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

Monday, July 2, 2018

CFP Essays on the Punisher (expired)

A final expired call for the night. This is also on a much-needed topic. I wish them luck in finalizing the project.

Essays on the Punisher

deadline for submissions:
January 31, 2018

full name / name of organization:
Texas Tech University

contact email:

The Punisher: Judge, Jury, and Executioner

Edited by Matthew McEinry, Alicia Goodman, Ryan Cassidy, and Robert G. Weiner

With Netflix’s The Punisher being released in November 2017, it is apparent that a character like the Punisher has a certain kind of widespread appeal. The Punisher was played with great acclaim in Netflix’s Daredevil Season 2 by Jon Bernthal. There were, however, three previous Punisher movies of varying quality dating back to 1989. None of the previous Punisher films did blockbuster business, although 2004’s The Punisher and The Punisher War Zone (2008) were successful on home video.

Created by Gerry Conway, John Romita, and Ross Andru (with help from Stan Lee) in 1974, The Punisher appeared at a time when the idea of vengeance was permeating our popular culture with films like Death Wish and the Dirty Harry series. The character first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #129, but quickly grew to be a favorite among fans and eventually earned his own series, which continues to the present day. The Punisher is judge, jury, and executioner and is considered by many of the heroes in the Marvel Universe to be morally questionable if not outright villainous.

The editors of this volume seek original essays on the character of the Punisher in his various iterations in popular culture, including the Netflix series, films, video games, animated series, and, of course, the comics. We seek tight essays of around 3,000-4,500 that explain why the Punisher continues to be a popular character.

Possible topics include:
  • The Punisher in Vietnam
  • Why the three previous Punisher Films failed to garner blockbuster status, but did well on video?
  • What is the morality of the Punisher? Is the Punisher justified in his crusade against criminals?
  • Punisher fan films like Dirty Laundry and what do they tell us about the character?
  • Netflix’s version of the Punisher
  • The Punisher in kid-friendly shows like Super Hero Squad.
  • The modern Punisher in the comics
  • How has the character evolved over the years?
  • How did the different writers (Garth Ennis, Chuck Dixon, Steven Grant, Greg Rucka, Archie Goodwin, and Mike Baron) envision the character?
  • The Punisher in Marvel’s Civil War.
  • The Punisher’s relationship to the rest of the Marvel Universe and specific characters e.g., Daredevil, Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine, and Nick Fury.
  • Is the Punisher a villain or a hero?
  • The Punisher in the Ultimate Universe
  • The Punisher in video games
  • What is the Punisher’s relationship to police, the military, S.H.E.I.L.D., etc.?
  • Analysis of the Black Widow/Punisher animated film.
  • 1980s Punisher stories that avoided the Comics Code
  • What does the continued popularity of the character say about humanity?
  • The Punisher and feminism (female characters in the series)

These are only a few of the topics related to the Punisher. Please send a 200-300 word abstract to alicia.goodman@ttu.edu and matthew.mceniry@ttu.edu by January 31, 2018.

Please note: We plan to shop this volume around for peer review after it is completed. Acceptance of abstract does not necessarily [sic]

CFP Unmasking Masculinity: Superheroes and Defeating the Power of Patriarchy (expired)

With apologies once again. Here is a further expired call.

Unmasking Masculinity: Superheroes and Defeating the Power of Patriarchy

deadline for submissions:
May 7, 2018

full name / name of organization:
Sean Parson

contact email:

We are seeking 300-500 word abstracts by May 7th, 2018 for possible inclusion into an edited collection seeking to explore the complex relationship between masculinity, toxic masculinity, gender, queerness, and superhero narratives. Over the last few years there have been books that that explore issues of feminism, gender, and sexuality within comic books but rarely have they engaged with the way the genre shapes and is shaped by contemporary conceptions of masculinity. This project is meant to fill that absence focusing on the construction of the masculinity in comics, as well as engage with critical works that deconstruct toxic version of masculinity or offer queerer, trans, and feminist counter-narratives of the concept.

