Monday, September 15, 2014

CFP: Inkers and Thinkers: Alternative Forms, Alternative Voices / U of Adelaide (Oct 15; May 15-16)

Inkers and Thinkers:
Alternative Forms, Alternative Voices
An Interdisciplinary Symposium
at the University of Adelaide
May 15-16, 2015 

Call for Papers
The University of Adelaide’s Discipline of Media will hold its second annual interdisciplinary symposium on comics and graphic narratives on May 15 and 16, 2015. We invite researchers of all disciples, as well as artists working in the comics field, to submit proposals for conference papers. The theme of this year’s symposium is ‘Alternative Forms, Alternative Voices’.

Questions that could be addressed by research papers include, but are not limited to:

  • How have comics historically been considered alternative and subversive? 
  • How have comic creators used new technologies and emerging cultural practices to shape comics as an alternative or radical medium? 
  • How have comics operated as a medium of expression for marginalised groups or ideas? 
  • What publishing practices and formal properties have been used to position certain comics as alternative, or opposed to accepted ideas about literacy and discourse? 

Abstracts of 250-300 words for presentations of 15 minutes should be submitted to by October 15th, 2014. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by November 30th, 2014.

Call for Workshop Proposals
As part of the Inkers and Thinkers 2015 programming we are seeking proposals for 90-minute hands-on creative workshops on comics and graphic narratives to be held on May 15 and 16, 2015. The workshops should be thematically tied to the academic symposium, which explores the ways that comics have experimented with forms, uses, and content. Proposals are welcomed from both writers and artists, either working as individuals or in a team. Please note that we are seeking funding to provide stipends for accepted workshops.

Workshop classes could include, but are not limited to:

  • Technical Aspects of Comics Production: Such as how to write effective dialogue, unfold action in sequence, portray character emotion, etc. 
  • Crafting Comics Content: Such as how to illustrate a wordless comic, working with historical and autobiographical material, using comics for political or educational purposes, etc.

Submissions should include an overview of the proposed workshop, including a draft lesson plan, and information about the presenters, including any relevant teaching and/or artistic experience, as well as what equipment and materials will be needed for you and the class. Workshops should be designed to accommodate up to 40 participants.

Pitches for workshop sessions should be submitted to by October 31, 2014. Please indicate whether your session is designed for a beginner or intermediate audience, or both. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by December 1st, 2014.

CFP also online here.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

CFP: Comics and Translation / New Readings journal issue (Nov 10)

Comics and Translation
Call for Contributions
to themed issue of New Readings

Since its rise to popularity in the early 20th century, comic literature has travelled extensively across linguistic and cultural borders. Many comic characters are part of a general cultural heritage that is not confined to any one language. Yet, the role of the translator and translation in facilitating comic literature’s mobility has been relatively little studied. This oversight may well stem from the traditional marginalisation of comics within the literary field, but it can also be linked to the particular circumstances in which many mainstream comics are produced. More often than not, comics are a team effort involving at least one graphic artist and one scriptwriter, or larger creative teams. In such circumstances, the traditional idea of individual authorship and responsibility is untenable from the outset, turning the translator into one of several collaborators in the production process. Lawrence Venuti has studied the translator’s invisibility, which goes hand in hand with a ‘practice of reading and evaluating’ that takes the translation for the original. This invisibility seems to apply even more markedly to the translation of comic literature, where there is a multimodal message. Here the message is only in part encoded linguistically and the visual mode is often taken to predominate over the textual mode, further reducing the translator’s visibility. This themed journal issue aims to expose the importance of translation in the history of comics.

New Readings is inviting articles on any aspect of the translation of comic literature, widely understood here to refer to literature that combines images with words, from single stand-alone panels, to comic strips and graphic novels. We are particularly interested in theoretical contributions and in articles whose scope transcends single texts or individual authors. However, work on practical aspects of comics translation and case studies will also be considered for publication.
Topics can include, but are not limited to:
  • The comics translator’s (in)visibility
  • Reading comics in translation
  • The limits of translatability
  • Translation and comics genre
  • Dialect, sociolect and idiolect in comics translation
  • Standards and conventions of comics translation
  • Translating sound effects
  • Translating images
  • Software-based comics translation
  • Spatial constraints in translating comics
  • Translating comics adaptations of literary classics
  • Reception of comics in translation
  • The market for comics translation
  • Case studies of comics translated between any of the following languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.
Contributions to the themed issue should reach New Readings by 10 November 2014. Submission is through the journal’s online system and requires self-registration. Submissions must be prepared in accordance with the conventions of MLA style and be between 6,000 and 8,000 words long (including footnotes and a list of works cited). New Readings welcomes submissions in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Articles in languages other than English are considered for publication if the subject matter justifies the choice of language. If in doubt, and for all other queries, please contact the editors prior to submission: For full submission details and a checklist, please see the journal’s webpage:

