CFP: Comics Blown Apart. A Mutant Language

Cuadernos del Centro de Estudios de Diseño y Comunicación, Universidad de Palermo
Peer Reviewed Volume
Stichtag: 30.03.2020

The 21st Century witnesses a comics production that slips away from the boundaries that were imposed to it during the previous century. Be it the limits of art, which now observes with interest the experimentations of comics and wants to vampirize or subdue them; or the limits of popularity,sincethrough superhero movies and adaptations of independent comics, characters and stories born in comics find acceptance from vast layers of consumers (and also their critiques). We also see comics surpass the limits of its own stories: continuity becomes dense and confusing, narratives unfold intothreads that continue or replicate through different mediums. Formats, too, are blown apart and questioned: luxury fanzines, narratives in murals, unusual books, animations that continue its stories withincomicpanels. Artists become Swiss army knives and acquire a variety of abilities and new areas where to develop their profession. Sometimes due to synergyand curiosity, sometimes out of necessity: cartoonists whoare also illustrators, fine arts artists,visual artists, animators, graphic designers, advertising employees. Artists who also function as their own public relationships agents, producers and managers of their projects through digital tools. These transformations and evolutions have brought comics towards a terrain of hybridity and experimentation. That is why we are launching this Call for Papers for a new issue of the Cuadernos del Centro de Estudios de Diseño y Comunicación, within the Drawn Narrations research line. We are looking for original contributions that deal with the different mutations and experimentations of comics based on three thematic axes:

a) Intertextuality, continuity, metafictionality: What happens when comic narratives become monstrous? When they exceed their containers and turn into threads that weave through multiple mediums and multiple series? What happens when diegetic history is fluid and is always in the process of being rewritten? This is the first group of phenomena we are interested in.
The second one has to do with the relationship comics have with other discourses: comics that dwell on literature, music, cinema; famous and historical characters turned into adventurers; reinterpretations of noteworthy materials of high culture.
In third place, we are interested in metafictional operations: what happens when comics make themselves and its history its topic? When they devour and rewrite themselves? When their own creators are its protagonists?

b) New spaces, formats, materialities: as mentioned above, we live in atime in which comics are linked, more than ever, to the world of art. This is due, partially, to the dissolution of the moral stigma around comics. This caused the world of art to start seeing comics as something attractive to be incorporated, within certain boundaries, to their galleries and institutions. On the other hand, for an immense quantity of cartoonists and scriptwriters all over the world, the possibility of making a living fromcomics is a distant fantasy. This tends to blurthe boundaries of comics forcingartists to develop a multitude of strategies to survive, one of which is the recourse to the art world;a jump from fanzines to the gallery. This instabilityproduces a multiplicity of experimentations in graphic narratives, in terms of its formal language and also its formats: abstract comics, non-narrative comics, mural comics, urban comics, comics and graphic design. These are the phenomena we are interested in in this axis.

c) The amphibian artist: comics were always a field that attracted artists and personalities of all kinds, that stood out from the comics world. Just like Copi[Raúl Damonte Botana]and Roberto Fontanarrosa were noteworthy writers; Art Spiegelman worked in the design of famous trading cards; and Jules Feiffer wrote movie scripts, today comic artists also unfold their trajectories and abilities in a variety of fields. The dissolution of the borders of the comicsfieldcauses authors like Alexis Moyano, Pendleton Ward or Martín Vitaliti to dwell in a liminal zone, in which their illustrations or animations feed the world of comics; or in which they employ the methods of comics to deconstruct them and colonize the art gallery. In the same spirit, comic artists are forced to build themselves up as personalities (the portrait of the author) and, frequently, as a brand, employing modern digital tools: Instagram stories, memes, YouTube channels, crowdfunding platforms and digital patronage. In this axis we are interested in the category of the amphibian artist and, also, in the changes thatdigitalization brought to the construction of artistic profiles.

Articles can be sent in Spanish, English or Portuguese. The deadline for receiving articles is March 30th, 2020.

Articles will be subjected, firstly, to an internal selection made by the editors in which it will be evaluated if they fit the criteria necessary for a peer-reviewed publication. Then, they will be subjected to a double blind peer review evaluation. It will be a condition for the article to be accepted for evaluation that the archive be saved with a keyword and that the text omits any direct authorial or institutional reference.

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