Since his seminal writing on The Sandman (1989-present) and long since before and after on works such as Batman, Miracleman, The Books of Magic, The Endless, Stardust, The Graveyard Book, etc. from adult graphic novels (Neverwhere) to voluminous amounts of children’s graphic novels and illustrated texts (Coraline, Chu’s Day, Fortunately, the Milk, Hansel and Gretel etc.), Neil Gaiman has established himself as one of the most prominent, if not prolific, writers in the medium of sequential art in the late twentieth and twenty-first century.
Interestingly enough, Gaiman’s work is oft classified along regularized perceptions (by age, by tone, etc.) while he himself resists that particular ideological breakdown proclaiming that his work is meant to be read and seen by everyone, muddying those clear constructs and bracketing of his work. This volume seeks to examine Gaiman’s broadly illustrated corpus (picture books, comics, graphic novels, video games, etc.) along those lines of the dark, the light, and those that are particularly difficult to classify and define by the fact that they are seemingly both—the shadowy genre-bending work. However an essayist for this collection might seek to interpret those constructs (optimism, pessimism, pragmatism, for example) or whether a writer would seek to only write on a particularly evident construct from the three (Chu’s Day doesn’t seem to possess many dark portents; however Blueberry Girl, by comparison, articulates a life far more complex than simple optimism) is open for discussion and welcomed.
This volume will investigate the comics and graphic novel work of Neil Gaiman broadly. Proposals are welcomed for critical essays that approach the subject from any of a variety of methodological/ theoretical perspectives such as: aesthetic or textual, historical, philosophical, cultural, psychoanalytic, semiotic, post-structural, post-colonial, gendered, feminist, etc.
Essays might include (but are by no means limited to) the following topics:
-Adaptation of Gaiman’s prose works to comics and comics to films and television
-Gaiman’s work in video games (Wayward Manor)
-Gaiman’s comics connection to music, greater literary movements, etc.
-Gaiman’s literary antecedents and referents in comics
-Gaiman’s work with regular artists (McKeon, Bachalo, Dringenberg, Riddell, Buckingham etc.)
-Historical comparisons and intertextualization of Gaiman with his contemporaries and influences
-Gaiman’s light-hearted/ serious fare for children and adults alike
-Major Gaiman work (The Sandman) and comparably minor works or one-shots (Cerberus #147, Spawn #9, Angela #1-3 etc.)
-Comparisons of Gaiman’s ostensibly “adult” works and/ to his ostensibly “children’s” works (not to mention his supposed YA work)
-Gaiman’s work in other visual storytelling media (his writing for Doctor Who, his screenplay of Princess Mononoke for example)
-Gaiman’s influences on character/series/comics as a medium’s traditions (Swamp Thing, The Sandman, comics readership)
-Gaiman’s influences on other literary traditions (fantasy, sci-fi, etc)
-Gaiman-as-character, both inside his comics and outside his comics
-Gaiman and cultural capital, Gaiman as commodity
-Naughtiness, puns, double-entendres/double-consciousness/doublespeak, dual meanings, sidelong glances, subtle jabs, subversions, sublimations, and slips of the tongue
-Memory and remembering, forgetting and misremembering in Gaiman’s work
-Humor and seriousness, gravitas and mirth, bathos and pathos in Gaiman.
Abstracts of approximately 250-500 words (with author’s affiliation and brief biography) are due 15 May 2016 with first drafts of essays running 5000-5500 words due 15 October 2016. Please send any inquiries and proposals to Joseph Michael Sommers and Kyle Eveleth firstname.lastname@example.org .