Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney to Buy Marvel Comics for $4 Billion

I checked the calendar, and it's not April 1...
Disney to Buy Marvel Comics for $4 Billion
Published: August 31, 2009

The Walt Disney Company said Monday that it would buy the comic book giant Marvel Entertainment for about $4 billion.
With the acquisition, Disney will acquire more than 5,000 Marvel characters, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and the X-men.
I suppose we need to brace ourselves for "Spider-Mickey," "Minne Mutant," "Wolverduck," the "X-Muppets," and "Purple Pluto."

Read the entire story at the New York Times website.

Tip of the hat to Mike "ComicsDC" Rhode!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

CFP: Alan Moore and the Gothic Tradition (edited collection; Sept. 25)

Posted on behalf of Dr. Matt Green.
Call for Abstracts
Edited Collection:
Alan Moore
and the Gothic Tradition

While Alan Moore's work continues to receive acclaim from within the comics industry and in the media more widely, it remains under-represented within academic research. This edited collection will draw together current scholarly investigations of Moore and his collaborators, paying particular attention to the way in which Moore adapts, appropriates and otherwise responds to previous works from the Gothic tradition. Far from a unified or stable legacy, the Gothic is itself characterised by multiplicity and heterogeneity. For this reason, an examination of the particular ways in which Moore responds to this portion of his cultural inheritance can be expected not only to shed light upon particular aspects of the tradition more broadly, but also to yield insight into the interpretative and artistic decisions embedded in his work.

That Moore's work can be situated in relation to this tradition is evident both in the range of Gothic elements (monsters, demons, supernatural powers, plots motivated by questions of violence and oppression) present at the narrative level in his work, and, at a formal level, in the ways in which Moore and his collaborators draw on artistic techniques and forms from a range of Gothic media. The underlying premise of the collection is that Moore, and the artists with whom he works, engage in a process of dialogue with a diverse array of source material. Accordingly, the collection will address two interrelated topics: how an understanding of the Gothic can enhance our understanding of Moore's work and, conversely, the ways in which the ideas and reading practices engendered by Moore's work might impact on a reflexive analysis of one or more of the traditions out of which it emerges.

Though it is anticipated that the majority of papers will concentrate on the comics, the area in which Moore is most prolific and for which he is best known, this should not deter proposals to examine his work in other media (spoken word/audio recordings, prose fiction, etc).

Papers on any aspect of the relationship between Moore and the Gothic are invited, including, but not limited to, the following areas of enquiry:
  • Representations of monstrosity
  • The supernatural and/or superhuman
  • Violence and terror
  • The Sublime
  • Sexuality
  • Gothic technologies
  • Psychology, geography and/or the environment
  • Degeneration
  • Hybridity
  • The double
  • Gothic romanticisms
  • Magic and the occult
  • Trauma
  • Taboo
  • The uncanny
  • Crisis and catastrophe
  • Dystopia
  • Oppression and/or repression
  • The Gothic and sci-fi or detective fiction
Abstracts should be approximately 500 words and should be emailed to Dr. Matt Green ( on or before Friday, September 25, 2009.

Image and credit: Alan Moore avoids confronting his own astral projection at "A Tribute to Robert Anton Wilson" in 2007. Photo by ACB; remix by Gene Kannenberg, Jr.

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Call for Entries: Broadsided! The Intersection of Art and Literature (9/1; 10/2-31)

While this event is more for artists than academics, I know more that a few people who are both...
The Intersection of Art and Literature

October 2-31, 2009
23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, Oregon

Before books, before blogs and before mass media, there were broadsides. Historically, broadsheet posters were ephemeral in nature: often political or editorial proclamations or even advertising. Today, broadsides hang at the intersection of art and literature. Letterpress printed broadsides are valued as graphic fine art designed and printed by a true craftsperson; but also as fine literature featuring poetry or prose.

This exhibit is open to all letterpress printed broadsides. At least one element of the broadside must be letterpress printed and may be combined with any other artistic medium. The work may be created in whole by the artist or in collaboration with others. Broadsides will be judged on overall design, typography, cohesiveness of text and image as well as the level of craft and production quality. One broadside chosen by the jurors will be awarded a Best of Show Award with a cash prize of $300 and a solo show in the book room at 23 Sandy at a future date.

