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Appels à communication : Exploring Canadian Identity/ies in Comics

CFP: Exploring Canadian Identity/ies in Comics

A Collection of Essays edited by Gail de Vos and Chris Reyns-Chikuma

Canadian comic artists are well known beyond our borders from Joe Shuster, the creator of “Superman”—who, like Hal Foster, the re-creator of “Tarzan”, was born in Canada but left early for the US, to contemporary award winning comics artists such as Seth, Chester Brown, Guy Delisle, and Julie Doucet who often remain in Canada to create their works.

We are looking for essays, in either English or French, that focus on the answer to the questions: what is Canadian, if anything, in the work under discussion? How does the creator deal with his or her Canadian identity; how is it explicit or not in her/his work? Noticeable examples of Canadian identity/ies issues in comics include Chester Brown’s Louis Riel, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim, and Jeff Lemire’s Essex County. There are numerous examples where the issue is addressed less explicitly: Canadianisms in Dave Sim’s Cerebus, Canadian multiculturalism in Jill Tamaki’s and Mariko Tamaki’s Skim, Canadian identity in Québécois comics such as titles by Michel Rabagliati, in Drawn & Quarterly’s publication policy, or in Canadian Webcomics like Kate Beaton’s Hark? A Vagrant, or controversies in Canadian comics festivals and prizes. We are also interested in exploring intertextual references to other Canadian comics, novels, films or other art forms and media in these Canadian comics.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Early publishing scene in Canada
  • Captain Canuck
  • Chester Brown, Seth, Lemire and other Canadian comic book creators
  • Francophone comics in Canada
  • Quebec’s comic book scene
  • Female comic book creators in Canada
  • Feminism in Canadian comics
  • The representation of multiculturalism by Canadian comic book artists
  • Current publishing issues in Canada
  • Webcomics by Canadian creators
  • Canadian prizes and awards for comic books

Please send a 500-word proposal and a short biographical note to: Gail de Vos (gail.devos@gmail.com) & Chris Reyns-Chikuma (reynschi@ualberta.ca) by January 15, 2013. Notification of acceptance will be sent by February 15, 2013. Essays of 6000-8000 words (MLA style) will be due July 15, 2013. Publisher has already been confirmed.

Gail de Vos, an adjunct professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta for over twenty years, is the author of nine award winning monographs on storytelling and folklore. She has also written quite extensively about comic books and graphic novels for a wide variety of publications and encyclopedias and has taught an online course on comic books in library settings for the University of Alberta for over a decade.

Chris Reyns-Chikuma, associate professor in French Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta, is the author of articles on various topics (holocaust, postcolonialism, feminism) in 3 different medias (literature, film, TV series) and 5 articles on comics (Tintin & Oubapo, Van Hamme’s “Largo Winch” in Neophilologus, Van Hamme’s Les Maîtres de l’orge in The French Review, Trondheim’s Ile Bourbon 1730 in Image & Narrative,  Boudjellal’s Le Beurgeois in Belphégor, aurélia aurita’s Buzz-moi—forthcoming). He regularly teaches comics and animation courses for undergraduates and graduate students.