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 8 (2015-2016)

  • Issue 3
  • Issue 2
     Special Issue: Grant Morrison
  • Issue 1
     General Issue with "Monsters in the Margins" Forum

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

  • Terry Harpold Editor

  • Anastasia Ulanowicz Associate Editor

  • Donald Ault Founder and Editor Emeritus

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 (in memoriam)
  • Derek Parker Royal
  • Maureen Turim
  • Roger Sabin
  • Joseph Witek
  • Julian Wolfreys
  • Phil Wegner

The Sequential Artists Workshop

A new comix art school, The Sequential Artists Workshop, is soon open in Gainesville, FL. Please see the website at http://www.sequentialartistsworkshop.org/ for details. From the SAW website:

A couple years ago we had the crazy idea to open a school; an informal, but serious school, with a curriculum to match any anywhere, but without the baggage, the loans or the politics of higher education. This was the challenge: to create an outpost of support and learning in the comics world. We’re here to educate students and support artists. SAW is a place you can come for a week or a year and forge your personal creative path in visual storytelling.

SAW's mission statement is described in this excerpt from a letter which was sent by the school's founders, who include Tom Hart and Leela Corman, before the school's opening:

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] Comics Remixed: Adaptation and Graphic Narrative

Posted 07 Dec, 2016

The Graduate Comics Organization at the University of Florida invites applicants to submit proposals to the 14th UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, "Comics Remixed: Adaptation and Graphic Narrative." The conference will be held from Friday, April 7 to Sunday, April 9, 2017. Confirmed keynote speakers include Matt Kish, illustrator of Moby Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page, and Dr. Nina Caputo, author of graphic history Debating Truth: The Barcelona Disputation of 1263.

The ongoing blockbuster expansions of the Marvel and DC comics universes into parallel cinematic and television universes have brought to mainstream attention the adaptation of print comics into other media. Comics scholars are also paying closer attention to the importance of adaptation as an aspect of comics production and reception. Liam Burke's The Comic Book Film Adaptation (2015) has addressed the boom in Hollywood comic book movies during the 21st century. Stephen Tabachnick and Esther Bendit Saltzman's 2015 collection Drawn From the Classics analyzes comic adaptations of literary classics. In 2015, the University of Leicester hosted the symposium "Comics and Adaptation in the European Context," seeking to "bring the fields of comics and adaptation studies into critical dialogue."

When traditionally print-based comics are adapted to other media, or when comics adapt works from other media, how does this change our understanding of what comics can accomplish? Comics adaptations, and adaptations of comics, are not limited to only visual and/or lexical source material; for example, P. Craig Russell has authored a successful series of comics adaptations of operas, and Alison Bechdel's graphic novel Fun Home has been adapted into a hit Broadway musical. Comics have a long history of borrowing from other media without, strictly speaking, adapting plot lines or character biographies, as seen in Bob Kane and Bill Finger's adoption of techniques from German Expressionist film in the early Batman stories. In addition, comics culture may be viewed as long having undergone a process of adaptation as a consequence of changes in media ecologies: as the Internet allows fans to connect in different ways, how does this affect the construction of comics fandoms? Moreover, how does the evolution of comics production contribute to a process of adaptation?

The goal of this conference is to invite more extensive and nuanced investigation into these and other problems of comics adaptation. What are the known possible relationships between comics and other media, including but not limited to alphabetic texts, film and television, music, fine art, street art, videogames, and photography? How does the process of adaptation affect our understanding of the genres, themes, or political/aesthetic concerns of works being adapted, and the results of adaptation? The scope of this conference is not limited to trans-media adaptation. Are there instances where comics may influence and borrow from actual life? What is the place of comics adaptations in the multiple media landscapes of the 21st century and beyond?

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Comics-to-film adaptation (Marvel's The Avengers, The Dark Knight, Ghost World, Persepolis)
  • Film-to-comics adaptations (Jack Kirby's 2001, Dark Horse's Alien comics, Mike Mignola's Dracula)
  • Comics and TV (Jessica Jones, Arrow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek)
  • Film's influence on comics (German Expressionism and Batman)
  • Comics-to-music and music-to-comics (Fun Home, P. Craig Russell's The Ring of Nibelung)
  • Literature-to-comics (Classics Illustrated, The Book of Ballads and Sagas by Charles Vess, The Graphic Canon)
  • Comics-to-literature (Elliot S. Maggin's Superman: Last Son of Krypton, Neil Gaiman's Sandman: The Book of Dreams)
  • Comics-to-radio/audio (Superman radio show)
  • Comics that adapt news stories (Marvel 9/11 issue, Torso, Green River Killers, Rick Geary's Treasury of Victorian Murder)
  • Nonfiction/Comics journalism (Joe Sacco's graphic novels)
  • Fanfiction, fan art, and other fan works

In addition to traditional, 15-20 minute presentations, "Comics Remixed" will also consider discussion panels from multiple presenters coordinating around a central topic or theme. Proposals should be between 200 and 300 words. Deadline extended to January 1, 2017. All proposals should be submitted to Spencer Chalifour at schalifour@ufl.edu.

