ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies

ISSN: 1549-6732

ImageTexT News Feed

ImageTexT posts news and updates relevant to our issues, CFPs, and the comics program at UF. We also publish CFPs, event announcements, and book notices of interest to the comics studies community.To stay updated, subscribe to an RSS feed (learn about RSS), or sign up to receive announcements by email. To see your announcement here, please contact us.

[cfp] CALL FOR BOOK CHAPTERS

Posted 31 Oct, 2014

Cultures of Comics Work

Editors: Casey Brienza and Paddy Johnston

"All artistic work, like all human activity, involves the joint activity of a number, often a large number, of people. Through their cooperation, the art work we eventually see or hear comes to be and continues to be. The work always shows signs of that cooperation," wrote sociologist Howard Becker in his seminal monograph on cultural production Art Worlds. Comic art is no exception to Becker's basic insight. Writers, illustrators, graphic designers, letterers, editors, printers, typesetters, publicists, publishers, distributors, retailers, and countless others are both directly and indirectly involved in the creative production of what is commonly thought of as the comic book.

Yet comics scholars all too often advance a narrow auteurist vision of production in their research. Names such as Art Spiegelman, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and Osamu Tezuka continue loom large in the intellectual firmament, while, despite recent calls for sociological approaches to comics scholarship, the large numbers of people without whom no comic would exist in the first place are routinely overlooked. A clear focus upon these people and the contributions of their labor is therefore long overdue and absolutely necessary to advance the boundaries of the theoretical and methodological study of comics. After all, how are we to understand any work of comic art if we know nothing about the myriad varieties of cultural work that went into its creation?

This anthology takes as its problematic the tensions between the artistic ideal and the realities of contemporary cultural production and builds upon preliminary work mapping out this important but underexplored area of inquiry in the "Comics & Cultural Work" Special Theme Month which ran through December 2013 at Comics Forum (http://comicsforum.org/comics-forum-archives/website-archive/comics-and-cultural-work). Chapters addressing the theme of cultures of comics work outlined in the previous paragraphs are solicited, with a view toward the publication of a multi-authored volume consisting of between 12-14 chapters. A series editor for a well-known academic press has expressed preliminary interest in this project.

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[cfp] Theme issue on Atlantis and other mythical lost island civilizations

Posted 31 Oct, 2014

Shima: The International Journal of Research into Island Cultures <www.shimajournal.org> invites submissions for a special issue concerning representations of Atlantis and/or other lost island civilizations.

Topics might include:

  • Representations of Atlantis in popular culture
  • Reflections on the concept of Atlantis and/or why islands are often considered as the locations for mythical lost island cultures

Deadline for submissions — June 1st 2015 (NB the editors would welcome expressions of interest as soon as possible)

Special issue editors: Helen Dawson hdawson@zedat.fu-berlin.de and Philip Haywardprhshima@gmail.com

[cfp] QUEERS & COMICS – The first-ever university-based LGBTQ comics conference

Posted 07 Oct, 2014

Presented by CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies

Location: The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

Date: May 7-8, 2015

Keynote Speakers: Howard Cruse and Alison Bechdel

Call for Proposals
Proposal Submission Deadline: November 3, 2014
Notifications by December 15

MORE INFO:

http://www.clags.org/queers-comics/call-for-proposals/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Queers-and-Comics/612897655467461?ref=br_tf

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[cfp] New Readings—Themed issue on Comics and Translation

Posted 06 Oct, 2014

New Readings is inviting articles on any aspect of the translation of comic literature, widely understood here to refer to literature that combines images with words, from single stand-alone panels, to comic strips and graphic novels. We are particularly interested in theoretical contributions and in articles whose scope transcends single texts or individual authors. However, work on practical aspects of comics translation and case studies will also be considered for publication. Topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • The comics translator's (in)visibility
  • Reading comics in translation
  • The limits of translatability
  • Translation and comics genre
  • Dialect, sociolect and idiolect in comics translation
  • Standards and conventions of comics translation
  • Translating sound effects
  • Translating images
  • Software-based comics translation
  • Spatial constraints in translating comics
  • Translating comics adaptations of literary classics
  • Reception of comics in translation
  • The market for comics translation
  • Case studies of comics translated between any of the following languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.

Contributions to the themed issue should reach New Readings by 10 November 2014. Submission is through the journal's online system and requires self-registration. Submissions must be prepared in accordance with the conventions of MLA style and be between 6,000 and 8,000 words long (including footnotes and a list of works cited). New Readings welcomes submissions in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Articles in languages other than English are considered for publication if the subject matter justifies the choice of language. If in doubt, and for all other queries, please contact the editors prior to submission: NewReadings@cardiff.ac.uk. For full submission details and a checklist, please see the journal's webpage: http://ojs.cf.ac.uk/index.php/newreadings/about/submissions

New Readings is a peer-reviewed (double-blind), open-access online journal based at Cardiff University (UK). We publish original research in the fields of literature, film and visual culture. Previous themed issues are: 'Images of Exile', 'Figures of the Self', 'Identity, Gender, Politics', 'Space and Identity', 'Travelling the Urban Space', 'Writing Difference', 'Alternative Voices in European Cinema', 'Truth Claims in Fiction Film' and 'Hamlet and Poetry'. See the website for all past issues: http://ojs.cf.ac.uk/index.php/newreadings/index/

[cfp] UPDATE: Submission deadline extended for special issue on the graphic novel

Posted 06 Oct, 2014
The submission deadline has been extended to November 1 for a special issue of Studies in the Novel focused on the graphic novel. The issue will 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 November 1, 2014 to Timothy Boswell, Managing Editor, at studiesinthenovel@unt.edu.

