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 don’t know it’s workings or don’t 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] 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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[cfp] Call for Papers / Call for Speakers

Posted 13 Mar, 2014

2014 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

July 3 - July 6
Anime Expo 2014
Los Angeles Convention Center (Los Angeles, CA)
www.anime-expo.org

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Marc Steinberg (Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)

Submission Deadline: May 1, 2014

Japanese animation (anime) and comics (manga) represent one of the major contributions that Japan has made to global visual and popular culture. Indeed, for many people, their first—and sometimes only—contact with Japanese culture at all is through Japanese visual culture.

The field of anime and manga studies is young, only about 30 year old, but extraordinarily vibrant. It welcomes a wide range of interpretations and approaches, draws on different disciplines and methodologies, and can involve both academics, industry professionals, independent scholars, and fans/enthusiasts.

A major goal of the Anime and Manga Studies Symposium is to bring together speakers from diverse backgrounds, fields and areas to exchange ideas, explore new directions, and contribute to building a community of anime and manga studies. Uniquely, the Anime and Manga Symposium is an integral part of the schedule of Anime Expo, the largest gathering of fans of Japanese popular culture in the U.S. This will give speakers an opportunity to present their research and scholarship directly to a public, non-academic audience, to interact with fans of anime and manga from around the world, and to become participants in a celebration and appreciation of Japanese popular culture. In turn, the Symposium also serves to introduce convention attendees to the ideas and practices of formal scholarship of Japanese visual culture.

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[issue] ImageTexT 7.2

Posted 29 Jan, 2014

ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies is pleased to announce the release of its latest issue, volume 7 number 2. It can be accessed via our main page at http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/ or via its permalink location at http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/archives/v7_2/.

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[cfp] Traumics: Comics Narratives of Trauma

Posted 02 Jan, 2014

The 11th Annual UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels

April 4th-6th, 2014

DEADLINE EXTENDED

New deadline: January 25, 2014

The Graduate Comics Organization at the University of Florida invites applicants to submit proposals to the 11th UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, "Traumics: Comics Narratives of Trauma." The conference will be held from Friday April 4th 2014 to Sunday April 6th 2014. Proposals are due January 25, 2014.

Traumics are, simply put, comics plus trauma. With their syntax of panels, gutters, and pages and their use of the evocative power of image in conjunction with the precise communication of text, comics are uniquely suited to delivering narratives of trauma. The relationship of trauma (especially childhood trauma) to the comics medium is a thread that runs throughout Hillary L. Chute's 2010 Graphic Women: Life Narrative & Contemporary Comics, a book which is structured around exploring the works of five autobiographical comics artists (Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Phoebe Gloeckner, Lynda Barry, Marjane Satrapi, and Alison Bechdel). By their very nature, comics provide a potentially ideal means through which to tell those stories which require the fragmentation and reconstruction of events of high drama and emotional intensity. The juxtaposition of images on the comic page make comics what might be considered a ‘natural' fit for exploring the concept of "Remembering, repeating, and working-through" examined so in-depth in Cathy Caruth's seminal 1996 work on trauma, Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History.

More than two decades ago, Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer-winning opus, Maus, changed the way much of the reading public views comics, and is now one of the most iconic and recognizable Holocaust narratives to be studied in the classroom or found on bookstore shelves. Since the turn of the century, autobiographical comics like Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, and Phoebe Gloeckner's Diary of a Teenage Girl have all been released to great critical acclaim. Epileptic, David B.'s autobiographical exploration of medical trauma, hugged the transition from the 1900s to the 2000s, with its original French release running from 1996 to 2003; more recently, David Small's autobiographical Stitches (2009) also forced a spotlight on medical trauma, using bold, rough graphics to recount the horror of a child's battle with cancer. Robert Kirkman's zombie survival horror comic The Walking Dead (which began its run in 2003 and continues today) has captured the American cultural imagination, with its adaptations ranging from a television show and video game to a prominent role in the most recent Halloween Horror Nights attraction at Universal Studios. Comics and war narratives (as well as war reporting) have also gone hand-in-hand for many years; just this November, noted war comics writer and artist Joe Sacco released his latest work, The Great War, which tells the story of the first day of the Battle of the Somme in one continuous, 24-foot drawing. Comics have become one of the most important and visible venues through which a 21st-century audience understands, imagines, and works through traumatic events.

