CFP [SCMS Panel] 7/31/09; 3/17/10-3/21/10; Los Angeles

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Douglas A. Cunningham
contact email: 

CFP: Society for Cinema Media Studies Conference, Los Angeles, March 2010

Motion comics are (in most cases) digitized, panel-by-panel, animated translations of comic books or graphic novels. This new medium has gained high visibility most recently as a result of Warner Bros.' adaption of D.C.'s WATCHMEN into the motion comics format as part of the studio's overall efforts to promote the live-action film version of the famed graphic novel. Several additional comics have, however, been adapted into this format, including BATMAN: BLACK AND WHITE, STEPHEN KING'S "N.", I AM LEGEND, SPIDER WOMAN, and ASTONISHING X-MEN, among many others.

Some of the most interesting aspects of motion comics concern the ways in which different studios have developed different styles for the animation of their static source materials. While some adhere as strictly as possible to the integrity of the original comic panels, to include the use of "speech/text bubbles" and extremeley limited use of character movement (e.g., WATCHMEN), others stay true to the oringinal art work of the comic source but resemble much more closely traditional "Saturday-morning-cartoon" animation looks and techniques (e.g., THE ASTONISHING X-MEN). Still others use no animation at all, relying instead on camerawork to "animate" still images (e.g., STEPHEN KING'S "N.").

Topics to consider include (but are not limited to):

- The history of motion comics and their future
- Motion comics as a "cross-over" medium between still and moving images
- The problematics of "authenticity" in motion comics
- "Three-dimensionality" in motion comics
- The technologies of motion comics
- The impacts of new media on motion comics; in other words, how do smaller, portable screens affect the rise and formats of motion comics
- Motion comics as "supplementary" franchise material for major motion pictures (e.g., BATMAN BEGINS, I AM LEGEND, THE DARK KNIGHT, WATCHMEN)
- The formal aspects of motion comics; in other words, how do motion comics formally walk the line between maintaining the integrity of their source materials while, at the same time, presenting themselves as a new medium

300-word proposals due by July 31st. Send to Dr. Doug Cunningham,