Thursday, January 21, 2016

CFP: Comics & Graphic Narrative Circle / ALA (Jan. 29; May 26-29)

Call for Papers
Comics and Graphic Narrative Circle
27th Annual Conference: May 26-29, 2016
Hyatt Regency San Francisco
5 Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA

The Comics & Graphic Narrative Circle welcomes abstracts for presentation at two sessions on comics at the 2016 ALA conference in SanFrancisco.

Session One: Women in the Comics Industry

Although women have been part of the comics industry in the United States since its beginning, the last few years have seen a massive growth in popular and critically-acclaimed comics by women creators, along with increasing attention to female fans and the representation of women characters. The increased prominence of women comes as a direct challenge to the image of the white male nerd as the quintessential comics consumer, and to the preponderance of men in positions of power within the industry. We invite submissions dealing with any facet of women in the comics industry. In what ways have major comics corporations (Marvel, DC, Image) responded or failed to respond to questions of women’s representation at the level of characters and stories, or at the level of opportunities for writers, artists, and editors? In what ways have series such as Ms. Marvel, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, or Bitch Planet, imprints such as Boom! Box (publishers of Lumberjanes), or influential creators such as Kelly Sue DeConnick altered our understanding of the market for feminist comics? How have women shaped the comics industry as it now exists? What can we learn from the careers of women editors such as Karen Berger (who oversaw DC’s massively influential imprint Vertigo) or Francoise Mouly (who edited the avant garde comics anthology RAW and is now art editor for the New Yorker)? Do feminist stories require different artistic approaches at the level of story structure and style?
Session Two: Open Topic

We invite submissions on any topics regarding comics.

Please email an abstract (of no more than 350 words) and a brief biographical note to Ben Novotny Owen ( and David M. Ball ( no later than January 29th.

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Comics Alternative Podcast: Tom Hart Interview

On this episode of The Comics Alternative, Derek Royal and I welcome cartoonist and educator Tom Hart. His graphic memoir Rosalie Lightning (St. Martin's Press) will be published tomorrow.

This wide-ranging discussion focuses primarily on Rosalie Lightning, an extraordinarily moving rumination on life, and death, and grieving, and memory, and celebration, and endurance, and art, and love. It chronicles how Tom and his wife, cartoonist Leela Corman, continued on after the sudden death of their daughter Rosalie Lightning just days before her second birthday. (You can read versions of the first two chapters here - and also, read Leela's hauntingly beautiful comics "Yahzeit" and "PTSD: The Wound that Never Heals.") Rosalie Lightning is a powerful and meaningful book. You'll be hearing a lot about it--and not just from comics-specific commentators, I'll wager.

We also talk a bit about some of Tom's earlier comics work, his hands-on process, and his general approach to art. And Tom tells us about The Sequential Artists Workshop which he and Leela established in Gainesville, FL, a training program a new generation of cartoonists. (SAW is currently holding a fundraiser which is worth your attention.)

On a personal note: I first "met" Tom over twenty years ago on an email list, and we met in person a few times at SPX in the late 1990s. I met Leela then, too. I grieved when I learned the news about Rosalie, though I had never met her. Just about two years ago, I got to see Leela and Tom again, along with their recently born daughter Molly Rose: Leela was one of the cartoonists featured in the "Graphic Jews" exhibit at Skidmore College's Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, and the family traveled up to Saratoga Springs so Leela could be a guest on a panel I co-moderated in conjunction with the exhibit. (Darling Molly Rose nibbled on my fingers a bit during the pre-panel dinner.) Tom and Leela are both wonderful people and amazing artists.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Comics Alternative Podcast #169: The January Previews Catalog

It seems like only a couple of days since I was last on The Comics Alternative, but today I'm back with Derek Royal as we take a stroll through the latest Previews catalog, pointing out books of interest to us amongst the thousands that will go on sale in a few months.

I'm not going to pretend to list everything we talk about here, but I will highlight three books I'm most excited about: The Complete TRUMP (Harvey Kurtzman); Carpet Sweeper Tales (Julie Doucet); and The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (Sonny Liew). However, if I had all the money in the world, I'd be buying all of the books below, and then some!

