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Creativity and community in letters pages of British girls' comics.

Round, J., 2023. Creativity and community in letters pages of British girls' comics. In: International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference, 3-7 July 2023, Cambridge.

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This paper analyses the creative and community-building practices of readers in the 1970s British girls’ comics Spellbound (DC Thomson, 1976-77) and Misty (IPC, 1978-80). It opens by giving some context to the girls’ comics industry and the complex/exploitative relationship between publishers and readers (who were often abandoned as titles would be merged or withdrawn without warning). [It notes that the comics medium asks readers to contribute a lot to story interpretation and offers some representative examples of how this worked.] It surveys the different spaces in the comics where readers were addressed overtly and their voices were heard (such as the inside cover welcomes, voting slips for favourite stories, clubs and societies, and the letters pages) and proceeds to close analysis of the letters pages. It analyses the entire corpus of letters pages from Misty alongside proportional sampling from Spellbound, and identifies common themes that emerge. It concludes that despite the top-down hegemonic nature of the comics industry, the readers of girls’ comics read critically and creatively, and that the letters pages are highly visible spaces that demonstrate creative collaboration and community building, often with supportive and therapeutic qualities.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:38962
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:19 Jan 2024 15:44
Last Modified:19 Jan 2024 15:44


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