Violence: A Conference on Comics – Call for Papers

Comics Forum LogoWhether they are depicting the never-ending battles of superheroes, dealing sensitively but shockingly with issues such as domestic violence, or presenting an overview of historical conflicts, the themes of conflict and violence are common in comics, and will be the focus of this year’s Comics Forum conference at Leeds Central Library in November. The event is part of the Thought Bubble Festival.

While media effects debates around the depiction of violence and its impacts on readers’ minds have now largely moved on to other subjects, there is a historical context of concern around violence in comics that persists even up to today, with texts such as Murderdrome being banned from the Apple app store on the basis of objectionable content as recently as 2008.

Comics Forum 2014, the sixth event in the annual conference series, will consider the question of violence in comics and graphic novels, and abstracts are invited for talks to be given at the event.

Subjects for discussion may include, but are not limited to:

· The ethics of drawn violence

· The glorification of and justifications for violence

· The aesthetics of violence as drawn subject

· Media effects debates around violence in comics

· Censorship and the control of violent comics

· Responses to violence in comics

· Violence as problem and/or solution

· Representations of extreme violence

· Pacifism

· The normalisation of violence and cultures of violence

· Depictions of large scale acts of violence, such as war or genocide, in comics and graphic novels (e.g. The Great War, Maus)

· Texts which consider the nature and implications of violence either in and of itself, or as part of a wider context (e.g. Dragon Slippers).

Proposals of 250 words are invited for talks of up to 20 minutes in length, and should be emailed along with a short biography (around 100 words) to comicsforum@hotmail.co.uk. Please put the phrase ‘CF2014 Paper Submission’ in your subject line. Proposals for panels of either 60 or 75 minutes are also welcome. If you wish to submit a panel proposal, please include the line ‘CF2014 Panel Submission’ in your subject line and make sure you include an indication of the panel’s length and biographies of all your speakers in your abstract.

Comics Forum 2014 is supported by: Thought Bubble, the University of ChichesterDr Mel Gibson and Molakoe.

• The deadline for submission is 14th June 2014 and notification of acceptance or rejection will be emailed by or before  1st July 2014

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. 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 “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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