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

Monday, December 29, 2014

CFP Comics & Graphic Narrative Circle at ALA 2015 (1/20/15; ALA Boston 5/21-24/15)

I can't get the formatting of this to work in Blogger. See link to PDF. 

Comics & Graphic Narrative Circle at ALA 2015
Proposals by 1/20/15


CFP Visual Culture and Ethnic American Periodicals (12/27/14; ALA Boston 5/21-24/15)

Two quick CFPs for today. More to follow as time allows

CFP: Visual Culture and Ethnic American Periodicals

The Research Society for American Periodicals invites submissions on “Visual Culture
and Ethnic American Periodicals” for the American Literature Association conference, May
21-24, 2015 in Boston, MA.

This panel considers how African American, Asian and Pacific American, Latino/a, and Native American periodicals engage visual culture, including by publishing comics, cartoons, illustrations, and photographs. Papers that focus on the history or production of periodical art or illustrated periodicals are especially welcome. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the relationship between text and image; collaborations between editors or writers and visual artists; staff and contributing artists; comic strips, cartoon series, or cover art; periodical layout and visual design; and art criticism in ethnic American periodicals.

Papers may focus on any US historical period. Please submit a 300-word abstract and a 1- to 2-page c.v. by December 27, 2014 to Andreá Williams (Ohio State University) at andrea.williams.osu@gmail.com. Please use the subject line “RSAP/ALA proposal.”

Sunday, November 23, 2014

NBC's Constantine

One more post for the night:

Also premiering this season is Constantine on NBC. I've only caught one episode so far, but the series looks interesting. As expected, it has a lot of similarities to the CW's Supernatural in terms of its monsters and magic, and I hope it is given the chance to develop on its own and shed some light on the darker recesses of the DCU.

CW's The Flash

The new series The Flash premiered earlier this season on CW as a spin-off to Arrow, now in its third year. The freshman series recounts the origin and early adventures of the Scarlet Speedster. There is some influence of the New 52 in terms of the setting and aspects of Barry Allen's back story, but it is an engaging story nevertheless. Allen is a really likable character (and a smart dresser), and it is interesting to see how the rogues are being introduced into the DC Live-Action Television Universe (what a mouthful). Some are freaks of the week (as in Smallville, which borrowed the idea from The X-Files) created by the accident/experiment that turned Barry into the Flash, but others seem to develop because of his presence in Central City. Still other characters are named after established DC metahumans (Vibe, Killer Frost, and Firestorm, according to Wikipedia), and one wonders when they too will emerge. There are also the ongoing mysteries of the yellow blur (presumably the Reverse Flash) and his identity (Eddie Thawne--the last name is right--or Harrison Wells--he is from the future and seems willing to do anything to keep Barry on track--or someone we've yet to see) and what exactly the future holds for our hero. Finally while the casting of an African American actor as Johnny Storm in the new Fantastic Four film seems to make little narrative sense (and to have attracted a lot of fan ire), the race-blind casting of Joe and Iris West appears to have received little comment. Both characters blend right into the mythos rather than just being a nod to diversifying the cast (as also seems to have been the case with the new Aqualad introduced for the Young Justice series and then the comics), and their presence offers the added possibility of a black Kid Flash (he is Iris's nephew) in the future and, perhaps, an interracial marriage for Barry.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

CFP Marvel Feature Films Collections (11/15/14)

Here's a call I'm really excited about:

CFP Marvel Feature Films
Location: Texas, United States
Call for Papers Date: 2014-11-15 (in 27 days)
Date Submitted: 2014-09-17
Announcement ID: 216439

Marvel Feature Films edited by Robert Moses Peaslee, Matthew McEniry, and Robert G. Weiner

The recent release of Guardians of the Galaxy marks the penultimate film in the so-called second “phase” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a group of big-budget tentpole films that include Marvel’s The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Solider, Thor: Dark World, Iron Man 1-3, and the Incredible Hulk. Meanwhile, other studios like Sony and Fox have had success with films based on Marvel properties such as the X-Men and Spider-Man.

Feature films and full-length television movies based on Marvel characters go back to the 1970s, however, and very little scholarship has been produced on these films. The editors of this volume seek essays that discuss Marvel feature length films, and while we will consider essays that deal with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and more recent films, we are particularly interested in those films that have not received a lot of scholarly attention (including television and animated features).  We are also interested in work dealing with films produced when certain characters were Marvel properties (like Transformers, G. I. Joe, and Conan). Please note we are not interested in television series, per se, but rather the full-length films produced from them. We are also interested in the business aspect of Marvel Films and Marvel Animation.  We will also consider essays on those unauthorized foreign films based on Marvel characters like Turkish Captain America/Spider-Man, etc.

We are particularly interested in considering essays dealing with:

Transfomers (1986), G.I. Joe (1987), Howard the Duck (1986), Captain America  (1979, 1990), Inhumanoids: the Movie (1986),  Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989), Man-Thing (2005), Ghost Rider (2007, 2011), Spider-Man: The Dragon’s Challenge (1979), Dr. Strange (1979), Generation X (1996), Power Pack (1991), Punisher (1989), Nick Fury: Agent of Shield (1998), Blade 1-3 (1998, 2002, 2004), Elektra (2005), Thor: Tales of Asgard (2011), Iron Man: Rise of Technovore (2013), Planet Hulk (2010), Fantastic Four (1994) and Next Avengers (2008).

A brief but by no means conclusive list of interesting questions to consider:

  • How has Disney’s acquisition of Marvel changed the blockbuster landscape?
  • Why were certain television or direct to video films like Captain America (1990), Captain      America: Death Too Soon or Spider-Man: The Dragon’s Challenge released theatrically overseas?
  • Why did Howard the Duck fail to live up to its hype, and what are we to make of his recent reappearance in the CMU?
  • How can we think more deeply about the use of legend and myth in these films?
  • What was the production history of Transformers (1986) and how did the film eventually factor into the continuity of the      Marvel comics series? 
  • Cyberpunk influences, particularly in films like Iron Man: Rise of Technovore
  • Faustian influences in the Ghost Rider films and the use of the original Ghost Rider, Carter Slade, in the first film.
  • How Daredevil and Thor were used in the Hulk television films?
  • While Blade was moderately successfully in 1998, why did it take the 2000’s X-Men to kick start the current wave of Marvel and superhero films?
  • Generation X as an example of X-film?
  • Has Marvel Animation been successful compared to DC in producing high quality      animated films?
  • Planet Hulk as Greek/Roman myth?
  • Traditional vampire lore in the Blade series.
  • Spider-Man as a villain in the Turkish 3 Dev Adam, also featuring Captain America.
  • The Bollywood 'Tu Mera Superman featuring a mash-up of Superman and Spider-Woman?
  • Production history of producer Roger Corman’s ill-fated attempt at the $2 million Fantastic Four film.

Please submit a 200-500 word abstract by November 15th Rob.weiner@ttu.edu  and Matthew.mceniry@ttu.edu

Upon acceptance final essays will be due on Feb 15th

Matthew McEniry
Texas Tech University Library
18th and Boston
Box 40002
Lubbock Texas 79409
Email: matthew.mceniry@ttu.edu

Thursday, September 11, 2014

CFP: The Canadian Alternative: Canadian Cartoonists, Comics, and Graphic Novels (essays by 4/30/15)

One quick post for the night:

CFP: The Canadian Alternative: Canadian Cartoonists, Comics, and Graphic Novels
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

We seek previously unpublished essays addressing Canadian cartoonists/comics. Our primary interest is in "alternative" cartoonists and cartooning, narrowly defined; that is, figures associated with the underground, independent, and/or ground-level comics movements. Figures of key interest might include but are not limited to

  • Marc Bell   
  • David Boswell   
  • Chester Brown   
  • Scott Chantler   
  • David Collier   
  • Julie Doucet  
  • Rand Holmes   
  • Jeff Lemire (especially his independent work)   
  • Bernie Mireault 
  • Bryan Lee O'Malley   
  • Dave Sim   
  • Seth

However, and as the inclusion of Lemire above indicates, we are also interested in papers dealing with the Canadian "alternative" more broadly-defined, whether represented by the visions of specific creators who have worked in mainstream comics (Byrne, Dan and Gene Day, Lemire, McFarland, etc.) or by Canadian alternatives to mainstream US comics publishing (e.g. the Canadian "whites" of World War Two), the various attempts to create a Canadian market/national hero (perhaps best represented by Richard Comely and Comely Comics's Captain Canuck), and other distinctly Canadian takes on the graphic medium (e.g. Martin Vaughan-James's The Cages, or BP Nicholls's use of comics/cartooning). Substantial essays (5,000-8,000 words) focusing on specific creators, comparing/contrasting the work of a few creators, or addressing Canadian movements in comics are welcome. Submit completed papers by April 30 2015 to Dominick Grace (dgrace2@uwo.ca) and/or Eric Hoffman (diamondjoecity@gmail.com). Dominick Grace and Eric Hoffman are also the editors of Dave Sim: Conversations, Chester Brown: Conversations, and Seth: Conversations for the University Press of Mississippi. Inquiries/proposals are also welcome.

Though a publisher has yet to be determined, the University Press of Mississippi has expressed interest in publishing this collection.

Dominick Grace
Brescia University College
1285 Western Rd
London ON
N6G 1H2
Email: dgrace2@uwo.ca

Monday, August 25, 2014

Golden Age Superboy!

As part of my ongoing quest for Superboys, I was pleased to discover the original Superboy in DC's recent collection The Adventures of Superboy (2010). With story by Jerry Siegel and art by Joe Shuster, the character first appears in More Fun Comics No. 101 (Jan./Feb. 1945) in the opening splash to the story:

We are then presented with 2 1/2 pages of action set on Krypton, where Jor-El (as usual) fails to convince his fellow scientists of the danger threatening their world. Finally, as expected, Jor-El and wife Lara have no other choice but to send their infant son, Kal-El, to Earth. The boy's superhuman abilities are noticeable at an very early age, as Siegel and Shuster introduce the prototype for the Silver Age Superbaby:

Young Kal-El is eventually adopted by the Kents, and he continues to develop his powers in scenes reminiscent of his Silver Age youth. Showing first his increased super strength:

Then his developing ability to fly (seen more fully next issue):

And, finally, his super speed:

Also of interest, the story offers Kal-El's first musings on his place in the world and need for a secret identity:

Later adventures suggest that Clark is about 10 years old at this point (whereas the Silver Age Superboy is a teen), and most of these early stories show him aiding other children both at home and (sometimes) abroad.  He is an interesting character, and, fully embracing both tights and flights, clearly delights in the novelty of his dual identity as first illustrated in the following issue, More Fun Comics 102 (Mar./Apr. 1945):

Check out The Adventures of Superboy for more:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Batman: Assault on Arkham on Home Video (and Justice League: Throne of Atlantis preview)

Warner Home Video recently released Batman: Assault on Arkham to home video. The film draws upon the Batman: Arkham electronic game franchise (taking place after Batman: Arkham Origins) and highlights an adventure of the Suicide Squad. The trailer from DC Entertainment follows:

Details of the extras for the Blu-Ray edition have been conveniently listed on the Blu-ray.com site (http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Batman-Assault-on-Arkham-Blu-ray/102001/#Review) and include:

Audio Commentary: DC Comics Animation creative director Mike Carlin, Assault on Arkham writer Heath Corson and executive producer James Tucker cover every major aspect of the film's development, adaptation, voice casting, animation and music. Director Jay Oliva is nowhere to be found, though.

The Joker's Queen: Harley Quinn (HD, 14 minutes): A look at the animated origin of Harley Quinn, her move to the printed page and the evolution of her character through various media, with Carlin, Quinn co-creator Paul Dini, "Suicide Squad" and Supernatural writer Adam Glass, and Entertainment Weekly writer Geoff Boucher.

Arkham Analyzed: The Secrets Behind the Asylum (HD, 27 minutes): "All things are possible here and I am what madness made me." The not so hallowed institution of Arkham Asylum, its inspiration, and its place in Batman comic books, television shows, videogames and films, with another lineup of interviews with key industry professionals.

From the DC Comics Vault (SD, 91 minutes): "Task Force X" from Justice League Unlimited, "Infiltrator" from Young Justice, "Emperor Joker" from The Brave and the Bold and "Two of a Kind" from The Batman.[The extra cartoons are common to all releases of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies, though one wonders (again) of their value, since real fans will already have these in their collections.]

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis Sneak Peek (HD, 9 minutes): An extended behind-the-scenes promo detailing the production of the next DCU Animated Original Movie, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, the sequel to Justice League: War.

The clip has also surfaced online separate from the Batman film:

X-Men: Days of Future Past Home Video News

The recent film X-Men: Days of Future Past comes to home video this October (10/14/14) with Blu-Ray/Digital HD combo packs (with optional 3D disc), a DVD only version, and Digital Video only versions.

Full details on the Blu-Ray extras has been posted on the Blu-Ray.com site (http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=14558) and includes the following:

Special Features:
Disc 1: Theatrical Feature (Blu-ray 3D)
Disc 2:Theatrical Feature (Blu-ray 2D)
Deleted Scenes [with Optional Audio Commentary by Bryan Singer]
Kitchen Sequence
Gag Reel
Double Take: Xavier & Magneto
X-Men: Reunited
Classification: M
Sentinels: For a Secure Future
Gallery: Trask Industries
Theatrical Trailers
Second Screen App
Digital HD

There are also rumors of an extended edition to be release in 2015.

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Now on Home Video

Marvel's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is now available on home video on Blu-Ray/DVD/Ultraviolet, DVD/Ultraviolet, and Digital Video. A full review of the Blu-Ray set can be found on Blu-Ray.com at http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Amazing-Spider-Man-2-Blu-ray/63965/#Review.

Here are the complete details about Blu-Ray and DVD extras as  posted on EW.com in June (http://insidemovies.ew.com/2014/06/16/amazing-spider-man-2-blu-ray/):

Blu-ray & DVD Bonus Features Include:
4 All-New Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Marc Webb
Filmmaker Commentary
Alicia Keys “It’s On Again” music video

Exclusively Available on Blu-ray:
9 Additional Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Marc Webb, including “Peter Meets His Father”
“The Wages of Heroism: Making The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” featuring revealing, in-depth segments including:
“Lessons Learned: Development and Direction” — Filmmakers and cast discuss their approach to the sequel and their efforts to make it the best Spider-Man yet.
“Heart of the City: Shooting in New York” — A behind-the-scenes look at the film’s unprecedented access to 
New York City during production.
“Triple Threat: Attack of the Villains” — An inside look at the development of Spider-Man’s fearsome foes, Electro, 
the Green Goblin and Rhino.
“A More Dangerous World: Transforming Electro and the Green Goblin” — From make-up to costuming, see what it took to transform Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan into their fearsome alter-egos.
“A Bolt From the Blue: Visual Effects” — Sony Pictures Imageworks artists and animators show how they created the gravity defying, web-slinging and pumped-up action in the new film.
“Spidey Gets His Groove Back: Music and Editing” — Learn how the film’s soundtrack and score came together in this behind-the-scenes look at jam sessions with Composer Hans Zimmer and the team of master musicians he assembled, including Pharrell Williams, Johnny Marr, Michael Einziger and more.

