Monday, December 28, 2009

Call for Panelists: Technology and the Comics (Feb. 19; May 27-30)

The University of Advancing Technology and Phoenix Comicon invite scholars, graduate students, industry professional, artists, and writers to submit presentations for Phoenix Comicon. This year's theme will explore the role of technology in shaping the medium and its future.

Advances in technology have fundamentally changed the look of the comics as well as how the reader engages with the comics. From the recent Microsoft Live Labs project that enables users to design infinite canvases, to the continued growth and popularity of web comics, technology is opening doors to both creators and consumers of the medium. At the same time, popular authors like Gregory “Seth” Gallant continue to innovate using the classical tools of the trade, while the “constrained comics” movement works to scale back the infinite possibilities of technologically enhanced comics. This atmosphere encourages both debate as well as reflection on the future of the comics as a medium. We are seeking papers that address the role of technology in shaping the mediums of comics, webcomics, graphic novels, and hybrid works. Possible topics include the following:
  • Digital archiving and distribution
  • The changing role of syndicated comics and the decline of newspapers
  • Critical approaches to and innovations in web comics
  • The shift from traditional illustration methods to digital methods.
  • Scanlations and their impact on manga
  • Applications and analysis of "infinite canvas" texts
  • Constrained comics and other resistance authors/artists
  • History and future of comic art technology
  • Interactive comics and "motion comics"
  • Innovative uses of illustration technologies
  • Changes and challenges in writing relating to technologically enhanced comics
  • Challenges of blending mediums (comics to video games, manga to anime, etc)
Respondents are encouraged to expand on this list in shaping their proposals.

Graduate students, artists, writers, industry professionals, independent scholars, and academics are all encouraged to submit. We envision our panels as representing a variety of perspectives geared toward the broad audience of the Phoenix Comicon. Panels will last for one hour. Presenters will be asked to make a short presentation, followed by a moderated panel round table and a Q and A session with the audience. Presentations integrating audio and visuals are recommended. Please note any A/V needs along with your proposal.

Please submit a 300-500 word proposal to Dr. Kathleen Dunley at by February 19, 2010. Proposals will go through a peer review process and those accepted will be notified via email.

More information on the Phoenix Comicon, including lodging information, can be found at our website:

Kathleen Dunley
University of Advancing Technology
2625 W. Baseline Rd
Tempe AZ 85283

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Call for Applications: Swann Fellowship (Febrary 15)


Applications for the 2010-2011 Swann Fellowship, one of the few graduate fellowships supporting scholarly work in caricature and cartoon, are due February 15, 2010. The Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, administered by the Library of Congress, seeks to award fellowship funds up to $15,000 each year. For criteria, guidelines, and application forms, please see:

Please email or call (202) 707-9115 if you have questions.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Journal and CFP: Journal of Comics and Graphic Novels

Today I received word of yet another forthcoming academic journal devoted to comics scholarship. This time it's Journal of Comics and Graphic Novels, from Routledge. As always, you can find a complete list of journals related to comics scholarship at the Academic page of
Here's how the journal is described at its website:
The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics is a peer reviewed journal covering all aspects of the graphic novel, comic strip and comic book, with the emphasis on comics in their cultural, institutional and creative contexts. Its scope is interdisciplinary and international, covering not only English language comics but also worldwide comic culture. The journal reflects interdisciplinary research in comics and aims to establish a dialogue between academics, historians, theoreticians and practitioners of comics. It therefore examines comics production and consumption within the contexts of culture: art, cinema, television and new media technologies.

The journal will include all forms of 'sequential imagery' including precursors of the comic but in the main emphasis will be on twentieth and twenty-first century examples, reflecting the increasing interest in the modern forms of the comic, its production and cultural consumption.
The general Call for Papers is available as a PDF, but here's the gist:
Contributions are invited on a wide range of comic-related topics including, but not limited to:

Genres (horror, romance, superheroes, experimental, autobiographical etc), underground/alternative comics, censorship, online comics, political and topical issues, fans and audiences (subcultures, gender, subcultural production), comics production and distribution systems, representing famous people in comics (American Presidents, sports heroes, film stars, iconic figures from history).

Possible topics for future themed issues include: Gender issues (comics as male dominated institutions, creators, audiences, representations, women fans, women creators in small press comics), individual genres (horror, romance, superheroes etc), adaptations, convergence culture, key creators (Moore, Hergé, Ware, Crumb, Eisner, McCay, Herriman etc) and national comic cultures (Manga, Latin America, Bande Dessineé etc).

