Monday, October 05, 2009

CFP: Comic Art & Comics, PCA (Nov. 30; March 31-April 3)

I've been going to the PCA for nearly 15 years. It's a great place, particularly for beginning scholars: You'll find a large, collegial, and enthusiastic community of like-minded comics academics.

Comic Art & Comics Area
Popular Culture Association


Graphic Novels, Strips, Panels, Films,

and Everything in Between

The Comic Art & Comics Area of the Popular Culture Association invites all comics scholars to participate in the annual meeting of the Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association to be held March 31 - April 3, 2010, in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Renaissance Grand Hotel St. Louis. Details of the conference can be found at the conference website:

The Comic Art & Comics Area of the Popular Culture Association offers a chance for scholars from across the country to share their research and exchange ideas on the growing field of comics scholarship. Graduate students and those without current academic affiliation are also welcome. Papers on all aspects of the medium are invited. Past papers have covered mainstream comic books, graphic novels, underground comics, cartoons, comic strips, comics and film, international comics, writers, artists, teaching comics, and writing and publishing comics scholarship.

This call asks for individual paper proposals or submissions for entire panels. If you are submitting a panel, please make sure to note the members of your panel. In addition to general papers, if a presenter would like to propose a special panel or roundtable discussion, please e-mail the chair so she can forward the request to the mailing list.

Papers should be delivered in 15-20 minutes. The PCA limits presenters to one paper given at the conference, so if you are interested in presenting a paper in the Comic Art & Comics Area, do not submit a paper to another area. Participants are eligible for the annual Inge Award for Comics Scholarship, awarded to the top paper presented in the Comic Art & Comics Area of the PCA.

Scholars interested in presenting a paper at the national conference should send a 100-200 word abstract and a short introductory bio by November 30, 2009, to the area chair:

Via e-mail:
Nicole Freim:

Via mail:
Nicole Freim
Riverside Community College
1798 Main Street
Riverside, CA 92501

For more information, please visit the PCA web site:

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

R.I.P. Martin Vaughn-James

Sad news for fans of avant-garde comics: Martin Vaughn-James, author of the enigmatic album The Cage, passed away on July 3. See Tom Spurgeon's obituary for Vaughn-James at, as well as this brief story at ActuaBD. (And thanks to afNews where I first learned this sobering news.)

If you're not familiar with The Cage, here are a couple of images to give you a feel for it. It's sort of a trip inside an apparently abandoned building, with no people anywhere to be seen. Even with the accompanying "explanatory" text, The Cage doesn't exactly present any sort of traditional narrative. It's also not a tour or even a travelogue. The Cage is, simply (or better, complexly) The Cage.

At the 2002 Popular Culture Association conference in Toronto, the Comic Art & Comics Area was honored to present a lecture by noted comics critic and scholar Thierry Groensteen on The Cage. By happy coincidence, not only had Vaughn-James produced The Cage while living in Toronto, but Prof. Groensteen himself had recently published a study of book, La construction de "La Cage." I was the Chair of the CA&C Area for 2002, and when I received Thierry's abstract, I knew that this presentation deserved a special session all its own. We had an overflow crowd for the talk, and I believe Thierry made a lot of converts that day.
Sadly, The Cage hasn't been available in English since its original publication in 1975, but it is in the collections of several libraries. It is also back in print in French, from the Belgian publisher Les Impressions Nouvelles. Even if you can't read French, it's an amazing, mind-blowing work. I can't recommend The Cage highly enough - it's near the top of my "Why Isn't This Book Available in English???" list.

Forgot about image credits! Self-portrait and images from
La Cage @ 2009 Martin Vaughn-James, sourced from Les Impressions Nouvelles web pages. Comic Art & Comics flyer @ 2002, 2009 Gene Kannenberg, Jr. and the Comic Art & Comics area of the Popular Culture Association.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

CFP: Anime and Manga Panels, PCA (due November 21)

Posted on behalf of my pal Wendy!

PCA/ACA 2008 National Conference
New Orleans Marriott, New Orleans, LA
April 8-11, 2009
Proposal Deadline: Friday, November 21

This is the national meeting of the Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association, and this submission is under the area "Asian Popular Culture."

Panel #1: Title: Horror Anime and Manga
This panel invites papers on any aspect of horror anime or manga. Essays may use texts that can be classically defined as "horror" (i.e., ghost stories) and may also explore the use of horror figures (i.e., vampires) in other genres (i.e., shoujo).
Panel #2 Title: Anime and Manga
Open call for papers on any aspect of anime and manga studies. We welcome submissions from a variety of academic and critical approaches.
Submissions should be sent in the form of a 150-250 word abstract, outlining what you would like to present. Include contact information, any audio-visual needs, and a CV.

Submit your abstract by Friday, November 21, 2008, to Wendy Goldberg via email: <wendy.d.goldberg [at]> ; or via snail mail to:
Wendy Goldberg
Dept. of Humanities
United States Coast Guard Academy
27 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320

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