This is Where I'll Be Tomorrow – Transitions 8 in London

Every single previous Transitions held in London, I have been unavoidably unable to attend. In 2017 it had a fallow year. The 2018 event, tomorrow in Bloomsbury, is the first where my day (so far) is free. So I'll be there.

Transitions is an academic symposium on comic book storytelling, it was created back in 2010 by Dr Tony Venezia as a forum for new approaches and voices in comics research in the UK. It has grown a little since then, and currently run by the Hallvard Haug (Birkbeck, University of London), Nina Mickwitz (University of the Arts London) and John Miers (Kingston University.) It will also have Dr Maggie Gray (Kingston), author of Alan Moore, Out from the Underground: Cartooning, Performance and Dissent  as this year's keynote speaker.

It is free to attend, funded by the Centre for Contemporary Literature and the Department of English and Humanities at Birkbeck, but must be booked in advance. There are still a few places available.

Here is the schedule for the day. I had better get an early night…


  • 9.30 – 10.00 Registration
  • 10.00 – 10.20 (B20) Brief Welcomes Joe Brooker and Hallvard Haug (Birkbeck)
  • 10.20 -11.20 Keynote by Dr. Maggie Gray (Kingston) + Q&A. Chair: John Miers.
  • Break 10 minutes
  • 11.30am – 1.00pm PANELS 1A AND 1B
  • 1A Speculative fictions (532) Chair: Joe Sutliff Sanders
  • Barbara Chamberlin (University of Brighton): 'What Lurks Beneath: the spectral reader and the witch in comics'
  • Kevin Hoffin (Birmingham City University): 'Magick as Transgression through DC/Vertigo's "John Constantine": An ultra-realist approach to the discussion of comics as cultural criminology'
  • Corinna Lenhardt (University of Münster): 'The Final Frontier: Futurism and survivance in Indigenous sci-fi comic book stories'
  • 1B Maternity and comics (B20) Chair: Nicola Streeten
  • Roundtable discussion convened by Sarah Lightman (Birkbeck). Speakers to include:
  • Camille Aubry (Toddler Moments, A Journey to Motherhood); Francesca Cassaveti (The Most Natural Thing In The World); Dr Isabel Davis (Birkbeck) and Anna Burel (Conceiving Histories); Dr Hattie Earle (Sheffield Hallam); Karrie Fransman (The House That Groaned, Death of The Artist); Amber Hsu (Tiny Pencil, One Pound Poems); Kripa Joshi (Miss Moti); Simone Lia (Fluffy/Please God, Find Me a Husband!); Zarina Liew (Rosie and Jacinda, The Sun and The Moon); Dr. Sarah Lightman (Birkbeck, The Book of Sarah); Penelope Mendonca (Central/St Martins); Amelie Persson.
  • 1.00 – 2.00 pm LUNCH (own arrangements)
  • 2.00 – 3.30 PANEL 2
  • Power and Politics of Representation (B20) Chair: Harriet Earle
  • Paul Fisher Davies (University of Sussex): 'Comics and Power: Towards a critical discourse analysis for comics'
  • Keisha Fraser-Bruce (University of Nottingham): 'Black Political Cartoonists: Satire, the Politics of Race and the Classification of the Black Cartoon in Aaron McGruder's The Boondocks'
  • Sara Gancedo Lesmes (Complutense University, Madrid ): 'The Comic as a Revulsive: El Roto's comic strips as counterhegemonic art'
  • Break 10 minutes
  • 3.40 – 4.40 PANELS 3A and 3B
  • 3A Autographics, truths and conceits (B20) Chair: Sarah Lightman
  • Eszter Szép (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest): 'Lynda Takes the Line for a Walk: Attitudes and philosophies of drawing in Lynda Barry's comics'
  • Chantal Cointot (Nottingham Trent University): 'An Affair with Judith Forest: Framing the male gaze with impossible selfies'
  • 3B Contemporary comics subcultures (532) Chair: Nina Mickwitz
  • Dom Davies (City University of London): 'Global Cities, Urban Forms: Comics as infrastructure'
  • Debanjana Nayek (Presidency University, Kolkata): 'Drawing a Subculture: The dissenting voices of the Indian digital graphic narratives'
  • Break 10 minutes
  • 4.50 – 5.50 PANELS 4A and 4B
  • 4A Digital comics and hybrid story-telling (B20) Chair: Ian Hague
  • Daniel Goodbrey (University of Hertfordshire): 'Disruptions of Word and Image'
  • Simona Spinelli (King's College London): 'Comics and the Case of Madefire: The evolution of a hybrid form of storytelling'
  • 4B Microhistories (532) Chair: Hallvard Haug
  • Guy Lawley (University of the Arts London): 'Surviving until Superman: the US comic book as printed object, 1933-1938'
  • Mark Hibbett (University of the Arts London): 'Doctor Doom as The Avatar Of Villainy in Not Brand Ecch'
  • 6.00 – 6.30 RESPONSES: Roger Sabin, Joan Ormrod, Ian Hague, Nicola Streeten.
  • 6.30 – 8.00 WINE RECEPTION

This is Where I'll Be Tomorrow – Transitions 8 in London

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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