Category Archives: Digital Texts

Comics and the World Wars – a cultural record by Anna Hoyles

At the University of Lincoln, Professor Jane Chapman and her team of researchers have been funded by the AHRC to explore the cultural impact of comics produced during and about the World Wars. Two exhibitions are planned – one on World War One comics in 2014 & one on Second World War comics, 2015, both at London’s Cartoon Museum – as well as two monographs on the subject. Other outcomes already include conference papers and journal articles published in Australia and the UK (see below for links). In addition, further funding was secured from the AHRC’s International Placement Scheme for the project’s two PhD students to spend six months each at the Library of Congress in Washington DC, where they were able to utilise the library’s extensive comics archive material.

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Comics Forum 2013: Thank You and Announcements

Comics Forum 2013 took place at Leeds Central Library last week. A huge thank you to our speakers, who travelled from around the world to present a set of excellent papers and who made the event a resounding success. We would also like to extend a vote of thanks to the following people, who were all very helpful in running various aspects of the conference: Clark Burscough, Hugo Frey, Ben Gaskell, Mel Gibson, Nabil Homsi and the staff of Travelling Man, Roger Sabin, Dawn Stanley-Donaghy and the whole team at Leeds Central Library, Hannah Wadle and Lisa Wood Thanks also to our supporters, who made the event possible: Thought Bubble, the University of Chichester, Routledge, Travelling ManDr Mel Gibson and Molakoe.

The Comics Forum 2013 page on the website has now been moved into the Comics Forum Archives, where you can also download the full text of the conference programme (including abstracts and speaker biographies) and other relevant documentation. We’ll also be adding a selection of photos taken by conference photographer Craig Brogden shortly. Keep an eye on the site for details of Comics Forum 2014 as they are confirmed!

At Comics Forum 2013, Comics Forum Director Ian Hague announced eleven developments for Comics Forum, which will feed into the website and other areas over the next twelve months. Here’s the full list of announcements:

1. Comics Forum is shifting to become an unincorporated association.

Although we will still be running as part of the Thought Bubble festival, Comics Forum is establishing itself as a separate entity, called an unincorporated association, which will allow it to operate more autonomously. This means we’ve developed a constitution and set up a committee from the people who are involved in running the organisation. Full details of the constitution and the committee will be announced on the Comics Forum website in the next few months as this process is completed.

2. @ComicsForum is two years old.

The Comics Forum Twitter feed, run by Hattie Kennedy, launched at Comics Forum 2011 and has been providing regular updates on Comics Forum, and comics scholarship more generally, ever since. Why not follow @ComicsForum and keep up to date with all the latest as it happens?

3. Comics Forum’s Facebook page is eighteen months old.

Comics Forum’s Facebook page, run by Paul Fisher Davies, was launched in June 2012. Since then it’s offered all the latest and most interesting articles on comics from around the web. Like us on Facebook to receive updates!

4. The Comics Forum News Review is one year old.

The Comics Forum News Review, edited by Will Grady and contributed to by many correspondents, has now been running for a little over a year. If you would like to join our team and expand our coverage, contact Will at A huge thank you to all our correspondents for your great work so far!

5. Comics Forum will launch a reviews column in March 2014.

Hattie Kennedy has been appointed as Comics Forum’s reviews editor, and will launch a column covering book, conference and exhibition reviews to run monthly from March 2014. We are now recruiting reviewers; if you would like to join the team please contact Hattie at

6. Comics Forum presents ‘Comics and Cultural Work’ in December 2013.

Guest edited by Casey Brienza, the Comics Forum website will be running a series of articles on Comics and Cultural Work in December 2013. The full line up of articles is as follows:

‘Comics and Cultural Work (Introduction)’, by Casey Brienza

‘Why Is It So Hard to Think about Comics as Labour?’ by Benjamin Woo

‘Comics and the Day Job: Cartooning and Work in Jeffrey Brown and James Kochalka’s Conversation #2’, by Paddy Johnston

‘My Brief Adventure in Comic Book Retail’, by Tom Miller

‘Comics and Cultural Work (Conclusion)’, by Casey Brienza

7. Research from the University of Lincoln’s ‘Comics and the World Wars’ research project will be available on the Comics Forum website from January 2014.

In association with the University of Lincoln, the Comics Forum website will be running materials from the AHRC funded research project ‘Comics and the World Wars’. Launching in January 2014, this exciting collaboration will see Comics Forum publish ‘Comics and the World Wars: A Cultural Record’ by Anna Hoyles. The site’s digital text archive will also be hosting ‘Representation of female war-time bravery in Australia’s Wanda the War Girl’ by Jane Chapman and ‘Multi-panel comic narratives in Australian First World War trench publications as citizen journalism’ by Jane Chapman and Dan Ellin, with more titles to be announced around mid-2014.

