Saturday, June 15, 2024

Sell's Work on Arthurian Comics

Carl B. Sell has been producing a number of intriguing studies related to the Matter of Britain in  popular culture, including these recent publications on Arthurian-themed comics:

Sell, Carl B. “Aquaman Rex: The Arthurian Associations of a DC Superhero.” The DC Comics Universe: Critical Essays, edited by Douglas Brode. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2020. 158-69. Academia.Edu, https://www.academia.edu/91857597/Aquaman_Rex_The_Arthurian_Associations_of_a_DC_Superhero.

___. “Camelot 3000 and Dracula vs. King Arthur: The Uses of Limited-Run Comics as Updates of the Arthurian Legend for Contemporary Readers.” Arthurian Legend in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries, edited by Susan L. Austin. Wilmington, DE: Vernon Press, 2021. 25-34. Academia.Edu, https://www.academia.edu/73478606/Camelot_3000_and_Dracula_vs_King_Arthur_The_uses_of_limited_run_comics_as_updates_of_the_Arthurian_legend_for_contemporary_readers

___. “The Once and Future King of Atlantis: The Arthurian Figure in Geoff Johns's Aquaman: Death of a King.” Arthurian Literature, vol. 35, 2020, pp. 192-99. Academia.Edu, https://www.academia.edu/43619244/The_Once_and_Future_King_of_Atlantis_The_Arthurian_Figure_in_Geoff_Johnss_Aquaman_Death_of_a_King.


Saturday, February 17, 2024

Neal on Far Sector

 From a recent issue of Arthuriana:

Neal, D'arcee Charington. "Who is Asking?: Afro-Arthurian Legend-making in N.K. Jemisin's Far Sector." Arthuriana, vol. 33 no. 3, Fall 2023, p. 86-103. Project MUSE, https://doi.org/10.1353/art.2023.a910872.

Abstract:

Whether an Arthurian knight, a Green Lantern, or a Legendborn, one cannot have a legacy without first becoming a legend. In N.K. Jemisin's graphic novel Far Sector (2020) Sojourner 'Jo' Muellein's story as both community activist and guardian echoes, reinvents, and reimagines Arthurian romances through the lens of Afrofuturism; further, this fantastical remix challenges white supremacist modes of oppressive comic tradition by foregrounding racial and gendered identities. Making a legend is not about whom society has agreed to be the answer. Instead, such ideals lie with whoever asks the question. (DCN)


Friday, September 22, 2023

CFP Arthur Refracted: Representations of Arthur across Comics (1/19/2024 - Spec Issue Arthuriana)

Arthuriana is now soliciting proposals for a special issue on comics. Details below.


Please support the project if you can.


Do contact the guet editor, Jamey Keeton, drectly with any quesions .


Michael




CFP: Arthur Refracted: Representations of Arthur across Comics
Special Issue for Arthuriana
Email: jkeeton@ur.rochester.edu
Abstracts Due: January 19th, 2024
*If selected for the special issue, full articles will be expected June 7th.

Arthuriana seeks short abstracts (100-250 words) for a special issue on comics and the Arthurian legend. The comics do not have to be specifically about Arthur, but can draw on Arthurian legend in apparent, significant, and meaningful ways and can engage with myriad genres from superhero comics to more independent works. We are especially interested in papers that examine comics where the Arthurian legend is problematized, challenged, and remixed/rebooted while deploying perspectives from comics studies, visual studies, and cultural studies.



Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Casebier on Le Chevalier et la Charrette

 Out now in the Journal of the International Arthurian Society:

Casebier, Karen. "Deviant Characters and the Limits of Inventio in ‘Le Chevalier et la Charrette’" Journal of the International Arthurian Society, vol. 10, no. 1, 2022, pp. 94-113. https://doi.org/10.1515/jias-2022-0007

Abstract

This essay will examine the characterisation of the principal characters and events in ‘Le Chevalier et la Charrette’, a contemporary graphic novel adaption of the Méléagant episode based on Chrétien de Troyes’s  Le Chevalier de la charrette , by applying Mieke Bal’s classic study on narratology, in which legendary and ‘deviant’ characters evoke reactions of surprise or revulsion in the reader. The first section will address the limits of  inventio  in the portrayal of Lancelot, a legendary character whose behaviour and actions are somewhat limited by the reader’s background knowledge of him, whereas the remainder of the essay will focus on the use of the Lady of the Lake as a deviant character in the Méléagant episode. In the graphic novella, the Lady of the Lake is reinvented as a representation of Ankou, the servant of Death in Breton folklore. This allows the author and illustrator of the graphic novella to take advantage of the lacunae in the reader’s background knowledge to present a previously unknown facet of the Lady of the Lake’s character that bridges the gap between literary adaptation and literary appropriation, thereby resulting in a new cultural product that links medieval Arthurian legend to traditional Breton mythology. 


