Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CFP: ImageTexT Special Issue Invisible Art: Lettering, Coloring, Publication Design and Other Invisible Elements of Comics (December 15)

Being that I've published an essay on comics lettering myself, I'm particularly interested in this special issue...

ImageTexT Special Issue
Invisible Art:
Lettering, Coloring, Publication Design and Other Invisible Elements of Comics

Guest Editors, Zach Whalen and Aaron Kashtan

The noted comic book letterer Richard Starkings wrote: “It is with good reason that comic book lettering is largely an uncelebrated art. The paradox of good lettering is that the better it is, the less noticeable it becomes to the reader. Often the best lettering job is practically invisible to the reader.” Lettering has historically been invisible to most comics scholars as well, as have many other elements of the comics page and the comics text, including coloring, publication design, paper, and bookbinding. These “invisible” aspects of comics have typically been ignored in favor of more “visible” aspects, such as artwork and narrative. Therefore, this special issue will focus on those parameters of the comics page and text that help to frame comics images and narratives, without themselves drawing the reader's attention. This issue seeks to render visible what is invisible in comics: to inquire how the production of meaning in comics has shaped and been shaped by the invisible properties of the comics page.

Potential topics for essays may include but are not limited to:
  • Artistic materials, e.g. pencils, ink, pens, paper, graphics tablets, styluses
  • Comics lettering, including conventions thereof (e.g. capitalization, bold lettering)
  • Paratextual or nondiegetic imagery in comics, e.g. word balloons, panel borders, emanata
  • Comics coloring techniques, e.g. digital coloring
  • Publication design
  • Comics printing processes
  • Comics publishing formats
  • Effects of repackaging comics in different formats (e.g. single issues versus trade paperbacks)
  • Effects of digital production and distribution on any or all of the above
  • Cultural differences in, and effects of translation (including scanlation) on, any or all of the above
  • Legal and cultural aspects of comics paratext
Submissions should be critical and/or theoretical in nature, rather than purely historical. As ImageTexT is concerned with the formal study of image/text relations, we are most interested in submissions that give significant attention to how images function in relationship to text. We strongly prefer to receive submissions that make reference to specific images and include high-resolution artwork along with text.

Essay submissions should not exceed 10,000 words, including notes. Contributors should format submissions based on the MLA Style Manual, 3rd edition, and use endnotes. Authors will be responsible for securing copyright permission for all images used.

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to the special issue editors at akashtan@ufl.edu and zach.whalen@gmail.com.

The deadline for initial manuscript submission is December 15th, 2010.

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Friday, July 09, 2010

CFP: Comics Forum Leeds Art Gallery (Aug 16; Nov 18-19)

Comics Forum
18th and 19th November 2010

Women in Comics II
1030-1700, 18/11/2010

Following the success of ‘Women in Comics’ held at The University of Cambridge in 2009, and the significant support of both practitioners and academics, we are delighted to be holding a second ‘Women in Comics’ Conference.

The purpose of the conference is to provide analysis and insight into a field of culture that has traditionally been the domain of men. With an increasing number of female artists, writers, scholars and publishers of comics, this conference looks to celebrate women’s contribution to comics, and strengthen and investigate feminine perspectives within and surrounding comic art and narrative.

What are women creating within comics? How is female readership changing and evolving? What is the interface between women in comics and gender studies?

Our guest speaker is comic artist Suzy Varty who published the very first all-woman comic book in the UK in 1977.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
  • Feminism and personal politics in comics
  • super-heroines
  • biographical and autobiographical comics
  • female comics authors/artists in history
  • manga
  • female characters
  • women in the alternative press
  • women in the comics industry
Suggestions for panels or individual presentations of 15 minutes are encouraged, and all genders are welcome to submit. Abstracts of 300 words should be submitted along with a short biography (100 words max.) to: Rikke Platz Cortsen rpc@hum.ku.dk and Catriona MacLeod c.macleod.1@research.gla.ac.uk. Please include the words ‘Women in Comics’ in your subject heading. Deadline for submissions is 16/8/2010.

Any general emails about the conference please email: Sarah Lightman s.lightman.1@research.gla.ac.uk

Theory and Practice:
A Conference on Comics
1030-1700, 19/11/2010

There are strong ties between the production and scholarship of comics, from the seminal works of Will Eisner in Comics and Sequential Art and Scott McCloud in Understanding Comics to the theoretically informed comics of Chris Ware (Jimmy Corrigan), Dan Clowes (Ghost World) and Seth (Wimbledon Green), among others. ‘Theory and Practice: A Conference on Comics’ will seek to investigate those ties, considering how comics both influence and are influenced by theoretical discourses of communication, aesthetics and narrative.

Subjects for discussion might include (but are not limited to):
  • The lives and works of comic creators who also theorise the form (or vice versa), e.g. Rodolphe Töpffer, Harry Morgan, Scott McCloud, Will Eisner, Benoît Peeters etc.
  • The roles played by theoretical discourse in the production of comics, or by the act of producing comics in the understanding of theory
  • The value of theory for practice and/or practice for theory in the field of comics
  • Understandings of comics that address the relative positions of the reader, the author, the artist etc. e.g. Philippe Marion’s discussion of the graphiateur
  • The concepts of breakdown and closure
  • Methodologies
  • The rise of practice-based research and its implications and/or applications for Comics Studies
Proposals of 250 words are invited for talks of 15-20 minutes in length, and should be emailed, along with a short biography (around 100 words) to Ian Hague (Department of History, University of Chichester) at I.Hague@chi.ac.uk.

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Friday, July 02, 2010

Interview at Super I.T.C.H.

Beth Davies-Stofka of Super I.T.C.H. (International Team of Comics Historians) interviewed me about comics (what else?), and the results are posted here. Read about Spider-Man, Peanuts, Winsor McCay, the Smokey Bear comic book, and more. Thanks for all of the too-kind words, Beth!