Exclusive to the DVD:
New Public Service Announcement for the Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO), featuring Andrew Garfield & WWO CEO Dr. Jane Aronson

Friday, August 1, 2014

Song of Spider-Man

An interesting read offering insight into the creation of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark: 

Song of Spider-Man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History
By Glen Berger

Simon & Schuster
384 pages
Hardcover (ISBN 9781451684568) $25.00
eBook (ISBN 9781451684582) $12.99
November 2013

Trade Paperback (ISBN 9781451684575) $17.00
November 2014

As one can imagine, writing a Broadway musical has its challenges. But it turns out there are challenges one can’t imagine when collaborating with two rock legends and a superstar director to stage the biggest, most expensive production in theater history.

Song of Spider-Man is playwright Glen Berger’s story of a theatrical dream—or nightmare—come true. Renowned director Julie Taymor picked Berger to cowrite the book for a $25 million Spider-Man musical. Together—along with U2’s Bono and Edge— they would shape a work that was technically daring and emotionally profound, with a story fueled by the hero’s quest for love—and the villains’ quest for revenge. Or at least, that’s what they’d hoped for.

But when charismatic producer Tony Adams died suddenly, the show began to lose its footing. Soon the budget was ballooning, financing was evaporating, and producers were jumping ship or getting demoted. And then came the injuries. And then came word-of- mouth about the show itself. What followed was a pageant of foul-ups, falling-outs, ever-more-harrowing mishaps, and a whole lot of malfunctioning spider legs. This “circus-rock-and-roll-drama,” with its $65 million price tag, had become more of a spectacle than its creators ever wished for. During the show’s unprecedented seven months of previews, the company’s struggles to reach opening night inspired breathless tabloid coverage and garnered international notoriety.

Through it all, Berger observed the chaos with his signature mix of big ambition and self-deprecating humor. Song of Spider-Man records the journey of this cast and crew as a hilarious memoir about friendship, collaboration, the foibles of hubris, and the power of art to remind us that we’re alive.

Friday, July 25, 2014

3rd Global Conference: The Graphic Novel (Oxford, UK 9/3-5/14)

I seem to have missed this:

3rd Global Conference: The Graphic Novel (September 2014: Oxford, United Kingdom)
Location: United Kingdom
Conference Date: 2014-09-03
Date Submitted: 2014-01-08
Announcement ID: 210094
3rd Global Conference: The Graphic Novel

Wednesday 3rd September – Friday 5th September 2014
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Call for Presentations

“Behind this mask there is more than just flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea… and ideas are bulletproof.” 
(Alan Moore, V for Vendetta) 

This inter- and multi-disciplinary conference aims to examine, explore and critically engage with issues in and around the production, creation and reading of all forms of comics and graphic novels. Taken as a form of pictographic narrative it has been with us since the first cave paintings and even in the 21st century remains a hugely popular, vibrant and culturally relevant means of communication whether expressed as sequential art, graphic literature, bandes dessinees, tebeos, fumetti, manga, manhwa, komiks, strips, historietas, quadrinhos, beeldverhalen, or just plain old comics. (as noted by Paul Gravett)

Whilst the form itself became established in the 19th Century it is perhaps not until the 20th century that comic book heroes like Superman (who has been around since 1938) became, not just beloved characters, but national icons. With the globalisation of publishing brands such as Marvel and DC it is no accident that there has been an increase in graphic novel adaptations and their associated merchandising. Movies such as X-men, Iron man, Watchmen and the recent Thor have grossed millions of dollars across the world and many television series have been continued off-screen in the graphic form, Buffy, Firefly and Farscape to name a few.

Of course America and Europe is not the only base of this art form and the Far East and Japan have their own traditions as well as a huge influence on graphic representations across the globe. In particular Japanese manga has influenced comics in Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, France and the United States, and have created an amazing array of reflexive appropriations and re-appropriations, in not just in comics but in anime as well.

Of equal importance in this growth and relevance of the graphic novel are the smaller and independent publishers that have produced influential works such as Maus by Art Spiegleman, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Palestine by Joe Sacco, Epileptic by David B and even Jimmy Corrigan by Chris Ware that explore, often on a personal level, contemporary concerns such as gender, diaspora, post-colonialism, sexuality, globalisation and approaches to health, terror and identity. Further to this the techniques and styles of the graphic novel have taken further form online creating entirely web-comics and hypertexts, as in John Cei Douglas’ Lost and Found and Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl, as well as forming part of larger trans-media narratives and submersive worlds, as in the True Blood franchise that invites fans to enter and participate in constructing a narrative in many varied formats and locations.

This projects invites papers that consider the place of the comic or graphic novel in both history and location and the ways that it appropriates and is appropriated by other media in the enactment of individual, social and cultural identity.

Presentations, reports, work-in-progress, workshops and pre-formed panels are invited on issues related to (but not limited to) the following themes:

1)Just what makes a Graphic Novel so Graphic and so Novel?:
~Sources, early representations and historical contexts of the form.
~Landmarks in development, format and narratology.
~Cartoons, comics, graphic novels and artists books.
~Words, images, texture and colour and what makes a GN
~Format, layout, speech bubbles and “where the *@#% do we go from here?”

2)The Inner and Outer Worlds of the Graphic Novel:
~Outer and Inner spaces; Thoughts, cities, and galaxies and other representations of graphic place and space.
~Differing temporalities, Chronotopes and “time flies”:
Intertextuality, editing and the nature of Graphic and/or Deleuzian time.
~Graphic Superstars and Words versus Pictures: Alan Moore v Dave Gibbons (Watchmen) Neil Gaiman v Jack Kirby (Sandman).
~Performance and performativity of, in and around graphic representations.
~Transcriptions and translations: literature into pictures, films into novels and high/low graphic arts.

3)Identity, Meanings and Otherness:
~GN as autobiography, witnessing, diary and narrative
~Representations of disability, illness, coping and normality
~Cultural appropriations, east to west and globalisation
~National identity, cultural icons and stereo-typical villains
~Immigration, postcolonial and stories of exile
~Representing gender, sexualities and non-normative identities.
~Politics, prejudices and polemics: banned, censored and comix that are just plain wrong”
~Other cultures, other voices, other words

4)To Infinity and Beyond: The Graphic Novel in the 21st Century: ~Fanzines and Slash-mags: individual identity through appropriation.
~Creator and Created: Interactions and interpolations between authors and audience.
~Hypertext, Multiple formats and inter-active narratives. ~Cross media appropriation, GN into film, gaming and merchandisng and vice versa
~Graphic Myths and visions of the future: Sandman, Hellboy, Ghost in the Shell.
~Restarting the Canon: what are the implication of the restart in universes such as Marcel and DC and do they represent the opportunity to reopen ongoing conversations?

Presentations will be accepted which deal with related areas and themes.

In order to support and encourage interdisciplinarity engagement, it is our intention to create the possibility of starting dialogues between the parallel events running during this conference. Delegates are welcome to attend up to two sessions in each of the concurrent conferences. We also propose to produce cross-over sessions between these groups – and we welcome proposals which deal with the relationship between The Graphic Novel and Augmentation.

What to Send:
300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 4th April 2014. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 11th July 2014. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords. E-mails should be entitled: GN3 Abstract Submission

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs
Nadine Farghaly: Nadine.Farghaly@gmx.net
Rob Fisher:gn3@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the Education Hub series of research projects, which in turn belong to the At the Interface programmes of Inter-Disciplinary.Net. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore discussions which are innovative and challenging. All proposals accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected proposals may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.

