The Comics get medieval 2012

Michael A. Torregrossa de la « Société virtuelle pour l’étude de la culture populaire et du Moyen âge » lance un appel à communication intitulé pour « The Comics get Medieval », événement annuel se déroulant à Boston. Son objectif est de « renforcer les liens entre médiévistes, chercheurs travaillant sur la bande dessinée et spécialistes de la culture populaire », mais l’édition 2012 sera principalement axée autour d’un anniversaire : les 75 ans du Prince Vaillant d’Hal Foster. Il serait sans doute bienvenu, de la part de chercheurs français, de proposer des travaux portant sur les successeurs, voire les clones, du chevalier de Thule, à commencer par le Chevalier ardent de François Craenhals. Nous reproduisons ci-dessous l’appel à communication dont la date limite est fixée au 1er décembre 2012.

 

The comics get medieval 2012 :

a celebration of medieval-themed comics in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Prince valiant

 

Celebrating our sixth year in 2012, proposals are now being considered for inclusion at “The Comics Get Medieval 2012,” a series of panels and roundtables sponsored by The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages and to be hosted by the Comics & Comic Art Area of the Popular Culture Association (PCA) for the 2012 Joint Conference of the National Popular Culture and American Culture Associations to be held from 4-7 April 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.

The goal of these sessions is to foster communication between medievalists, comics scholars, and specialists in popular culture studies in general. The organizers define “medieval comics” as any aspect of the comics medium (panel cartoons, comic strips, comics books, comics albums, band dessinée, graphic novels, manga, webcomics, comics to film/film to comics, etc.) that feature medieval themes either in stories set during the Middle Ages or in stories presenting some element of the medieval in the post-medieval era. We are also interested in papers looking at medieval comics from a pedagogical perspective.

Completed papers should be delivered in 15-20 minutes (depending on the number of presenters). All proposals will also be considered for inclusion in an essay collection to be edited by the panel organizers beginning in late 2011/early 2012. (Individuals only interested in submitting for the collection should also send proposals by 1 December 2011 deadline and indicate their preference in the email.)

In addition, a select list of potential topics and a bibliographic guide to medieval comics will appear as part of THE MEDIEVAL COMICS PROJECT web site available at ComicsProject.org> and THE ARTHUR OF THE COMICS website available at Comics.org/>, both organized by the Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages.

No later that 1 December 2011, interested individuals (who must be members of PCA or ACA or join for 2012) should submit full contact information (name, address, phone/cell, and email), titles, and abstracts of 300-500 words to the sessions’ organizers, who will then forward them to area chair.

Address all inquiries and proposals to the organizers at the following address: <medieval.Comics.Project@gmail.com> and include “Comics Get Medieval 2012” in the subject line. </medieval.

 

Michael A. Torregrossa
The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages

Email: medieval.comics.project@gmail.com
Visit the website at http://MedievalComicsProject.org

 

Benoît Berthou

Université Paris 13, LABSIC Directeur de la revue Comicalités. Etudes de culture graphique Rédacteur en chef des Carnets de la bande dessinée

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4th annual comics and popular culture conference

The Institute for Comics Studies (dont la mission est de « promouvoir l’étude, la compréhension et la légitimité culturelle de la bande dessinée et de soutenir la diffusion de cette étude et sa compréhension par le biais d’événements publics) et Dragon*Con (structure organisant, selon ses dires, « la plus grande convention multi-médias portant sur la culture populaire, et s’intéressant à des genres comme la science-fiction et la fantasy à travers des jeux, des bandes dessinées, la littérature, l’art, la musique et le cinéma ») lancent un appel à communication pour leur quatrième conférence annuelle qui aura lieu à Atlanta (USA). Comme à son habitude, celle-ci est extrêmement ouverte et toutes les approches de la bande dessinée « populaire » semblent être les bienvenues, ainsi qu’en attestent les programmes des années précédentes qu’il s’agira de compléter en rendant une proposition avant le 15 mai prochain.

