Dr Mel Gibson
University of Northumbria, Health Education and Community
Member of Editorial Advisory Panel or other role with: The Journal of Popular Culture, Children’s Literature in Education, Popular Narrative Media, Studies in Comics, SANE Sequential Art Narratives in Education, The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, The International Journal of Cultural Studies.
National Teaching Fellow
Telephone: 0191 215 6378
Postal Address: CETL Hub @CLC, 1 Coach Lane, Coach Lane Campus, Benton, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE7 7XA
Website: http://www.dr-mel-comics.co.uk/ (personal)
Biography and Research Interests
Mel Gibson is a UK based comics scholar and consultant. She has run training and promotional events about comics and graphic novels for libraries, schools and other organizations since 1993 when she contributed to Graphic Account on developing graphic novels collections for 16-25 year olds, published by the Youth Libraries Group.
Mel is a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University specialising in teaching and research relating to children and young people, literature and media and has a huge interest in visual literacies. Her doctoral thesis was on British women’s memories of their girlhood comics reading, which ties in to her training work, and her MA thesis also focused on comics.
Mel used the opportunities and resources that her National Teaching Fellowship offered to contribute to UK Comics Scholarship, in part through the academic areas of her website, as well as through supporting events.
Research Interests: Audiences, gender, British girls’ comics, libraries and sequential art, children’s comics, graphic novels, formats, comics in education.
‘Cultural Studies approaches to Audience’ In Smith, M.J and Duncan, R. Critical Approaches to Comics: Theories and Methods (2011) New York: Routledge
Booktrust leaflet and website (2011) http://www.booktrust.org.uk/show/feature/Resources%20for%20schools/Graphic-novels-at-Key-Stage-3 London: Booktrust
‘Bella at the Bar’ in Gravett, P. (ed) 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die: The Ultimate Guide to Comic Books, Graphic Novels and Manga (2011) NY Universe Publishing
‘Developing a core library collection for teenagers and young adults – selecting materials – comics, graphic novels and Manga resources’ in Rankin, C and Brock, A (eds) Library Services for Children and Young Adults: Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Age (2011) Facet
‘State of the (Sequential) Art? Changing Perceptions of Comics. Manga and Graphic Novels in Britain’ In Carrington, B and Harding, J (eds) Going Graphic: Comics and Graphic Novels for Children and Young People (2010) Lichfield, Pied Piper Press.
‘What Bunty Really Did! Revisiting the Protagonist in Comics for Girls’ in McCleery, A and Brabon, B (eds) Scottish Comics (2010) Edinburgh: Merchiston Publishing pp29-39
‘We don’t need just the DFC, we need lots of comics, and what’s more, we can make them. Let’s get to it: David Fickling, The DFC and the DFC Library’. (2010) INIS The magazine of Children’s Books Ireland, 33 Autumn, Dublin: CBI. pp19-23.
‘What Bunty did next? Responses to Protagonists in the British Girls’ Comic in Late 20th Century Comics and Graphic Novels’ Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (2010) Routledge pp 121-135.
‘Graphic Novels, Comics and Picturebooks’ in Rudd, D (ed) Routledge Companion to Children’s Literature. (2010) London: Routledge pp.100-111
‘State of the (Sequential) Art? Changing Perceptions of Comics. Manga and Graphic Novels in Britain’ (2010) IBBYLink:British Section Newletter, London: IBBY Spring
Carey, A, Gibson, M and Lyons, C ‘Through the looking glass: Skim by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’. INIS. The magazine of Children’s Books Ireland, (2010) Spring, No. 31, Dublin: CBI. pp.26-28
‘Dr Peter Venkman: ‘Scuse me Egon? You said crossing the streams was bad!…’ Dr Ray Stanz: ‘Cross the streams…’ Comics, manga, graphic novels and the challenge and excitement of cross-curricular work (with apologies to Ghostbusters )’ (2010) NATE Classroom No. 10, Spring, p. 10-12
‘The war of the worlds? Classics, comics and ways of thinking about adaptations’. (2009) NATE Classroom No. 9. Autumn. p. 11-13.
‘Nobody, Somebody, Everybody: Ballet, Girlhood, Class, Femininity and Comics in 1950s Britain’ (2009) Girlhood Studies, Issue 2.
Gibson, M, Sharkey, N and Keenan, C, Through the looking glass: The Savage by David Almond and Dave McKean INIS. The magazine of Children’s Books Ireland, (2008) Autumn, No. 25, Dublin: CBI. pp.31-33
What you read and where you read it, how you get it, how you keep it: Children, comics and historical cultural practice. Popular Narrative Media, (2008) Volume 1, Issue 2, Autumn, pp 151-167.