About the journal
New Readings is a peer-reviewed (double-blind), open-access online journal based at Cardiff University. We publish original research in the fields of literature, film and visual culture. Previous themed issues are: ‘Images of Exile’, ‘Figures of the Self’, ‘Identity, Gender, Politics’, ‘Space and Identity’, ‘Travelling the Urban Space’, ‘Writing Difference’, ‘Alternative Voices in European Cinema’, ‘Truth Claims in Fiction Film’ and ‘Hamlet and Poetry’. See the website for all past issues:

Labels: , , , ,

CFP: Nordic History and Cultural Memory in Comics / SJoCA journal issue (Oct 1)

Call for Papers
From the Land
of the Midnight Sun:
Nordic History and Cultural Memory in Comics
Special Issue of
Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art

The past is all around us, not least in our entertainments. It is also a highly malleable thing that can be moulded and shaped to tell us who we are, who we should be, and where we came from. The myriad ways in which conceptions about the past can be informed by contemporary concerns and the ways the past can be used to legitimize present practices and ideas have been ably charted by scholars in the rapidly growing field of memory studies. Although highly interdisciplinary, comics studies has yet to truly enter this field, despite the fact that its subject matter provides ample opportunity for studies of representations of history and memory.

Nordic comics history and comics that represent the past and present of the Nordic countries provide one of many possible inroads into these fruitful lines of inquiry. For example, Nordic comics, from early comics strips through locally produced contemporary comic books, like the Swedish funny animal series Bamse, Norwegian humor series Nemi, the Finnish Moomin stories, Danish strip Poeten og Lillemor, and many more, all provide a vast and still largely unstudied archive of historical perspectives and attitudes. Similarly, Nordic comics creators, like “Team Fantomen,” who have produced the majority of Phantom stories for regional publication since the 1960s, make frequent use of the Nordic past as a setting or story element. In addition, varying degrees of adulation or criticism inform biographical and historical comics and graphic novels about personages like Swedish writer August Strindberg and Elias Lönnrot, compiler of Kalevala, Finland’s national epic. Finally, it can be noted that the Viking Age and conceptions about its culture and beliefs have been a particularly inspiring topic for comics creators, spawning among others Peter Madsen’s long-running and often ideologically anachronistic Valhalla, several adaptations of Swedish writer Frans G. Bengtsson’s Röde Orm (The Long Ships or Red Orm in English), and, in 2013, the superhero-inspired The Norseman.

Furthermore, comics have helped make Nordic history and memory international imaginative currency. The Viking Age has been a particularly frequent topic, appearing in American mainstream comics like Marvel’s Thor and Vertigo’s Northlanders, Japanese Manga like Viking Saga and King of Viking, and Franco-Belgian album series like Asterix, Thorgal, and Johan and Peewit. In these comics, and in many others like them, the creators use a past not their own to speak to and about their own time and place. But in recent years, Nordic comics have also increasingly appeared in translation, perhaps most notably in such anthologies as Kolor Klimax, From Wonderland with Love, and the United States’ 2010 “Swedish Invasion.” In various ways, these comics contend with preconceived notions about the Nordic countries and Nordicness.

The Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art is planning a special issue on Nordic history and cultural memory in comics, and invites articles about these and related matters.

Welcome topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Representation of Nordic historical personages and events
  • Nordic comics and the search for a useable past
  • Comics and revisionist Nordic historiography
  • Comics, the past, and Nordic social criticism
  • Nordic stereotypes and stereotyped Nordics
  • Vikings and Old Norse religion in comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, and bandes dessinées
  • Nordic comics in translation
  • The reception of Nordic comics abroad
  • What’s so Nordic about Nordic comics?
Please send an abstract of max. 300 words, along with a short bio and contact information, to The deadline for abstracts is October 1, 2014. Full articles due by January 1, 2015. We also welcome reviews and forum texts (brief, non-peer reviewed scholarly commentaries, essays, and debate pieces). Interested parties should review our submission guidelines at and contact editor Martin Lund with a pitch or book request at

Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art (SJoCA) is an online, open-access, peer reviewed academic journal about comics and sequential art. The journal is interdisciplinary, encouraging a wide range of theoretical and methodological perspectives. Although the journal is rooted in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), it is global in scope and aims to publish high quality research regardless of national or regional boundaries. The journal publishes articles, book reviews, and forum texts from the field of comics studies. The language of the journal is English.

Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art is an independent journal and is published by the non-profit organisation Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art.

Labels: , , , ,

CFP: Comics and Adaptation in the European Context / U of Leicester (Nov 17; Apr 10 2015)

Call for Papers
Comics and Adaptation
in the European Context
Friday 10 April 2015
University of Leicester

This one-day symposium aims to bring the fields of comics and adaptation studies into critical dialogue, and to provide an academic context for the discussion of adaptation from, and into, comics in the European context, including but not limited to France and Belgium, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Iberian Peninsula.

Topics could include, but are not limited to:
  • Case studies exploring adaptation from/into comics (into/from live-action film, animation, literature, but also less studied media such TV, radio, or video game) within a national context or across European national contexts, within the same era/through time.
  • Comics adaptation within the cultural industry.
  • Adaptation from/into comics as a genre (e.g. collections such as Fétiche devoted to comics adaptation of literary works).
  • Comparison between comics and adaptation in the European and in the US contexts.
  • Authorship in comics adaptation.
  • Serial and multi-modal characters.
  • The adaptation of the medium of comics to new formats (e.g. digital comics).
  • Broader theoretical and methodological approaches to adaptation from/into comics.
We invite proposals for 20-minute papers in English. Please send your abstract of no more than 300 words by 17 November 2014 to Dr Armelle Blin-Rolland, We intend to publish a selection of the papers as an edited collection or journal special issue.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Comics Alternative Podcast #92: Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?; Interesting Drug

On this episode of The Comics Alternative, Derek Royal and I review Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? A Memoir by Roz Chast (Bloomsbury), and Interesting Drug by Shaun Manning and Anna Wieszczyk (Archaia). We're both mightily impressed by how Chast, a staple at The New Yorker for over thirty years, uses her signature styles (visual, thematic) to tell the difficult story of the last years of her parents' lives with humor, compassion, and honesty. However, we're less sold on Interesting Drug's science fiction tale of time travel, addiction, deception, and the lure of nostalgia. But give us a listen, read the books, and judge for yourself!

As always, click the link above to stream the episode, or you can subscribe via iTunes.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Comics Alternative Podcast #89: The Amateurs; The Superannuated Man #1; Star Trek: Harlan Ellison's Original "The City on the Edge of Forever" Teleplay #1

On this episode of The Comics Alternative, Derek Royal and I review Conor Stechschulte's disturbingly moody new graphic novella The Amateurs (Fantagraphics); the first issue of Ted McKeever's inky new mini-series The Superannuated Man (Image);  and the first issue of the lengthily named and historically convoluted Star Trek: Harlan Ellison's Original "The City on the Edge of Forever" Teleplay (IDW), adapted by Scott & David Tipton and J.K. Woodward. Join us for a discussion of 19th century fever dreams, scuba vs. mutated animal intrigue, an "adaptation" of a different stripe, and lots more.

As always, click the link above to stream the episode, or you can subscribe via iTunes.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Call for Papers: Transformed by Comics: The Influence of Comics/BD/Graphic Novels on the Novel / Image & Narrative special issue (Sept 30)

Call for Papers
Transformed by Comics:
The Influence of Comics/BD/Graphic Novels
on the Novel
Special Issue of Image & Narrative

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 ( and Chris Reyns-Chikuma (

Labels: , , , , , , ,

CFP: “I Don’t Think I am Like Other People”: Anomalous Embodiment in Young Adult Speculative Fiction / essay collection (Sept 15)

This CFP doesn't mention comics, but it seems there certainly should be opportunities for comics scholarship here...

Call For Papers:
“I Don’t Think I am Like Other People”
Anomalous Embodiment in
Young Adult Speculative Fiction

Editors Sherryl Vint and Mathieu Donner are seeking submissions for a volume of essays on young adult literature entitled Anomalous Embodiment in Young Adult Speculative Fiction.

The large commercial as well as critical successes of such works as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials or Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series have pushed young adult fiction to the forefront of the literary world. However, and though most of these texts themselves engage in one way or another with questions related to the body, and, more precisely, to a body that refuses to conform to social norms as to what a body ‘ought to be’, few academic studies have really explored the relation that young adult fiction entertains with this adolescent ‘abnormal’ body.

