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Angus Nurse, Anglia Ruskin University,

This stream invites submissions exploring the intersections of law and justice with comics, graphic fiction, and related visual media.

Critical interest in the comics medium is an emerging area of scholarship. Comics and graphic fiction—and their related visual emanations, including film, video games, and wider ‘geek culture’—are of huge and on-going significance to law, justice, and legal studies.

On a socio-cultural level, comics are historically embroiled in debates on free speech whilst today they inspire countless pop culture adaptations—from television to cinema to video games, and performance activities such as cosplay. Comics can reflect and shape popular visions of justice, morality, politics, and law.

Graphical fiction content from mainstream superhero narratives tackling overt issues of justice, governance and authority, to countless themes related to morality, justice, and humanity in stories within and far beyond the mainstream, are rich with legal material.

The comics medium’s unique and restless blending of different media and types of representation (text, image, visuality, aesthetics, inter alia) radically expands discourse beyond the confines of the word, enabling greater critical engagement amidst our increasingly visual age. Comics are a complex art-form, with multiple creators working in individual, group, commercial, and industrial contexts, raising questions of ownership and exploitation—issues exacerbated by comics’ transmedia proliferation.

We welcome submissions that explore:

  • The relationships between comics and related visual media, and law—culturally, socially, formally, theoretically, jurisprudentially.

  • Studies of individual comics, series and genres.

  • The use of comics and related visual media in law—in practice, education, theory, research.

Analysis of comics as objects of legal regulation in their own right—raising issues of definition, ownership, consumption, value.

The examples above are merely indicative; the graphic justice stream welcomes paper submissions that traverse any potential intersection between law and comics or related visual media—all broadly defined.

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