From ‘Susan of St. Brides’ to ‘Heartbreak Hospital’. Nurses and nursing in the girls’ comic from the 1950s to the 1980s. (2008) Journal of Children’s Literature, July pp. 104-126
‘The Powerful World of Graphic Texts’ in Goodwin, P (ed). Understanding Children’s Books:A Guide for Education Professionals. (2008) London: Sage, pp 109-118.
Understanding and using manga, comics and graphic novels in school. (2008) NATE Classroom. No. 5. Summer. p. 8-10.
The Tale Of One Bad Rat: the child alone and the alternative and substitute family. In: Bradford, C & Coghlan, V (eds.) Expectations and Experiences: Children, Childhood & Children’s Literature (2007) Lichfield, Pied Piper Press.
Gibson, M (2007) Graphic Novels In The Curriculum. Learning and Teaching Scotland http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/literacy/findresources/graphicnovels/section/intro.asp
“Wham! Bam! The X-Men Are Here”: The British Broadsheet Press and the X-Men Film and Comic Revisited. In: Comics into Films Gordon, I, Jancovich, M & McAllister, M (eds.) (2007) University Press of Mississippi
‘‘What is this mango, anyway?’ Manga and younger readers in Ireland and Britain’. INIS. The magazine of Children’s Books Ireland, (2007) Winter, No. 22, Dublin: CBI. pp.10-15 http://www.childrensbooks.ie/content/view/26/194/
Mehr als eine Heldin – das Motiv der Clique im britischen Mädchencomic von 1950 bis 1980 In Diekmann, S & Schneider, M (eds.) (2006) Szenarien des comic: Helden Und Historien Im Medium Der Schriftbildlichkeit. SuKuLTuR, Berlin.
‘’You can’t read them, they’re for boys!’ British Girls, American Superhero Comics and Identity’. (2003) International Journal of Comic Art Vol.5. No.1. Spring.
‘What became of Bunty?’ The emergence, evolution and disappearance of the girls’ comic in post-war Britain. In Bearne, Eve and Styles, Morag (eds.) (2003) Art, Narrative & Childhood. Trentham Books.
On British comics for girls and their readers. In Moody, N. (ed.) Consuming for Pleasure, (2000) Liverpool: John Moores Press
Reading as Rebellion: The Case of the Girl’s Comic in Britain. International Journal of Comic Art (2000) Vol.1. No.2. Fall, pp 135-151
Conference Papers and Talks
Researching comics, graphic novels and manga. Newcastle City Library, Canny Comic Con, Newcastle 2011
“I do have the annuals but somehow they are just not the same as the weeklies printed on that dreadfully poor quality paper”: British girls’ comics, publication formats and perceptions of class Materiality and Virtuality: A Conference on Comics, Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds 2011.
Nostalgia Publishing and Comics Graphic Novels and Comics: An International Conference Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester 2011
Librarians’ perceptions of graphic novels. Leeds City Art Gallery. Leeds 2010.
Researching comics, graphic novels and manga. Viz Exhibition, Lit and Phil, Newcastle 2010
Romeo and Juliet in comics Shakespeare Investigate Day, Bolton University, Bolton 2011
‘‘What Bunty did next? Responses to Protagonists in the British Girls’ Comic in Late 20th Century Comics and Graphic Novels’ Graphic Novels and Comics: An International Conference Manchester Met Uni 13-14 April 2010
Comic Strip Careers and Heartfelt Advice. ‘Possibilities and Perspectives: A Conference on Comics’ Leeds 2009
‘’I don’t live in Sunderland! Sunderland doesn’t exist! I’ve made it all up!’ The past, the comic and the personal in Bryan Talbot’s Alice in Sunderland’ Timeframes: Third Dundee University Comics Conference 2009
‘‘We Don’t Need No Steenking Badgers!’ Bryan Talbot’s Grandeville’, International Society for the Study of Narrative Conference, Birmingham, 2009
Gibson, M. with Emma Viecelli ‘Manga and Shakespeare (mainly)’ at ‘Something old, something new: approaches to classic literature, culture and heritage in education’. London Institute of Education 2009
Teaching in schools, FE and HE with Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels. Narrative and Interactive Learning Environments Conference. Edinburgh University. 2008. (Invited Workshop Leader)
‘They lived for thirty-five years in the same house’ Class, gender and Englishness in Briggs and Talbot. Paraliterary Narratives Conference, Northampton University, 2008
Comparing comics cultures. Westminster Kingsway College June. (Invited speaker working with students and staff in two workshops across the day).
