Monday, January 24, 2011

Query: Linguistic Contributions of Batman

Here's a query I received from a friend (Hi, Amy!). If you have any citations to pass along, please do so directly to the email address below...

Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2011 08:20:48 -0500
From: "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro@YALE.EDU>
Subject: Linguistic Contributions of Batman

For an article I am writing on the impact of Batman on the English language, I would welcome suggestions of words, phrases, catchphrases, quotations, snowclones, and other linguistic memes originated or popularized by the Batman comic books, TV show, and movies.

Fred Shapiro

Update, 1/25: Dr. Shapiro writes further:
Thanks for the excellent responses to my query about Batman's linguistic contributions. I am hoping some comics mavens can help with me with a followup question. The Batman TV show of the 1960s was famous for its fight-scene onomatopoeic words like biff, bam, and pow. Were these words taken from usage in the specific Batman comic books, or were they general comic-book expressions employed by the Batman TV writers for their campiness?

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Call for Panelists - Colloquiums: Comics in the Classroom and Innovations in Comics

Call for Panelists
Colloquiums: Comics in the Classroom and Innovations in Comics

Phoenix Comicon invites proposals for our second annual colloquium series on innovations that will impact the comics—how they are consumed, collected, and taught. The conference programming will extend over two days, covering the following themes:

Comics in the classroom (May 27):

We are seeking presentations and demonstrations that discuss the benefits and challenges of teaching comics and integrating comics into existing curricula. Possible topics might include:
  • Challenges and benefits of integrating comics in existing college curricula
  • Comics in the K-12 classroom
  • Teaching comics with technology
  • Online learning strategies to teach comics and visual rhetoric

Innovations in comic art (May 28):

We are seeking presentations and demonstrations of innovative techniques relating to the comics field, including the production of comics. Possible topics might include:
  • Critical approaches to and innovations in web comics
  • The shift from traditional illustration methods to digital methods.
  • Interactive comics and “motion comics”
  • Challenges of blending mediums (comics to video games, manga to anime, etc)
Respondents are encouraged to expand on these lists in shaping their proposals. 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 submit a short abstract of your proposed contribution to Dr. Kathleen Dunley at by March 20, 2011. Please note any A/V needs along with your proposal. 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:

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Women's Manga Beyond Japan (21 – 23 February, 2011)

Women's Manga Beyond Japan:
Contemporary Comics as Cultural Crossroads in Asia

Date: 21 – 23 February, 2011
Venue: Seminar Room A & B, AS7,
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore
Free Admission (Registration required)

National University of Singapore (Japanese Studies Departure)
Japan Foundation
Women’s MANGA Research Project (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) No. 21320044 “Research in Women's Manga: Subjectivity, Globalization, and the Possibilities for Expression”)
In the last two decades, manga has become a global medium, a transcultural phenomenon which has spread all over the world. There are many reasons why manga has generated such massive international interest. One can be found in the gender-related practices and discourses it gives rise to. Previously prevailing forms of comics, such as American and Franco-Belgian productions, were mainly targeted at male readers, while manga appeals to girls and women as well, both as creators and readers. Manga for girls and women occupy a particular position: the manga style become a favorite means of young women's expression worldwide, and women dominate the realm of fan creations recently; furthermore, girls' and women's comics contribute significantly to exploring gender and sexualities, not limited to heterosexual femininity.

Inviting John. A. Lent as a keynote speaker, a forerunner who has contributed to unite comics, comics artists, and comics scholars all over the world, and focusing on female artists and their works in Asia from both scholarly and artistic perspectives, we would like to examine the ongoing conceptualization of manga, which has perhaps proved more inspiring to female readers and authors than any previous form of comics anywhere in the world.

We hope our international and transcultural approach to women as subjects of sequential art and manga, a new style of visual narrative, will suggest likely points of common interest for various cultures and readers far beyond Japan. The symposium approaches “women's manga/comics” in an inter- as well as transcultural way in order to explore common scholarly interests related to sequential art in general and manga in particular.


To register, please email your name, dates/panels you would like to attend and contact details to:

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

CFP: International Comic Arts Forum 2011 (9/29-10/1)

The 15th Anniversary
International Comic Arts Forum:
ICAF 2011
September 29-October 1, 2011
The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont

ICAF, the International Comic Arts Forum, invites scholarly paper proposals for its fifteenth anniversary meeting, to be held at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont, from Thursday, September 29, through Saturday, October 1, 2011.

