Category Archives: Comics Forum Archives

List of Terms for Comics Studies by Andrei Molotiu

I put together the following list of terms, for the use of my students at Indiana University, Bloomington and at the University of Louisville, over the more than a decade that I have been teaching courses on comics. An earlier, shorter version of it was published in 2006 on the website of the National Association of Comic Art Educators (; no longer extant) as part of the syllabus for my course at IU, Art History H 150, “The History of Comic-Book Art.” The list is not intended to be exhaustive: I compiled it primarily to be used in connection to my courses, and its emphases (and possible exclusions) reflect my own pedagogical interests. There is a simple explanation for the bold lettering on some of the terms: it indicated to my students the notions for which they were responsible on their exams.

The list was put together mostly from notions in common use in the comics industry, terms in Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics (which I used as a textbook), terms adapted from film and literary studies, and new terms I have introduced myself for notions that seemed particularly important in my teaching. In a couple of further instances, the sources of terms are credited in the body of the entry. To the best of my knowledge, the formulations of all definitions, as written, are my own. For this publication, I have also incorporated into some of the definitions more detailed discussions based on my lecture notes.

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Digital comics and material richness by Aaron Kashtan

The notion of “materiality” has entered the lexicon of comics studies thanks largely to the work of Ernesto Priego, and Comics Forum sponsored a 2011 conference on the topic of materiality and virtuality in comics. However, I still feel that comics scholars, especially in the United States, have not paid sufficient attention to the importance of materiality. I want to suggest here that one of the reason comics should be interesting, not only to comics scholars but also to scholars of other media, is because of the sort of rich material, embodied and tactile interactions they make possible. Comics help us understand the ways in which reading, whether in print or on a digital platform, is always a materially and physically situated process. Rather than adopting Priego’s thesis that ‘comics as a communicative language has expressed itself as a kind of materiality that is specific to itself and only itself,’ however, I want to suggest that comics help to illuminate the way in which material interaction is a significant factor in our understanding not only of comics but of readable media artifacts in general.

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New MP3 Download: Comics and Philosophy: From Maus to She-Hulk

Comics Forum’s archives have expanded again today with the launch of a new section dedicated to our occasional public lecture series ‘Comics Forum presents…’. Now available is an MP3 from 2012’s event ‘Comics and Philosophy: From Maus to She Hulk‘.

‘Comics and Philosophy’ featured speakers Aaron Meskin and Roy Cook (editors of The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach). Meskin looked at the general relationships between the two fields, while Cook considered a case study, John Byrne’s She-Hulk comics, as a means for thinking about particular philosophical questions. The session ran for just under an hour.

You can download the MP3 below, or from the Comics and Philosophy archive page (where you can also download the event’s poster). All downloads are free.

Comics Forum Presents… Comics and Philosophy: From Maus to She-Hulk by Aaron Meskin and Roy Cook (introduction by Ian Hague)

Direct download as an MP3 here (59:03, 27.0MB (right click and ‘Save Target As…’)).

Online streaming and alternative download formats are available here.

In the mood for more Comics Forum audio? Check back next week when we’ll have another free MP3 download, this time taken from the second Comics Forum presents… event: ‘Death and the Superhero’ by José Alaniz.


Comics Forum Online: Year Two Review and Comics Forum 2013 Call for Papers

The Comics Forum website is two years old today! Following on from last year’s round up of articles, in this post I’ll be providing a review of all the pieces we’ve published this year, and launching the Comics Forum 2013 call for papers.

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New MP3 Download: Charlie Adlard in conversation with Hugo Frey

CF2012 Logo

Today sees the launch of another downloadable resource from Comics Forum: Charlie Adlard and Hugo Frey’s keynote conversation from Comics Forum 2012. Running to more than an hour in length, this interview covers a wide range of subjects from Charlie’s history in comics and his career, including Playing the Game (written by Doris Lessing), White Death (written by Robbie Morrison) and, of course, The Walking Dead (written by Robert Kirkman), among others. A huge thanks to Charlie and Hugo for giving up their time to take part in CF2012.

You can download the MP3 below, or from the Comics Forum 2012 archive (where you can also download the conference programme and abstracts and see reviews of the event). All downloads are free.

Charlie Adlard and Hugo Frey in Conversation (introduction by Ian Hague)

Direct download as an MP3 here (1:05:36, 60.1MB (right click and ‘Save Target As…’)).

Online streaming and alternative download formats are available here.

In the mood for more Comics Forum audio? Why not have a look at the Comics Forum 2011 archive, which includes a range of talks by top academics and artists on two of the conference themes: Graphic Medicine and Materiality & Virtuality, all available to download as MP3s for free!


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