For further details of the conference, please visit:

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

Priory House
149B Wroslyn Road
Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1993 882087
Fax: +44 (0)870 4601132
Email: gn3@inter-disciplinary.net
Visit the website at http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/at-the-interface/education/the-graphic-novel/call-for-papers/

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

CFP Spec. Issue of American Periodicals on War and Periodicals (1/30/15)

CFP: Special Issue of American Periodicals on War and Periodicals (Abstracts Due: January 30, 2015)
full name / name of organization:
James Berkey and Mark Noonan
contact email:
CFP: Special Issue of American Periodicals on War and Periodicals

American Periodicals is currently seeking submissions for a special issue on “War and Periodicals,” guest edited by James Berkey (Duke University) and Mark Noonan (CUNY). The journal is devoted exclusively to scholarship and criticism relating to American magazines and newspapers of all periods.

With the Civil War sesquicentennial coming to a close and World War I centennial commemorations getting underway, the time is particularly ripe to engage in productive dialogue about war and periodicals. This special issue seeks to refract the already rich discussions taking place about war and culture through the lens of periodical studies. Writers for the special edition might address:

  • periodicals as spaces of dialogue and/or dissent
  • seriality and war
  • the rise of the war correspondent
  • women journalists
  • photography and war
  • soldier newspapers
  • trench journalism
  • fictional representations of war in periodicals
  • anti-war publications
  • the imagined communities of wartime America
  • intra- and intertextual readings of war-time periodical fiction
  • issues of authenticity in the representation of war in periodicals
  • advertisements and war
  • effect of war on periodicals (changes in editorial policies, suppression of material, etc.)
  • major authors at war (Hemingway, Crane, Alcott, Wharton, Whitman)
  • war in the periodical marketplace (competing visions amongst magazines)
  • the yellow press
  • illustrating war
  • the appearance of periodicals in war-time fiction
  • war and the radical Left (Ken, Mother Earth, The Masses)
  • response to war in African American periodicals
  • newspapers and war
  • zines and war
  • Digital Humanities approaches to war-time periodicals
  • digital innovations in war journalism and photography (blogs, Twitter, Instagram, Hipstamatic)
  • representing 9/11 in the periodicals

Send abstracts to James Berkey at james.berkey@duke.edu by January 30, 2015. Completed essays should be no more than 7500 words and will be due September 2015. All submissions should conform to the style of American Periodicals (see http://www.amperiodicals.org/?page_id=11) and will undergo peer review in keeping with the procedures of the journal. The issue will appear in the fall of 2016.

By web submission at 04/18/2014 - 21:05

CFP X-Men Films: A Cultural Analysis (9/27/14)

Call For Chapters: The X-Men Films: A Cultural Analysis
Call for Chapter Proposals on the X-Men Films

We would like to invite submissions of chapter proposals for an edited book on the X-Men film franchise. The volume, to be published by Rowman & Littlefield, is titled “The X-Men Films: A Cultural Analysis” and seeks to present scholarly research on the movies, their audiences, and their place within the entertainment industry. The overarching framework is cultural studies and media studies, yet the approach is interdisciplinary, so we welcome submissions that involve related disciplines.

The book focuses specifically on the X-Men movies (not the comics) as popular culture products of international relevance. While the films are rooted in the original Marvel series, they depart from it in various ways, constituting their own conceptual universe. Therefore, chapter proposals may consider the X-Men’s transformation from comics to movies, but should not deal primarily with the comic books.

Proposals may focus on any of the X-Men’s movie characters, on themes that run across several films, or on particular installments of the series—including the original trilogy that started in the year 2000, the recent prequels, and the ‘Wolverine’ offshoots. Since the franchise continues to expand (two more movies are already slated for release in upcoming years) we are looking for research that is relevant and timely. In particular, proposals may address textual aspects of the X-Men films, consider them in relationship to social
and political issues, compare them to other superhero movie series, or provide an understanding of their audiences. Proposals that deal with topics of importance for international/intercultural communication are

The following is a preliminary list of topics of interest:

  • Social issues reflected in the X-Men films
  • Political subtexts found in the X-Men films
  • Individual characters’ analysis (Wolverine, Prof X, Magneto, Mystique…)
  • Representations of gender, race, class, age, and sexual orientation
  • Issues of diversity, disability, inclusiveness, and marginalization
  • Issues of otherness, identity, trauma, and belonging
  • Portrayals of violence and war in the X-Men films
  • Historical references (e.g. the Holocaust, the Vietnam War)
  • Representations of power, politics, and the government
  • Moral dilemmas, personal choices, and issues of social responsibility
  • Portrayals of science, technology and change
  • The X-Men’s transformation from comics to movies
  • Industry aspects of the film franchise
  • The X-Men in relationship to other Marvel superhero films (e.g. Avengers)
  • Marvel’s X-Men versus DC-based series (e.g. Batman, Justice League)
  • Original research on audiences and fans
  • International/intercultural perspectives on the X-Men
  • Beyond the X-Men: related themes in popular culture

Please send a 600-word abstract of your proposed chapter to bucciferro@gonzaga.edu, along with a short bio and contact information. The deadline for proposals is September 27, 2014.

The chapter selection will seek to represent a variety of analytical perspectives, disciplinary frameworks, and thematic clusters. The full chapters will be 5,500 – 6,000 words long and the manuscripts will be due in January 2015, with further revisions due in May 2015.

If you have questions, please contact Claudia Bucciferro, assistant professor of communication studies at Gonzaga University, at bucciferro@gonzaga.edu or (509) 313-3635.

CFP Comedy and Comics (9/30/14; NeMLA 4/30-5/3/15)

Comedy and Comics: Parody, Satire, and Humor in Superhero Narratives (Abstract Deadline 9/30/14)
full name / name of organization:
Northeast Modern Language Association (Toronto, 4/30-5/3/2015)
contact email:

Stan Lee bristles at calling them "comic books," lest readers think they are only "funny books." This panel identifies how humor operates in works centered around superheroes—as parody, satire, and comedy. Potential topics include comedic twists on the superhero archetype; "campy" TV and film adaptations of "serious" characters; webcomics and humorous children's books; teaching satire through comics; and cross-cultural appropriation of the superhero motif.

Submit abstracts (300 words maximum) to Session ID#15447 at http://NeMLA.org/convention/2015/cfp.html. A free account at http://NeMLA.org/users/?operation=register is required to submit abstracts. Submit questions to websupport@nema.org or derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com.

This session welcomes submissions on a range of topics. This session may draw together studies of comics and the superhero motif as captured in works published by mainstream and independent outlets, including the works of Mark Millar, Frank Miller, and Alan Moore, and in works including El Chapulín Colorado, Dr. Horrible, Robocop, El Santos, The Tick, and Tiger and Bunny. This session also can include presentations focused around children's literature, based on how often texts directed at younger readers—Bone, Captain Underpants, and The Powerpuff Girls—eschew the conceits of superhero narratives to appeal to audiences across multiple age groups. In addition, camp in comics motivates considerable discussion in gender and sexuality studies, as many scholars develop their scholarship out of the shadow of the Adam West Batman television series (itself continuing in new comic books released by publisher DC Comics). Additional topics can focus on the use of satire built around superheroes in fan communities online, such as The Hawkeye Initiative and Escher Girls.

By web submission at 07/14/2014 - 18:46

CFP Josh Whedon's Comics Collection (8/31/14)

CfP: Joss Whedon’s Comics
Posted on July 6, 2014

With dozens of nonfiction books on Joss Whedon’s works from Buffy toAvengers, one critical area has been ignored: Whedon’s comics. In fact, he’s written several series for Marvel and DC, along with independents and the many issues of Angel, Buffy, and Serenity comics for IDW and Dark Horse. While a few isolated essays have tackled Buffy season eight or Whedon’s X-Men run, there is no anthology devoted to only Whedon comics. Now that’s about to change.

