Stan Lee, "Spider-Man!" Amazing Fantasy No. 15 (Sept. 1962)

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Batman Brings His Mission to the World

Batman Day was officially earlier this month, but, if you're looking for an innovative approach to the character, check out the recent graphic novel Batman: The World (2021). It's created by an international group of writers and artists each presenting the Caped Crusader on their home turf. Most stories feature Batman/Bruce Wayne as a familiar figure; however, a few of the tales adapt him more distinctly as a more  "local" hero.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

CFP International Comic Arts Forum (9/23/2022; Vancouver 4/20-22/2023)

International Comic Arts Forum

University of British Columbia, Vancouver
APRIL 20-22, 2023

​ICAF invites proposals for scholarly presentations for its twentieth meeting, to be held on the Vancouver campus of the University of British Columbia on the Northwest Coast of Canada.

ICAF welcomes original proposals from diverse disciplines and theoretical perspectives on any aspect of comics or cartooning, particularly studies that reflect international perspectives. Studies of aesthetics, production, distribution, reception, and social, ideological, and historical significance are equally welcome, as are studies that address larger theoretical issues linked to comics or cartooning, for example in image/text studies or new media theory.

In addition to the general call for papers, we hope to offer panels and programming on the following subjects:

  • Comics and Indigeneity, including but not limited to comics by Indigenous artists and comics on Indigenous issues, such as decolonization, Indigenous activism, sovereignty, language revitalization, and survivance
  • Comics theory in the reading of early modern texts (and, generally, Shakespeare and comics)
  • Comics pedagogy and comics in human rights education, including but not limited to comics on forced migration, the Holocaust, and genocide
Submissions in these areas are particularly encouraged but not required.

Moreover, this year’s ICAF will also invite accepted participants to take part in roundtables and seminars on current works in progress, comics pedagogy, and issues in comics studies scholarship.

The deadline to submit proposals is Friday, September 23, 2022.


ICAF prefers argumentative, thesis-driven presentations that are clearly linked to larger critical, artistic, or cultural issues; we avoid those that are survey-like in character. We accept original 20-minute presentations that have not been presented or accepted for publication elsewhere and prefer those accompanied by images that illustrate the arguments made. Presenters can assume an audience versed in comics and the fundamentals of comics studies. Proposals should not exceed 300 words.

SEND ABSTRACTS by Friday, September 23, 2022, to Biz Nijdam, ICAF Academic Director, at icafcomic@gmail.com. The body of the email should include: contact information, a short bio, title of the proposal, and 3-5 keywords. Abstracts should be anonymized, as all proposals will be subject to blind review.

Receipt of all proposals will be acknowledged. Applicants can expect to receive confirmation of acceptance or rejection by Friday, October 7, 2022.

LENT AWARD: ICAF also sponsors the John A. Lent Scholarship in Comics Studies. The Lent Scholarship, named for pioneering teacher and researcher Dr. John Lent, is offered to encourage student research into comic art. Applications for this scholarship are due by December 1, 2022. For more details, please visit our website.

To help defray the cost of attendance for international guests (outside of the US and Canada), a limited number of registration waivers may be granted at the discretion of the Executive Committee. More information will be made available upon acceptance of proposals.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

CFP The Journal of Anime and Manga Studies (JAMS) Third Volume (5/2/2022)

The Journal of Anime and Manga Studies (JAMS) Third Volume

source: https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2022/01/07/the-journal-of-anime-and-manga-studies-jams-third-volume

deadline for submissions:
May 2, 2022

full name / name of organization:
Journal of Anime and Manga Studies

contact email:

Volume to be Published in November of 2022

The Journal of Anime and Manga Studies (JAMS) is eager to announce a Call for Papers for our third volume.

The Journal of Anime and Manga Studies is a double-blind peer reviewed, open-access journal published by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. JAMS is dedicated to publishing scholarly works concerning anime, manga, cosplay, and the fandom surrounding these areas. As an open-access journal, JAMS aims to reach an audience of scholars both inside and outside the academe, encouraging public engagement through the digital humanities.

Because anime and manga studies is such a diverse field, JAMS welcomes papers regarding anime, manga, cosplay, and their fandoms as analyzed from any number of scholarly perspectives. Works published in JAMS first volume ranged from media industry history, to the intersections of disability and queer identity.

All papers published in JAMS are published with a Creative Commons license, Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

Submissions to JAMS average between 6,000 and 7,500 words. Please contact the editor-in-chief if you wish to discuss significantly longer or shorter submissions.

Please visit our site: https://iopn.library.illinois.edu/journals/jams/about, for information about the journal and our policies. We welcome inquiries and are glad to discuss ideas for potential submissions. Scholars interested in supporting anime and manga studies as a discipline as peer reviewers should also reach out to JAMS. Inquiries can be directed to animestudiesjournal@gmail.com.

Submissions will be accepted until May 2nd, 2022. While JAMS accepts submissions on a rolling basis, only papers submitted by the deadline will be guaranteed to be reviewed for this volume.

Last updated April 4, 2022

CFP Comics and Graphic Narratives Panel, PAMLA 2022 at UCLA (5/15/2022; PAMLA 11/11-13/2022)

Comics and Graphic Narratives Panel, PAMLA 2022 at UCLA

source: https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2022/03/27/comics-and-graphic-narratives-panel-pamla-2022-at-ucla

deadline for submissions:
May 15, 2022

full name / name of organization:
Pacific Ancient Modern Language Association

contact email:

PAMLA's Comics and Graphic Narratives panel seeks papers dealing with comics and other graphic narratives for it's annual in-person conference, which will convene at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) between Friday, November 11 and Sunday, November 13, 2022.

All papers dealing with comics and graphic narratives will be considered. Papers utilizing media specific analysis, and papers with a strong connection to this year's theme ("Geographies of the Fantastic and Quotidian") are highly encouraged. A visual component to the paper/presentation is also encouraged.

This in-person conference will convene at UCLA's Luskin Conference Center and Hotel between Friday, November 11 and Sunday, November 13, 2022. Please submit paper proposals by May 15, 2022.

To submit a proposal and view other great panels seeking proposals, please use the following link (account creation required): https://pamla.ballastacademic.com/.

We look forward to reading your proposals.

