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Cultures of War in Graphic Novels

War has long been a central issue in graphic novels. Based on real wars, conflicts, and rebellions, graphic novels by such emerging or already established authors as David Axe, Garth Ennis, Archie Goodwin, Larry Hama, Harvey Kurtzman, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Doug Murray, George Pratt, Joe Sacco, Marjane Satrapi, and Art Spiegelman tackle the issue of war, placing various war-related complexities at the heart of narration: from ethical questions, to problems of psychological and moral hardships, to political ambivalence, and beyond. A popular medium and powerful cultural agent, the graphic war-novel has, thus, served scholars as a tool to explore war as part of human experience.

However, while scholars have already engaged with many war-related experiences and their representations in graphic novels, the focus has been usually on one of the major wars, most often WWI and WWII. Thus there are useful works on representations of gender roles, civil-military relations, and the home front in graphic novels on WWII. However, graphic novels on many other, so-called “minor” conflicts, such as the Balkan War, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or the multiple civil wars in Africa, have been widely neglected and we know little about how the above issues have been represented there. Therefore, the purpose of this volume is to examine the representation of less explored wars. We ask contributors to investigate representations of “minor” wars, focusing on aesthetics, verbal and artistic messages, as well as thematic issues, i.e., the role of the military, civilians, auxiliary servants (for example, nurses, partisans), etc. To demonstrate the terrifying, all-embracing side of war, one might consider the following questions: what place do various experiences take in graphic novels; which experiences do comic authors prefer to deal with; how, in terms of form and subject matter, are these issues reflected in graphic novels? Moreover, since studies have tended to focus on the representations of war in graphic novels that deal with a single war, we still lack a comparative analysis of representations of war experiences. Therefore, we also welcome essays that provide a comparative perspective, discussing two or more wars to cast light on the differences and similarities in the reflection of certain issues.

Please send a 250-500 word abstract and a short biographical note (up to 100 words), including contact information to Nimrod Tal (talnimrod@gmail.com) and Tatiana Prorokova (tatiana.prorokova@gmx.de) by February 1, 2016.

The selected contributors will be notified about the acceptance of their proposals by March 1, 2016. Full articles between 5,000-7,000 words in length should be submitted by September 1, 2016.

Contact Info:

Nimrod Tal (talnimrod@gmail.com) and Tatiana Prorokova (tatiana.prorokova@gmx.de)


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