Accessible Comics Design Competition Launched by the Accessible Comics Collective

Accessible Comics Design Competition Launched by the Accessible Comics Collective

Following two public forums on Comics for Blind and Low Vision Readers, America’s SF State’s Accessible Comics Collective has launched a competition, open internationally, seeking proposals for teams to produce comics in accessible formats, and help push the comics industry forward.

The Accessible Comics Collective is an ongoing collaboration at SFSU between Comics, Studies, the Program for Visual Impairment, and the Longmore Institute, to explore ways of making comics accessible for blind and low vision readers.

The Proposal Deadline is 30th June 2022 and selected teams will be awarded a cash prize of $1500 to bring their piece to fruition. 

Here’s the full announcement, and here’s a link to the submission form – but do read the outline below before you submit!

The Accessible Comics Collective is seeking proposals from individuals or teams to produce comics in accessible formats and welcomes submissions that adapt a traditional comic into an accessible version for blind and low vision readers, either from an existing comic or one created for the purpose of this charrette; or produce a new comic that is “born accessible.”

Recognising that no one size fits all, applicants may consider multiple approaches to accessibility such as but not limited to:

  • Physical and/or digital media that promote nonvisual engagement;
  • Multimodal interactions via audio, tactile, and/or haptic approaches;
  • Other technological innovations. 

We see these projects as demonstrations to the comics industry of the possibilities for making comics accessible, and spurring further innovation and widespread integration of accessible comics. 

Proposal Criteria 

Comics must be at least six pages in length (or of comparable scope, as we recognise that some formats may not correspond to traditional page formats), with inclusion of at least one Blind/Low Vision member on the design team (if you need assistance connecting to the blind community, please reach out to us for help – we will help with matchmaking). Along with new projects, we are open to existing projects currently in the prototype stage.

Proposals should include the following:

  • Names and background of each team member;
  • A brief statement articulating your interest and (if relevant) past experience in accessible media;
  • A description of how the comic will be accessible (all in one form or created with an accessible accompaniment);
  • Sample work from team members that demonstrates the feasibility of the project; 
  • A timeline and description of any particular resource needs. 

While we understand that not all portions of your work will yet be made accessible, the proposal needs to be presented so that blind and low vision members of the selection committee can assess the quality of any work samples provided. 

We encourage applicants to explore the video recordings from our Accessible Comics Symposium held in August 2021 for inspiration and guidance as your proposals take shape.

All projects will be shared publicly via an online program and displayed at SF State in late 2022 or 2023. We expect the exhibition will also travel to help bring awareness about the need for accessible comics and the diversity of approaches.

• Submit a Proposal with your Team Using This Google Form

Rights: Authors will retain ownership and copyright of all submitted work. The Accessible Comics Collective retains rights to exhibit the work and use the works for the purpose of dissemination, publicizing our efforts, and community education in perpetuity.

Resources

Have questions? Please contact Nick Sousanis, sousanis@sfsu.edu

The Event Sponsors are Paths to Accessibility 501(c)3; American Printing House for the Blind (APH); Longmore Institute on Disability; SF State Comics Studies Program; SF State College of Liberal and Creative Arts; and SF State Graduate College of Education

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.



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