This is a very special essay for Comics Academe, and a formal announcement, of sorts.
Earlier this month, Comics Academe co-editor Adrienne Resha announced on Twitter that she was joining the INKS editorial board.
— Adrienne Resha (@AdrienneResha) November 18, 2021
Understandably, this means she cannot be continuing as Comics Academe co-editor. Editorial changes happen all the time, but I’d like to spend this November’s Comics Academe, on this weekend of Thanksgiving, and share a little bit about why I’m so grateful for Adrienne’s tenure here and how Comics Academe will be moving forward.
Adrienne joined WWAC in August 2018 when she wrote about the experience of being harassed for stating the truth about how putting a cover artist like J. Scott Campbell on a series isn’t a feminist move by Marvel. At the time of that article, I don’t think any of us knew what an impact that article, or Adrienne herself, would have on WWAC and Comics Studies.
Although she wouldn’t officially become co-editor until much later, it was because I met Adrienne that I began to see Comics Academe could be more active in comics studies as a platform for public scholarship. With Adrienne’s advice, I ran for election to be a Member-at-Large for CSS, and I won. With Adrienne’s advice, I nominated one of the most popular and important Comics Academe essays, 4 Colorism, or, the Ashiness of it All and 4 Colorism, or, White Paper/Brown Pixels by Zoe D. Smith for the CSS Seldes Prize for public scholarship — which it won. Those articles were then republished in INKS.
Having Adrienne as my co-editor reinvigorated Comics Academe. Many of the articles we have published in the past two years have been written by comics studies scholars about their own scholarship: Jessica Ginting’s Community Spaces, Alternative Marketplaces: Indie Comics and Culture. Kell Richard’s Reimagining the Personification of Death in Popular Culture. Kay Sohini’s I Draw (A Graphic Dissertation), Therefore I Am and I Draw (A Graphic Dissertation), Comics as Method and Holding Environment. Liz Phieffer’s Rereading Bitch Planet in 2021: Back Off, Karens and Rereading Bitch Planet in 2021: Basic Bitches & Blackface. Adrienne herself also wrote about The Making of “The Blue Age of Comics” when it was published last June.
Comics Academe has changed, for the better, because of Adrienne. And with Adrienne leaving her role as Comics Academe co-editor, there is an opportunity to make more change. There is a strong need for public scholarship spaces in comics studies, and an even stronger need for editorial opportunities for comics scholars. I will be working with Adrienne, and others, to imagine what Comics Academe can be and what it can do to support comics studies scholars going forward.