Essays on any aspect of Whedon’s comics (as described below) are welcome. The completed essays should be 4000-5000 words. Essays must adhere to MLA format and be friendly and approachable, yet academic in scope and content. New papers or presented conference papers rather than reprints are appreciated. This collection is not yet under contract, but I have several interested publishers who are awaiting a list of essays to be included. McFarland, who publishes most of the Buffy criticism collections, will likely be on board.

Proposal Guidelines: Please send a 350-500 word summary of your proposed essay pasted into your email, along with a short professional bio or cover letter.

Direct inquiries and proposals can be sent to Valerie Estelle Frankel, pop culture author and professor, at valerie at calithwain.com with a subject of WHEDON SUBMISSION.

Abstracts are due Aug 31, Complete papers Nov 30, 2014.

Essays on both canon and “less official” Whedon comics are welcome, as are comparisons between Whedon comics and other comics or other Whedon works. Discussion of comic conventions from canon to art to gender issues are also appreciated.  Other areas, like comparing Whedon’s Avengers movie, Agents of SHIELD, Doctor Horrible, or other shows to comics are also possible. On the shows, Buffy is compared to Spider-Man, Superman and Power Girl, Angel is compared to Batman so much Boreanaz was offered the role, Dark Willow parallels Dark Phoenix, Cordy and Fred are called Wonder Woman, and Xander and Giles are compared to Jimmy Olsen and Alfred…there’s paper material there, too. This anthology welcomes established Whedon scholars as well as enthusiastic new writers.

Which comics are Whedon’s? Canon comics include the following Whedon products (as Whedon wrote or supervised them).


  • Fray
  • Tales of the Slayers
  • Tales of the Vampires
  • Buffy: The Origin (reprinted in Buffy Omnibus 1)
  • Angel: Long Night’s Journey (#1-4) (reprinted in Angel: Omnibus 1)
  • “Always Darkest” (reprinted in Myspace Dark Horse Presents #4 or available online)
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight (Whedon wrote #1-5, 10, 11, 16-19)
  • Angel: After the Fall, Angel: The End, and spin-offs
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Nine (Whedon wrote #1-2)
  • Angel & Faith
  • Buffy Season Ten and Angel & Faith Vol. 2  2014-

See http://valeriefrankel.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/a-guide-to-the-buffy-and-angel-comics/ for a more elaborate Buffyverse comics guide and reading order.


  • Astonishing X-Men vol. 3: (#1-24) & Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1 (reprinted as the collections Astonishing X-Men: Gifted, Dangerous, Torn, Unstoppable)
  • “Teamwork” (in Giant Size X-Men #3, available online)


  • Serenity: Those Left Behind
  • Serenity: Better Days
  • Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale
  • “Serenity: Firefly Class 03-K64 – It’s Never Easy” (available online) by Zack Whedon
  • Serenity: Leaves on the Wind by Zack Whedon


  • Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories by Zack Whedon


  • “Some Steves” (in Stan Lee Meets The Amazing Spider-Man #1)
  • Runaways vol. 2 (#25-30) (reprinted as Dead End Kids)
  • Superman/Batman #26 (p. 20-21)
  • Sugarshock 1-3 (reprinted in Myspace Dark Horse Presents #1)

Please contact Valerie Estelle Frankel at valerie @ calithwain.com with any questions.

CFP Arrow TV Series Collection (8/31/14)

Call for Submissions: Edited collection on the CW television series Arrow
Editors: Jim Iaccino, Cory Barker, and Myc Wiatrowski

In just two years on the air, the CW’s Arrow has garnered both fan and critical acclaim for its ambitious storytelling, well-produced action sequences, and solid performances. Arrow’s stories and characters offer opportunities for discussions of justice and vigilantism, masculinity, dual identities, and aesthetics. Furthermore, the series has thrived in adapting DC Comics stories and characters to television, but also in translating the spirit and stylistic flourishes of comics to the televisual medium. Arrow therefore also raises important questions about media franchising, adaptation, medium specificity, and industry trends. As a young series, very little has been written about Arrow in academic circles. This collection of essays seeks to provide the opening large-scale investigation into the CW series and examine Arrow from multiple perspectives and disciplines.

Potential topics for discussion include, but are not limited to:

  • Representations of masculinity, femininity, race, sexuality, class, and family within Arrow
  • Explorations of justice, violence, the greater good, and morality within Arrow
  • Examinations of secret (and dual) identities, teamwork, and secret keeping within Arrow
  • Deceptions of a “realistic” superhero story and the slow introduction of more fantastical elements within Arrow
  • Arrow’s narrative techniques, including the preponderance of flashbacks and serialization
  • Arrow’s fight choreography and action set pieces
  • Chapters discussing individual episodes or story arcs within Arrow
  • Chapters discussing particular character arcs or relationships (Oliver-Felicity, Oliver-Slade, Thea-Roy, etc.) within Arrow
  • Arrow as an adaptation of the pre-existing Green Arrow stories and its employment of characters and arcs from the larger DC Comics universe
  • Evolution of the Arrow figure from the Smallville series to the current show
  • Arrow as part of the recent push for superhero series on television (including comparisons between Arrow and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow and The Flash)
  • Critical reception to Arrow
  • Arrow themes in popular culture
  • Fan readings, productions, and activities related to and about Arrow

This collection is under contract with McFarland, so all that remains is securing the contributions in a timely fashion for a planned text publication in late 2015-early 2016.

The deadline for proposals of 500 words is August 31, 2014. Please email your abstract and a brief bio to jiaccino@thechicagoschool.edu. Please put “Arrow Abstract” in the subject line. If an abstract is selected for the collection, full essays of 5,000-7,000 words will be due by December 1, 2014.

CFP Comic Book Women (Spec. Issue of J of Fandom Studies) (3/1/14)

Another expired CFP (sorry): 

Call For Papers: Comic Book Women, Journal of Fandom Studies special issue
Thematic Issue: Comic Book Women

This special issue of the Journal of Fandom Studies responds to the increasing interest in representations of women in comic books and the general explosion of Comic Studies over the last decade.
Historically, the best known comic book heroes have been men, reflecting a general dismissal of, and bias against, women within the genre. However, fan communities throughout the world have rebelled against this tradition.

Wonder Woman has never gone out of style, with fans such as Gloria Steinem from the early years of the comic as well as later fans introduced to the heroine through the Lynda Carter television show or her most recent comic book appearances. Some of Wonder Woman’s peers from the 1940s, such as Miss Fury and Nelvana of the Northern Lights, have recently reemerged in print due to crowdfunding efforts. Interest in such female comic book characters is not purely nostalgic, instead speaking to the ways in which fans have reinterpreted their cultural relevancy. In addition, new fan communities are responsible for the revival of Ms. Marvel, who will now appear as a Muslim teenager. She will be the first comic book character to represent contemporary intersections of gender, ethnicity, and religion.
In spite of these exciting cultural trends, there remains little scholarly research about fan responses to comic book women.
Existing research tends to focus upon gender stereotypes within texts and has not addressed what these heroines have represented to actual fans, both past and present.
We welcome papers representing a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

• the history, development, and significance of the fan communities of comic book women
• the role of new media in creating, sustaining, or reimagining these fan communities
• fan activities and cultural practices
• fan discourses
• the commodification and/or cultural production/destruction of fan communities
• fan reactions or fan community formations related to issues of class, race, gender, or sexual orientation

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 1 March 2014.
Please submit an Abstract (250 words maximum) and a short biography (50 words maximum)

Deadline for submission of full papers: 15 September 2014.
Please submit a full paper (6,000-9,000 words, including references and tables).

Please send abstracts and full papers to: Dr. Caryn E. Neumann (neumance@miamioh.edu) and Dr. Sharon Zechowski (zechows@miamioh.edu)

For any further queries, please write to:
Dr. Caryn E. Neumann (neumance@miamioh.edu), Lecturer, Dept of Integrative Studies and Affiliate, Dept of History, Miami University of Ohio


Dr. Sharon Zechowski (zechows@miamioh.edu), Visiting Assistant Professor, Dept of Communication, Miami University of Ohio

CFP Comics and the Canon (Spec. Issue of Partial Answers) (6/16/14)

Another expired call:

Call for Papers: Comics and the Canon
A special issue of Partial Answers: Journal of Literature and the History of Ideas

Over the last three decades, comics, graphic memoirs, and graphic novels have emerged as literary, artistic, and cultural artifacts of central importance. Comics were once seen as outside what we might broadly call a literary and fine-arts “canon”: as objects belonging to low culture rather than high culture, as ephemeral items rather than artworks of lasting and iconic significance, as lesser hybrids of word and image rather than as belonging to a specific demanding medium. And yet the last thirty years have seen the rise and impact of works that are serious, ambitious, and monumental — works in conversation with an established literary and artistic canon, and works which themselves make a claim to cultural centrality and significance. “Comics studies” has developed as an academic discipline; artists and critics have worked to recover the rich and understudied history of the medium, with the result that a “canon” of central figures is emerging.

What is gained and what is lost when we try to establish a Comics canon? How do artists make claims to cultural centrality by putting their work in conversation with more traditional canonical works, and how do they challenge the “canon” through exploring alternative aesthetic values and subjects? In the canon-building process of winnowing and centralization, which works are elevated and which are excluded? Is there something perverse in canonizing works in a medium that has often characterized itself as marginal? What tensions are thereby exposed, not just in comics but also in the very process of canonization?

This collection invites essays on all aspects of comics and canonization, including

  • analyses of comics which rewrite or otherwise engage with canonical works of art, film and literature,
  • studies that consider comics in relation to other artistic media in which word and image are traditionally combined (illustrated novels, illuminated manuscripts, film scripts and storyboards, etc.),
  • defenses and critiques of the artists whose works have become most central to the comics canon (Spiegelman, Satrapi, Bechdel),
  • arguments for the inclusion of understudied artists, artworks and movements in the comics canon,
  • essays on the ways in which comics challenge the premises and processes of literary canonization,
  • projections on the future of the “canon” in comics classes and scholarship. 

Submissions (between 5,000 and 10,000 words, the Harvard system of references) are due by June 16, 2014. Authors of the papers that are accepted will be responsible for obtaining permissions to reprint illustrations.
    The journal will accept electronic submissions, in Word or RTF, to be sent to partans@mail.huji.ac.il . For inquiries please contact the guest editor, Professor Ariela Freedman (Concordia University, Montreal) at ariela.freedman@concordia.ca .

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

CFP Asian Comics and Graphic Novels on Film (Panel for SCMS) (7/20/14; Montreal 3/25-29/15)

One more for the night:

SCMS 2015: Asian Comics and Graphic Novels - Deadline: July 20, 2014
full name / name of organization:
Areum Jeong / UCLA
contact email:

I am organizing a panel for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference which will be held March 25-29, 2015 at Montreal.

This panel looks at the relationship between nation and visuality, in particular, the visualization of Asian comics and graphic novels in cinema. Focusing on Asian comics and graphic novels and their filmic adaptations, the panel explores how such works represent performances of everyday life and/or political critique across the continent.

How do comics and graphic novels and their filmic adaptations confront national history and memory? How do such works represent and/or misrepresent a particular national identity? How do such works construct race or gender in a nation? How do such works represent minoritarian figures? What forms of adaptation and/or translation exist for images of comics and graphic novels that make national and/or transnational cinemas possible? And what happens when those imagined communities move from one nation to another or remain in the interstice between nations?

Paper proposals of 300 words should be sent to Areum Jeong at areumjeong@ucla.edu by July 20, 2014.

By web submission at 06/09/2014 - 06:57
CFP Website maintained by
The University of Pennsylvania Department of English

CFP Ages of the Incredible Hulk (7/15/14)

Darowski's at work again:

The Ages of the Incredible Hulk: Essays on Marvel's Jade Giant in Changing Times
full name / name of organization:
Joseph J. Darowski
contact email:

The editor of The Ages of the Incredible Hulk: Essays on Marvel’s Jade Giant in Changing Times is seeking abstracts for essays which could be included in the upcoming collection. The essays should examine the relationships between Incredible Hulk comic books (or comic books featuring Hulk-related characters) and the culture when those comics were published. Analysis may demonstrate how the stories found in Hulk comic books and the creators who produced the comics embrace, reflect, or critique aspects of their contemporary culture. This will be a companion volume to The Ages of Superman, The Ages of Wonder Woman, The Ages of the X-Men, The Ages of the Avengers, and The Ages of Iron Man.

Potential chapters include, but are not limited to, the following:

-Controlling the Bomb: A Scientist’s Unintended Consequences in The Incredible Hulk
-Nuclear Power, the U.S. Military, and Fear: The Weaponization of Bruce Banner
-Balance of Power: The Hulk’s Awkward Role in The Avengers
-The Hulk Versus the U.S. Military in the Vietnam War Era
-The Two Sides of Nuclear Power: Bruce Banner and Samuel Sterns
-Hulk Versus the Abomination: Cold War Politics in Superhero Adventures
-She-Hulk and the Working Woman
-The Incredible Hulk: Crossroads and the Search for Identity
-Raising Awareness of Child Abuse in Marvel Comics and a New Origin for the Hulk
-Future Imperfect: Unchecked Power After the Cold War
-Addressing AIDS in Marvel Comics: Jim Wilson, Rick Jones, and the Hulk
-The Sensational She-Hulk and Hyper-Awareness of Form in Contemporary Comics
-Hulk: The End and Dystopian Fears in the New Millennium
-Twenty-First Century Gladiator: Planet Hulk
-Red Hulk: Becoming What You Fear.

Essays should focus on stories from the Hulk’s comic book adventures, not media adaptations of the character. Furthermore, essays should look at a single period of comic book history, rather than drawing comparisons between different publication eras. For example, an essay that analyzed Hulk comics from the early 1960s and contextualized them with what was happening in American society would be more likely to be accepted than an essay that contrasted Hulk comic books from the 1970s with Hulk comic books from the 1990s. Any team title or mini-series that features Hulk, or Hulk-related characters such as She-Hulk, Red Hulk, or Skarr, can be considered as source material for potential chapters.

The completed essays should be approximately 15-20 double-spaced pages.

Abstracts (100-500 words) and CVs should be submitted by July 15, 2014.

Please submit via email to Joseph Darowski, darowskij@byui.edu

Joseph Darowski
Brigham Young University-Idaho
525 S. Center
Rigby Hall 122
Rexburg, ID 83460
Phone: (517) 281-3275

By web submission at 06/09/2014 - 15:25

CFP Sidekicks and Underlings (5/31/14; France 10/3-4/14)

Sounds like a fun conference theme:

Sidekicks and Underlings - Oct. 3-4, 2014 - Bordeaux, France
full name / name of organization:
CLIMAS, Université Bordeaux-Montaigne, France
contact email:
Nathalie.Jaeck@u-bordeaux-montaigne.fr, Jean-Paul.Gabilliet@u-bordeaux-montaigne.fr
Sidekicks and Underlings
Université Bordeaux-Montaigne
Bordeaux - Oct. 3-4, 2014.

CLIMAS (Cultures et Littératures des Mondes Anglophones), the research group in Anglo-American Studies of Université Bordeaux-Montaigne, organizes a conference titled “Sidekicks and Underlings” to be held in Bordeaux on October 3-4, 2014.

