My new academic project

Ever since I finished my Master’s thesis and starting teaching on and off, I’ve been wondering about what I want to do next. Obviously I want to keep teaching, but at the same time I feel like I need to be working on something academic-minded now that my last academic project, my thesis, is over.

It seems strange because in reality, I’m always doing something. As of right now, I’m in the process of looking for new teaching position, I’m trying to keep up with making comics and webcomics, and I’m almost constantly thinking up ideas for new comics to try out. Project-wise, I seem to not really be at any lack of things to do.

Academically-wise though, it’s a different story. And while you’d think that after almost 10 years of college I’d be sick of it (I am), I found myself pondering a few things academically once I turned stuff in, paid binding fees, etc. It’s weird because I stressed and complained about my Master’s thesis forever, to the point that when I finally did finish and graduate I was in a surreal haze and couldn’t even properly celebrate the end of that phase of my life.

I don’t want to talk about my Master’s thesis too much because I might have plans for that monster in the near future and I’d like to save some of the surprise. If you don’t already know about it (people close to me will know something about it like the premise and title, etc) I will say that it involved me actively using comics as a reference and source material for comparison and research, and that it was (in very broad strokes) an analysis of modern science fiction.

Anyway…

Scott McCloud is someone that I look up to greatly, for various reasons. Understanding Comics was probably the main push/tipping point that seriously convinced me I could make comics and talk about comics for a living (on a serious level, anyway). The language and debates that he started about visual/literary combos as a medium of telling stories are still talked about today. He’s theorizing that the art of comics has existed throughout history, and that it’s a valid form of both art as well as literature.

So with that, I’m announcing “The Comic Book as the Ideal in Storytelling”.

My latest project, it will be an online collection of essays acting as a sort of continually-growing, online “thesis”. I’ll be posting writings analyzing key example texts and several theories I have about comics as the ideal storytelling medium. I’ll be talking about breaking the 4th wall, the effectiveness of the medium’s transmission of information versus other literature, comics as platforms for idealism and philosophy, my takes on various sub-genres withing the medium, and other stuff like that.  I’ll be trying to adhere to MLA standards when it comes to formatting and in-text citations (there’ll be a minimum of in-text hyperlinking, making this very much not Web 2.0), so it’ll be, in theory, a little stiff and formal.

Also, there is the SLIGHT possibility that I might even take guest submissions if anyone is interested, but I don’t know for sure.  I mean, if you’d like to help contribute to this project, that’d be incredibly cool and you should get in touch with me, but I’m not actively seeking submissions.  For right now, it’s just me.

Fun fact; I’ve been stewing this a while and actually have had the site and URL ready since June, but haven’t had a chance to write anything serious for it until after the move.

If you’re an academic, I hope you like it.  If you’re a comic book fan, I hope you like it too.  If you’re neither and end up enjoying it because you just like my writing (for some reason), then that’s awesome too.

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