Articles between 5000-7000 words should be emailed to: David Huxley ( and Joan Ormrod ( or posted to: Faculty of Art & Design, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chatham Building, Cavendish Street, Manchester, M15 6BR, UK
I'll be curious to see how these new journals will differentiate themselves from others in the field once they begin publication...

Labels: , ,

Saturday, December 05, 2009

CFP: Comics and Medicine: Medical Narrative in Graphic Novels (January 29; June 17)

Call for papers:

Comics and Medicine:
Medical Narrative in Graphic Novels

17th June 2010
School of Advanced Study, Institute of English Studies
University of London

Confirmed keynote lectures by
Paul Gravett and Marc Zaffran

This one-day interdisciplinary conference aims to explore medical narrative in graphic novels and comics. Although the first comic book was invented in 1837 the long-format graphic narrative has only become a distinct and unique body of literary work relatively recently. Thanks in part to the growing Medical Humanities movement, many medical schools now encourage the reading of literature and the study of art to gain insights into the human condition. A serious content for comics is not new but representation of illness in graphic novels is an increasing trend. The melding of text and visuals in graphic fiction and non-fiction has much to offer medical professionals, students and, indeed, patients. Among the growing number of graphic novels, a sub-genre exploring the patients' and the carers' experiences of illness or disability has emerged.

Papers and posters are invited on issues related to, but not restricted to, the
following themes:
  • What motivates authors to produce graphic narratives with medical content?
  • How does the audience for this growing genre differ from traditional markets for so-called 'pathographies'?
  • What additional insights can graphic narratives offer into healthcare compared with literature and film?
  • What international trends are discernible in the production and reception of medical graphic narratives?
  • What are the ethical implications of using graphic narratives to disseminate public health messages?
  • What are the strengths of graphic fiction in bioethics conversations? In conversations between patients and health care workers?
  • How have patients (and patient communities) turned to graphic fiction to communicate health care and advocacy information to other patients, their family and surrounding community, and their physicians?
  • How do patient-created graphic fictions/narratives differ from physician- or health-care industry-created graphic narratives? What does this imply about the role played by graphic fiction in institutionalized medicine?
  • How can graphic stories be used in medical education and patient education?
  • What are the roles of graphic stories in enhancing communication within the medical profession, in scholarship and in the medical humanities?
Contributions are sought from humanities scholars, comics scholars, healthcare professionals, comics enthusiasts, writers and cartoonists.

300 word proposals for a 20 minute paper or a poster should be submitted by Friday 29th January 2010 to

Abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats, following this order: author(s), affiliation, email address, title of abstract, body of abstract

We acknowledge receipt and answer to all proposals submitted. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed blind and papers for presentation will be selected by Friday 26th of February 2010.

A report of the conference will be submitted to relevant journals and websites. All the papers and posters accepted for and presented at the conference will be eligible for development in a themed volume (subject to funding).

Paul Gravett
is a London-based freelance journalist, curator, lecturer, writer and broadcaster, who has worked in comics publishing and promotion since 1981. He has curated numerous exhibitions of comic art in Britain and in Europe and since 2003 has been the director of Comica, London's International Comics Festival at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Paul is the co-author, with Peter Stanbury, of the books Manga: 60 Years Of Japanese Comics (2004), Graphic Novels: Stories To Change Your Life (2005), Great British Comics: Celebrating A Century Of Ripping Yarns & Wizard Wheezes (2006), The Leather Nun & Other Incredibly Strange Comics (2008) and he is the editor of The Mammoth Book Of Best Crime Comics (2008). On television he has been a consultant and interview subject on The South Bank Show's programme Manga Mania (2006) and BBC4's documentary series Comics Britannia (2007). Also, he appeared as interview subject in the DVD documentary The Mindscape Of Alan Moore (2007). He continues to write about comics for various periodicals.

Marc Zaffran, M.D. is a French-born Family Physician and a writer (under the pen name Martin Winckler). He is currently a researcher at the University of Montreal. He has written forty books including novels and essays on patient-doctor relationship, the ethics of healthcare and the representation of Doctors in mass-media fiction including pulp novels, television drama and comic-books. He is currently studying the works of a French doctor and comic-book artist, Charles Masson.

For more information go to or

Labels: , , ,