[general] Call for Creative Texts and Reviewers

Posted 02 Dec, 2016

In an effort to expand our reviews section, ImageTexT will begin inviting reviews of comics texts published by small presses, preferably engaging with the connection between image/text mediums and the social world. Since comics and animation have a long and rich history of reflecting, interacting with, and being shaped by the larger socio-cultural moment in which they were produced, image/text works have been highly influential in social movements and justice-oriented discourses throughout the world.

At ImageTexT, we believe it is the academic community’s responsibility to keep social concerns in public discourse, resisting the normalization of hate-based rhetoric, images, or actions with our scholarly engagement. Given the critical socio-political climate of the contemporary United States and other locations, we feel comics that explicitly visualize social justice issues deserve academic and popular attention that helps illuminate the many ways these texts connect with or affect the actual lived experiences of those involved in these issues. To that end, we invite authors, publishers, or readers to recommend small-press texts that they believe deeply and critically engage with various social justice issues. Some of the texts we currently have available for review include:

  • Drawing the Line: Indian Women Fight Back, Ad Astra Comix
  • War in the Neighborhood, Ad Astra Comix
  • Dumb, Georgia Webber, Radiator Comics
  • The Weight, Melissa Mendes, Radiator Comics
  • Inner City Romance, Guy Colwell (new 2015 collected edition)
  • Disco Cry, Marianna Serocka, Centrala Press
  • Power & Magic: The Queer Witch Comics Anthology, Joamette Gil

Please visit the ImageTexT website to find other scholarly and creative titles available for review.

We invite scholars, authors, and critics to submit 1,500-3,000 word reviews of these or any other small press, socially-oriented image/text works. To inquire about a specific title, suggest a title for review, or ask any other questions about the reviews process at ImageTexT, please email Ashley Manchester at mancester@ufl.edu and/or Charles Acheson at cpacheson21@ufl.edu.

[event] COMICS CROSSROADS: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY SYMPOSIUM

Posted 13 May, 2016

Sunday 26 June
University of Kent
10.00 – 18.00

Registration is now open for Comics Crossroads. At this one-day symposium, participants will discover some of the best and most cutting-edge research into comics, cartooning and drawn images. Eight invited speakers will present a 30-minute paper on their recent research, followed by a prepared critical response from an invited respondent and questions from the audience. The event is designed to bring together ideas from around the field of Comics Studies, provoke critical and forward-thinking discussion between researchers and research disciplines, offer input for new and current researchers, and engage with the potential for interdisciplinary work.

The burgeoning field of Comics Studies is necessarily interdisciplinary, yet it risks fragmentation as scholars entrenched in one tradition may be unaware of the important contributions being made in others. We seek to counter such divisive trends, providing a space for both receptive and productive engagement and new avenues of scholarly interaction.

Speakers:

  • Catharine Abell
    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, The University of Manchester
  • Elisabeth El Refaie
    Senior Lecturer in English, Communication & Philosophy, Cardiff University
  • Hugo Frey
    Professor of Cultural and Visual History, University of Chichester
  • Ian Horton
    Coordinator for Contextual & Theoretical Studies, London College of Communication
  • Anne Magnussen
    Associate Professor of History, University of Southern Denmark
  • Aaron Meskin
    Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Leeds
  • Roger Sabin
    Professor of Popular Culture, Central Saint Martins
  • Paul Williams
    Senior Lecturer in English, University of Exeter

Registration fees are £10 waged and £6 unwaged/student, and include lunch and refreshments.

To register, please follow the link. For enquiries, please contact F.Francis@kent.ac.uk: http://store.kent.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=219&prodvarid=208

Comics Crossroads is the last in a series of events attached to the exhibition There is an Alternative!: Critical Comics and Cartoons. The exhibition is open to the public at the University’s Templeman Gallery until July 2nd (08.00-21.00, Monday to Sunday)

Comics Crossroads is organised by Dr Antonio Lazaro-Reboll, Dieter Declercq, Fred Francis and Julia Secklehner. It is supported by two research consortiums:

  • CHASE
  • Eastern ARC

and the following bodies at the University of Kent:

  • The Faculty of Humanities Research Fund
  • The Aesthetics Research Centre
  • The Centre for Comic and Popular Performance
  • The Centre for Film and Media Research
  • The School of Arts Graduate Studies Committee

[cfp] Transnational Comics: Crossing Gutters, Transcending Boundaries

Posted 21 Jan, 2016

The Graduate Comics Organization at the University of Florida invites proposals for the 13th UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, “Transnational Comics: Crossing Gutters, Transcending Boundaries.” The conference will be held in Gainesville, Florida from April 8th to 10th, 2016. Confirmed keynote speakers are comics scholars John Lent (Professor Emeritus, Temple University, Editor of International Journal of Comic Art), Derek Parker Royal (Clinical Associate Professor, University of Texas, Dallas) and international comics translator Edward Gauvin.