Last updated March 28, 2022

Thursday, March 17, 2022

CFP Would Panel Scaffolding: Reflecting on Building, and Sustaining Comics Studies Programs, Library Collections, and Journals (2/1/2023; Spec Issue of SANE Journal)

Would Panel Scaffolding: Reflecting on Building, and Sustaining Comics Studies Programs, Library Collections, and Journals

source: https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2022/02/03/would-panel-scaffolding-reflecting-on-building-and-sustaining-comics-studies-programs

deadline for submissions:
February 1, 2023

full name / name of organization:
Richard Graham/University of Nebraska-Lincoln

contact email:

SANE Journal is seeking: critical, evaluative, and reflective works from those engaged in the making, preserving, teaching, and studying of comics through the creation of comics studies programs, the stewardship of comics collections within libraries, and the establishing of comics studies-associated journals. We prefer writings that address the history, evolution, and dissolution of such entities. What is the story of your program, collection, or journal? How does it reflect a situatedness in its field and the ontological, teleological, and epistemologies surrounding it, both in relation to current exigencies but in relation to the past as well? What processes, people, and supports were in place – or not in place – to facilitate success or failure? Can the process of success and/or failure within these domains best be illuminated through a particular – or particular set – of critical lenses? In these reflections, articulate the issues regarding the proliferation of existing and future programs of study, collections, and journals within comics studies? Methodological approaches to addressing these questions are acceptable for consideration, as well as critical and reflective approaches.

Pieces should follow MLA 8 format and may take a variety of forms, including essay, case study, auto/ethnography, interview, systematic program review.

Final submissions due: Feb. 1, 2023

Last updated February 6, 2022

CFP Technical Storytelling: Comics and Community (3/14/2022; Spec Issue of ImageText)

Call for Paper Proposals: ImageText Special Issue Spring 2023

source: https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2022/02/09/call-for-paper-proposals-imagetext-special-issue-spring-2023

deadline for submissions:
March 14, 2022

full name / name of organization:
Alexander Slotkin & Laura Gonzales / University of Florida

contact email:


Special Issue of ImageTexT, Spring 2023

Guest Editors: Alexander Slotkin & Laura Gonzales

While the social justice turn in technical communication is relatively new, comics have long served as venues for coalition building. From Jen White-Johnson’s work on visual activism for Black Disabled communities (https://jenwhitejohnson.com), to Alfred Hassler’s Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story, to the ongoing series El Viaje Mas Caro, a series of short comics documenting stories from Latin American migrant farm workers living in Vermont, comics have historically been used as a tool for community organizing. Taking up Natasha N. Jones’ call in “The Technical Communicator as Advocate” to integrate social justice advocacy into technical communication, we think it is important to highlight how comics have or might be used in technical communication to facilitate community and forward social justice movements by challenging, resisting, or calling attention to structural forms of White supremacy that continue to harm people of color.

This special issue of ImageTexT will consider how comics in technical communication have been or can be used to facilitate community and challenge everyday structures of oppression at the local or national level. Although there is no definite consensus on what constitutes a “comic,” we see comics as a broad genre of graphic storytelling that rhetorically structures text and imagery through juxtaposition to depict, demonstrate, and/or convey information, whether it be a joke or technical process (see Bahl et al.; Yu; McCloud). Building on Technical Communication Quarterly’s 2020 special issue on “Comics and Graphic Storytelling in Technical Communication,” we intend for this special issue to highlight how technical (and possibly scientific) communication in comic form might initiate or support localized community engagement and/or social justice movements.

The first issue of ImageTexT to explore comics in relation to technical communication studies, “Technical Storytelling: Comics and Community” works to constellate technical communication, comic studies, and community activism at a time when COVID-19 continues to disproportionally affect Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. It is perhaps no surprise then that we take inspiration for this issue from Josh Neufeld’s “A Tale of Two Pandemics,” a comic adaptation of a research article exploring the racial dynamics of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic to better understand racial disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Neufeld creates a text that is accessible and easily circulated while also highlighting Black voices and bringing greater attention to a problem facing Black communities. What other imaginative possibilities or futures are there for community engaged or socially oriented comic scholarship in technical communication?

We invite contributors—especially those from multiply-marginalized communities—to reflect on how technical communicators might use comics in their pedagogy, advocacy, and/or scholarship to support local or national communities and movements. To this end, we welcome a variety of genres and approaches to this topic, including but not limited to: comics, formal essays, ethnographies, case studies, video essays, and experiential reports. Contributors may address a variety of questions and issues, including but not limited to the following:
  • How do technical communicators work with community members to design culturally informed comics that address localized concerns? And what does this process look like?
  • How can we use comics to invite different cultural communities inside our technical writing classrooms, and why does that matter from a social justice point of view?
  • How can we integrate social justice advocacy into our technical communication classrooms through comic writing and design?
  • There are a variety of technical communication comics that, historically, have served as tools for coalition building. What might we learn about technical communication or social justice advocacy by studying one or more of these examples?
  • How might comics and comic studies more generally help orient technical communicators toward social justice initiatives?
  • How can or have communities used comics as a form of resistance?
  • What specific affordances do comics as a genre of technical communication offer in support of community advocacy?
  • How have technical communication comics served as an outlet or catalyst for community action during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How do socially oriented comics in technical communication shift our understanding of technical communication and/or comic studies more generally?
  • In what ways can comics in technical communication challenge White supremacy and other systematic forms of oppression?
  • What might a socially informed comic in technical communication studies look like?
  • How can we use comics in technical communication to center or highlight Black and Indigenous voices?

ImageText: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal that advances the academic study of an emerging and diverse canon of image-texts, including—but not limited to—comic books and strips, graphic novels, animations, illustrated fiction, picture books, zines, and other media that blend images and texts in complex ecologies. You can visit previous issues of the journal here: https://imagetextjournal.com/

All submissions should be made through the journal’s Submittable portal, the link to which you can find here: https://imagetext.submittable.com/submit

Publication Schedule

Proposals (500 words) due March 14th, 2022

Authors notified by April 4th, 2022

Full submissions due June 27th, 2022

Submissions sent to reviewers by July 11th, 2022

Authors notified by September 22nd, 2022

Revised submissions due November 22nd, 2022

Submissions sent to reviewers by December 2nd, 2022

Authors notified by February 8th, 2023


Bahl, Erin Kathleen, Sergio Figueiredo, and Rich Shivener. “Comics and Graphic Storytelling in Technical Communication.” Technical Communication Quarterly, vol. 29, no. 3, 2020, pp. 219-221.

Bennett, Marek, Julia Grand Doucet, Andy Kolovos, and Teresa Mares (Eds.). The Most Costly Journey: Stories of Migrant Farmworkers in Vermont Drawn by New England Cartoonists. Vermont Folklife Center, 2021.

Krishnan, Lakshmi, S. Michelle Ogunwole, and Lisa A. Cooper. “Historical Insights on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, and Racial Disparities: Illuminating a Path Forward.” Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 173, no. 6, 2020, pp. 474-481.

Hassler, Alfred. Martin Luther King and The Montgomery Story. Fellowship of Reconciliation, 1957.

Jones, Natasha N. “The Technical Communicator as Advocate: Integrating a Social Justice Approach in Technical Communication.” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, vol. 46, no. 5, 2016, pp. 342-361.

McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. Tundra Publishing, 1993.

