Friday, May 28, 2010

CFP - For Love of the Fandom (June 1; Nov. 11-14)

Note the imminent deadline.

Call for Papers
“For Love of the Fans:
Fandom, Comics and Film Adaptations”
2010 Film & History Conference:
Representations of Love in Film and Television
November 11-14, 2010
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
Final Deadline: June 1, 2010

AREA: For Love of the Fans: Fandom, Comics and Adaptations

Since comic books began featuring letters to the editor in each issue, fan culture has been a pivotal and clear presence in comics.  This presence and investment became even more potent as fandom culture began to reside in physical settings such as comic book shops and conventions.  Fandom culture has become more present and powerful in the Internet age and while they were once solely the butt-end of jokes, they now garner the attention of producers, directors, and writers.  Their love and investment in comics are now considered important by creators in generating promotion and excitement for films.  Unlike the previous 50 years of comic adaptations, the last 20 years have seen significant efforts by producers to tie into fan expectations from as far back as the X-Men and Batman cartoon series of the 1990s up through the latest superhero-blockbuster. 

This area welcomes multiple papers and panels that consider the following questions about comic fandom and television/film adaptation as well as additional topics in this vein:
  • How have studios used the fanbase to encourage or promote comic adaptations such as Watchmen?
  • In what ways have studios and directors relied on the fanbase to determine the direction of sequels or future seasons with regards to plot, villains, and character development in such franchises as X-Men, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman (including Smallville), Fantastic Four and the like?
  • What roles have the fans played in comic-film reboots such as Batman, Superman, the Incredible Hulk, the Punisher, and the supposedly forthcoming reboot of Fantastic Four franchise?
  • Does the role of same-universe strategies being explored by Marvel Comics with its release of Iron Man and the reboot of Incredible Hulk operate as a means to attracting fans?
  • In what ways have comic forums, such as Wizard Magazine or Comic Book Resources played in influencing the casting of particular actors and actresses for certain roles?
  • What’s to be made of the increasing and dominant presence of film studios at “comic events” such as San Diego’s ComicCon?
  • What role do famous fans (Kevin Smith, Nicholas Cage, et al) have in the construction of or success of comic book adaptations? 
  • How do films target “in-crowd” moments for fans such as Stan Lee cameos in Marvel films or self-reflective comments about comics and superheroes by superhero films?
  • How has film and television represented comic fandom from the Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy to movies such as Fanboys, Comic Book Villains, and Chasing Amy or Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back?
Please send your 200-word proposal by e-mail to the area chair:

Lance Eaton, Area Chair
Emerson College
Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies
120 Boylston St.
Boston, MA  02116
Email: (email submissions preferred)

Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

CFP - 2010 Festival of Cartoon Art Pre-Conference (June 15; October 14)

On October 14, 2010 the Billy Ireland Cartoon Research Library & Museum, in collaboration with Project Narrative and the Popular Culture Studies Program at Ohio State University,  will host its second one-day symposium on “Humor, Play and Identity in Comics: Academic Perspectives." The gathering will serve as a prelude to the 2010 Festival of Cartoon Art, which runs from October 15-16. For the second time, the triennial Festival is sponsoring an academic pre-conference in recognition of the exciting developments in academic comics studies in recent years and the growing collaborations between comics creators and scholars. We are soliciting papers for three panels:

1. Humor, Play, and Identity in Comics
2. Perspectives from Narrative Theory
3. Krazy Kat at 100

The afternoon's events will conclude with a keynote address on George Herriman by Herriman biographer Michael Tisserand.  

To be considered for the panels, please send a 250-500 word abstract and a one-page vita to Jared Gardner at The extended deadline for abstracts is June 15, 2010.  Please contact Jared with any questions.

This year's Festival of Cartoon Art speakers and guests will include Matt Groening, Bill Griffith, Art Spiegelman, Roz Chast, Gene Luen Yang, James Sturm, Paul Levitz, Patrick McDonnell, Dan Piraro, Brendan Burford, Jan Eliot, Tom Gammill, Jen Sorensen, Dave Kellett, and Steve Breen. For more information about the 2010 Festival of Cartoon Art, see

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

PR - Drawing France: French Comics and the Republic, by Joel E. Vessels

A press release I received today. I've met Joel Vessels, and I expect this book to be a must-read.

Drawing France:
French Comics and the Republic
By Joel E. Vessels
University Press of Mississippi
ISBN 978-1-60473-444-7, hardback $50

For Immediate Release

Rise of Bande Dessinée transformed French politics and history

In France, Belgium, and other Francophone countries, the comic strip - called bande dessinée (BD) in French - has long been considered a major art form capable of addressing cultural issues. Graphic narratives were deemed worthy of canonization and critical study for decades before the academy and the press embraced comics in the United States.