4th ANNUAL COMICS & POPULAR ARTS CONFERENCE at DRAGON*CON

Atlanta, Georgia September 2-5, 2011


The Institute for Comic Studies and Dragon*Con present their fourth annual academic conference for the studies of comics and the popular arts. The conference will take place at Dragon*Con, the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the US. For more info on Dragon*Con, visit http://dragoncon.org

Please submit a proposal that engages in substantial scholarly examinations of comic books, manga, graphic novels, anime, science/speculative fiction, fantasy, or other parts of popular culture. A broad range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives is being sought, including literary and art criticism, philosophy, linguistics, history, and communication. Proposals may range from discussions of the nature of the comics medium, analyses of particular works and authors, discussions of the visual language of comics and manga, comics and pop culture in the classroom, cross-cultural and cross-medium comparisons, and more. We’re open to any topics relevant to the study of comics and the popular arts.

More information, including programs and topics from previous years can be found at the conference website:

http://utdallas.edu/~mattbrown/DragonCon.html

This conference at Dragon*Con represents the Institute for Comics Studies’ mission to promote the study, understanding, and cultural legitimacy of comics and to support the discussion and dissemination of this study and understanding via public venues.

DEADLINE: May 15, 2010

Please submit your proposals at:

https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dFlZTU5JVDFYMW1PWWVoT183LVF3N3c6MQ

Send any questions to: thehangedman@gmail.com Participants must register for the convention. Information can be found here:

http://dragoncon.org/members.php#DC_Memb

Prospective participants are welcome to submit a guest application to Dragon*Con in advance at the following address:

http://dragoncon.org/dc_guest_app.php

Acceptance to the academic conference is no guarantee of « guest » status at the convention. In the past, no presenters have received guest status simply for participating in the conference. Dragon*Con is a fan convention and only gives VIP status to celebrity guests. Most presenters and creators pay their own way to the convention.

Conference Coordinator: Matthew J. Brown, UT Dallas
Conference Co-coordinator: R. Scott Nokes, Troy University
Programming Chair: Damien Williams, Needcoffee.com

Matthew Brown, Ph.D.
C&PAC Coordinator
Assistant Professor
School of Arts & Humanities
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 W Campbell Road, JO31
Richardson, TX 75080
Email:
thehangedman@gmail.com
Visit the website at
http://www.utdallas.edu/~mattbrown/DragonCon.html

Benoît Berthou

Université Paris 13, LABSIC Directeur de la revue Comicalités. Etudes de culture graphique Rédacteur en chef des Carnets de la bande dessinée

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Transatlantica : dossier « Comic Book » (2)

Suite de la recension du dossier que Transatlantica consacre au comic book et plus particulièrement aux enjeux scientifiques et académiques de ce domaine.