Entry deadline is September 1, 2009. Complete entry information and online entry form can be found here:

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Grape Moments in Trademark Infringement

I saw these packages of grapes at a local supermarket this morning. Now, I'm a big proponent of Fair Use, but in this case I think that DC Comics could file & win a trademark-infringement lawsuit against whomever it is who packages these "California Table Grapes, Produce of USA" (the only other text on the package).

As astute Superman geeks researchers have already noted, this "Supergrape" logotype (not just logo) is, apart from "grape," pretty much identical to the one used on pre-1987 Superman comic books and merchandise. Time to update your swipe files, "California Table Grapes, Produce of USA"!

(An official "Not-a-Prize" for the first person to explain the "how & why" of that pre-1987 dating.)

Image: Courtesy of Palm Centro.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

CFP: From an Intercultural Crossover to a Transcultural Phenomenon (Cologne, Germany; deadline August 31)

Sorry for the late notice, but I only just learned of this conference...
From an Intercultural Crossover
to a Transcultural Phenomenon:

Manga, Comic, Graphic Novel
September 30 – October 2, 2010
International Conference at the Cultural Institute of Japan, Cologne
(Japanisches Kulturinstitut Köln, The Japan Foundation)
in cooperation with CITS
(Center for Inter- & Transcultural Studies, University of Cologne)

Manga, comics and graphic novels are shaped by different cultural codes and shifting visual and narrative conventions. This conference focuses on the historical development and theoretical aspects of comics and manga by stressing their mutual influences. Whereas European and North American art and popular culture exert a great impact on Japanese manga, such as the Franco-Belgian tradition of “ligne claire” on Ōtomo Katsuhiro and Taniguchi Jirō, Walt Disney’s animated films on Tezuka Ōsamu and Christian and Antique ideas on Miyazaki Hayao, Japanese manga influence the concept and visual conventions of modern European and American comics as well, as can be seen in the work by Frédéric Boilet, Moebius, and Frank Miller, among others. Moreover, the intercultural exchange between the Japanese manga tradition and equivalent forms of sequential art in other Asian countries (i.e. China, India, and Korea) largely contributes to the dissemination of new hybrid art forms in the realm of comics and manga.

The purpose of this conference is to bring together scholars and other experts of different countries and different fields, i.e. literary studies, picture theory, cultural studies, linguistics, narratology, film studies, and semiotics, who pursue different areas of investigation in this field. In order to adhere to a general outline for this conference, the papers might deal with one or several of the following topics:
  • Intermedial, intercultural and narrative perspectives for the interpretation of the graphic novel and other genres of sequential art prominent in both comics and manga
  • Comparative analysis of the construction of time and setting in comics and manga
  • The functions of color in comics and manga
  • Similarities and differences between Japanese and other Asian manga and European and North American comics
  • Impact of wordless comics and manga
  • Historical development of the mutual influence of comics and manga
  • Change of the conventional verbal signs (such as speech balloons, sound effects, typography)
  • Influence of films and cinematic style on the production of comics and manga
  • Influence of visual codes derived from art history and popular culture in order to create an individual artistic style
Contributions from academics and experts interested in any of these areas and in international perspectives are particularly welcome. There are plans to publishing the proceedings of the conference afterwards in book form.

The deadline for proposals is: 31 August 2009.

Please email a 300 word abstract (for a thirty minute paper, followed by 15 minutes for discussion) and a short biography as an attached word document to Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer at: and Franziska Ehmcke at:

Notification of the acceptance of proposals will be made by 30 September 2009.

The conference fee will be 120 Euro, including catering, technical equipment, conference folders and various arrangements.

The conference venue is located in the Cultural Institute of Japan, not far from the University of Cologne. For details, go to (text in German and Japanese).

Image Credit: Cultural Institute of Japan website.

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UPDATE - CFP: "Visual Literatures," Special Issue of College Literature (now April 2010)

As we posted earlier this month, College Literature is looking for some more contributors for their forthcoming "visual literatures" issue. Please note that the new deadline for submissions is April 2010. For more information, see our origianl post.