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Call for Responses: Comics and Medieval Studies Survey (7/1/2021)

 Please forgive the cross-posting.


Call for Responses: Comics and Medieval Studies Survey


The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture--in an attempt to further our outreach efforts--seeks to gather some information on experiences with the comics medium and uses of that material by teachers and/or scholars of Medieval Studies.

If you're willing to share, please complete the survey at https://tinyurl.com/Medieval-Comics-Survey no later than 1 July 2021.

More information on the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture can be found at https://medievalinpopularculture.blogspot.com/.

The Medieval Comics Project is based at https://medieval-comics-project.blogspot.com/. We also maintain a listserv, the Medieval Comics Project Discussion List. Please sign-up at https://groups.io/g/medieval-comixlist.



If you have any questions or concerns on the survey or other related matters, please reach out to us at MedievalinPopularCulture@gmail.com or Comics.Get.Medieval@gmail.com.



Michael A. Torregrossa, Founder, Blog Editor, and Listserv Moderator, and The Comics Get Medieval Sessions Organizer

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Arthurian Comics Session at Medieval and Renaissance Forum 2021

I'm happy to report that the organizers of the Medieval and Renaissance Forum have accepted our proposal for a session on comics to be presented virtually in April. Full conference and panel details follow. 

 

41st Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum

Scent and Fragrance in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Friday and Saturday April 16-17, 2021

Register Online

Preliminary Schedule




Saturday Session VI: 3:00 –4:20 PM

Arthurian Comics

Moderator: Hayley Cotter, University of Massachusetts—Amherst

From Canon to Comics: Adaptations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the Comics Medium

Michael Torregrossa, Independent Scholar

Old Norse Gods and Ethnically Different Slaves in the Comic Book Series Thorgal

Anna Czarnowus, University of Silesia, Katowice (Poland)

Horror and Science Fiction in Arthurian Comics

Rachael K. Warmington, Seton Hall University




 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Where is Arthur Today?

In these dark and troubled times, I often wonder where is Arthur today? Where can we find inspiration to make the world a better place?

One answer can be found in Captain Britain No. 2 (20 October 1976). In Chris Claremont's origin for Captain Britain, researcher Brian Braddock is faced with a choice. Merlin and his daughter Roma (their identities revealed as the series progressed) seek for him to become their champion, but first he must decide what kind of person he is.




His option are inspired by the words of T. H. White and Alan J Lerner and Frederick Loewe. Here, Claremont reminds us that the Sword of Might is not something we should be wielding (especially against others). Instead, the Amulet of Right is the talisman to invoke if we want to do the proper thing.

Braddock (to paraphrase from the Grail Knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) chooses wisely. A bolt of energy strikes the young man and imbues him with power.




As this occurs, Roma, pronounces on the virtues that Braddock has shown he possesses and links him firmly to the ideals of Camelot, as the new hero is revealed.


The complete origin can be found in issues 1 and 2 of the series; both are available on comiXology at https://www.comixology.com/Captain-Britain-1976-1977/comics-series/85220.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Hellboy Gets Medieval (Again)!

In celebration of Hellboy's Arthurian adventure-themed in Hellboy: The Wild Hunt, Hellboy: The Storm, and Hellboy: The Fury, Funko has released a special figure of the half-demon anti-hero bearing the sword of his ancestor King Arthur. The figure can be purchased online at Amazon.

The original solicitation can be accessed at https://www.previewsworld.com/Catalog/JUN178581.






Medieval Comics Panel for MAPACA 2018

A reminder that the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture is organizing a panel on medieval-themed comics for the fall meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association this coming November.

