D. J. Schiff

“Joycean cartoonologist” D. J. Schiff (www.djschiff.com, “James Joyce and cartoons,” Joyce in Context, Cheng and Martin ed., Cambridge Press, 1992) has worked as the “comic book guy” at Elsewhere and Dark Star Books (Yellow Springs, Ohio), Stripantiquariaat Lambiek (Amsterdam, Holland), and as an online proofreader for Lambiek Comiclopedia (2000-2005).  He has also gigged as a weekly cartoonist at the Yellow Springs News (1977-78) and the fine press journal The Ampersand (1984-97), ate lunch regularly with Fritz Senn during his tenure as a Zurich James Joyce Foundation resident scholar (also banging out JJZF bookbags, six-packs of Bloom Beer, Molly’s Stout and Stephen’s Bitters, and two “JOYCE in CALIFORNIA” postcard sets, April-October, 1993).

Schiff labored away the late ’80s singing and “playing” his Gibson EB3-L bass, Roland TR-707 drum machine and copious plastic kiddie toys through an Echoplex for Berkeley garage band Girl-Scout Herring (“Odysseus Rap/Bored in the USA”).

As rap artist, “Grandmaster Dan,” Schiff performed “The Odysseus Rap” with G-SH in San Francisco, 1986, “The Finnegans Wake Rap” with the Wakettes and the Amazing Otto (Berkeley, 1989) and the “James Joyce Birthday Rap” with DJ Shockee Sharon (Miami, 1991).

On his KORG M1 synthesizer, Schiff wrote, sung, and recorded music for many musical parts of Finnegans Wake, (see “Synthesizing ‘The Ballad of Pierce O’Reilly’” in Bronze by Gold: The Music of Joyce, ed. Sebastian Knowles, Garland, 1999).

Along with G-SH keyboardist Alastair Johnston, (co-founder, Poltroon Press) Schiff produced two 17×22” prints in editions of 100, depicting “Page One of James Joyce’s Ulysses” (zinc-plate etching, 24 karat gold leaf inlay with handset Caslon type, in facsimile of the layout of the 1922 first edition, 1985) and “Calypso” (Black and orange linoleum cut with hand-ground Malachite stone pigment, 1986).

Since Bloomsday 1987, a print of “Page One” has hung on the ground floor of the James Joyce Tower and Museum, Sandycove, Dublin.

Wonderworker Press, founded by Schiff in 1996, published Schiff’s comics:

Let’s All Chortle: A James Joyce Cartoon Book

 -Comics in the Writings of James Joyce

-The Ghost of James Joyce Encounters the 24-Hour Comic

– Robot Rabbit PARTY! and three illustrated full-color children’s books in the “Finnegans Wake for Tiny Tots” Series: Wather Parted from the Say, The Ondt and the Gracehoper, and RAYNBOW.

Wonderworker Press also published Schiff’s book of palindrome poems, Senile Lines, and an epic poem written in Pushkin sonnet form, Eugene Oregon: A Novel Inverse. For 35 years, D. J. Schiff has been part of a half-dozen different SF Bay Area Joyce reading groups, and is a founding member of the weekly Berkeley Tuesday Night Finnegans Wake group, currently joyfully chugging along at a breathless one page-a-week clip. When this reading group organized two major Joyce conferences, (The Berkeley Wake Conference in July, 1989, and the July 2001 Extreme Joyce/Reading on the Edge Conference), D. J. Schiff lent his graphic art skills for logos, mailers, posters, programs, and T-shirts.

In 2004, Schiff produced five editions of “BLOOM: a Bloomsday100 postcard”: A Silver and Gold lettered edition (distributed free to attendees of the International Joyce Symposium) a “Tower” edition (distributed to visitors free Bloomsday, by Robert Nicholson, at the James Joyce Tower, Sandycove), a “Friends of Dan” edition (mailed by Schiff from the Dublin GPO, inscribed with a personalized message, to 100 friends/family members) and lastly, the collector’s “G.P.O.” edition, festooned with the two first-day issue James Joyce Ireland stamps and special Bloomsday cancellation postmark.

These postcards will be available for sale at this Conference by Mr. Schiff (just ask!) and will not appear in public again until the 2022 Joyce Symposium. Act now before they disappear for the next five years!

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