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

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Monday, January 04, 2016

Comics Alternative Podcast Interview: @YoeBooks' Craig Yoe

It's the first installment of the Comics Alternative podcast for 2016! Derek Royal and I say "Happy New Yoe!" as we welcome back Craig Yoe for another interview. We discuss the most recent hardcover comic book reprint collections from Yoe Books, including Ghost and Girls of Fiction House, The Complete Voodoo vol. 1, Horror by Heck, Walt Kelly's Fairy Tales, and Weird Love vol. 2 (plus we sneak in a little talk about the upcoming Haunted Love title). We talk a good bit about the process of putting these books together: Collecting the materials; working with collaborators like Michael Price and Mike Howlett; and the editing, production, and design processes which Craig shares with Yoe Books co-founder Clizia Gossoni (who, I believe, makes a cameo appearance or two in the recording!).

I got a huge kick out of all of these books. The old horror comics are all over the map in terms of story and art types--if all you're familiar with are the old EC titles like Tales from the Crypt, these stories will surprise you with their variety. The romance stories in Weird Love most definitely live up to their billing. And the Walt Kelly book is truly a marvel to behold.

Craig's a longtime friend of the podcast, as well as a friend of mine in real life. It's always great to catch up with him and talk about cool--and often really, really strange!--old comics. In fact, after we stopped recording, we came up with an idea or two for future shows with Craig which would go in a very different direction indeed, and I hope we get to do them.

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

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Comics Alternative Podcast #166: Killing and Dying; Taddle Creek; Barrier; iTunes Terms and Conditions

I'm back again on the Comics Alternative podcast, and this time I join Derek Royal for an over-stuffed review show with some really excellent comics! We cover Adrian Tomine's ambitious new collection Killing and Dying; the jam-packed Canadian anthology Taddle Creek #36; the genre-blending digital comic Barrier #1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente; and both parts of R. Sikoryak's ridiculously thorough (and thoroughly entertaining) adaptation of, yes, the iTunes Terms and Conditions agreement.
This is a particularly strong group of books - we spent nearly two hours talking, though it didn't seem that long at the time!
As always, click the link above to stream the episode, or you can subscribe via iTunes.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Comics Alternative Podcast #163: Thanksgiving

It's the annual Thanksgiving episode of the Comics Alternative podcast! This year I join Derek Royal, Andy Kunka, and Andy Wolverton for another wide-ranging discussion about some of the things we're thankful for in the world of comics. Cartoonist guests? Oh, yeah! Publishers? Yup! Kickstarter? Sure! Listeners and patrons? Why, of course! Our Comics Alternative colleagues? Naturally! Other podcasts? Indeed! Other academics and librarians? Affirmative! Marvel Comics? Whaaat?

All this and more - give it a listen!

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

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Comics Alternative Podcast #159: Halloween Review Spooktacular

It's the annual Halloween episode of the Comics Alternative podcast, and Derek Royal and I review a whole bagful of Halloween- and horror-themed comics! Apart from the book-length Haunted Horror vol. 3 (Yoe Books), Upside Down: A Hat Full of Spells (Top Shelf), and The Monsterjunkies (Red Anvil), we also cover individual comic books: Adventure Time 2015 Halloween Spooktacular, Spongebob Squarepants #49, The Goon: Theatre Bizarre, All Hallow's Eve #5, Elder House #1 and #2, Zombies Vs Cheerleaders 2015 Halloween Special, Zombie Tramp Halloween Special #1, and Gold Digger Halloween Special #11. And then we (or at least I) crashed - that was A LOT of comics!

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

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Comics Alternative Podcast #155: International #PodcastDay 2015!

This week on the Comics Alternative, founding hosts Derek Royal and Andy Kunka are joined by several of the podcast's other co-hosts--Gwen Tarbox, Andy Wolverton, and myself--for a non-comics show! Today is International Podcast Day, so we gathered (virtually) to discuss our favorite podcasts, what we look (listen) for in a good podcast, our own roles as podcasters (are we members of the media now?), and more.

I give a few shout-outs to Jessica Abel's new Out on the Wire, Helen Zaltzman's The Allusionist, Welcome to Night Vale, and Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast, among other shows. And I took lots of notes on other podcasts recommended by Gwen and and Derek and the Andys. Now I just need more hours in the week to listen to them all...