While superheroes have historically been understood as a “male” genre, focusing primarily on militarism, violence, and traditional gender roles and tropes to move narratives forward, in recent years, there have been a slate of critical and feminist superhero series that have shaped the conversation around gender within the genre. While the inclusion of feminist and female perspectives is essential for the genre, and long overdue, there has been less of a focus on version of masculinity portrayed within the genre and the ways in which counter-narratives of masculinity have, or could, be developed. At a time when concepts like, toxic masculinity, are no longer merely academic phrases, but popularly understood concepts, its time to deconstruct masculinity as it appears on the page, the screen, the TV

This edited book will be peer reviewed and will be submitted, although this contract won’t be secured until all abstracts are chosen. We are interested not only in the present controversies and debates within the field of masculinity but also in expanding the debate and discussion on the topics of superheroes to engage beyond traditional conversations of masculinity to include queer and trans perspectives. Possible topics might include:

  • Abelism 
  • Animal activism
  • Body image 
  • Comic Studies
  • Communication 
  • Critical Race theory 
  • Emotional labor 
  • Feminist Theory
  • Friendships 
  • Film Analysis and theory 
  • History of Gender in comics 
  • Intersectionality 
  • Marxist Analysis
  • Marriage 
  • Media Studies 
  • Militarism 
  • Notions of becoming
  • Queer Theory 
  • Post/Trans humanism 
  •  Sexuality
  • Social Reproduction 
  • Television 
  • Trans issues in comics 
  • Violence

Please direct any questions and 300-500 word abstracts along with a 150 word bio to Dr. JL Schatz (debate@binghamton.edu) and Dr. Sean Parson (sean.parson@nau.edu) by May 7th, 2018. Final pieces will be approximately 5,000 to 7,000 words.

We will notify authors of their acceptance no later than May 21st, 2018.

CFP Edited Collection: BOOM! #*@&! Splat: Comics and Violence (expired)

Sorry. Yet another missed call.

Edited Collection: BOOM! #*@&! Splat: Comics and Violence

deadline for submissions:
May 31, 2018

full name / name of organization:
Jo Davis-McElligatt, PhD & Jim Coby, PhD

contact email:

BOOM! #*@&! Splat: Comics and Violence

In the introduction to Seduction of the Innocent, Frederic Wertham suggested that “chronic stimulation, temptation and seduction by comic books [...] are contributing factors to many children’s maladjustment” (10). Anxious that children would be forever corrupted by the content of comics, Wertham identified representations and structures of violence as among his primary objections to comics narrative: “Here is violence galore, violence in the beginning, in the middle, and at the end” (8). Though anxieties regarding representations of violence in comics have largely fallen to the wayside, thematic and symbolic visual depictions of violence remain central to the comics form. From Captain America punching his way into the American consciousness to Phoebe Gloeckner’s depictions of sexual abuse, violence is an integral aspect of the comic medium. Though scholars such as Hillary Chute, Harriet Earle, and Martin Barker have addressed specific trends and/or themes related to violence in comics, such as war, trauma, horror comics, no sustained scholarly inquiry has yet to address this issue.

Our collection, in taking an inclusive and wide-ranging approach to both violence and comics, seeks to understand how the confluence of words and images might ask readers to consider violence in ways unique to the medium. We welcome scholarship from academics of comics and other fields alike. A notable academic press has expressed enthusiastic interest in this project.

Potential avenues for exploration include:

  • Form and structure elements (i.e., symbolia, jagged speech balloons, emanata)
  • Receptions of violence in comics genres (e.g., horror, superhero, war, and adventure)
  • Cultural production and contexts
  • Cartoon and slapstick violence (e.g., Krazy Kat, Calvin and Hobbes)
  • Comics and war/witness (e.g., Joe Sacco, Marjane Satrapi, Art Spiegelman)
  • Physical and psychological family violence (e.g. Alison Bechdel, Craig Thompson, Will Eisner)
  • Sexual violence (e.g., Phoebe Gloeckner, Justin Green)
  • Superhero violence (e.g., Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Jack Kirby, Marvel/DC)
  • History and violence (e.g., John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell, Keiji Nakazawa, Chester Brown)
  • The grotesque and/or bizarre (e.g., Daniel Clowes, Jason, Charles Burns)
  • Pedagogical approaches to teaching violence in comics

Interested parties should submit bio of 150-200 words and an abstract of approximately 300-500 words to Joanna Davis-McElligatt (jcdmce@louisiana.edu) and Jim Coby (james.coby@uah.edu) by May 31. Contributors will be notified no later than July 30. Completed essay drafts (4000-5000 words) will be due December 15th, 2018.

CFP The Ages of the Black Panther (expired)

Sorry again to have missed this call.