Image Credit: College Literature website.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

CFP: Red Feather Journal [children's media culture] (Dec. 15)

Because sometimes comics are just for kids! --Gene

CFP: The premier issue of Red Feather Journal, an online, international, interdisciplinary journal of children's media culture. The first issue will be published February 1, 2010.

Red Feather Journal facilitates an international dialogue among scholars and professionals 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. The 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.

The journal welcomes submissions that examine a broad range of medias: children's film, Hollywood film, international film, Television, the Internet, print resources, art, or 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 published twice a year, in February and September, and adheres to the MLA citation system. Authors are welcome to submit articles in other citations systems, with the understanding that, upon acceptance, conversion to MLA is a condition of publication.

Interested contributors, please submit the paper, an abstract, and a brief biography as attachments in Word to debbieo[at]

Deadline for submissions for the premier issue is December 15th, 2009.

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The Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship in 19th-Century Media (September 1)

This note was posted on SHARP-L by listowner Patrick Leary, who says:
Please let your students and colleagues know about this innovative fellowship, which supports dissertation work that makes use of full-text digital exploration of 19th-century British periodicals.
This CFP is also available as a PDF; and the RSVP website also lists several other awards and fellowships.

Call for Proposals
Deadline: September 1, 2009
The Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship
in 19th-Century Media

The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP) is pleased to announce a new fellowship for 2009, made possible by the generosity of publisher Gale, part of Cengage Learning, in support of dissertation research that makes substantial use of full-text digitized collections of 19th-century British magazines and newspapers. A prize of $1500 will be awarded, together with one year's subscription to selected digital collections from Gale, including 19th Century UK Periodicals and 19th Century British Library Newspapers.

Purpose: The purpose of the Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship is two-fold, (1) to support historical and literary research that deepens our understanding of the 19th-century British press in all its rich variety, and (2) to encourage the scholarly use of full-text digitized collections of these primary sources in aid of that research.

Eligibility: Eligible for this award is any currently enrolled postgraduate student, in any academic discipline, who by the end of 2009 will have embarked on a doctoral dissertation or thesis that centrally involves investigation into one or more aspects of the British magazine and newspaper press of the 19th century. Preference will be given to projects that are interdisciplinary in approach, and that propose to use methods of exploration that online collections uniquely make possible. The digitized collections used in this research may include those created by any publishers or projects, whether commercial or non-commercial.

Applications: Applicants should send a c.v., and the names and contact information of two scholars who are familiar with the applicant and his or her dissertation project; it is expected that one of these will be the student's dissertation director. The project description (approx. 500-800 words) is the key element of the application. That description should concisely explain the aims of the proposed research and the expected role of full-text digitized collections in that research.

Applications for the Gale Fellowship for dissertation research to be undertaken in 2009-10 must be submitted in electronic form and sent to galefellowship[at] by September 1, 2009. Any queries about the application may be sent to the same address. Applicants will be notified by November 1, 2009. The successful applicant will be expected to submit a brief report to RSVP at the conclusion of the funded portion of the project, describing the results of the research.

For more information about the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, please visit the Society’s website at

Image Credit: RSVP website.

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Great Comic Book Typography (Lecture): September 17, Type Directors Club, NYC)

Here's the announcement of an upcoming lecture by "Friend of the Blog" Arlen Schumer. I'm really hoping to attend, not least because I have a professional interest in the topic. Plus, Arlen's lectures are always mind-blowingly illustrated. So if you're in the neighborhood on September 17, come on down!
Great Comic Book Typography
by Arlen Schumer
Comic Book Historian
(The Silver Age of Comic Book Art, Collectors Press 2003)
September 17, 2009
Type Directors Club, 347 W 36 NYC

An overview of some of the best typography in comic book history -- hand-lettered balloons, ads and logotypes -- and the impact it has had on Schumer's own comic book-styled illustration for the advertising and editorial markets over the past 25 years.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

New! Comics Research Blog Aggregator

At last count, the Internet was found to host approximately twelvety-million blogs about comics[*]. The number of blogs dealing specifically with research about comics, while slightly smaller, is still daunting for anyone trying to follow all or even most them. That's why here at we've begun the Comics Research Blog Aggregator -- your one-stop shopping place for feeds from all the research-oriented blogs of which we're aware.

If you have or know of a blog you believe we should include, you can suggest it right from the aggregator, using the green + button in the upper right-hand corner menu. You also can respond to this post or use the form at Happy reading!