Dans son entretien avec Jessica Abel et Matt Madden, Bart Beaty revient sur l’enseignement de la bande dessinée dans les cursus universitaires. Tous trois interviennent dans des formations mais, contrairement à Bart Beaty, Jessica Abel et Matt Madden sont tous deux auteurs, des auteurs reconnus qui plus est, comme l’a entre autres montrée la traduction, parue à L’Association, des 99 Exercices de style de Matt Madden. Dans cet entretien, Bart Beaty revient avec eux à la fois sur les obstacles universitaires (programmes limités en général à un semestre, offre limitée…), les attentes et les surprises des étudiants, les oeuvres à étudier et les exercices à proposer…
Toujours dans une perspective de réflexion sur le discours académique sur la bande dessinée, Craig Fisher propose dans son article « Worlds Without Worlds: Audiences, Jargon and North American Comics Discourse » un retour critique sur l’ouvrage de Thierry Groensteen, Système de la bande dessinée. Largement accepté comme référence théorique en France, l’ouvrage a été traduit par Bart Beaty et Nick Nguyen, sous le titre The System of Comics (publié en 2007).
Cette version n’a reçu qu’un accueil mitigé outre-Atlantique, et Craig Fisher avance ici plusieurs facteurs explicatifs. Surtout, il prend cet exemple comme point de départ à une intéressante réflexion sur les publics auxquels est destiné le discours académique sur la bande dessinée, et les effets du jargon sur ces publics, dégageant ainsi trois types de discours : « fan appreciation, essayistic criticism and academic criticism ».
L’article de Jan Baetens revient aussi sur la structuration du champ académique de la bande dessinée, avec une perspective comparatiste stimulante. Il voit ainsi dans « l’ouverture du monde universitaire à la vie du marché » et « la non-séparation de la fonction patrimoniale et de la fonction de recherche » les deux principaux facteurs du décalage entre le dynamisme de la recherche aux Etats-Unis et son retard persistant en France, malgré le dynamisme de la création et de l’édition. Il revient également sur les différences fondamentales qui opposent graphic novels et romans graphiques, et l’absence large en France des questions soulevés outre-Atlantique par les cultural studies, dont il relève cependant que les historiens du culturel reprennent des questionnements – on pourrait y ajouter les sociologues également…
Là où sans doute l’article de Jan Baetens est le plus intéressant, c’est dans son analyse du rapport à la temporalité de aprt et d’autre de l’Atlantique. En France, l’approche est essentiellement surplombante, englobante, alors qu’aux Etats-Unis une place bien plus grande est accordée à la question de la sérialité. « C’est parce que le rapport texte/image se pense et s’évalue autrement de part et d’autre que Français et Américains envisagent de manière tout à fait différente la persistance des anciennes formes de la série et du feuilleton à l’intérieur de la bande dessinée contemporaine », avance-t-il notamment.

Charles Hatfield, dans « Indiscipline, or, The Condition of Comics Studies », avance des propositions valorisant le statut interdisciplinaire de la recherche sur la bande dessinée.

Enfin, Jean-Paul Gabilliet, dans un copieux « essai bibliographique », complète et actualise l’essai bibliographique qui clôturait son ouvrage Des Comics et des hommes. Elle en reprend la structure :

  • Fonds documentaires
  • Dictionnaires, annuaires et bases de données
  • Les revues spécialisées
  • Approches théoriques
  • Etudes historiques : cartoons et comic strips
  • Etudes historiques : comic books et graphic novels
  • Etudes thématiques
  • Les créateurs
  • Monographies consacrées à des créateurs
    • Bande dessinée de presse
    • Bande dessinée grand public
    • Bande dessinée d’auteur
  • Lecteurs et fans

en ajoutant une partie « approches théoriques », et en apportant de nouvelles subdivisions. La vitalité du champ est telle que cette réactualisation est une excellente nouvelle pour tous les chercheurs s’intéressant à la bande dessinée américaine, dont ce dossier propose un très complet panorama des Comic Studies.

Pour compléter ce dossier, deux études de cas consacrées l’une à la bande dessinée d’auteur (en l’occurence, Maus), l’autre à la représentation de la France dans les comics de super-héros. Sans oublier la recension, par Jean-Paul Gabilliet, de l‘Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels. Réalisés sous la direction de Keith Booker, professeur à l’université d’Arkansas, ses deux volumes rassemblent sur 763 pages plus de 330 entrées rédigées par quatre-vingts auteurs. Un monstre donc, dont Jean-Paul Gabilliet propose une brève recension critique qui permet de compléter ce bilan de Comic Studies qui, pour être à un état que beaucoup de contributeurs qualifient d’embryonnaire, n’en déborde pas moins d’une étonnante vitalité vu de France…

Transatlantica : dossier « Comic Book »

La revue Transatlantica, hébergée sur le portail Revues.org, vient de sortir son nouveau numéro, qui consacre un volumineux dossier aux « Comic Books », coordonné par Bart Beaty et Jean-Paul Gabilliet.Un dossier volumineux, qui s’attaque autant à un état des lieux du champ, de ses sources et de ses outils, qu’à des études de cas très précises.