[general] Call for ImageTexT Manuscript Reviewers

Posted 13 Sep, 2014

ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies is currently seeking manuscript reviewers with expertise in a variety of areas in comics studies.

ImageTexT publishes solicited and peer-reviewed papers that investigate the material, historical, theoretical, and cultural implications of visual textuality. We seek reviewers with research experience in topics such as (but not limited to) the aesthetics, cognition, production, reception, distribution, and dissemination of comics and other graphic narratives.

Ideal candidates will have previous publication or peer review experience and familiarity with MLA style guidelines.

Please submit CV to imagetext@english.ufl.edu.

[cfp] 2015 UF Comics Conference

Posted 28 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 Seen” is to celebrate and interrogate the representation of marginalized groups in comics and related media. "Related media” 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])

In addition to traditional, 15-20 minute presentations, "Comics Read but Seldom Seen" will also consider discussion panels from multiple presenters coordinating around a central topic or theme.

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."

Continue reading ...

[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.

Continue reading ...

[cfp] The Comic Book Superheroes

Posted 10 Dec, 2013

Synæsthesia: Communication Across Cultures is an open-access interdisciplinary journal, rigorously peer-reviewed and oriented toward advancing new perspectives and understandings of how thought, engagement, and the communication of meanings hinge upon human perception. The journal encourages new dialogues in communication theory and research by publishing original scholarship that explores issues from the interpersonal to mass-marketed, regional to global, academic to corporate, among genders and across time. The journal welcomes innovative theoretical essays and research articles from scholars around the world and aims to advance the progressive exchange of ideas.

Synæsthesia invites submissions for a special upcoming themed edition of the journal (Vol. 2, No. 3) specifically focused on 'The Comic Book Superheroes.'

Synæsthesia managing editors Dr. Christopher Melley and Dr. Daniel Broudy are pleased to announce that this special topic edition of the journal will be co-edited by Dr. Jeffery Klæhn.

Possible themes/topics that may be explored include superheroes within the broader context of history, pop culture, theory, masculinity and femininity, race and ethnicity, inequality (social, political, economic), power, identity, the medium and/or other genres, the broader comic book industry, other media, methods of production, authorship, creator's rights, the changing status of comic book writers and/or artists, changing markets and channels of distribution, readership and fandom.

All articles considered for publication will undergo a peer-review process.

Scholarly work accepted for publication with the online journal will receive subsequent consideration for publication within future collected volumes.

Submissions should be rigorous in scholarship yet accessible in style for audiences across a wide spectrum of disciplines.

Submissions lodged by e-mail should include a title, abstract, author's name, and institutional affiliation. Including in the subject line of your e-mail submission the proposed title of your essay/paper will help us parse spam from legitimate inquiries. If including images within the manuscript, please adhere to fair use policy. Manuscripts attached to e-mail submissions should be saved in the MSWord .doc format.

contact email: editors@Synæsthesiajournal.com

[cfp] ImageTexT Special Issue: A Comic of Her Own

Posted 04 Dec, 2013

Guest Editor: Jeffrey A. Brown, Ph.D.
Co-Editor: Melissa Loucks

"A Comic of Her Own: Women Writing, Reading, and Embodying in Comics" will be a Special Issue of ImageTexT inspired by our 2013 Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels. Those who presented at and/or attended the 2013 conference, "A Comic of Her Own," are encouraged to submit, and we also invite submissions from contributors who did not attend the conference. All submissions will be judged based on merit.

From our "Comic of Her Own" CFP:

Trina Robbins's A Century of Women Cartoonists responds to a comics history which often forgets women. In the past few years, interest has grown around women working in the comics industry, perhaps best exemplified by Hillary Chute's 2010 Graphic Women. Similarly, academia has made many inroads into comics and gender through scholarship on superheroines in mainstream comics. Mike Madrid's 2009 The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines and Jennifer Stuller's 2010 Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology, not to mention more works by Trina Robbins and Lillian Robinson, attest to this growing interest in the representation of women in comics. However, these two scholarly fields rarely engage in meaningful dialog, despite their mutual interest: the examination of women in comics, whether behind the scenes or on the page.

This Special Issue of ImageTexT hopes to explore the intersections between women's writing in comics, women represented in comics, and the women who read them. To further the dialogue between creators, readers, and scholars, for this special issue we will also consider submissions artistic and biographical in nature, provided they adhere to the issue's theme.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Superheroines in comics—how super are they, really?
  • Good Girls vs. Bad Girls in mainstream comics
  • Women's writing as autobiography
  • What women want—explorations of titles that are popular with female readers
  • Queer women in comics
  • Girly men and manly women in comics—how is gender drawn?
  • Feminist readings of mainstream comics—are women still in the refrigerator?
  • Monstrous women in comics—sexed/gendered readings of monstrous, radioactive, and generally othered bodies in mainstream comics
  • Female sexuality in comics—from mainstream sex goddesses to queer alternatives
  • Studies of work by particular women writers and/or artists
  • Challenges to the "graphic women" canon
  • Girls in children's picture books and children's picture books "for girls"
  • Adaptation of comics superheroines to the big screen—representational differences and challenges in media adaptation
  • Women in animation—the female form in motion

Please send the full text of articles to proceedingsissue@gmail.com by February 15, 2014.

[cfp] Representations of Childhood in Comics

Posted 09 Nov, 2013

Childhood is now widely recognized as a social construct (Fass, Jenks, Mintz). As the aprtifice behind the construction of childhood has been revealed, there has been a marked increase in the analysis of children and childhood in contemporary culture (Demarr and Bakermann, Edelman, Latham, McLennan, Renner, Stockton). Despite the increase in scholarly attention, depictions of childhood in comics and other forms of comic art are ripe for further study. The forthcoming issue of the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, focusing on comics, picturebooks, and childhood, should provide interesting insights into these depictions. Yet there remains plenty of room for consideration regarding how different comics construct childhood. This is an especially interesting area of inquiry given the somewhat vexed association comic books have traditionally maintained with childhood. In an attempt to continue developing the scholarly focus on childhood, as well as comics, we seek proposals for scholarly articles that analyze, explore and interrogate depictions of childhood in comics or comic art for inclusion in a book-length anthology.

Potential topics include:

  • What do comics teach us about current constructions of childhood?
  • How do comics resist or undermine contemporary constructions of childhood?
  • How can comics help us better understand the role of children in a given societal context?
  • How do comics shed light on the relationship between children and adults? Between adults and their own childhood?
  • How can depictions of childhood be understood as metaphors for specific cultural phenomena, values, disruptions or evolutions?
  • What anxieties regarding culture, politics, education, etc. do comics reveal?
  • How have ideas regarding childhood affected comics?

Please submit an abstract of 300 words and a short CV to Mark Heimermann and Brittany Tullis at heimermanntullis@gmail.com by January 1st, 2014 for consideration. Full papers will be due by June 1st, 2014.

[cfp] Webcomics Roundtable at NeMLA 2014

Posted 25 Sep, 2013

Getting the Picture: On Recent Evolution in the Comics Industry (Roundtable)
45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 3-6, 2014 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

From one perspective, the comics form is becoming more weighty and legitimized as graphic novels are sold in standard bookshops. However, at the same time, the comics industry is moving online, where free serialized webcomics such as Penny Arcade and Homestuck create new distribution and fandom models. This roundtable seeks papers that address webcomics as a form and/or an industry, changes in comics fandom due to these newly-popular forms, the role of manga or video games in these changes, or related issues. Abstracts or participation proposals to Emily Lauer at lauere@sunysuffolk.edu by September 30.

This will be a roundtable discussion, and I welcome creators and fans as well as scholars—please feel free to forward widely.

[cfp] Making the Marvel Universe: Transmedia and the Marvel Comics Brand

Posted 16 Sep, 2013

Editor: Matt Yockey
Publisher: TBD (strong initial interest has been expressed by the University of Texas Press)

What became known as the Marvel Universe in effect began with the publication in 1961of Fantastic Four no. 1, a comic book that redefined the superhero genre with its exploits of a bickering superhero team. In little more than a year a company that had gone through numerous name changes since it began as Timely Publications in 1939 not only settled on a new one—Marvel Comics—but also embraced a new identity as an iconoclastic “House of Ideas,” overseen by the jocular and familiar editorial presence of Stan Lee and defined by the unique creative vision of artists such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. Previously in the shadow of DC Comics, the dominant publisher in the industry, by the end of the 1960s Marvel had completely rewritten the rules of what superhero comic books could be. Not only did the “Marvel Bullpen” produce a new wave of unusually complex superheroes—including Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, Doctor Strange, the X-Men, and Iron Man—but they redefined the ways in which comic books were read. The Marvel Universe was constituted by an overall continuity between titles to an unprecedented degree; cross-over stories evolved into a complex meta-text that incorporated every superhero title the company published. With Lee as the face of the company, Marvel became not only the leading publisher of superhero comic books but (after a few false starts) eventually optioned its properties into successful blockbuster films, beginning in 2000 with X-Men. This led to Marvel establishing its own film production company that is currently producing a collection of movies that are the film equivalent of the Marvel Universe. With comic books no longer the mainstream commodity they once were, Marvel has effectively exploited the transmedia potential of their properties and remains more relevant and more lucrative a business concern than ever before.

Continue reading ...

[cfp] Comics: Strips, Books, Graphic Novels and Everything in Between

Posted 16 Sep, 2013

The Comics and Comic Art Area of the Popular Culture Association invites all comics scholars to participate in the annual meeting of the Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association. Details of the conference can be found at the conference website.

The Comics and Comic Art Area of the Popular Culture Association offers a venue for scholars from across the country to share their research and exchange ideas on the growing field of comics scholarship. Papers on all aspects of the medium are invited.

