ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies

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[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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