[*] Source: A pretty good guess.

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Flashback Friday: Gene Gene's Comics Machine #1, August 1997

Welcome to Flashback Friday, a new feature in which I'll be posting various comics-related items from my past. (Yes, this means that we'll soon see the long-overdue return of "Tales from the Green Scrapbook.")

We begin with the first (and only) issue of Gene Gene's Comics Machine, which I published twelve years ago this month. The story behind the comic is recounted in the first two pages, so I thought I'd instead reprint a couple of excerpts from Tom "The Comics Reporter" Spurgeon's review of the book, from his old "You Send It, We'll Review It" column for
This is a good comic of the type by people who have no business doing comics. Gene Kannenberg is a writer about comics, an academic who studies comics, but sadly, he's no cartoonist.
Guilty as charged, on all counts. (If there ever had been a second issue, I was going to use this blurb on the cover: "Sadly, He's No Cartoonist. ") The review isn't entirely negative, though; my old Comics Journal editor ended it as follows:
Kannenberg's comics brings into question how much use one can get out of comics done in this fashion: the answer seems to be a lot, and while Kannenberg fails on all sort of craft levels he doesn't even pretend to engage, his comic is no less amusing or difficult to read than personalized essays in text form would be. Maybe Andy Konky Kru is right and we should all occasionally switch comics for text communication.

Or maybe not.
And with that in mind, ladies & gentlemen, I give you... Gene Gene's Comics Machine.

(Click each image to embiggen it enough to read.)

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Assembled! 2: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Villains

Here's the press release for a new book on the Marvel Comics super-team The Avengers, edited by "Friend of the Blog" Van Allen Plexico. ASSEMBLED! 2
Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Villains

The Jarvis Heads are back with another humorous and insightful look at Marvel Comics’ Avengers and their foes in ASSEMBLED! 2 – Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Villains.

Sequel to the very successful ASSEMBLED! and an intensive examination of all things Avengers, this book focuses on the "Big Three"-- Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America-- plus the "Big Two" villains, Ultron and Kang! What makes each of them tick? How have their relationships toward one another evolved over the years, through events such as the Kree-Skrull War or Civil War? What might become of the Big Three in the future?

Additional chapters look at the recent IRON MAN movie plus YOUNG AVENGERS, AVENGERS FOREVER and more. And to top it all off, Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort supplies a fascinating and quite surprising introduction.

The Jarvis Heads combine insightful analysis with humor and sometimes surprising opinions for a total package that will both inform and entertain—and the profits go to the HERO Initiative charity for retired comics pros!

Written by the Jarvis Heads of, created and edited by Van Allen Plexico, and with an introduction by Marvel Comics Executive Editor Tom Brevoort.

Cover by Anthony Schiavino
Book design by Danny Wall
Asst. Editor Joe Crowe.

Diamond Previews order number:

A White Rocket Book. For more information, visit

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Papercraft Tintin

Here's a cute, super-deformed-style papercraft version of Tintin to build and display. I haven't found a Milou/Snowy yet; but with Steven Spielberg's new Tintin film scheduled for 2010 (or 2011 - I've seen both years mentioned), I predict we'll be seeing more and more Tintin-related fan productions like this as the film's release approaches.

Here's what the finished model looks like:
Link & image credit: Paper Toy Tintin (via The Tintin Blog via Super Punch). Be sure to download the large version.
Also: There are lots of other comics-related paper projects out there, especially at Christopher Beaumont's Cubecraft, which features characters like Wolverine, The Tick, Scott Pilgrim & company, Hellboy, and even Spider Jerusalem(!). Anime and videogames - even literature - often inspire more complicated designs.
Note: Tintin is Copyright © Hergé / Moulinsart 2009. The Tintin papercraft model was released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

CFP: 'Reading Conflict' (postgrad) (19 April; 19 July 2010)

This might be a bit tenuous, but...: I can see room for comics-related work here, such as an essay that considers the form's text/image dichotomy (or is there one, hmmm?), perhaps drawing on the paragone in which Leonardo da Vinci participated. There, I've got your abstract 1/4 written - go for it!

