Sunday, March 07, 2010

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My latest review is up at the Ulysses "Seen" website. Feast your eyes on some gorgeous art by one of my favorite cartoonists, Steve Ditko!

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

"New York, the Super-City" Tuesday March 9th at 6:30 pm!

Here's a press release which explains what I'll be doing a week from today...

New York Center for Independent Publishing

"New York, the Super-City"
Tuesday March 9th at 6:30 pm!
New York served as the model for Gotham City, inspired Will Eisner as he created the noirish adventures of The Spirit, and became a recurring character during the 1960s resurgence of Marvel in comics such as Spider-Man and Iron Man. ForeWord Magazine contributing editor Peter Gutiérrez will moderate a high-energy roundtable on the relationship between superheroes and their favorite hometown... and on how comics culture has promoted potent and memorable images of New York to readers worldwide.

When: Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 6:30-8:30 pm
Where: 20 W. 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

Tickets $15 for general admission, $10 for CIP Members, and $5 for students - and they're tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Please email or call 212-764-7021 to reserve!

Speaker Bios:

Danny Fingeroth was the longtime group editor of Marvel's Spider-Man line and the writer of many comics featuring Spider-Man, Iron Man, The X-Men and other iconic characters. He is the author of Superman on the Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us About Ourselves and Our Society; Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics and the Creation of the Superhero, and the Rough Guide to Graphic Novels.

Peter Gutiérrez is an Eisner-nominated comics creator and a born-and-bred New Yorker who hopes that people don't learn that he now lives in New Jersey. Peter has written about pop culture for Graphic Novel Reporter, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Montclair Times, Screen Education, School Library Journal, Rue Morgue, the ALAN Review, and ForeWord Reviews, where he is the graphic novels columnist.

Gene Kannenberg, Jr. is the author of 500 Essential Graphic Novels: The Ultimate Guide (Collins Design, 2008) as well as articles about comics for the Comics Journal, Hogan's Alley, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the International Journal of Comic Art, and several academic essay collections, some of which come from his 2002 Ph.D. dissertation on comics. His new publishing house specializing in books on comic art will debut later this year. Currently he writes graphic novel reviews for the "Ulysses 'Seen'" website and is the director of

Frank Tieri is an award-winning writer and creator who has worked on some of the biggest franchises in comics including Wolverine, X-Men, Hulk, Iron Man and Batman. Current work includes: Wolverine/Wendigo, Wolverine/Mr. X, Web of Spider-Man, Deadpool Team-Up.

Billy Tucci is an award-winning illustrator, writer and filmmaker best known for his modern-day samurai fable Shi. Garnering praise in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, the character has also crossed over with many comic book icons, including Daredevil, Witchblade and Wolverine. Last year Billy won wide acclaim for his story "Flash Vs. Superman-To the Finish Line!" and a hugely successful run on Sgt. Rock-The Lost Battalion. He recently completed illustrating Jonah Hex, and is developing several new stories for DC Comics as well as a new Shi series and several other creator-owned projects.

This event is made possible thanks to the generous support of the New York State Council for the Arts, New York Comic-Con, Midtown Comics, and This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

About the NYCIP
The New York Center for Independent Publishing supports the craft and creativity of independent publishers, and promotes public awareness of how their work contributes to the creative economy, addresses the needs of underserved audiences, and furthers freedom of thought and expression. We support this mission by providing access to education for independent publishers, writers, and the general public, encouraging excellence and cultivating free expression through workshops and lectures. Our signature events include the Independent and Small Press Book Fair, the Round Table Writers' Conference, and The Poor Richard Award ceremony, an annual reception honoring a publisher for commitment to the independent community.

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Monday, March 01, 2010

CFP: "The Arts and the Public"; NEASA Conference (4/9; 10/1-3/10)

Note that this CFP mentions graphic novels...