Past papers have covered mainstream, underground, and international comics; cartoons, comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels; comics in connection with film, television, and video games; writers, artists, and publishers; teaching comics at various levels; and writing and publishing comics scholarship.

This call asks for individual paper proposals or submissions for entire panels. If you are submitting a panel, please make sure to note the members of your panel. In addition to general papers, if a presenter would like to propose a special panel or roundtable discussion, please e-mail the chair so she can forward the request to the list and the Comics and Comic Art Facebook group. (All interested scholars are welcome to join the group.)

Papers should be delivered in 15-20 minutes. The PCA limits presenters to one paper given at the conference, so if you are interested in presenting a paper in the Comics and Comic Art Area, do not submit a paper to another area.

All participants are eligible for the annual Inge Award for Comics Scholarship, awarded to the top paper presented in the Comics and Comic Art Area of the PCA. Student participants are eligible for the Lent Award for Comics Scholarship, awarded to the top paper presented by a student in the Comics and Comic Art Area of the PCA.

Scholars interested in presenting a paper at the national conference should submit a 100-200 word abstract and a short introductory bio to the PCA Database (http://ncp.pcaaca.org).

Please send all inquires to:

Terence Wandtke
Film and Digital Media
Judson University
twandtke@judsonu.edu

[issue] ImageTexT 7.1: The Worlds of the Hernandez Brothers

Posted 08 Sep, 2013

ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies is pleased to announce the release of its latest issue, volume 7 number 1, "The Worlds of the Hernandez Brothers." The issue was guest-edited by Derek Parker Royal and Christopher González. 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_1/.

Continue reading ...

[issue] ImageTexT 6.3: Shakespeare and Visual Rhetoric

Posted 14 Apr, 2013

ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies is pleased to announce the release of its latest issue, volume 6 number 3, "Shakespeare and Visual Rhetoric." The issue was guest-edited by Richard Burt and co-edited by Katherine Shaeffer. 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/v6_3/.

Continue reading ...

[cfp] ImageTexT Special Issue: "Comics and Post-Secondary Pedagogy"

Posted 29 Mar, 2013

Guest Editor: James Bucky Carter, Ph.D.
Co-Editor: Najwa Al-tabaa

The "Comics and Post-Secondary Pedagogy” special issue of ImageTexT is accepting paper submissions that address the teaching of comics with adult learners, defined as those in post-secondary settings such as colleges, universities, technical schools, community colleges, professional schools, etc., or in other settings in which adult education, enrichment, or training is a focus (prisons, the military, government, the workplace, extension programs, mutual aid movements, etc.).

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Teaching comics in university courses
  • Teaching the self-contained or special topics comics course
  • Comics in the ____________ course (History, Philosophy, Graphic Design, Literature, Media, etc.)
  • Introducing students to comics/specific comics in courses that do not feature much comics content otherwise
  • Advocating for the incorporation of comics in your discipline/field/class: What works and what hasn't?
  • Using comics to inform or educate at the university level in ways beyond the traditional college course (student life, retention, etc.)
  • Teaching comics with non-traditional students
  • Using comics to educate in the workplace
  • Teaching comics in prison settings
  • Comics as educational materials in professional development or training programs
  • Using comics to assist college student or adult learners in English acquisition
  • Adults' concepts and precepts regarding comics and teaching comics
  • Using comics in medical, law, and business schools.
  • Using comics to teach those who teach others
  • Teaching the works of a specific comics artist
  • Using/creating comics as a medium of expression/critical thought for students/Integration of comics-creating assignments

Please send completed papers in MLA citation format to James Bucky Carter at jbcarter777@gmail.com by July 20th, 2013. Copy all submissions to Najwa Al-tabaa at naltabaa@ufl.edu.

Articles submitted should usually not exceed 10,000 words including notes and should be presented to generally accepted academic standards. Please submit all articles by sending an email with the submission attached (including images, video etc.). Articles should be submitted preferably in HTML, or as Microsoft Word, StarOffice, or OpenOffice documents. Webbed essays are encouraged.

[cfp] UPDATE: Monsters in the Margins: The Horrors of Image/Text

Posted 29 Mar, 2013

NEW DEADLINE: April 15, 2013

Edited by Don Ault and Will Walter

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.

Continue reading ...

[cfp] Call for Papers / Call for Speakers

Posted 28 Mar, 2013
2013 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

July 4—July 7
Anime Expo 2013
Los Angeles Convention Center (Los Angeles, CA)

Submission Deadline: May 1, 2013

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.

When, 30 years ago, Frederik Schodt published his Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics, he almost single-handedly created the field of English-language anime and manga studies—a field that has been evolving and growing ever since.

As scholars around the world have recognized, anime and manga are open to a wide range of interpretations, drawing on many different disciplines. One goal of the Anime and Manga Studies Symposium is to invite speakers from diverse backgrounds, fields and areas to exchange ideas and approaches, 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 allow speakers to share their research and scholarship with a public, non-academic audience, to interact directly 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.

Continue reading ...

[cfp] UPDATE: Monsters in the Margins: The Horrors of Image/Text

Posted 23 Feb, 2013

NEW DEADLINE: March 15, 2013

Edited by Don Ault and Will Walter

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.

Continue reading ...

