Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives: Comics at the Crossroads (Bloomsbury, 2013), which I co-edited with Christina Meyer and Daniel Stein, is now out in a paperback edition: see here for details. It is available now through all the major outlets (e.g. amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.), and there is a Google Books preview as well. Check it out!
Up to now, Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives (which I co-edited along with Christina Meyer and Daniel Stein) has only been available in a prohibitively expensive hardback edition, but luckily that’s about to change: a much more affordable paperback is set to appear in September, and it is now available for pre-order on amazon.com (here), amazon.ca (here), amazon.co.uk (here), and amazon.de (here). If you can’t wait and you’re OK with reading from a screen, there’s also a Kindle edition available for a couple of dollars/pounds/euros/etc. less.
Recently, a brief review of the book appeared in Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 5.2 (2014); according to the reviewer, Ralf Kauranen, “Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives offers a wealth of concepts and perspectives for the study of the transnational in comics research … [and] signals the arrival of the ‘transnational turn’ in comics studies.”
And in case you missed it, you might want to check out the interview that Michael Chaney (professor at Dartmouth and contributor to the volume) conducted with Christina, Daniel, and me about the book and our experiences and interests in comics: An Interview with the Editors of Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives.
Over at his blog, Michael A. Chaney (professor of English and American Studies at Dartmouth College and director of the Illustration, Comics, and Animation conference there) has posted an interview he conducted with Daniel Stein, Christina Meyer, and myself on the topic of comics and our edited collection Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives. Michael is a wonderful interviewer and an all-around great guy, and it was a lot of fun talking to him about our work. So take a look: here.
Recently, I discovered an alternative cover concept — seen above — for Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives: Comics at the Crossroads (which I co-edited along with Christina Meyer and Daniel Stein). I found this on the webpage of Daniel Benneworth-Gray, the designer who was also responsible for the final book cover. In the end, I have to say I like the final cover better, but I think this is a nice concept, and it gives me a kind of a parallel universe / Bizarro world / “What-if?” / retcon kinda feeling, which I think is quite appropriate for a book about comics.
Speaking of the book, Daniel Stein, Christina Meyer, and I will be doing just that: i.e. speaking about the book and the broader field of “Transnational Comics Studies” on October 9, at the Berliner Kolloquium zur Comicforschung. The meeting will take place at the Humboldt University in Berlin. I’ll post the exact time and place as soon as I know more.
This past week, I found my copy of Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives: Comics at the Crossroads (edited by me, Christina Meyer, and Daniel Stein) in my university mailbox — hot off the presses, I’m told, and ahead of schedule!
Interestingly, both amazon.co.uk and amazon.de list the book’s date of publication as March 23, while it appears that they both began shipping the book ahead of that; on the other hand, amazon.com and even the publisher Bloomsbury are listing the book as appearing a full two months later, on May 23, though both sites are accepting (pre-)orders and are sure to begin shipping much before then.
In any case, I can confirm that the book does in fact exist! And it’s nice to finally see all the contributions in physical form. For the time being, however, the only physical form available is a relatively expensive hardback, but a more affordable paperback will be on its way, pending sales — so please ask your library to purchase a copy!
And, in the meantime, you can get a free digital preview on Google Books, or you can order the full e-book version for about $24 from the publisher or about €16 from the Google play shop. (Please leave me a comment if you see it anywhere for cheaper.)
Anyway, we are very pleased with the book and with the high-quality contributions we received for it, and we hope it will find an interested readership at the intersections of comics studies, cultural and media studies, and transnational American studies!
The schedule has now been posted for the Illustration, Comics, and Animation Conference taking place this spring at Dartmouth College (April 19 – 21, 2013). There are quite a few interesting speakers and exciting topics on the roster, so I encourage readers to look at the complete conference schedule. But here I’d like to focus briefly on a few people who happen to be both involved in the conference and associated in one way or another with this blog and the various projects represented here.