The Arts and the Public
New England American Studies Association
Annual Conference

Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, MA
October 1-3, 2010

The New England American Studies Association welcomes proposals for its 2010 conference on "The Arts and the Public," to be held at the Massachusetts Historical Society, October, 1-3, 2010. Proposals for papers, panels, workshops, and other forms of presentation will be accepted at through April 9, 2010. Proposals are limited to 300 words. NEASA welcomes proposals from across the disciplines, from primary/secondary as well as higher ed, from artists as well as scholars, and from outside the academy as well as within. More information is available at

The relationship between the arts and the public has always been both contentious and celebrated in American life. From debates over the propriety of early American novels to present-day attacks on public-arts funding, from nineteenth-century responses to abolitionist literature to controversial post-9/11 representations of Muhammad, the link between the artistic and civic has long generated suspicion and argument. At the same time, the arts are frequently understood as an essential component of an education in democratic citizenship and have throughout the twentieth century been supported by the state. Indeed, the establishment and institutionalization of American Studies itselfowes a great deal to such state sponsorship. It is clear that the arts interpellate, just as they also help construct new publics - new collectivities based on race, gender, sexuality, and other orientations - that challenge dominant values of the public. The histories of social and identity movements are also the histories of art and aesthetics.

In inviting proposals for papers, panels, workshops, and presentations on this topic, NEASA conceives of "the arts" and "the public" very broadly. We welcome work on the visual, literary, print, (new) media, performance, photographic, musical, cinematic, plastic, fine, and popular arts, as well as material culture, industrial arts, kitsch, built environments, architecture, and folklore. We hope for papers and panels on public policy, public funding, Public History, Public Humanities, public art, public education, public sphere theory, and counterpublics. Papers may even challenge the very idea of "the arts" and "the public." Participants may address the topic historically, theoretically, politically. We are interested in the work of practitioners as well as scholars, of visual and performance artists as well as those who work with the arts in public institutions.

Additional fields and objects of engagement might include:
  • Black Arts Movement
  • Blacklists
  • The New Deal and WPA
  • Native-American arts
  • Arts and the border
  • Transnational arts
  • Documentary
  • Histories of public art
  • Folk art and folklore
  • Publication and circulation
  • Privatization of publishing
  • Free publishing
  • New Media and the public sphere
  • Popular music
  • Copyright, patent, and intellectual property
  • Open Source and open access
  • Open universities
  • Secondary Education and the Arts
  • NEA
  • Culture fronts
  • Relational aesthetics
  • Queer film, zines, poetry, fiction, performance . . .
  • Art of the book
  • Graphic novels
  • Illustration
  • Religious iconography
  • On-line learning
  • American Studies and the public
  • The history of American Studies and other disciplines
  • The crisis in the humanities
  • Cultural tourism
  • Art markets and criticism
  • Private/public splits
  • Questions of cultural identity and the public sphere
  • Citizenship and the arts
  • The neoliberal notion of culture
  • Controversies and censorship
  • Education and pedagogy
  • Culture wars
  • Public funding of the arts
  • Sociology of literature and art
  • The intersection of the aesthetic and the political
  • Museum studies
  • Democracy and the arts

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

CFP: Read Feather Journal (June 1)

Of possible interest...
Call for submissions to

Red Feather Journal

Red Feather Journal invites critical and/or theoretical examination of the child image to further our understanding of the consumption, circulation, and representation of the child throughout the world’s visual mediums. Red Feather Journal welcomes submissions that examine the child image from a broad range of media’s: children’s film, Hollywood film, international film, television images of children or childhood, child images on the Internet, images of children/childhood in art, or images of children/childhood in any other visual medium. Some sample topics include, but are certainly not limited to: studies of images of children of color; child as commodity; images of children in Africa, Asia, Middle East, South America, etc.; political uses of the child image; children in film; children in advertising; visual adaptations of children’s literary works; child welfare images; children and war; or any other critical examination of the child image in a variety of visual mediums.

Red Feather Journal is a peer-reviewed journal that facilitates an international dialogue among scholars and professionals through vigorous discussion of the intersections between the child image and the conception of childhood, children’s material culture, children and politics, the child body, and any other conceptions of the child within local, national, and global contexts.

Red Feather Journal is published twice a year, February and September, and adheres to the MLA citation system. Authors are welcome to submit articles in other citation systems, with the understanding that, upon acceptance, conversion to MLA is a condition of publication. For more information, please refer to our website:

Interested contributors please submit the paper, an abstract, and a brief 50-word biography as attachments (Microsoft Word compatible) to

Deadline for submissions for the fall issue is June 1st, 2010.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

CFP: Contemporary Comics (March 25; May 21)

artists, current themes and contexts

University of Copenhagen, Denmark
21 May 2010

This academic conference is presented in collaboration with Copenhagen's comics biennial, the international comics festival in Øksnehallen, Copenhagen, 22-23 May.

