Comic Conference Announced at Manchester University

Manchester Metropolitan University will host an academic conference on comics next April, with deadline for papers in January – and report that a new academic journal about comics will be published next year.

Grandly titled The Graphic Novel and Comic Conference: Comics: Cultures & Genres, organisers point to the paradoxical relationship comics and graphic novels enjoy with mainstream culture. “Their narratives and characters are familiar to mass audiences through their adaptations in film, television and other mass media. However comics texts are rarely known or read outside comic book cultures,” they note.

“In recent years comics have instigated themselves into the public consciousness due, to a number of diverse circumstances such as the narrative possibilities they offer in an increasingly complex transmedia landscape. This conference aims to explore the intersections between comic books, graphic novels, their audiences and the ways they reflect the cultures and subcultures that produce them.”

The conference themes reflect the scope and aims of Routledge’s new journal, The Journal of Comics and Graphic Novels, edited by David Huxley and Joan Ormrod, the team behind the University’s 2007 Aesthetics of Trash conference also featured comics (see news story), which will launch in July 2010.

David Huxley is Senior Lecturer on the University’s BA (Hons) Film and Media Studies course. whose specialisms include Cartoons and the Comic Strip. His current research interests include the graphic novel and the comic strip and he has also drawn and written a wide range of adult and children’s comics and has supervised a wide range of Phds in the fields of the graphic novel and the comic strip.

Joan Ormrod lectures on the Film and Media with her units, Representing Youth, Youth Cultures and Subcultures, Fantasy Narratives in Popular Culture, Science Fiction in the Media reflecting her research and publications. She also teach on Horror and The Aesthetics of Trash.

David and Joan are now seeking abstracts of up to 250 words, around the following key issues in comics including, but not limited to: genres (horror, romance, superheroes, autobiography, experimental etc); underground/alternative comics; Censorship; Online comics; Political and topical issues; Fans and audiences (subcultures, gender, subcultural production); Comics production and distribution systems; and epresenting famous people in comics (American Presidents, sports heroes, film stars, iconic figures from history.

• The Graphic Novel and Comic Conference: Comics: Cultures & Genres will take place at Manchester Metropolitan University on 13-14th April 2010. The deadline for abstracts is: 15th January 2010. Abstracts should be sent to David Huxley ( and Joan Ormrod ( )

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