Saturday morning: I’m moderating the MLA 2018 forum “From CFP to Publication”

Learn all about developing a successful conference panel!

I will be moderating “From CFP to Publication: Developing a Successful Conference Panel” at the 2018 meeting of the Modern Language Association, Saturday, January 6, 2018, 10:15 AM to 11:30 AM, in Hilton Concourse E.

This forum hosts scholars, writers, and editors from various backgrounds with significant experience in the successful planning, promotion, and execution of numerous conference panels at MLA and other major language and literature conventions.

Questions are encouraged: audience members will have the opportunity to discuss their ideas for convention panels, how to network through these panels, and how to pursue publishing opportunities. (And you can use this advice to propose your own conference sessions, such as for the 2019 meeting of the Northeast MLA in Washington, DC.)

Thanks to the Regional MLAs, especially the Northeast MLA, for assistance organizing this session. And a special thank you to the MLA Office of the Executive Director for supporting this session.

Tweet questions before or during the forum with the hashtags #S533 #MLA18 or tweet @dereksmcgrath.

Below is our set of speakers–and we look forward to meeting our audience!


  • Carine M. Mardorossian, University at Buffalo
  • Laurence D. Roth, Susquehanna University
  • Simona Wright, College of New Jersey
  • Brandi So, Stony Brook University
  • Daniela D’Eugenio, Vanderbilt University
  • Derek McGrath, University at Buffalo
  • Amanda Caleb, Misericordia University
  • Randy Laist, Goodwin College

Fandom Report for Oct 26 2017: Happy Halloween!

Here are some seasonal animated shorts.

The Nightmare Before Christmas comes to Clue.

My colleague Emily Lauer writes about the 1980s comics series The Dracula File.

Yasuhiro Irie returns to a very Soul Eater aesthetic for his KickStarter.

Nerds on Earth look at the psychology of horror films. (And I’ve been teaching just a bit about it this semester.)


Fandom Report for Oct 19 2017: Have a Goku burger


More news is coming soon about JAMS Anime’s first conference panels.

Have a Goku burger.

MOB Psycho goes live action.

Frog-kun saves overpowered characters.

That symbol in the Sunrise logo has come alive.

FMA live action screens at Anime NYC November 19.

I appreciate the attempt to apply real-world biology to a fictional setting like My Hero Academia, but when the show’s science already demonstrates its rules and has shown that the science in it is not the same as ours, that is the definition of science fiction–and hence, this exercise took up time I will never get back. -_-#

If you aren’t reading Servamp, you should: with a new announcement next month, and the recent chapters having one of its few female characters taking center stage, something big is coming.


Gigantic is cancelled.

Cartoon Research looks at Basil Rathbone narrating Mr. Toad.

You couldn’t make Magica Italian? I get that “British = villain” thanks to colonization–which is accurate–but that’s cliche.

Wait, didn’t I already have that Darkwing Duck figure? (Also, it’s not “Black and White” Darkwing Duck. It’s NegaDuck I. Philistines.)


We got the Hey Arnold film trailer.

The new Voltron season is now on Netflix.

How about this: make your own McDonald’s sauce and not be a dick to employees.

Sci Fi

We got the Last Jedi trailer.

Here’s a bit of the science of Star Wars.

We got a Philip K. Dick anthology series.


Scorsese teachines online.

Netflix prices go up, Hulu prices go down.

Open Culture analyzes the art of Devo.

Have some Edgar Allan Poe food for Halloween.

Here’s a call for papers about geekdom and academia.

Yesterworld looks at how O.J. Simpson made Nickelodeon popular.

Of all things to remove from classrooms, a book about bigotry is the last one I would remove. There are certainly other books that will avoid the triggers To Kill a Mockingbird has while still communicating what that book teaches–but let’s not pretend a state like Mississippi is removing because of triggers: this decision is simply to avoid discussing persistent racism in its personal and institutional forms.

Video Games

A non-profit wants to preserve video games.

Kotaku looks at those Famicom cartridge holes.

More than 350,000 Mini Super Famicoms have been sold.


Constantine Animated is coming.

Please don’t make Runaways too ABC Family-esque.

Here’s some old info about the use of dots in coloring comics.

The bucket of “bad drawings of female superheroes” never runs low.

Ahead of the Netflix adaptation, The Daily Dot looks at the essential reading for The Punisher.

Speaking of The Punisher and horrifying violence…

Piss Off, Republicans

Removing marketing around The Punisher on Netflix is the right thing to do, Disney. You know what would be better? If you hadn’t given donations to members of Congress, especially Republicans, who remove gun protections and our health care so that we can get killed more easily by these under-regulated weapons. And maybe don’t have your heads of Disney and Marvel working for one of those Republicans who advocated the kind of violence that took place in Las Vegas. And if you don’t think that buffoon advocated the kind of violence that took place in Las Vegas–remember he repeatedly made death threats against Clinton and other people.

And while I’m on the subject of violent men…

Predatory behavior by men persists in Hollywood and multiple workplaces. It demands forceful, clear, and direct condemnation. It also demands men, where comfortable, to share their own experiences repeatedly and, when people, especially women, discuss such violence done onto them, to listen.