As an independent part of the festival's programme, it aims to present the status of international research in contemporary comics both to an academic and a general audience, and will form part of a broader range of programming in the city in the days surrounding the festival, celebrating comics and comics culture.

Contributions might be within the following subjects, but we welcome other suggestions:
  • Comics / politics / society
  • Aesthetic movements
  • Contemporary artists: mainstream and independent
  • Publication platforms: from book publishing to the internet
  • The future of comics
Presentations will be 20 minutes long. Speakers will be given free pass to the festival and access to the Friday night VIP award show. Confirmed artists are: Dave Gibbons, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, Charles Burns and Frank Quitely. The festival's programme is available at An artist's talk involving one or more of the visiting artists is being planned, so contributions about or including works of the above mentioned artists will be given priority.

Abstracts of approximately 250 words and a short biographical text of maximum 100 words should be sent by 25 March to Rikke Platz Cortsen at along with any general enquiries.

Please visit our website at: which will be updated regularly.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Call for Papers: 'Surrealism, Science Fiction, and Comic Books' (n.d.; 1/22/11)

Call for Papers:
'Surrealism, Science Fiction,
and Comic Books'

The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
22 January 2011

In his 1976 essay ‘Science Fiction and Allied Literature,’ David Ketterer wrote ‘it is rather surprising that the considerable affinity which exists between Surrealism and SF has not attracted more attention.’ This observation was repeated in 1997 by Roger Bozzetto and Arthur B. Evans, who lamented that the relations between Surrealism and science fiction ‘continue to be largely unexplored in SF scholarship,’ and that ‘there currently exists no in-depth study of SF and Surrealism.’ The points of contact and areas of overlap, along with the influences, differences, and antagonisms that lie between Surrealism, science fiction, and the related literature of the comic book will be explored in this conference to be held 22 January 2011 at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

Such observations take on extra force when we consider Surrealism’s historical context, along with its literary and pictorial culture. Emerging in France between the two world wars, it was well positioned to receive the writings of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells that initiated and defined the genre boundaries of early science fiction, along with the popularisation of the fourth dimension and the advent of the Theory of Relativity that such literature drew upon, whilst the writings of Alfred Jarry, Franz Kafka, and Raymond Roussel gave them a related comic, absurd, or fantastic perspective on the machine and technology. Indeed, Roussel’s boundless admiration for Verne was equalled by the similar veneration felt for Roussel by Marcel Duchamp and Roberto Matta, expressed in their art between 1912 and the 1940s. Furthermore, one of the most important figures in early French SF (and now almost forgotten), Jacques Spitz, was close to the Surrealists in the 1930s, and his books of the interwar years show a marked Surrealist tendency. In the 1940s, Matta’s work was affected more specifically by the worlds described in science fiction and also by comic books, which were a significant discovery for André Breton and the Surrealists in New York. Important to René Magritte’s art in the 1940s, comic books were also a key popular form for postwar Surrealism in Europe and America.

Because barely any scholarship exists on how far the art and writings of Surrealists in the forties and since were affected by SF and comic books, it is expected that postwar art and writings will form a significant strand of this conference (for instance, the writings of Malcolm de Chazal were described by their English translator as ‘science fictions’), as will the investigation of how the project to expand reality proposed by Surrealism in its imagery and poetry was extended by important SF writers such as Stanislaw Lem and J.G. Ballard, as well as for related novelists like Jorge Luis Borges, Alan Burns, and Thomas Pynchon.

Potential areas of exploration are:
  • Surrealism, SF, and the imagery of spiritualism
  • The comic book as a subversive accomplice of Surrealism
  • Surrealism, physics, and fiction
  • The spaces of Surrealist painting and the SF imagination
  • Legacies of Surrealism in contemporary comic books
  • The fourth dimension in Surrealism, modernism, and SF
  • Surrealist and SF geographies
  • The Gothic imagination in Surrealism, SF, and comics
  • Futurity in Surrealism and SF
  • SF and Surrealism in the postmodern novel
Paper proposals of about 250 words should be sent to

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Monday, February 08, 2010

CFP: Phoenix Comicon Comic Art Conference (3/30; 5/27-30)

Call for papers

The Phoenix Comicon is sponsoring a comic art conference in conjunction with its programming from May 27-30, 2010. Based on participant interest, we are expanding the scope of the comics conference to include broader areas of comics scholarship.

