Friday, September 23, 2011

CATS IN COMICS #2 Krazy Kat by Gene Kannenberg, Jr.

I have committed bloggery by invitation. Michael Hill (a.k.a. "Doctor Comics") recently began a series on cats in comics at his blog, starting with the great Doraemon. I was honored to be invited to contribute post #2, on George Herriman's "Krazy Kat," which is now live.

I first met Michael in 1999 (can it be that long ago, already?!?) when he came to the US and presented "Outside Influence/Local Colour: the Australian Small Press" at the International Comic Arts Festival, of which I was then the chair. (He still has his 1999 ICAF t-shirt, designed by Max himself!) At the time I was impressed by his scholarship and his conviviality, and we've kept in e-contact over the years. I was pleased to be asked by him to be his first guest-blogger in this series. Thanks, Michael, for the opportunity to wax rhapsodic!

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Monday, September 12, 2011

CFP: On the Scholarship of Religion and Comic Books (PCA) (Dec. 1; Apr. 11-14)

Call for Papers:
On the Scholarship of Religion
and Comic Books
Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association
April 11-14, 2012
Boston, MA

Area: Religion & Culture, Comics & Comic Art (joint session)
Moderator: A. David Lewis (Boston University)

Overview: The last half-dozen years have seen an explosion in U.S. publications addressing the intersection of religion and comics, but little has been said on the body of work taken as a whole. Outside of individual reviews, rarely are these works discussed in terms of their applications, their intertextuality, their audiences, their shortcomings, or the new questions they raise. This panel is to act as a forum addressing either portions of these works, entire books, their shared space, or the next steps to which they may all lead. In addition to the print publications recommended below, this panel also invites reflections on some of the websites and blogs conducting similar work, also listed:
Books: Superheroes: Religion and Popular Culture (2005), Up, Up, and Oy Vey (2006), Our Gods Wear Spandex (2007), Superheroes and Gods: A Comparative Study from Babylonia to Batman (2007), Disguised as Clark Kent (2007), Holy Superheroes! Revised and Expanded Edition (2008), From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books (2008), The Jewish Graphic Novel: Critical Approaches (2008), Jews and American Comics (2008), India’s Immortal Comic Books: Gods, Kings, and Other Heroes (2009), Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels (2010), Supergods (2011), The Seven Spiritual Laws of the Superhero (2011), Do the Gods Wear Capes? (2011)

Online: “Comics Are My Religion” columns, “Religion and Comics” columns, By Rao! Comics and Religion site, Jewish Comics blog, Faith in Four Colors site
Other English-language, U.S. market pieces of scholarship may be considered, but the focus should remain on already-produced analysis, not on works-in-progress nor on the comics themselves. Submissions should be thoughtful reflections on how these pieces function, what opportunities they present, where they may fail, and what has been overlooked.

Abstracts of 100-250 words, a C.V., and brief bio are due by December 1 to for consideration.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

CFP: Masculinity in Superhero Comic Books and Films (NeMLA) (Sept. 30; Mar. 15-18)

Masculinity in
Superhero Comic Books and Films
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 15 to 18, 2012
Rochester, NY
Deadline:  September 30, 2011

With comic books becoming more mainstream, thanks to numerous summer blockbuster films focusing on superheroes—2011 bringing audiences Super, Thor, The Green Hornet, Captain America, X-Men: First Class, and Green Lantern—this session welcomes all papers looking at ongoing portrayals of masculinity in works about superheroes.  Submissions may focus the adherence or the subversion of masculine archetypes in superhero comic books, graphic novels, films, plays, video games, and other works in popular culture.  Submit 250- to 500-word proposals to Derek McGrath (

Please include with your abstract the following:  Name, affiliation, email address, and A/V requirements if any ($10 handling fee with registration).

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists may only present one paper (panel or seminar).  Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.   For more information, visit the NEMLA online at

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Friday, September 09, 2011

CFP: Graphic Details Symposium: Talking About Jewish Women and Comics (February 26, 2012)

Call for Papers
Graphic Details Symposium:
Talking About Jewish Women and Comics
February 26, 2012 
at the Yeshiva University Museum in New York City
We invite papers for a one-day symposium that will explore the intersections between Jewishness and gender in comics and graphic narratives.  Key questions will include:

  • What are the unique characteristics common to Jewish women cartoonists’ representations of themselves and others on the page?
  • How might this particular literary genre be contextualized within the various modes of Jewish literature?
  • How might sequential art constitute a unique approach for investigations of identity?
  • What are some helpful theoretical modes for reading these works individually and collectively?
This interdisciplinary conference will put academics and cartoonists in dialogue with one another to discuss comics by and about Jewish women. The day of panel presentations will conclude with a cartoonist roundtable open to the public.  Confirmed participants include cartoonists Miriam Katin and Leela Corman, photographic artist Professor Joanne Leonard (University of Michigan), Dr Heike Bauer (Birkbeck College, University of London), Dr. David Brauner (University of Reading), and Professor Laurence Roth (Susquehanna University). The symposium is being presented in conjunction with Yeshiva University Museum’s exhibition, Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women, which is on display from September 25, 2011 - April 8, 2012. For more information, go to
Proposals for papers or panel presentations should be emailed by Sunday, October 23, 2011 to Please include up to a 500-word proposal, as well as a short bio of the presenter. Images are welcome to supplement submissions.  Here are some suggested paper or panel topics:
  • The “Jewish Body” and its transformations in comics
  • Jewish comic storytelling and the traditions of Jewish literature
  • Confession, memoir, and autobiographical literature
  • Gender identification in changing social and artistic discourses
  • Comic book writing about Israel and Palestine
  • Depictions of marriage, partnerships, and interfaith relationships
  • Portraying Judaism and religion in graphic detail
  • Mothers, daughters, and other family dynamics reflected in graphic storytelling
  • Heroes and villains
This conference is being organized by Sarah Lightman (University of Glasgow), Tahneer Oksman (CUNY Graduate Center), and Amy Feinstein, Ph.D. (Independent Scholar). Our sponsors include the Yeshiva University Museum, the Jewish Daily Forward, McFarland, the Stirling Maxwell Center at University of Glasgow, and the Center for Jewish Studies and the PhD Program in English at CUNY’s Graduate Center. Unfortunately there are no grants available.

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CFP: Rocky Mountain Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, June 13-15, 2012

As announced on the Comics Scholars Discussion List...

Rocky Mountain Conference
on Comics and Graphic Novels
June 13-15, 2012
Rocky Mountain Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, June 13-15, 2012, is a new literary conference devoted solely to the scholarly study and teaching of the sequential arts. What sets this conference apart from others is its unique mission to combine an educational classroom initiative with the benefits of theoretical and critical discourse. RMCCGN is being held in conjunction with the newly-emerging Denver Comic Con at the top-rated Colorado Convention Center, June 15-17 2012. All profits from both events directly benefit Comic Book Classroom, a nonprofit free after-school program for children, whose focus is raising literacy through comic books and graphic storytelling.

The conference is designed to bring together a wide range of theoretical, pedagogical, and disciplinary perspectives, and is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as academic, independent, and fan scholars. Any topics in the field of comics and graphic novels are welcome.

We seek proposals of 200-300 words for talks of 15-20 minutes in length and should be sent along with a brief, 100-word biography to Christina Angel at Deadline for submission is January 15, 2012 and notification of acceptance or rejection will be emailed by or before March 1, 2012.

Please visit our websites: and for more information about these events.

Exciting guest announcements are coming soon – stay tuned!

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