The deadline to submit proposals is March 18, 2011. (Scroll down for proposal guidelines and submission information.)

ICAF welcomes original proposals from diverse disciplines and theoretical perspectives on any aspect of comics or cartooning, particularly studies that reflect an international perspective. Studies of aesthetics, production, distribution, reception, and social, ideological, and historical significance are all equally welcome, as are studies that address larger theoretical issues linked to comics or cartooning, for example in image/text studies or new media theory. Proposals that focus on bandes dessinées or manga are encouraged.

In recognition of the fifteenth meeting of ICAF, we are hoping to schedule a special panel on larger issues pertaining to the teaching and study of comics. We are therefore particularly interested in papers that address the study of comics as an academic discipline by itself and within other disciplines. This can be focused either in terms of pedagogy (the challenges and pitfalls of how we bring the study of comics into the classroom) or scholarship (the opportunities for and liabilities of doing research in comics in the modern academy, and the concerns about methodology). There will also be a special panel on the representation of History and Alternative Histories in Comics.

The Center for Cartoon Studies <> is served by the Lebanon NH Municipal Airport. Coach service is also available through Dartmouth Coach from New York City and Logan International Airport in Boston MA.

PROPOSAL GUIDELINES: For its refereed presentations, ICAF prefers argumentative, thesis-driven papers that are clearly linked to larger critical, artistic, or cultural issues; we strive to avoid presentations that are merely summative or survey-like in character. We can accept only original papers that have not been presented or accepted for publication elsewhere. Presenters should assume an audience versed in comics and the fundamentals of comics studies. Where possible, papers should be illustrated by relevant images. Presentations must be timed to finish within the strict limit of twenty (20) minutes. Proposals should not exceed 300 words.

REVIEW PROCESS: All proposals will be subject to blind review by the ICAF Executive Committee. The final number of papers accepted will depend on the needs of the conference program. Due to high interest in the conference, in recent years ICAF has typically been able to accept only one third to one half of the proposals it has received.

AUDIOVISUAL EQUIPMENT: ICAF's preferred format for the display of images is MS PowerPoint. Regretfully, we cannot accommodate non-digital media such as transparencies, slides, or VHS tapes. Presenters should bring their PowerPoint or other electronic files on a USB key.

SEND ABSTRACTS (with complete contact information) by March 18, 2011, to C. W. Marshall, ICAF Academic Program Director, via email at:

Receipt of all proposals will be acknowledged. Applicants should expect to receive confirmation of acceptance or rejection by April 18, 2011.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tales from the Green Scrapbook #5: TV Guide on Spider-Man Special Effects

Being another in our occasional series of scans of items I taped into a green notebook when I was a child...

Journey with me back to 1978. A simpler time than now, when television signals traveled through the airwaves, not cables, but when cables were high-tech special effects gear. Journey, then, to a location shot for The Amazing Spider-Man television show: The Empire State Building, and view the death-defying harness work of Spider-double Fred Waugh. That's right, kids; no green screens or digital compositing. Just a man, a building, and a harness that must have chafed like the dickens. Now that is a special effect.
Source: This time I've got it! TV Guide, September 2, 1978.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

CFP: POPCAANZ (New Zealand) (Jan 30; June 29-July 1)

2nd Annual International Conference
June 29-July 1, 2011
The Langham Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand

Call for Papers - deadline for submissions: January 30, 2011

The Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (Popcaanz) is devoted to the scholarly understanding of everyday cultures. It is concerned with the study of the social practices and the cultural meanings that are produced and are circulated through the processes and practices of everyday life. We invite academics, professionals, cultural practitioners and those with a scholarly interest in popular culture to send a 150 word abstract to the area chairs listed below.
  • Anime and Manga (
  • Business and Popular Culture (
  • Disabilities and Popular Culture (
  • Fashion (
  • Film and TV (
  • Food Studies (
  • Graphic Novels and Comics (
  • Music (
  • Popular Biography and Life Writing (
  • Popular Design ( and
  • Popular Fiction (
  • Popular History (
  • Science (
  • Sports (
  • Toys and Games ( and
  • Visual Arts (
If you have an idea for a panel please submit to President We also welcome papers exploring ALL other aspects of popular culture.