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

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Comics Alternative Podcast #153: The Dharma Punks, My Hot Date, Tokyo Ghost #1, Future Fantasteek #16

Once again, I'm back again on the Comics Alternative podcast! Join Derek Royal and myself as we review Ant Sang's anarcho-Buddhist masterwork The Dharma Punks; Noah Van Sciver's painfully hilarious memoir My Hot Date; Rick Remender, Sean Murphy, and Matthew Hollingsworth's media-saturated dystopia Tokyo Ghost #1; and Jackie Batey's smart and snarky zine Future Fantasteek #16.

We have lots to say about these books, so to hear the whole show, click the link above to stream the episode, or you can subscribe via iTunes.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

CFP: ICAF, International Comic Arts Forum / USC Columbia (Nov. 6; Apr. 14-16)

Call for Papers
International Comic Arts Forum
14-16 April 2016
University of South Carolina, Columbia

ICAF, the International Comic Arts Forum, invites proposals for scholarly papers for its eighteenth annual meeting, to be held at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, from Thursday, April 14, through Saturday, April 16, 2016. Confirmed guests include comics artists Howard Cruse, Keith Knight, Cece Bell, and Prof. Michael Chaney of Dartmouth College.

The deadline to submit proposals is November 6, 2015.

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

Among the thematic panels we hope to offer are Comics and the American South, Digital and Online Comics, and Superheroes; proposals are especially welcome in these areas.

Proposal Guidelines: ICAF prefers argumentative, thesis-driven papers that are clearly linked to larger critical, artistic, or cultural issues; we avoid presentations that are summative or survey-like in character. We only accept original 20-minute papers that have not been presented or accepted for publication elsewhere. Presenters should assume an audience versed in comics and the fundamentals of comics studies. Where possible, papers should be illustrated by relevant images on PowerPoint. Proposals should not exceed 300 words.

Review Process: All proposals will be subject to blind review. Due to high interest in the conference, in recent years ICAF has typically been able to accept only about half of the proposals received.

SEND ABSTRACTS (with contact information, including state, province, or country of residence in the body of the email) by 6 November 2015, to C.W. Marshall, ICAF Academic Program Director, via email at .

Receipt of all proposals will be acknowledged. Applicants should expect to receive confirmation of acceptance or rejection by December 14, 2015.

ICAF also sponsors the John A. Lent Scholarship in Comics Studies. This scholarship is awarded to a current student who has authored, or is in the process of authoring, a substantial research-based writing project about comics. Applications for this scholarship are due by 8 January 2016. For more information and details of the application process, please visit our website.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Comics Alternative Podcast #150: 6 Voyages of Lone Sloane, Wolf, and Americatown

Once again, I'm back again on the Comics Alternative podcast, for the 150th episode! This time, Derek Royal and I cover Philippe Druillet's The 6 Voyages of Lone Sloane (Titan Comics), Wolf #1 and #2 by Ales Kot, Matt Taylor, and Lee Loughridge (Image Comics), and Americatown #1 by Bradford Winters, Larry Cohen, and Daniel Irizarri (BOOM! Studios/Archaia). I thought Lone Sloane lived up to its reputation (and more!) as a psychedelic SF head-trip, while Wolf takes a long time to settle into its world and Americatown's expressive artwork propels a story that is just getting started.

Of course, Derek and I both have lots more to say about these books - so to hear the whole show, click the link above to stream the episode, or you can subscribe via iTunes.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Announcement: USC to host International Comic Arts Forum, April 14-16, 2016

[Here's a press release from the International Comic Arts Forum. A Call for Papers will follow in September. --GK]
August 21, 2015

Contact Info:
Mark Heimermann
ICAF Promotions Coordinator

The University of South Carolina to host International Comic Arts Forum,
April 14-16, 2016

Confirmed speakers include cartoonists Howard Cruse, Keith Knight,
and Prof. Michael Chaney of Dartmouth College.

The International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF) is proud to announce that the University of South Carolina will host the forum’s 18th annual academic conference from April 14-16, 2016 in Columbia, South Carolina. A call for conference papers will be forthcoming in September 2015.

Since 1995, the International Comic Arts Forum has been dedicated to promoting the scholarly study and appreciation of comic art, including comic strips, comic books, comics albums and graphic novels, magazine and newspaper cartooning, caricature, and comics in electronic media. The forum provides a supportive, collegial environment to showcase innovative comics scholarship and comic art from around the world.

Cartoonists Howard Cruse and Keith Knight are confirmed as two of the guest artists for ICAF 2016. Cruse, the Eisner and Harvey award-winning creator of Stuck Rubber Baby, began his career as a contributor to 1970s underground comics. He is a founding editor of Gay Comix and creator of Barefootz and the series, Wendel. Knight is best known for The K Chronicles, his Glyph and Harvey-award winning comic strip, as well as the social and political satire of his (Th)ink series. Prof. Michael Chaney from Dartmouth College will be the ICAF 2016 keynote speaker. Chaney is editor of the collection, Graphic Subjects: Critical Essays on Autobiography and Graphic Novels, and author of numerous essays about comics and African American history, autobiographical narrative, and animal subjects. Additional guests will be announced in the coming months.

As the 2016 venue, the University of South Carolina is the state’s flagship campus in Columbia with over 30,000 students. Comics studies offerings are a fixture in USC’s academic programs in English, Media Studies, Library Science, and the archives in the library collections showcase significant holdings in southern political cartoons. In recent years, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis was selected for the university-wide First Year Reading Experience, while Media Arts students create manga in studio courses for the School of Visual Art and Design. Silver City, the oldest comic book store in the Southeast, is located within only a few miles of campus. Previous ICAF conferences have been held at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University, the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont, School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Georgetown University, and the Small Press Expo in Maryland.

ICAF will also sponsor the John A. Lent Scholarship in Comics Studies competition again in 2016. This scholarship, named for pioneering teacher and researcher Dr. John Lent, is awarded to a current student who has authored, or is in the process of authoring, a substantial research-based writing project about comics. The recipient will be asked to present their work at the upcoming conference. A separate CFP for the award will be forthcoming. For more information, visit our Lent Scholarship page.

Stay in touch with ICAF on the web, Facebook, and Twitter!

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Comics Alternative Podcast #148: Hang Dai Editions (Publisher Spotlight)

I'm back again on the Comics Alternative podcast! This time, Derek Royal and I spotlight the first three book-length releases from Hang Dai Editions: Beef with Tomato by Dean Haspiel; Smoke by Gregory Benton; and Schmuck, written by the late Seth Kushner and with art by almost two dozen cartoonists.

Beef and Schmuck both are memoirs told through short stories, with Dean's book tending towards danger (of various kinds) and Seth's book tending towards, well, schmuckiness (primarily in terms of relationships). Smoke moves in a different direction, with a wordless tale of young immigrant workers and other realms. Together, these books represent a strong bookstore debut for the collective. Bonus: Derek talks briefly with Dean and Greg about Hang Dai!

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

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Comics Alternative Podcast #144: Black River, 8House: Arclight #1, and Kilgore Quarterly #6

I'm back on the Comics Alternative podcast again, doing my first review show since last October! On this episode, Derek Royal and I review Black River by Josh Simmons, 8House: Arclight #1 by Brandon Graham and Marian Churchland, and the anthology Kilgore Quarterly #6 by over a dozen great cartoonists. Post-apocalyptic mayhem under lyric skies? Check. Genderqueer high fantasy in a shared universe? Check. A wide-ranging, knock-out anthology at an unbeatable price? Check!

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

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Friday, June 26, 2015

CFP - Project: Comic Con, St. Louis MO (Aug. 31; Oct. 17-18)

Call for Papers, Presentations, and Panels
Project: Comic Con 
October 17-18, 2015 
St Louis, MO

Dear colleagues, scholars, and friends:

We invite submissions for proposed papers, presentations, and panel sessions related to comics and graphic narratives for inclusion within the academic mini-conference held in conjunction with Project: Comic Con, a locally organized, family friendly celebration of comics, cartoons, anime, and pop culture in St Louis, MO.

As this year’s theme is “Women in Comics,” we are especially interested in potential presentations, panels, workshops, or creative sessions that relate with or speak directly to the changing role of women in comics as characters, creators, and consumers. We also welcome proposals that deal specifically with works related to or produced by our anticipated roster of guests.

More information concerning the Project: Comic Con guest list, programming, and accommodations can be found here:

All accepted presenters receive a two-day pass to Project: Comic Con. All presentations are open to anyone with a pass.

As our conference is also meant to encourage popular discussion and debate, we encourage and prefer visually engaging and accessible presentations.

Please submit abstracts and proposals of no more than 300 words and a brief biographical statement no later than 31st August, 2015. Please send all materials as Word attachments to Daniel Yezbick at

We look forward to your proposals.

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