Call For Papers
'Reading Conflict'
Postgraduate Conference
Institute of English Studies
Senate House, London
19 July 2010

The Open University will be holding a Postgraduate Day Conference titled 'Reading Conflict' at the Institute of English Studies, Senate House, London on Monday 19 July 2010. Sarah Brouillette (Carleton University) will be the keynote speaker. The conference organisers welcome papers from postgraduate students, especially those working in postcolonial studies and the history of the book.

Key themes include:
  • Conflict and the Creative Voice
  • Reading during Conflict
  • Conflict and Publishing
  • Conflict and the History of the Book
  • Conflict and Travel Writing
  • Conflict and the Canon
  • Conflict between Literary Disciplines
  • Conflict between Literary Genres
  • Conflict within Postcolonial Studies
  • Conflict, Empire and Postcolonialism
Proposals for individual papers (20 mins) or panels (60 mins) should be sent directly to the conference organiser, Ole Birk Laursen (O.B.Laursen [at], by Monday 19 April 2010. The Day Conference is intended specifically as a forum for Postgraduate students and early career scholars; do encourage your PhD students and postdoctoral research assistants to offer papers or to attend.

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

CFP: The Poster (new journal; ongoing)

Here at Comics Research & Such, we're giving a warm welcome to The Poster, another new journal from Intellect, publisher of the forthcoming Studies in Comics. While The Poster's CFP doesn't mention comic art as such, I can see lots of room here for such work, particularly for scholars or practitioners of gallery comics, as well as museum/gallery denizens of all stripes. First, a bit about the journal itself:
The Poster is a forum for the study of visual rhetoric in the public sphere; a place to discuss how and why visual messages are thrust into the world and the media forms used to do so. This peer-reviewed journal stands as a vehicle for the ideas of media theorists; scholars of Cultural Studies and Cultural Materialism; for social psychologists of visual communication, for architects and designers of wayfinding schemes; for philosophers of Aesthetics and Politics, Society and Linguistics; for social scientists, anthropologists and ethnographers; for political campaigners and artist activists; for communications researchers and visual communications practitioners.
The Poster stands as a privileged symbol of visual rhetoric manifest in the world, and as such visual rhetoric is the heart of this journal. Once the poster was a simple beast, it's role was that of a focused shout; a singular message delivered as powerfully as could be devised into the melee of the public sphere. As such every rhetorical visual form intended to sway hearts and minds; from Luther's Thesis nailed to the church door in Wittenberg to that glorious symbol of Western civilization that is Times Square in New York City; could easily fall within the journal's purview. As the visual rhetorical impulse grows ever stronger; with every miniscule social group having the means and media savvy to visually project their case into the public sphere; the material nature of the poster is in flux. Things are changing and this change is the founding impulse behind the creation of the journal.
The journal is actively looking for both theoretical and practice based contributions to it's refereed content, but also recognises that many with an active interest and expertise in the area are from outside the academic sphere: to this end we invite those who contribute vitality to the visual rhetorical landscape to send in their work as non-refereed submissions.
The journal The Poster has been founded as a forum to promote debates around the following issues:
  • The ways in which visual devices are used to sway, persuade, provoke, unite and divide us.
  • The impulse behind the use of visual means to make rhetorical points.
  • The means that are deployed to make such visual rhetorical points.
  • How the material nature and placement of the means affects the rhetoric.
  • If it is even possible to effectively direct understanding through visual rhetorical means.
These are urgent issues in our increasingly mediated world. The act of making persuasive interventions is a massively multidisciplinary process: the effect of these interventions is of vital importance in promoting public dialogues and forming healthy political structures.

Political actions succeed or fail on their ability to engage with a heterogeneous mass of actors, uniting them in a common cause. Public health campaigns either function or people die. If successful communications shape global patterns of consumption, perhaps they could save the world? If visual rhetorical systems possess this persuasive power shouldn't we explore their limits and find the wisdom to use them well. In exploring these issues we are seeking textual and visual practice submissions on the following subjects:
  1. What is meant by 'Visual Rhetoric' and 'The Public Sphere'?
  2. Why the poster stands as a symbol for visual rhetorical practice: A privileged signifier of rhetoric, over and above every other instance of the visual which also persuades or affects behaviour…and if so, why and how?
  3. What new forms have taken up the torch of visual rhetorical action?
  4. Does the poster still have a role in the panoply of visual rhetorical media?
  5. In a networked world who now owns and controls the means of rhetorical production?
  6. What alternative/critical projects and strategies are possible and how will these new visual rhetorical manifestations operate?
  7. To what degree it is possible to influence people's hearts and change people's minds through visual rhetorical means?
  8. Is it possible to create a neutral information vehicle that informs in a non-partisan way?
  9. Is there a difference between visual and other forms of rhetoric?
  10. Do visual rhetoricians have a moral responsibility for the means they put at the disposal of their clients and the messages they devise?
  11. Is it possible to create an analysis system appropriate to posters?
If you have an interest in any of these areas we would encourage you to make a submission.