Neufeld, Josh. “A Tale of Two Pandemics: Historical Insights on Persistent Racial Disparities.” Journalist’s Resource: Informing the News, https://journalistsresource.org/race-and-gender/pandemics-comic-racial-h....

White-Johnson, Jen. jenwhitejohnson. October 2018. https://jenwhitejohnson.com.

Yu, Han. The Other Kind of Funnies: Comics in Technical Communication. Routledge, 2016.

Last updated February 11, 2022

CFP Images of the Hero: Heroism in Literature (3/31/2022; East/Southeast Regional Meeting of the CCL 6/10-11/2022)

Images of the Hero: Heroism in Literature (East/Southeast Regional Meeting of the CCL)

source: https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2022/02/21/images-of-the-hero-heroism-in-literature-eastsoutheast-regional-meeting-of-the-ccl

deadline for submissions:
March 31, 2022

full name / name of organization:
Conference on Christianity and Literature

contact email:

In The Hero with A Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell asserts that the mythic figure of the hero is central to understanding the human experience. He argues that “the hero is symbolical of that divine creative and redemptive image within us all, only waiting to be known and rendered into life.” The hero, in other words, might be said to be the embodiment or archetype of the imago Dei raised to the highest pitch, functioning as an exemplar of what humanity at its level best can do. Thomas Carlyle also nods to the transcendently human nature of the hero in Of Heroes and Hero Worship, when he says that the hero is “he who lives in the inward sphere of things, in the True, Divine and Eternal, which exists always, unseen to most, under the Temporary, Trivial…”

The figure of the hero has perennially occupied a central place in the Western literary canon, from Homer to Tolkien. Yet in recent decades, the assumed virtues of traditional concepts of heroism and traditional depictions of heroes have been challenged and become subject to significant revision in popular culture. While the contemporary heroes of the Marvel Comics universe enjoy immense, culture shaping popularity, Homer’s heroes find themselves increasingly left out of secondary and post-secondary syllabi. These things raise the questions of what a hero is and what role the hero has yet to play in the 21st Century. Do the traditional heroes of the Western canon still have a role to play as transcendent ideals of humanity that carry us forward, or are they retrograde constructs in desperate need of revision?

This conference invites papers that explore the answers to these questions and attendant questions related to the mythic and the symbolic. Paper submissions might address the theme of literary heroism from any number of angles, but the following questions are offered as a starting point.
  • What is the role of a hero, a traditionally aristocratic character, in a society that sets a moral premium on egalitarianism?
  • Does the classical epic still have a place in the English curriculum, and if so, what is it? If not, has it been replaced? With what?
  • How do literary heroes inspire differently from the heroes of history, and is the idea of a real-life Hero a contradiction in terms?
  • What is behind our fascination with deconstructing heroes? Is the hero archetype, in fact, immoral?
  • What is literature’s role in either upholding or interrogating the ideals of heroism?
  • Is the Western ideal of the hero compatible with a Christian ideal of human virtue?
  • What might a theologically informed reading of the hero archetype look like? Does it offer significant revision to the canonical Western Ideal?
  • Any exploration of what might be considered the heroic in other mythic or symbolic literary figures is, of course, welcome.

The East/Southeast Regional Meeting of the Conference of Christianity and Literature will take place at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA (just outside of Washington, D.C.) on June 10-11, 2022. Please send paper abstracts/proposals of 400 words or less to Cory Grewell (clgrewell@phc.edu) by March 31, 2022.

Last updated February 22, 2022

CFP Folio: Stories of Australian Comics (4/30/2022)

Call for abstracts: Folio: Stories of Australian Comics

source: https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2022/02/20/call-for-abstracts-folio-stories-of-australian-comics

deadline for submissions:
April 30, 2022

full name / name of organization:
Folio: Stories of Australian Comics

contact email:



How are Australian comics made, read, contested, thought about, produced – what do Australian comics mean to you? We are a research team called Folio; we are academics from three universities working with a broader group of practitioners on an Australian Research Council project to tell stories of contemporary Australian comics 1980-now. The project entails putting together an interactive history and archive of the last 40 years of comics in Australia.

We are putting together a proposed book that will grow out of the project in response to an invitation from an international publisher. We are interested in hearing from scholars of all kinds, Australian and international, such as comics-makers, creative practice researchers and artist-critics, scholars from other disciplines including but not limited to medical humanities, literary and cultural studies/ histories/ geographies, creative writing, visual arts and graphic design, print and digital publishing studies, media and film, on Australian comics topics of interest.

One of our guiding ideas is that Australian comics represents a complex intersecting ‘ecology’ of many different genres, networks and formats. We want our project to highlight the many nodes of this ecology, mapping and traversing the ways in which they interconnect.

As such, essays can be in a mix of forms, prose, comics or both, and can incorporate personal experience.

Essays might ask: What is 'Australia' in Australian comics? How does it look? How does it sound? What is the Australian comics ‘scene’? What places, people and atmospheres make this scene what it is? What are the limiting or excluding aspects of the Australian comics world? How has Australian comics tracked or offered counterpoint to social shifts as they relate to decolonisation and Indigenous sovereignty, gender and sexuality, understandings of environmental crisis, understandings of capital? What about changes in production and distribution format, including the digital? How is the Australian comics world situated within comics globally? How have key artists advanced the form? Which quality artists remain underread and under-described? How have you made comics? How has comics made you?

We are seeking abstracts of 200 words by 30 April 2022; abstracts should come accompanied with a short bio and an outline of how the work will be presented.


30 April 2022 – 200-word abstracts due
June 2022 – Editors respond to abstracts
December 20 2022 – Full essays between 3000 and 5000 words, or 10 and 20 comics pages, due (Instructions on format will be sent on acceptance of abstract)
Early 2023 – Essays and comics sent for peer review
2024 – Projected publication

Please send abstracts and queries to australiancomicsfolio@gmail.com.

About Folio and the research team: https://www.foliocomics.com/about

Last updated February 21, 2022

CFP Toronto Comic Arts Festival Academic Symposium (3/31/2022; Toronto 6/17/2022)

Toronto Comic Arts Festival Academic Symposium

Source: https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2022/03/13/toronto-comic-arts-festival-academic-symposium

deadline for submissions:
March 31, 2022

full name / name of organization:
Toronto Comic Arts Festival

contact email:

TCAF 2022 Academic Symposium Call for Papers

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is pleased to invite abstract submissions for our inaugural 1-day in-person academic symposium titled TCAF at Twenty: Histories and Futures of Comics Communities. The symposium will take place in person at the Courtyard Downtown Toronto Marriott on Friday, June 17th, 2022. For twenty years, TCAF has offered a vibrant meeting place for creators, scholars, educators, and readers to come together and celebrate their shared love of comics–a uniquely participatory medium that is adept at communicating both complex realities and transformative fantasies. Comics are communities, and communities are comics; the strength of one is the strength of the other. This symposium will consider the histories and futures of comics as vehicles and representations of community and communication. How and what do comics communicate, and how and where can they communicate better, to make comics communities more inclusive, accessible, and dynamic?

