CFP: Comic Books; Video Games (3/28/05; online journal)

full name / name of organization: 
Ken Chen
contact email: 

Comic Books and Video Games

Idea-bot Magazine invites submissions for two upcoming theme-issues:
comic book and video games. An online journal to be launched in April
2005, Idea-bot is an inter-disciplinary academic journal that, like the
London Review or the Boston Review of Books, seeks to make academic
discourse intelligible for the general public. We believe that a sense
of humor and personality are not antonyms with thoughtfulness,
creativity, and intellectual rigor. Idea-bot also views the magazine as
its own art form and seeks to use the magazine genre to explore
intellectual topics in ways that may not otherwise be possible in book
or journal form. We update four articles a week on politics, literature,
arts, film, and anthropology. Upcoming features include work by painter
Alex Katz, an interview with Henry Jenkins, Director of Comparative
Media Studies at MIT, a theme issue on the poetics of translation, and
"Sacred Cows," a five-part series of progressive essays critiquing the
dogmas of liberalism.

Idea-bot seeks essays that approach comic book and video games with the
assumption that these are legitimate art forms. We're interested in
essays that can approach these mediums from a general level, either from
a formalist or social-political analysis. What do these forms do that's
unique from other types of media? Are there specific works you can
analyze that exemplify this? What social milieu do these works occur in?

We're also looking for essays on specific works and creators; interviews
with academics and creators; original creative work (comics and video
games we could post online); and 500-word long "blips" that would help
readers unfamiliar with these topics understand their basic discursive
terminology (for example, short articles on the history of video games
or comics). Reviews and articles written too far within the fan culture
would probably not be appropriate. For both topics, we will be
publishing ongoing content, but for these specific themes, we would like
queries by Monday, 3/28/2005.

Comic Books have become part of both mainstream popular culture
(primarily in the form of movies and cartoons) and mainstream high
culture (in the work of Chris Ware, Adrian Tomine, Art Spiegelman, and
Dan Clowes). But as comics dilute themselves into Hollywood blockbusters
or New Yorker covers, what is left of the comic form itself? How does
the experience of reading a comic differ from that of experiencing other
mediums? Essays might focus on a poetics of the comic book format;
in-depth essay exploring a particular phenomenon or creator's work; the
sociology of comic book stores and readers; and the social subtext
behind comic books.

Video games are a burgeoning media, like film in the silent era, whose
formal properties are still establishing themselves. What are the
possibilities for this new media? How would you describe video games to
someone who'd never played them before? What are the most appropriate
discursive approaches to this new medium? Essays might cover on formal
properties unique to video games; the spurious link between video games
and violence; future possibilities of video games; sociology of online
communities; gender and race analysis of audiences.

Pieces should be rigorous and contribute to the discourse, but should
also be understandable to a general interest reader. Papers should be
between 2000 and 5000 words and explain terminology that will not be
understandable to someone outside the discourse. Please email a query
and writing samples (pasted in the body of email or as links) to

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Received on Thu Mar 24 2005 - 08:56:22 EST