Digital Comics Week for scholars

The US-based academic collaboration In Media Res is putting Digital Comics in the spotlight this week with a contribution from highly-acclaimed comic creator Mark Waid, who is launching his own web comics this summer.

The series of presentations are sure to interest anyone interested in this constantly-evolving comics form, especially with increased digital sales and the opportunities and pitfalls it presents.

“After a 25-year career in the print comics industry, my passion for the ink and paper of my youth is waning,” says Waid. “Storytelling through comics’ unique alchemy of words and pictures is still my first love, and it’s probably the thing in the world I’m best at—but as print costs continue to rise and profitability drops to unsustainable levels for smaller publishers who aren’t backed by media juggernauts like Disney and Warner Bros, I no longer see designing for print-first as viable.”

Organised by Roger Whitson from Emory University, the line-up is as follows:

Monday, February 20, 2012 – Roger Whitson (Emory University) presents: What Makes a Comic Book Digital?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 – Mark Waid (Independent Scholar) presents: Truly Digital Comics

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 – Mark Sample (George Mason University) presents: Meanwhile is Big but not Boundless

Thursday, February 23, 2012 – Zach Whalen (University of Mary Washington) presents: It Moves

Friday, February 24, 2012 – Laurie N. Taylor (University of Florida) presents: Re-Born, Born-Again Digital Comics

In Media Res is dedicated to experimenting with collaborative, multi-modal forms of online scholarship. Its goal is to promote an online dialogue amongst scholars and the public about contemporary approaches to studying media. In Media Res provides a forum for more immediate critical engagement with media at a pace closer to how we experience mediated texts.

Each weekday, a different scholar curates a 30-second to three-minute video clip/visual image slideshow accompanied by a 300-350-word impressionistic response.

The site uses the title “curator” because, like a curator in a museum, “you are repurposing a media object that already exists and providing context through your commentary, which frames the object in a particular way.

“The clip/comment combination are intended both to introduce the curator’s work to the larger community of scholars (as well as non-academics who frequent the site) and, hopefully, encourage feedback/discussion from that community.

Theme weeks like this week’s on Digital Comics are designed to generate a networked conversation between curators. All the posts for theme weeks thematically overlap and the participating curators each agree to comment on one another’s work.

To receive links for each day’s posts and stay up to date on In Media Res latest calls for curators, please be sure “like” their newly launched Facebook page: You can also follow us on Twitter at @MC_IMR

Categories: Comics Education News, Comics Studies, Digital Comics

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