Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CFP: ImageTexT Special Issue Invisible Art: Lettering, Coloring, Publication Design and Other Invisible Elements of Comics (December 15)

Being that I've published an essay on comics lettering myself, I'm particularly interested in this special issue...

ImageTexT Special Issue
Invisible Art:
Lettering, Coloring, Publication Design and Other Invisible Elements of Comics

Guest Editors, Zach Whalen and Aaron Kashtan

The noted comic book letterer Richard Starkings wrote: “It is with good reason that comic book lettering is largely an uncelebrated art. The paradox of good lettering is that the better it is, the less noticeable it becomes to the reader. Often the best lettering job is practically invisible to the reader.” Lettering has historically been invisible to most comics scholars as well, as have many other elements of the comics page and the comics text, including coloring, publication design, paper, and bookbinding. These “invisible” aspects of comics have typically been ignored in favor of more “visible” aspects, such as artwork and narrative. Therefore, this special issue will focus on those parameters of the comics page and text that help to frame comics images and narratives, without themselves drawing the reader's attention. This issue seeks to render visible what is invisible in comics: to inquire how the production of meaning in comics has shaped and been shaped by the invisible properties of the comics page.

Potential topics for essays may include but are not limited to:
  • Artistic materials, e.g. pencils, ink, pens, paper, graphics tablets, styluses
  • Comics lettering, including conventions thereof (e.g. capitalization, bold lettering)
  • Paratextual or nondiegetic imagery in comics, e.g. word balloons, panel borders, emanata
  • Comics coloring techniques, e.g. digital coloring
  • Publication design
  • Comics printing processes
  • Comics publishing formats
  • Effects of repackaging comics in different formats (e.g. single issues versus trade paperbacks)
  • Effects of digital production and distribution on any or all of the above
  • Cultural differences in, and effects of translation (including scanlation) on, any or all of the above
  • Legal and cultural aspects of comics paratext
Submissions should be critical and/or theoretical in nature, rather than purely historical. As ImageTexT is concerned with the formal study of image/text relations, we are most interested in submissions that give significant attention to how images function in relationship to text. We strongly prefer to receive submissions that make reference to specific images and include high-resolution artwork along with text.

Essay submissions should not exceed 10,000 words, including notes. Contributors should format submissions based on the MLA Style Manual, 3rd edition, and use endnotes. Authors will be responsible for securing copyright permission for all images used.

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to the special issue editors at akashtan@ufl.edu and zach.whalen@gmail.com.

The deadline for initial manuscript submission is December 15th, 2010.

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