The complete call can be found on our sibling site, The Medieval Comics Project, at https://medieval-comics-project.blogspot.com/2018/03/cfp-comics-get-medieval-2018-round.html.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Unholy Grail Comic Series

I just posted the details of a new comic book series called Unholy Grail on the Monstrous Matter of Britain site. The series is from writer Cullen Bunn and artist Mirko Colak and mashes the Arthurian story with elements from the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft.

Details at https://monstrous-matter-of-britain.blogspot.com/search/label/Unholy%20Grail%20%28comic%29.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Allocco on Guinevere in Camelot 3000

Katherine Allocco, historian and Arthurian popular culture specialist, has a new essay on Guinevere in Camelot 3000 set for release in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21504857.2017.1299022). The abstract is as follows:

"Could Guinevere ever be a superhero? Depictions of a warrior queen in Camelot 3000 (1982–1985)"

Camelot 3000, one of Arthuriana’s most influential comic series, has reimagined Queen Guinevere as a heroic warrior who attempts to atone for previous transgressions by slipping on a minidress, picking up a futuristic gun and battling invading aliens. In this book, Guinevere has transcended medieval and modern assumptions of women by occupying a traditionally male sphere and being able to fight with the Knights. She has not, however, been able to transcend medieval and modern assumptions about women’s bodies and sexuality, which remain overly emphasised throughout her storylines, most of which revolve around her emotional and sexual turmoil. The need to sexualise Guinevere, position her as a damsel in distress and perpetuate literary traditions, found especially in Malory, hobbles her transformation into a hero and exemplifies the difficulties that medieval female characters often face when they enter the pages of comic books as warriors.

Allocco's publication history can be accessed from her faculty page at Western Connecticut State (http://www.wcsu.edu/history/allocco.asp) and includes the following of interest (she also has a great  essay on Quest for Camelot, http://www.berghahnjournals.com/view/journals/girlhood-studies/4/1/ghs040108.xml, not cited):

“The Symbiosis of Norse and Medieval Christian Eschatology in DC Vertigo’s Lucifer series” in Apocalyptic Chic: Visions of the Apocalypse and Post-Apocalypse in Literature and Visual Arts. Barbara Bordman and Jim Doan, eds. Rowman, Littlefield, Brown (forthcoming)

“Could Guinevere ever be a Superhero? Depictions of a Warrior Queen in Camelot 3000 (1982- 1985)” Journal of Graphic Novels and Comic Books (March 9, 2017) DOI: 10.1080/21504857.2017.1299022

"Monstrous Morgana: Arthurian Women as Unnatural Amazons in Madame Xanadu (2008- 2010)" Arthuriana 26:3 (Fall 2016), 119-142.

"Vampiric Viragoes: Villainizing and Sexualizing Arthurian Women in King Arthur v. Dracula (2005)" in The Universal Vampire. Barbara Bordman and Jim Doan, eds.. Rowman, Littlefield, Brown, 2013, 149-163.

“Elfquest”in Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: Heroes and Superheroes Bart Beaty and Stephen Weiner, eds.. Pasadena: Salem Press, 2012, 295-300.

Friday, January 6, 2017

CFP The Medieval in American Popular Culture: Reflections in Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of Prince Valiant

Our affiliate, the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture, is sponsoring a session on "The Medieval in American Popular Culture:Reflections in Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of Prince Valiant." See the following for complete details: http://medievalinpopularculture.blogspot.com/2017/01/call-for-papers-medieval-in-american.html.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

URL Update

Please be advised, as neither The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain nor The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture has funds for operating expenses, we will no longer be renewing our domain names effective January 2016.

The Arthur of the Comics Project can now only be accessed at http://arthur-of-the-comics-project.blogspot.com/, and The Medieval Comics Project accessed at http://medieval-comics-project.blogspot.com/.

Please update your links.

Michael A. Torregrossa
Founder, The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain
Founder, The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture

Rejected by Kalamazoo

Our outreach efforts have been dealt a major blow this week. I have just received word the Congress Committee has rejected our proposal for "Crisis in Camelot? Arthurian-Themed Comics and Their Place in Arthurian Studies: A Roundtable in Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of Prince Valiant (A Roundtable)" for the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies to convene next May.

Michael Torregrossa
Founder, The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Arthurian Comics at Kalamazoo 2017

The Arthur of the Comics Project is pleased to announce its sponsorship of the following session for the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies. An official call for papers will be announced should the organizing committee look favorably on our proposal.

Crisis in Camelot? Arthurian-Themed Comics and Their Place in Arthurian Studies: A Roundtable in Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of Prince Valiant (A Roundtable)

Sponsored by the Arthur of the Comics Project, an outreach of the Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain

Comics based on or inspired by the Arthurian legend have been in existence since at least the 1920s, and this corpus, which is primarily American in origin, numbers in the thousands. Despite the history and diversity of this material, comics studies remain a neglected aspect of research on the modern Matter of Britain compared to work on other media, a fact lamented on by Alan Stewart, one of the founders and foremost popularizers of Arthurian comics research, in 1986. At that time, he remarked, “Over the centuries, the legend of King Arthur has been recounted in virtually every medium of expression known to humankind. Most of these are represented in Arthurian studies, but the popular artform known as the comic strip has been largely neglected, despite the fact that comics remain one of the most widely disseminated and experienced media of our time” (12). Sadly, there has yet to be burgeoning interest in Arthurian comics, despite some promising starts. However, this does not have to remain the status quo.

Comics are important texts for understanding the contemporary reception of the legend, and they have much to offer the Arthurian enthusiast, as Valerie M. Lagorio and Mildred Leake Day observed in 1990: “It is interesting to note the parallel development of Arthurian adaptations in the novel, science fiction and fantasy, movies, and the comics in recent years, as all have exhibited increasingly sophisticated, imaginative, and original treatments of the Arthurian ideal” (xvi). Writing in 1996, Norris J. Lacy, focusing specifically on comics, submitted that “American comics and cartoons constitute one of the fertile sources of popular Arthuriana,” though the slow progress of study suggests some reluctance in incorporating the medium into our scholarship and teaching. Thus, the purpose of this roundtable is to initiate discussions of how we might foster original work on Arthurian comics by exploring various ways to successfully integrate the comics medium into our careers, for, as Peter W. Williams reminded us in 1982, “Speculum and Prince Valiant both occupy the pages on the shelves in our libraries, and each in its own way is a manifestation of that strange and wonderful culture, the American” (15).

The Alliance hopes to attract a varied group of presenters for this session, including medievalists, popular culture specialists, and comics scholars.

Works Cited
Lacy, Norris J. “Popular Culture.” The New Arthurian Encyclopedia. Updated Paperback Edition with Supplement, 1990-1995. Ed. Norris J. Lacy, et al. Garland Reference Library of Humanities 931. New York and London: Garland, 1996.  363-64. Print.

Lagorio, Valerie M., and Mildred Leake Day. “Introduction to Volume II.” King Arthur Through the Ages. Ed. Valerie M. Lagorio and Mildred Leake Day. Vol. 2. Garland Reference Library of Humanities 1301. New York: Garland, 1990. Xi-xvi. Print.

Stewart, H. Alan. “King Arthur in the Comics.” Avalon to Camelot 2.1 (1986): 12-14. Print.

Williams, Peter W. “The Varieties of American Medievalism.” Studies in Medievalism 1.2 (Spring 1982): 7-20. Print.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Witchblade?

The most recent issue of Witchblade No. 183 (available from comiXology) appears to feature an image of a young Arthur drawing forth the Sword in the Stone. This would not be the first time the series has addressed the legend (see Alan Stewart's Camelot in Four Colors), but is it a legitimate link or am I seeing Arthur where he is not?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Wasted Land Video

Here's more from Dorman on the series from a 2013 interview:


Dorman's The Wasted Lands Collected

Another quick update for the night:

Dave Dorman's once and future series The Wasted Lands has been collected and reissued as an omnibus edition by Magnetic Press. Its a handsome over-sized volume and reasonably priced at $24.99.

Full details at http://www.magnetic-press.com/wasted-lands-omnibus/. The site includes an interview with Dorman, a video trailer (see below), and a press kit.



Dave Dorman's WASTED LANDS Omnibus graphic novel trailer from Neurobellum on Vimeo.


Camelot in Four Colors Updated

Alan Stewart has recently announced that his Camelot in Four Colors website has been updated through 2015. As always, the site offers a wealth of information and images. It can be accessed at http://camelot4colors.com/.