The symposium is open to all subjects and theoretical disciplines considering all aspects of comics, including cultural histories and formal concerns as well as politics of representation (including representations of gender, race, sexuality, etc.). We hope to explore and identify the strides comics and comics studies have made in the past two decades to enlarge their scope and scale as well as the boundaries they have yet to examine, push, or eliminate while providing a new platform to connect TCAF’s existing audience with communities of comics scholars. We welcome papers that engage with all forms of comic art (commercial, literary, alternative, zines, webcomics, etc.) and all comics genres (fiction, non-fiction, adventure, science-fiction, mystery, horror, superhero, children’s, etc.). Presentations should be academic in tone but accessible to non-academics.

The TCAF 2022 Academic Symposium is accepting abstracts for the following types of presentations:

  1. Panel Proposal: A submission by 1 member of a panel as to the topic and discussion of that panel, in coordination with the other members of the proposed panel. All panelists listed must be confirmed participants at the time of submission. Maximum of 4 people including the moderator of the panel. Panelists will speak for 10 minutes each or provide a round table discussion on the topic from their respective experiences. Fifteen minutes will be reserved for the audience to engage the panelists in questions at the end.
  2. Lightning Talk: A 5-7 minute quick presentation on one refined topic of analysis. We will gather approximately 5-7 individuals together to present their lightning talks leaving fifteen minutes for an audience question and answer period.
  3. Single Panelist Proposal: A paper of 15 minutes in length to be included on a panel of similar content arranged by the organizers. Three panelists will present during a session leaving fifteen minutes for an audience question and answer period.
  4. Poster Presentation: A casual gallery session to engage in multiple topics in a more exploratory discursive manner with the researcher present.

Please submit an abstract of 250-300 words along with a brief biography (approx. 150 words) for each participating panelist on your proposal by Thursday, March 31, 2022, to academics@torontocomics.com. Please include the following information at the top of your proposal:


Title/Affiliation (if applicable):

Email Contact:

Type of Presentation proposed (Lightning talk, panel, poster, etc.):

The abstracts and bios of accepted participants will be compiled into a symposium program and published (then later archived) on the TCAF website.

There will be a registration fee of $20 CAD for accepted applicants to help defray the costs of the symposium. To make the symposium as accessible as possible to all presenters, TCAF offers registration sponsorships for individuals wishing to present. If you wish to be sponsored by TCAF to present at the TCAF 2022 Symposium, please add “TCAF Sponsored Presentation” to your proposal with no other information necessary about the sponsorship. TCAF will sponsor your registration.

Offers of acceptance will be returned by the end of April 2022. Individuals will be notified by email. If you have any questions or concerns, please email symposium organizer Dr. Anna Peppard at anna@torontocomics.com

Like the general festival, this symposium will be held in-person and will be accessible to the public. TCAF is committed to following all Covid-19 regulations set out by the local, provincial, and federal governments at the time of the festival. TCAF will also be following site-specific regulations set out by its participating venues – The Toronto Public Library and the Courtyard Marriott – to ensure the safety of all guests and participants. We will actively update all presenters and attendees of any and all evolving safety protocols.

Last updated March 14, 2022

CFP EXTENDED: POWERS OF POP: Cross-Cultural Influences Between Japanese and American Pop Cultures (4/16/2022)

POWERS OF POP: Cross-Cultural Influences Between Japanese and American Pop Cultures

source: https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2022/01/17/powers-of-pop-cross-cultural-influences-between-japanese-and-american-pop-cultures

deadline for submissions:
April 16, 2022

full name / name of organization:
Dr. Kendra Sheehan and Matthew Hodge

contact email:

POWERS OF POP: Cross-Cultural Influences Between Japanese and American Pop Cultures
To be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Edited by Dr. Kendra Sheehan and Matthew Hodge

This edited collection aims to advance the intellectual exploration and interdisciplinary understanding of the cross-cultural influences between Japan and America. With the ever-evolving globalization of contemporary pop culture, Japanese and American consumers have continuously experienced cultural collaborations and collisions. This insightful volume will serve as a collection of multidisciplinary scholars who offer fresh perspectives of ongoing cross-cultural and cyclical influences evident in Japan and America, two of the most culturally dominant and impactful nations in modern history. The intention of this collection of scholarly chapters is to discuss subject matters within the scope of this edited book’s aim, including Japanese influences in American culture, American influences in Japanese culture, or cross-cultural influences between both nations. Potential topics include (but are not limited to):
  • Entertainment media (film, television, video games)
  • The Arts (music, theatre, art, dance)
  • Literature, Poetry
  • Folklore and fairy tales
  • Comics and graphic novels
  • Fashion
  • Education
  • Politics
  • Sports
  • Technology
  • Cuisine
  • Fandom
  • Tourism, travel
  • Merchandise, toys

Submitted proposals should include a 200-300 words abstract, a CV, and a biographical statement (up to 150 words). Please email questions and proposals to Matthew Hodge at rmhodge@peace.edu

Proposal Deadline: March 1, 2022 (Accepted proposals will be notified by March 15, 2022).

Full Chapter Submission Deadline: July 1, 2022 (Approximately 5,000-10,000 words, referenced in Chicago endnote style).

This book is scheduled to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, an international academic publisher of original academic work across a wide range of subjects in four key areas: Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS); Health Sciences (HS); Physical Sciences (PS); and Life Sciences (LS). For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit https://www.cambridgescholars.com. This publication is anticipated to be released in early 2023.

Dr. Kendra Sheehan is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Louisville and adjunct professor at Indiana University Southeast, teaching courses on global humanities, Asian studies, and Japanese culture. Her recent publications and research interests include topics of Japanese culture, literature, religion, film, the humanities, and East Asia.

Matthew Hodge, M.F.A., is an Associate Professor at William Peace University, where he teaches arts and humanities courses. His recent publications cover such topics as performing arts histories, pop culture, commercial tourism, entertainment media, belief systems, westernization, and cultural globalization.

Last updated March 12, 2022

EXPIRED CFP: Collections, Archives, Cultures (Comics Studies Society Conference MSU 7/28-30/2022)

EXPIRED CFP. (My apologies for having missed this earlier.)

