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A refereed journal of media arts and culture, published three times a year.

Vol 9 Number 1 June 2012

Reading Between the Panels (Part III)

Edited by Steve Collins & Ian Collinson

Like other popular cultural forms before them, comic books and graphic novels have moved up Stuart Hall's 'cultural escalator' and as a consequence have had their cultural value enhanced in the eyes of cultural and aesthetic institutions (1981, 234). The academy has helped propel this rise of comics and graphic novels; there are an increasing number of conferences, journals and journal editions dedicated to comics. Published works, such as Hunting the Dark Knight: Twenty-First Century Batman (Brooker 2012), Critical Approaches to Comics: Theories and Methods (Smith & Duncan 2012) and Comics and Culture: Analytical and Theoretical Approaches to Comics (Magnussen 2000), have all extended the range of scholarly understanding of the comic book phenomenon. Works by artists, writers and scholars including Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman, Frank Miller, Scott McCloud, Will Brooker and Danny Fingeroth have forced a reappraisal of the space occupied by comic books: "A form that was once solely the province of children's entertainment now fills bookshelves with mature, brilliant works . . . Cartoonists' work is hung on the walls of galleries and museums" (Wolk 2007, 3).

This special issue of Scan: Journal of Media Arts Culture contributes to this burgeoning field with the third instalment of 'Reading Between the Panels'. This issue focuses on the theme of adaptation amongst comics and graphic novels. In recent years mainstream media entertainment has seen comic leviathans Marvel and D.C. leverage considerable reserves of intellectual property bringing the heroes of paperback comics to the big screen and other avenues of exploitation such as videogames. Such a landmark of commercial convergence is however, as this collection of articles demonstrates, only a single manifestation of comics and graphic novel's relationships with other cultural and media forms.


A magazine of media arts essays, reviews and other pieces.



The OFF LABEL Festival / Digital Art Weeks 2011
Victoria BC, Canada, November 2011
by Arthur Clay

Electronic Art Must be Destroyed by Ian Haig

Book Review: Edward Scheer, The Infinity Machine: Mike Parr's Performance Art 1971-2005 (Melbourne: Schwartz City) by John Potts

Perceptions by Megan Hicks

Writing Lives: Revealing Families by Willa McDonald