[cfp] Deadline Extended: A Comic Of Her Own: Women Writing, Reading, and Embodying in Comics

Posted 30 Jan, 2013

10th Annual UF Comics Conference in association with ImageTexT March 15-17, 2013

New Deadline: February 3rd, 2013

NEW! Keynote Speaker: Jeffrey A. Brown

Keynote Speaker: Trina Robbins

Guest Artist: Leela Corman

Guest Artist: Megan Kelso

Trina Robbins' A Century of Women Cartoonists responds to a comics history which often forgets women. In the past few years, interest has grown around women working in the comics industry, perhaps best exemplified by Hillary Chute's 2010 Graphic Women. Similarly, academia has made many inroads into comics and gender through scholarship on superheroines in mainstream comics. Mike Madrid's 2009 The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines and Jennifer Stuller's 2010 Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology, not to mention works by Trina Robbins and Lillian Robinson, attest to this growing interest in the representation of women in comics. However, these two scholarly fields rarely engage in meaningful dialog, despite their mutual interest: the examination of women in comics, whether behind the scenes or on the page. This conference hopes to facilitate this dialog and foster the scholarly exploration of intersections between women's writing in comics, women represented in comics, and the women who read them. To accommodate this goal, the conference will feature a mixture of formats: keynote lectures, workshops with guest artists, Q & A sessions, panel discussions, and traditional academic conference presentations.

We encourage scholarly submissions on any one of these topics, as well as proposals for papers that explore the apparent gaps between them. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Superheroines in comics—how super are they, really?
  • Good Girls vs. Bad Girls in mainstream comics
  • Women's writing as autobiography
  • What women want—explorations of titles that are popular with female readers
  • Queer women in comics
  • Girly men and manly women in comics—how is gender drawn?
  • Feminist readings of mainstream comics—are women still in the refrigerator?
  • Monstrous women in comics—sexed/gendered readings of monstrous, radioactive, and generally othered bodies in mainstream comics
  • Female sexuality in comics—from mainstream sex goddesses to queer alternatives
  • Studies of work by particular women writers and/or artists
  • Challenges to the "graphic women" canon
  • Girls in children's picture books and children's picture books "for girls"
  • Adaptation of comics superheroines to the big screen—representational differences and challenges in media adaptation
  • Women in animation—the female form in motion

Please send 250-word abstracts to imagetext@english.ufl.edu by February 3rd, 2013.

[cfp] UPDATE: Monsters in the Margins: The Horrors of Image/Text

Posted 29 Jan, 2013

NEW DEADLINE: February 15, 2013

Edited by Don Ault and Will Walter

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.

Continue reading ...

[cfp] Deadline Extended: A Comic Of Her Own: Women Writing, Reading, and Embodying in Comics

Posted 16 Jan, 2013

10th Annual UF Comics Conference in association with ImageTexT March 15-17, 2013

New Deadline: February 3rd, 2013

Keynote Speaker: Trina Robbins

Guest Artist: Leela Corman

Guest Artist: Megan Kelso

Trina Robbins' A Century of Women Cartoonists responds to a comics history which often forgets women. In the past few years, interest has grown around women working in the comics industry, perhaps best exemplified by Hillary Chute's 2010 Graphic Women. Similarly, academia has made many inroads into comics and gender through scholarship on superheroines in mainstream comics. Mike Madrid's 2009 The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines and Jennifer Stuller's 2010 Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology, not to mention works by Trina Robbins and Lillian Robinson, attest to this growing interest in the representation of women in comics. However, these two scholarly fields rarely engage in meaningful dialog, despite their mutual interest: the examination of women in comics, whether behind the scenes or on the page. This conference hopes to facilitate this dialog and foster the scholarly exploration of intersections between women's writing in comics, women represented in comics, and the women who read them. To accommodate this goal, the conference will feature a mixture of formats: keynote lectures, workshops with guest artists, Q & A sessions, panel discussions, and traditional academic conference presentations.

We encourage scholarly submissions on any one of these topics, as well as proposals for papers that explore the apparent gaps between them. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Superheroines in comics—how super are they, really?
  • Good Girls vs. Bad Girls in mainstream comics
  • Women's writing as autobiography
  • What women want—explorations of titles that are popular with female readers
  • Queer women in comics
  • Girly men and manly women in comics—how is gender drawn?
  • Feminist readings of mainstream comics—are women still in the refrigerator?
  • Monstrous women in comics—sexed/gendered readings of monstrous, radioactive, and generally othered bodies in mainstream comics
  • Female sexuality in comics—from mainstream sex goddesses to queer alternatives
  • Studies of work by particular women writers and/or artists
  • Challenges to the "graphic women" canon
  • Girls in children's picture books and children's picture books "for girls"
  • Adaptation of comics superheroines to the big screen—representational differences and challenges in media adaptation
  • Women in animation—the female form in motion

Please send 250-word abstracts to imagetext@english.ufl.edu by February 3rd, 2013.