We are seeking papers for presentations from academics, teachers, artists, retailers, and others who engage comics on either a practical or scholarly level. The conference will feature a number of themes, and respondents are encouraged to pitch their own ideas or propose a panel discussion.

Technology and the comics: Futures and Resistance
  • Critical approaches to and innovations in web comics
  • The shift from traditional illustration and distribution methods to digital methods
  • Applications and analysis of “infinite canvas” texts
  • Constrained comics and other resistance authors/artists
Comic culture in the 21st century
  • Changes in how we sell, collect, and consume comics
  • Scanlations and manga
  • Teaching comics
  • Cosplay and costuming
Media blending
  • Video games and comics
  • Movie and other adaptations
  • Motion comics and other web-based media
Respondents are encouraged to expand on this list in shaping their proposals. Respondents are also encouraged to pitch alternate panels.

Graduate students, artists, writers, industry professionals, independent scholars, and academics are all encouraged to submit. We envision our panels as representing a variety of perspectives geared toward the broad audience of the Phoenix Comicon. Panels will last for one hour. Presenters will be asked to make a short presentation, followed by a moderated panel round table and a Q and A session with the audience. Presentations integrating audio and visuals are recommended. Please note any A/V needs along with your proposal.

Please submit a 300-500 word proposal to Dr. Kathleen Dunley at by March 30, 2010. Proposals will go through a peer review process and those accepted will be notified via email.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

ImageText 5.1 Published

The new issue of ImageText, the journal about comics from the University of Florida, was just published. Here's the homepage for this issue. Contents include:


Graphic Whiteness and the Lessons of Chris Ware’s Jimmy CorriganJuda Bennett and Cassandra Jackson
Watchmen: The Graphic Novel as Trauma FictionBrandy Ball Blake
The Confluence of Heroism, Sissyhood, and Camp in The Rawhide Kid: Slap LeatherFrank Bramlett
"To the Stables, Robin": Regenerating the Frontier in Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight ReturnsTheo Finigan
Breaking the Frame: Political Acts of Body in the Televised Dark KnightDT Kofoed
"Mosaic Thresholds": Manifesting the Collection and Production of Comics in the works of Chris WareAaron Mauro
The Beautiful Ambiguity of Blankets: Comics Representation and Religious ArtBenjamin Stevens


"Now you will pay a dreadful penalty!": A Review of I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets! and You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation! by Fletcher HanksTerry Harpold


Notes on Contributors

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Monday, February 01, 2010

The Use of Sequential Art in Therapy: A Qualitative Study

I received this request over email from Roderick Castle, and I'm posting it here in hopes that some of you might choose to participate. --Gene
I am a graduate student in Art Therapy at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York. My thesis is a qualitative study on the use of "comics" in counseling and education. I would appreciate any help you could provide in getting responses to this short questionnaire on the subject. This study has already been approved by my school's Human Subjects Research Board. Thank you. Here is the link:

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CFP: SANE journal (July and October)

This looks like it could become a very important new journal...
CFP: First and Second issues of
SANE journal:
sequential art narrative in education
(ISSN 2153-2613)

SANE journal
is now seeking submissions for works of research, practitioner-based articles, reviews, and rationales regarding its first two themed issues. Information about this new peer-reviewed, open access interdisciplinary journal covering all things comics-and-education-related, from pre-k to doctorate, can be obtained by visiting For more information, e-mail James Bucky Carter: jbcarter2 at utep dot edu.

V1.1 (late 2010 release or per article as considered ready by review board): “Comics in the Contact Zone.”

Mary Louis Pratt defines the contact zone as “social spaces where cultures meet, clash and grapple with each other, often in the contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power, such as colonialism, slavery, or their aftermaths as they are lived out in many parts of the world today” and where those involved in the educational experience may “reconsider the models of community that many of us rely on in teaching and theorizing and that are under challenge today.” Texts are social spaces, of course, and the comic book may be the best indicator of this fact. How do you see comics as meeting, clashing, and grappling with social issues in your classrooms when you teach them? How do comics illustrate contact zone precepts such as speech acts, transculturation, unsolicited oppositional discourse, autoethnography, and safe houses? How does the integration of comics themselves set up contact zones in the classroom? Which texts do you teach to get at notions associated with contact zone pedagogy? How does teaching a comics course set up a contact zone with professional colleagues, departments, university officials, etc? Articles should make explicit mention to contact zone theory and its component concepts. Deadline July 2010.

