ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies

ISSN: 1549-6732

ImageTexT is a peer-reviewed, open access journal dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of comics and related media. We are published by the English Department at the University of Florida with support from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Our content is available free of charge, and regular issues of ImageTexT will be published three times per year.

 
 

Past Issues

Volume 7 (2013-2014)

Volume 6 (2011 - 2013)

Volume 5 (2010 - 2011)

Volume 4 (2008 - 2009)

Volume 3 (2006 - 2007)

Volume 2 (2005 - 2006)

Volume 1 (2004 - 2005)

Editorial Board

  • Donald Ault Founder and Editor
  • Anastasia Ulanowicz Associate Editor

Editorial Advisory Board

  • Fredric Jameson
  • W.J.T. Mitchell
  • Jerome J. McGann

Editorial Review Board

  • Martin Barker
  • Scott Bukatman
  • Richard Burt
  • Sean Carney
  • Will Eisner (in memoriam)
  • Ian Gordon
  • Terry Harpold
  • Charles Hatfield
  • M. Thomas Inge
  • John Lent
  • Jeffery Klaehn
  • David Kunzle
  • Joseph Murphy
  • Scott Nygren
  • Derek Parker Royal
  • Maureen Turim
  • Roger Sabin
  • Joseph Witek
  • Julian Wolfreys
  • Phil Wegner

Announcement: The Sequential Artists Workshop

A new comix art school, The Sequential Artists Workshop, is soon to open in Gainesville, FL. Please see the website at http://www.sequentialartistsworkshop.org/ for details. The founders of the Sequential Artists Workshop, also called SAW, are running a fundraiser at http://www.indiegogo.com/Creating-The-Sequential-Artists-Workshop.

The following is an excerpt from a letter sent by the school's founders, who include Tom Hart and Leela Corman:

We're starting this school because we recognize more and more the need for intensive training in this artform, and also want to see the good, interesting adventurous artists out there multiply and flourish. That's why we're calling it The Sequential Artists Workshop: our mission is to train and support artists.
The school is being founded by Tom Hart, who has taught cartooning at the School of Visual Arts in New York City for 10 years, and has helped countless amazing students at SVA become artists. Tom says, "Cartooning and graphic novels are becoming bigger and bigger every day. I tutor and teach more and more people who are fascinated by this medium but donít know itís workings or donít know its history, or who just need time and mentoring to practice, learn and work. We want to be a place to for those people to work, to learn the form and to become sequential artists."

You can see the letter in full on our announcement of the Workshop on the ImageTexT News Feed. We at ImageTexT hope that you will extend support to this exciting new organization.

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[cfp] 2015 UF Comics Conference

Posted 18 Aug, 2014

Comics Read but Seldom Seen: Diversity and Representation in Comics and Related Media.

The Graduate Comics Organization at the University of Florida invites applicants to submit proposals to the 12th UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, "Comics Read but Seldom Seen: Diversity and Representation in Comics and Related Media." The conference will be held from Friday, April 10th, 2015 to Sunday, April 12th, 2015. Proposals are due January 1st, 2015.

The analysis of diversity and representation in comic books is an integral and growing part of Comics Studies. For example, in only the past few years, Adilifu Nama published Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes (2011), which provides a historical overview of black comic-book superheroes and racial dynamics in superhero comics; Sheena C. Howard and Ronald L. Jackson II edited Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation (2013), an essay collection which explores representations of race in both comic books and comic strips; and Joseph J. Darowski came out with X-Men and the Mutant Metaphor: Race and Gender in the Comic Books, which examines and tracks race and gender identity in the Uncanny X-Men roster of heroes and villains (2014).