Bart Beaty, professeur à l’université de Calgary et spécialiste de Wertham, est également spécialiste des transformations de la bande dessinée européenne, et particulièrement française, sujet qu’il a abordé dans Unpopular culture. Transforming the European Comic Book in the 1990s (University of Toronto Press, 2007). De son côté, Jean-Paul Gabillet, professeur à l’université de Bordeaux-III, est spécialiste des comic books, auxquels il a notamment consacré l’incontournable Des Comics et des hommes : histoire culturelle des comic books aux Etats-Unis (Nantes, Editions du Temps, 2005). Les deux coordonnent un épais dossier fort stimulant, dont voici le sommaire.

Jean-Paul Gabilliet
La bande dessinée, nouveau continent des études américaines ? Avant-propos

Bart Beaty
Introduction

Michael Rhode
The State of Comic Art Bibliography in North America

Ana Merino
Memory in Comics: Testimonial, Autobiographical and Historical Space in MAUS

Nicolas Labarre
“How ‘ya gonna keep’em down at the farm now that they’ve seen Paree?”: France in Super Hero Comics

Bart Beaty
Interview of Jessica Abel and Matt Madden

Craig Fischer
Worlds within Worlds: Audiences, Jargon, and North American Comics Discourse

Jan Baetens
Strip, série, séquence

Charles Hatfield
Indiscipline, or, The Condition of Comics Studies

Jean-Paul Gabilliet
Essai bibliographique

La revue comprend également un compte-rendu de l’Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels (Keith Booker, ed, Greenwood Press, 2010).

Ce numéro propose donc des approches variées, avec un accent particulier mis à baliser le panorama des comic studies. Dès son avant-propos, Jean-Paul Gabilliet pose cette question du territoire des études sur la bande dessinée. Le statut universitaire de la bande dessinée a progressé depuis la première thèse soutenue en 1959 (collection spécialisée aux presses universitaires du Mississippi, revues International Journal of Comic Art et ImageTexT…), mais la bande dessinée n’a pas su se constituer, pour autant, en secteur universitaire à part entière, au contraire, par exemple, de la photographie et du cinéma. La discipline se trouve donc traversée d’approches très diverses (spécialistes de l’écrit, de l’image, de l’infocom, historiens…) qui feraient, sans doute, sa richesse si la discipline n’était pas si éclatée.

Dans son introduction, Bart Beaty revient sur cette situation embryonnaire des études sur la bande dessinée, qu’il compare à la situation des études cinématographiques avant que la Nouvelle Vague, en mettant l’accent sur les auteurs, accélère l’émergence des études cinématographiques.

Michael Rhode, dans « The State of Comic Art Bibliography in North America » propose une réflexion critique sur les différentes bibliographies consacrées à la bande dessinée, de celle en dix volumes de John A. Lent aux travaux de Randall W. Scott (notamment son Index to and List of the Comic Art Collection, en ligne), en passant par le Who’s Who in American Comic Books et les différents argus qu’a connu le marché de la bande dessinée nord-américaine. Revenant sur les orientations, délimitations, apports et limites de chacun des outils disponibles, l’article de Michael Rhode s’impose comme une indispensable mise au point pour tout chercheur travaillant sur la bande dessinée américaine. Son article ne se limite d’ailleurs pas à une simple recension critique des outils disponibles, s’ouvrant à une réflexion plus large sur les limites du médium, donc des bibliographies, réflexion particulièrement d’actualité à l’heure où les bouleversements que permettent Internet, le web2.0, les blogs, redéfinissent à la fois la bande dessinée dans ses pratiques de création, de diffusion, d’appropriation, et redéfinissent également la pratique de la bibliographie en posant avec acuité la question de l’accessibilité des sources.

