Comics Forum

This year’s Forum will be focused on the concept of space in comics, please click here to book tickets.

The ways in which comics employ and occupy space(s) are diverse, but the concept of space, conceived broadly, serves as a unifying theme in discourses around the medium that spans from the smallest formal micro-analyses to the broadest international conceptions. Scott McCloud famously asserted in Understanding Comics that ‘Space does for comics what time does for film!’ and the role of space in the composition of a comics page has proven a fruitful area of discussion as Comics Studies has developed.

Yet space’s function is not confined to the gutters, and we can also usefully ask questions about the spaces, literal and metaphorical, in which comics sit in cultures and countries. Given recent work by Bart Beaty in Comics versus Art and Beaty and Benjamin Woo in The Greatest Comic Book of All Time, we might ask how comics can seek to make space for themselves within existing fields such as fine art and literature.

By what mechanisms can comics open up gaps in seemingly consecrated spaces such as the literary canon and locate themselves therein? How do comics find space for themselves in places such as public libraries? Are the spaces that comics occupy delimited by national borders or do they exceed them, and if so, how?

Comics Forum 2017, the ninth event in the conference series, will seek to address these questions and others, and we invite abstracts addressing the subject of comics and space.

Subjects for discussion may include, but are not limited to:

Comics Forum produces free-to-view content throughout the year, for more information on these, please visit their website.