The Ages of the Black Panther: Essays on the King of Wakanda

deadline for submissions:
April 1, 2018

full name / name of organization:
Joseph J. Darowski

contact email:

The editor of The Ages of the Black Panther: Essays on the King of Wakanda is seeking abstracts for essays that could be included in the upcoming collection. The essays should examine the relationships between the Marvel comic book adventures the Black Panther and the social era when those comic books were published. Analysis may demonstrate how Black Panther’s comic books stories and the creators who produced the comics embrace, reflect, or critique aspects of their contemporary culture. This will be a companion volume to existing essay collections in the series that have already focused on Superman, Wonder Woman, the X-Men, the Avengers, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Justice League, and the Flash.

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

  • Introducing the Black Panther: Contextualizing the First Appearance
  • From Black Panther to The Panther to Black Leopard and Back Again: Real World Politics and the Name of Marvel’s First Black Superhero
  • An African King Joins The Earth’s Mightiest Heroes
  • Afro-Futurism or Western Paternalism? The Early Appearances of T’Challa
  • The Black Panther’s First Solo Series Was Titled Jungle Action?
  • The First African Superhero Versus the Ku Klux Klan
  • Christopher Priest Retcons the Black Panther’s Early Appearances
  • Adding Everett Ross to the Mix
  • Addressing American Imperialism in the Pages of Comic Books
  • Black Panther and Storm: When Marketing Meets Storytelling
  • Expanding the Wakandan Universe: Sisters, Bodyguards, and Politicians
  • The Black Panther Without Fear: When T’Challa Became Daredevil
  • The Ta-Nehisi Coats Era of Black Panther

Essays should focus on stories featuring Black Panther from his own comic book series or team series. Issues of the the Avengers or other teams that have included Black Panther as a member would be welcome for analysis, so long as the analysis focuses primarily on Black Panther, as would any Marvel mini-series that included Black Panther as a principal character. Similarly, essays focusing on characters that are closely associated with Black Panther would be acceptable. Essays should solely focus on comic book adventures, not media adaptations of the characters. 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 Black Panther comics from the early 1980s and contextualized them with what was happening in American society would be more likely to be accepted than an essay that contrasted 2017 comic books with 1964 comic books. The completed essays should be approximately 15-20 double-spaced pages in MLA format.

Submissions should be sent to Joseph J. Darowski at agesofsuperheroes@gmail.com.


CFP 1993-2018: Twenty-Five Years of Vertigo Comics Symposium (expired) (11/8-9/2018)France)

Sorry to have discovered this so late; it sounds like a great project. Do also note the selected bibliography at the end.

1993-2018: Twenty-Five Years of Vertigo Comics

deadline for submissions:
April 8, 2018

full name / name of organization:
Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, FRANCE

contact email:

The Vertigo imprint was born in 1993 under the guidance of DC editor Karen Berger; it initially brought together six ongoing series published by DC Comics, notably Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol and Sandman. Those widely successful series were praised for their original, ambitious storylines that sought to break free from narrative and generic conventions. Most of these comics were scripted by British authors whom DC had recruited following Alan Moore’s success on Swamp Thing and Watchmen, forming the bulk of what was known as the “British Invasion”. From just six ongoing series, Vertigo soon extended its line, establishing itself as a halfway house between the mainstream comics industry and the alternative/independent scene. Vertigo defined its identity as that of a game-changer, championing the progressive ideas put forward by DC’s president Jenette Kahn, who had been instrumental in the reconsideration of creators and in the legitimisation of the comics medium. Vertigo’s most visible commitment was its decision to develop many creator-owned series, whose rights belonged to creators rather than publishers. Beyond its initial success, Vertigo in the 2000s was a home for widely recognised original creations such as Y, the Last Man, Fables or 100 Bullets. The imprint left a lasting mark on the US comics industry; it ushered in the era of star writers, contrasting with the focus on artists that had characterised earlier periods; it pioneered the trade paperback format (TPB, sometimes called “graphic novel”) which played a central role in the medium’s struggle for legitimacy; finally, it destabilized the hegemony of the superhero genre and paved the way for major changes in reader demographics.