Building Professional and Media Links in Working with Film, Comics and Young People. The Importance of Media Literacy, Kristiansand Int. Children’s Film Festival Conference. 2008 (Keynote speaker).
Teaching in schools, FE and HE with Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels. National Association for the Teaching of English, Warwick University 2008. (Invited speaker)
Researching Comics, Graphic Novels and Manga. Newcastle University. Film and Media Research Group. 2008 (Invited speaker)
Sick Fictions: Contamination, Infection, Disease and Addiction in Accounts of Young Peoples Reading of Comics. ‘What do we tell the children?’ Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature (ISSCL), Sixth Annual Conference. Dublin, 2008.
‘What is this mango, anyway?’ Manga and younger readers. Some initial observations.Transforming Audiences Conference, University of Westminster 2007
‘Wonder Women or Invisible Girls? Comics of the 1970s and 1980s, power, identity and feminism’. International Society for Research in Children’s Literature. Kyoto 2007
‘Visual Literacies and the classroom’ School Library Association Conference, University of Nottingham 2007.
What Bunty really did! Revisiting the protagonist in comics for girls. Scottish Centre for the Book, Napier University, Edinburgh. 2006
Girl Peer Groups in Comics. Representations of Childhood. Childhood Cultures Research Group. Newcastle University, 2006
Les ados, qu’est-ce qui les branche? Jeunes gens, bibliotheques et literature. Lire pour Jouer. Collectif Ados. Invited Speaker. Arras, 2005
The Tale Of One Bad Rat: the child alone and the alternative and substitute family. IRSCL 17th Biennial Congress. Trinity College, Dublin, 2005
Bunty and Friends: Researching the Girl’s Comic. 9th International Culture and Power Conference. Iberian Association for Cultural Studies. University of Lisbon, 2003.
Heroines on Paper: The Protagonist in British Girls’ Comics 1950-1980. Berlin Comics Symposium. Szenarien Des Comic – Helden und Historien im Medium der Schriftbildlichkeit. Berlin, Backfabrik, 2003.
A History of British Girl’s Comics. Internationales Berliner Comicfestival. British Council Sponsored Invited Speaker. Berlin, Backfabrik, 2003.
After Bunty: Women creators and the legacy of the British girls’ comic. Active Heroines. Liverpool John Moores University. 2003.
From ‘Crime Does Not Pay’ to ‘100 Bullets’: Crime in the Comic. University of Sunderland, Criminology. Public Lecture as guest speaker. 2003.
One Bad Rat? Reworking the image of the rat in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Beasts and Texts, Association for Research in Popular Fiction, Trinity & All Saints College, Leeds. 2003.
Comic Strip Careers and Heartfelt Advice: ‘Girl’ and girlhood in the late 1950s. The Women’s Library Symposium. London, 2003.
Visual Literacy & the Picture Book. British Council School on Children’s Fiction. Matlock, Derbyshire, Dec. 2002.
‘I couldn’t wait for the next one’: Serial Narratives, Comics and Engaging the Reader. Serial Narratives Conference, Association for Research in Popular Fiction, Liverpool John Moores University. 2002.
‘You can’t read them, they’re for boys!’ British Girls, American Superhero Comics and Identity. Comic Art Conference. San Diego Comics Convention. San Diego, 2002
Sick Fictions: Contamination, Infection, Disease and Addiction in Accounts of Young Peoples Reading of Comics. Infection and Contamination Conference. Edge Hill College, 2002.
Girls and Comics. Popular Culture in Education Seminar Series. Sheffield University, 2002.
From ‘Susan of St. Brides’ to ‘Heartbreak Hospital’. Nurses and nursing in the girls’ comic from the 1950s to the 1980s. Occupation, Profession and Pastime, Association for Research in Popular Fiction, Liverpool John Moores University, November 2001.
‘Wham! Bam! Here come the X-Men’ The British Press and the X-Men film. Popular Culture Association, Philadelphia, 2001.
The School Story as a Key Space in Girls’ Comics. Fictional Architecture: The Space and Place of Narrative, Association for Research in Popular Fiction, Liverpool John Moores University, 2001.
Heroines on Paper: Teams, gangs and peer groups in British girls’ comics. MeCCSa, Loughborough University, 2001.
British Girls and their comics. Reading Pictures: Art Narrative and Childhood, Homerton College, 2000.
Invisible Girls, Popular Culture Association, New Orleans, 2000.