V1.2 (planned 2011 released or per article as considered ready by the review board): “Teaching the Works of Alan Moore.”

Alan Moore may be the most influential and controversial comics writer of the 20th and 21st centuries. How do you teach his complex, multilayered works in your high school classrooms, your college courses, etc? What are the challenges associated with teaching his texts or specific texts and how do you and your students address them? Can they be addressed? How does his output “fit” with notions of literature, literary, canon, etc. as you teach them in your courses? Articles may cover several of Moore’s texts or focus specifically on one. Deadline October 2010.

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CFP Reminder: Fractured Images / Broken Words (conference: February 15; June 12)

Note: The organizers of the following conference are still looking for participants!

Fractured Images / Broken Words
A Multi-Disciplinary PostGraduate Symposium

Department of English and Creative Writing
Lancaster University, UK

June 12, 2010

Keynote Speakers:
Professor Terry Eagleton, Lancaster University


Andy Diggle, comic-book writer and former editor of 2000 AD

Featuring art installations by Christine Dawson

Click here for our original post about this conference.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A COMICS STUDIES READER Wins the 2009 Peter C. Rollins Book Award

As posted today at the blog for the University Press of Mississippi,
A Comics Studies Reader has just been named winner of the 2009 Peter C. Rollins Book Award by the Southwest Texas Popular/ American Culture Association. This prize is awarded annually for the best book in popular culture studies and/or American culture studies.

Editors, Jeet Heer and Kent Worcester have been honored for their exemplary work in the popular culture field. Designed to reward genuine research and lucid expression, the award bears the name of Peter C. Rollins, Founder of the SWTX organizations.
See UPM's original blog post for more information. Congratulations, Jeet and Kent!

Full, proud discosure: This book reprints my essay on Chris Ware. You can see the book's complete table of contents at its page.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

CFP: Arthurian-Themed Comics Collection (1/30/10--1st Stage)

Arthurian-Themed Comics Collection
(1/30/10--1st Stage)

In commemoration of the upcoming 75 anniversary of PRINCE VALIANT, I am seeking brief proposals (apx. 200-500 words) for a collection of essays on comics (comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, web comics, and adaptations into other media) based on or inspired by the Arthurian tradition. The collection will be edited by myself and Jason Tondro.

Please submit proposals to the editors for first-round consideration by 30 January 2010. (A second call for papers will be distributed this spring.)

Michael A Torregrossa
The Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages
34 Second Street
Smithfield, RI 02917-3627
United States
Visit the website at

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

CFP: Time & Space - IBDS Conference (November 30; July 8-9, 2011)

For more information about the International Bande Dessinée Society, visit its website.

International Bande Dessinée Society
Seventh Bi-Annual Conference

Friday 8 and Saturday 9 July 2011

Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester, England

Call for Papers

Time and Space

We welcome proposals on all aspects of time and space in bande dessinée, including narrative and thematic levels.

Bande dessinée is a spatial medium which has the resources to manage both narrative time and narrative space in multiple ways. The indeterminacy of the interframe space allows for complex relationships between the chronology of the narration and the chronology of events within the diegesis: it may be used to distend or accelerate the narration, and to manipulate order through analepsis and prolepsis, rarely signalled as overtly as in film. Different temporalities may also co-exist within a single panel, as the capacity of the medium to blur boundaries between inner and outer worlds makes it possible for remembered or half-repressed material to break through into the daily reality of a protagonist. The representation of space is similarly complex, as the spatial transitions within the diegesis are overlaid by the non-linear spatial patterning of the page, and the book, as a whole.

Time and space have long been key themes of the medium: in the classic period of Franco-Belgian production, history, science fiction and adventure were major genres, and in more recent work by artists associated with alternative publishing houses, the intertwining of the personal and national past has emerged as a key area of interest, along with revisionist histories, often of the colonial period. Adventure has tended to give way to reportage, and to the exploration of the spaces of modernity, and postmodernity, including non-lieux, heterotopias and marginal spaces associated with exclusion.

