Dr. Kenneth and Sylvia Marantz (featured in image above) and it honors the couple's lifelong dedication to the art of the picture book.

According to Ken Marantz, professor of art education at the Ohio State University from 1971 to 1991, picture books (which he spelled as one word) are “such rich repositories of visual art, so readily available compared with the resources housed in galleries and museums, that I believe we must take the fullest advantage of them.” Moving beyond the traditional 32-page picture book aimed at young readers, this year’s symposium highlights comics and graphic novels as visual art geared toward middle schoolers and teens. 

"Comics and the Graphic Narrative: The Future of the Movement” was the theme of the last symposium. While superheroes are most closely associated with comics and graphic novels, this format spanned all genres and introduced the reader to diverse stories and characters focusing on political, historical, societal, cultural, and popular issues. Plenary addresses included original, interdisciplinary research in areas related to comics and graphic novels and featured comics creators. Breakout sessions,exhibits, posters, and panels further expanded this popular topic. Guests included P. Craig Russel, Carol Tilley and Rafael Rosado.