Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Asian American ComiCon: July 11, 2009, Museum of Chinese in America, NY

I nearly forgot about this upcoming event until I saw Larry Hama mention it on Facebook. He didn't mention that he was winning the Kiyama award, though. Congratulations, Larry! I first learned of the event at MoCCA Art Fest '09, when Charles Hatfield I had a great conversation with (and bought cool comics from!) Ken Wong. Ken's only one of the many cartoonists with stories in Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology.

Here's some information about the Con, which looks to have a very interesting, widely varied line-up of panels. But for full info, be sure to visit the Asian American ComiCon website.

Asian American ComiCon
The Museum of Chinese in America
215 Centre Street, New York, NY
July 11, 2009, 10 am to 5pm

As artists, editors, writers and fans, Asian Americans have been a key creative force behind the graphical storytelling movement.

That's why some of the industry's leading Asian American creators have collaborated to organize this celebration of the unique contemporary role and historical legacy of Asians in the world of comics and cartoon art.

The event will bring together top artists, writers, fans and readers of mainstream and alternative graphic fiction with the larger Asian American community for a one-of-a-kind gathering, incorporating education, dialogue, spontaneous creativity, intergenerational outreach and the chance for established and emerging talent to show off their work.
The organizers of AACC want this annual award to recognize the contribution of Asian and Asian Americans to U.S. comic book culture. No one better exemplifies that contribution than Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama, whose career represented the convergence of two worlds and industries, and whose work pointed the way to the future of graphic storytelling.

Kiyama published his breakthrough book The Four Immigrants in 1931. A poignant collection of cartoon stories about life as a Japanese student expatriate in the U.S. in San Francisco during the early part of the 20th century, it explores the issues these early immigrants faced in a world whose language, culture and traditions are new, strange and confusing.

Though the stories were originally intended for newspaper serialization, Kiyama never published them in that form, ultimately releasing them as a single book-length collection. This publication format, along with the fact that the stories in Four Immigrants featured a group of semiautobiographical characters (based on Kiyama and his friends) who grew, evolved and contended with real historical issues and events, has led some to advocate that it be recognized as the first original graphic novel published in America (arriving a decade before Virginia Lee Burton's 1941 Calico the Wonder Horse and nearly two decades before Arnold Drake, [Matt Baker,] and Leslie Waller's 1950 It Rhymes With Lust.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

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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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

CFP: Sweet Christmas! Constructions of Blackness in Comics and Sequential Art (anthology)

Note that a PDF version of this call for papers is available here.

Sweet Christmas!
Constructions of Blackness in Comics and Sequential Art
edited by Damian Duffy, John Jennings, and Frances Gateward

Issues of Black racial representation in comics have generally fallen into a few set categories: surveys of black characters and creators, or studies of racially denigrating stereotypes in sequential art history. Sweet Christmas! is an anthology that seeks to put forth scholarly investigations that move past categorization and into the ways comics make meaning with and/or about Black racial representation, as well as the interactions of those representations with society as a whole.

Written essays of 6,000 words and visual essays (b/w, in the comics medium, and no longer than 10 pages in length) are sought for this anthology. We welcome proposals that address the following issues theoretically or through comparative studies, through the work of individual artists/writers, or through explorations of individual titles or themes.

  • Auteurist studies of Black comics writers and artists

  • Historical interrogations of Blacks in the comic book industry

  • Black independent comics and characters outside the superhero genre

  • Milestone Comics and its legacies; what is the state of contemporary Black comics?

  • The depiction of Black historical figures Afro-futurism in comics and sequential art
  • The practice of taking white superheroes and making them Black (Captain America, Iron Man, Green Lantern, Firestorm, etc.)

  • Representations of Black spirituality

  • The treatment of African mythology

  • Images of Black femininity and Black masculinity

  • Hip Hop culture and its depictions in comics and sequential art

  • The use of humor and satire in the Black tradition

  • Representations of the Civil Rights Movements and Black Power Movements
This list is not meant to be inclusive; other topics are welcome. Please send your one page abstract and a short bio by January 15, 2008 to (essays due October 1, 2008):
Damian Duffy - thbt12[at] - 142 Law Building, 504 East Pennsylvania Ave., University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, Champaign IL 61824

John Jennings - jayjay[at] - School of Art and Design, 143 Art and Design Building, 408 East Peabody Drive, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign IL 61820

Frances Gateward - gateward[at] - Unit for Cinema Studies, 3072 FLB, 707 S. Mathews, University of Illinois, Urbana IL 61821

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