8. Comics Forum will host a bi-annual International Bande Dessinée Society column from January 2014.

From January 2014 Comics Forum will be hosting an ongoing bi-annual column from the International Bande Dessinée Society. Format and contributors are currently to be confirmed but we’re very pleased to be able to provide an ongoing presence for the study of BD on the site.

9. News and content from Germany’s Gesellschaft für Comicforschung will be translated in a bi-monthly column on Comics Forum launching in February 2014.

Starting in February, Paul Meyer, Stephan Packard and Lukas Wilde will be writing a bi-monthly column translating major articles and news from Germany’s pre-eminent Comics Studies association Gesellschaft für Comicforschung. We already host extensive archive material from the ComFor conference series in our affiliated conferences archive, and we’re delighted to be able to extend our collaboration and present more work from the highly productive German language comics scholarship field in translation.

10. A new monthly column on Manga Studies will launch on Comics Forum in April 2014.

From April 2014, Comics Forum will be running a monthly column on Manga Studies. The column’s editorial board comprises five experts in the field: Jessica Bauwens-Sugimoto (also our Japan correspondent for the News Review), Jaqueline Berndt, Ronald Stewart, CJ Suzuki and Nicholas Theisen. The column will include discussions of major manga critics, their works, impacts, and problems; themes and methodologies in manga studies; comparative approaches and current issues and longer term ideas. The column’s focus is not limited to Japanese manga will also cover related forms such as manhua and manhwa, and global manga. We’re very excited to be able to present work by this wonderful team, and we’re looking forward to seeing what they have up their sleeves!

11. Routledge will publish Representing Multiculturalism in Comics and Graphic Novels, a new book spinning out of Comics Forum 2012, in Winter 2014.

Following 2012’s very successful ‘Multiculturalism and Representation: A Conference on Comics’ we’re pleased to announce that Routledge will publish a book based on the conference. Edited by Carolene Ayaka and Ian Hague, the book will feature seventeen fantastic writers, including: Jacob Birken, Corey K. Creekmur, Brenna Clarke Gray & Peter Wilkins, Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru, William H. Foster III, Mel Gibson, Lily Glasner, Simon Grennan, Sarah D. Harris, Ian Horton, Alex Link, Paul M. Malone, Andy Mason, Ana Merino, Dana Mihăilescu, Emma Oki and Mihaela Precup. Keep an eye on the site for more information on the book as we move through the production process.

2013 has been a very exciting year for Comics Forum, and it looks like 2014 will be bigger still. The Comics Forum team would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported and contributed to the work we’ve been doing so far. If you have any suggestions for other things we can do to help develop comics scholarship, or you’d like to get involved, please let us know! You can contact us via Twitter or Facebook, or by email at Finally, don’t forget that you can sign up to receive every post from the Comics Forum website direct to your inbox by filling in the Email Subscription box on the right hand side of this page!

Carolene Ayaka, Paul Fisher Davies, Will Grady, Ian Hague, Hattie Kennedy and Rebecca Macklin


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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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New Download: Evil Harvest: Investigating the Comic Book, 1948-1955 by Steven E. Mitchell

Today, Comics Forum is proud to present a new download, available through our Digital Texts section. ‘Evil Harvest: Investigating the Comic Book, 1948-1955’ is an MA thesis submitted to Arkansas State University by Steven E. Mitchell in 1982. During recent discussions on the COMIX-SCHOLARS-L mailing list, the thesis was recommended as an excellent resource on the discussions of links between comics and juvenile delinquency that took place in America in the 1940s and 1950s, and Steven has kindly agreed to allow us to make it available here. To download the thesis in PDF format, simply click the links below (or right click and click ‘Save Target As’), or visit our digital text archive in the Scholarly Resources section to download this and a selection of other text by major scholars. All documents are free.

Front Matter

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: “Slaughter of the Innocents”: Origin of the Controversy

Chapter 3: The “Red-Hot Thrill”: The Controversy Revived

Chapter 4: Superman in Disguise: The New York State Investigations

Chapter 5: “The Fifth Horseman”: The Federal Investigations

Chapter 6: “‘Operation Clean-Up'” and After: The Controversy Resolved


Bibliography (Part 1)

Bibliography (Part 2)

A huge thank you to Steven for his generosity.

If you are an author and have texts you would like to feature in the Comics Forum Digital Texts archive (and have the required permissions to do so), we would be very happy to hear from you! Please contact us at Texts may include articles, books, dissertations, essays, fanzines, theses etc. Previously published and unpublished works will be considered. Suggestions for texts you have not authored but believe would be useful are also welcome at the email address above.



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

One year ago today, 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.

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