Collections, Archives, Cultures

source: https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2022/02/15/collections-archives-cultures

deadline for submissions:
March 4, 2022

full name / name of organization:
Comics Studies Society

contact email:

In collaboration with Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI


The fifth annual Comics Studies Society conference returns to an in-person format in 2022 at Michigan State University, home of the massive Murray and Hong Comic Art Collection. To mark this location and collaboration, we propose that the concepts of collections, archives, and their various cultures mark our gathering. What does it mean to form a collection, to curate a comics community, or inhabit collecting or archival cultures? What are the politics of collecting? What gets included, what gets discarded, and who gets to decide, and how? How do comics communities coalesce around collections, and how do they in turn create new ones that challenge those that have taken shape before them? We encourage our members to engage with these questions and concepts as they relate to their own innovative work in comics studies. We are particularly interested in proposals that address these questions of comics collections, archives, and cultures, and we especially welcome international approaches to this theme, though all submitted proposals will receive full consideration for inclusion in the conference program.

In recognition of some members’ preference for virtual participation in this year’s conference, we will accept proposals for virtual papers, panels, and roundtable discussions for a limited number of slots. Please also note that all presenters and attendees will be required to demonstrate proof of full vaccination (two shots and a booster) in order to participate in in-person events.

Guidelines for Submission
We are accepting submissions for the following:
1. Individual papers (20 min., presented in person or virtually)
2. Panels of three papers (presented in person or virtually)
3. Roundtables of short (5 min.) presentations by 4-5 presenters followed by discussion (presented in person or virtually)
4. Pop-ups (as panels, roundtables, talks, tours, etc.) related to archives and collections (presented virtually and later archived on the CSS website)

**Templates are available on our website: www.comicsstudies.org**

All proposals should be sent as Word files by email by March 4, 2022 to: comicsstudiesorg@gmail.com

The conference organizers will send out notifications of acceptance by the middle of March. Confirmation of intent to participate and copies of vaccination cards will be due by the end of March in order for accepted presenters to appear in the program. Please add our conference email to your trusted senders to ensure email delivery. A presenter's name may appear twice in the program. All presenters must be members of the Comics Studies Society at the time of registration. For more information on the Comic Studies Society, please check our website at http://comicsstudies.org/.

Last updated February 16, 2022

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

CFP Classics Illustrated: Adaptation and Appropriation in the Comics and Other Graphic Narratives (6/1/2022)

 CFP: Classics Illustrated: Adaptation and Appropriation in the Comics and Other Graphic Narratives


A collection organized to further the goals of Saving the Day: Accessing Comics in the Twenty-first Century, a joint outreach effort of the Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain and the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture. (More information at https://accessing-comics-in-the-21st-century.blogspot.com/.)


Organizers: Nick Katsiadas, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania; Carl Sell, Lock Haven University; and Michael Torregrossa, Independent Scholar


Proposals due by 1 June 2022



Our title deliberately evokes the comic book series Classics Illustrated to offer both an investigation and a reconsideration of the ways the comics medium engages with non-graphic literature and related texts. Comics have a long association with other literary works and connect to them in multiple ways by retelling, reworking, reimagining, or continuing their stories through deliberate or more nuanced approaches to their borrowing. In this collection, we seek to explore how and why different comics adapt or appropriate elements of classic literature and/or similar texts to different ends, different means, and different audiences, and why those myriad elements factor into their critical receptions.





Our title deliberately evokes the comic book series Classics Illustrated to offer both an investigation and a reconsideration of the ways the comics medium engages with traditional literature and related texts. Comics have long had an association with other literary works, as the medium often retells, reworks, reimagines, or continues many other narratives. Frequently, comics achieve their intended purpose by translating literary themes, elements, characters, story arcs, images, or callbacks from their referents—though sometimes the connections remain more subtle, more embedded than explicit.


This collection seeks to explore comics’ relationships with traditional literary texts and similar works by using the theoretical frameworks established by scholars, such as Linda Hutcheon and Julie Sanders. Specifically, this collection seeks to trace textual connections between comics and traditional literary classics and similar texts as well as to build and expand upon previous studies of comics adaptation.


Two definitions emerge from studies in adaptation and appropriation: On one hand, Hutcheon writes that, by calling a work an adaptation, “we openly announce its overt relationship to another work or works” and that an adaptation is “repetition without replication” (A Theory of Adaptation 6,7). On the other hand, Sanders defines “appropriation” as a text that “frequently effects a more decisive journey away from the informing text into a wholly new cultural product and domain” (Adaptation and Appropriation 35). By using these definitions as starting points, we can begin to explore how and why different comics adapt or appropriate elements of classic literature and related works to different ends, different means, and different audiences, and why those myriad elements factor into their critical receptions.


Papers can explore adaptations and/or appropriations of literary works, themes, characters, etc. as they appear in comics and other graphic narratives, and we welcome particular emphasis on papers highlighting the rationale and importance of the shift from one medium to another. Examples of such topics (as explored in previous scholarship) are, but are not limited to:


       Adaptations of pre-modern mythology and literature (such as the Odyssey, Beowulf, or the Arthurian legend)

       Adaptations of the works of Jane Austen, J. M. Barrie, Stephen King, H. P. Lovecraft, Neil Gaiman, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, Mark Twain, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Oscar Wilde, and others

       Appropriation of literary characters in Fables and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

       Fairy and folk tales in Hellboy

       The Hobbit graphic novel

       King Arthur and DC’s Aquaman

       Portrayals of Frankenstein’s Monster in DC and Marvel

       Reimaginings of the biographies of writers, like H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, William Shakespeare, Mary Shelley, and Mark Twain

       Robin Hood and DC’s Green Arrow

       Romantic ideals in The Unwritten

       Shakespearean themes and characters in Kill Shakespeare



Suggested Resources:


George Kovacs and C.W. Marshall’s two-volume collection Classics and Comics and Son of Classics and Comics; Benoît Mitaine, David Roche, and Isabelle Schmitt-Pitiot’s collection Comics and Adaptation; Stephen Tabachnick and Esther Bendit Saltzman’s collection Drawn from the Classics: Essays on Graphic Adaptations of Literary Works; and Jason Tondro’s Superheroes of the Round Table: Comics Connections to Medieval and Renaissance Literature, as well as various essays by M. Thomas Inge and Derek Parker Royal. (William B. Jones, Jr.’s Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History might also be of interest.)



Send inquiries, proposals, and/or drafts of papers to the organizers at SavingtheDay2020@gmail.com. We also welcome suggestions for resources (in print or online) that might be of value to the collection and its audience.



Sponsored Sessions at NeMLA 2022

The 53rd Annual Convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association

Sessions sponsored by Saving the Day: Accessing Comics in the Twenty-first Century, a joint outreach effort of the Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain and the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture. (More information at https://accessing-comics-in-the-21st-century.blogspot.com/.)


Friday, 11 March 2022 -- Track 9 (11:45 AM - 01:00 PM EST)

9.25 Adaptation and Appropriation in/of Graphic Narratives

Chairs: Nick Katsiadas, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania; Carl Sell, Lock Haven University; Michael Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Location: Grand Ballroom (GB) 7 (Media Equipped)


Paper 1

"Illustrating Resistance: A Postcolonial Reading of Bhajju Shyam’s The London Jungle Book" [REMOTE]

Sayanti Mondal, Illinois State University

Using The London Jungle Book (2004) by Bhajju Shyam and Gita Wolf as the primary text, this paper offers a postcolonial reading of the text by highlighting its content and mode of expression as forms of cultural resistance— a counter-narrative. The story is a pictorial narration of the artist, Shyam’s, experience of visiting London for the first time. As a member of the Gond tribe, Shyam uses the indigenous Gond art form, replete with animal symbolism, to narrate his experience in a foreign city. His version of London effectively disrupts the established notion of the cosmopolitan city through the title of the book. He successfully subverts one of the essentialized traits of India associated with jungles (Inden, 1) by turning London to a jungle of different kind: a concrete jungle, where order, mannerism, and style of livelihood does not align with his known systems. Shyam interrogates the exemplary accounts of the Indian jungles, recurrent throughout Kipling’s The Jungle Book (1894), by his use of indigenous Gond idioms to recreate London as a “strange bestiary”; an interpretation that upsets the antecedent perception of the civilized city. Through his animal imageries Shyam returns Kipling’s gaze at the Other with an equal sense of wonder, humour, and unique personal sense of expression. This rhetorical shift in the narratorial voice showcases how the ‘jungli-ness’ of a community or a nation is a variation of perspective; a character attributed to unfamiliarity. By having an indigenous folk artist as the storyteller, The London Jungle Book subverts the pre-existing socio-political power dynamic established between the coloniser and the colonised, through a shift in the narratorial position.

Additionally, Shyam narrates his story in an indigenous art style—the Gond art style. He chooses to paint his experience through Gond symbols/images rather than use the popular logocentric mode of expression—words. By documenting a personal experience in an indigenous mode, Shyam constructs his identity that defied the tools imposed by the outsiders. Shyam’s capitalization of this visual medium allows him to mobilise indigenous aesthetics not confirmed by the colonial language or wider cultural order. Hence, taken from a postcolonial perspective, this rhetorical move hints at not just countering popular stories, but also counters popular storytelling practices. Said emphasized the act of storytelling as the “method used by the colonized people to assert their own identity and the existence of their own history” (Said, xv). According to him, culture was the source of identity, and by opting for the communal practice of storytelling, Shyam not only confirms his subjectivity as an artist, but by associating this cultural practice to his community, the Gond tribe, he also performs his communal identity.


Work cited:

Inden, Ronald. Imagining India. Indianapolis: IUP. 1990. Print.

Said, Edward W. “Introduction”, Culture and Imperialism. Vintage Books: New York, 1994. PDF.


Sayanti Mondal is a Doctoral candidate at Department of English Studies, Illinois State University. Her doctoral thesis reassesses the genre of postcolonial Indian graphic narratives and its potential in redefining Indigenous (collective) identity. Her research interests include South-Asian literature, Transmedia studies, Postcolonial Museum Studies, and Translations. She is also currently working on a project of re-imagining the space and place of museums by re-thinking it through a multimedia textual format, especially in a pandemic and post-pandemic context.


Paper 2

"The Metaphor of Memories: A Semiotic Reading of the Graphic Narrative This Side That Side" [REMOTE]

Shivani Sharma, Indian Institute of Technology

This Side, That Side: Restroying Partition (2013) is an anthology curated in the medium of a graphic novel by Vishawajyoti Ghosh. It contains a collection of stories that draws the visual experience of Partition between India and Pakistan in the year 1947 – the tales of two sides from literary works and traces of memories. The narrative is weaved through twenty-eight stories with the collaboration between artists, writers, filmmakers, designers, and journalists. The multivoicedness of the storytellers into the format of graphic narrative has brought out the possibilities of analyzing the experience(s) of Partition from contemporary South Asia. The present study focuses on two thematic strands: (a) the question of intermediality through the discourse of Partition in the anthology, and (b) a text-intensive semiotic analysis of the metaphor of memories through the select experiences in the narrative. The trope of memory builds a crucial nexus of ‘seeing’ Partition through the use of “black ink”, collage, panels, and photo-essays. This study presents the debate on Partition enveloped in the form of memories in the visual-verbal interface by the storytellers. Through the semiotic reading of This Side, That Side, the paper attempts to understand the centrality of metaphors as a narrative technique in weaving the divide of 1947 presented through the complex art of storytelling.


Shivani Sharma is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Humanities and  Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Her research interests include Epic Studies, Semiotics, Comics Studies, and New Media. In her doctoral research, she is developing an analysis of epic narrative with a particular focus on the Mahābhārata and media platforms. She has received Shastri Research Student Fellowship from Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute for her research. She has published articles in peer reviewed journals such as South Asian Review and The International Journal of Comic Art.


Paper 3

"The Count in Comics: Adaptations of Bram Stoker’s Dracula in Comics and Comic Art"

Michael Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is among the most adapted texts of Victorian literature with creative artists, especially those in the United States, producing versions of the story for every conceivable medium.  Scholarship on these adaptations has proliferated in recent decades as the academy has become more welcoming of popular culture, and studies of variants of Dracula in drama, fiction, film, and television programing now abound in articles, books, essay collections, and theses and dissertations. However, the comics, an extremely active medium for adaptation, remain largely ignored by scholars of the novel, despite the existence—according to a recent search of the Grand Comics Database—of nearly eight thousand examples of Dracula-inspired comics and graphic novels (of these, over four thousand were produced for American readers).  The full depth of the corpus is no doubt much richer when one starts to take into account cartoons and comic strips not readily indexed by sites like the GCD.  

While it is true that enthusiasts of Count Dracula have long embraced the comics medium and offered some attempts at describing this rich corpus, there has been, to date, no sustained academic inquiry into the material, an omission within Dracula Studies that should not persist. Previous discussions and catalogues of Dracula-based comics, tools like the Grand Comics Database and the Lone Star Comics website, and online repositories like Comic Book Plus and comiXology now allow us to map out a more complete history of the Count’s career in the comics, and it is time to consider a more systematic approach to these works. To accomplish this goal, this study will analyze the general trends in adaptions of Dracula and, using notable examples from the corpus, classify them as retellings, linked narratives (such as a prequel or sequel), and recastings. Such formulations will allow the academic community to better access these texts and begin to use them more profitably in research and teaching.


Michael A. Torregrossa is a graduate of the Medieval Studies program at the University of Connecticut (Storrs) and works as an adjunct instructor in English in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. His research on comics focuses on the adaptation of literary works from pages to panels, including studies of the Arthurian legend, Beowulf, Bram Stocker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and the works of H. P. Lovecraft and H. G. Wells. Michael is also active in the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association and organizes sessions under the Monsters and the Monstrous Area for their annual conference in the fall.