In her work on corporeal feminism, Volatile Bodies, Elizabeth Grosz suggests that adolescence is not only the period during which the body itself undergoes massive transformation, shifting from childhood to adulthood, but that it is also in this period that ‘the subject feels the greatest discord between the body image and the lived body, between its psychical idealized self-image and its bodily changes’ and that therefore, the ‘philosophical desire to transcend corporeality and its urges may be dated from this period’ (Volatile Bodies 75). Following upon Grosz’s observation, this interdisciplinary collection of essays addresses the relation that young adult fiction weaves between the adolescent body and the ‘norm’, this socially constructed idealized body image which the subject perceives to be in direct conflict with her/his own experience.

This collection will thus be centred on the representation, both positive and negative, of such body or bodies. From the vampiric and lycanthropic bodies of Twilight and Teen Wolf to the ‘harvested’ bodies of Neal Shusterman’s novel Unwind, YA fiction entertains a complex relation to the adolescent body. Often singularized as ‘abnormal’, this body comes to symbolise the violence of a hegemonic and normative medical discourse which constitutes itself around an ideal of ‘normality’. However, and more than a simple condemnation or interrogation of the problematic dominant representation of the corporeal within young adult fiction, this collection also proposes to explore how such texts can present a foray into new alternative territories. As such, the collection proposes a focus on what Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s label the anomalous body, or embodiment re-articulated not necessarily as the presumption of an inside and an outside of normality, but rather as ‘a position or set of positions in relation to a multiplicity’ (A Thousand Plateaus, 244), one which interrogates and challenges the setting of such a boundary by positioning itself at the threshold of normativity.

We are particularly looking for contributions on works which either (1) interrogate, problematize the dominant discourse on normative embodiment present in YA fiction, (2) emphasize, by a play on repetition or any other means, the limitations of the traditional discourse on the ‘abnormal’ or ‘disabled’ body, and signal the inherent violence of such normative paradigms, and/or (3) propose an alternative approach to the anomalous body. Relevant topics include (but are not limited to):
  • (Re-)Articulating disability;
  • The adolescent as ‘abnormally’ embodied;
  • Transcending gender and the sexuated body;
  • Medical norms and the violence of ‘normative’ embodiment;
  • Bodies and prosthetic technologies, or the posthuman boundary;
  • Genetics, Diseases and medication, or transforming the body from the inside;
  • Cognitive readings of the body, or how do we read body difference;
  • Embodied subjectivities, anomalous/abnormal consciousness
We invite proposals (approximately 500 words) for 8’000-10’000-word chapters by Monday 15th September. Abstract submissions should be included in a Word document and sent to Sherryl Vint ( and Mathieu Donner ( Please remember to include name, affiliation, academic title and email address. Postgraduate and early-careers researchers are encouraged to participate.

Labels: , , , ,

CFP: Comics and Graphic Novels / Northeast Popular/American Culture Association (NEPCA) (June 9; Oct. 24-25)

Call for Papers
Comics and Graphic Novels
Northeast Popular/American Culture Association

The Northeast Popular/American Culture Association (NEPCA) is seeking paper proposals on comics and graphic novels for its fall conference to be held at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island on October 24-25, 2014.

Please send 250-word electronic versions of your proposal to: Zack Kruse (area chair) at and to Robert Hackey (program chair) at

A wide range of topics will be considered; however, in an effort to best serve the medium and culture that make up comics, applicants are encouraged to deal with comics in a theoretical framework. Papers that demonstrate the role of comics in the broader cultural and critical discussion are preferred. Applicants should feel welcome to submit papers on the role of mainstream comics, independent comics, webcomics, strip comics, and underground comix.

With your submission, please include a two or three sentence description of yourself, your background, and your qualifications. There is an official submission form on the NEPCA website ( under the “Fall Conference” tab that should be completed and submitted to the area and program chairs noted above.

NEPCA presentations are generally 20 minutes in length and may be delivered either formally or informally. It is recommended that presentations on comics are accompanied by relevant images when it is reasonable to do so. NEPCA prides itself on holding conferences that emphasize sharing ideas in a non-competitive and supportive environment involving graduate students, junior faculty, and senior scholars.

The deadline to submit proposals is June 9, 2014, and applicants will receive confirmation of their acceptance or rejection by mid July.

