Music and comics have had a connection right from the start, with the title of the seminal newspaper strip Hogan’s Alley taken from a popular song by Edward Harrigan. As the 20th Century progressed, these two media flirted with each other for inspiration and style, from Marvel comics based on the rock band KISS, to Duran Duran taking their name from Barbarella. Back room printing presses in the 1960s and 70s saw the gig flyer and alternative comix emerge side by side, and comic creators from Alan Moore to Richard McGuire have been inspired by music in the creation of their long (play) narratives.
Graphic Brighton 2018, curated by Barbara Chamberlin, Alex Fitch and Elle Whitcroft, with support from Aanchal Vij, is a free event that will be held at the University of Sussex on Friday 20th July with a comic book creators’ discussion and musical performance in the centre of Brighton (exact details TBC). This event is funded by the University of Sussex Researcher-Led Initiative Fund.
The event will explore the rich and diverse inter-relationship between comics and music. As an event which aims to be interdisciplinary, we invite speakers and contributors from academic and creator-based backgrounds in comics, visual cultures and music so as to open discussion across the disciplines. We invite 20-minute papers themed around, but not limited to, the following:
• Comix, music and the rise of 1960 counter-cultures
• Audience reception, fan cultures and fan production, past and present – backroom printing presses used for flyers and comic printing
• Zine cultures
• Musical Manga – RoadSong, Pure Trance, Berry Dynamite and more
• Comics and music journalism – Neil Gaiman meets Duran Duran, Joe Sacco tours with the Miracle Workers
• Comic book bands: from ‘Josie and the Pussycats’ to ‘Sex Bob-omb’
• Musical biopix (for example, Reinhard Kleist’s Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness and Nick Cave: Mercy on Me or Pénélope Bagieu’s California Dreamin’)
• Musicians and comics creators: musicians creating comics (for example Gerard Way’s The Umbrella Academy or Tom Morello’s Orchid) or comics creators working in music (for example, Jamie Hewlett and Gorillaz)
• Musical histories in comics form (for example Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree)
• Music and comics aesthetics: pop star style (2000AD’s Zenith and ‘Wic Div’)
• Anti-heroes in music magazines: Tank Girl in Deadline, Rock Power feat. ‘Heavy Metal’ Dredd
• Comics vs. album cover art (Robert Crumb, Charles Burns and Oliver East’s album covers / Marvel Hip-Hop variants)
• Music in the comics of Mike and Laura Allred – Graphik Muzik and Red Rocket 7
• The Jazz Age in comics – Roger Langridge, Hunt Emerson and Robert Crumb
• Comic book musicals – from It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman!, to Annie and Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark
• Musical ‘superheroes’ (for example Kiss and Alice Cooper’s fantastical adventures in comics)
• The musicality of the comics form: rhythm, pace and movement in and between panels
• The visualisation of musical sound – music in V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow
• ‘Performing’ comics and music – stage productions by Dave McKean et al.
• The music in film or TV adaptations of comics (for example Watchmen and Suicide Squad)
• Please submit your abstract (300 words) and brief biography (100 words) to B.J.Chamberlin@brighton.ac.uk no later than Friday 1 June 2018. For more info about the conference and previous Graphic Brighton events, please visit www.graphicbrighton.com