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Call for Papers: Comics Forum 2018

Progress: A Decade of Comics Scholarship
Leeds Central Library 20-21 September

Call for Papers

Deadline extended to the 23rd of July 2018.

Comics Forum 2018 is the tenth anniversary of the annual conference series. To celebrate this milestone, we invite scholars from around the world to join us for a two-day series of talks looking back at the subjects Comics Forum has focused on over the past decade and considering how they have changed and developed. We are now open to submissions on any of the following themes, reflecting the topics from previous years’ events (please indicate which theme you are addressing when you submit your abstract):

  • Genre (2016)
  • Graphic Medicine: Visualizing the Stigma of Illness (2011)[1]
  • Materiality and Virtuality (2011)
  • Multiculturalism and Representation (2012)
  • Politics (2015)
  • Possibilities and Perspectives (2009)
  • Sculpture and Comic Art (2011)[2]
  • Small Press and Undergrounds (2013)
  • Space (2017)
  • Theory and Practice (2010)
  • Violence (2014)
  • Women in Comics (2010)[3]

Submissions will be considered in any of the following three formats (please indicate which you are proposing when you submit your abstract):

  • Paper: 15-minute paper on a focused topic.
  • Panel: 1 hour structured discussion between three or more participants (N.B.: this should be a coherent unit, not simply a collection of three or four papers).
  • Workshop: 1 hour interactive, collaborative session aimed at producing outputs to be published on comicsforum.org.

Proposals of up to 250 words in length are now being accepted at the following link: http://bit.ly/comicsforum2018 The deadline for submissions is the 23rd of July and you will be notified of acceptance by or before the 30th of July. Please include a short (100 word) biography of your speaker(s) with your proposal. We look forward to welcoming you to Leeds!

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[1] Graphic Medicine: Guest conference organised by Ian Williams and MK Czerwiec.
[2] Sculpture and Comic Art: Guest conference organised by Jon Wood and Kirstie Gregory.
[3] Women in Comics: Guest conference organised by Sarah Lightman, Catriona MacLeod, Hattie Kennedy and Emily Rabone.
 

Comics Forum 2014: Lineup

CF2014_A3_Poster_heavier_text

Coming up at Comics Forum 2014 on Thursday-Friday next week, we have a fantastic lineup of speakers! Our keynote speech will be delivered on Thursday afternoon by Professor Jane Chapman, and we look forward to welcoming a host of other top speakers to Leeds Central Library for two days of fascinating talks on violence. See below for the full list of speakers.

THURSDAY 13 NOVEMBER

Jane Chapman: ‘Unspoken Violence: Redefining of Cultural Record, 1914-18’

Kat Lombard-Cook Structural Subversion: Violence Against the Comics Form Roger Sabin Ally Sloper meets Jack the Ripper: comedy and violence in late 19th century London Alex Link Scales of Violence, Scales of Justice, and Nate Powell’s Any Empire Christopher J. Thompson “Boiled or Fried, Dennis?” Understanding the displacement of violence in ‘Dennis the Menace and Gnasher’ Olivia Rohan Onomatopoeia as an agent of violence in manga: multimodality and translation strategies in battle manga and horror manga Penelope Mendonça Drawing difficult truths; how can a humorous graphic novel include violence during pregnancy? Cameron Fletcher Censorship and the Control of Violent Comics: The Code of the West Dan Smith Architecture, Violence and Hope: A Visitor’s Guide to Mega City One Malin Bergström Will Eisner and the Art of War: The Role of Educational Comics within the American Defence Industry Bradley Reeder The life and death of the city in Watchmen Enrique del Rey Cabero Violence and memory: the role of comics in portraying the Spanish Civil War and the Francoist repression Kevin Chiat “The Curse of Superman”: Humanism, Masculinity and Violence in the Superman Mythos Harriet EH Earle The Whites of their Eyes: Implied Violence and Double Frames in Blazing Combat and The ‘Nam Kwasu David Tembo 72 Votes: A Death in the Family as Mimetic Crisis Mihaela Precup “I think we’re maybe more or less safe here”: Communities under Siege during the Lebanese Civil War in Zeina Abirached’s A Game for Swallows Kevin J. Wanner In a World of Super-Violence, Can Pacifism Pack a Punch? Examining the Theme of the Pacifist Superhero through the Character of Wonder Man in Marvel’s Uncanny Avengers Joan Ormrod Women on the Edge: Unruly Bodies, spectacle and violence post 9/11

