The Journal of Comics and Culture

journal-of-comics-and-culture_0The Journal of Comics and Culture studies the comic and the rapidly evolving medium of the graphic novel and its connection to the wider world of popular culture. Original monographs, research, history, book reviews, and analysis reflect the innovative creative talents in the field, ground-breaking works, and how comics and the graphic novel both reflect and inform American culture.

In the past 40 years comics have moved from occupying a decidedly lowbrow niche at the margins of pop culture to the center of the popular and critical imagination. Comics—a catch-all term that encompasses monthly comic books, graphic novels and web comics—are embedded in, relate to and comment upon other forms of media like film, painting, and the novel.

Editor: Carol Tilley
ISSN: 2471-1500


REVISED Call for Papers: Volume 2 - FALL 2017

The Journal of Comics & Culture is currently accepting submissions for its Fall 2017 issue. The theme for this issue is Comics in the Margins.

Comics – whether floppy comic books, webcomics, indie mini-comics, graphic novels, or one of the other myriad other forms the medium takes – has achieved a certain degree of respectability in the past several decades. Blockbuster superhero movies, fan conventions with tens of thousands of attendees, proliferating literary and industry awards, and titles used for community and campus One-Book programs all give evidence of the mainstreaming of comics. Yet, much of the innovation and forward motion in comics writ large happens in the margins, just as for much of its 20th century history, comics remained in the margins. This issue seeks to highlight comics formats, readers, materiality, characters, storylines, creators, and publishers that fall somehow outside of the mainstream.

Topics might include:

– communities and collectives (e.g. LadyDrawers, Women in Comics, specialized fan conventions)

– the role of Kickstarter and similar self-funding programs in supporting comics publishing and creators

– nontraditional formats / layouts / shapes and aesthetics or reader experience

– comics that aim to encourage political awareness and action (e.g. World War 3 Illustrated)

– comics that document social movements or current events

– nontraditional superheroes that push the convention’s boundaries

– hybridity in comics (e.g. comics that incorporate photographs, comics that incorporate elements of children’s picture books)

– genre-bending and aesthetic playfulness in early comics

– creators or characters in the margins (e.g. indigenous, child, disabled, people of color, women)

Guidelines for Authors

We are interested in publishing lively and provocative scholarly essays situated in both established and emerging areas of comics studies. Comics scholars are the Journal‘s primary audience, but we encourage you to write in a manner that is equally accessible to lay readers and comics fans.  Although the Journal‘s focus is on North America, we will consider thoughtful essays that extend beyond those borders.

The Journal of Comics & Culture will not consider manuscripts that are under review elsewhere or that have been previously published. The Journal does not accept unsolicited book reviews.

All scholarly essays published in the Journal are peer reviewed; other contents are editorially reviewed. Authors whose submissions are accepted for publication will be required to secure permission for any images that are reproduced.

Manuscript Preparation

  • Articles should not exceed 10,000 words, including references and footnotes.
  • Articles in comics form are welcomed (feel free to query the editor if you are considering this as an option).
  • A separate title page should include the article title, the author’s name, institutional affiliation (if available), mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, word count, and a brief (250 word) abstract.
  • Do not include the author’s name on subsequent pages.
  • Submissions should follow the author-date system of documentation, with limited footnotes, as outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.) A brief guide is available here:
  • Submissions should be made to editor Carol Tilley ( in Microsoft Word (.doc / .docx) or PDF format. Black and white / grayscale images may be attached separately as .TIFF or .JPG formats.
  • Please use – Journal of Comics & Culture – in the subject line.

Book Reviews

Publishers who are interested in having items reviewed and are willing to provide a review copy, please contact editor Carol Tilley ( with information about the titles by May 15, 2017.

Important Dates (REVISED) 

May 15, 2017 – Submissions due

June 15, 2017 – Notifications sent

July 15, 2017 – Revisions due for accepted submissions

November/December 2017 – Journal published

Comics and Culture Links
Comics and Culture Volume 1, 2016

journal-of-comics-and-culture_0The premiere volume of The Journal of Comics and Culture features articles on such diverse subjects as the resistance of the female superhero comic fan, comics and the evolving memory of Vietnam, and transtexuality elements in comic books. In addition, the volume features notes on a comic in progress and book reviews of recent notable comic book scholarship.

Editor: Jonathan Gray
ISBN: 978-0-9619518-5-6
ISSN: 2471-1500
2016, Paper
Price: $40

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