[cfp] A Comic Of Her Own: Women Writing, Reading, and Embodying in Comics

Posted 14 Dec, 2012

10th Annual UF Comics Conference in association with ImageTexT March 15-17, 2013

Keynote Speaker: Trina Robbins

Guest Artist: Leela Corman

Guest Artist: Megan Kelso

Trina Robbins' A Century of Women Cartoonists responds to a comics history which often forgets women. In the past few years, interest has grown around women working in the comics industry, perhaps best exemplified by Hillary Chute's 2010 Graphic Women. Similarly, academia has made many inroads into comics and gender through scholarship on superheroines in mainstream comics. Mike Madrid's 2009 The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines and Jennifer Stuller's 2010 Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology, not to mention works by Trina Robbins and Lillian Robinson, attest to this growing interest in the representation of women in comics. However, these two scholarly fields rarely engage in meaningful dialog, despite their mutual interest: the examination of women in comics, whether behind the scenes or on the page. This conference hopes to facilitate this dialog and foster the scholarly exploration of intersections between women's writing in comics, women represented in comics, and the women who read them. To accommodate this goal, the conference will feature a mixture of formats: keynote lectures, workshops with guest artists, Q & A sessions, panel discussions, and traditional academic conference presentations.

We encourage scholarly submissions on any one of these topics, as well as proposals for papers that explore the apparent gaps between them. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Superheroines in comics—how super are they, really?
  • Good Girls vs. Bad Girls in mainstream comics
  • Women's writing as autobiography
  • What women want—explorations of titles that are popular with female readers
  • Queer women in comics
  • Girly men and manly women in comics—how is gender drawn?
  • Feminist readings of mainstream comics—are women still in the refrigerator?
  • Monstrous women in comics—sexed/gendered readings of monstrous, radioactive, and generally othered bodies in mainstream comics
  • Female sexuality in comics—from mainstream sex goddesses to queer alternatives
  • Studies of work by particular women writers and/or artists
  • Challenges to the "graphic women" canon
  • Girls in children's picture books and children's picture books "for girls"
  • Adaptation of comics superheroines to the big screen—representational differences and challenges in media adaptation
  • Women in animation—the female form in motion

Please send 250-word abstracts to imagetext@english.ufl.edu by January 15th, 2013.

[general] UF Graduate Comics Organization Announces 10th Conference, Online Innovations

Posted 08 Dec, 2012

Gainesville, FL — 6 December, 2012 — In 2013, the University of Florida's Graduate Comics Organization will celebrate its decennial Comics Conference: "A Comic of Her Own," March 15 - 17. This event continues our tradition of hosting scholars, artists, and professionals for a weekend of discussion, recognizing scholars and artists from across North America and in our own community.

Community is the essence of any conference. Conferences provide peers and colleagues an all-too-infrequent opportunity to meet in person, to socialize, and to share their ideas, knowledge, and inspiration. Through this interaction, we enrich one another and sharpen our focus on the deep horizon of our field's future.

The UF Comics Studies Program currently extends these connections amongst scholars through ImageTexT, our interdisciplinary comics scholarship journal, and through the ongoing and open discussion on our Comix Scholars e-mail listserv. Now, the Graduate Comics Organization will push the boundaries even further. We're now on Facebook (The Graduate Comics Organization) and Twitter (imagetextfan). In the coming year, we will develop these presences in social media networks to better follow and disseminate comics news and research, simultaneously developing ImageTexT as a resource hub for comics scholarship. We will, of course, still maintain it as an online, open-access journal. And, as ever, it will remain completely free and publicly available to the worldwide comics community.

The 10th Annual UF Comics Conference will face an issue perpetually smoldering in popular and scholarly politics: Gender. "A Comic of Her Own" will explore the presence and representations of women in comics, comics production, and comics studies. The field is no stranger to such concerns, and our conference promotes this extensive exploration and intensive interrogation of the topic. Like past Comics Conferences, "A Comic of Her Own" aims to establish a productive discussion of comics across disciplinary and professional boundaries, to host a diverse and balanced range of concerned scholars, and to provide a venue for the necessary scrutiny of pressing issues in popular visual/verbal culture. Look for the forthcoming CFP.

Continue reading ...

[cfp] FANTASTIC! HEROIC! DISABLED?
"CRIPPING" THE COMIC CON

Posted 21 Nov, 2012

April, 2013
Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY

DEADLINE for Proposals: January 11, 2013

Michael Bérubé tells us that "every representation of disability has the potential to shape the way ‘disability' is understood in general culture, and some of those representations can in fact do extraordinary powerful—or harmful—cultural and political work" (1997, p. B4).

This symposium will provide participants with the opportunity to engage in a broad array of reflective discussions about the representations of disability that exist "beneath the surface" and explicitly within mainstream popular cultures both nationally and internationally, particularly the popular culture phenomena that are comic books, graphic novels, and manga.

Continue reading ...

[publication] HOOKED ON COMIX Vol. 3

Posted 21 Nov, 2012

HOOKED ON COMIX is a series of documentary films focusing on some of the most talented and visionary alternative comic artists of our time. HOOKED ON COMIX Volume 1 features interviews with Peter Bagge, Daniel Clowes, Roberta Gregory, Jamie Hernandez, and a dozen more major talents in the world of comic books. HOOKED ON COMIX Volume 2 features Chris Ware, Ivan Brunetti, and four other talented cartoonists.

