Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Be a Library Intern at Marvel Comics

If I lived near New York city, were enrolled in an MLIS program, and 20 years younger, I would jump at this opportunity...
Library & Inventory Intern
Marvel Entertainment, Inc

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is looking for MLIS students interested in an internship for school credit. Potential candidates must be local to or able to commute to New York City. Interested candidates should apply online:

Purpose of Position
The purpose of this position is to assist with the inventory, the re-organization, and the cataloging of items in Marvel's library. The Library & Inventory Intern will be responsible for completing inventory of books and mixed media against data in a database and manually cataloging books for which no data exists. Cataloged items will be re-organized in the library according to the standards agreed upon by the Publishing Department and the Archivist. This position requires great attention to detail, superior organizational skills, ability to work independently with little supervision and the ability to lift 30-40 pounds. This internship is within the Publishing Department and is unpaid, but qualifies for school credit.

1. Complete library inventory and catalog
  • Scan UPC codes and match to Oracle data to add quantity to inventory
  • Search titles/ISBN for books without UPC codes for a match and add quantity to inventory
  • Manually catalog books without pre-existing data
2. Reorganization of library
  • Weed any material that does not comply with retention standards
  • Shelve books according to established standards and record location
Candidates must have the following experience or qualifications:
  • Enrollment in a Library Science program
  • An interest in cataloging and special collections
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access
  • Must be able to work independently with little supervision
  • Must be organized, analytical, and reliable
  • Must be accurate and able to ensure data integrity

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Monday, October 27, 2008

CFP: Mechademia 5 - Fanthropologies (Deadline: Jan. 5, 2009)

Above: The cover to Volume 2; see the contents listing for that issue at the Mechademia website. BTW, I love the word "fanthropology."

Call for Papers
Mechademia 5: Fanthropologies

(University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming in 2010)

In recent years, interest in fan communities and fan activities has exploded, and the term otaku has become global currency. Terms like "fan" and "otaku" have been mobilized for a wide range or reasons in a wide variety of discourses, from gender studies to inquiries about technology and sociality. We think that the exploration of fan activities and otaku phenomena is crucial to understanding the contemporary world of transnational image and information flows, as well as the transnational formation of concepts and discourses.

In keeping with our mission to forge links between different communities of knowledge and to challenge the conventional channels for the flow of information, in Mechademia 5, we propose a challenge to the received understandings of fans. We would like to challenge quasi-anthropological and pseudo-sociological readings in which the identity of "fan" or "otaku" is presumed in advance as a fixed object of knowledge. We propose "fanthropologies" not as the anthropology of fans but as an exploration of the challenge that fans present for the imposition of anthropological knowledge and the sociological gaze. To do "fanthropology" is not to do anthropology of fans but to ask what anthropology might be for or to fans.

We thus invite submissions that take seriously the social and historical construction of fans or otaku as an object of knowledge rather than impose it imperiously. We welcome essays that counter the tendency to posit fans as nothing more than a new object for old forms of knowledge. We seek essays about zones of activity as varied as manga and anime fandoms, game and character design, subcultures, emergent communities and microfascisms, connoisseurship, packaging, pop arts and fine arts, to name but a few.

We encourage authors from various backgrounds with diverse interests to write in a variety of formats and from a range of perspectives. These might include textual readings that foreground reader or viewer experience, critical theorizations of fandom, and studies of fan-produced texts, as well as first-person narratives, photo essays, artistic interventions, and other approaches not listed here. We call on contributors not only to write across disciplinary boundaries but also to address readers in allied communities of knowledge.

The submission deadline is January 5, 2009. Submissions may be sent as attachments to submissions @ Essays should be between 1,000 and 5,000 words and use Chicago style documentation. Authors may include up to five black-and-white images, and additional images or color images may be possible with special permission from the publisher. Further information is available on the Mechademia web site at

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Interview at Sequential Tart!

This week's installment of Sequential Tart (one of the top American comics webzines) features an interview with yours truly, with an eventual focus on my new book, 500 Essential Graphic Novels. Rebecca Buchanon, my intrepid interviewer, starts off with biographical questions; readers will learn quite a bit (too much?) about me as well as about the book.

This was my first real interview, and I thank Rebecca and the Tarts for their wide-ranging interest!

Yikes, I almost forgot: Here's the link to the interview. Enter freely, and of your own will.

