Posted by The Editors on 2023-12-13
Call for Submissions
The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship
Special Collection: Graphic Biographical Fiction
Special Collection Editors: Nancy Pedri (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada) and Maria Juko (Independent Researcher)
Scholars have only recently turned a critical eye towards the fictionalization of real people despite biofiction’s popularity on the literary market since the 1980s. Unlike autobiographies or biographies, rather than a truthful account of the person’s life story, biofiction centres on a creative interpretation of a real person’s life in which they become a character.
Following David Lodge, who emphasized that the biographical novel “takes a real person and their real history as the subject matter for imaginative exploration” (Lodge, 2007:8), Michael Lackey emphasizes that “the biographical novel is, first and foremost, fiction” (Lackey, 2016: 5). Further refining his definition of this literary form, Lackey explains how “the author of biofiction fictionalizes a historical person’s life in order to project into existence his or her own vision of life and the world” (Lackey, 2022: 13). Despite its growing popularity in life writing studies (Lackey, Latham, Layne), there has been a lack of research in graphic narratives that dramatize the lives of real people across words and images.
In calling for submissions for this Special Collection, we take our cue from Paul Franssen and Ton Hoenselaars, who wished to “locate this genre in the field of literary production” (1999:18), to locate it in the field of comics studies. As such, this Special Collection seeks to fill an important gap in exploring the tensions and productive relationships between biofiction and the graphic medium. Graphic biographical fiction asks us to reflect on several questions about storytelling, reading, and consumption and marketing patterns.
These include, but are not limited to:
- What is the relationship between graphic biographical fiction from graphic
biography, historical fiction, or portraiture?
- How does graphic biographical fiction impact our understanding of biographical
- How does graphic biographical fiction address identity or the fact/fiction divide?
- What questions about authorship does graphic biographical fiction raise?
- What implications for character does graphic biographical fiction’s fictionalized
treatment of a real person have?
- How do graphic biographical fictions navigate the dangers of imposture,
falsification, or sensationalism?
- How does the visual aspect of graphic biographical fiction contribute to the
dramatization of a real person and a real life?
- To what extend are readers encouraged to merge the real-life person with their work/
- Which real-life people are represented in graphic biographic fiction, and what makes
them a suitable choice for authors?
- Why do graphic biographical novels from European countries often focus on British
or American subjects?
- How is this genre promoted and why?
- What readership does this genre attract and why?
In accordance with the journal’s scope, we call for submissions that are professionally written and presented, incorporating high-quality images that authors discuss directly and in detail. We will consider submissions from affiliated senior or early career scholars, practitioners and independent researchers, as long as they fit the journal’s call for papers, scope and editorial guidelines.
We do not consider submissions on the basis of abstracts only; we only receive and consider full versions of submissions via our .
We invite energetic writing that is theoretically and interpretively bold. While academic rigour, the inclusion and close discussion of images and citational correctness are important to us as a precondition, a key feature our editors and reviewers will consider is the argument, the discovery, the evidence-based eureka moments conveyed in economical, precise, and, ideally, subtle prose. We believe academic writing about comics should be as striking and immediate as the medium itself.
The Comics Grid encourages open science methods and advocates the value of reproducibility. Authors using datasets or code in their submissions are encouraged to cite and share them in their submissions using appropriate open-access repositories such as , or.
In order to be considered for peer review all submissions require image files that should be directly referred to and discussed in the body of the submission and must closely follow our submission guidelines.
Deadline for full submissions: 31 August 2024
Potential publication date: late 2024 or early 2025.
For full submissions information, please go to .
Though the journal cannot provide informal pre-submission advice, authors with questions about this Special Collection’s scope can contact the collection’s editors directly: Nancy Pedri firstname.lastname@example.org and Maria Juko email@example.com.
Franssen, P. and Hoenselaars T. 1999. “Introduction: The Author as Character. Defining a Genre.” In Granssen, P and Hoenselaars, T. editors. The Author as Character Representing History Writers in Western Literature. Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, pp. 11-38.
Lackey, M. 2016.. "Locating and Defining the Bio in Biofiction!, a/b: Auto/ Biography Studies 31:1, 3-10.
Lackey, M. 2022. Biofiction. An Introduction. Routledge.
Latham, M. 2012. "Serv[Ing] Under Two Masters!, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies 27:2,
Layne, B. 2022. Biofiction and Writers' Afterlives. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Lodge, D. 2007. The Year of Henry James: The Story of a Novel: With other Essays on the Genesis, Composition, and Reception of Literary Fiction. London: Penguin.