The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture is the association's official publication. Please submit articles of between 4,000 and 6,000 words to the editors: Toni Johnson-Woods or Vicki Karaminas For all other queries contact

For further details please see

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Tales from the Green Scrapbook #4: Conan the Barbarian Newspaper Strip

Being another in our ridiculously occasional series of scans of items I taped into a green notebook when I was a child...

I was never the world's biggest fan of Conan, either the comics or the original novels. But in September of 1978, when the Conan the Barbarian newspaper comic strip debuted in the Milwaukee Journal (and many other newspapers across the land), I dutifully fulfilled my comic-book-nerd duty and saved the article announcing the strip for posterity.

Not being a huge fan, I consequently don't have too much to say about the article now. It reads mostly well to me today, a switch from some of the previous entries I've posted here under the "Tales from the Green Scrapbook" rubric. It hits the high points I knew about, and it hypes Roy Thomas' writing and, to a lesser extent, Jon Buscema's artwork, to the proper degrees.

So all that's left for me to do is to apologize for (1) not noting the actual publication date when the article was published, and (2) cramming things together and making it all so hard to read. Still, I hope you enjoy it for what it is, a time capsule into a bygone era when an adventure comic strip could be launched in the newspapers and have the faintest hope of being popular. (Not that Conan particularly was all that popular as a strip; I'm not sure how long it lasted, but it couldn't have been for too long.)

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

CFP: Comics and Conflicts (UK) (Mar 31; Aug 19-20)

Roehampton University in association with Comica Festival
and Panel Borders on Resonance FM present the 2011 Conference
Comics and Conflicts
August 19th & 20th,
Imperial War Museum, London

Roehampton University Department of English and Creative Writing in association with the Imperial War Museum and Comica Festival welcome papers that explore the ways in which comics around the world represent and articulate the experience and impact of war and conflict. The Conference is aimed at scholars, practitioners, and enthusiasts.

Topics may include:
  • Depictions of Conflict in comics created for children
  • Representations of trauma in comic books, graphic novels, manga & other forms of international comics.
  • Visual representations of conflict in such places as Afghanistan, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, The Middle East, Northern Ireland, and Vietnam.
  • Journalism, biography, and memoir in comics on conflict
  • Focus on key practitioners such as Guibert, Kubert, Mills, Sacco, Satrapi, Spiegelman, Tardi & Trudeau
  • Comics as a space to depict/critique national ideology.
  • Comics as tools of propaganda, both of the state and of protest organisations.
Keynote Speakers:
  • Pat Mills, writer of Charley’s War
  • Martin Barker and Roger Sabin on Doonesbury
Special Guest Practitioners :
  • Garth Ennis, writer of Troubled Souls and War Story
  • Jacques Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney (tbc). Tardi has won every French cartooning award including the Grand Prize of Angoulême, and has created over 30 graphic novels in a wide variety of genres, including World War I story Putain de guerre. He is currently working on another World War I volume
About the Organisers:
  • Alex Fitch presents Panel Borders, the UK's only weekly broadcast radio show about comics, Thursdays on Resonance FM, the Arts Council Radio station in London. Resonance's remit is to celebrate London’s vast cultural diversity and creativity and is a two time winner of the Radio Academy’s Nations & Regions Award for London.
  • Ariel Kahn is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Roehampton University, and teaches comics theory and practice on both BA and MA. He contributed to The Jewish Graphic novel (ed Baskind, Omer-Sherman) and writes regularly for IJOCA and other publications.
  • 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, including 'God Save The Comics!' a survey of British comic art at the National Comics and Image Centre in Angoulême, France and the first exhibit devoted to the writer Alan Moore and his collaborators at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Charleroi, Belgium. Since 2003, Paul has been the director of Comica, London's International Comics Festival at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. He writes about comics for The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Comics Journal, Comic Art, Comics International, Third Text, 9eme Art and many others.
Venue:The Imperial War Museum established in 1920, is unique in its coverage of conflicts, especially those involving Britain and the Commonwealth, from the First World War to the present day. It seeks to provide for, and to encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern conflict and ‘war-time experience’. It is proud to be regarded as one London’s essential sights.

For up-to-date information on the event, including details on the keynote speakers, special guests and registration, visit the conference page at the Comica Festival website:

Email abstracts of 250 words, with a brief author biography, to:

Please include Comics and Conflicts 2011 in the subject heading.

Deadline for submissions is March 31, 2011.