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Category Archives: Comics Forum Presents…

New MP3 Download: Death and the Superhero

Today we present the second MP3 to come out of the Comics Forum Presents… series, José Alaniz’s talk ‘Death and the Superhero: StrikeForce Morituri‘, which took place at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds earlier this year.

‘Death and the Superhero’ looked at the ways in which the superhero genre deals with death through the use of a case study: Marvel Comics’ Strikeforce: Morituri (1986-1989). This lecture runs for just over an hour.

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

Comics Forum Presents… Death and the Superhero: StrikeForce Morituri by José Alaniz (introduction by Ian Hague)

Direct download as an MP3 here (1:05:39, 60.1MB (right click and ‘Save Target As…’)).

Online streaming and alternative download formats are available here.

Be sure to check back later in the week for the monthly Comics Forum News Review, coming up on Thursday!

 
 

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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.

Comics Forum 2013: Call for Papers

After a fantastic event last year, I’m pleased to announce that the theme of our fifth conference is ‘Small Press and Undergrounds’. Leeds Central Library has agreed to host the event for a second time, and the call for papers is out now (see below).

CF2013 - CFP

Click here to download a PDF of the call for papers.

We very much look forward to welcoming a diverse selection of academics, researchers and creators to Leeds for what is sure to be a lively and engaging event covering a wide range of aspects of small press and underground comics. We’re working on lining up a great set of keynotes and will announce them here in due course.

The Comics Forum 2013 page on the website is also online now, and we’ll be updating that with all the details as and when they’re confirmed so keep an eye on that to stay up to date. If you’d like to receive all the latest updates as soon as they’re released you can also sign up to our RSS feed (click the orange button at the top of this box) or put your email address in the box on the right hand side of this page to get every update delivered straight to your inbox.

As in previous years the call for papers was designed by Ben Gaskell of Molakoe Graphic Design. A huge thank you to Ben for his hard work; we think it’s really paid off!

Comics Forum Online: Year Two

The second year of the Comics Forum website kicked off with the launch of a new set of resources in our Affiliated Conferences section as we added information and documentation from 2011’s Comics & Medicine: The Sequential Art of Illness. Later in the year we added many more conferences to the archive, including: the Dundee Comics Day series, Germany’s Gesellschaft für Comicforschung (ComFor) conferences, Graphic Details Symposium: Talking About Jewish Women and Comics, The International Comics Conference and Women in Comics. The Transitions series also joined the archive, and was the subject of an article by Nina Mickwitz. This archive is open for submissions; if you are a conference organiser (or have been in the past) and would like to archive your conference materials with us we’d be happy to host them. Get in touch at comicsforum@hotmail.co.uk to talk about setting up your archive. Don’t forget that Comics Forum also hosts a number of other resources including a Scholar Directory and a Digital Texts archive, both of which are open to submissions. The Digital Texts section saw a significant update this year with the release of Steven E. Mitchell’s ‘Evil Harvest: Investigating the Comic Book, 1948-1955′, which is available for download in full and for free now.

This year saw the launch of a brand new monthly column in the form of the Comics Forum News Review. Edited by Will Grady and featuring a top line up of international contributors, the review (published on the 4th of each month) launched in November and pulls together all the major stories from comics scholarship around the world. New contributors are always welcome, particularly for countries that aren’t already covered by our existing correspondents, so if you’d like to get involved contact Will at: comicsforumnews@hotmail.co.uk. Year two also saw the continuation of our column in association with major online journal Image [&] Narrative. Charlotte Pylyser, Steven Surdiacourt and Greice Schneider contributed a series of fascinating articles on a wide range of topics including blank panels, comics and poetry, social aspects of comics, Chris Ware’s Lint as a comic strip opera, and the depiction of boredom in comics. Head over to the column archive to read all the instalments in this fascinating series, which will be continuing into the next year.

We were also very lucky to be able to feature articles by a wonderful group of guest authors this year. The study of comics was the subject of my interview with Mel Gibson and an article by James Chapman. Padmini Ray Murray considered the importance of book history for the discipline, and Michael D. Picone looked at the problem of definition. Christina Blanch discussed the massive open online course (MOOC) on Gender Through Comics that she started running in April 2013, while John Swogger considered the possibility of using comics for archaeology, a topic he also spoke on at the 2012 conference. Sara Duke took us on a tour of the comics collection of the United States Library of Congress, demonstrating the importance of looking at original art in an article illustrated with a range of beautiful examples. The intersections of politics and comics came under scrutiny in articles by Cord Scott and Jason Dittmer. Laurence Grove looked at the early history of comics in his guest article, while Martha Kuhlman considered the possibility of avant-garde comics in hers. Elisabeth El Refaie wrote on visual authentication strategies in autobiographic comics, and Louise Crosby and Helen Iball talked about the launch of Laydeez do Comics Leeds.

