Saturday, May 31, 2008

June 22 at The Met - Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy

More information on the "Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy" exhibit can be found here. And's information on the exhibit's accompanying book can be found here.
Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy
Sunday at the Met
Sunday, June 22, 2008
All programs are in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
and are free with Museum admission.

This all-day event of lectures and panel discussions brings together leading international scholars, critics, and designers to discuss the world of costumes and comics. Themes include the appropriation of the uniform, the adaptation of superhero costumes for the screen, the creation of modern mythologies, and the role of the superhero as metaphor in contemporary society.


E Pluribus Unitard: Notes toward a Theory of Superhero Costuming
Peter Coogan, director, The Institute for Comics Studies

Writers Panel
Danny Fingeroth, author, Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero; Richard Reynolds, author, Super Heroes: A Modern Mythology; and Paul Levitz, president and publisher, DC Comics

The Boys in the Hoods: The Costumed Vigilante as Urban Dandy
Scott Bukatman, associate professor, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University

Costume Designers Panel
Geoff Klock, assistant professor, Borough of Manhattan Community College; and Adi Granov and Phil Saunders, illustrators and concept Designers, Iron Man

Artists Panel
Alex Ross, comic artist; Stanford Carpenter, assistant professor, Visual and Critical Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Arlen Schumer, comic book art historian, The Dynamic Duo Studio, Inc.

The Gods of Greece, Rome, and Egypt Still Exist—Only Today They Wear Spandex and Capes!
Michael Uslan, executive producer, The Dark Knight

The exhibition and its accompanying book are made possible by Giorgio Armani.

Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

CFP: Reclaiming the Comic Book Canon (NEMLA) (Sept. 15)

[Courtesy of A. David Lewis]

"Reclaiming the Comic Book Canon"
40th Anniversary Convention,
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)

Feb. 26-March 1, 2009
Hyatt Regency - Boston, Massachusetts

After years on the burgeoning fringe, comic books – better known as "graphic novels" up in the ivory towers of academia – are now mainstream U.S. properties. No longer exclusively the realm of fanatic collectors, outcast misfits, or sneering speculators, the medium is now entering art galleries, multiplexes, and book clubs. But when they become the lucrative, marketed, popularized property of all, what gets lost? With its audience now spread across a widening demographic, what happens to the focus of the works? Or the risks? Moreover, what of the authority? At one point, only the most steadfast, dedicated (and perhaps marginalized) advocates of the “invisible art” were announcing masterpieces and geniuses (e.g. Eisner, Kirby, Steranko, Spiegelman, Ware) – all of which have been recognized ultimately, whether reluctantly or gradually, by the American intelligentsia. A vindication, yes, but a danger? The exposure of the medium’s secret kings? And, further, the inadvertent consent to anoint their own greats, cutting out the original parties?

This panel looks to compare the late 20th century rise of the graphic novel and comic book series, particularly its varied response amongst its early readerships, and the new discourses being employed by the widening audience/market for the form in the present context. How have standards changed? What machinery has been put in place concerning the analysis of the comic book, and how does that now reflect back on its creation? Are comics now a corporate commodity, or does the underground still thrive in the shadows? What honest role does academia (and conference discussion, naturally) play, if any at all? Works largely identified as avant garde, such as Maus, Persepolis, Blankets, etc., are of particular interest here, as well as those serving as the basis for multimedia spectaculars (e.g. Iron Man, Batman, Spider-Man, X-Men). Who holds the power now for how comics are judged, and how has that changed over time?

Please submit a one-page proposal (approx. 500 words) and brief vita to panel chair A. David Lewis at ADL [at] as well as any questions concerning the panel. Deadline: September 15, 2008.

Remember to include in your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee)

The complete Call for Papers for the 2009 Convention will be posted in June @

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA panel; however, panelists can only present one paper. Convention participants may present a paper at a panel or seminar and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.

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CFP: Women of Color in Popular Culture (July 1)

[Courtesy of Cory Creekmur on the Comics Scholars List.]

Center for Ethnic Studies and the Arts
Department of American Studies
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
University of Iowa
May 20, 2008

Essays or Book Chapters on
Women of Color in Popular Culture

Thurs. Sept. 18-Sat. Sept. 20, 2008
University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

The CENTER FOR ETHNIC STUDIES AND THE ARTS (CESA), University of Iowa, seeks proposals for participating in a two and a half day workshop for junior tenure-track faculty on their research-in-progress on "Women of Color in Popular Culture."€ Workshop participants are also CESA Junior Fellows for Fall Semester 2008 and are part of a collaborative network of scholars.

Topics may include but are not restricted to:
  • issues of representation regarding gender, race, ethnicity, class, and sexualities in any form of popular culture, including literature, music,photography, film and television, comic books, art, dance and performance,technoculture and cyberspace
  • women of color as creative producers and expressive artists
  • body politics and women of color
  • feminist or womanist approaches to race and popular culture
  • stardom and celebrity
  • race, gender, and American popular culture in U.S. and transnational contexts
  • female and racialized audiences, reception, and popular culture
The workshop will consist of: sessions and written feedback on individual drafts: style tips; networking with faculty from many colleges and universities; information about publication and fellowship application strategies.

Participants are expected to participate in sessions from Thursday afternoon Sept. 18 through Saturday afternoon Sept. 20. Preference will be given to faculty from CIC-member or Midwestern universities and colleges. For out-of-town participants, travel and lodging expenses will be reimbursed up to $700.

This workshop is part of CESA'€™s 2008-2011 Arts in Everyday Life Initiative. CESA recognizes that art and creative expression are integrated components of religion, ritual, everyday life, and other cultural practices of minority communities. The Center seeks and encourages multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approaches to studying these practices as well as to the ways that ethnicity and popular culture shape U.S. national and international issues and cultures. It seeks critical histories as well as contemporary ones.

All participants must be Assistant Professors with a tenure-track faculty position (effective September 1, 2008) and must submit a draft of approximately 7-15 pages of the article or book chapter being proposed for workshop development. Only work that has not yet been published is eligible. Please send: a letter of interest that includes an abstract of your submission, a CV no longer than 4 pages, and workshop paper draft to: cesa [at] Please send materials electronically as attachments to your e-mail letter of interest.

DEADLINE: JULY 1, 2008. Participants will be notified by AUGUST 1, 2008.

For questions and further information, please contact: Professor Lauren Rabinovitz, Director, Center for Ethnic Studies and the Arts; (319) 384-3490; Lauren-rabinovitz [at] or cesa[at]

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Book Review Publication: "The Ten-Cent Plague"

"The Not-So-Untold Story of the Great Comic-Book Scare,"
my review essay of David Hajdu's recent book The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America, has been published in the May 23rd, 2008 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education (specifically, in The Chronicle Review, "The Magazine of Ideas"). Unfortunately, you can only read the article if you or your academic institution subscribe to the CHE. Once a sufficient length of time passes, though, I'll be able to post the full text - or a much longer version - here.

It was an honor for this independent scholar (i.e., me) to be invited to contribute to the Chronicle. I've now officially added my voice to Plague's incredibly large chorus of reviewers. Be sure to check out our
Ten-Cent Plague information page for more information about the book and its reception.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Now Available - Erotic Comics: A Graphic History, vol. 1

This book went on sale today in finer comics shops - and in bookstores as well, I think. I'll revise this post later on, because I've got more to say about it - including the "with" credit on the cover :-)

Massive Thanks to Tim Pilcher for the opportunity to help with the book. And to the all-knowing Mike "ComicsDC" Rhode for the "on-sale" tip earlier this afternoon.

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