News about the premier academic journal devoted to all aspects of cartooning and comics -- the International Journal of Comic Art (ISSN 1531-6793) published and edited by John Lent.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

CFP: Mix 2012: A Comics Symposium, Marathon and Exhibition

UPDATE: We've extended the deadline for the CFP to July 6. We've posted the revised call on this webpage:

Mix 2012: A Comics Symposium, Marathon and Exhibition
Call for Papers, and Roundtable and Workshop Proposals 

Keynote Speaker:
Symposium Dates:
Proposal Deadline:
Chris Ware
Epic Narratives
October 4 – 6, 2012
June 4, 2012
Columbus College of Art & Design's Mix 2012 is comprised of three events: a symposium, a comics marathon (a student competition), and a comics exhibition. 
This call invites proposals for papers, workshops and roundtables for the Comics Symposium, a celebration of and investigation into the art of the comic book, the graphic novel, and other book-length forms of sequential art narrative, featuring keynote guest Chris Ware, author of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth. Consistent with the work of its keynote speaker, the Comics Symposium will be a two-day event for papers, workshops and roundtables, built around the theme "Epic Narratives".  Details on the panel topics are below.  Some of these panels will also connect to the hands-on workshops and discussion roundtables that follow them.
Designed to bring together a variety of perspectives in an open and welcoming environment, the College encourages submissions from artists, writers, educators, publishers, students, curators, and critics.  As a proposal for a paper, workshop or roundtable is being reviewed, consideration will be given to this diverse population.  Note that special consideration is also given to proposals which emphasize cross-disciplinary approaches and/or formats, and to roundtables or workshop proposals that connect the symposium theme and its panels to hands-on practice.
Proposals for papers for the following panels are welcome:
  • The Epic Ordinary: Contemporary Life and the Epic Narrative in Comics
Contemporary comics regularly feature mundane subjects, characters, and plots that tend to emphasize routines of work, domesticity and leisure, and the dissatisfaction, boredom, and anxiety that come with contemporary life. However, through the art form's unique language of image and word, these same comics sometimes reach for and achieve an epic scope and/or tone. Works as diverse as Harvey Pekar's series American Splendor and Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth challenge our understanding of what "epic" means. This panel will consider the dialogue between form and content, and examine how comics find the extraordinary in the ordinary. Panel Chair: Robert Loss
  • Extraordinary Epics: Reshaping History and Myth in Contemporary Comics
Modern visions of heroism and adventure remain important elements of mainstream and small-press comics, frequently drawing on history and myth for inspiration and reconsideration. At times these works explicitly and implicitly use the characters and structures handed down from the epic poem. This panel will examine the literary tradition of epic forms and its non-traditional uses by contemporary comic artists. In what ways do comics encourage us to reconsider the past? How influential is the serial publication format of many, if not most, comics? Is heroism an outdated idea? Panel Chair: Craig Fischer
  • Dimensions of Gender: Depictions of Sex, Sexuality and Gender in Comics
This interdisciplinary panel explores the various ways that sex, sexuality and gender are depicted in graphic narrative and design. Comics and graphic novels do not shy from sex, but what of its depictions of "typical" body type, gender identity and sexuality? The comic art form is in a unique position to shape a generation's ideals and often mark inter-generational changes in these ideas within our society. From words and deeds, to lines and colors, this panel explores the multiple dimensions that create the gender and the sexual identities of comic figures. This panel offers many roads of inquiry. Panel Chair: Jon Racster
  • Sustainability or Apocalypse? Imagining the Future Through Comics
The future is a frequent topic in comics, be it the dystopian visions of Frank Miller's Give Me Liberty, Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo; or the science-fiction of Flash Gordon, Moebius' The Airtight Garage and Alan Moore's Tomorrow Stories, among many others. Ideas, hopes, and fears about the future are traditions of the comic book genre dating to its earliest incarnations. What can comics tell us about the way we perceive the future today? This session will explore the explicit and implicit arguments about the possibility of a sustainable future, and why comics—like much popular art—so often depict a grim Earth ravaged by ecological disaster. Is this simply a matter of the need for conflict in narrative, or does it reflect uncertainty, pessimism, and even naiveté about the power of science and technology? What are the alternatives? Panel Chair: Kim Landsbergen
Proposals for workshops that are linked to the panels listed above are welcome. Proposal topics for additional panels and roundtables could include:
  • Historical, Cultural and Ethnic Perspectives and Subjects in Comics
  • Form and Style Considerations in Comics
  • Images of Violence: Realism, Morality, Exploitation
  • Digital Comics and the Technology of Making and Distributing Comics
  • Depictions of 'Other' in Comics
  • Curating Challenges
  • Gender & Sexuality Representations
  • Manga and Anime
  • Comics and Memoir

Please read these instructions and additional guidelines before submitting:
  • Submit one proposal as one electronic document containing the following information:
    • a 200-word maximum abstract or description of the paper, workshop or roundtable to be presented
    • a copy of the presenter's CV or resume
Important Notes:
Applicants may submit only one (1) proposal
Applicants must not include additional media files
Group proposals must include CV/resume information for all participants
  • All sessions will have access to a projection screen and digital projector which can be run from an available desktop computer or a personal laptop. Any other audio-visual needs must be noted in the proposal and are subject to CCAD approval.
  • If individual participation in the symposium must be limited to a certain time or day, it should be indicated in the proposal.  CCAD cannot guarantee that the symposium schedule will be able to accommodate individual scheduling limitations. 
  • Those selected to contribute to a panel or other symposium event will have their registration fees waived; however, no additional funding will be provided. Papers must be presented in person.
  • Applicants will be notified by July 2, 2012 of their proposal's status.
  • The schedule will be finalized in August 2012.
If you have read the above and agree to these terms, submit your proposal to:
Questions should be directed to: Robert Loss, Programming Chair,
Mission Statement: 
Columbus College of Art & Design prepares tomorrow's creative leaders for professional careers. With a history of commitment to fundamentals and quality, CCAD advances a distinct, challenging, and inclusive learning culture that supports individual development in art, design, and the humanities.
About the College and the City:
Columbus College of Art & Design is located in downtown Columbus, Ohio in a thriving, up-tempo environment. Numerous hotels are within close proximity by cab, rental car or public transportation. Specific parking lots on the CCAD campus will be reserved for symposium participants. Columbus is served by Port Columbus International Airport, roughly 15 minutes from campus and the downtown area. Nearby attractions include the Columbus Museum of Art (across the street from CCAD), the Thurber House, the Ohio Statehouse, the Short North gallery district, and the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at The Ohio State University.