Comics and Authorship

Call for Articles

The comic, recently legitimized through the graphic novel phenomenon while remaining anchored in popular culture, can provide unique insights into issues surrounding authorship. Although comics scholarship has explored autobiographical comics and the strategies for self-fashioning of individual canonized comics artists and writers, the complex and mutating concept of comic book authorship remains by and large overlooked.

Analyses of the changing notions of authorship, their contextualization and implications – aesthetic, political, economic – across different comics genres and formats can provide answers to key questions, such as:

  • How do different techniques and styles mold conceptions of the author?
  • Who is the author in large franchises and studio collaborations?
  • What are the claims to authorship of vital but often overlooked mediators such as letterers and inkers?
  • How do conceptions of authorship vary with publishing format (serial comic book, graphic novel, syndicated comic strip, self-published fanzine)?

In this special issue dedicated to comics, the open-access journal Authorship seeks to specify the range and potential of the terrain covered by comics and authorship through bringing together papers on the following, broad aspects:

  • Roles encompassed by the notion of authorship in comics (writer, artist, letterer, inker, penciller)
  • Differences in constructions of authorship across formats, genres, cultures and history
  • Self-creation of author (and auteur) personas through paratextual elements
  • Self-reflection on authorship in comics, cartoons and graphic novels
  • Issues of authorship raised by adaptations of comics in other media such as novels and films.

Please send articles (ca. 5000 words) to Maaheen Ahmed (ahmedmaaheen@gmail.com) by 31 July 2017. The issue will be published in December 2017.

Author guidelines can be consulted here.