co-editors: Chris Reyns-Chikuma, Jocelyn Sakal Froese, and Jean Sébastien
Creating, publishing, reading comics and bandes dessinées have long been marginalized by high culture but also by industrial culture for which other channels were more immediately profitable. The situation has been similar in Canada, and maybe more so in anglophone Canada. However, even within these margins, a field of production has developed, and with it creative hubs. Hence, for 30 years at least, Montreal has been occupying the central position for much of the production in French but also in English (with Drawn & Quarterly) BD, comics and graphic novels. This has been the case in the rest of Canada as it has been in Québec. Toronto, central in the publishing field, is less present in the field of graphic
narratives. Even if this city acted as a centre in comics publishing, it is also quite relative considering the cultural weight of the USA in the field of comics and in the field of press illustration.
In this issue of Voix plurielles, we want to explore the worlds of bande dessinée and of comics by considering the parallel evolution of production outside the spaces that occupied or still occupy a central position in Canada, taking into account that the specifics of language and cultures are area-specific. We invite, particularly but not exclusively, contributions on the following questions:
- How do creators navigate outside the centre/s in the field of BD production in Canada?
- Who are the artists of bande dessinée, having perhaps attained lesser prominence, who have worked off centres in producing comics in the Canadian regions and provinces?
- In the case of artists who publish in the U.S.A. and live or were brought up in Canada, what are the connections (textual, visual, institutional) between their lived environment and their works (for instance John Byrne, Todd McFarlane, and Fiona Staples in Alberta, or Lynn Johnston in Manitoba and Northern Ontario)?
- What is the impact of Canadian instances of legitimation (festivals, prizes, etc.) outside the centres?
- What place can the Indigenous cultural producers make for themselves in this world dominated by the two official languages?
- In the case of bande dessinée, what place can the francophone producers make for themselves outside Québec, and how (translation, language classes, libraries, …)?
- Outside the circuit of the mainstream press in Toronto or a publisher like Drawn & Quarterly in Montréal, what forums for printing and circulation of comics and graphic novels exist?
- Toronto is a powerful cultural centre but in the world of comics and BD, except for TCAF, it is relatively weak. What are the causes of this? And what about Franco-Ontario? Does it distinguish itself from the anglophone part of the province in the world of comics/BD (production, reception, festivals…)?
- Did regional newspapers like Edmonton Journal (Alberta) or Le Voyageur (French Ontario) or others, give some space to local creators? Which ones? When? Why?
- Vancouver is an enormous and culturally dynamic city. Did it produce BD and/or comics other than the recent USNA by the USNA publications Inc. (2012)? What role does Vancouver play in the Canadian world of BD and comics? What about the rest of BC?
- The province of Saskatchewan is first known in comics through David Collier’s Surviving Saskatoon. Who are the Canadian creators depicting or creating in the prairies, and how have their works shaped the Canadian comics landscape? Does there exist, in the world of comics, something called “prairie comics” as an analogue to prairie literature?
- Manitoba is known in the BD world for one of the most important Canadian heroes, i.e., Louis Riel. Are there other Manitoban or prairie heroes and heroines that have, or perhaps deserve their own comics?
- Conundrum, located before in Québec, went to Halifax in 2012 (Nova Scotia). Why this move? Wouldn’t writing the history and sociology of this publisher be of prime interest?
- New Brunswick, with less than one million inhabitants, recently produced several BD/comics like Brian Toffu dans Terreur en Acadie by Bertrand Dugas (2013), L’espion de trop by Voro and F. Antoine (Glénat, 2019), and the webcomics « Ménage à 3 » by Gisèle Lagacé. How can this phenomenon be explained, and how must we understand New Brunswick, and Maritime Canada in general, as figures in the Canadian comics scene?
In this issue, we are looking for texts on these topics and the many others that, we, the co-editors, don’t know yet. Various approaches are welcome from ethnographic studies of fans and expo visitors to more traditional « textual » analyses, to interviews with creators of the comics world and quantitative research of publications. Articles in English are accepted but will be translated en français for this publication by the editorial team.
Send a 300-word proposal, including a basic bibliography, and a 100-word bio-bibliography to : Chris Reyns-Chikuma (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jocelyn Sakal Froese (email@example.com), Jean Sébastien (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- By : December 15 2021
- Reply : mid-January 2022
- Complete article : end of April 2022
- Revisions during the Summer 2022
- Publication : end of 2022.