In Comics versus Art, Bart Beaty introduces the notion of the comics world to describe the field of cultural production that is oriented to comics and comic art. Beaty is drawing on institutional approaches in the sociology of art that take all the actors involved in producing a work – not only the “artists” themselves but also curators, agents, dealers, critics, technical support staff, makers of specialized equipment or supplies, and various audiences – as their object of analysis. In this volume, we understand the comics world, by extension, as a set of interacting communities that condition the production, mediation, and consumption of comics and graphic novels. All these publics – in their differentiated but shared orientation to comics – make the comics world go round.
The comics world is a social space, and it needs to be approached in those terms. With this volume, we seek to provide an accessible introduction to social-scientific approaches to comics and graphic novels while simultaneously filling in the social, cultural, and institutional contexts of comics’ production and circulation with respect to particular communities of people engaged in comics-oriented practices.
We welcome contributions from a range of disciplinary perspectives and methodologies seeking to make sense of the people and practices oriented to comics. Proposals may include, but are not limited to, the following topics:
- Creator communities (defined in terms of occupational role, publishing sector, gender, race/ethnicity, nationality, etc.)
- Business, production and other support staff
- Teachers and students
- Distributors, retailers, critics, and other cultural intermediaries
- Conventions, their organizers and participants
- Audiences and fandoms
- Relations of affiliation or conflict between any of these communities
The editors have received an expression of interest from a university press with a well-established list in comics studies.
Please submit an abstract of 500–800 words to Benjamin Woo (firstname.lastname@example.org) by December 15, 2014. Abstracts should clearly outline the scope of the argument and describe the nature of the research undergirding this analysis. Final chapters will be between 7,000 and 8,000 words. Submitters will be notified of acceptance by January 15.