HOOKED ON COMIX Vol. 3 featuring Dame Darcy and Tony Millionaire is now available on DVD! 20 minutes, NTSC

Available here: https://www.createspace.com/333128

Continue reading ...

[cfp] The Crime Comics of Frank Miller (12/10/12; PCA/ACA 3/27/13-3/30/13)

Posted 21 Nov, 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS (Please circulate)

Panel for the 2013 Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association Conference in Washington, D.C., March 27-30

Panel Title: "The Crime Comics of Frank Miller"

Deadline for submissions: December 10, 2012

Often cited as a creator responsible for bringing a gritty aesthetic to superhero comics, Frank Miller is also a creator responsible for bringing crime comics back to the forefront of the comics industry. With Sin City (and others), Miller reinstated many conventional (and politically incorrect) aspects of the crime genre while pushing the artistic boundaries of comics at the same time.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Miller's implementation of the tropes of pulp fiction, film noir, and classic crime comics into his narrative and visual style
  • Miller's synthesis of the superhero and crime genres in Daredevil and Batman, science fiction and crime genres in Hard Boiled and Martha Washington
  • Miller's vigilante hero as a social critique
  • Miller's masculine aesthetics in its narrative and visual representations, his depiction (and sometimes objectification) of powerful, sexual women
  • Miller's development throughout his career in terms of his scripting, illustration, aesthetic philosophy, and political activism

Please submit a 300-word proposal to Terrence Wandtke at twandtke@judsonu.edu. You may include the proposal within the body of the e-mail or attach as a Word document. Your e-mail must be received by December 10, 2012. Please include your affiliation, contact information, and a short bio.

Dr. Terrence Wandtke

Literature and Media
Judson University

[cfp] The Crime Comics of Ed Brubaker (12/10/12; PCA/ACA 3/27/13-3/30/13)

Posted 21 Nov, 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS (Please circulate)

Panel for the 2013 Popular Culture Association / American Culture
Association Conference in Washington, D.C., March 27-30

Panel Title: "The Crime Comics of Ed Brubaker"

Deadline for submissions: December 10, 2012

Perhaps most famous as the man who killed Captain America, Ed Brubaker has blended superhero and crime comics conventions in works like Catwoman, Gotham Central, Sleeper, and Daredevil. More recently, he has won popular and critical acclaim for his modern (and sometimes postmodern) crime series, Criminal.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Brubaker's work with independent and mainstream publishers, creator ownership of Criminal (published by Marvel)
  • Brubaker's traditional presentation and revision of crime fiction tropes in Criminal (as well as in superhero works like Gotham Central and Daredevil)
  • Brubaker's collaboration with different artists, synthesizing his narrative with their illustration to develop a visual style that evokes noir
  • Brubaker's stories that mix fantasy and reality, experiments with narrative and form that allude to other frames of reference (such as the Archie Comics style in Criminal: The Last of the Innocent)

Please submit a 300-word proposal to Terrence Wandtke at twandtke@judsonu.edu. You may include the proposal within the body of the e-mail or attach as a Word document. Your e-mail must be received by December 10, 2012. Please include your affiliation, contact information, and a short bio.

Dr. Terrence Wandtke

Literature and Media
Judson University

[event] Institute of Advanced Communication, Education, and Research (IACER)

Posted 21 Nov, 2012
(Affiliated to Pokhara University)
Baneshwor Heights, Kathmandu

Telephone: 009771-4471915
       009771-4467528

web. www.iacer.edu.np

South Asian Cultural Studies
In Conversation with
ASHIS NANDY

South Asia, a conglomeration of nations and cultures with multiple similarities, differences, fissures, intervals, and continuities, is a participatory and contested space. As such this location not only engages with the global production of knowledge by discoursing ideas from multiple directions, both from inside and outside of the region, but also generates contradictions and contestations. These contradictions and contestation can be further visualized, on the one hand, by examining the unreliable cartographic imagination of districts, provinces, and states, and, on the other hand, by questioning the homogenous/heterogeneous religious beliefs to highly debatable economic aspirations.

Keeping these characteristics in view, the Institute of Advanced Communication, Education, and Research (IACER) has planned a two-week seminar/workshop (April 2-16, 2013) on South Asian Cultural Studies (SACS) to initiate debates and discussions on multiple and complex issues to critique the region. Prof. Ashis Nandy has agreed to lead the seminar/workshop. Other scholars from Nepal and outside will join him to deliberate on the issues.

Continue reading ...

[cfp] Monsters in the Margins: The Horrors of Image/Text

Posted 09 Nov, 2012

Edited by Don Ault and Will Walter

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.

Continue reading ...

[cfp] Comics as Scholarship: Digital Humanities Quarterly Special Issue

Posted 23 Oct, 2012

Edited by Anastasia Salter and Roger Whitson

Comic Version of the CFP

While the coexistence of images and text towards a shared purpose is now an established part of our digital landscape, often in conjunction with animation, interaction and sound, scholarly forms are still dominated by the textual. But meaningful juxtapositions of media as sequential art offer an opportunity for scholarly reflection, as works such as Bryan Talbot's Alice in Sunderland and Robert Berry's Ulysses Seen remind us. Often, the comic form is still associated with simplicity or beginners. Series of graphic scholarship spawn titles like McLuhan for Beginners that suggest comics are only a tool for transitioning to "real" monographs. But of course, McLuhan himself used experimental forms in his scholarship: The Medium is the Massage has more in common with graphic novels than it does with his text-heavier volumes.

