Category Archives: Scholarly Resources

Some thoughts on an Emerging Field: Connections, Transitions and Looking Ahead by Nina Mickwitz

Over the past three years the Transitions symposium at Birkbeck College has established a presence in the annual events calendar of UK Comics Studies. For an excellent description of how this came to be, the rationale behind the event and of the collaborative DIY-ethos that continues to characterise Transitions I’d like to refer you to ‘The indisciplined middle space’ by Tony Venezia. What Tony wrote a year ago is as relevant now as it was then.

The organisation of this year’s event has been a team effort involving a small group of PhD students at both Birkbeck and the University of East Anglia. Our aim has been to provide a continuation of Transitions, and to maintain the attitude and character of what originated as Tony’s brainchild. We hope that the diverse and promising programme of papers will offer the opportunity to trace some of the current directions as indicated by new research, with the proviso that this selection should be seen as loosely indicative rather than necessarily representative. This year’s keynote, by Chris Murray and Julia Round, will provide insights into the current challenges and opportunities of teaching and researching comics in the academic context. In addition, a roundtable discussion will provide a chance to reflect on the shared scholarly context we inhabit, as constituted by networks of practices and initiatives.

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Affiliated Conferences: Comics & Medicine: The Sequential Art of Illness (2011)

Today sees the launch of our second affiliated conference page in the scholarly resources section.

Comics and Medicine: The Sequential Art of Illness took place at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago from the 9th to the 11th of June last year, and you can now download the conference’s call for papers, poster, programme and abstracts here. Many thanks to MK Czerwiec and the conference team for providing this material for our archives.

We are actively seeking to expand the affiliated conference programme and develop it as a useful ongoing resource for scholars, readers and creators of comics. If you are involved in organising a conference or similar event and would like to feature the conference papers and other materials for open access download via the Comics Forum website, please email us at and let us know!



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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Scholar Directory

Today sees the launch of a new resource on the Comics Forum website. The scholar directory provides information on the biographies, research interests, conference papers and publications of scholars from around the world. The hope is this will be useful in helping scholars to make connections, see where people are studying and what they’re interested in, and increase the accessibility of comics scholarship for everyone.

Until today the directory has been running in a limited pilot phase, with invited parties submitting their data for inclusion so we could work out how to build the pages and structure the system. Many thanks to all those who agreed to take part in this trial run.  Now, I’m delighted to invite all comics scholars to fill in our data form and submit it to for inclusion in the listings. Any queries about getting listed can also be directed to this email address.

Click here to be taken to the scholar directory.

Click here to download the data form.



Comics & Conflicts 2011: New Paper

Isabelle Delorme’s paper ‘The first Afghanistan war through the glare of the Photographer and Emmanuel Guibert’ is now available to download from the Comics & Conflicts (2011) page here on the Comics Forum website. Here is the abstract for the paper:

The Afghanistan war (1979-1989) is not the subject of the graphic novel : The Photographer: Into War-torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders but it is the thread of this comic, which was published in France between 2003 and 2006, then in United States in 2009, and which has received many prizes, especially the Will Eisner Awards in 2010. Didier Lefèvre, the photographer, has been send in 1986 to follow a three months mission of Doctors Without Borders, in North Afghanistan, including two months of a dangerous trip in moutains. The story is told with photographs comic-book style, with the texts and the illustrations of Emmanuel Guibert. In this graphic novel, halfway between comics and photojournalism, by juxtaposing vignettes and hundred of photographs, with various shapes (contact sheet, full page photography, retouched photos etc…), is it an original approach to History and War or is it a standard treatment in comics ? How does Emmanuel Guibert represent Man coming to terms with war in this graphic novel ? Is it possible to distinguish between individuals behaviour (the photographer, members of mission like medical personnel, guide or interpreter, Afghans) and collective behaviour (mission of Doctors Without Borders, civil population, mujaheddin)? How can the fact that two of his major works The Photographer and Alan’s War, The Memories of GI Alan Cope, take place in war-torn countries, unless war be the topic of the graphic novel? Paradoxically, is Emmanuel Guibert interested in War?

Click here to be taken directly to the paper.


Also, a couple of links we were too busy to mark up in the run up to Comics Forum 2011:

Firstly we have this article by Fredrik Strömberg, which provides an overview of the first NNCORE meeting in Odense, Denmark. This is a very exciting new initiative that promises to produce a wide range of outcomes for scholarship and is definitely one to watch!

Secondly, a radio interview with Roger Sabin and Charles Hatfield is now available for streaming here. The interview was recorded at the recent highly successful conference in Alcalá de Henares (Spain), which was organised by Esther Claudio Moreno (who wrote this article for us back in June this year), co-founder of the Comics Grid and a team of others.


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