The signifying practices of the medium in relation to time and space have been theorised by scholars including Fresnault-Deruelle (linear and tabular dimensions of the medium), Benoît Peeters (the notion of the périchamp, and the typology of mise en page), Thierry Groensteen (codes of arthrology, regulating the articulation of panels), Jan Baetens and Pascal Lefèvre (spatial integration of text into the image) and Scott McCloud (typology of transitions). The ambition and experimentation of bande dessinée that has been produced by contemporary artists has encouraged scholars to employ frameworks of analysis drawn from a variety of disciplines, including postcolonial theory and cultural geography. Current academic work on bande dessinée is building on this theoretical base and extending it: we intend that the conference should provide a forum for significant advances, and in particular to create synergy between narrative and thematic approaches to time and space.

Please send papers to either

Dr Matthew Screech, Manchester Metropolitan University -


Dr Ann Miller, University of Leicester -

Deadline: November 30, 2010

Image credit: By Tanitoc, from the IBDS website.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

CFP - Comics: Cultures & Genres (Jan. 15; April 13-14)

The Graphic Novel and Comic Conference

Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

13-14 April 2010

Comics and graphic novels enjoy a paradoxical relationship with mainstream culture. Their narratives and characters are familiar to mass audiences through their adaptations in film, television and other mass media. However comics’ texts are rarely known or read outside comic book cultures. In recent years comics have instigated themselves into the public consciousness due, to a number of diverse circumstances such as the narrative possibilities they offer in an increasingly complex transmedia landscape.

This conference aims to explore the intersections between comic books, graphic novels, their audiences and the ways they reflect the cultures and subcultures that produce them. The conference themes reflect the scope and aims of Routledge’s new journal, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, edited by David Huxley and Joan Ormrod, (first issue July 2010).

Abstracts of up to 250 words are invited around (but are not confined to) the following issues:
  • Genres (horror, romance, superheroes, autobiography, experimental etc)
  • Underground/alternative comics
  • Censorship
  • Online comics
  • Political and topical issues
  • Fans and audiences (subcultures, gender, subcultural production)
  • Comics production and distribution systems
  • Experimental comics
Presentations will be 20 minutes long.

Abstracts should be sent by 15 January 2010 to David Huxley ( and Joan Ormrod (

Read the full call for papers:

Find out more about the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics:

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

CFP - 3rd annual New Narrative conference: Narrative arts and visual media (March 31; May 6-7)

3rd annual New Narrative conference:
Narrative arts and visual media

An interdisciplinary conference
at the University of Toronto
6-7 May 2010

In keeping with the spirit of sequels, we are again soliciting papers on a wide range of graphic novels, comic art, and related visual media. Comics, whether in the form of novelistic illustrations, newspaper serials, animated films, film adaptations, graphic novels, or sequential art narratives, have been with us since the rise of literature itself, yet until recently such media have never been considered "serious" - or at least, serious enough to be considered novels that might be on university syllabi. But are illustrated novels and live action films really about the pictures and not the narrative? How can the history of the form be reconciled with consumer culture and the ill-defined categories of "high" and "low" culture?

Papers which examine and interpret these narratives in interdisciplinary forms are most welcome. Essays on novelistic illustrations, newspaper serials, animated films, film adaptations, graphic novels, or sequential art narratives may consider the following (incomplete) list:
  • graphic novels and auto/biography
  • illustrated and multi-media works
  • web design and on-line comix
  • film adaptations of comics
  • series; engravings and caricatures
  • the Comics Code Authority
  • the "invention" of manga
  • geopolitics/war and the graphic novel
  • bande desinée & European comix
  • early comics & comic history
  • illustrations in (literary) novels
  • woodcut and "silent" artists
Proposals should be 400-500 words and must clearly indicate significance, the line of argument, principal texts considered, and relation to existing scholarship (or originality). One email copy of the proposal, and a 50 word bio note must be included, as an attachment in MS Word.

Deadline for proposals is 31 March 2010 (responses by 08 April 2010)

Jeff Parker, Assistant Professor, and/or Dr Andrew Lesk
Department of English, University of Toronto

See also

This Conference will take place just before the Toronto Comics Arts Festival on May 8 and 9. (See

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CFP: Bilder des Comics (Germany) (Feb. 28; Nov. 25-27)

Gesellschaft für Comicforschung (ComFor)
5. Wissenschaftstagung

Bilder des Comics: Visualität, Sequenzialität, Medialität

25.-27. November 2010
Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Call for Papers

