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Georgia College publishes collected cartoons of Flannery O’Connor

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Posted: 
January 05, 2011

Georgia College today released a limited edition book of Flannery O’Connor’s college cartoons that shows the author’s “silly, even outrageous” humor as a student in the early 1940s at Georgia Flannery O'Connor with classmate Mary Joy Brewton.Flannery O'Connor with classmate Mary Joy Brewton.State College for Women, as the university was then known.

The Cartoons of Flannery O’Connor at Georgia College, a 112-page, soft-cover coffee table book, provides the never before assembled and published collection of the author’s cartoons that appeared in four Georgia College publications during her undergraduate years, 1942-45.

“The humor is silly, even outrageous,” wrote Dr. Sarah Gordon, Georgia College professor emerita of English, in her introduction to the book.  “The same impulse that would later lead Flannery O’Connor to create the sharp-edged and often wickedly funny characters in her fiction drove her popular cartoons (mostly lino-cuts) in her years at GSCW…”  

Gordon is the former editor of the Flannery O’Connor Review and former director of the O’Connor Studies Program at Georgia College.

The book includes a foreword by university President Dorothy Leland.

“It is a distinct honor for Georgia College to be the permanent home of the O’Connor Collection, including the cartoons originally published by Georgia State College for Women and now featured for the first time in this book,” Dr. Leland wrote in the foreword. “We are pleased that these cartoons can now reach a broader audience and further enrich Flannery O’Connor scholarship.”

The book cover features a graphic signature that O’Connor used, combining her initials, M, O’C and F (Mary Flannery O’Connor) to create a caricature of a bird.  While some of the cartoons were digitally enhanced for the publication, care was taken not to alter the art.

The cartoons originally appeared in The Colonnade student newspaper, The Spectrum yearbook, The Corinthian literary magazine and the Alumnae Journal.  Also included are cartoons that O’Connor drew earlier for The Peabody Palladium, the student newspaper of Peabody High School in Milledgeville. 

Flannery O'Connor cartoon appears on page 57 of The Cartoons of Flannery O’Connor at Georgia College.Flannery O'Connor cartoon appears on page 57 of The Cartoons of Flannery O’Connor at Georgia College.The original cartoons are housed in the Georgia College Library Archives, as part of its permanent O’Connor Collection, along with thousands of pages of typescripts and manuscripts, photographs, tape recordings, films, letters, memorabilia and her personal library of more than 700 books and journals.

Edited by Dr. Marshall Bruce Gentry, Georgia College professor of English, director of the Flannery O’Connor Studies program and editor of the Flannery O’Connor Review, the cartoon book was designed by William Reeves and printed by the University of Georgia Printing Department. 

The afterword, “The Art of the Impression: Lino-Cut,” explains the process used in creating and printing the cartoons and is written by Bill Fisher, associate professor and chair of the Georgia College Department of Art.  Photographs of the lino-cut blocks were taken by University Photographer Tim Vacula.

The book is dedicated to the staff members of the Georgia College publications in which O’Connor’s cartoons originally appeared.

The book is a prelude to the Flannery O’Connor Symposium at Georgia College, which will take place from April 13 to April 16.  “Startling Figures: A Celebration of the Legacy of Flannery O’Connor” will feature prominent guest speakers such as author E. L. Doctorow, an O’Connor inspired art display by Chris Lawson and Joe DeCamillis and a concert performed by Georgia College graduate and jazz musician Dave Perkins (& Friends).  

For more information on the symposium, go to www.gcsu.edu/startlingfigures.  The conference is the fourth Flannery O’Connor conference at Georgia College during this decade.

Georgia College annually publishes the Flannery O’Connor Review and previously published Postmarked Milledgeville: A Guide to Flannery O’Connor’s Correspondence in Libraries and Archives (2002).  This small, soft-cover volume is a valuable resource for writers and historians.

The Cartoons of Flannery O’Connor at Georgia College will be sold for $16.99 plus shipping and handling.  Orders may be placed by email, flannerycartoons@gcsu.edu or through the website at gcsu.edu/flannerycartoons.  The book also will be available at the university’s downtown Milledgeville bookstore, Box Office Books, at the Old Governor’s Mansion and at Andalusia, the O’Connor family farm.

ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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For more information, contact University Communications at (478) 445-4477.


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