ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies

ISSN: 1549-6732

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[cfp] The Comics Work of Neil Gaiman (ImageTexT Special Issue)

Posted 09 Nov, 2005

ImageTexT is pleased to announce an upcoming special issue on the work of Neil Gaiman. ImageTexT is a web-based journal published by the University of Florida, committed to advancing the academic study of comic books, comic strips, and animated cartoons. Under the guidance of an editorial board of scholars from a variety of disciplines, ImageTexT publishes solicited and peer-reviewed papers that investigate the material, historical, theoretical, and cultural implications of visual textuality. ImageTexT welcomes essays emphasizing (but not limited to) the aesthetics, cognition, production, reception, distribution and dissemination of comics and other media as they relate to comics, along with translations of previously existing research on comics as dimensions of visual culture.

For this issue, we are particularly interested in papers that help move beyond the core of well-rehearsed cliches that make up scholarship on Gaiman. Innovative and inventive approaches to the subject matter are greatly preferred to retracing the role of the mythic in Sandman, or discussing Dream in terms of Freud. Being a comics-centered journal, we are most interested in treatments of Gaiman's work in comics, although we use the term in the broadest sense, including Stardust and his children's picture books, and will certainly welcome treatments of Gaiman's non-comics work alongside his comics work.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The portrayal of stories and art in the work of Gaiman as contrasted with his British contemporaries (Moore, Morrison, etc)
  • Gaiman and his collaborators (especially Dave McKean): research on their subject status, influence and any tensions they bring to 'his' work, including issues of the auteur, polyvocality and seriality.
  • Sandman's relationship to different readerships, including how the books are viewed by the goth/punk community (also: relationship to music), academics, fantasy authors and readers, and the series' peculiar relationship to mainstream comics (also: consideration of superheroes and the superheroic in Gaiman's work).
  • Comics and (non-)illustrated Texts: theoretical approaches to, issues and effects of Gaiman's writing moving between these contexts.
  • Gaiman's conception of superheroes, as well as the ambiguous role of superheroes in Sandman.
  • The role of British history, culture and education in Gaiman's work and/or that of the American immigrant, including considerations of him alongside non-immigrant British comics writers and in the context of immigrant and postcolonial writing and authors.
  • The role of theology and the sacred, secular and profane in Gaiman's work, particularly that of Judeo-Christian divinity relative to the profusion of finite divinity.
  • Children and childhood in "children's" and "adult" stories by Gaiman, including issues of children's literature, bildungstromen, narratology, psychology and memory.

Texts that we would be specifically interested in papers dealing with include:

  • Sandman (Including Dream Hunters, Endless Nights, and the Death miniseries)
  • Violent Cases and Mr. Punch
  • Signal to Noise
  • The Vertigo Tarot
  • The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish and The Wolves in the Walls
  • Mirrormask
  • Black Orchid
  • 1602
  • Superman and Green Lantern: Legends of the Green Flame
  • Gaiman's work on Spawn
  • Marvelman/Miracleman
  • Books of Magic
  • Harlequin Valentine
  • Creatures of the Night
  • Murder Mysteries
  • The Last Temptation
  • Stardust
  • Princess Mononoke
  • A Short Film About John Bolton
  • Any of Gaiman's short comics works or uncollected runs on titles

Please send completed papers in MLA citation format as attachments to sandifer@english.ufl.edu by March 1, 2006.

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