Taking the graphic novel as a scholarly text and transforming it into digital can make things even more interesting. The digital editions of graphic novels, including the CD version (with animations, billed as "interactive literature") of Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe, the many layers of Art Spiegelman's Meta Maus, and the work of Scott McCloud in his Understanding Comics trilogy add another dimension to the form. Comic books evolving online are already texts of study for the digitally-minded humanities, but can they also offer inspiration for rethinking our own forms of communication? We seek a series of articles in the form of sequential art (digital, interactive or traditional) from a variety of critical and disciplinary perspectives that may address one or more of the following questions:

  • How can a problem in your field of humanities scholarship be addressed, re-contextualized or explored using the affordances of the comics form?
  • How can we use the comics form (as redefined and extended through interactive media) to reflect on our processes of scholarship?
  • How do you peer review visual media like comic panels?
  • What can the comic medium contribute to scholarly debates?
  • How does digital technology make comics scholarship easier to make?
  • How can scholars who aren’t adept at illustration engage in comics scholarship?
  • How can we make comic writing more ubiquitous?
  • What forms of digital comics can be important for scholarship?

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[cfp] Call for Papers: Collection of Essays

Posted 23 Sep, 2012

Superhero Synergies: Genre in the Age of Digital Convergence
Edited by James Gilmore (UCLA) and Matthias Stork (UCLA)
Publisher: Scarecrow Press

Since the late 1990s, the proliferation of digital media has opened up a seemingly infinite horizon of narrative possibilities in transmedia storytelling. Traditional ideas about the look and the texture of cinema, television, and comics have equally undergone striking revision in the age of digital convergence. New technologies—including 3-D, video on-demand, and electronic tablets—change the ways we think about media production, aesthetics, and consumption. Digital media have made popular culture a malleable entity to be modified continuously. As a result,popular media do not exist in isolation, but converge into complex multidimensional objects. The Internet further relays this multidimensionality via discussion forums, fan fiction, and video-based criticism.

Nowhere has this phenomenon been more persistent, more creative, or sparked more discussion than in the superhero genre. While the genre is home to many of the most financially successful films of the last 15 years, it has also developed life in video games, digital comics, Internet criticism, video essays, novelizations, television programs, and other forms of media. These media may speak to each other—as in a video game based on the film The Avengers which is, in turn, based on a series of Marvel comic books—or incorporate and critique forms of media—as when the television series Heroes consciously employs comic book aesthetics as a central narrative component. The superhero genre thus forms an ideal lynchpin to examine the contemporary landscape of popular media convergence.

The goal of this anthology is to explore the intricate relationship between superheroes and digital media in an era of convergence. Specifically, we encourage contributors to consider analytical, research-driven, and theoretical work that tackles the problems and possibilities of convergence culture as it relates to the experience and study of superheroes in the contemporary world of digital media. While the anthology incorporates a theoretical dimension, we predominantly seek submissions that emphasize the experience of superheroes and analysis of superhero images in this expanding and converging digital landscape.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • How do conceptions of "genre" and "narrative" change amidst the interaction of multiple digital media forms?
  • Adaptation: How might superhero texts accent themselves as acts of adaptation? How do digital media and transmedia storytelling transform the notion of fidelity?
  • Reception study: What opportunities do digital media present for spectators to interact with each other and the media texts, and what are the scope and shape of those fandom culture interactions (i.e. avatar creation, fan fiction, video essay criticism)?
  • Textual/aesthetic analysis: How do the texts themselves—comics, films, video games, etc.—employ digital media and technology? In what ways do their aesthetics and structures communicate a converging digital landscape?
  • Cultural studies: How do digital media inform the discourse of socio-cultural issues within the genre, its texts, and their reception? How might digital media convergence foster a more complex discourse of these social, cultural, or political issues central to the genre—or do they?
  • Marketing aesthetics: How do the advertising strategies for individual texts take advantage of an array of new media technologies?
  • Film criticism: How does contemporary criticism use digital media technology to analyze and chronicle the development of the superhero genre?
  • Gender analysis: How are male and female bodies figured in the superhero genre, and how have those representations changed over time and across different forms of media?

Interested writers should submit a proposal of approximately 400-600 words. Each proposal should clearly state 1) the research question and/or theoretical goals of the essay, 2) the essay's relationship to the anthology's core issues, and 3) a potential bibliography. Please also include a brief CV. Accepted essays should plan to be approximately 6,000-7,000 words.

Deadline for proposals: November 1, 2012

Please send proposals to both contact e-mails:

James Gilmore: james.n.gilmore@gmail.com
Matthias Stork: mstork@ucla.edu

Publication timetable:
November 1, 2012 — Deadline for Proposals
December 15, 2012 — Notification of Acceptance Decisions
April 15, 2013 — Chapter Drafts Due
July 15, 2013 — Chapter Revisions Due
August 30, 2013 — Final Revisions Due

Acceptance will be contingent upon the contributors' ability to meet these deadlines, and to deliver professional-quality work.

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