Call for Papers for Inkers and Thinkers Interdisciplinary Symposium 2015: Alternative Forms, Alternative Voices

Call for Papers:

The University of Adelaide’s Discipline of Media will hold its second annual interdisciplinary symposium on comics and graphic narratives on May 15 and 16, 2015. We invite researchers of all disciples, as well as artists working in the comics field, to submit proposals for conference papers. The theme of this year’s symposium is ‘Alternative Forms, Alternative Voices’.

Questions that could be addressed by research papers include, but are not limited to:

  • How have comics historically been considered alternative and subversive?
  • How have comic creators used new technologies and emerging cultural practices to shape comics as an alternative or radical medium?
  • How have comics operated as a medium of expression for marginalised groups or ideas?
  • What publishing practices and formal properties have been used to position certain comics as alternative, or opposed to accepted ideas about literacy and discourse?

Abstracts of 250-300 words for presentations of 15 minutes should be submitted to by October 31, 2014. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by November 30, 2014.

Call for Workshop Proposals:

As part of the Inkers and Thinkers 2015 programming we are seeking proposals for 90-minute hands-on creative workshops on comics and graphic narratives to be held on May 15 and 16, 2015. The workshops should be thematically tied to the academic symposium, which explores the ways that comics have experimented with forms, uses, and content. Proposals are welcomed from both writers and artists, either working as individuals or in a team. Please note that we are seeking funding to provide stipends for accepted workshops.

Workshop classes could include, but are not limited to:

  • Technical Aspects of Comics Production: Such as how to write effective dialogue, unfold action in sequence, portray character emotion, etc.
  • Crafting Comics Content: Such as how to illustrate a wordless comic, working with historical and autobiographical material, using comics for political or educational purposes, etc.

Submissions should include an overview of the proposed workshop, including a draft lesson plan, and information about the presenters, including any relevant teaching and/or artistic experience, as well as what equipment and materials will be needed for you and the class. Workshops should be designed to accommodate up to 40 participants.

Pitches for workshop sessions should be submitted to by October, 31, 2014. Please indicate whether your session is designed for a beginner or intermediateaudience, or both. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by December 1, 2014.

Inkers and Thinkers 2014 – Discourse of Digital Comics by Troy Mayes

Abstract –

Since the introduction and subsequent growth of the tablet market the comic book industry has seen a renewed focus on experimental digital comic formats. Through this exploration of infinite comics, motion comics, guided-view comics and motion books the very core ideas of ‘what a comic is and does’ are being challenged, discussed and solidified. The focus of this presentation is how those creators involved with the new experimental digital comic formats, such as Marvel’s Infinite Comics, Madefire’s Motion Books and DC’s DC Squared, talk about the projects and formats they are working on. Through discourse analysis we are able to look at how creators are constructing both their own identity as well as the identity of the comic book industry and medium during this time of change. In particular, this presentation applies Sherry Ortner’s reactive discourse, a defensive discourse targeted at establishing what digital comics are not, and introduces what I call the relational discourse of digital comics, a more positive discourse focused on relating the new digital comic format to certain core comic book ideals. Utilising the reactive and relational discourse to analyse the talk of comic book creators places the practitioner back at the centre of comic book studies and allows us to examine what comics are for creators and how creators are responding to the ongoing digitisation of the comic book industry.


Bio –

Troy Mayes is a PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide in the Media Department. He holds a Bachelor of Media (Hons.) from the University of Adelaide. His thesis is on comic book workers and the digitisation of the comic book industry.

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