Writing Visual Culture: Digital Comics – Call for papers

ROK Comics digital audio comic title "Houdini Adventures"
ROK Comics digital audio comic title “Houdini Adventures”

Writing Visual Culture is the open access, double-blind peer-reviewed journal of the University of Hertfordshire’s TVAD Research Group. The journal’s focus is the relationship between text, narrative and image. We are currently seeking submissions for a new themed edition examining the world of digital comics.

The medium of comics is undergoing a period of transition as the popular mode of creation, distribution and consumption shifts from print to digital display. This is a transition that has been underway since before the general adoption of the World Wide Web and recent advances in portable digital display has only served to accelerate the pace of this change.

Digital comic pioneers have pushed at the boundaries of the medium and explored the possibilities offered by the inherent interactivity of the medium and the multimodality of computing devices. Today, smart phones and tablet computers provide a single platform of consumption on which comics, film, animation, games and other interactive visual media are equally at home. Now as comics gradually leave behind the tropes and trappings of print and embrace those of the screen, we also see the emergence of new hybrid forms that appropriate tropes from other screen-based media.

Against this background, papers focused towards the following areas would sit well within a themed edition of Writing Visual Culture:

•    New and emergent digital comic forms and technologies.
•    Changes to the underlying structures of the form as a result of digital mediation.
•    Crossovers, adaptation and hybridisation between comics and videogames.
•    Motion comics and animated adaptations of the form.
•    Acts of reading and the impact of digital mediation.
•    Aesthetic and Literary analysis of digital comic narratives.
•    Digital distribution, changes in the industry and the threat of piracy.
•    Webcomics, widening readerships, minority voices and fan cultures.
•    Multimodality and comics relationship with larger transmedia narratives.

Although other areas relevant to the study of digital comics will also be considered.

• Abstracts of 200 words for papers of 3000 to 6000 words should be submitted via e-mail to Daniel Merlin Goodbrey at wvcATe-merl.com by Monday 19th August. Abstracts should specify the research question or issue that you are addressing and make clear the connection between your paper and the Digital Comics theme. Proposed papers must be original and not have been published already or accepted for publication elsewhere.

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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