FRIDAY 14 NOVEMBER

Brett Elhoffer The Yellow Peril Meets Superman: Depictions of the Chinese in 20th century American Comic Books Ian Horton No More Heroes Anymore? Representations of Violence in British War Comics of the 1970s Laurike in ‘t Veld The Depiction of Sexual Violence in Genocide Comics Ester Szép Trauma Theories and Joe Sacco’s Comics About Iraq Nicola Streeten The comics form and the ambivalence of sexual violence Jörn Ahrens Bring the War Back Home: Reflecting Violence in DMZ Louisa Parker (Una) Autobiographical Content and the Legacy of Artemisia, or Why Should We Care If Someone Was Raped? Joseph Willis Pushing Back the Apocalypse: Violence as Identity and Rebellion in the Post-Apocalyptic Julia Round Misty: Gothic for Girls in British Comics Fabio Mourilhe Practice of subjectivity in 300 Anna Madill Intimidating men: Patriarchal violence in Korean shonen-ai Let Dai Lynn Fotherington, Kieron Gillen and Stephen Hodkinson Story-telling, Historicity and the Depiction of Violence in Three – a conversation Jeffrey John Barnes To See What You Won’t Hear: Violence in Palestinian Arab Political Cartoons from the British Mandate through the Present Hugo Frey Adapting Jean-Patrick Manchette’s Le Petit bleu de la côte ouest (1977): the Comparative Politics of Cinema and Graphic Novel Re-interpretations Orla Lehane Animating “The Troubles”: Northern Ireland in Troubled Souls (1989) Ria Uhlig Violence in French graphzines Olga Kopylova Violence against violence? (Self-)destruction and plausibility of revenge in the manga Gankutsuō Paul Williams Violence, Regression and Therapeutic Narcissism in Jules Feiffer’s Tantrum (1979) Laura A. Pearson Seeing (in) Red: Reading Intersections of Violence in Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’s Red: A Haida Manga

REGISTRATION

Tickets for Comics Forum 2014 are priced as follows:

1 day pass (13th or 14th): £10

2 day pass (13th and 14th): £20

4 day pass (two day Comics Forum pass + 2 day Thought Bubble Convention pass (SRP £24)): £40 (save £4!)

To register, simply email comicsforum@hotmail.co.uk with your name and how many tickets you’d like.

Comics Forum 2014 is supported by: Thought Bubble, the University of Chichester, Dr Mel Gibson and Molakoe.

 
 

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Comics Forum 2013: Registration Open

CF2013 Image

Registration is now open for Comics Forum 2013: Small Press and Undergrounds, which will be running at Leeds Central Library on the 21st and 22nd of November.

This year features a fantastic lineup of speakers and papers, including:

Cameron Fletcher: “Amateur” Hour Kenan Kocak: Koloni: Pirate Comics, Published Once In A While Lise Tannahill: Assessing Ololê: Vehicle for Breton Pride or Source of Shame? David Huxley: ‘I still have 50 Copies in the Attic’: British Regional Underground comics 1970- 1980 Martin de la Iglesia: Early manga translations in the West: underground cult or mainstream failure? Louisa Parker: Small Story – Big Picture Laura A. Pearson: Nina Bunjevac’s “Alternative” Catwoman in ‘Bitter Tears of Zorka Petrovic’ Brenna Clarke Gray, Damon Herd, Hattie Kennedy, Ernesto Priego, Peter Wilkins and David N Wright (Graphixia): Small is the New Big: The Comics Criticism Blog as Small Press Mihaela Precup: ‘It came from Alpha Centaur looking for love’: The Mutant and Non-human Body in Denis Kitchen’s Bizarre Sex (1972-1982) Gareth Brookes: Small Press Comics and Fine Art Paddy Johnston: From Random House to Rehab: Julia Wertz and the Small Press Dan Smith: Revisiting Donald Parsnips’ Daily Journal Ian Horton: Dave Sim’s Cerebus the Aardvark: Self-publishing, the Direct Market and Creative Freedom Christopher J. Thompson: Comix Narrative Parody: Hunt Emerson’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner John G. Swogger: Underground Archaeology: Comics as alternative agents of professional discourse Lydia Wysocki, Jack Fallows and Mike Thompson: Epic themes in awesome ways, or how we made Asteroid Belter: The Newcastle Science Comic R.Finn: Using a webcomic comment thread to gauge reader experience Aysel Demir: Political Humor Is Absolutely A “Serious” Job! John Miers: Metaphor, financial crisis, and the small press

Further speakers are still to be confirmed, and we’ll put the details up here as soon as we have them.

Registration fees this year are as follows:

1 day pass (21st or 22nd): £10

2 day pass (21st and 22nd): £20

4 day pass (two day Comics Forum pass + 2 day Thought Bubble Convention pass (SRP £22)): £35 (save £7!)

To register, simply email comicsforum@hotmail.co.uk with the phrase ‘CF2013 Registration’ in your subject line and tell us your name and how many tickets you’d like. It’s that simple!

We look forward to seeing you in November!

Comics Forum 2013 is supported by: Thought Bubble, the University of Chichester, Routledge, Dr Mel Gibson and Molakoe.

 

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.

 
 
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