New McFarland Essay Anthology: The Punk Aesthetic in Comics

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Christopher Field, Keegan Lannon, Michael MacBride, and Christopher Douglas

We have just received a contract from McFarland to compile a multi-contributor manuscript on comic books and the punk aesthetic. Comics have long had a connection with subculture. In the punk movement, comics found an aesthetic that could help preach a message to the counterculture. This collection will include essays that examine how both mainstream and underground comics/comix have borrowed from and used the punk aesthetic for their own means.

The OED indicates that the earliest usage of "punk" occurs in 1575, and then it was used as a synonym for prostitute, but the word has come a long way since then, and it has taken on many different permutations. Rather than attempt to form a unified definition of "punk," we encourage submissions to take advantage of the flexibility of this word and to examine the punk aesthetic in unique and original directions. Furthermore, submissions are encouraged to explore texts from outside of the obligatory UK/US discussion, and certainly before the typical 1970s "start date" of the punk movement.

Essay Format/Style:
Essays are to be 5000-7500 words long (typed and double-spaced) and should be written in clear, concrete terms, avoiding jargon whenever possible. Shorter essays may be accepted, but, in general, we are looking for thoroughly researched, scholarly discussions of the topic. We do want to encourage contributors to use images in their submissions. Because of the reluctance of some publishers to release their images for scholastic purposes, however, there will also be a need to limit those images. As a general guideline, contributors will need to avoid using comic book covers and use no more than 2-3 images in their submission. We must also mention that contributors should avoid using song lyrics in their articles. While we understand the difficulties involved with writing about a cultural movement that is closely tied to music without being able to include lyrics from the songs that are a part of the movement, the rights to those songs are often aggressively defended by the copyright holders and we will be unable to secure permissions to use any song lyrics in the finished project. If you are invited to contribute your article to this collection, each author must provide us with ownership of the essay, the exclusive right to publish it, and you must seek permission from McFarland to republish any of the material as long as they are causing the book to be sold. Citations should appear in endnotes, and documentation and citations should follow MLA format. For specifics, see the guidelines outlined here:

Anyone interested in contributing an essay should contact the editors at the email address, with a brief proposal (1-2 paragraphs) and a short description of their professional, educational, and publishing background no later than Monday, June 2, 2014. Invited essays will be due as e-mail attachments no later than Monday, January 19, 2015. Further information will be sent later to those who are invited to submit essays.

Possible primary texts include (but are not intended to be restricted to):
Air Gear
Books of Magick: Life during Wartime
Cromartie High School
East Coast Rising
Fashion Beast
Ghost in the Shell
Ghost World
Honour among Punks
Hopeless Savages
How Loathsome
Judge Dredd
Kill Your Boyfriend
Kyou Kara Ore Wa!!
Love and Rockets
Mardock Scramble
Peter Pank
Punk Rock Jesus
Scott Pilgrim
Shonan Junai Gumi (Shonan Purelove Gang) & Great Teacher Onizuka
Tank Girl
The Invisibles
Underground Comix
V for Vendetta
Webcomics: xkcd, Nothing Nice to Say, The Oatmeal

If you have any questions, you should not hesitate to contact us at the following email address: