17 May

Hello and welcome to the Comics Forum blog. This is the best place to keep up to date with all the latest news and information about Comics Forum, the academic side of Leeds’ sequential art festival, Thought Bubble.

Comics Forum was established in 2009 as ‘Possibilities and Perspectives: A Conference on Comics’, which ran at the Alea Casino in parallel with the Thought Bubble convention on the 21st of November. Last year’s event took place at Leeds Art Gallery and ran from the 18th to the 19th of November. It comprised two conferences: ‘Women in Comics II’ and ‘Theory and Practice: A Conference on Comics’. 2011’s Comics Forum is scheduled for the 16th to the 18th of November and will pull together ‘Sculpture and Comic Art’, ‘Graphic Medicine’ and ‘Materiality and Virtuality: A Conference on Comics’. The call for papers is out today and is available here.

The aim of Comics Forum is to encourage productive dialogues between scholars, creators and professionals working on comics. We have a broad and inclusive approach, and try to showcase as many different speakers and ideas as possible in the time available. The intellectual level is high and the event can be challenging at times, but we think it’s important to push for the type of rigorous, well-researched material that comics deserve.

This site has been established in that spirit. In addition to releasing information about Comics Forum, we’ll be using it to provide an archive of material relating to previous years’ events, and to present articles from a wide range of guest writers. We’ll also be hosting ongoing columns. Kirstie Gregory from the Henry Moore Institute will write on Sculpture and Comic Art, while Ian Williams, Columba Quigley and M K Czerviec (Comic Nurse) will discuss Graphic Medicine. The intentions here are: a) to give an idea of the numerous voices speaking on comics in different styles, from different angles and with different interests, b) to get people rethinking their readings of the medium and challenging themselves to consider alternative viewpoints, and c) to stimulate debate and discussion on a wide range of topics relating to comics, both on the blog itself and at the events.

I very much hope you’ll enjoy the site and take the time to read the articles and commentaries provided by our writers, who are among the top thinkers on the medium of comics. If you have any questions, suggestions, comments, complaints or compliments don’t hesitate to get in touch by email at or in the comments sections on each of the blog posts. You can keep updated with the site by email by clicking the subscription link on the right hand side of the page, or by RSS by clicking the orange icon at the top right.

Best wishes to all our readers.

Ian Hague, Director of Comics Forum


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