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Drawing the Past: Comics and the Historical Imagination

Edited by Michael Goodrum (Canterbury Christ Church), David Hall (Old Dominion University), and Philip Smith (University of the Bahamas)

In a short comic, available during the 2014 Free Comic Book Day event, the dimension-hopping villain Morlan killed the Jacobean Spider-Man on the stage of the Globe Theatre in a reimagined version of Shakespeare’s England. The release of the comic was bookended by the publication of volume one and two of John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell’s epic multi-volume non-fiction comic March, which seeks to document the key events of the Civil Rights Movement. The two comics are radically different in terms of style, genre, and purpose, but both engage in the process of (re)creating and (re)imagining history.

This multi-authored volume seeks to examine the many ways in which history has been explored and (re)presented through comics. It spans non-fiction, historical fiction, and speculative comics. It asks, for example, how V for Vendetta has changed our understanding of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, how readers are meant to think about the Constitutional Convention when its participants are put in conversation with Batman, how Hip Hop Family Tree portrays historical personages, and how comics such as Maus or Persepolis manage the fraught relationship between memory and image?

Abstracts due by July 15 2017, first drafts, each 5,000 words, due December 2017. Please send submissions and queries to

The editors’ previous work includes Superheroes and American Self Image (Ashgate 2015). Reading Art Spiegelman (Routledge 2015), and the forthcoming Gender and the Superhero Narrative (University Press of Mississippi).