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.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

ICAF CFP and Lent Scholarship


ICAF: International Comic Arts Forum, 14-16 April 2016



14-16 April 2016

University of South Carolina, Columbia

ICAF, the International Comic Arts Forum, invites proposals for scholarly papers for its eighteenth annual meeting, to be held at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, from Thursday, April 14, through Saturday, April 16, 2016. Confirmed guests include comics artists Howard Cruse, Keith Knight, Cece Bell, and Prof. Michael Chaney of Dartmouth College.

The deadline to submit proposals is November 6, 2015.

ICAF welcomes original proposals from diverse disciplines and theoretical perspectives on any aspect of comics or cartooning, particularly studies that reflect an international perspective. Studies of aesthetics, production, distribution, reception, and social, ideological, and historical significance are equally welcome, as are studies that address larger theoretical issues linked to comics or cartooning, for example in image/text studies or new media theory.

Among the thematic panels we hope to offer are Comics and the American South, Digital and Online Comics, and Superheroes; proposals are especially welcome in these areas.

PROPOSAL GUIDELINES: ICAF prefers argumentative, thesis-driven papers that are clearly linked to larger critical, artistic, or cultural issues; we avoid presentations that are summative or survey-like in character. We only accept original 20-minute papers that have not been presented or accepted for publication elsewhere. Presenters should assume an audience versed in comics and the fundamentals of comics studies. Where possible, papers should be illustrated by relevant images on PowerPoint. Proposals should not exceed 300 words.

REVIEW PROCESS: All proposals will be subject to blind review. Due to high interest in the conference, in recent years ICAF has typically been able to accept only about half of the proposals received.

SEND ABSTRACTS (with contact information, including state, province, or country of residence in the body of the email) by 6 November 2015, to C.W. Marshall, ICAF Academic Program Director, via email at <>.

Receipt of all proposals will be acknowledged. Applicants should expect to receive confirmation of acceptance or rejection by December 14, 2015.

ICAF also sponsors the John A. Lent Scholarship in Comics Studies. This scholarship is awarded to a current student who has authored, or is in the process of authoring, a substantial research-based writing project about comics. Applications for this scholarship are due by 8 January 2016. For more information and details of the application process, please visit our website. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Michigan State University's Comic Book Collection featured on podcast

Michigan State University's Comic Book Collection.

Comic Time (August 14 2015):

A 75-minute look at the collection headed by Randy Scott.

Friday, July 17, 2015

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMIC ART 17:1 (Spring 2015) Table of Contents

The new 675-page issue is out now. Available for order at

Visual Language: Neil Cohn and Kent Worcester in Conversation
Neil Cohn and Kent Worcester
From lcono-Iinguistic Unity to Semiotic Continuity: An Alternative Description of Semiotic Repertoire of Comics
Hubert Kowalewski
Origins and Definitions: Arguments for a Non-Essentialist Approach
Hannah Miodrag
Comic Composition; or When Kierkegaard and Cartoon Art Took to the Streets
Louise C. Larsen
The Archive as Comic: Aleksandar Zograf's "Polovni svet" and Post-Yugoslav Serbia
Paul Morton
Terry Hirst: The Renowned Trailblazer Editorial Cartoonist and Comics Author in Kenya
Msanii Kimani wa Wanjiru
The Waking Life of Winsor McCay: Social Commentary in A Pilgrim 's Progress by Mr. Bunion
Kirsten A. McKinney
An Australian Comic Breakthrough:Craig San Roque's The Long Weekend in Alice Springs. Adapted and drawn by Joshua Santospirito
Richard Scully and Joshua Santospirito
The 19th Oddity of Yunnan: Propaganda and Memory in Li Kunwu and Philippe Otie's Graphic Novel A Chinese Life
Nick Stember
Into the Present, by Way of a Non-Existent Past: Breccia, Trillo, and Alvar Mayor
Hector Fernandez L'Hoeste
Daumier's Deadline: Expedited Expressiveness and Franco-Belgian Cartooning
David Allan Duncan
Avant-Garde Abirached
Mark McKinney
The Self-named "Fool-in-chief": Cameroon's Hard-hitting Cartoonist, Nyemb Popoli
John A. Lent
Landscapes of Trauma in Grenier and Austini's Rwanda 1994
Jennifer Anderson Bliss
Against a "Tradition of the New": Architectural Criticism in Chip Kidd and Dave Taylor's Batman: Death by Design (2012)
Gorana Tolja
Bob Staake: "I don't Like the term cartoonist at all ... "
Michael Rhode
Leading British Politicians in The Times' and The Guardian's Cartoons 2010-2013
Monika Nowicka and Janusz Kazmierczak
Crossing the Line: Offensive and Controversial Cartoons in the 21st-Century -- "The View from Australia"
Richard Scully
UNMAD and Bangladeshi Cartooning: A Socio-Cultural Journey with a Bitter Sense of Humor
Mehedi Haque
The Mediated Appeal of Kawaii "Cute" Mascot Characters in Japanese Consumer Culture: A Case of Kumamon
Michael L. Maynard
Malay Pendekar: Silat Warrior in the Malaysia Graphic Novel
Muhamad Azhar Abdullah
Pioneers in Comic Art Scholarship
Oscar Steimberg and the Origins of Comics Studies in Argentina
John A. Lent and Pablo Turnes
German Comics after Unification: The Politics of Anke Feuchtenberger's Feminist Aesthetics
Elizabeth Nijdam
Comics Exhibitions in Contemporary France: Diversity and Symbolic Ambivalence
Jean-Matthieu Meon
The Gradual Nationalization of Comic Strips in Brazilian Newspapers
Paulo Ramos
Matt Wuerker on the Cartoonists Rights Network International
Michael Rhode
From Corporate to Collaborative Comics in India
Jeremy Stoll
Comics and Journalism: Witnessing the World with Pen and Paper
Joost Pollmann
Bandas Orientales: Una Experiencia de Historieta Historica Digital en el Marco Del Plan Ceibal
Maria Victoria Saibene Lopez
Comicvoice: Theory and Application
John Baird
Considering the Perception of Time and Sequential Images in Digital Comics
Davey Sams
Teaching Graphic Novels and Manga at the University
Marc Wolterbeek
Measuring the Impact of Free Comic Book Day in Singapore
Philip Smith
The Motif of the Wound in Attack on Titan
Asuka Yamazaki
Personal Remembrances: Interviews with Seven Recently-Deceased Giants in Cartooning and Animation
John A. Lent
Vins: Chronicler of Life and Times
Mrinal Chatterjee and Triambak Sharma
The Printed Word
John A. Lent
Book Reviews
Kirsten M0llegaard
Philip Smith
Andrew Lesk
John A. Lent
Exhibition and Media Reviews
Edited by Michael Rhode
David Robertson
Nick Nguyen
Michael Hill