We also featured a range of case studies, with Malin Bergström discussing Darren Aronofsky and Kent Williams’ The Fountain, Nicolas Labarre taking a detailed look at David Mazzucchelli and Paul Karasik’s adaptation of Paul Auster’s City of Glass and Aletta Verwoerd addressing Art Spiegelman’s In the Shadow of No Towers. Eric Berlatsky looked at homosociality, misogyny and triangular desire in early Superman comics. Other writers who considered specific works included Barbara Uhlig, who looked at Lorenzo Mattotti and Jorge Zentner’s Caboto, and Gwen Athene Tarbox, who talked about the graphic novels of Bastien Vivès. Hannah Miodrag discussed The Long and Unlearned Life of Roland Gethers by Shane Simmon, and Fabrice Leroy talked about Joann Sfar’s Pascin. Most recently, Philip Smith has looked at the use of hybrid languages in Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese.

September 2012 saw the start of a month long series dedicated to the short works of Alan Moore. Edited by Maggie Gray, who also introduced and concluded the collection, Rummaging Around in Alan Moore’s Shorts included articles by Lance Parkin, Daniel L. Werneck, K. A. Laity, and two articles by Marc Sobel. José Alaniz also wrote an article for the series, and later in the year presented a fantastic talk on Death and the Superhero at the Henry Moore Institute in the second of our ‘Comics Forum presents…’ talks.

A number of our guest-authored articles were nominated for 2012’s Hooded Utilitarian Award for Best Online Comics Criticism; a thank you to HU for the nod. The final list of articles can be found here.

Coming Soon

Over the next year we’ll be looking to continue expanding our offerings on the website and presenting articles by top writers on the medium. We’ll soon be making available MP3s of the two events in the ‘Comics Forum presents…’ series so far and launching permanent pages for each of these events. Later in the year we have the 2013 conference to look forward to, and members of the Comics Forum team will also be hosting a table at the Thought Bubble sequential art festival as we did in 2012. This was great fun last year; thanks to everyone who came over to see us for a chat! I will also be speaking on comics scholarship and Comics Forum at Laydeez do Comics Leeds on the 20th of May (next Monday). The event takes place at Wharf Chambers in Leeds from 1830-2130; do come along if you can.

A massive vote of thanks to all our readers, authors and guests. We really appreciate your support for Comics Forum and it’s only thanks to you that the conference and the website are able to continue and develop. Suggestions and comments are always welcome either through the comments section on website posts or by email to comicsforum@hotmail.co.uk. I would also like to extend my personal thanks to the whole Comics Forum team, who have been generous enough to give a lot of time and effort over the years to make sure the conference and website run smoothly.

Here’s to another wonderful year.

Ian Hague

Director, Comics Forum

 

Death and the Superhero: Strikeforce: Morituri

Jose Alaniz (2013) - Poster

To download a PDF of this poster click here.

Comics Forum is pleased to announce the second event in the ‘Comics Forum presents…’ series. José Alaniz, author of Komiks: Comic Art in Russia, guest author for the Comics Forum website and the current chair of the executive committee of the International Comic Art Forum, will appear at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds (UK) on the 25th of March.

Death and the Superhero: ‘Strikeforce: Morituri’

Proceeding in part from the writings of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, the talk examines the late 1980s Marvel Comics series Strikeforce: Morituri (originally written by Peter Gillis with art by Brent Anderson), which took as its premise the inescapable mortality of its superteam’s members, for a consideration of the ways “real” death warps and complicates the routinely death-denying superhero genre.

José Alaniz, associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of Comparative Literature (adjunct) at the University of Washington – Seattle, published his first book, Komiks: Comic Art in Russia (University Press of Mississippi) in 2010. His articles have appeared in the International Journal of Comic Art, the Comics Journal, Ulbandus, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema and Kinokultura, as well as the anthologies The Ages of Superman: Essays on the Man of Steel in Changing Times (McFarland, 2012), The Cinema of Alexander Sokurov (I.B. Tauris, 2011) and Russian Children’s Literature and Culture (Routledge, 2007). In 2009 he edited a symposium on Czech comics for IJOCA. He is currently the Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF), the leading comics studies conference in the US. His research interests include Death and Dying, Disability Studies, Film Studies, Eco-criticism and Comics Studies. His current projects include Death, Disability and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond and a history of Czech comics.

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Entry to this event is free, but places are limited so registration is required. Places will be given on a first come first served basis, and early booking is strongly recommended. To register, send your name and the number of tickets you would like to comicsforum@hotmail.co.uk.

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Laydeez do Comics Leeds

Following Death and the Superhero, Wharf Chambers (23-25 Wharf Street, Leeds LS2 7EQ) plays host to the third instalment of Laydeez do Comics Leeds (6:30-9:30pm). Entry costs £1.50. The event features a top line up guests:

Adam Cadwell: Artist, web comic The Everyday, co-founder of Great Beast books.

Dr Mel Gibson: Academic, Northumbria University.

Melanie Maddison: Artist of zine Colouring Outside The Lines.

 

Comics Forum Online: Year One Review and Comics Forum 2012 Call for Papers

One year ago today, comicsforum.org launched with this introductory post. Today I’m pleased to present a look back at the past year of articles by major comics scholars from around the world, and a look ahead to what’s coming next for Comics Forum, including our annual conference.

Comics Forum 2012: Call for Papers

First up, I’m delighted to release the call for papers for Comics Forum 2012, which as usual will be taking place in Leeds (UK) as part of the Thought Bubble sequential art festival this November.

Click here for a PDF version of this CFP.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
 
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