SECOND Call for Proposals (*Updated* August 15th, 2016): Collection of Essays on HOW TO ANALYZE AND REVIEW COMICS

deadline for submissions: 
August 15, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Forrest C. Helvie, Ph.D.
contact email: 

Have you ever read a review of a comic or graphic novel on a website and felt like you were only reading a book report? How many of you noticed an article in an academic journal that focused on one of your favorite graphic novels, but it ended up glossing over – or completely forgetting – to mention aspects of the art and dryly deconstructed the narrative?

Comics continue to grow in popularity within high school and college classrooms across the country. However, teachers less familiar with comics may struggle to integrate these highly accessible books into their classroom and would benefit from an accessible and concise primer on how to analyze and review content this up-and-coming medium. Along similar lines, students may be unfamiliar with the medium and unable to fully appreciate the various elements of the comic book format from an academic and critical perspective. Likewise, many bloggers, online journalists, or academics struggle with providing a comprehensive analysis of the visual elements of comics due to a lack of familiarity with the conventions of the medium in a way that is both critical and yet appealing to a general audience.

This collection seeks to address these concerns and more through providing readers with a brief and accessible primer on how to approach comics from a critical and informed perspective. Whether one is a teacher looking for a means to dissect an original graphic novel as part of a new lesson plan, a students seeking a deliberate method for better understanding visual storytelling to helping, or a budding journalist desiring to write more thorough literary analysis, this book seeks to fill those needs. Many comic professionals lament the number of reviews and articles being published in popular, mainstream outlets that fail to “get” comics, and while this collection does not aim to address every possible aspect of writing about comics, it does look to help guide writers in a better direction than what many are presently taking.

For this collection, the editor seeks essays along the following lines:

Essays (1,000-2,500 words) that cover HOW TO ANALYZE:

  • Line work
  • Colors
  • Lettering

ESSAYS (1,000-2,500 WORDS) that cover the following topics:

  • Fact v. Opinion: Keeping It Professional
  • Tone: Using an Objective, Active Voice While Keeping Your Personality
  • Conducting a Written Interview: The Basics

A number of other topics have already been selected and finished; however, you may also submit subjects not listed. Please keep in mind the primary audiences for this collection are high school and early undergraduate students as well as mainstream bloggers and journalists. As such, essays must make use of a mainstream – and not heavily academic style.

Please submit a 250 word abstract along with your CV to Forrest C. Helvie at NO LATER THAN August 15th. Notice of acceptance will be given by August 19th if not sooner. Completed drafts will be due by September 15th.