In the age of globalization, forms of popular culture have been increasingly marked by transcultural pollination across aesthetics, content, generic conventions and iconography. The global flow of information, media and culture increasingly requires the study of comics from a transnational perspective. A few recent publications have drawn attention to intersections of national and cultural boundaries in comics. Mark Berninger, Jochen Ecke, and Gideon Haberkorn’s co-edited anthology Comics as a Nexus of Cultures: Essay on the Interplay of Media, Disciplines and International Perspectives (2010) signaled a shift in comics studies by exploring crossovers in comics across media and nations. Daniel Stein, Shane Denson, and Christina Meyer’s edited work Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives: Comics at the Crossroads (2013) was groundbreaking in redressing the dearth in transnational investigations of graphic narratives and paying attention to border crossings as well as cultural and material exchanges in comics.

The inherently dialectic, intersectional nature of comics, as manifested in image-text interplays, gutter-crossing and collaborative production, make comics a rich site for the exploration of emerging transnational crossovers. We invite a range of papers that incorporate transnational approaches to comics studies, and which address questions of translation, reception, cross-cultural exchange, tensions between global/local and center/periphery, and the transnationalization of production processes.

Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

  • Comics by transnational artists (those who straddle different cultures/countries in their work)
  • Comics that have been translated and/or disseminated across countries (for example, the translation and reception of manga and bande dessinée in the US)
  • Comics that deal with border-crossings
  • Comics that have been collaboratively created by artists of different national origins
  • Comics that showcase the influence of cultural forms from other countries
  • Superheroes crossing borders
  • The effect of globalization on comics industries; the politics of transnational production of comics
  • Reading comics through the lens of transnational studies and globalization studies

Proposal Guidelines: Please send original proposals that have not been published or presented elsewhere, along with contact information, to anujamadan@ufl.edu by January 27, 2016. All proposals will be blind reviewed, and must not exceed 300 words. Submitters will receive notification of results by February 5, 2016.

[cfp] Comics and Fine Art

Posted 11 Sep, 2015
Guest Editors: Colin Beineke and Ben Novotny Owen

ImageText is accepting paper submissions for a special forum on the topic of “Comics and Fine Art.” As comics scholar Bart Beaty has noted, “One of the significant consequences of the literary turn in the study of comics has been a tendency to drive attention away from comics as a form of visual culture. Comics have rarely been considered an art form akin to painting, sculpture, or photography, and they are not commonly taught in courses in art history.” The segregation of comics and art historical/critical scholarship has left comics studies impoverished of potentially useful critical vocabulary and methodology. Additionally, it has lead scholars of fine art and comics alike to neglect the rich history of exchange between the two forms, which can be dated back to at least the French avant-garde of the late nineteenth century.

Looking to fill this gap, this special forum will take seriously the status of comics as a visual art which shares much in the way of style, technique, and form with works of the fine art world. We seek to gather a collection of essays which demonstrate the potential for dialogue between these disciplines and their respective objects of study. In general, we are interested in papers which address some aspect of the rapport between comics and fine art. Submissions in the range of 6,000-10,000 words are welcome.

In particular, we are interested in collecting essays which address:

  • the work of comics artists who operate in (traditionally) fine art modes, such as Ho Che Anderson, Bill Sienkiewicz, Hanneriina Moisseinen, Dave McKean, Ashley Wood, and David Mack
  • work by fine artists which actively engages comics form and content, such as Philippe Parreno, Rivane Neuenschwander, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns
  • artists who work both in comics and fine art, such as Marcel Duchamp, Ad Reinhardt, Phoebe Glockner, Julie Doucet, and John Jennings
  • work by comics artists or fine artists which defy, ignore, or attempt to bridge distinctions between comics and fine art, such as Aidan Koch, Saul Steinberg, William Steig, and Mark Newgarden
  • comics which take as their subject art forms, artists, or art works from the fine art world, or inversely works of fine art which take as their subject artists or works from the comics art world
  • comics through the theories and methodologies of art history and criticism, either entirely new or responding to existing work, such as Scott Bukatman’s work on Mike Mignola and sculpture
  • fine art through the theories and methodologies of comics studies, either entirely new or responding to existing work, such as Rebecca Zurier on the Ashcan School or Peter Sattler on the Armory Show
  • artistic training and the position(ing) of cartooning within art schools
  • comics as fine art/artists’ books, avant-garde anthologies such as Kramers Ergot, and publishers whose work includes fine art books and comics, such as Koyama Press and PictureBox

Completed submissions for this special forum are due on April 1st, 2016. Please send all submissions or questions to Colin Beineke at colin.beineke@mizzou.edu and Ben Novonty Owen at owen.179@osu.edu. Please also read the ImageText submissions guidelines: http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/submissions.shtml. All images should be provided as ZIP files.

Submissions will be peer-reviewed and returned by June 15th, 2016. This special forum is scheduled to appear in the winter of 2017.

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All content is (c) ImageTexT 2004 - 2015 unless otherwise noted. All authors and artists retain copyright unless otherwise noted.
All images are used with permission or are permissible under fair use. Please see our legal notice.

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