Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Latest Entry Additions and Updates

Here are the book-entries we've added or revised since our last update here. More to come soon -- our "New Books" shelf is about to collapse...
Beaty, Bart. Unpopular Culture: Transforming the European Comic Book in the 1990s. University of Toronto Press, 2007.

Bender, Hy. The Sandman Companion. New York: DC Comics-Vertigo, 1999.

Feiffer, Jules. The Great Comic Book Heroes. 1965. New York: Dial, 1977.

Goulart, Ron. Comic Book Culture: An Illustrated History. Collector's Press, 2000. 204 pp. ISBN (hc).

Levin, Bob. The Pirates and the Mouse: Disney's War Against the Counterculture. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics Books, 2003.

Scott, Randall W. Comics Librarianship: A Handbook. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1990. ISBN 0899505279.

Vienne, Véronique. Chip Kidd. Monographics. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003.

Weiner, Stephen. Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Rise of the Graphic Novel. Introduction by Will Eisner. New York: NBM, 2003.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

WIRED 15.11: Manga, Manga and More Manga

The November 2007 issue of WIRED magazine has a bunch of manga-related content, with on-line extras as well. Here are direct links to what's at the website:
Of particular interest is How Manga Conquered the U.S., a ten-page article from the magazine, told using manga itself. The web page offers a flash-enabled version - a bit small, although it does include a "magnify" feature. They also offer a downloadable PDF (1.9 MB), which I find easier to read. Hint: Choose "Facing" page layout from the View menu in Acrobat to see the pages side-by-side. You'll need to jump to the end of the document first, as the article's done in the Japanese right-to-left format. And don't miss Manga 101, an interactive info source on manga, including a timeline, frequently asked questions, a short glossary, and more.

If you're interested in manga, be sure to take a look at the magazine. (I've let my subscription to WIRED lapse, sigh, so I'll need to pick up this issue soon.) And don't forget's own manga information!

(Thanks to this BoingBoing post by Cory Doctorow for pointing out the PDF.)

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

CFP: Mechademia 4: War/Time (Deadline:January 7, 2008 )

This is a wonderful journal. Be sure to have your library order it!
Editor: Frenchy Lunning Associate Editors: Thomas LaMarre, Christopher Bolton, Michelle Ollie

Call for Papers

Mechademia is an annual forum published by the University of Minnesota Press, for critical work on anime, manga, and fan arts. We are seeking submissions on topics linked to Japanese and international manga or anime, as well as related material from fields like fashion, film studies, fine art, game design, and global fan culture, among others. We encourage contributions in a variety of formats, by authors from a wide range of backgrounds and fields. Contributors should endeavor to write across disciplinary boundaries, presenting their unique knowledge in all its sophistication, but with a broad audience in mind.

We are currently accepting submissions for Mechademia #4, the theme of which is "War/Time." Possible topics include:
  • past and future conflicts
  • war and memory
  • animated violence and cinematic duration
  • millennialism and apocalypse
  • manga histories
  • heroic archetypes versus real histories
  • avatar wars
  • etc.
This list is only a beginning: contributors are encouraged to interpret the topic broadly and contribute their own original perspectives. Superior submissions that fall outside the theme may also be considered if space permits.

The submission deadline for volume #4 is January 7, 2008.

Submissions should be approximately 5000 words or less, plus notes. Mechademia uses Chicago style documentation. Files may be sent as attachments to

Detailed submission guidelines and further information are available on our web site at

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Graphic Short Story Prize Winners Announced

The winners of the Observer's Graphic Short Story Prize were announced today. (See our earlier post on the contest.) Congratulations to first-place winner Catherine Brighton, second-place finisher Stuart Kolakovic, and the third-place team of Finn Dean and Sam Green. For more information on the contest and the winners, see the Observer's story by Robert McCrum and Rachel Cooke.

Update (10/16/07): You can download PDFs of all three prize-winning stories near the bottom of another column by Robert McCrum. I think all three stories are very well-done, with the pieces by Brighton and Kolakovic holding their own with some of the best very short pieces I've read in some time. Brighton's two-pager, "Away in a Manger" (warning: 4MB pdf!), manages the hat-trick of being simultaneously cute, mysterious, and wistful, with artwork reminiscent of a ligne-claire Maurice Sendak. Kolakovic's tale of innocence and necessary deception, "The Box," benefits from its subdued pallet and its elegant visual metaphor - a real treat. I can see how Dean and Green's "The Waitress" "provoked so much debate among the judges" - it's more than a bit elliptical, but it still reveals nice artistic chops as well as the ability to convey a good bit of character within a two-page, often mute, tale. I'd certainly like to see more of these contests - and, of course, more new-talent winners.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

UP Mississippi Books on Sale

Attention bargain shoppers: The University Press of Mississippi is running a huge sale, with discounts from 40% to 85%. The sale pertains only to selected on-line book purchases, and it ends November 15, 2007.

Click here for the entire list of sale titles. While the list reflects UPM's broad range of publishing interests, readers will be interested especially in these titles:
Update (10/15/2007): UPM has long been an enthusiastic supporter of comics scholarship, and we're happy to spotlight their sale. Be sure to check it out! And while you're there, check out their entire list of comics-related books.

Also: You might not be aware that UPM now uses print-on-demand to bring back out-of-print titles. So while they're not part of this sale, you now can stock your library with any of the older and essential titles you might have missed, like M. Thomas Inge's Comics as Culture, Joseph Witek's Comic Books as History, Amy Nyberg's Seal of Approval, and many more.

PS: Don't forget that we include expanded information on nearly all of these books at!

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hartford Courant on Lisa's Death in "Funky Winkerbean" - with Commentary

Regular newspaper-comics readers are likely aware that Lisa, a character in Tom Batiuk's popular and long-running strip Funky Winkerbean, died this week from a relapse of cancer - today, in fact. Unsurprisingly, the story has garnered lots of media attention. Apart from the regrettable (although expected) litanies of "This is just horrible, my funnies should be funny" reactions from many readers, the majority of these stories have wisely focused on Batiuk's decision to use the storyline - and subsequent publication - to raise money for cancer research with the establishment of Lisa's Legacy Fund. (Click here for more information on the fund.)

Today's issue of the Hartford Courant features a very good, somewhat longer-than-usual article on the event. Courant reporter (and longtime phone-pal) Bill Weir contacted me yesterday for my opinions, and I'm happy that Jesse Leavenworth, the article's writer, found some of my comments useful.

You can read the article, "A Comic Strip for a Cause," along with a PDF of today's installment of the strip, here. And in case you've missed the strip, you can always read the last 30 days of it courtesy of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

This image comes from today's Courant story.

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