CFP: Web/Comics 2023

ACM Hypertext Conference
September 4-8, 2023
Biblioteca Hertziana, Rome.
Stichtag: 28.06.2023
Web/Comics 2023 is the first in a new workshop series for the ACM Hypertext conference. The Web/Comics workshop focuses on the transformation of the comics medium enacted by hypertext through the emergence of webcomics, or “graphic sequential narratives that are created, published, and read on-line” (Priego 2011). The workshop wants to investigate whether webcomics exemplify the expansion of hypertext beyond the linearity of information processing systems into a type of interactivity that is nonlinear (multicursal) and ludic. It uses webcomics to explore the boundaries of hypertext, for example by assessing its utility to the reader or user and its effects on “readers’ ongoing process of establishing meaning and coherence” (Mangen and Van der Weel, 2017).

Comics have always been hypertextual. From their origins in newspapers to their present as pillars of multi-billion media franchises, comics have always existed within networks of texts, images, and other media. Hypertext could be seen as the last in a series of transformations of the comics medium and has the potential of being the most profound, promoting for example new models of interactions between authors, readers and publishers (Antonini, Brooker and Benatti, 2020). At the same time, considering hypertext in relation to webcomics is akin to going back to the roots of hypertext Ted Nelson in 1974 coined the term “hyper-comics” in “No More Teacher’s Dirty Looks.” Computer Decisions (1970). Nelson described it as “the simplest and most straightforward hyper-medium” and gave it a prominent place in his proposed media revolution. This workshop interrogates whether Nelson’s vision for comics has been realised in the twenty-first century from multiple perspectives, including systems, cognition, archiving and creativity.

The Web/Comics 2023 workshop seeks to bring together interdisciplinary perspectives from the humanities and technological communities to share work and discuss the latest research on webcomics from the perspectives of both communities. It wants to act as a bridge to increase collaboration between the comics and hypertext research communities. It has the goal of becoming a focal point for the community of scholars interested in conceptualising and analysing hypertext through a webcomics lens. It targets scholars from various fields in the humanities and in computing, including hypertext studies, comic studies, electronic literature, that explore the interconnections between media and technology.

Accepted participants will be invited to submit revised papers, incorporating feedback and insights following the workshop, in a special collection of The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship.


Important dates

  •    *Papers submission:** June 28, 2023 (AoE)
  •    Notification of acceptance: July 24, 2023
  •    Camera-ready paper due: August 6, 2023
  •    Workshop: September 4-5, 2023 (half day, exact date tbc)

Submissions of original, previously unpublished papers are invited in the
following, not exhaustive, topic areas:
  •    Hypertext systems for webcomics publishing
  •    Cognitive processing, hypertext and webcomics
  •    Emergent webcomics formats
  •    Webcomics and transmedia
  •    User interface in webcomics
  •    Reading webcomics as hypertexts
  •    Authoring webcomics
  •    Issues in interdisciplinary webcomics research

Linda Berube, City, University of London, UK
Francesca Benatti, The Open University, UK
Ernesto Priego, City, University of London, UK