CFP: The Comic Electric: A Digital Comics Symposium

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Led by renowned comic writers Leah and Alan Moore, The Electricomics project launched in May 2014 with funding from The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts. Now, as the project nears the conclusion of its initial research and development stage, we seek to establish a new academic symposium through which to share our findings and expand discussion and debate around the field of digital comics research.

The Comic Electric: A Digital Comics Symposium will be held at The University of Hertfordshire on Wednesday 14th October 2015. As part of this symposium participants are sought to present papers across a wide range of topics that relate to comics scholarship and digital media. Appropriate subject areas include:

·         New and emergent digital comic forms and technologies.

·         Changes to the underlying structures of the form as a result of digital mediation.

·         Crossovers, adaptation and hybridisation between comics and other digital media.

·         Acts of reading and the impact of digital mediation.

·         Aesthetic and literary analysis of digital comic narratives.

·         Digital distribution, changes in the industry and the threat of piracy.

·         Webcomics, widening readerships, minority voices and fan cultures.

·         Multimodality and comics relationship with larger transmedia narratives.

Other areas relevant to the study of digital comics will also be considered. Abstracts of no more than 300 words for papers of 20 minutes in length should be submitted via e-mail to Daniel Merlin Goodbrey and Alison Gazzard at electric@e-merl.com by Monday 27th July 2015. If you have any questions about the symposium or need clarification on any aspect of this call for participation, please also contact us via the above e-mail address.

About Electricomics

The focus of the Electricomics project has been the creation of a new digital comic anthology app and an open source toolkit for the creation of digital comics. Towards this goal, the project has examined how the language, tropes and production processes of traditional comics are impacted by digital technologies.  Our research has also explored how an easy to use and openly available toolset might facilitate content creation both in the comics sector and amongst a wider arts community.

Electricomics is collaborative project between arts, technology and research partners. Arts partner Orphans of The Storm was founded by comic writer Alan Moore and film director and producer Mitch Jenkins. Technology partner Ocasta studios are responsible for the creation of the Electricomics app and comic creation toolset. The research partners on the project are Alison Gazzard from the London Knowledge Lab at the UCL Institute of Education and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey from the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Creative Arts.

The Comic Electric is a joint symposium between three of the School of Creative Art’s research groups; TVAD (Theorising Visual Arts and Design), G+VERL (Games and Visual Effects Research Lab) and The Media Research Group. It is held in conjunction with the DARE (Digital Arts Research Education) research centre at the UCL Institute of Education.

About the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts

The Digital R&D fund for the Arts is a £7 million fund to support collaboration between organisations with arts projects, technology providers, and researchers. It is a partnership between Arts Council England (www.artscouncil.org.uk), Arts and Humanities Research Council (www.ahrc.ac.uk) and Nesta (www.nesta.org.uk).

We want to see projects that use digital technology to enhance audience reach and/or develop new business models for the arts sector. With a dedicated researcher or research team as part of the three-way collaboration, learning from the project can be captured and disseminated to the wider arts sector. Every project needs to identify a particular question or problem that can be tested. Importantly this question needs to generate knowledge for other arts organisations that they can apply to their own digital strategies.

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