Drawing on the Past: Comic Creators wanted to mix it up with archaeologists, historians for London conference

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Drawing on the Past is a two-day conference on comics and the pre-modern world at Senate House in London on 10-11th September 2018  – and the organisers are looking for comic creators who fancy being involved in workshops/ reading groups with some historians and archeologists at the event.

The conference has already invited abstracts for papers, posters and interactive workshops on any aspect of comics set in the pre-modern world to be presented at the event. The brief has a broad chronological and geographical scope, from the Bronze Age onwards, including but not limited to Greece, Rome, Egypt, Near East, Ancient Norse, Mesoamerica etc.

The concept of comics itself is similarly broadly interpreted, covering different traditions including but not limited to the American graphic novel, the Franco-Belgian tradition, and Japanese manga. Contributions may focus on series as well as on individual episodes, including those from series that do not consistently engage with the pre-modern world.

“We hope to capture a wide variety of experiences of comics and the pre-modern world,” say the organisers, who are Leen Van Broeck and Dr Zena Kamash from Royal Holloway, and University of Winchester archaeology lecturer Katy Soar, “so the conference will be aimed at academics (PGR, ECR and established), teachers, and artists.

Suitable topics for discussion might include:

  • how and why writers and illustrators engage with these periods and cultures in comics;
  • literary, historical or archaeological analysis of comics, for example:
    • accuracy of representation and poetic licence
    • engagement with sources
    • cultural fusions
    • allegorical uses
    • connections to modern nationalistic histories
  • use as pedagogical tools in the classroom (including translations of comics into Latin or Ancient Greek);
  • comics as methods for communicating historical research of the pre-modern world.

Papers should be 20 minutes each; workshops no more than 1 ½ hours; posters can be A1 or A2 size. Please submit 300-word abstracts or 500-word workshop proposals (and if you’re a comic creator interested in being involved) to leen.vanbroeck.2014@live.rhul.ac.uk by 22nd December 2017. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out no later than 31 January 2018.

This conference is made possible with the generous assistance of the Institute of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London.

• Check out the conference web site at drawingonthepast.wordpress.com

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a “freelance comics operative”, currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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