We invite presentation proposals from all disciplines on the theme of "traumics: comics narratives of trauma." Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Comics and Journalism (Example: Guibert, Lefevre and Lemercier's The Photographer)
  • Comics and Autobiography / Graphic Memoir (Examples: Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, David B.'s Epileptic, Phoebe Gloeckner's The Diary of a Teenage Girl and A Child's Life, David Small's Stitches)
  • Comics as Blogging / In blogging (Example: Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half)
  • Violence in the Comics and Cultural Responses (Examples: "mainstream" violence in Marvel and DC comics, violence and the Comics Code Authority)
  • Comics Go to War / Comics About War / Comics Read and/or Written on the Front Lines (Examples: The 'Nam, Commando Comics)
  • The Traumatic Oeuvre of Joe Sacco
  • Art Spiegelman's Maus and its Critical Reception
  • How Comics Represent Trauma / Traumatic Experiences in the Comics
  • Trauma and Sexuality in the Comics (For example, in the work of Alan Moore)
  • Rape and Sexual Assault in the Comics / The Discussion Thereof (See: The recent controversy surrounding Mark Millar's "rape comments")
  • Trauma and Manga (For example, in the work of Osamu Tezuka and Hagio Moto)
  • Childhood and Trauma in the Comics
  • Childhood and Trauma in Illustrated Books and Children's Picture Books (Examples: Neil Gaiman's Coraline, Maurice Sendak's Outside Over There)
  • The Imagetext of the Newspaper / How Trauma is Reported through Media

"Traumics: Comics Narratives of Trauma" will consider proposals from graduate students, professors, independent scholars, undergraduates and other academics, and all proposals will be judged based on merit. The conference will be free to attend and open to the public.

Graduate papers presented at the conference will be eligible for consideration as Best Graduate Paper. The competition is open to non-UF graduate students and will be judged by a panel of UF professors. The winner will be awarded $250 and an opportunity to publish the full-length version of his or her paper in ImageTexT. Please indicate interest in the competition with abstract submissions.

Proposals should be between 200 and 300 words, and are due January 25, 2014. All proposals should be submitted to Mel Loucks at mloucks@ufl.edu and copied to Najwa Al-tabaa at naltabaa@ufl.edu.

[cfp] Call for Abstracts (December 31, 2013):

Posted 10 Dec, 2013

Marvel's Civil War: How Comics Defined the Post 9/11 Era
(Collection of Essays)

Kevin Scott, Albany State University

Contact email: marvelcivilwar2006@gmail.com

Not since the comics book industry's response to World War II have comic books addressed contemporary events in American culture so powerfully than they did after 9/11. As the United States invaded Iraq and struggled to deal with fears about terrorism at home, the medium that has often depended on icons of American exceptionalism found the very idea of the superhero—who exerts his power over others with little to no oversight— politically charged and problematic. Marvel Comics responded with its now famous Civil War series, pitting superhero against superhero and placing the very embodiment of American values, Captain America, in the position of criminal and fugitive. The series, a seven–issue comics event that ran from 2006 to 2007 but included nearly a hundred other comics from across the Marvel universe, had at its center the classic, painful question of "how much liberty will you give up for security?" The answer would control the storylines within the Marvel universe for the next four years and engender a sustained and sophisticated discussion of America's values and its political system.

The volume editor, the coauthor of The Porning of America (Beacon, 2008), seeks a variety of essays addressing the Civil War event as well as the storylines that followed from it, for a collection being developed with McFarland Books.

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