Friday, September 22, 2023
Please support the project if you can.
Do contact the guet editor, Jamey Keeton, drectly with any quesions .
CFP: Arthur Refracted: Representations of Arthur across Comics
Special Issue for Arthuriana
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
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
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
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
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
Saturday Session VI: 3:00 –4:20 PM
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
News of CFP Saving the Day for Medievalists: Accessing Medieval-Themed Comics in the Twenty-first Century (Roundtable) (9/15/19; Kalamazoo 5/7-10/2020)
Paper proposals are due by 15 September 2019.
Thanks for your support of our endeavors.
Thursday, June 21, 2018
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
The original solicitation can be accessed at https://www.previewsworld.com/Catalog/JUN178581.
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
Details at https://monstrous-matter-of-britain.blogspot.com/search/label/Unholy%20Grail%20%28comic%29.
Saturday, April 8, 2017
"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
Tuesday, June 21, 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
Founder, The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
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.
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
Sunday, June 7, 2015
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.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Allocco, Kate. “Monstrous Morgana: Arthurian Women as Unnatural Amazons in Madame Xanadu (2008-2010).” Graphic Novel. EUPOP2013. International Institute for Popular Culture, University of Tutku, Finland. 1 Aug. 2013. Address.
This article analyzes the portrayal of Morgan Le Fay in the comic book Madame Xanadu within the context of earlier comic books and of medieval literature. I argue that Morgan Le Fay is steadily becoming more monstrous by looking at other popular comic titles such as Dracula v. King Arthur and Camelot 3000 among others. Morgan Le Fay has traditionally been an easy target for literary misogyny as she is often associated with both sexual agency and a lust for power. In Madame Xanadu, the author and artists have imbued Morgan with these traits and then drawn her as a violent power-hungry Amazon warrior, the ultimate sexually deviant virago in the medieval and modern imagination. Morgan’s image contrasts sharply with that of the main hero, Madame Xanadu (aka Nimue), Morgan Le Fay’s sister, who is demure and “natural” and submits to the power of men. This book offers contrasting dichotomies of womanhood that clearly envision Morgana as the unnatural, destructive and monstrous Evian woman whose bid for agency, sexual autonomy and power consistently meets with punishment and reprimand by her more Marian sister. Her contrapuntal role allows writers and readers to define that which is normal, right and good through their understanding that Morgan is inherently abnormal, wrong and bad. Thus this comic stereotypes medieval women as being either an Eve or a Mary and uses the popular image of the Amazon to stress how monstrous and unnatural Morgan Le Fay and all women like her can be and to justify their being defeated and destroyed in the end.
Kontturi, Katja. “ ‘You Broke the Holy Grail!’: Christian Symbolism in Don Rosa’s Disney
Comics” Graphic Novel. EUPOP2013. International Institute for Popular Culture, University of Tutku, Finland. 1 Aug. 2013. Address.
From the 1950s, so called Comics Code defined the prohibited contents of comic books in the United States. It listed the subjects that were not suitable for children to whom comics were directed. Dell Comics was the only publishing house producing Disney comics, but it never followed the Comics Code. Since Disney comics were cute and funny animal comics, the fear of excessive violence and nudity was not the question. However, Dell Comics had their own codes on which topics were not allowed in Disney comics. One of them was religion. During his career, Carl Barks broke quite many of these “rules”, and his successor Don Rosa has taken Disney comics even further. Death, love, hinted sexuality and historical continuum have never before been seen in Disney comics.
This paper concentrates on the Christian symbolism that Don Rosa has used as a part of his comics “The Once and Future Duck” (1996) and “A Letter from Home” (2004). The symbolism is actualized with the two mythical symbolic objects of Christians: the Holy Grail and the Arc of the Covenant. My aim is to study the use of these symbols, what are their functions in the narrative? Are there Christian values present in the comic or do the objects only offer a price in the end of Indiana Jones type of adventure?
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
James Heffron has started a Kickstarter campaign for a new edition of his graphic novel Gangs of Camelot. Details at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1778370567/gangs-of-camelot. The pledges are fairly modest and most include a copy of the published work.
I wish him luck and hope you'll consider pledging.
Michael A. Torregrossa
Listserv Moderator/ Blog Editor/Co-Founder, The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages
Listserv Moderator/ Blog Editor/Founder, The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain