The International Graphic Novel & Comics Conference

The Fifteenth Annual International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference

Comics and Technologies

University of East Anglia, Norwich

10-12 July 2024





Keynote Speakers


From Golden Legacies to Afrofutures: The Common Themes in how Black Cartoonists use Communications Technologies

Darnel Degand, Assistant Professor, University of California, Davis, School of Education

This talk will give a sociocultural and historical overview of how technology has been used by Black cartoonists. I start by sharing my own personal observations as a consumer of comics from the late 80s to now. I’ll discuss how my experiences inspired my research interests in comics, media, and education. And then I will share themes from my research that support my arguments for how Black cartoonists have consistently used communications technologies to remind us of Black people’s contributions to society (and more specifically, comics culture).

Darnel Degand is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at University of California-Davis (UC Davis). He explores social processes within media production environments and media consumption experiences (with a special focus on comics during formal, nonformal, and informal instruction). He received his Ed.D. in Instructional Technology and Media from Teachers College Columbia University, M.S. in Digital Imaging and Design from New York University, and B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining UC Davis, Darnel acquired two decades of professional experience as an interactive media producer. A sampling of his resume includes roles as a game designer/developer for Sesame Workshop, technical development manager for an advertising company acquired by Amazon, and multimedia designer for the City University of New York. Some of his publications can be found in the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, Studies in Comics, and The Comics Grid. More details at


Experimenting with Comics

Karrie Fransman

Comics have long held the ability to harness and adapt to emerging technologies. If, like Will Eisner, you define comics as ‘sequential art’ you can easily unleash them from their paper cages into any physical (or indeed virtual) space. All you need is a sequence and a story. In this keynote talk comic creator Karrie Fransman will present her own (and others’) experimental comic work; from comics on paper, in 3D spaces such as dolls houses and jewellery boxes, to digital spaces embracing emerging technologies from iPads to virtual reality. We will also look back into the past at the ways comics have moved off cave walls to tapestries and sculptures to see how this might inspire future experiments. With the threat of AI looming over us, we will need to find innovative ways to protect artists’ work and preserve the human soul of our artform so that we may create and share visual stories for generations to come.

Karrie Fransman’s comics have been published by The United Nations, The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, the BBC, The Arts Council and The British Red Cross. She has published 4 books:  ‘Gender Swapped Fairy Tales’ (2020) and ‘Gender Swapped Greek Myths’ (2023, Faber & Faber-) both co-created with Jonathan Plackett and two graphic novels: ‘The House That Groaned’ (2012, Penguin Random House), and the award winning ‘Death of the Artist’ (2015, Jonathan Cape). She created an installation for the British Council and Southbank Centre and was commissioned to make a ‘Selves Portrait’ for an exhibition with Manchester Art Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. She is Creative Director at who uses comics and animation to amplify academic research. She is  a founding member of The Comics Cultural Impact Collective (CCIC) that aims to raise awareness of the value of comics in the UK. You can find more of her work at


Call for Papers

New technologies have affected the creation, production, distribution, forms, themes, ethics, and cultures of comics. Collaboration and creativity have been enabled by digital communication and creative tools. Comics have adapted to emerging technologies that inspire new formats, such as photomechanical reproduction, the four-colour process, photocopying, free computer software such as Canva, MediBang Paint, or the Internet. Apps and platforms enable new possibilities for access and ways of reading. Most recently, the emergence of AI has led to concerns about copyright, data protection and creator exploitation.

Comics have also represented technologies thematically: in genres such as superheroes and science fiction, for instance in the grandiose future technologies envisioned by Moebius or Jack Kirby; in war comics that depict industrialised conflict; and under the umbrella of graphic medicine, which describe and critique medical tech. Technologies can be useful for researchers, for instance in the development of software to analyse huge amounts of data or cataloguing long runs of comics.

We are interested in all aspects of comics and technologies and themes that might be addressed (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Representing technologies – e.g. future worlds (including Afrofuturist, Arabfuturist, etc.)
  • The interfaces between people and technologies
  • Using technology in researching, or education through, comics
  • Producing comics via technologies – from major global corporations to small scale production
  • Historical aspects of technologies: comics formats, production, distribution
  • Comics and the politics of technology – race, gender, sexuality, class, etc.
  • The future of comics arising from technologies
  • The effect of digital tools on collaboration and creation

We will also have room within our programme, as always, for papers, workshops, and roundtables that do not fit this specific theme.

We are now accepting proposals for papers (20 minutes), panels (of 2 or 3 papers) or roundtable and workshop sessions (60-90 minutes).  Please submit the following to  by 15 December 2023:

  • abstract of 250 words
  • a biography of 50 words including your name, email, affiliation, and gender pronouns
  • state whether your paper will be given in person or online
  • state whether you would be interested in chairing a panel

If you have any queries please email

IGNCC Code of Conduct