Wednesday, December 10, 2014

CFP: The Comics World (essay collection) / Dec. 15

The Comics World:
Comics, Graphic Novels, and Their Publics
Call for Chapters
Benjamin Woo and Jeremy Stoll, eds.

In Comics versus Art, Bart Beaty introduces the notion of the comics world to describe the field of cultural production that is oriented to comics and comic art. Beaty is drawing on institutional approaches in the sociology of art that take all the actors involved in producing a work – not only the “artists” themselves but also curators, agents, dealers, critics, technical support staff, makers of specialized equipment or supplies, and various audiences – as their object of analysis. In this volume, we understand the comics world, by extension, as a set of interacting communities that condition the production, mediation, and consumption of comics and graphic novels. All these publics – in their differentiated but shared orientation to comics – make the comics world go round.

The comics world is a social space, and it needs to be approached in those terms. With this volume, we seek to provide an accessible introduction to social-scientific approaches to comics and graphic novels while simultaneously filling in the social, cultural, and institutional contexts of comics’ production and circulation with respect to particular communities of people engaged in comics-oriented practices.

We welcome contributions from a range of disciplinary perspectives and methodologies seeking to make sense of the people and practices oriented to comics. Proposals may include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Creator communities (defined in terms of occupational role, publishing sector, gender, race/ethnicity, nationality, etc.)
  • Business, production and other support staff
  • Teachers and students
  • Distributors, retailers, critics, and other cultural intermediaries
  • Conventions, their organizers and participants
  • Audiences and fandoms
  • Relations of affiliation or conflict between any of these communities

The editors have received an expression of interest from a university press with a well- established list in comics studies.

Please submit an abstract of 500–800 words to Benjamin Woo (benjamin.woo@carleton.ca) by December 15, 2014. Abstracts should clearly outline the scope of the argument and describe the nature of the research undergirding this analysis. Final chapters will be between 7,000 and 8,000 words. Submitters will be notified of acceptance by January 15.

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Comics Alternative Podcast: Halloween Special 2014



On this special episode of The Comics Alternative, Derek Royal and I discuss a whole lot of Halloween and horror-themed comics. From a bumper collection of Richard Corben's Poe adaptations, to the new and dark Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (the teen-age witch), to Scooby-Doo and the gang's team-up with Batman and Robin to solve the mystery of the Man-Bat(s?), this one's got tricks and treats!

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

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Batman Events this Week at the Albany Public Library - Including a Talk by Me!


I'll be giving a talk entitled "Holy Multiple Personalities! The Many Faces of (The) Batman" at two branches of the Albany Public Library later this week: Thursday, October 23rd at the John A. Howe Branch, and Friday, October 24th at the Pine Hills Branch, at 4:00 p.m. both days. Expect lots of illustrations, along with Bat-babbling by me.

Here are a few of the promo photos for the event (featuring Stef Preston, Pine Hills' Youth Services Librarian, and myself, along with Stef's poster and a few items from my personal collection), courtesy of APL's eServices Librarian Deanna DiCarlo:




And Stef's flyer for the Friday event:


The press release below gives more details on my talks and the other Bat-Events being held those days. Hope to see some of you there!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 8, 2014
Contact: Stephanie Simon
Phone: 518.427.4344

PRESS RELEASE
Albany Public Library Celebrates Batman’s 75th Anniversary
With Talks by Comic Book Expert and Fun Activities Oct. 23-24

ALBANY, NY—Albany Public Library loves comic books and is celebrating a cool event in geek culture—the 75th anniversary of Batman (first appearance in Detective Comics #27)—with some fun programs on Oct. 23-24 featuring the Dark Knight. All programs are free and open to the public.

Holy Multiple Personalities! The Many Faces of (The) Batman
  • Oct. 23 (Thurs) at 4 to 5 pm – Howe Branch (105 Schuyler St., 472-9485)
  • Oct. 24 (Fri) at 4 to 5 pm – Pine Hills Branch (517 Western Ave., 482-7911)
In this discussion, comic book expert and author (and APL's own) Gene Kannenberg Jr. takes participants through a highly illustrated look back at the Caped Crusader’s many pop culture incarnations over the past 75 years: spooky, gun-toting mystery man from the 1940s; sci-fi adventurer of the 1950s; campy 1960s TV star; husky-voiced, armored avenger of recent films; and many more. This program is appropriate for all ages.

Batman Cupcake Battle
  • Oct. 23 (Thurs) at 4 to 5 pm – Pine Hills Branch (517 Western Ave., 482-7911)
Teens are challenged to decorate the perfect cupcake that only the Dark Knight or his arch nemesis, the Joker, would love. There will be two teams—one decorating in Batman style and the other with Joker flair. Cupcakes will be judged and the winning team gets a Batman-themed prize. This program is appropriate for ages 11-17. Registration is required at 482-7911 x230.

“Batman: Mask of the Phantasm”
  • Oct. 24 (Fri) at 5 to 6:30 pm – Pine Hills Branch (517 Western Ave., 482-7911)
This popular Batman animated feature from 1993 (rated PG) follows the Dark Knight as he searches for a shrouded vigilante who is knocking off prominent Gotham mob bosses. Attendees will also enjoy snacks, drinks, and Batman loot. This program is appropriate for all ages.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

CFP: The Scientific Imagination / ICFA / Orlando, FL (Oct 31; Mar 18-22)

Call for Paper and Panel Proposals
36th International Conference
on the Fantastic in the Arts
The Scientific Imagination
March 18-22, 2015
Marriott Orlando Airport Hotel

The ICFA welcomes papers on any aspect of the fantastic - including fantasy, science fiction, weird fiction, horror, gothic, and fairy tales.