First of all, two of my European colleagues will be presenting papers:
Daniel Stein, co-editor with me on Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives and fellow postdoctoral researcher in the Popular Seriality group, will be presenting a paper called “Animating Batman: Serial Storytelling, Cartoon Animation, and the Multiplicities of Contemporary Superhero Comics.” (Click the title for his abstract.)
Lukas Etter, contributor to Transnational Perspectives (with a great chapter on Jason Lutes’s Berlin) and member of the research project “Seriality and Intermediality in Graphic Novels” (a Swiss project associated with the DFG research group on Popular Seriality), will present “Seria(s)lly Episodic: Gradual Formal Variations in Alison Bechdel’s Feminist Comic Strip Dykes to Watch Out For (1983-2008).” (Click title for abstract.)
I will also be presenting a paper, titled “Animation as Theme and Medium: Frankenstein and Visual Culture.” (Again, click for the abstract.)
Finally, our American host and the conference’s organizer is Michael A. Chaney, Associate Professor of English at Dartmouth College, who is likewise a contributor to Transnational Perspectives (with an excellent chapter on “Transnationalism and Form in Visual Narratives of US Slavery”).
As it turns out, this will be the second time that all four of our paths cross — the first being at a comics studies workshop in Bern, Switzerland in October 2011. In this respect, and in addition to our cooperation on the volume, the upcoming conference marks the continuation of a very literal transnational exchange of ideas, which has brought together German, Swiss, and American (among other) perspectives on the study of comics and related media. I look forward to this and further such intersections and (national as well as medial) border-crossings!
[UPDATE March 28, 2013: The book is now available; see here for more info]
We’re in the home stretch now with Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives: Comics at the Crossroads (eds. Shane Denson, Christina Meyer, and Daniel Stein). The manuscript is almost through the production phase at Bloomsbury, and everything is set for the book to appear on time in March 2013. A description can be found on the publisher’s website (here), and the book is already up on amazon (US site here; British site here; German site here). A more affordable e-book version is in preparation, and a paperback is planned as well (contingent upon sales of the hardcover — so please ask your library to purchase a copy)!
Here is the final Table of Contents:
John A. Lent
Introducing Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives: Comics at the Crossroads
Shane Denson, Christina Meyer, and Daniel Stein
Part I: Politics and Poetics
1 Not Just a Theme: Transnationalism and Form in Visual Narratives of US Slavery
Michael A. Chaney
2 Transnational Identity as Shape-Shifting: Metaphor and Cultural Resonance in Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese
Elisabeth El Refaie
3 Cosmopolitan Suspicion: Comics Journalism and Graphic Silence
4 Staging Cosmopolitanism: The Transnational Encounter in Joe Sacco’s Footnotes in Gaza
5 “Trying to Recapture the Front”: A Transnational Perspective on Hawaii in R. Kikuo Johnson’s Night Fisher
6 Folding Nations, Cutting Borders: Transnationalism in the Comics of Warren Craghead III
Part II: Transnational and Transcultural Superheroes
7 Batman Goes Transnational: The Global Appropriation and Distribution of an American Hero
Katharina Bieloch and Sharif Bitar
8 Spider-Man India: Comic Books and the Translating/Transcreating of American Cultural Narrative
9 Of Transcreations and Transpacific Adaptations: Investigating Manga Versions of Spider-Man
10 Warren Ellis: Performing the Transnational Author in the American Comics Mainstream
11 “Truth, Justice, and the Islamic Way”: Conceiving the Cosmopolitan Muslim Superhero in The 99
Part III: Translations, Transformations, Migrations
12 Lost in Translation: Narratives of Transcultural Displacement in the Wordless Graphic Novel
13 Hard-Boiled Silhouettes: Transnational Remediation and the Art of Omission in Frank Miller’s Sin City
14 The “Big Picture” as a Multitude of Fragments: Jason Lutes’s Depiction of Weimar Republic Berlin
15 “Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together”: The Cultural Crossovers of Bryan Lee O’Malley
16 A Disappointing Crossing: The North American Reception of Asterix and Tintin
Framing, Unframing, Reframing: Retconning the Transnational Work of Comics