However, in recent years, Vertigo’s specific identity has begun to wane as some of its major creators turned to other publishers – for instance, Brian K. Vaughan’s best-selling series Saga is being published by Image Comics, while Garth Ennis took The Boys to Dynamite Entertainment after DC (outside Vertigo) cancelled it. Crucially, in 2013, Karen Berger left the imprint after the 2010 changes that modified creators’ contracts and stripped Vertigo of all its corporate-owned series. The last member of the original Vertigo team, Shelly Bond, was let go in 2016 after she helped Gerard Way set up his new imprint at DC, Young Animal, whose initial four ongoing series included two Vertigo spin-offs, while Vertigo struggled to renew itself.

Twenty-five years after its creation, the label is still standing and has already left a substantial mark. Many of the industry’s top professionals who debuted under Berger and Bond’s stewardship now occupy important positions at other publishers, continuing Vertigo’s legacy. Berger and Bond themselves went on to create their own imprints outside of DC : Berger Books is set to debut in early 2018 with Dark Horse, while Shelly Bond’s Black Crown began publishing under IDW.

During this first French symposium entirely dedicated to Vertigo on the occasion of its twenty-fifth birthday, presenters are invited to tackle these issues from all methodological angles. Suggested areas of investigation include:

  • V for Vertigo: The consistency and specificity (or lack thereof) of the Vertigo line as opposed to other publishers and imprints (DC’s own DC universe, its imprints Helix and Wildstorm, and rivals such as Image comics, Avatar Press, Marvel Max…);
  • Vertigo Remediated: Vertigo and the contemporary developments of the comics industry towards more transmedial integration (through TV adaptations, video games, etc.);
  •  Vertigo Vindicates: Vertigo’s legitimizing role and the evolution of the highbrow / lowbrow divide;
  • The British Invasion: the importance of British scriptwriters in the comics industry and the depiction of Britishness in the comics and their paratext;
  • Vertigo Visions: the importance of Vertigo in the renewal of American production in terms of genre, narrative etc.;
  • Editors extraordinaire: the role played by Jenette Kahn, Karen Berger and Shelly Bond;
  • L, G, B, T, V: queer and feminist discourses within the imprint.

Proponents wishing to focus on an individual title are invited to elaborate on the significance the title has in Vertigo’s history, how it compares to other comics with the same theme or period, and how it sheds light on the editorial development of the imprint.

The symposium will be held on November 8th and 9th at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme at Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté in Dijon, France. Presentations can be given in French or in English and should not last longer than 30 minutes in order to allow time for questions.

Proposals should be approximately 300 words long, and can be sent in French or in English before April 8th 2018 along with a short biography of the author.

Please send proposals to both members of the organising committee.

Organising committee:

Isabelle Licari-Guillaume (Université Bordeaux Montaigne) isabel.guillaume@gmail.com

Siegfried Würtz (Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté) siegfried.wurtz@gmail.com

Scientific Committee:

Jean-Paul Gabilliet, Université Bordeaux Montaigne

Henri Garric, Université de Franche-Comté

Nicolas Labarre, Université Bordeaux Montaigne

Irène Langlet, Université de Limoges

Suggested bibliography:

Carpenter, Greg. The British Invasion: Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, and the Invention of the Modern Comics Book Writer. Sequart Research & Literacy Organization, 2016. Print.

Dony, Christophe. “Reassessing the Mainstream vs. Alternative/Independent Dichotomy or, the Double Awareness of the Vertigo Imprint.” Comics in Dissent: Alternative, Independence. Ed. Tanguy Habrand, Gert Meesters, and Christophe Dony. Liège: Presses universitaires de Liège, 2014. Print.

---. “The Rewriting Ethos of the Vertigo Imprint: Critical Perspectives on Memory-Making and Canon Formation in the American Comics Field.” Comicalités (2014): n. pag. Web. 20 Sept. 2014. <http://comicalites.revues.org/1918>.

Gabilliet, Jean-Paul. Des comics et des hommes: histoire culturelle des comic books aux États-Unis. Nantes: Éd. du Temps, 2004. Print.

Licari-Guillaume, Isabelle. ‘Vertigo’s British Invasion’: La revitalisation par les scénaristes britanniques des comic books grand public aux États-Unis (1983-2013). PhD dissertation. Université Bordeaux Montaigne, 2017. Print.

Round, Julia. “‘Is This a Book?’ DC Vertigo and the Redefinition of Comics in the 1990s.” The Rise of the American Comics Artist: Creators and Contexts. Ed. Paul Williams and James Lyons. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2010. 14–30. Print.