This year, we are particularly interested in topics related to our theme, The Scientific Imagination. Join us as we explore the possibilities and intersections of science and imagination—from Faust and Frankenstein, through the Golden Age and the New Wave, to steampunk and mash-ups—in all their guises, including fiction, film, television, music, theater, comics, visual art, and social media. Papers might explore topics such as rationalism vs. belief, science for good and ill, alternate and speculative technologies and biologies, futurism, imaginary sciences, time travel, and the tensions inherent in discovery, among other topics. We welcome papers on the work of our guests: Guest of Honor James Morrow (winner of the Sturgeon Award, the World Fantasy Award, and two Nebula Awards), Guest of Honor Joan Slonczewski (winner of two Campbell Awards), and Guest Scholar Colin Milburn (author of Nanovision: Engineering the Future).

The Visual & Performing Arts and Audiences (VPAA) Division accepts papers on
  • visual arts such as comic books, paintings, architecture, sculpture, photographs and illustrations;
  • the performing arts, including (film, TV, game, pop/rock) music, dance and theater;
  • games, including fanfic, fan artwork and cosplay;
  • transformative texts, both fan and professional, including mashups and viral marketing;
  • and audience/reception studies concerning audiences for any medium or genre of the fantastic.

The VPAA Division Head is Isabella van Elferen. Queries can be sent to I.vanElferen@Kingston.ac.uk or I.A.M.vanElferen@gmail.com. Further contact information can be found below.

Our submissions portal will open soon to receive proposals: http://www.fantastic-arts.org/annual-conference/submissions/ . The deadline for submitting proposals is October 31.



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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CFP: The Canadian Alternative / essay collection (April 30)

Call for Papers
The Canadian Alternative

For a proposed edited and refereed volume on Canadian graphic novelists and cartoonists. Dominick Grace and Eric Hoffman, editors of Dave Sim: Conversations, Chester Brown: Conversations, and Seth: Conversations for the University Press of Mississippi, are editing a collection of essays provisionally titled The Canadian Alternative: Canadian Cartoonists, Comics, and Graphic Novels. 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
  • 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, McFarlane, 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 Cage, 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). 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.

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CFP: Voyages / Int'l Graphic Novel and Comics Conf & Int'l Bande Dessinée Society Conf / Paris (Dec 31; Jun 22-27)

Call for Papers
Voyages
Sixth International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference /
Ninth International Bande Dessinée Society Conference
in collaboration with the joint conference of
l’Institut national d’histoire de l’art,
l’Université du Québec à Montréal et l’Université Lumière Lyon 2

Venue: University of London Institute in Paris/
Institut national d’histoire de l’art
Monday 22nd – Saturday 27th June 2015


From their earliest manifestations, comic art characters have travelled the globe and beyond. Whether realist or fantastical, drawn to educate or to amuse, comics have used their considerable and unique expressive power to depict journeys, both physically and mentally, to "elsewhere." As the medium has evolved worldwide into one attracting both an adult and a juvenile audience, this relationship to the voyage has diversified, as recently-developed trends such as “graphic journalism” attest. This conference will focus on the relationship of the sequential art form to the voyage and study representations of travel across the history of the medium up to the present day. The conference intends to consider the notion of "voyage" in a broad sense, to include related notions concerned both with geographical movement – such as migration, exile or deployment – and with the psychic journey.

With this inclusive framework in mind the organising committee for the joint International Graphic Novel and Comics conference and International Bande Dessinée Society (IBDS) conference welcome abstracts on all areas of scholarship relating to comics, the graphic novel, and bande dessinée.

Abstracts of 150-200 words in advance of a 20-minute paper, as well as questions and expressions of interest, should be sent to:
voyagesconference@gmail.com
or
c.macleod@ulip.lon.ac.uk

Deadline: 31st December 2014








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Friday, September 19, 2014

CFP: Graphic Justices of the Future: Law and Jurisprudence in Futuristic Comics / UK (no date given)

Call for Papers
Graphic Justices of the Future:
Law and Jurisprudence
in Futuristic Comics

This cfp is apparently available only as an image, from this website. For more information, contact thomas.giddens@smuc.ac.uk

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CFP: Marvel Feature Films / essay collection (Nov. 15)

Call for Papers
Marvel Feature Films
edited by Robert Moses Peaslee,
Matt 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:
Transformers (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 to Rob.weiner@ttu.edu and Matthew.mceniry@ttu.edu

Upon acceptance final essays will be due on Feb 15th.

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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 inkersandthinkers@gmail.com 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 inkersandthinkers@gmail.com 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.

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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: NewReadings@cardiff.ac.uk. For full submission details and a checklist, please see the journal’s webpage: http://ojs.cf.ac.uk/index.php/newreadings/about/submissions

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: http://ojs.cf.ac.uk/index.php/newreadings/index/

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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 submissions@sjoca.com. 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 sjoca.com and contact editor Martin Lund with a pitch or book request at p.martin.lund@gmail.com.

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.

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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, abr6@le.ac.uk. We intend to publish a selection of the papers as an edited collection or journal special issue.

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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.

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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.

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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 (h.frey@chi.ac.uk) and Chris Reyns-Chikuma (reynschi@ualberta.ca)

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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 (sherryl.vint@ucr.edu) and Mathieu Donner (Mathieu.Donner@nottingham.ac.uk). Please remember to include name, affiliation, academic title and email address. Postgraduate and early-careers researchers are encouraged to participate.

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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
(NEPCA)

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 krusez@ipfw.edu and to Robert Hackey (program chair) at RHACKEY@providence.edu.

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 (nepca.wordpress.com) 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.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

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

CFP:
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, darowskij@byui.edu

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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 netknow@e-merl.com 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 aaxsjw@nottingham.ac.uk.

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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.

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