Saturday, 12 March 2022 -- Track 14 (08:15-09:45 AM EST)

14.7 Classics Illustrated: Adaptation and Appropriation in the Comics (Part 1)

Chairs: Nick Katsiadas, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania; Carl Sell, Lock Haven University; Michael Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Location: Dover C (Media Equipped)


Paper 1

"Illustrating Ys: The Appropriation of Breton Myth in Merlin, the Graphic Novel"

Karen Casebier, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

Although the principal aim of Soleil Productions’s Légendes Arthuriennes series is to provide graphic novels that adapt medieval works of Arthurian literature for contemporary audiences while maintaining a close relationship with their medieval sources, two series in this collection diverge radically from Arthurian literary traditions by integrating Breton myth into pre-Arthurian Britain, Ys:  La Légende (2011-14)[1]  and Merlin (2000-14).[2]


As literary adaptations, each series represents a different approach to engaging with traditional literature:  Generally speaking, the Merlin series adapts its sources, following the broad conventions known to the character in medieval romance, so that it corresponds to Jason Tondro’s Traditional Tale in his typology of Arthurian comics;[3] whereas Ys:  La Légende appropriates its source material by integrating the character of Ahès, the Princess of Ys whose written legend began to circulate during the late medieval period, into some of the less-developed areas of Merlin’s more established and defined presence as prominent (albeit somewhat mysterious) figure that dates to the earliest known Arthurian legends.  Indeed, Ahès status as a liminal figure in Breton myth is illustrated in her graphic novel by the casual use of Arthurian characters who interact with the main characters, as well as myriad objects and geographic locations that serve as backdrops, so that Ys:  La Légende more closely conforms to Tondro’s notion of the Arthurian Toybox than as a serious reworking of literary tradition. 

Nonetheless, the grafting of this figure from late medieval Breton mythology into the established legend of a prominent Arthurian character constitutes an appropriation of the character of Ahès that both complements and deviates considerably from her traditional role in the legend of Ys, so that the Merlin series ultimately results in an a new tale that appeals to experts and neophytes of both literary traditions.


[1] Istin, Jean-Luc, Dejan Nenadov and Alex Gonzalbo, 3 vols. (Strasbourg:  Editions Soleil, 2011-14).

[2] Istin, Jean-Luc and Eric Lambert, 10 vols. (Toulon:  Soleil Productions, 2000-2014).

[3] For a full explanation of the five categories, see “Camelot in Comics,”  in King Arthur in Popular Culture, Eds. Elizabeth S. Sklar and Donald L. Hoffman (Jefferson, NC:  McFarland & Company, Inc., 2002)  169-81, 169-70.


Karen (Casey) Casebier is an Associate Professor of French at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  Her principal area of research is the conflation of the sacred and the profane across different genres of thirteenth-century French literature, including saints’ lives, romance and the fabliaux.  Her research interests include manuscript studies, bestiaries and contemporary interpretations of Arthurian literature.  She recently published an article on representations of gender in Arthurian comics for Synergies as well as an article on resurrection motifs in Marie de France for Le Cygne.  In her copious free time, she is working on a series of unpublished, unedited miracle tales in a 14th-century manuscript branch of La Vie des pères


Paper 2

"Changing the State of Tragedy: Ronald Wimberly's Prince of Cats and the Evolution of Shakespeare"

Ciara Fulton, SUNY University at Buffalo

Douglas Lanier has long argued that Shakespeare adaptation is a rhizomatic phenomenon – branches and veins of adaptations link, interweave, and connect to one another over the course of centuries. However, when it comes to comic book adaptation within Shakespeare, a large swatch of comics are dismissed as remedial tools, or as Sarah McNicol writes, “stepping stones” to be utilized in secondary level classrooms to bridge the gap between teaching texts and greater literary works. This framing of comic book adaptations has led to the belief that these texts are not independent pieces of literature, and therefore, as Lanier argues, they must arise from somewhere within the substance of the original text. With this in mind, Ronald Wimberly’s Prince of Cats may appear as yet another retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet; however, upon closer inspection, Wimberly’s graphic novel becomes a pictorial, textualized evolution of Shakespeare and his famed tragedy.

In this paper, I argue that by linguistically weaving together two languages with the use of African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) and Shakespearean Elizabethan poetics, Wimberly tells a new Shakespeare story that is spoken as well as written. In utilizing careful reflection and analysis of the comic, as well as Lanier’s adaptation theory and Scott McCloud’s understanding of unified images-and-texts within comics, I show that the nature of Shakespeare’s tragedy while perennially poignant is not incapable of change. In this way, I mean not only to draw attention and study to Wimberly’s text, but also to push forth the idea that while Shakespeare comic book adaptations may be rhizomatic, they are also capable of radical evolution, independence, post-Shakespeare-ism, and re-invention.


Ciara Fulton is a PhD student at the University at Buffalo. Her research focuses on comics and graphic novels, adaptation and appropriation of early modern texts alongside graphic narratives, early modern women writers, and “pop” Shakespeare. Her MA thesis, completed in May of 2021, proposed that Shakespeare graphic novel adaptations should be centered as a space for education, independent study, and reflection.


Paper 3

"Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: Rereading G. K. Chesterton in a Greater Literary History"

Nick Katsiadas, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

In Adaptation and Appropriation, Julie Sanders suggests that the process of adapting classic literature creates opportunities to explore artists’ personal ideas about literary works. Where Sanders stops at texts and their relationships with other texts, Helen Vendler discusses what happens when artists use aesthetic spaces to reimagine past artists: They often establish personal, intimate relationships with them. She writes, “The contemporary artist goes to the masterpieces of the past seeking an intimate presentness of instruction, colloquy, sympathy.” If we extend Sanders and Vendler’s ideas to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, they help us better understand the identities of authors in the story. For instance, much scholarship on Sandman is wont to read how Gaiman constructs relationships with William Shakespeare, because the series reimagines the playwright’s career. What is less obvious and unexplored, however, is the way that Gaiman constructs the author G. K. Chesterton as “the heart” of the story—as the heart and center of the title character’s realm of The Dreaming. This structure, I argue, encourages readers to explore Gaiman’s personal ideas about Chesterton, and if readers cooperate and follow Gaiman’s initiatives to construct intimacy with Chesterton, then we can better understand not only Gaiman’s relationships with literary history but, also, Chesterton’s place in literary history and his relationship with literary modernism: The importance in this reading is in the ways that Gaiman’s adaptation of Chesterton’s identity helps us better understand Chesterton’s identity in literary history; comics can help us better understand literature.


Nick Katsiadas is a lecturer in the English Department at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on European Romanticism and its echoes in later experimental narratology.  He is the author of "Mytho-Auto-Bio: Neil Gaiman's Sandman, the Romantics, and Shakespeare's The Tempest" and "The Unwritten: Romanticism in Comics?"


