Generations   UMBC Alumni Newsletter Fall 1998

  Modest Pioneer

  A Quality Experience

  Voice on a Page

  Long-Term Winning Strategy

  Techno Tips


 Voice on a Page
By Travis Timmons
English '01


In his English 243A class, Arnold T. Blumberg, English '93, tells UMBC student writers, "I can guarantee you that no matter what genre interests you, there's a publication covering it that's waiting for you to arrive and add your voice to the mix." A writer and designer, Blumberg is enthusiastic about the combination of words and images. He is adjunct faculty in the Department of English and President of the English Alumni Society.

Blumberg teaches Currents in American Literature: The Comic Book as Literature. "Comics are as important a storytelling medium as prose literature and certainly far more versatile," he says. "By combining words and pictures, they bring to readers a universe of iconic imagery and unique narrative worlds that offer endless opportunities to explore worlds both far and near."

Blumberg's passion for comic books is nothing new. He has loved them since his first encounter with Richie Rich and Spiderman, so it's no coincidence that he serves as editor of Gemstone Publishing, where The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide and Hake's Price Guide to Characters and Toys are published. But comics are only part of what keeps him returning to UMBC.

"At UMBC, I honed my skills as a writer, and my entire career for now and the future will be based on the things I learned as an English major, writer and designer at UMBC," he says.

Blumberg, who is working toward his doctorate in communications design at the University of Baltimore, is also focusing his creative energy on connecting with fellow alumni through the English Alumni Society. He is the editor of Turning Pages, a semi-annual newsletter for English alumni. "It's important for me to do everything I can to increase awareness of UMBC and spread the word about what an excellent university it really is," he explains.

"The initial idea for the English Alumni Society was to provide a means by which former English majors could stay in touch with what's happening on campus today and allow them to return for activities that offered a chance to socialize, enlighten and entertain." He continues, "I believe we have a responsibility to set an example for future organizations and serve as a sounding board for participants."

On spreading the word about UMBC, Blumberg says, "I think we're poised to accomplish that in the years ahead, and I'm proud to play a role in that effort."

Travis Timmons is poetry editor of UMBC's literary magazine Bartelby and writes for the Retriever Weekly.

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