PencilPanelPage is a independently edited blog within HU devoted to the study of comics. We intend to cover topics in comics studies from a wide variety of approaches. Our contributors come from a variety of disciplines, including English, Linguistics, Philosophy, and Comparative Literature with affiliations at universities across the country.
A new post will be published each Thursday, covering a topic in comics studies of particular interest to that week’s contributor. In addition, we are hoping to gradually incorporate other regular features. The first such feature will be Guest Contributors: Approximately once every six weeks the regular Thursday post will be a contribution by a guest comics scholar.
We hope that the blog will become a valuable resource for comics studies. More importantly, we hope you enjoy reading it and contributing to discussions.
Frank Bramlett is a linguist in the English department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His teaching and research interests are varied, and stretch from L2 composition pedagogy to language & identity to discourse and conversation analysis, and now include a cross-disciplinary blend of linguistics and comics. Previously, he has published research on the discourse elements of social service interviews; conversation analysis and the short fiction of Raymond Carver; and the interaction of gender and anti-gay prejudice and their effects on stigma by association. His first comics-related publication explored the intersection of hero and sissy identities in The Rawhide Kid: Slap Leather, focusing primarily on the main character’s use of verbal camp. Frank’s next publication is Linguistics and the Study of Comics (Palgrave 2012), which is an edited collection of chapters with an international scope exploring various interstices of linguistics and comics scholarship. When not swimming or doing yoga or diagramming sentences, Frank can be found at Legend Comics in Omaha, Nebraska, eyeing back issues of Green Lantern comics.
Roy T. Cook is an Associate Professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and an Associate Fellow of the Northern Institute of Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen – Scotland. He works in the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of logic, and the aesthetics of popular art (especially comics!) He co-edited The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach (2012, Wiley-Blackwell) with Aaron Meskin (University of Leeds) and has published articles on comics in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, The International Journal of Comic Art, and in various anthologies including Essays on Graphic Novels, Comics, and Education (R. Weiner & C. Syma eds., MacFarland) and The Avengers and Philosophy: Earth’s Mightiest Thinkers (M. White ed., Wiley-Blackwell). Professor Cook’s favorite comic character is the Sensational She-Hulk.
Brian Cremins earned his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut and is an Associate Professor of English at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. His essays on comics have appeared in the International Journal of Comic Art, the Journal of Medical Humanities, Studies in American Humor, and in the collection Comics and the U.S. South (UP of Mississippi). He is currently working on a study of Otto Binder and C.C. Beck’s Captain Marvel, comics, and nostalgia for the University Press of Mississippi and blogs at www.brianwcremins.wordpress.com. He lives in Chicago.
Michael A. Johnson is an Assistant Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Texas at Austin where he teaches courses on medieval literature, critical theory, and Franco-Belgian comics. His research centers largely on questions of gender and sexuality, rhetoric, pedagogy, and psychoanalysis. With one published article on Fabrice Neaud’s Journal (“Placing/Facing Fabrice Neaud”) and another essay in the works on Lefèvre’s and Guibert’s The Photographer (“How Not to Orientalize the Afghan”) his work in comics has been thus far focused on questions of autobiography, the ethics of alterity, and the face. He also keeps a food blog (http://letthespiceflow.blogspot.com) and is interested in the growing phenomenon of comics cook books and comics food blogs in the francophone world. His recently finished manuscript, The Medieval Erotics of Grammar, is currently under review.
Adrielle Mitchell is a Professor of English at Nazareth College, Rochester, NY, where she teaches courses in literature, writing and culture, including a course on “International Graphic Narrative.” She is a comics scholar whose work is informed by visual and media studies, cultural theory and formalist criticism. Recent articles include: “Exposition and Disquisition: Non-Fiction Graphic Narratives and Comics Theory in the Literature Classroom” in Lan Dong, ed., Teaching Comics and Graphic Narratives: Essays on Theory, Strategy and Practice (2012); “Distributed Identity: Networking Image Fragments in Graphic Memoirs” in Studies in Comics (2010); “Graphic Journeys: Figuring Americans Abroad in Thompson’s Carnet de Voyage and Abel’s La Perdida,” in the College English Association Critic (2010); and “Spectral Memory, Sexuality and Inversion: An Arthrological Study of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” in ImageTexT (2009). Recently, she realized that many of her childhood favorites (Tove Jansson’s Finn Family Moomintroll; Edward Gorey’s entire oeuvre; Mad, Cracked and Crazy magazines; Spiegelman’s Garbage Pail Kids cards; Tarot decks; the photonovel of Lamorisse’s film, The Red Balloon) are imagetexts and that she can return to them now “for scholarly purposes.”
Qiana Whitted is an Associate Professor of English and African-American Studies at the University of South Carolina. Her research and teaching interests currently focus on African-American literature and comics studies. She is co-editor of Comics and the U.S. South, a collection from University Press of Mississippi that includes her own essay on the intersection between postmodern slave narratives and horror comics in Swamp Thing and Bayou. She has an essay forthcoming on “Comics, Visual Metonymy, and the Spectacle of Blackness” in The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. Other academic publications include the book, “A God of Justice?”: The Problem of Evil in Twentieth-Century Black Literature, as well as articles in African American Review, Southern Literary Journal, and the Encyclopedia of Comics and Graphic Novels. She is also the promotions coordinator for the International Comic Arts Forum. Her current projects focus on EC Comics and explore critical representations of race in 1950s comics.