Neil has recently been gaining attention for his research on the visual language of “comics” and its relationship to language and cognition. He has spoken on this topic in the US and Europe, and has authored numerous articles and a book, Early Writings on Visual Language (Emaki Productions, 2003). For several years his writings have been a popular feature at Comixpedia.com, an online magazine devoted to webcomics. Since 2005, he has served as an advisor for CAST Inc., a non-profit organization that develops technology for education.
Neil’s work has been featured in publications such as the Comics Journal, the International Journal of Comic Art, the Public Journal of Semiotics, and the forthcoming textbook The Essential Manga Reader. His recent paper on visual language grammar won the 2007 M. Thomas Inge Award for Comics Scholarship. He has given talks at various places including the conference on Iconicity in Language and Literature in Krakow, Poland; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont; the Scottish Word and Image Group at the University of Dundee, Scotland; and is an annual speaker at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California.
In addition to scholarship, Neil’s creative work has been featured in Meditations (Booksurge, 2006), a collection of artistic graphic short stories, poems, and vignettes. Also, with author and nationally syndicated radio host Thom Hartmann, he illustrated the graphic novel We the People: A Call to Take Back America (CoreWay Media, 2004), which addresses the pervasive influence of corporations on American government.
Neil received an M.A. from the University of Chicago, a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and has studied in Japan at Tsuru University. He is currently a doctoral student in Psychology at Tufts University in Boston, where he is working with esteemed linguist Ray Jackendoff to further explore the cognition of visual language grammar and its representation in the brain. You can find his work online at www.emaki.net, and at his blog, www.thevisuallinguist.com.