Tuesday, 22 July 2014

New Websites and Research Plans

It was never my plan to abandon this blog and all you wonderful readers entirely, but unfortunately, that seems to have happened. I just don't have the time to maintain an online presence in five places at once, and this blog has been pushed to a back burner as I've focused on posting daily visual content to Off the Sketchpad. I don't know how many of you are following that blog. I bought a new domain and everything for the site, and now it's starting to feel like my internet home, at least more than it did. You can now visit the site, and keep tabs on my various projects, new pieces, and whatever beer I'm drinking as I read new additions to my bookshelf, at www.ajkomics.ca.

That's not the only new domain announcement I have! Clearly, I've been away far too long... Sacred & Sequential has launched our new website at www.sacredandsequential.org! We're all very excited about this. I had a draft blog post from way back when sitting, unfulfilled, that read,"even if the site doesn't look like much yet, we are developing more content" and now Voila! the site is full of content. A. David Lewis, the mastermind behind Sacred & Sequential, has done a superb job of gathering religion-and-comics-focused articles together into a formidable archive on the site. You can find all our stuff in one place: information on the ISIS death fatwa issued against The 99 creator Dr. Naif Al Mutawa; an interview with Dr. Christine Hoff Kraemer concerning Alan Moore's spiritual philosophy, her interactions with the famed comics writer and Magus, and the "gap in Moore scholarship"; and news on courses in the areas of religion and comics (preferably overlapping), such this one being offered by Dr. Jeffrey Brackett at Ball State University. All this and much, much more. Suffice it to say I have a lot of reading to do to get myself caught up.

In other news, I've pulled out of the 3rd global conference on The Graphic Novel at Oxford. Which is something I never thought I'd hear myself say, that I was letting go of the opportunity to present research at Oxford, yet here I am. It's the downside of being both a student and an independent scholar; when an $1100 conference opportunity comes your way, you either get a grant or you don't go. So that's a shame. BUT...the research planned for that project will continue, and will pick up speed when I return from my year abroad and can settle in again with proper resources and all of my Digital Humanities comrades here in Kelowna. For those of you in the dark, the plans to which I'm referring involve encoding Canadian "Golden Age" comics, the black & white classics known fondly as the "Canadian Whites", using John Walsh's Comic Book Markup Language. Initially, those plans involved only one title, cartoonist Adrian Dingle's Nelvana of the Northern Lights, recently collected and reprinted in a gorgeous hardcover volume by Canadian comics historians Rachel Richey and Hope Nicholson. Hope and Rachel were wonderfully supportive when I pitched them my idea back in March. Now, with Rachel working on a reprint of Johnny Canuck and Hope tackling the classic Brok Windsor, my idea is...evolving. I'm stepping away from it for about a year while I study in England, and you'll see a new and more fully developed iteration of it sometime down the road. So many ideas, so many grant applications to write...

I think that brings us at least somewhat up to date. I'll try not to be AFK for so long this time. I'm sure I can think of something else to write about. There's always something.


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