Receipt of proposals will be acknowledged by the area chair.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, May 23, 2014

CFP: The Ages of the Incredible Hulk / essay collection (July 15)

The Ages of
the Incredible Hulk
Edited by Joseph J. Darowski
Publisher: McFarland & Company

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 social era 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 Contemporary Comics; Hulk: The End and Dystopian Fears in the New Millenium; 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,

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, May 05, 2014

CFP: Digital Comics, special issue of Networking Knowledge (July 11)

Call for Papers
Digital Comics
A special-themed issue of
Networking Knowledge,
the journal of the MeCCSA-PGN
Deadline for abstracts 11th July

The medium of comics has always evolved alongside the technology via which it is produced, distributed and consumed. In this age of easily accessible digital technologies, the comic form is undergoing a series of transformative changes. This remediation of the form has seen the medium change to accommodate the wider range of story-telling tropes and functionalities offered by the digital environment. Through portable touchscreen displays we are able to consume comics, film, animation, prose, games and other forms of interactive visual media. The multimodal capacity of these devices allows for the emergence of hybrid forms of comics which incorporate tropes from these other screen-based media.

Against this background, papers focused towards the following areas would sit well within this themed edition of Networking Knowledge:
  • New and emergent digital comic forms and technologies.
  • Changes to the underlying structures of the form as a result of digital mediation.
  • Crossovers, adaptation and hybridisation between comics and other digital media.
  • Acts of reading and the impact of digital mediation.
  • Aesthetic and literary analysis of digital comic narratives.
  • Digital distribution, changes in the industry and the threat of piracy.
  • Webcomics, widening readerships, minority voices and fan cultures.
  • Multimodality and comics relationship with larger transmedia narratives.
Other areas relevant to the study of digital comics will also be considered.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words for papers of 5,000 to 6,000 words should be submitted via e-mail to Jayms Nichols and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey at by Friday 11th July 2014.

Abstracts should specify the research question and make a clear connection to one or more aspects of the digital comics theme. Proposed papers must be original and must not have been published or accepted for publication elsewhere.

If you have any questions about the issue, please e-mail the address above. If you have questions about Networking Knowledge in general, please contact the editor, Sam Ward, at

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Comics Alternative Podcast 81: Hidden, Genesis, World War 3 Illustrated #45

On this episode of The Comics Alternative, Derek Royal and I review Hidden (Loïc Dauviller, Marc Lizano, and Greg Salsedo; First Second Books), Genesis (Nathan Edmondson, Alison Sampson, and Jason Wordie; Image Comics); and World War 3 Illustrated #45: Before and After (ed. Peter Kuper and Scott Cunningham; distributed by Top Shelf - still!). From a child's story of the Holocaust, to a SF meditation on the power of creation, to a socially conscious anthology about death, we've got you covered!

As always, click the link above to stream the episode, or you can subscribe via iTunes.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Comics Alternative Interview: Shannon Wheeler

On this episode of The Comics Alternative, Derek Royal and I have the pleasure of interviewing cartoonist Shannon Wheeler. Previously best known for his not-so-super hero Too Much Coffee Man, today Shannon is everywhere, from his one-shot Astounding Villain House (published by Dark Horse) to his cartoons for the Bible re-telling God is Disappointed in You (written by Mark Russell; from Top Shelf) to his cartoons in The New Yorker - out-takes from which are collected in I Thought You Would be Funnier, I Told You So, and I Don't Get It (Boom Town).

Derek and I had a blast speaking with Shannon - so much so that we all kept talking well after the recording had stopped. Unfortunately, you won't get to hear our plans for world comedy domination in the podcast itself, but you will hear about the widely varied career of a genuinely funny man.

As always, click the link above to stream the episode, or you can subscribe via iTunes.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Where I'll Be: Neil Hellman Library at The College of Saint Rose, April 9

Tomorrow evening I'll be speaking about my work with comics to students at The College of Saint Rose's Neil Hellman Library here in Albany, NY. I was invited to the event by librarian Kate Moss, after an introduction by my friend Kelly Meyer who also works at Saint Rose.

I'll be discussing the various research and other work I've done with comics, and also the types of comics which interest me (basically, all kinds!); but really, I'm most looking forward to talking with the students and seeing what their interests are. Kate tells me that she's heard a lot of enthusiasm for comics among the students there.

Also appearing will local cartoonist John Hebert, who was added to the program after this poster was already created. It's a small venue, so it's not really open to the general public. But who knows, this may be the start of more comics-related programming at the college!

