College Welcomes Tim Fielder for a Series of Online Events

Photo of a set of eyes above a logo that reads "Dieselfunk Studios"

The College of Arts & Letters welcomes Tim Fielder, illustrator, concept designer, cartoonist, and animator, for a series of virtual events being held this week by Michigan State University.

The virtual events will include a Q&A session with Fielder on Wednesday, October 14, with the Literature and Visual Culture (ENG 478B) class. This will be the first event where Fielder discusses, in-depth for an academic audience, his new graphic novel, Infinitum: An Afrofuturist Tale, to be released in January 2021. Infinitum is steeped in Afrodiasporic experience and presents a unique cosmic experience, addressing issues of racism, classism, gender inequity, the encroachment of technology, and the spiritual cost of war, while exposing the history behind ancient mysteries.

Man with short hair and a beard smiling at the camera
Tim Fielder

Throughout the week, Fielder also will have discussions with 8th grade art students at Dwight Rich School of the Arts, an interview for the Graphic Possibilities Podcast, and an MSU graduate student workshop on “The Storyworlds of Tim Fielder” that will be streamed to YouTube to give the public the opportunity to watch.

Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and raised in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Fielder has a lifelong love of Visual Afrofutuism, Pulp entertainment, and action films. He is a graphic novelist based in New York City who has worked for decades in the field of sequential art and illustration. He also taught for many years at arts and educational institutions. He is renowned for Matty’s Rocket, a sci-fi action adventure graphic novel series that pushes the boundaries of lush art with innovative storytelling.

Purple and blue graphic for Tim Fielder's "Infinitum"

The virtual events are being held in conjunction with the Beyond the Black Panther: Visions of Afrofuturism in American Comics virtual exhibition by the MSU Museum that is scheduled for November 30, 2020, through May 29, 2021. The exhibition, supported by the Michigan Humanities Council, will explore how themes such as aesthetics, Black feminism, and community, common to Afrofuturism, shape contemporary Black comics.

Afrofuturism is a cultural movement that began in the early 20th Century as an escape from racial hostility, economic turmoil, and aggressive policing in Black communities. It is now enjoying a renaissance as witnessed by the record-breaking success of creative projects, including the acclaimed, award-winning film, Black Panther; Janelle Monae’s hit album, Dirty Computer; Jordan Peele’s provocative feature, Get Out; Octavia Butler’s famed science fiction novel, Kindred; and Solange Knowles’ sundial headdress.

illustrated book cover for "Matty's Rocket" with various rockets and machinery

The October 14 talk with Fielder is the first of several artist talks being planned by Professor of English Julian Chambliss to be held in parallel with the Beyond the Black Panther online exhibition.

Other Upcoming Talks:

Shawnee Gibbs and Shawnelle Gibbs (The Gibbs Sisters), who are an award-winning writing team who produce material for television, film, animation, games, and books
Wednesday, October 21

Chuck Brown, creator and writer of On The Stump and co-creator and co-writer of Bitter Root
Wednesday, November 11

Jiba Molei Anderson, illustrator, designer, writer, educator, publisher, and owner of Griot Enterprises 
Wednesday, November 18