L’ensemble est disponible en libre-accès, à l’adresse suivante : http://transatlantica.revues.org/4782

(à suivre)

Les archives de Frederic Wertham à la bibliothèque du Congrès

De tous les croisés anti-bande dessinée, Fredric Wertham est sans conteste celui dont l’action de propagande aura été la plus efficace outre-Atlantique. Son combat contre les comic-books, censés pervertir la jeunesse, dans les Etats-Unis de l’après-Seconde Guerre mondiale, a obtenu un écho considérable, et joué un rôle important dans l’adoption du Comics Code de 1954. L’impact de son livre Seduction of the Innocent a été maintes fois souligné, et Fredric Wertham est à présent une figure obligée des études sur la bande dessinée américaine.

Mort en 1981, la Bibliothèque du Congrès a acquis ses archives en 1987. Depuis lors, l’accès aux archives Wertham était soumis à autorisation des ayant droit. Or depuis mai 2010, l’ensemble des archives Wertham est librement accessible, ce qui devrait grandement faciliter les « études werthamiennes »… Ci-dessous, des extraits du post publié fin août sur le blog de la Bibliothèque du Congrès pour annoncer la nouvelle.

Papers of Comic-Book ‘Villain’ Open at Library

“I think he was part of a movement that is uniquely American – this need to protect children from adult life – that started in the 1950s. It was the same movement that said every child ought to graduate from high school and have the opportunity to go to college,” said Sara Duke, curator of the Library’s comic arts collections in P&P. “Until we can synthesize Wertham in his time, he will be demonized by historians for changing the comic-book industry and affecting the way generations of adults see comic books.”


The late psychiatrist Fredric Wertham examines a comic book in his office. (Photo by E.B. Bratner)

Among comic-book aficionados, psy chiatrist Fredric Wertham (1895–1981) is considered as much of a villain as those he assailed in the crime and horror comics he criticized. However, Wer tham was more than just an outspoken crusader against comic books. He was dedicated to protecting children from harmful material in all mass media. His research about the detrimental effects of segregation was used in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education court case. In addition, Wertham founded a clinic in Harlem, providing mental-health services to the underprivileged African American community.

The Library of Congress acquired his papers in 1987, through the estate of his wife, Florence Hesketh Wertham. In May of this year, all 222 containers were opened to public research access. Previ ously, they were sealed except to people approved by the estate.

“We realize that donors have certain interests they want to respect,” said Len Bruno of the Library’s Manuscript Divi sion, which houses the collection. “Of course, things can’t stay closed forever,” he added, saying that the Library often agrees to reasonable restrictions in order to acquire materials.

Bruno said that since access became unrestricted, interest in Wertham’s papers has increased. His papers add another component to the Library’s collections, which include comic books in the Serials and Government Publications Division, about 128,000 works of cartoon art in the Prints and Photographs Division and the papers of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and the International Psycho-Analytical Association in the Manuscript Division.


Patient notes by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham describe the effects of a “Superman” comic book on a young boy. (Library of Congress/Abby Brack photo)

Wertham was born Fredric Wertheimer in Munich, Germany, on March 20, 1895. He received a medical degree in 1921 and moved to the United States to teach at Johns Hopkins University and practice at the university’s Phipps Psychiatric Clinic a year later. In 1932, he moved to New York City to serve as the head of the Court of General Sessions psychiatric clinic, which examined every convicted felon in the city. In 1936, he was named director of Bel levue’s Mental Hygiene Clinic in New York and later became director of psychiatric services at Queens Hospital Center.

Despite his humane interests and broader concerns with violence and protecting children from psychological harm, Wertham is best known for his book “Seduction of the Innocent” (1954) and its resulting fallout. The book was the culmination of a decade-long campaign against comic books.


Wertham’s notes on this 1967 “Kid Colt Outlaw,” comic book: “111 pictures; 62 scenes of violence = more than half.” (Library of Congress/Abby Brack photo)

Among the items in the Library’s col lection of Wertham’s papers is a selection of comics he deemed offensive, with notations he wrote inside.

His copy of “Kid Colt, Outlaw” (1967) includes a note that of the 111 pictures, 69 were scenes of violence. An issue of “Justice League of America” (1966) includes markings calling attention to the sounds of violence like “thudd,” “whapp” and “poww.”