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Latest International Journal of Comic Art out

675 pages! Subscribe at http://

Table of contents will be posted here tomorrow.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Future in Comics CFP (UPDATED)



Organizers: The research group on comics at the English Department, Stockholm University


Where and When: Stockholm, 3rd-5th September

Call for papers, deadline/ Notification of acceptance: 10th of May, 2015/15th of May, 2015




E-mail for submissions: Submissions will be handled via easychair:


This conference aims to investigate ways in which comics explore the idea of "future." Its goal is to gather scholars from the field of comic studies and related fields, such as linguistics, philosophy, literary studies, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, film studies as well as others that can discover a conceptual connection to the rigorous study of comics. Given our broad and yet specific purpose, we aim to discuss work on comics originating from all major traditions: French bande desineé, American and British comics, Italian fumetti, Japanese manga, and so on. In pursuing this cross-cultural approach, we wish to discuss not only how different conceptions of the future in comics can be compared and analysed, but also how comics offer unorthodox modes of representation that allow for creative, intellectual freedom that may be different from literature and cinema. In particular, we are interested in, but not limited to, discussing these themes:


·         The cross-roads between utopia and dystopia (e.g. Gundam's Universal Century);

·         Transmetropolitan's representation of life in "the city", Harlock's 30th century, the world of Rogue Trooper);

·         Apocalypses and new beginnings (e.g. Nausicaä's tragic millennium, Authority's new world, X-Men's days of future past, El eternauta's alien invasion);

·         The cities of the future (e.g. Dredd's Mega city one, Akira's neo-Tokyo, RanXeroX's Rome);

·         The humans of the future: mutants, augmented humans and cyborgs (e.g. Major Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell, Tony Stark in Iron Man; 2000 A.D.'s ABC Warriors);

·         The politics of the future (e.g. Bilal's Nicopol Trilogy, Oshi's Patlabor trilogy, Marvel's Civil War);

·         Time and history (e.g. Watchmen, Planetary, Neon Genesis Evangelion);

·         Nostalgia for future pasts (e.g. Nadia, Arzach, Tom Strong, Satellite Sam);

·         Elaborations and revisitations of futures in comics (Pluto, Time2, Le Transperceneige);

·         Futures set in stone, and how to avoid or reach them (X-Men's days of future past, AppleSeed, The Invisibles).


We hope to create a conference that not only discusses these topics and uncovers how they have been addressed in comics about the future, but also to lay the foundations of future research on these topics and develop new tools for advanced comics studies. We welcome abstracts between 400 and 500 words, excluding references and title. At the moment, we are aiming at securing publishing rights for selected papers from this conference, aiming at publication in December 2016.


For further information, please contact us at:

Electronic registration will start by the 16th of May.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Webinar invitation for April 7th international MOOC discussion

Anyone who would like to link a classroom outside the U.S. with a comics-related classroom at the University of Washington can contact Michael Dean at

International Course Collaboration
Connect your professors and students to partners in the United States using online technology

Dear colleagues,

We invite you to join us in an effort to deepen global engagement of students in the classroom, without requiring travel abroad, by implementing project-based online collaboration within existing courses.  Since 2013, the University of Washington Bothell has been implementing an initiative that connects classes on our campus to those in Egypt, India, Peru, South Africa and others. Read more at:  

We are looking to expand the effort and engage new partners – you!  Please join us for a free, one-hour introductory online workshop, intended for professors and administrators who would like to explore collaborating with University of Washington faculty on courses in the future.