Submissions can be theoretical or philosophical in nature, from essays on industrial practice (e.g. successful campaigns, analysis of trends and methods) to visual artefacts from practitioners in the field of visual communication (e.g. Graphics, Illustration, Curation, Experience Design, Photography, etc.).
Image credit: The Poster's website.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Now We Are (Not) Six

I'd heard, and considered with no little trepidation, that a new version of "The Prisoner" would debut later this year on the AMC channel. The reason for my trepidation: I am a huge fan of the enigmatic original series, created by and starring Patrick ("Danger Man" / "Secret Agent") McGoohan. In the new version, Jim (Jesus) Caviezel stars as “Six” (no more “Number”), with “Two” played by Ian (Magneto) McKellan.

Sure, some parts might appear a little too kitschy or mod by today's standards, but the series -- concerning a secret agent (man?) who retires, only to wake up in an incomprehensible apparent utopia called "The Village" -- is a riveting thirteen-episode examination of intrigue, intensity, and nigh-intolerable suspense.

Questions abound: Why is everyone referred to only by number not name, and why is the main character referred to as "Number Six"? Which side (or what?) do the succession of "Number Twos" work for, as they attempt again and again to break Number Six's spirit in order to discover why he resigned? Will Six ultimately succumb, or will he endure and discover the identity of the never-seen "Number One"? How on earth did McGoohan get the rights to The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" for the final episode?

We pause now for this message from The Times:

Now, back to our show:

The final two episodes, btw, are perhaps the most riveting 90mins of television I ever have seen. And that final episode is brilliant, both meeting and disappointing viewers' expectations.

But what does this have to do with comic? Not having gone to the San Diego Comic Con myself, I didn't hear about Marvel Comics' tie-in book until today. AMC has a copy of the eight-pager (no, not that kind) available as a PDF for download. As are most teasers of this sort, it's short on plot, but it sets that stage pretty well for what's to come. Yes, there seem to have been some changes, but from the little we see here, so far there's nothing to make me apoplectic. But time -- if not Two -- will tell.

Be seeing you.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

CFP: Linguistics & the Study of Comics (edited collection; Nov. 16)

For a printable PDF flyer, click the image above, or click here.

Call for Proposals
Linguistics & the Study of Comics
(Edited Collection)
Submission Deadline:
Monday 16 November 2009

Scholars are invited to submit their work on the linguistic study of the comic arts. The essays in this edited collection will focus on the ways that linguistic codes function in comics.

Any aspect of linguistic theory and analysis is welcome, and all submissions should appeal to both comics scholars and linguists. All forms of comics will be considered: graphic novels, comic strips, comic books, on-line comics, videos, etc.

Scholarship in non-English and multilingual comics is especially encouraged.

Contributor Guidelines
  1. Abstracts of 400-500 words accepted. Papers of 5000-8000 words, including notes and bibliography, accepted.
  2. One-page tailored curriculum vitae for each author and co-author. (Narrative CVs are fine.)
  3. All documents should be submitted as Word or Word-compatible files. PDFs are also acceptable.
  4. Submission deadline: Monday 16 November 2009.
  5. Materials should be sent to Frank Bramlett via email: fbramlett [at]
Possible topics for this edited collection

pidgin/creole studies * politeness theory
conversation analysis * language variation
speech act theory * bilingual/multilingual texts
intercultural communication * language & gender
language & sexuality * code switching * phonology
morphology * syntax * semantics * corpus linguistics
cognitive linguistics * interactional sociolinguistics
standard/prestige language * language policy
language & ethnicity/race * constructed languages
critical discourse analysis * language socialization
language death * language preservation

