CfP: Publikation Comics Storytelling for Young Adults: A Critical Anthology


Stichtag: 1. Mai 2014

For over a century, comics as a mode of storytelling has embodied a literary and artistic mainstay for young people. Evidenced in everything from newspaper cartoons to dime-store comic books, comics has a long and rich history in both North American youth culture and its extant forms of print media. Then, in the closing decades of the twentieth century, the rise of contemporary graphic novels and webcomics gave this tradition new artistic outlets, as well as added public visibility.

While a bevy of books, articles and essay collections explore historical, cultural, and structural aspects of comics written primarily for an adult audience, Comics Storytelling for Young People: A Critical Anthology will be the first book-length collection of essays to bring a critical lens to the study of children’s and YA comics.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Essays about individual comics, such as Smith’s Bone series; Tan’s The Arrival; Yang’s American Born Chinese or Boxers and Saints; Oleksyky’s Ivy; and Deutsch’s Hereville series
  • Essays about hybrid comics texts, such as Kinney’s The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series; Russell’s Dork Diaries; Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck; or Alexie and Forney’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian
  • Essays about comics created by young people, such as Ariel Schrag’s high school diaries
  • Essays on comics adaptations of formerly text-only books, such as L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time; Warner’s The Boxcar Children, Gaiman’s Coraline, The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, and The Babysitter’s Club series
  • Essays on the generic boundaries or literary parameters of children’s and YA comics, or whether there are mainstream and alternative designations within comics for young people
  • Comics and/as a platform for social justice
  • Historic forms of comics storytelling for young people, such as early twentieth century newspaper cartoons and comic books
  • Canon building, prizing, and young people’s comics: who decides which books ought to become classics, and which criteria are they using?
  • The banning, censoring and challenging of children’s and YA comics such as Telgemeier’s Drama or Tamaki and Tamaki’s Skim
  • The portrayal of children and childhood in comics written for young people; the coming-of-age story as portrayed in comics
  • Race, class, gender and sexuality in comics storytelling
  • National comics traditions for young people, including Canadian comics, Mexican comics, and regional US comics
  • Bilingual comics
  • The role of comics storytelling in the creation of North American youth culture: how do these books help shape the social, cultural, literary, and artistic identity of the millennial generation?
  • The gothic, supernatural and paranormal in comics such as Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost
  • Comics and memoir, autobiography, and family history
  • Comics, technology and new media
  • Children’s/YA comics and/as film

The Anthology is edited by Gwen Athene Tarbox and Michelle Ann Abate

Please send a 500-word chapter proposal, as well as a one-paragraph professional biography, by May 1st, 2014 to Gwen Athene Tarbox at or Michelle Ann Abate at

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