Introduction to COIL Webinar
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 | 2:30-3:30pm Pacific Time

The online workshop, presented by UW Bothell International Collaboration Facilitator, Greg Tuke, and his colleague Karim Ashour from Future University in Egypt, will introduce the COIL* approach and discuss some of the communication tools used – Skype video, closed Facebook groups, student-produced videos – to have students work directly and deeply with each other across cultures and countries.  Register by March 31 by emailing Following this, we will send you a link to the webinar.

As a preview, I invite you to watch Greg discuss his Global Media and Social Change course:

* COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) is an approach to fostering global competence through development of a multicultural learning environment that links university classes in different countries. Using various communication technologies, students from different countries complete shared assignments and projects, with faculty members from each country co-teaching and managing coursework.

Technology-enabled global engagement is a growing internationalization trend, as highlighted in a recent article published by NAFSA on this topic, "New Windows on the World" by Christopher Connell, NAFSA International Educator, May/June 2014.

We look forward to working with you.



Natalia Dyba

Director of Global Initiatives

University of Washington Bothell

UW1-186 | Box 358555

18115 Campus Way NE | Bothell, WA 98011



Sunday, March 1, 2015

Review: The Art of Richard Thompson, from the next issue

Book Reviews

Apatoff, David, Nick Galifianakis, Mike Rhode, Chris Sparks, and Bill Watterson. The Art of Richard Thompson. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel, 2014. 224 pp. $35. 978-1-4494-4795-3.

            Richard Thompson is one of the United States' premier cartoonists, having received accolades from stalwarts such as Pat Oliphant, who called him "Michelangelo with a sense of humor"; Edward Sorel, who thinks of him as "one of the best comic artists of his time"; and Arnold Roth, who "salutes" him for the "delightful absolute excellence of [his] artwork and thinking." Anyone familiar with Thompson's subtle and cerebral humor cartoons knows he is more than deserving of these remarks.

            Certainly the authors of The Art of Richard Thompson (David Apatoff, Nick Galifianakis, Mike Rhode, Chris Sparks, and Bill Watterson), all friends, feel that way as they assess his career, work habits, and personality, through observations of, interviews and discussions with, him, his own delightful essays, and many examples of his varied styles and forms of comic art.

            Thompson's oeuvre consists of, at least, illustrations, summary-type cartoons (his long-running "Richard's Poor Almanac" in the Washington Post), caricatures, and an award-winning comic strip ("Cul de Sac"), portrait-paintings, humorous writing, and rhyming ditties. The authors (pushed by self-named "The Enforcer" Mike Rhode) write in a light-hearted, humorous manner that fits Thompson's personality and work. Though they justifiably heap praise on him, they do so with levity and much admiration. The images chosen to supplement the text reflect Thompson's exquisite art, deep literary, history, music, and trivia knowledge, and brilliant use of language in captions containing silly rhymes, bon mots, and well-thought-out parodies. A few examples: an illustration labeled "Manhattan, 240, 193 B.C." showing a graffiti-splattered mammoth; subversive and cynical satirical everyday events, such as "Benjamin Franklin Cartoonist," showing his political contemporaries not understanding the symbolism of his "Join, or Die" cartoon, or "An Introduction to Electronic Voting," where the technology fails miserably; and, to the surprise of this reviewer, refined (or simply-drawn) and artistically, often contextually-funny caricatures that interviewer and acclaimed caricaturist John Kascht said, "capture(s) a likeness in a new way. Your drawing isn't like him, it is him."

            A number of Thompson's caricatures are of classical music maestros that he liked and whose works he played earlier when he was a pianist; others were of politicians (Ross Perot emerging mole-like on the White House lawn or Bill Clinton discretely discarding his wedding band upon laying eyes on a scantily-clad lass), entertainers (Elizabeth Taylor loaded down with a slew of expensive fur coats on a blistering hot day -- even the head of one of the furry animals she wears pleads for water), literati, sports figures, and more. In the interview, Thompson explained he draws people he likes or admires (exceptions George W. Bush and Jesse Helms), without anger, from memory, seeking to find his subject's "emotion."

            Seeing that Thompson's "Cul de Sac" has been favorably compared to the classic "Calvin & Hobbes," it seems natural that Bill Watterson would interview him. (To get Watterson to come out of seclusion for the occasion was a feat in itself.) The interview serves a double usage, mixing Watterson's experiences and views with those of his interviewee. Obviously, Thompson knows and appreciates the works of fellow comic strip artists, slipping into "Cul de Sac" an occasional "Little Neuro in Slumberland" or a subtle reference to a "Peanuts" character.

            The Art of Richard Thompson is a masterpiece, beautifully designed, intelligently planned, and craftily written. It will bring joy and laughter to the casual reader, knowledge about the whos, whys, and hows of cartooning to practitioners and scholars, and aesthetic pleasure to the art-inclined. It is a book that can comfortably grace a coffee table, fill a slot in a library reference section, or sit on the drawing table of a cartoonist.

            John A. Lent