“Guns Against Gangsters,” 1948. Fredric Wertham papers. (Library of Congress/Abby Brack photo)

In addition, Wertham’s papers include patient drawings and his analy sis of those sketches. He writes of a young patient: “This case demonstrates the confusion created by comic books between fan tasy and reality … cruelty in children’s play especially directed against girls.”

Wertham testified six times under oath on the harmfulness of comic books, including provid ing testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency. Though the committee’s final report did not blame comics for crime, it recom mended that the comics industry tone down its content voluntarily, thus resulting in the Comics Code Authority.

According to comic book historian and blogger Mike Rhode, Wertham’s research would likely not be accepted by most today as it relied on anecdotal evidence of children he saw in his Harlem clinic. Still, his legacy reverberates among comic-book fandom with his objection to even the most beloved heroes like Super man, Batman and Wonder Woman.

L’intégralité du billet par là : http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2010/08/papers-of-comic-book-villain-open-at-library/

Pour une introduction à Fredric Wertham, on se reportera au livre de Bart Beaty, Fredric Wertham and the Critique of Mass Culture, University Press of Mississippi, 2005.
Côté français, on compte des équivalents tout aussi intéressants, tels que Raoul Dubois ou Georges Sadoul, auxquels Thierry Crépin consacre d’intéressantes pages dans sa thèse (Haro sur la gangster ! La moralisation de la presse enfantine, 1934-1954, CNRS éditions, 2001) ou l’abbé Béthléem, figure centrale de la censure catholique de la lecture, à qui ont été consacrés plusieurs articles (notamment Jean-Yves Mollier, « Aux origines de la loi du 16 juillet 1949, la croisade de l’abbé Bethléem contre les illustrés étrangers », dans On tue à chaque page !, dir. T. Crépin, T. Groensteen, Paris, Ed. du Temps, 1999). Les archives de l’abbé Béthléem sont, elles, disponibles à la Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal et n’ont, a priori, pas fait l’objet d’un dépouillement systématique.

Spider-Man, Spider-Women, and webspinners : critical perspectives

Robert G. Weiner and Robert Moses Peaslee, de l’université Texas Tech  (USA), lancent un appel à communication pour un ovurage intitulé : « Spider-Man, Spider-Women, and Webspinners: Critical Perspectives ». Ce futur livre entend aborder l’homme-araignée crée par Stan Lee à travers une multitude de supports : bande dessinée, dessin animé, cinéma, série télévisée, jeu vidéo… Et s’il s’agit d’embrasser cette complexité médiatique, c’est au regard d’un nombre impressionnant de perspectives que nous reproduisons ci-dessous. Gageons que tous les chercheurs férus de Comic Books trouveront dans cette liste chaussure à leur pied avant le 1er décembre prochain.

When Stan Lee and Steve Ditko first penned a short story about a young man named Peter Parker who gets bit by a radioactive spider and becomes the hero known as Spider-Man, little did they know they would be creating the most popular super-hero in history (next to Batman). Like most “happy accidents,” the creation of Spider-Man almost did not happen. It was initially a throw away a story in a magazine that was getting cancelled anyway.
Stan Lee and Steve Ditko had hit upon a character that was different from all the others and one that everyone could relate to. Peter Parker (Spider-Man’s alter ego) was a teenager who had money/girl/family problems that he continued to struggle with even though he had “amazing” powers. He was in high school and had to learn some hard lessons of life. When Parker first got his powers, he used them to make money and get fame. But when he failed to stop a burglar who would eventually kill his Uncle Ben in a robbery attempt, he learned that “with great power, comes great responsibility.” Since Stan Lee wrote those words in 1962, they have become the most quoted comic book words in history and have served as a cautionary note pertinent far beyond the boundaries of the comic or film frame.
Since 1962, there have been no less than 10 different titles featuring Spider-Man, 5 different animated series, a live action series, animated movies, a live action series in Japan, and 3 very successful movies grossing a total of $2.4 billion and breaking box office records
The editors are seeking articles of around 4-6,000 words (No LONGER) discussing the phenomena of Spider-Man or its off-shoots related to the comics, films, animated series, games, television series, history etc.
Some possible topics to be addressed include


