Call for Papers: Joss Whedon’s Comics

With dozens of nonfiction books on Joss Whedon’s works from Buffy to Avengers, one critical area has been ignored: Whedon’s comics. In fact, he’s written several series for Marvel and DC, along with independents and the many issues of Angel, Buffy, and Serenity comics for IDW and Dark Horse. While a few isolated essays have tackled Buffy season eight or Whedon’s X-Men run, there is no anthology devoted to only Whedon comics. Now that’s about to change.

Essays on any aspect of Whedon’s comics (as described below) are welcome. The completed essays should be 4000-5000 words. Essays must adhere to MLA format and be friendly and approachable, yet academic in scope and content. New papers or presented conference papers rather than reprints are appreciated. This collection is not yet under contract, but I have several interested publishers who are awaiting a list of essays to be included. McFarland, who publishes most of the Buffy criticism collections, will likely be on board.

Proposal Guidelines: Please send a 350-500 word summary of your proposed essay pasted into your email, along with a short professional bio or cover letter.

Direct inquiries and proposals can be sent to Valerie Estelle Frankel, pop culture author and professor, at valerie at with a subject of WHEDON SUBMISSION.

Abstracts are due Sept 7 (just extended), Complete papers Nov 30, 2014.

Essays on both canon and “less official” Whedon comics are welcome, as are comparisons between Whedon comics and other comics or other Whedon works. Discussion of comic conventions from canon to art to gender issues are also appreciated.  Other areas, like comparing Whedon’s Avengers movie, Agents of SHIELD, Doctor Horrible, or other shows to comics are also possible. On the shows, Buffy is compared to Spider-Man, Superman and Power Girl, Angel is compared to Batman so much Boreanaz was offered the role, Dark Willow parallels Dark Phoenix, Cordy and Fred are called Wonder Woman, and Xander and Giles are compared to Jimmy Olsen and Alfred…there’s paper material there, too. This anthology welcomes established Whedon scholars as well as enthusiastic new writers.

Which comics are Whedon’s? Canon comics include the following Whedon products (as Whedon wrote or supervised them).




Tales of the Slayers

Tales of the Vampires

Buffy: The Origin (reprinted in Buffy Omnibus 1)

Angel: Long Night’s Journey (#1-4) (reprinted in Angel: Omnibus 1)

“Always Darkest” (reprinted in Myspace Dark Horse Presents #4 or available online)

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Eight (Whedon wrote #1-5, 10, 11, 16-19)

Angel: After the Fall, Angel: The End, and spin-offs

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Nine (Whedon wrote #1-2)

Angel & Faith

Buffy Season Ten and Angel & Faith Vol. 2  2014-

See for a more elaborate Buffyverse comics guide and reading order.


Astonishing X-Men vol. 3: (#1-24) & Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1 (reprinted as the collections Astonishing X-Men: Gifted, Dangerous, Torn, Unstoppable)

“Teamwork” (in Giant Size X-Men #3, available online)


Serenity: Those Left Behind

Serenity: Better Days

Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale

“Serenity: Firefly Class 03-K64 – It’s Never Easy” (available online) by Zack Whedon

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind by Zack Whedon


Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories by Zack Whedon


Epitaphs by Andrew Chambliss, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen


“Some Steves” (in Stan Lee Meets The Amazing Spider-Man #1)

Runaways vol. 2 (#25-30) (reprinted as Dead End Kids)

Superman/Batman #26 (p. 20-21)

Sugarshock 1-3 (reprinted in Myspace Dark Horse Presents #1)


Please contact Valerie Estelle Frankel at valerie @ with any questions.



Filed under Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Comics, Pop Culture

11 responses to “Call for Papers: Joss Whedon’s Comics

  1. David

    What about the Dollhouse comics? Was that just an oversight or are you not considering them canon for some reason?

  2. B

    I think the list should include Dollhouse’s “Epitaphs” comics series.

  3. Oh you guys are totally right and I put it up…Joss Whedon didn’t supervise them, his brother did, but the same is true for Dr. Horrible and Leaves on the Wind. Love to get essay submissions from everyone…

  4. Will authors be compensated for their work?

  5. Pingback: All the Weekend Links (100%) | Gerry Canavan

  6. EvanK

    Hi, Valerie. A few questions for you.

    Have you secured a publisher yet?

    When will you make your decisions about the submitted proposals?

    Are you still looking at a 11/30 deadline for finished papers?

    Thanks in advance.

    • McFarland has just accepted the book but I’m afraid they think it’s too fat already—I just can’t squeeze in any more. Thus I must announce that the collection is closed. HOWEVER, I know that someone is doing ANOTHER Whedon and comics essay anthology (Okay, yes, we both got the idea at the same conference.) And you or others reading this could submit your proposal to them. The CFP isn’t up yet so I don’t have all the details, but they’ve said they’ll post it in October, presumably to the Whedon Studies Association and Penn English. Plus I’ll post a link up here. Best of luck and thanks to everyone who expressed interest.

      • EvanK

        Sorry, a bit of clarification. I submitted a proposal back in August, but I have not heard from you about whether my proposal was accepted or not. Have you already made your decisions and notified the authors? Thanks for the clarification.

      • A search hasn’t turned it up–please resend and I’ll see what I can do.

  7. EvanK

    I’ve resent the original email, dated August 2nd. If you do not receive it, please check your junk mail folder.
    If it’s simply too late at this point, I certainly understand – these things happen.

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