And how are any of us, especially women, to discuss our confrontations with sexual violence when platforms like Twitter punish us for speaking out and reward men for their violence and in fact are aiding rapists and sexual assaulters in spreading more violence?

So maybe if you agree that rape and sexual assault are abhorrent, you can start by voting out the party that elected a man who bragged about committing sexual assault.

Maybe you can boycott social media platforms that love to promote violent men.

But that would require you to take responsibility for your vote, your businesses, and your lives–and you who spent last year bashing Clinton can’t be bothered with that.

So sit down and be silent.

You people elected a fascist who wants to suppress the First Amendment rights of individuals who work in sports and journalism–so damn you forever, you evil, monstrous Republicans and all of their collaborators.

Fandom Report for Sep 28 2017: Punch Nazis, Not Dinosaurs

Unless they’re Nazi dinosaurs or dinosaur Nazis–then punch them.

Check back later today for a review of Star Trek Discovery–and it’s failure to do for this time period what previous iterations did for those eras.

And check in tomorrow for a review of DuckTales–specifically, what they’re doing with Gyro and GizmoDuck.


Right: Lin-Manuel Miranda in the title role of his musical Hamilton, April 20, 2016. Credit: Steve Jurvetson. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

CFP: “Whitewashing and Racebending: Diversity in Literature and Popular Culture” (Northeast MLA, April 2018, Pittsburgh), Submission Deadline 9/30/17

Right: Lin-Manuel Miranda in the title role of his musical Hamilton, April 20, 2016. Credit: Steve Jurvetson. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Rafael Ponce-Cordero and I have collaborated on numerous sessions at the Northeast Modern Language Association, focusing on representations of gender, race, and other markers of identity in comics and graphic narratives. For this session, we are interested in looking beyond comics and graphic narratives to consider numerous practices of changing the identity of a character in adaptations and other re-imaginings of earlier texts. Source material may include comics and graphic narratives but can be expanded to adaptations of traditional texts, films, plays, and fan productions.

Please forward the full call for papers below to potentially interested contributors. 300-word abstracts are due online September 30, 2017, at https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16951. If you have any questions for Rafael and me, please email derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com or message me on Twitter.


New addition: Call for Papers page

Given how many CFPs I organize or promote each year, I have added a calls for papers page. Check it out for some panels I’m organizing at the Northeast Modern Language Association in Pittsburgh (deadline for abstracts: September 30, 2017). And please email me at derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com or tweet at me any CFPs you would like me to consider promoting on my site.

With Bakugo, “My Hero Academia” shows your fave is problematic

“Todoroki vs Bakugo,” My Hero Academia, Episode 25
Adapting Issues 42, 43, and 44 of the manga, available from Viz
Anime available at CrunchyRoll and Funimation

Well, that was an ending–and, in terms of doing more with Bakugo and the animation, it’s somehow more disappointing than the manga’s version.

Granted, “Todoroki vs Bakugo” improved upon some details from the source material, including the already effective reunion of Todoroki and his mother, and clarified Midnight’s powers, something not as clear in the comic panels and gutters (despite the clue in her name). Comics are thus a double-edge sword. Composed of panels, they are a series of frozen moments, so they cannot communicate movement as easily as animation without having more page space to extend that action into multiple panels. However, the benefit to comics is that they tend to allow audiences to sit and meditate for the longest time on moments frozen in time, like All Might’s heartfelt outreach to Tokoyami and Todoroki, or the humor behind Bakugo’s fury. Meanwhile, when I saw Bakugo shaking in his chains, I wasn’t amused–I was horrified, because whereas characters like Todoroki, Izuku, and Ochaco have reached tenuous resolution to their plots, Bakugo and Iida have not–and Bakugo lacks the kind of sympathetic background to his story. The flashbacks in the cold opening improve upon the manga so as to clarify why we should sympathize with Bakugo–and it’s still difficult.


“My Hero Academia” puts the spotlight on side characters with original content in newest episode

“Battle On, Challengers!” My Hero Academia Episode 21

The storyboards for the previous two episodes of My Hero Academia have departed widely from the original manga’s panels. Some departures have been successful, such as the different framing on Todoroki’s hand against Izuku’s face, and some have been disappointing, such as the loss of the image of Izuku standing over the defeated Shinso. Overall, these departures have helped prepared viewers for this episode, which is probably the first one in My Hero Academia to have original content–ignoring the OVA (itself written by series creator Kohei Horikoshi).

This episode was necessary. With such a large cast, and such a lengthy battle arc, the pace can slow down, look at characters other than the main five (although one duel focuses on Iida), and function more as a series of animated shorts, tied together with Ochaco’s internal struggle and Izuku’s analysis.

This is the first episode this season that is an adaptation of only one chapter of the manga–which makes sense: with so many duels taking place, the episode would waste the opportunity to take more time putting these battles in action. The manga benefits from wrapping up the battles in just a few panels–not too long to bore readers with endless issues of one-on-one battles, and because each panel can contain within it so much information, while animation depends on tracking the movements. Studio BONES does not skimp on the animation in this episode: there are few frozen images to just hint at what took place–we actually see the battles occurring. Most impressive, however, is how this episode lends some character development to Ochacho and Mina, as well as setting up Momo’s future stories, however disappointed I am with how Momo has been handled.