- Poster by Jacqui Hopely, a colleague and friend of mine who also works at the Neil Hellman Library!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, April 04, 2014

Tales from the Green Scrapbook #6: Captain America in TV Guide, 1979

In this installment of our once-in-a-great-while series, Tales from the Green Scrabook (featuring scans of items I taped into an old notebook when I was a child), we have TV Guide ads from the 1979 made-for-television Captain America movies. If you're looking for any sort of fidelity to the original comic book source material, just move along - there's nothing to see here.

IMDB helpfully summarizes Cap's origin from the first movie (broadcast January 19, 1979):
When a commercial artist is almost murdered by spies looking for his late father's secrets, he is saved in surgery when the FLAG formula is injected into him.
Uh huh. And that uniform is, how shall we say, non-standard.

Apparently, the super-steroids created by Steve Rogers' father enable him to jump just like Wonder Woman did on her television series...

Things got a little better in Captain America II (helpfully subtitled on home video as "Death Too Soon"), broadcast on November 23 of the same year, if only because they got the costume nearly right this time, and because Christopher Lee can't help but add a touch of class.

Dig those action-packed opening credits!

OK, I did say that things got only a little better...

If anyone knows who illustrated these TV Guide ads, I'd love to hear from you.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rare (?) "Superman The Movie" Tie-In Comic: Adventures of the Big Boy #266, 1979

When is a Superman comic book not a Superman comic book? Perhaps when it's Adventures of the Big Boy #266, a tie-in to the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie. I recall picking up this issue at a Marc's Big Boy restaurant on a family trip in our home state of Wisconsin. The Superman portion of this 16-page (including covers) classic is only the cover and the three-page lead story by Mari Foster with art by Big Boy-stalwart Manny Stallman. Big Boy, his friend Dolly, and Nugget the dog take a trip to a movie studio in "London, England" where they are met by Reeve, who talks about bulking up for the role. He also acts in a special flying scene with the trio, directed by Richard Donner himself, who "has directed hundreds of TV shows and movies like The Omen."

Even at age twelve, I realized that this thing was an oddity: A comic book with Superman on the cover that wasn't published by DC Comics? That never even mentioned DC Comics or included a trademark? That didn't mention that Superman was a comic-book character at all? But hey, it was a restaurant giveaway comic for little kids - what did I expect?

I recently ran across my vintage copy of this oddity when going through an old box of comics. The book boasts the world's most incomplete indicia (and it even leaves out the "the" before "Big Boy" on the cover!), so while I know that the issue was copyright 1979, I'm not sure which month it might have come out. I'm guessing early in the year, as Superman was released on December 15, 1978. Comic Vine lists the publication date as January 1, 1980, which can't be correct; and the usually authoritative Grand Comics Database is sketchy on this title and doesn't even have a listing for this issue. --Oh, wait, I see now that comicbookdb lists a cover date of June 1979. That would have given its young readers only a few weeks to enter its advertised "win a T-shirt that gives you sugarless bubblegum balls when you squeeze it" contest, deadline July 15, 1979. (I doubt that these books were dated three months in advance like newsstand comics were at the time.)

After I started to write this post, I panicked: What if there was already lots of information about this book out there somewhere? Luckily, a quick Google search yielded only a few brief mentions, plus the various database links I have in the previous paragraph, but nothing else of substance. (Even BookSteve himself hasn't seen this one!) But, who was I kidding? I'd already scanned the story, so of course I was going to post it anyway. So without further ado, here we go. Click to embiggen the images to a readable size, and "Enjoy!"

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, March 23, 2014

CFP: Comics and the Canon / "Partial Answers" journal issue (June 16)

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 . For inquiries please contact the guest editor, Professor Ariela Freedman (Concordia University, Montreal) at

CFP also on-line at the Partial Answers website.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, March 21, 2014

Comics Alternative Podcast 75: Sheltered, Dead Boy Detectives, The Royals: Masters of War, and Black Dynamite

On today's episode of The Comics Alternative, Derek Royal and I review four new titles. First up is Sheltered vol. 1, "a pre-apocalyptic tale" of a survivalist camp gone wrong. We follow that with Dead Boy Detectives #1 and #2, the latest spin-off from The Sandman; Royals: Masters of War #1, a super-powered alternate history; and the faux-blaxploitation media tie-in, Black Dynamite #1. A potpourri of genres!

As always, click the link above to stream the episode, or you can subscribe via iTunes.

Labels: , , , ,