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

CFP: Shakespeare and Comics (collection; no date specified)

Call for Proposals
Shakespeare and Comics
edited by
Jason Tondro (University of California, Riverside)
and K. A. Laity (College of Saint Rose)

The scope of potential submissions is broad, perhaps beginning with examinations of particular plays or characters, questions of adaptation and revision, and the translation of drama to the comics form. Authors might analyze the use of Shakespeare himself as a character, or turn their talents to specific writers and artists who have returned to Shakespearean characters, plays, and themes on more than one occasion. The very presence of Shakespearean elements in comics at all suggests questions of appropriation, valuation and audience.

One requirement is especially noteworthy: The contents of this collection should demonstrate not only the expected proficiency with comics scholarship, but also an awareness of relevant Shakespeare criticism which bears on the author’s specific topic. The final “Shakespeare and Comics” project must be the comics scholar’s emissary to Renaissance studies, showing an awareness of all the criticism that the Shakespeare scholar would expect while also introducing that reader to what is, in all likelihood, the great mystery that is comics scholarship.

Proposals, abstracts, and questions should be directed to

Image Credit: Cover to
Classics Illustrated #128, Classics; Cover to Stories by Famous Authors Illustrated #6, Tebeosfera. Copyright © the respective copyright owners. Definitely check that Tebeosfera link - it's a lengthy academic essay by Jesús Jiménez Varea on Macbeth comics (en Español).

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

CFP: "Visual Literatures," Special Issue of College Literature (November 2009)

(CORRECTION: In the initial version of this post I confused the journal College Literature with College English. My apologies to both journals, and also to Dale Jacobs who most cordially pointed out my error.)

The journal College Literature is looking for some more contributors for their forthcoming "visual literatures" issue. A few days ago, Dr. James Bucky Carter (editor of Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels) sent a brief note to the Comics Scholars discussion list about the matter. I wrote to the journal for some additional information, and here 'tis.
This is the information I have been sending to those interested in submitting an essay for the special issue.

Essays should deal with approaches to reading, teaching, and/or appreciating visual literatures, which can include graphic novels, film, photography, or any other medium in which the visual is dominant. The expected length is 20 to 30 pages, double spaced, with works cited list and notes.

Originally the issue was to be published late 2010 but I think that may be pushed to early 2011. The current deadline is Nov. 2009, but again, I think the time may be extended. The deadline for submission has been extended to April 2010 with an anticipated publication date of July 2010. The essay must be original and not one previously published. The editor is currently out of the country and I will talk to him about the issue when he returns the end of August.
FYI, here's College Literature's statement of editorial policy:
College Literature is a quarterly journal of scholarly criticism dedicated to serving the needs of college/university teachers by providing them with access to innovative ways of studying and teaching new bodies of literature and experiencing old literatures in new ways.

The journal provides usable, readable, and timely material designed to keep its readers abreast of new developments and shifts in the theory and practice of literature by covering the full range of what is presently being read and taught as well as what should be read and taught in the college literature classroom.

It encourages a variety of approaches to textual analysis and criticism (including political, feminist, and poststructuralist) on English, American, and European literature in addition to Eastern literatures, minority and Third World literatures, oral literature, and interdisciplinary/comparative studies (such as anthropology and literature, computers and literature, literature and film, and so on).
If you're interested in contributing to this special issue (or to CL in general), please contact:
Elizabeth Alex Lukens
Editorial Assistant
College Literature
210 E. Rosedale Ave.
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
elukens [at]
And tell her Comics Research & Such sent you!

Image Credit: College Literature website.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Tintin in a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these figures on the walls;
Bas-reliefs on long, white surfaces.

I've been to Brussels several times, but I don't believe I ever rode the metro. Which means that I missed the opportunity to see the giant Tintin murals in the Stockel metro station! Sob. (Surely, finding out this information was an omen: I must get back to Brussels soon, one way or another.)

But the next best thing might be to visit the station virtually, thanks to Check out their exhaustive photo set of the 140 characters from Hergé's Tintin books appearing in the murals. As Captain Haddock might exclaim, "Ten thousand thundering typhoons!"

(Tip o' th' pin to The Ephemerist!)

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