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Urban Comics and Graphic Novels: Perspectives from Urbanism, Planning, Architecture and Social Space

Type: Lightning Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Organizers: Benjamin Fraser
Chairs: Benjamin Fraser


This 'Lightning-round' session features participants working on themes of the urban and their connection to comics and graphic novels of all geographies, languages, and cultures. In this session, the notion of 'the urban' is not limited to any one perspective, but is inclusive of urbanism, architecture, social space, planning, theoretical concepts, cultural difference in/and the modern city, and more. The rich tradition of comics art has long been entwined with the modern city environment and with spatial approaches, a theme that is increasingly visible in scholarly books including J. Ahrens and A. Meteling’s ‘Comics and the City’ (2010); H. Chute's ‘Why Comics?’; D. Davies's ‘Urban Comics’ (2019); J. Dittmer’s ‘Comic Book Geographies’ (2014); and B. Fraser's ‘Visible Cities, Global Comics’ (2019). This session invites participation from members of the AAG from all subdisciplines and all geographical specializations to discuss the convergence of urban geography and all formats of comics art: the broadsheet, the woodcut novel, the wordless comic, superhero traditions, science fiction comics, literary adaptation, the strip format, comics and print media, digital comics, independent comics, graphic novels, and so on. While participants are encouraged to ground their analyses in the context of theoretical/historical/analytical comics approaches (such as those of Beaty; Beronä; El Refaie; Groensteen; Karasik and Newgarden; Kunzle; Lefèvre; McCloud; Merino; Postema…), we are also interested merely in expanding our collective knowledge of how comics entangle with the urban, and how comics-makers are engaging with the themes and material realities of cities across the globe.


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