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Ink and Imagination: Exploring Children’s Comics (2024)

2024 UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, “Ink and Imagination: Exploring Children’s Comics”

Conference flyer with with clouds. All information written in text below.

The Graduate Comics Organization (GCO) at the University of Florida is proud to announce our 20th annual conference: “Ink and Imagination: Exploring Children’s Comics.” The conference will be held April 5-7, 2024.

Since the GCO held its conference on comics and childhood in 2006, the field of children’s comics has exploded—artists like Raina Telgemeier have become household names, efforts like #WeNeedDiverseBooks have pushed children’s literature to include more diverse authors and stories, and YA comics imprints like First Second (founded in 2006) have heeded that call.

Despite their popularity, children’s comics are ruled by paradoxes. As much as the form of comics tries to push away from being equated with children, children’s comics are immensely popular, and YA graphic novels attract the best cartoonists with promises of advances seldom available elsewhere in publishing. Given that boundaries between what’s marketed as a children’s comic and what children actually read can be blurry, how do we define and engage children’s comics as an area of study?

UF’s Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature will offer tours of the collection during the conference as well as limited research appointments. We will also be partnering with our local cartooning school, the Sequential Artists Workshop (SAW) to hold a local comics and zines fest on the final day of the conference.

We are pleased to announce Andre Frattino and Alison Halsall as our keynote speakers for this year’s conference. For more information on our keynote speakers, suggested topics, and submission guidelines, please see our full CFP here.

Proposals are due January 8, 2024.

For information about GCO’s past conferences, visit our archive: 

Find GCO on Facebook here, and Instagram here.