The British Library Unmasks Comics With An International Conference Next Month

On top of the record number of attendees for the Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK exhibit focusing on the history and development on comics, uncovering many of those seldom-explored alleys in comics culture, and a massive raft of star-studded events hosted in tandem with the exhibit (many of which Rich Johnston’s been covering here on Bleeding Cool), next month will also see a three day long International Comics & Graphic Novel Conference on Friday the 18th through Sunday the 20th of July delving into comics scholarship and celebrating its place in the appreciation and critical reception of comics.


Special guests for the conference, which offers one-day attendance tickets as well as package tickets, include exhibit curator and comics scholar Paul Gravett and John Dunning delivering the opening address on Friday, keynote addresses by Pascal LeFevre, Scott Bukatman, and Mike Carey on Saturday and Sunday, an evening event with Posy Simmonds and Steve Bell on Friday, and a talk by Ariel Kahn on Sunday alongside other programming on each day of the conference.

The conference’s goals are described thus:

This conference will discuss all aspects of comics production: from multinationals and media conglomerations to small scale production such as fanzines and independent presses.  It will also consider related aspects of the industry such as censorship and copyright: comics have often attracted negative public attention and are a medium with the potential for anarchy, whose graphic nature can render them a target for moral panics and political objections. Papers will look at comics from Africa, Romania, Japan, France, America, Britain and beyond, and discuss subjects as diverse as fan bases, digitisation, political cartoons, fine art, gothic, psychedelia, industry gatekeepers and more.

This is the fifth yearly International Comics & Graphic Novel Conference hosted by the journals Studies in Comics and The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, which have previously been held at Glasgow and Dundee Universities (2013), Bournemouth University (2012) and Manchester Metropolitan University (2011, 2010) inviting scholars to present their research in a comics studies dedicated environment.

You can also learn more about the International Comics & Graphic Novel Conference at their Facebook event page here and you can follow the conference on Twitter at @IntGNComicsConf. The Comics Unmasked exhibit runs through August 19th at the British Library.

About Hannah Means Shannon

Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Independent comics scholar and former English Professor. Writing books on magic in the works of Alan Moore and the early works of Neil Gaiman.

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