Mainstream comics have been increasingly open to experimenting with diversity in sexuality, race, gender, and disability. Marvel has a new Muslim woman superhero; "traditionally" straight superheroes have been coming out in new universes/continuities; and disability often crosses over into hyperability (as in the cases of Daredevil and Echo, Professor X, Cyborg, and Batgirl/Oracle). However, many of these experiments in diversity have been limited or problematic, and have at times generated controversy (for example, Batwoman's infamously canceled wedding). Alternative and independent comics, from the underground comix scene on, have long been a space for writers and artists to depict diverse characters who do not fit into the narrow mold of the straight, white, cissexual, neurotypical, and able-bodied male hero.

The goal of "Comics Read but Seldom SeenĒ is to celebrate and interrogate the representation of marginalized groups in comics and related media. "Related mediaĒ can include film and TV comic-book adaptations (as well as their promotional tie-ins), illustrated blogs, video games, news stories with accompanying photographs, street art, museum exhibits, advertisements, and all other cultural objects which juxtapose image and text to create new meaning. We are looking not only for critiques of those instances where imagetexts fall short in their representations of the marginalized, but also for thoughtful examinations of how and when comics and related media "get it right."

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Race, Space and Place in the Comics (The work of the Hernandez Brothers; Jessica Abel's La Perdida; the work of Marjane Satrapi; Joann Sfar's The Rabbi's Cat)
  • Representing Disability and Disorder (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Alison Bechdel's Fun Home; autism in Keiko Tobe's With the Light; epilepsy in David B.'s Epileptic)
  • Milestone Media and its history with DC
  • Queering the Supercommunity (LGBTQ representations in mainstream comics; "traditionally" straight superheroes coming out in new universes/continuities; conversations and backlash surrounding queer representation in mainstream comics; Northstar's highly-publicized wedding; Batwoman's canceled wedding)
  • Rethinking Race in 'Mainstream' Comics (Robert Morales and Kyle Baker's The Truth: Red, White & Black)
  • Where Disability Meets Hyperability (Daredevil and Echo; Professor X; Cyborg; Batgirl/Oracle)
  • Manga and LGBTQ issues (Trans in Moto Hagio's Wandering Son; representations of homosexuality in shounen-ai, shoujo-ai, yaoi, yuri, bara and BL)
  • Physical Disability in Manga (Inoue Takahiko's REAL)
  • Diversity and Representation in Imagetextual News Media (the visual rhetoric of diversity in photojournalism)
  • Diversity and Representation in Video Games (female leads in games [Portal, Beyond Good and Evil]; gaming characters of color [The Walking Dead]; the visual rhetoric of the Lara Croft reboot; the expansion of "queer" options dictated by player choice in Bioware RPGs)
  • Diversity and Representation in Cartoons and Anime (non-white leads in cartoons [anything from kids' superhero fare like Generator Rex to satire like The Boondocks]; gender and sexuality in anime [Revolutionary Girl Utena, anime adaptations of LGBTQ manga]; "girl power" or female-led cartoons [Powerpuff Girls, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, The Legend of Korra])

Proposals should be between 200 and 300 words, and are due January 1, 2015. All proposals should be submitted to Najwa Al-Tabaa at naltabaa@ufl.edu.

[cfp] Sept 30 Deadline: "Comedy and Comics: Parody, Satire, and Humor in Superhero Narratives"

Posted 11 Aug, 2014

(Northeast MLA, Toronto, April 30, to May 3, 2015)

Stan Lee bristles at calling them "comic books," lest readers think they are only "funny books." This panel identifies how humor operates in works centered around superheroes—as parody, satire, and comedy. Potential topics include comedic twists on the superhero archetype; "campy" TV and film adaptations of "serious" characters; webcomics and humorous children's books; teaching satire through comics; and cross-cultural appropriation of the superhero motif.

Submit abstracts (no more than 300 words) to Session ID#15447 at NeMLA.org/convention/2015/cfp.html. Visitors to this web site then may sign up for a free account to submit abstract or at NeMLA.org/users/?operation=register. For any questions about submitting electronically, please email websupport@nema.org or derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com.