Seit dem sogenannten „Iconic Turn“ haben sich in den Humanwissenschaften neue Forschungsansätze und Untersuchungsgegenstände etabliert. Weit über ästhetische Fragestellungen hinaus sind Themen der Bildlichkeit keine Marginalie mehr, sondern stehen im Zentrum des kulturellen Selbstverständnisses der Moderne. Die mediale Fokussierung auf Techniken und Praktiken der Schriftlichkeit und oralen Kommunikation wird so durch Kriterien einer bildlichen, visuellen, ikonischen Erschließung und Produktion von Welt ergänzt und wesentlich erweitert. Diese These ist für die modernen Gesellschaften um so überzeugender, als deren Alltagswelten stark geprägt sind von der Präsenz von Bildern und ganzen Bildwelten. Wenn sich kulturelle Realität u.a. maßgeblich über Medienrezeption erschließt, dann muss die Wahrnehmung von Bildern ebenso wie die Kommunikation und Sinngebung über Bilder als kulturell relevant akzeptiert werden. In Frage steht dabei unter anderem, ob es eine Sprache oder vergleichbare Semiotik der Bilder gibt – oder ob Bildlichkeit vielmehr einer Eigenlogik folgt, die sich auch in den kulturellen Repräsentationsmodi niederschlägt, welche das Bildliche zwischen den Individuen und kulturellen sowie gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhängen vermitteln. Sofern Bilder außerdem stets an mediale Träger gebunden sind, ist nach deren Spezifika zu fragen. Im Anschluß an McLuhan ist schließlich davon auszugehen, dass ein spezifisches Medium auch spezifische Weisen der Kommunikation und der Rezeption ausbildet, also kulturelle Bedeutungslagen eigensinnig gestaltet. Die gleichzeitige Manipulation und Ermöglichung von Wahrnehmung, insbesondere durch seinen ikonischen Index, ist jedem Medium daher eingeschrieben.

Speziell eine über Bilder getragene Form wie der Comic bietet sich für eine Untersuchung dieses Aspekts an: Comics sind seit ihrer modernen Konzeption in besonderer Weise Ort und Anlaß für gesellschaftliche, künstlerische und akademische Reflektionen über die sich wandelnde Orientierung auf Bilder gewesen, sie sind damit zugleich Schauplatz, Archiv und Testgelände für zahlreiche mediale Veränderungen gewesen. Denn wenn sich Gesellschaft nach Flusser tatsächlich in Richtung einer zunehmenden Betonung ikonischer Zeichen bewegt, dann stellt der Comic eine Schnittstelle in der Generierung von Bedeutung mittels Schrift und mittels Bildlichkeit dar. Elemente der Schriftkultur und des Lesens verbinden sich hier mit solchen eines sequentiellen Sehens, das narrative Kontexte jenseits der reinen Ikonographie erst erschließt. Die Repräsentation des Bildes, der Sog der Wahrnehmung beim Rezipienten, die Genese eines kohärenten Wirklichkeitszusammenhangs im Zuge semiotischer Prozesse, die Erstellung von Formen artifizieller Präsenz im Comic ist daher zu untersuchen. Fragen aus diesem Spektrum wird die 5. Wissenschaftstagung der Gesellschaft für Comicforschung (ComFor) aufgreifen und diskutieren.

Datum: 25.-27. November 2010

Ort: Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Organisation: PD Dr. Jörn Ahrens, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Abstracts: Themenabstracts von maximal 300 Wörtern Umfang richten Sie bitte bis spätestens 28. Februar 2010 per Email an Jörn Ahrens ( Das Abstract soll den Titel sowie das Anliegen des Vortrags, eine kurze biobibliographische Angabe sowie Name, Email-Adresse und Anschrift enthalten. Die Vortragsdauer liegt bei maximal 30 Minuten.

Forum: Die ComFor öffnet auch in diesem Jahr ein Forum als Werkstatt für die Vorstellung und Diskussion laufender und geplanter Forschungsprojekte zu jedem Aspekt der Comicforschung. Hier kann insbesondere der wissenschaftliche Nachwuchs seine Arbeit etwa im Rahmen von Qualifikationsarbeiten vorstellen. Abstracts folgen der oben beschriebenen Form und Einreichfrist; die Vorträge sollen eine Dauer von 15 Minuten nicht überschreiten.

Unterkunft: Eine Liste mit Hotels wird Ihnen mit den Tagungsunterlagen zugeschickt.

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