Origin Stories: Call for Papers for Comics Up Close event in February 2024

The Lakes International Comic Art FestivalSheffield Hallam University and The University of Manchester, the organisations behind Comics Up Close, have just issued their Call for Papers for their next academic conference taking place in February 2024. The deadline for proposals is 19th November.

Comics Up Close launched last February, its inaugural event taking place at Manchester Museum, a project created by Lakes International Comic Art Festival, in partnership with Creative Manchester for The University of Manchester and Sheffield Hallam University. It’s supported by Arts Council England, Comic Art Europe, and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

For 2024, the theme of Comics Up Close, which will take place at Sheffield Hallam University on Wednesday 21st February 2024, is “Origin Stories”, seeking to explore the political and social situations that are the basis for creativity within comics, the creative spark that leads to the creation of comics and the influence comics have on the wider creative industries and culture. 

“Comics are a diverse creative playground for ideas and narratives that are frequently developed into other creative disciplines, film, television and games, giving them impact far beyond their origins,” say the organisers. “Comics create value and we intend to celebrate it.”

Speakers at the event will include artist and writer Dave Gibbons, creator of Martha Washington Goes to War and co-creator of the influential Watchmen series with Alan Moore; Karrie Fransman, Creative Director of positivenegative, an organisation dedicated to amplifying academic research through engaging in visual story telling; and absurdist cartoonist and illustrator Steven Appleby, who has worked for The TimesSunday Telegraph and The Guardian, author of the graphic novel, Dragman.

Here’s the details for the Call for Academic Papers in full…

The concept of ‘origin stories’ is open to interpretation in many different and creative ways.

You’re invited to consider this in proposing one of three options:

• Active workshops (30 minutes) – To be delivered live on the day. Please state ideal number and maximum participants
• Presentation (15 minutes) – Live presentation with slides face to face
• Pre-recorded Presentation (15 minutes, available asynchronously online)

Please submit your proposal via this Google document by Sunday 19th November 2023, midnight. Further information is here, on this page hosted by Sheffield Hallam University.

Successful proposals will be notified by 1st December.

If you are successful you will be asked to confirm attendance/or delivery of materials shortly after. Successful proposals will receive free conference access. The organisers will not be able to inform you if you are unsuccessful. You may submit more than one proposal.

• The Comics Up Close conference takes place on Wednesday 21st February 2024 at Sheffield Hallam University | Web: gallery.shu.ac.uk/event/origin-stories/