ImageTech: Comics and Materiality

deadline for submissions: 
October 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies
contact email: 

ImageTech: Comics and Materiality

Special Issue Editors: Madeline B. Gangnes, Megan Fowler, and Jaquelin Elliott

ImageTexT invites authors to submit articles for its special issue, “ImageTech: Comics and Materiality.”

Comics as a medium has always prompted comics creators to work in concert with, and push against, the technologies through which their works are produced and distributed. As print and digital technologies have become more sophisticated, accessible, and affordable, some comics creators have embraced innovative digital technologies, while others prefer pen and ink on paper. From meticulous series of woodblock prints, to humble black-and-white photocopied zines, to decade-long online epics, comics are fundamentally concerned with technologically-determined formats and materiality.

At a time when comics creation and circulation have become increasingly digital, we call on scholars to (re)evaluate the myriad ways in which we physically experience comics. This special issue of ImageTexT aims not only explore relationships among comics and various technologies, but to interrogate the digital/analog divide in comics creation and scholarship. How does form dictate content, and vice versa? How do digital platforms affect engagement and accessibility? Why do some comics creators deliberately adhere, or return, to analog technologies? In short: how do we understand and approach the material considerations of comics?

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Digital comics (comics created and/or hosted/distributed digitally)
  • Print forms and “legitimacy” (monetization, privileged status of print)
  • Comics thematically or visually concerned with technologies (steampunk, cyberpunk)
  • Comics incorporating elements of other media (flash animation, animated gifs)
  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) comics
  • Comics made using unusual/older technologies (wood-block prints, paper cut-outs, collage, found materials) and/or creators’ use of disparate technologies
  • Zines or other periodicals that incorporate comics
  • Transitions in specific comics series from print to digital or from digital to print (potential problems/losses, transitioning forms as “translation,” introduction or removal of page turns and/or gutters)
  • Impact of social media on proliferation of image-texts (reblogs, memes, remixes, fandom/fan art, fan/composer dialogues)
  • Format and accessibility (hosting platforms, open source vs. paywalls, ads, digital copying, replication/reproduction, coding, Easter eggs)
  • Comics as a format for critical scholarship

Please submit full articles of no more than 10,000 words to Madeline B. Gangnes (mbgangnes@ufl.edu) by October 15, 2018. Please also read the ImageTexT submission guidelines: http://www.engl.../submissions.shtml.