We expect submissions from specialists of literature, arts, popular culture, history, politics in the English-speaking world.

The role of the second has a long, rich history and sidekicks can be traced back extensively (Agamemnon to Menelaus, Horatio to Hamlet): avoiding a mere inventory of case-studies, we will thus examine the interests of that unequal pairing, the crucial functions of sidekicks and underlings – from comic relief, to faithful support of the hero, to intradiegetic embodiment of the audience, a kind of intermediary persona variously mediating and modulating the access to the hero. We will also explore the nature of the specific links between sidekicks and genre fiction (it seems indeed that detective fiction, comedy, fantasy constitute favourable grounds to sidekicks), as well as the particular relevance of the figure in classic popular literature – sidekicks often playing the role of the lesser intelligent character in order to highlight the flamboyance of the hero. Sidekicks are also crucially a way to elaborate on the identity of the hero: sometimes supplying for a lack (Dr. Watson making Sherlock Holmes more humane for example), sometimes highlighting a specific aspect of their counterpart. They introduce a duality in the self, and allow for a reflexion on the notion of identity, and may thus extend to inter-gender and inter-ethnic constructs.

We will also be specifically interested in what could be called the modern prominence of sidekicks and underlings, and the complication of the pattern. It first seems that the role of sidekick might well be a convenient unassuming mask, a harmless decoy to hide eminently powerful characters or interests, and that the respective positions in typical pairs are less static than it seems, more interchangeable, and reversible even. This pattern is valid both in fiction where secondary characters overshadow or even outdo the hero, and in history or politics: the position of the sidekick is indeed a strategic one, a sort of convenient, protected rear base that typically gives less visibility and thus more freedom. Eminences grises and underdogs in politics will also come under scrutiny, as well as the several strategies to minimise one’s position in order to better achieve domineering aims.

It finally reads as if sidekicks and underlings had gradually gained ground, as if in some instances, they did not need a hero any more, and did not define themselves as the lesser character in a pair, but as the central focus – heroes being sometimes radically done up with – we might think for example of the Judd Apatow movies, that typically present the audience with a palatable collection of multiple sidekicks, that colonise the movies, and break the convention of the hero. Examining the many examples where sidekicks and underlings attract the limelight will enable us to reflect upon their modern rehabilitation, their glamorous return.

Please submit proposals (in English or French) by May 31, 2014 to:

By web submission at 04/25/2014 - 11:18

CFP New Directions in Comics Studies (7/30/14; UK 10/25/14)

TRANSITIONS 5 – New Directions in Comics Studies
full name / name of organization:
Birkbeck, University of London
contact email:
TRANSITIONS 5 – New Directions in Comics Studies
Saturday October 25th 2014 at Birkbeck, University of London

Call for Papers

Keynote: Dr. Jason Dittmer (UCL, Captain America & the Nationalist Superhero)

Respondent: Dr. Roger Sabin, Central Saint Martins, Comics, Comix & Graphic Novels)

We are pleased to announce the call for papers for the forthcoming 5th Transitions symposium, promoting new research and multi-disciplinary academic study of comics/ comix/ manga/ bande dessinée and other forms of sequential art. By deliberately not appointing a set theme, we hope to put together a programme reflecting the diversity of comics studies. We welcome abstracts for twenty minute papers as well as proposals for panels.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

text-oriented approaches – studies of key creators – historical and contemporary studies of production and circulation of comics – readerships and fan cultures – critical reception – formats, platforms and contexts – the (im)materiality of comics – archival concerns – formalist/narratological approaches – comics and aesthetics – adaptation, convergence and remediation – international iterations and transnational comics – children’s comics – political comics – comics and cultural theory – ideological/discursive critiques – web comics – graphic medicine – non-fiction comics – comics as historiography – comics practice and theory– cultural histories/geographies…

Abstracts for twenty minute papers should be no more than 250 – 300 words. Proposals for papers and panels should be sent as Word documents, with a short biography appended, and submitted by the 30th of July 2014 to Hallvard, Tony and Nina at transitions.symposium@gmail.com.

Transitions is supported by Comica, The Centre for Contemporary Literature (Birkbeck), and the Contemporary Fiction Seminar.


By web submission at 05/27/2014 - 16:47

Conference Comics and Medicine: From Private Lives to Public Health (6/26-28/14)

[UPDATE] Comics and Medicine: From Private Lives to Public Health
full name / name of organization:
Comics and Medicine international organizing group

Comics and Medicine: From Private Lives to Public Health
Johns Hopkins Medical Campus, June 26-28, 2014.

Keynote speakers: Ellen Forney,Arthur Frank, Carol Tilley, James Sturm.

Cartoonists, comics scholars, health care workers,patients. Scholarly sessions, lightning presentations, artists' tables.

By web submission at 06/01/2014 - 13:05

CFP Graphic Novel (Spec. Issue Studies in the Novel) (10/1/14)

Call for Papers: Special issue on the Graphic Novel, deadline of Oct. 1, 2014
full name / name of organization:
Studies in the Novel
contact email:

Studies in the Novel is inviting papers for possible inclusion in a special issue on the graphic novel to be guest edited by Stephen E. Tabachnick, Professor of English at the University of Memphis, author of The Quest for Jewish Belief and Identity in the Graphic Novel (2014), and editor of Teaching the Graphic Novel (2009). Essays on any aspect of the graphic novel are welcome, ranging from close readings of individual works or the analysis of the oeuvre of a given writer/artist, to broader topics, such as consideration of the influence of a national tradition, a study of formal elements in several works, graphic novel adaptations, new methods of graphic novel analysis, or the teaching of graphic novels. For consideration, complete essays of no more than 9,000 words should be submitted by October 1, 2014 to Tim Boswell, Managing Editor, at studiesinthenovel@unt.edu.

By web submission at 05/06/2014 - 20:41

CFP: Influence of Comics/BD/Graphic Novels on the Novel (9/30/14)

CFP: Transformed by Comics: the influence of comics/BD/graphic novels on the Novel
(from H-PCAACA: https://networks.h-net.org/node/13784/discussions/25847/cfp-transformed-comics-influence-comicsbdgraphic-novels-novel)

            While there has been scholarly research on the influence of poetry on cinema, or the influence of paintings on poetry, as well as the relationship between film and fiction, little work has been published on the importance of comics and graphic novels for contemporary writing. Such a space is all the more obvious when one considers new works on the relationship between high and low culture, comics and fine art. What would for example a novelization of a BD, graphic novel or comic mean? What titles exist in today’s ‘comics aware’ culture and is there a forgotten tradition to discover? What codes, practices, themes and narrative techniques are significant for novelizations of text-image source texts?

            There is a small but significant discussion on Chabon’s Kavalier and Clay (2001), or Jay Cantor’s Krazy Kat (1994) as well as Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (1973), but not much on Tom de Have’s Funny Papers (1985), Frederic Teuten’s Tintin in the New World (1993), Rick Moody’s Ice Storm (1994), Austin Grossman’s Soon I will be invincible (2007). More work is clearly needed, including on lost Anglophone texts, as well as sites from other cultural traditions.

            We certainly need also to start to evaluate Francophone and other non-Anglophone examples. Do the novelists who also work with BD separate out their two fields of activity or work with more intermedial techniques? For example does Jean Teulé’s Bord Cadrage (2009) work as a complex play between forms? Not to mention work from Harry Morgan (alias Christian Wahl), who is a novelist, BD writer and theorist of comics. And what about the growing importance of Ludovic Debeurme, Benoit Peeters, François Rivière, Willy Mouele, and Joann Sfar? All of whom are working in spaces that sit between traditional fiction and the world of the comics. What about the novels in other languages? In Italian (e.g. Umberto Eco’s La Misteriosa Fiamma de la regina Loanna, 2004)? In Dutch? Spanish? German? Japanese? Also, if the comics world is dominated by male writers and male fans, are there women writers interested in subverting these phallocentric comics in their novels?