• The real meaning of “with great power comes great responsibility” and Uncle Ben’s life and influence on Peter Parker
• Dr. Octopus almost marrying Aunt May
• May Day Parker, Spider-Girl and the alternate universe
• Spider-Girl as a fan driven title
• J. Jonah Jameson and his hatred of Spider-Man
• Spider-Woman the first female off shoot
• The various Spider-Girls
• How did Amazing Fantasy 15 change the world?
• The Death of Aunt May
• The Clone Saga
• The various Spidey costumes: Black, Red/Blue/Maroon
• Venom and Carnage: Why did these particular villains become the most popular of all Spidey Villians?
• Spider-Man’s role in Civil War
• The Gwen Stacy affair
• Spider-Man’s uneasy relationship with the police
• The Green Goblin (Norman Osborne) and his love/hate relationship with Peter Parker
• The various Goblins: Green Goblin1&2/Hobgoblin/Demigoblin (What ties them together? Differences?)
• The artistic style of Steve Ditko
• The roots of Spider-Man (The old pulp hero The Spider)
• The writing of Gerry Conway
• The art of John Romita Sr. and John Romita Jr. on Spider-Man
• The New Fantastic Four-Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, Hulk, and Wolverine
• The relationship between Madame Web and Spider-Man
• Spider-Man’s role in the New Avengers
• The work of J. Michael Straczynski on the title
• How did Todd McFarlane change the Spider-Man world both through his art and writing?
• The first Marvel/DC crossover-Spider-Man meets Superman
• Why was the live action Spider-Man television series a big flop?
• Spider-Man 2099-A different kind of Spider-Man
• Comparisons between Nicholas Hammond and Tobey McGuire as Peter Parker
• What kind of creative licenses did the movies take that differ from the sequential art stories? How were they similar?
• Zombie Spider-Man
• Mary Jane comics and novels: teen romance in the Spider-Man world
• Spider-Man as an ideal children’s hero
• Spider-Man fan films and fiction
• Spider-Man as an ethical gauge for human behavior
• One of the first Super-Hero record albums: Spiderman: Rock Reflections of a Superhero
• The Scarlet Spider-who is he? What is his role in the Spidey universe?
• The Ultimate Spider-Man: What are the similarities and differences between the Ultimate version of the writing of Brian Michael Bendis on Ultimate Spider-Man
• Spidey Super Stories: An experiment in reading for children
• Spider-Man overseas? Why do the Europeans love Spider-Man as much as the Americans? What is his universal appeal?
• Mattie Franklin (Spider-Woman 3) and her relationship to J. Jonah Jameson as a surrogate father
• Peter Parker’s sister?
• The Red Skull and the killing of Peter-Parker’s parents
• Spider-related groups and societies: Spider Society; Webcorps
• Kraven the Hunter and his desire to be like the Spider
• J.M. DeMatties and the death of Kraven the Hunter
• The Vulture: A senior citizen as a villain
• The relationship between Captain America and Spider-Man
• Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends an animated series featuring Firestar and Ice-Man
• The Spider-Man family of heroes
• John Jameson and the Man-Wolf
• The Transformers: Spidey meets a Hasbro trademark
• The upcoming Spider-Man movie reboot
• Spider-Man as a barometer of the various historical periods in which he appears.
• The psychoanalytic aspects of Spider-Man, Peter, Mary Jane, etc.
• Spider-Man, Marvel, and the structure of the entertainment industry
• Spider-Man as ideology or counter-ideology
• Spider-Man, -Woman fandom and audience practice
• Spider-Man online
• Spider-Man as an urban (or particularly a New York) dweller

