112th Annual Conference - Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014

This page is about the 2014 conference. For 2015 conference info, go to PAMLA 2015.

Webcomics: An Emergent Canon

Session Chair: 
Christopher Kuipers, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Session 6: Saturday 10:30am-12:00pm
RCC Meeting Room 2


  1. Ryan Cadrette, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    This paper draws upon the work of Pierre Bourdieu to examine how webcomics, as a field of cultural production, have given rise to a new vanguard of cultural intermediaries. Industry awards for achievement in webcomics creation are examined to interrogate where and how criteria for the evaluation of webcomics are formed, and who these new cultural intermediaries may be.
  2. Gabriel Romaguera, University of Rhode Island
    Popular webcomics typically cater to an intellectual, tech-savvy, nerdy readership. These texts often follow social norms of gaming and gamer culture, from the "two gamers on a couch" gag strips made popular by Penny Arcade to the D&D parody-turned-epic-fantasy of Order of the Stick. The social experience of gaming makes such webcomics relatable, and the classic core rules of RPG's help establish cohesive worlds and a stable base for storytelling.
  3. Christopher Kuipers, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
    As an "emergent canon," webcomics have evolved with affiliations among several other literary and artistic corpora, including newspaper strips, serial comicbooks, graphic novels, and electronic literature. This paper will probe the current broad dimensions of the webcomics canon, which, in comparison to its antecedents, appears writerly, feminist, niche-oriented, hyper-immersive, and ephemeral. Particularly revealing of the canon are the ways vanguard webcomics have been monetized and remediated.
Session Cancelled: