CFP: Translation, Remediation, Spread: The Global Circulation of Comics in Digital Distribution

Special Collection of The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship
Editors: Jonathan Evans, Kathleen Dunley and Ernesto Priego
Stichtag: 30.06.2020

This Special Collection of The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship will focus on the global circulation of comics in digital forms, from webcomics to subscription services from traditional comics publishers. The Collection’s emphasis will be on the international, multi-lingual, multi-format, diverse nature of “comics”.

Comics have circulated in their original language and in translation since the inception of print: as a physical object, comics (including strips in newspapers) can travel across international borders with their readers, or they can be translated for publication in new locales. Recent technologies have made digital distribution possible, theoretically allowing for global access to comics published online anywhere in the world as well as the possibility of distributing translated versions within a proprietary system.

Translation is central to the global circulation of comics and comics as an art form are often experienced in translation (Evans 2017). While there is a growing body of work on the translation and circulation of comics (Zanettin 2008, Altenberg and Owen 2015, Mälzer 2015, Reyns-Chikuma and Tarif 2016; see overview in Zanettin 2020), little has yet addressed the new world of digital distribution and how this is affecting translation practices. Work on the digital distribution of comics (e.g. Priego 2010, Steirer 2014, Crucifix et al. 2017-19, Augureau et al. 2018) has tended not to address this at a global scale or to investigate how comics are distributed across languages.

Translation can be both official and unofficial: scanlation — the fan translation (Evans 2020) of comics — is a vibrant practice that has found a home online, but it is unclear how the shift towards digital publishing by legacy publishers such as Marvel and DC has changed the environment for the practice. Nor is it clear how extensively platforms such as Comixology have embraced translation and international distribution, as the French language site includes large quantities of untranslated, English language materials. Web comics as born digital objects may easily be distributed online, but there is less understanding of how they cross linguistic and cultural borders.

For this Special Collection, we are open for submissions that explore the intersections between the translation and distribution of comics, the latter understood in its most diverse, international sense, with a particular focus that goes beyond dominant themes that are over-represented in current scholarship. The Special Collection seeks original research articles that investigate the ways in which digital distribution has opened up, or closed down, access to comics produced globally. Are the old centres of the USA, France and Japan still central to comics production? Or has comics production been democratised and decentralised? How have different comics cultures adapted to and capitalised on digital distribution, and how are they reaching readers in other cultures (through translation)?

We are especially interested in the reception and translation of comics outside of the Anglosphere, which are typically overlooked, but also welcome work on American comics. We encourage research on the underrepresented areas of non-English language comics, LGBT+ comics, women’s comics and comics by people of colour. Contributions may use any relevant methodology to address the topic, but should follow the journal’s guidelines for submissions.

We call for submissions that are professionally written and presented, incorporating high-quality images that authors discuss directly and in detail. We will consider submissions from affiliated senior or early career scholars, practitioners and independent researchers, as long as they fit the journal’s call for papers, scope and editorial guidelines.

We invite energetic writing that is theoretically and interpretively bold. While academic rigour, the inclusion and close discussion of images and citational correctness are important to us as a precondition, a key feature our editors and reviewers will consider is the argument, the discovery, the evidence-based eureka moments conveyed in economical, precise, and, ideally, subtle prose. We believe academic writing about comics should be as striking and immediate as the medium itself.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously (except as unreviewed pre-prints in open access repositories) nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere.

All contributors should be listed, whether from those listed as authors or individuals named in acknowledgements; corresponding authors should ensure listed co-authors have provided their consent prior to submission.

We recommend using CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) to describe each contributor’s specific contribution to the submission: Please refer to our journal Authorship Guidelines at

Submissions Information
Submissions to this Special Collection must engage with and directly cite, and if appropriate, link to relevant scholarship, and follow our submission guidelines for the Research section (3000-7000 words).

The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship seeks to encourage robust open science methods and advocates the value of reproducibility. Authors submitting research articles presenting conclusions from quantitative and/or qualitative analysis, and/or presenting, discussing or referring to datasets or code in their submissions are strongly encouraged to cite and share such code or data in their submissions using appropriate open-access repositories such as CORE, figshare or Zenodo. Where data from human participants is presented and discussed, evidence of Ethics Review approval should be provided, and research ethics guidelines followed and discussed. Where the nature of the data impedes its open dissemination in spite of anonymisation, this should be clearly discussed in the submission. Submissions whose methods rely on datasets or present results from data analysis without citing the datasets used are likely to be declined unless a reasonable justification is discussed in the submission itself.

For full submissions information, please go to Please note we do not consider submissions on the basis of abstracts only; we only receive and consider full versions of submissions via our journal management system . If you have any queries relating to the Special Collection, please contact for more information.

Licensing and Archiving
The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Authors of articles published in The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship remain the copyright holders and grant third parties the right to use, reproduce, and share the original contents of the article according to the Creative Commons-Attribution license agreement.

The Comics Grid is published by the Open Library of Humanities. Unlike many open-access publishers, the Open Library of Humanities does not charge any author fees. This does not mean that we do not have costs. Instead, our costs are paid by an international library consortium.

The journal is indexed by the following services: SCOPUS, Nordic list, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Chronos, ExLibris, EBSCO Knowledge Base, CNKI, CrossRef, JISC KB+, SHERPA RoMEO, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), EBSCOHost, OpenAire, ScienceOpen, and Academia. In addition, all journals are available for harvesting via OAI-PMH. To ensure permanency of all publications, The Comics Grid also utilises CLOCKSS, and LOCKSS archiving systems to create permanent archives for the purposes of preservation and restoration.

For full submissions information, please go to For our general Call for Papers, please go to

● Deadline for first drafts: 30 June 2021
● Initial editorial desk review: 30 August 2021
● Peer Reviews due: 16 January 2022
● Revised papers due: 30 June 2022
● Estimated Publication of articles as they become ready: August 2022


  • Altenberg, T and Owen, RJ (eds) 2015 Comics and Translation. Special issue of New Readings, 15.
  • Augereau, O, Iwata, M, and Kise, K 2018 A survey of comics research in computer science. Journal of Imaging, 4(7): 87. DOI:
  • Crucifix, B, Dozo, B-O, Rommens, A, and Priego, E (eds) 2017-19 Poetics of Digital Comics. Special Collection in The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship.
  • Evans, J 2017 Comics and translation. In Bramlett, F et al. (eds) The Routledge Companion to Comics. London: Routledge. pp. 319-327.
  • Evans, J 2020 Fan translation. In Baker, M and Saldanha, G (eds) The Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies 3rd edition. London: Routledge. pp. 177-181.
  • Mälzer, N (ed.) 2015 Comics – Übersetzungen und Adaptationen. Berin: Frank & Timme.
  • Priego, E 2010 The Comic Book in the Age of Digital Reproduction. Unpublished thesis (PhD), University College London.
  • Reyns-Chikuma, C and Tarif, J (eds) 2016 Translation and Comics. Special issue of TranscUlturAl, 8(2).
  • Steirer, G 2014 No more bags and boards: collecting culture and the digital comics marketplace. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 5(4): 455-469. DOI:
  • Zanettin, F (ed.) 2008 Comics in Translation. Manchester: St Jerome.
  • Zanettin, F 2020 Comics, manga and graphic novels. In Baker, M and Saldanha, G The Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies 3rd edition. London: Routledge. pp. 75-79

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