Please send 200 word abstracts by November 1st 2010 to
Rob Weiner
Rob.weiner@ttu.edu
Final papers will be due December 1st 2010. No exceptions. Please note the submission of an essay does NOT necessarily mean publication in the volume. The editors are striving to put together as tight a collection as possible with many diverse viewpoints covering all aspects of Spider-Man’s career. Authors are also expected to follow the editor’s style guide and be willing to have their work edited.
Thank you

Robert Moses Peaslee
Department of Electronic Media and Communications
Texas Tech University

Rob Weiner
Texas Tech University Library
Box 40002
18&Boston
Lubbock Texas
79409-0002
Email: rob.weiner@ttu.edu

Benoît Berthou

Université Paris 13, LABSIC Directeur de la revue Comicalités. Etudes de culture graphique Rédacteur en chef des Carnets de la bande dessinée

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Comic Books and American Cultural History

Matthew Pustz, auteur de Comic book culture. Fanboys and true Believers, a récemment publié un appel à publication paru sur la liste H-Announce. Ce chercheur cherche de courts articles utilisant la bande dessinée pour construire une histoire culturelle des Etats-Unis. Contacté, le responsable de la publication n’est pas opposé à des propositions portant sur la bande dessinée européenne, dans la mesure où elles illustreraient des tendances de l’histoire et de la culture américaines, comme par exemple une analyse de Heavy Metal, version américaine de Métal hurlant. L’appel reproduit ci -dessous donne des précisions qu’il s’agira d’exploiter avant le 20 décembre prochain, date de remise des propositions.

Call for Papers: Comic Books and American Cultural History


Essays are currently being solicited for Comic Books and American Cultural History, a new anthology that will examine the ways in which comic books can be used to help us understand the history of the United States. Each essay of this proposed book will focus on a particular comic book, story/story arc, or graphic novel as a tool for analyzing some aspect of its original cultural and historical context. The essays in this anthology will not focus on the history of comic books per se, but rather on the history of the United States, with comic books being used as primary texts to support specific interpretations of American history. Because of this emphasis on the connections between comic books and America’s past, Comic Books and American Cultural History will prove to be a useful book for comics scholars, historians, and history teachers who want to integrate more popular culture into their courses.

The field of comics studies has seen a proliferation of book-length works in the last twenty years, but few of those books have examined American cultural history. For example, Of Comics and Men, by Jean-Paul Gabilliet, includes a very thorough explanation of the production and distribution history of American comic books, but there is less analysis of the actual content of the comic books themselves. Bradford Wright’s Comic Book Nation does examine some specific stories, but his work is a survey and, as such, cannot go into much depth about any one historical moment. In Secret Identity Crisis, Matthew Costello’s focus on the Cold War allows him to analyze his sources deeply, but other events and comics that do not fit into his framework are sometimes ignored. Comic Books and American Cultural History seeks to build off of these important works while also expanding the scope of comics scholarship by bringing together analyses on a wider variety of topics than what is possible in any of these books. In this way, Comic Books and American Cultural History will be especially useful as a collection of case studies demonstrating the ways in which comic books can be useful primary sources for the study of American cultural history.

The essays in Comic Books and American Cultural History will examine many different comic books and many different topics in American history. Possible sources can range from the 1930s to the present, and the collection will include essays focusing on mainstream, underground, alternative, and independent comics. Historical topics might feature discussions of the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the Counterculture of the 1960s, and 9/11, all examined from a cultural history perspective. Essays about aspects of gender, class, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation will be especially encouraged. The more specific the essay, the better it will fit into this collection in that it will allow for greater depth than would be possible with a more broadly defined primary text and a more broadly defined historical connection.

Completed essays will be between 5,000 and 7,000 words long.

Please send 500 word abstracts, complete contact information, and brief biographies of authors (as Word documents) to:

Matthew Pustz
Economics, History, and Political Science Department
Fitchburg State University
Fitchburg, MA 01420
mpustz@fitchburgstate.edu

Abstracts are due December 20, 2010. Completed essays will be due the beginning of June 2011.