[cfp] Studies in the Novel—Special Issue on Graphic Novels

Posted 11 Jul, 2014

Studies in the Novel is inviting papers for possible inclusion in a special issue on the graphic novel to be guest edited by Stephen E. Tabachnick, Professor of English at the University of Memphis, author of The Quest for Jewish Belief and Identity in the Graphic Novel (2014), and editor of Teaching the Graphic Novel (2009). Essays on any aspect of the graphic novel are welcome, ranging from close readings of individual works or the analysis of the oeuvre of a given writer/artist, to broader topics, such as consideration of the influence of a national tradition, a study of formal elements in several works, graphic novel adaptations, new methods of graphic novel analysis, or the teaching of graphic novels. For consideration, complete essays of no more than 9,000 words should be submitted by October 1, 2014 to Tim Boswell, Managing Editor, at studiesinthenovel@unt.edu.

[general] Comixology & Eco Comics PRESS RELEASE

Posted 19 May, 2014

Monday 7 April 2014

Comixology Announces Digital Distribution Agreement With Eco Comics

7 April, 2014—New York / NY—Award-winning digital-only publisher Eco Comics announced a digital distribution agreement with comiXology—the revolutionary cloud-based digital comics platform available across the iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 and on www.comixology.com.

The move sees the digital-exclusive publisher Eco Comics bringing all its past, present and future titles—including flagship books Green Man, and Dracula vs. Robin Hood vs. Jekyll & Hyde directly to comiXology's global-reaching digital comics platform. "We're excited to be offering Eco Comics' great line of environmentally conscious comics that we're sure that fans everywhere will love," said comiXology VP of Communications & Marketing, Chip Mosher. "We believe in the green message of Eco Comics and are happy to push their comics farther than ever before through comiXology's global reach." "Eco Comics is proud to have been digital, green and paperless since we began, but joining forces with comiXology—which recently passed two hundred million downloads of comics and graphic novels—is the next big step in our evolution," said Eco Comics Editor, Stuart Buckley. "It's an exciting development and the perfect opportunity to provide our bold claim to represent the future of comic books."

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[cfp] UPDATE: Monsters in the Margins: The Horrors of Image/Text (LAST CALL)

Posted 14 Mar, 2014

NEW DEADLINE: April 25, 2014

Edited by Don Ault, Najwa Al-tabaa, and Katherine Shaeffer

Due to low response, we are re-releasing our CFP for "Monsters in the Margins," an upcoming special issue of ImageTexT that will utilize the theme of our 2012 UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels. The new deadline for submissions is April 25th, 2014.

Please note that, if there is not sufficient interest in the "Monsters" special issue, any submissions we receive or have received for it will be folded into the submissions for our next General issue of ImageTexT.

In any crisis, whether economic or cultural, there is a sense of an unimaginable danger right around the corner. These unknown and unfathomable terrors fascinate the imagination and dramatically play out our anxieties in a more cognitively relatable form. We attempt to embody them, to transplant them, or to make them somehow tangible, yet despite the variety of attempts, the underlying anxiety persists. The narratives and forms into which we channel our terrors become our monsters. At the same time, the modes and means of this content production and distribution seem to loom, suggesting changes and mutations around the corner, and the outliers and disturbances in the status-quo make us wary of what's to come.

In the midst of the first true economic crisis of the 21st century, we return to these sites with renewed curiosity. How can we depict the sublime terror of our anxieties? How can we convey our unabashed horror through image and text, and communicate those feelings across venues and platforms? Why do we keep trying to re-imagine the same monstrous templates, especially when the tools of a craft are perpetually unstable?

The targeted goal of the "Monsters in the Margins" special issue from ImageTexT is to address these issues by welcoming any and all explorations into the representation of monsters in a imagetextual form. As a proceedings issue following 2012's Monster in the Margins UF Graduate Comics Organization conference, we invite papers from both panelists and speakers at the conference, as well as scholars who did not attend the conference. All articles relevant to the special issue topic will be judged on merit.

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ImageTexT is published by the Department of English at the University of Florida.