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About this journal

Founded in 2010 by Benoît Berthou as the first peer-reviewed scholarly journal in French dealing with the issue of graphic culture, Comicalités welcomes thematic issues and articles that take comics as their starting point and shed light on graphic culture as a whole.

Comics as a starting point

The founding of Comicalités was the result of this paradoxical observation: the growing interest in comics as a research object since the 2000s in France, Belgium, and Switzerland has only partially yielded comics-specific research structures. The work of researchers in comics has unfolded primarily through special issues of eminent journals in various specific disciplines, such as Le Débat, Hermès, Communication et langage, or Sociétés et Représentation. At the same time, research groups have been created at local levels or around specific projects or objectives. However, the academic community around this research object has remained fragmented across different disciplines and traditions.

This observation can be experienced as a richness by researchers specializing in comics, whose object crosses established disciplines, encouraging diverse and complementary approaches. Comicalités proposes to be a possible rallying point. To this end, its editorial board brings together a team of researchers from different countries and disciplinary backgrounds. The journal is not only a publication for comics specialists: it is a scholarly journal which sees comics as the point of convergence for many disciplinary concerns. From a multidisciplinary perspective, we invite authors to address questions of mode of expression, production, and reception.

Comics and beyond

Until 2010, semiotics, literature, and history were the main disciplines within which comics studies were studied. Today, sociologists, geographers, philosophers, specialists in educational sciences, computer science, gender studies, and medicine, among many others, are looking at the medium. Comics are thus approached in its complexity and contradictions, as a medium central to many human cultures, from the 19th to the 21st centuries, circulating from paper to digital, from cultural industries to counter-culture, manifesting both local specificities and transnational cultural flows. Comicalités addresses all these fields of research in a transdisciplinary perspective that brings methods and communities into dialogue.

Tuning in to contemporary research methods

In order to take comics seriously as an object of research, Comicalités has always wished to follow the evolution of research standards. Conceived from the beginning as an open access digital journal,it has the particularity of eschewing traditional print-journal issue structures and chronology, by the play on the various temporalities of publication that digital technology allows. For this reason, articles maybe proposed for "Varia" at any time. Simultaneously, thematic dossiers are published at a rate of two per year. Thematic issues are launched when their editors assemble an initial critical mass of contributions through a preliminary call and selection process, however, these issues subsequently remain open as well: articles may be proposed and selected for addition to these dossiers at a later date.

Since 2021, the journal has been published under the aegis of the Pressures Universitaires de Liège, allowing for professional support for the publishing process. Moreover, the journal has gained an institutional home at the University of Liège, one of Europe's dynamic research centers for comics studies.The journal benefits from the financial support of the Fonds de la recherche scientifique (FNRS).

The journal is led by an editorial board, whose members read and evaluate all the texts proposed to the journal, coordinate blind peer review of all submissions (both as Varia and for thematic dossiers), and maintain the journal’s website. Publications in Comicalités are subject to a double-blind peer review. The former “scientific committee” has been replaced by a list of experts, updated annually. To publish in Comicalités, see the instructions for authors.

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