Comics Worlds and the World of Comics edition:1 location:Kyoto date:18-20 December 2009
In current manga and comics studies, non-fiction works, works that do not appear in printed form, and amateur works created outside of the "official" publishing industry are relegated to the periphery of the field at best. Can a field called "global comics studies" be relevant without first overcoming this lack of inclusiveness? If we wish to engage in cross-cultural comparisons of certain creations within well-defined theoretical frameworks, we must be able to define what, for our purposes, constitutes a "comic". We might assume that form dictates what is a comic, but is it even possible to establish the formal attributes of a "comic" and then determine which works conform and which do not? We might also attempt to identify "comics" based on content rather than form. However, any distinction drawn between "proper" storytelling forms and those that do not conform runs not only the risk of being arbitrary, but of dismissing the preferred modes of communication of less privileged groups.