I've got another interview coming up soon-ish (I'm working on it right now, Tim!), and I'll alert all 22 of my readers once that one's live.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

CFP: Show and Tell: What Do Graphic Novels Want? And How Do They Speak? (ACLA; Deadline Nov. 15)

Show and Tell: What Do Graphic Novels Want? And How Do They Speak?
Seminar Organizer: Nhora L Serrano, Cal State Long Beach
American Comparative Literature Association's 2009 Annual Meeting
Harvard University, March 26-29, 2009
Deadline for Paper Proposals:
November 1, 2008

Pictographs, hieroglyphics, the cave drawings of Lascaux, the Bayeux tapestry, illuminated medieval manuscripts, the sequential words and pictures of William Hogarth and Aubrey Beardsley, the explosion of cheaply printed and widely distributed "funny papers" of late nineteenth and early twentieth century American newspapers, the "Golden Age" of American comics, which saw the birth of Superman and Batman, and the genre comics of the "50s" -- all of these wide-ranging cultural artifacts have contributed to the rise of the contemporary graphic novel. Too often, this important literary genre has been dismissed as "kid's stuff," but graphic novels are as complex and powerful as any other art form.

Drawing from the work of Visual Culture studies experts, in particular W.J.T. Mitchell's works on text and image, this seminar panel aims to undertake the task of understanding and analyzing this multifaceted art form. All papers addressing the various aspects of the fraught and complex relationship between text and image in contemporary graphic novels are welcomed.

Submit paper online by November 1, 2008:

For questions, contact Nhora Lucia Serrano, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, Dept. of Comparative World Literature & Classics, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA 90840 (nserrano @

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CFP: Comics and the American South (Essay Collection - 12/15/08)


(Essay Collection - 12/15/08)


With the skyscrapers of Superman's Metropolis, Batman's Gotham City, and Chris Ware's Chicago dominating the storytelling landscape of American comics, vivid images of southern life and culture are often overlooked.

In response, the editors of COMICS AND THE AMERICAN SOUTH seek essays that demonstrate how familiar debates in southern literature surrounding race, class, sexuality, religion, and regional identity find new expression in serial comic books, graphic novels, editorial cartoons, webcomics, and newspaper strips. We also seek essays that demonstrate how integrating comics scholarship into southern studies might alter the terms of those familiar debates and challenge our fundamental assumptions about the South and southern literature.

Potential subjects range from nineteenth-century editorial cartoons to the modern southern icons of mainstream superhero comics or independently published graphic novels that critique social and historical legacies of the region. This proposed collection will bring together scholars in comics studies and southern studies alike for a wide-ranging and long overdue assessment of the rich and complex history of comics representations of the South and suggest the transformative potential of comics scholarship for New Southern Studies.

  • Editorial cartooning in/about the South (from any historical era)
  • Newspaper comic strips in/about the South (e.g. Walt Kelly's Pogo, Doug Marlette's Kudzu)
  • Representations of southern characters or settings in mainstream superhero and adventure comics (e.g. series such as Rogue, Impulse, Swamp Thing, Papa Midnight, Suicide Squad, Hawkgirl, Daredevil: Redemption, Hellboy: The Crooked Man; characters such as Cannonball, USAgent, Gambit, Photon, Shadowman, Brother Voodoo, Man-Thing)
  • Comics that draw upon the conventions of the superhero genre to comment on the South (e.g. Captain Confederacy, The American Way)
  • Representations of comics, comics readers, and comics tropes in fiction, poetry, and drama about the South (e.g. the work of Randall Kenan, Jack Butler, Jay Cantor, Lewis Nordan, Bob Rogers)
  • Indie/Alternative/Underground voices (e.g. Bayou, Incognegro, Preacher, Sinland, Stuck Rubber Baby, James Sturm's America)
  • Representations of southern folklore and cultural traditions in religion, music, and sports (e.g. Bluesman, Me and the Devil Blues, R. Crumb's blues comics, Stagger Lee, Farewell, Georgia, Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow)
  • Comics on Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Coast (e.g. Revacuation, A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge)
  • Cartooning in the Global South
  • Comics adaptations of southern literary works

Please submit a two-page abstract and CV to Brannon Costello
(bcostell @ and Qiana Whitted (whitted @ by December 15, 2008.

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