The place that BD holds in the culture today, however, belies the contentious political route the art form has had in France. In Drawing France: French Comics and the Republic (University Press of Mississippi) author Joel E. Vessels examines the trek of BD from its course of being considered a fomenter of rebellion, to an art suitable only for semi-literates, to an impediment to children’s education, and most recently to its use as a bellwether of social concerns in mainstream culture.

In the mid-1800s, alarmists feared political caricatures might incite the ire of an illiterate working class. To counter this notion, proponents yoked the art to a particular articulation of “Frenchness” based on literacy and reason. With the post-World War II economic upswing, French consumers saw BD as a way to navigate the changes brought by modernization.

After bande dessinée came to be understood as a compass for the masses, the government, especially François Mitterand’s administration, brought comics increasingly into “official” culture. In tracing this development, Vessels argues that BD are central to the formation of France’s self-image and a self-awareness of what it means to be French.

Drawing France is one of the first texts to directly examine the French government’s relationship to bande dessinée and popular visual culture to analyze the political identity of the modern nation-state.

Joel E. Vessels, Astoria, New York, is instructor of history at Nassau Community College. His work has appeared in International Journal of Comic Art and Contemporary French Civilization.


For more information contact Clint Kimberling, Publicist,

Read more about Drawing France: French Comics and the Republic at

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CFP: Alan Moore Edited Collection, "Lost Loves" (July 15)

Alan Moore Edited Collection CFP
Lost Loves: Why Men and Women Make It (or Don’t) in the Work of Alan Moore

With the publication of Lost Girls and 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom, the centrality of love and sex in Alan Moore’s work has become indisputable. Thus far, however, little scholarly attention has been paid to this facet of his work. This collection, provisionally titled Lost Loves: Why Men and Women Make It (or Don’t) in the Work of Alan Moore, aims to remedy that situation.

Sex and (possibly) love abound in Moore's novels and films. In V for Vendetta, Moore juxtaposes the love of the computerized state with the transient love of men and women. In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Watchmen, he poses difficult questions about the nature of (super)heroic love for others, and for democracy, nation, and empire. In sophisticated metapornographic works like Lost Girls and League, Moore (lovingly?) appropriates the work of others. Throughout his work, Moore is attuned to representation and to how representation demarcates the reality of those who love, and are “loved.”

Close analyses of Moore’s novels and “his” films, his appropriation of other works, his collaborations with illustrators, his artistic/spiritual relationship to his community, and his love-hate relationship with the film industry are of interest. A wide variety of disciplines (sociology, art, philosophy, etc.) and frameworks (feminist, disability studies, postcolonial, queer, Foucaultian, and psychoanalytic) are welcomed. Scholars might also consider addressing the topic in the context of posthumanism, Victorian repression, vampirism, hybridity, ecology, magic/spirituality, pornography, anarchy, and fandom and fan fiction. The collection defines “love” broadly so as to include ethical relation in general.

I have a number of essays on Moore’s dystopian texts (Watchmen, V for Vendetta) and on Lost Girls. I am particularly interested in locating more essays on Lost Girls and 25,000 Years of Erotic Freedom, as well as From Hell, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Voice of the Fire, Swamp Thing, and his lesser known texts.

A book proposal is currently being circulated. Please email any queries; abstracts of 300 words should be emailed to Todd Comer, Defiance College, by July 15, 2010, for earliest consideration.  Full or partial articles, if available, may also be included with your abstract. Email:

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Free Access: Underground and Independent Comics, Comix, and Graphic Novels

This looks like it could become a very important resource...

Underground and Independent Comics, Comix,
and Graphic Novels
Just launched, it's Alexander Street's newest online collection:Underground and Independent Comics, Comix, and Graphic Novels.

Quickly growing to include more than 75,000 pages of primary materials and 25,000 pages of interviews, criticism, and journal articles, Underground and Independent Comics is the first-ever scholarly, primary-source collection dedicated to the study of adult comic books and graphic novels.
Access it now, registration-free, through Friday, May 21st.
username: comics
password: sneakpeek
   About the Collection  
Beginning with the works that inspired the first underground comix from the 1960s and encompassing modern sequential artists such as Dan Clowes and Los Bros. Hernandez, Underground and Independent Comics shows the evolution and development of an art form. From the shocking and explicit work of young artists exploring newfound freedoms to intricate and beautiful designs of aesthetic craftsmanship, the comic book has shown itself to be a medium capable of both the offensive and the sublime.
Comics have become an increasingly popular area of academic study, and yet the typical library has only a small selection of graphic novels in the catalog. Underground and Independent Comics solves this problem, collecting thousands of comics—many extremely rare and hard to find—in one, easy-to-use online collection.
Included are influential works of visionaries such as Will Eisner and Harvey Kurtzman; underground artists including Gilbert Shelton, Trina Robbins, and Vaughn Bode; and modern masters such as Peter Bagge, Kim Deitch, and Dave Sim. The collection includes original material from the 1950s to today along with interviews, commentary, theory, and criticism from journals, books, and magazines, including The Comics Journal
Learn more about Underground and Independent Comics here.
Request a price quote or an institution-wide trial by emailing

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Monday, May 17, 2010

CFP: The Visual Language of Manga (Image [&] Narrative; July 15)

Call for papers:
The Visual Language of Manga
December issue of Image [&] Narrative

Image [&] Narrative is an open access scholarly publication. Apart from papers in the traditional scholarly format, we also welcome experimental formats and approaches, such as innovative use of visuals, web applications, or collaborative works. There will be no minimum or maximum length for contributions; contributors are assumed to know best how much space they need to get their particular point across in an academically sound manner. We are particularly interested in contributions that include discussion of methodological and research ethics issues faced by the author(s).

Examples of suggested approaches include:
  • theoretical models that can be applied to the the study of visual aspects of manga
  • new technologies and their influence on the study of visual aspects of manga, for example data mining and visualization software
  • the visualization of sexual content in manga, for example in relation to recent efforts by lawmakers in Japan to regulate depictions of minors in sexual situations
  • gendered visual language in manga
  • the historical evolution of visual representations of different nationalities and/or minorities in manga
  • the use of visual cues in manga to overtly or subtly favor a particular position, for example in "political" manga such as Gōmanism Sengen
  • visual properties of "author" manga as opposed to what are considered "popular" titles
  • the influence of new platforms for manga publication (such as cellphones and online manga-reading applications) on the visual language of the manga published through these platforms
  • connections between visual style of a commercially published manga and the style of that manga's adaptation by amateur manga artists in dojinshi
  • visual characteristics of so-called "OEL manga" and other comics by non-Japanese authors that claim the label 'manga'
The issue will include translations of existing Japanese scholarly texts on the visual language of manga. The editors welcome suggestions as to existing Japanese scholarly texts whose translation into English would be of particular interest for this issue.

Due dates: Proposals should be sent by 15 July 2010, with final submissions in either English, French or Japanese to be submitted on 15 November 2010. Submissions in Japanese will be translated into English. (Contributors submitting in Japanese may be asked to submit a few weeks early to allow more time for translation by the editors. Contributors may of course create their own translations.)

Proposals: Please send proposals of less than 500 words to by 15 July 2010.

Guest editors: Hans Coppens and Nele Noppe (Let's Manga project, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium –

The text of this call for papers is available online at

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Friday, May 07, 2010

CFP Update - Graphic Engagement: The Politics of Comics and Animation (June 18; September 2-4)

Now updated with information about keynote speaker Kim Deitch. (A great choice!)

 The Purdue Comparative Literature Program
presents the 2010 Conference

Graphic Engagement:
The Politics of Comics and Animation

Purdue University – West Lafayette, IN
September 2-4, 2010

The Purdue University Comparative Literature Program welcomes papers that explore the ways in which comics and film animation engage us politically and profoundly influence the way we define gender, race, religion, class, and nationhood. “Political” can be defined broadly, relating not only to affairs of state, but also the praxis of visual narrative and ways it affects individual identity and community dynamics.  Possible paper topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • The appropriation of national myths and folktales in animated film
  • Dynamics of humor and subversion in syndicated comic strips 
  • Imaging the ethnic/racial other in comics and other forms of visual narrative 
  • Representations of gender and sexuality in anime and manga 
  • The Franco-Belgian comics tradition and its political import 
  • The language of comics as a form of rhetoric 
  • Superheroes as defining, or complicating, communal and national identity 
  • The use of graphic novels and animation in the classroom 
  • Socio-political issues surrounding graphic novels and library cataloging 
  • The links between comic/animated images and the gaming industry 
  • Visual representations of conflict in such places as Israel, Korea, and Germany 
  • Political cartooning and its social impact 
  • Representations of trauma in comics and animation 
  • Journalism, biography, and memoir in comics
Keynote Speaker
Kim Deitch
Kim Deitch got his start in the late 1960s, working at The East Village Other and Gothic Blimp Works. An Eisner Award-winning writer with experience in both comics and animation, he is the author of such works as All Waldo Comics, The Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Alias the Cat, Shadowland, and The Search for Smilin’ Ed.

For up-to-date information on the event, including details on the keynote speaker and registration, visit the conference website:

Email abstracts of 250 words, with a brief author biography, to:
Please include “Graphic Engagement Conference 2010” in the subject heading.

Deadline for submissions is June 18, 2010.

Hotel rooms have been set aside at the Union Club Hotel, Purdue Memorial Union
101 N Grant Street | West Lafayette, IN 47907 | (800) 320-6291

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