Paper 4

"Parable of the Sower: How Graphic Adaptation Contends with Sociopolitical Predictions of the Past"

Hannah Leonard, SUNY Binghamton University

In 1993, Octavia Butler published the first book of her Parable duology, Parable of the Sower. As a staple author in the speculative fiction genre, as well as within our catalogue of thought-provoking WOC writers, Octavia Butler has founded some of the world's most prominent critiques of Western patriarchal, capitalist societies through the science fiction lens. The Parable of the Sower does just that, critiquing what Butler foresaw for the future of the United States, following the main character Lauren Olimina as she explores the facets of a dystopic, post-apocalyptic 2024 US landscape, ridden with theft, disease, famine, and religious disillusionment. Though written in the 1990s, this book eerily predicted the volatile political realities we now face today. In 2020, John Jennings and Damian Duffy adapted Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower into graphic novel format, elucidating how these predictions from the past have come to fruition today. This paper will focus on the ways in which the graphic novel remains faithful to the original prose of the 1993 publication, as well as how the visuals of the adaptation—color schemes, panel juxtaposition, ethnic representation, deviations of line art and panel style—incorporate critiques of the sociopolitical struggles that we face only two years prior to Olimina’s fictional quest. Points of argument will include intersectional feminist critique of the science fiction genre as it is adapted into graphic novel format, and adaptation and appropriation theories as it relates to authorial intention.


Hannah Leonard is a graduate student with the Comparative Literature department at SUNY Binghamton. Her research interests include graphic novel and adaptation, folkloric and mythological retention, medieval literature and linguistics, digital humanities, and intersectional feminisms.






Saturday, 12 March 2022 -- Track 16 (11:45 AM - 01:15 PM EST)

16.7 Classics Illustrated: Adaptation and Appropriation in the Comics (Part 2)

Chairs: Nick Katsiadas, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania; Carl Sell, Lock Haven University; Michael Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Location: Dover C (Media Equipped)


Paper 1

"Sampling the Odyssey: Adaptive Revision in Øyvind Torseter’s Mulysses (2017)" [REMOTE]

Mari Nilsen Skogsrud, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

This paper examines Øyvind Torseter’s comic book Mulysses (2017) and its relationship to Homer’s Odyssey. As the title Mulysses might suggest, Torseter draws inspiration from the familiar story of Ulysses (more commonly known by the Greek variant Odysseus), and similar to the Odyssey, the comic book tells the story of a hero’s perilous voyage at sea and his encounters with cyclops and other monsters. However, the comic book is not an adaptation in the traditional sense, i.e. an announced revisitation of another text (Hutcheon, 2013). Instead, Torseter has created an original text wherein he appropriates, samples and quotes the Odyssey, and thereby revises and adapts the epic, albeit in a partial and unannounced manner. While the comic book contains clear references and parallels to the Odyssey, these are not announced to the reader. Rather, Mulysses is an example of what John Bryant (2013) has termed “adaptive revision”.

Through adaptive revision, Torseter creates a complex web of intermedial references to Homer’s Odyssey and to other texts (e.g. James Joyce’s Ulysses and Asbjørnsen and Moe’s Norwegian Folktales). Thus, it serves as an example of how intermedial references can transform a text and blur the boundaries between different texts and media. In order to identify such references, the reader needs prior knowledge of them, and therefore, the reader’s interpretation of the text is entirely dependent on their context knowledge, or their cultural memory (Kukkonen, 2008). By exploring the use of intermedial references in Mulysses, I wish to discuss how adaptive revision contributes to the reader’s understanding of the text, as well as how the adaptation (re)constructs cultural memories in the reader.


Mari Nilsen Skogsrud is a PhD candidate in Norwegian literature at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, where they conduct research on comics and graphic novels.


Paper 2

"Fabricated Historicity in Graphic Appropriations of Edgar Allan Poe's Classics"

Elizabeth Woock, Palacký University

The pages of many Golden and Silver Age comics featured appropriations of works of classic literature, particularly in horror series (Schoell 2014), and publishers such as EC, Charlton, and Warren, among others, often borrowed from the works of Edgar Allan Poe (explored in Perry and Sederholm 2012). Through manifesting the short story in sequential art, a historical setting emerges and can be located throughout the three communication planes of the integrative multisemiotic model for comics (Lim 2007). Medievalisms appear within the typography, graphics, and also at the level of discourse semantics and register, which could be expected in appropriations of Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Masque of the Red Death,” which engage in blurring of historical markers, however other texts such as “The Raven” are also transported to a medievalist setting, despite no such specification being made in the original.

This paper will look specifically at those works explicitly attributed to Poe which are localized in a medieval setting or feature medievalist simulacra to bolster the horror mode, and compare how both writers and illustrators insert medievalisms within the heteroglossic comic. The choice to indicate a medievalist setting for Poe’s texts both points to the Gothic nature of some stories, but it also suggests modern media associations with horror (Arnold 1998) and an indication of historicity and authenticity (Clements 2014). These appropriations will also be placed in light of Poe's contemporary reaction to graphic realizations of his writing, which welcomes artistic license.


Straddling two fields—Medieval Studies and American Literature—E. A. Woock is an assistant professor at Palacký University, in Olomouc, Czech Republic. Her research is primarily concerned with investigating medievalisms in imagetext and comic books, and she is eagerly following the development of comics as a form of scholarly communication with comics based research.


Paper 3

"The Queer Art of Ameliorative Reframing in Allison Bechdel’s Fun Home"

Travis Kurowski, York College of Pennsylvania

Comics are a queer form of literature, historically diminished for centuries by critics as minor or merely popular art, and at times condemned for seducing innocent, young minds, turning them towards deviant, criminal behavior. Allison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic künstlerroman Fun Home is Bechdel’s coming of age story as a lesbian comics artist. In Fun Home, Bechdel reframes classical works—from Ancient Greek myths to the literature, film, and theater of the 19th and 20th centuries—in order to heal, both personally and for readers, from the destabilizing shame society has brought upon both queerness and the medium comics. Raised by a closeted gay father who taught high school English—and who, Gatsby-like, worked to sculpt their home and family into something approaching the American mythic ideal—the literary works that stocked the Bechdel home library and her father’s classroom functioned as a kind of language that Bechdel and her father used to communicate and, eventually, come to know each their own “erotic truth.” Through the detteretorialization of works by Camus, Wilde, Joyce, and others, and reterritorialization of these works within the pages of the comics medium, Bechdel at one and the same time knits the medium of comics more firmly into literary history, while also highlighting a queer line running through this history directly into the lives of readers such as her and her father.


Travis Kurowski is an Associate Professor of English at York College of Pennsylvania, where he teaches creative writing, literature, and publishing. He coedited Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century (Milkweed Editions, 2016) and recently published "The Literary in Theory" in the Routledge Companion to the British and North American Literary Magazine (2021).