            We invite papers on any aspect of this research question, including treatments of single authors or comparative works, theoretical engagements with underlying narratological and text-image questions, as well as cross-national expansions of the sense of the field. No special consideration is given for any cultural space, we encourage originality Similarly papers on the pre-existing tradition of children’s literature and its adaptation strategies are welcome such as Dave Eggers’s novelisation of Where the Wild Things are.

Length & Deadlines:
400-500 Word Abstracts are invited for 30 September 2014
4000-5000 word essays to be completed after editorial selection for January 30 2015
The text will be published in a special issue of Image & Narrative after the traditional double blind review process.
Language: English or French
Contact editors, Hugo Frey (h.frey@chi.ac.uk) and Chris Reyns-Chikuma (reynschi@ualberta.ca)

Chris Reyns-Chikuma
University of Alberta
Email: reynschi@ualberta.ca

Friday, June 13, 2014

IJoCA Spring 2014 Out Now

The latest number of the International Journal of Comic Art, 16.1 for Spring 2014, arrived earlier this month coming in at a hefty 590 pages. Full contents to be posted as soon as they are made available.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

More on ComiXolgy

Here are some more reports on the comiXology situation. The comments are particularly interesting.

​Comixology cuts Apple, Google out of digital-comics kickback (26 April 2014):


ComiXology ceases iOS in-app purchases following Amazon acquisition (26 April 2014):

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

comiXology Updates

Earlier this month it was announced that Amazon had acquired the comiXology digital comics store. The first move towards its integration into Amazon was the site's severing of its ties to Apple with the release of a comics reader app to replace its (now) non-functional storefront app. Further details from these two articles on The Beat:

Amazon removes ability to buy comics through Comixology app to cut out Apple (26 April 2014):


New ComiXology: Publishers can run their storefront apps for now (28 April 2014):

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

CFP Comics and Graphic Narratives (5/15/14; PAMLA 10/31-11/2/14)

112th Annual Conference - Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014

Comics and Graphic Narratives

Presiding Officer:
Dawn Dietrich, Western Washington University

Open (accepting submissions)

Associated Sessions
Comics and Graphic Narratives

Topic Type:
Standing Session

- See more at: http://www.pamla.org/2014/topics/comics-and-graphic-narratives#sthash.5RZjfgiG.dpuf

CFP Webcomics (5/15/14; PAMLA 10/31-11/2/14)

Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association
112th Annual Conference - Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014

Webcomics: A New Media Canon?

Presiding Officer:
Christopher Kuipers, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Are there webcomic classics and canons now?  How have webcomics reinvented cartoons since McCloud’s Reinventing Comics?  What about new frontiers of the infinite canvas—vlogging, crowdsourcing, fanon?  Do webcomics complicate the age of late print (e.g., Kickstarter)?  Proposals sought on individual webcomics, creators, or general trends in webcomics’ contemporary literary history.

Open (accepting submissions)

Associated Sessions
Webcomics: A New Media Canon?

Topic Type:
Special Session

- See more at: http://www.pamla.org/2014/topics/webcomics-new-media-canon#sthash.O5cuUQwn.dpuf

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Riddle Me This, Batman!

On my wish list: 

Riddle Me This, Batman! : Essays on the Universe of the Dark Knight

Edited by Kevin K. Durand and Mary K. Leigh
Published by McFarland

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-4629-2
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-7864-8731-8
notes, bibliographies, index
228pp. softcover (6 x 9) 2011
Price $40.00

About the Book
From his first comic-book appearance in 1939 through his many incarnations on the big screen, the archetypal superhero known as The Batman has never been far from the American consciousness. The character shaped the way we read comics and graphic novels, view motion pictures, and analyze the motifs of the Hero, the Anti-Hero and the Villain. He has also captured the scholarly imagination, telling us much about our society and ourselves. These essays examine how Batman is both the canvas on which our cultural identity is painted, and the Eternal Other that informs our own journeys of understanding. Questions relating to a wide range of disciplines—philosophy, literature, psychology, pop culture, and more—are thoroughly and entertainingly explored, in a manner that will appeal both to scholars and to fans of the Caped Crusader alike.

About the Editors
Kevin K. Durand is the dean of academics at the LISA Academy College Preparatory School in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has published broadly in philosophy, religion, and ethics. Mary K. Leigh is a doctoral academy fellow at the University of Arkansas.

Table of Contents

MARY K. LEIGH      1
Introduction: What Has Adorno to Do with Gotham?

Part One: The Ethics and Anarchy of Batman
1. Virtue in Gotham: Aristotle’s Batman
MARY K. LEIGH      17
2. The Dark Knight Errant: Power and Authority in Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
3. Why Adam West Matters: Camp and Classical Virtue
4. Dark Knight, White Knight, and the King of Anarchy
5. Introducing a Little Anarchy: The Dark Knight and Power Structures on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Part Two: Batman and Literary Theory
6. Batman’s Canon: Hybridity and the Interpretation of the Superhero
7. Seminar on the Purloined Batarang: Batman and Lacan
MITCH FRYE      93
8. Queer Matters in The Dark Knight Returns: Why We Insist on a Sexual Identity for Batman
JENEE WILDE      104
9. The Hero We Read: The Dark Knight, Popular Allegoresis, and Blockbuster Ideology
10. Rolling the Boulder in Gotham
11. Figuration of the Superheroic Revolutionary: The Dark Knight of Negation
D. T. KOFOED      156

Part Three: Batman and Beyond
12. "One May Smile, and Smile, and Be a Villain": Grim Humor and the Warrior Ethos
13. "And Doesn’t All the World Love a Clown?": Finding the Joker and the Representation of His Evil
14. Call It (Friendo): Flipism and Folklore in No Country for Old Men and The Dark Knight

About the Contributors      219
Index      221

CFP Dick Grayson Collection (8/31/14)

This sounds like a really cool idea:

75 Years of Dick Grayson (Robin, Nightwing, Batman) - 31 August 2014

full name / name of organization:
Kristen Geaman - University of Toledo
contact email:
Book Project

To date, there has not been a single scholarly book published on Dick Grayson, the original Robin who grew up to become the hero Nightwing and serve as Batman. In conjunction with Grayson’s 75th anniversary in 2015, this book seeks to examine any and all aspects of Grayson as an influential comic book character and cultural icon.

We welcome contributions from all scholarly fields, including history, literature, psychology, philosophy, art, art history, cultural studies, media studies, and more.

Given that this project is the first of its kind, the range of topics is extremely broad. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

-Dick's influence on the development of comic book conventions (especially as the original kid sidekick)

-Dick in comic-book art

-Dick's role as leader

-Dick's relationships with other heroes (Bats, Titans, JLA, etc)
*We are especially looking for an article about Dick and his relationship with Barbara Gordon

-Dick in the New 52

-Dick and his fans (who they are, why he might have more female fans than Batman, etc)

-Dick and representation (especially the ret-con that gave him Romani heritage)

-Dick in fanart, fanfiction, and/or cosplay

-Dick in non-print media

-Dick and his villains


-looking at Dick through any number of theoretical lens: gender theory, queer theory, etc.

-Dick and philosophy, psychology, etc

Please contact Kristen Geaman (kgeaman@gmail.com) for more information. Currently, we hope to have first drafts written by the end of August 2014. That will give us time to circulate them among the participants before we write final drafts.

By web submission at 04/18/2014 - 16:20