From The Blog

3 Joss Whedon CFPs!

Wanna share your insights on the Whedonverse: Buffy? Firefly? Marvel’s Black Widow? More! Here are 3 terrific Calls for Papers:

1. Special Issue of Slayage on Firefly/Serenity

Issue 13.1 of Slayage (Spring 2015) will be a special issue devoted entirely to Firefly/Serenity. It will be guest-edited by Michael Goodrum and Philip Smith, editors of the forthcoming volume Firefly: Academic Approaches to Joss Whedon’s Series to be published by Rowman and Littlefield.

It has been over ten years since Joss Whedon’s Firefly (2002-03) was first screened. Although the narrative covers only one season and a film, the series has enjoyed a long afterlife through comic books, roleplaying games, and the fan community. It has also enjoyed a steady flow of academic responses even if, at times, it has remained somewhat under-represented compared with Whedon’s other work.

The editors seek original contributions concerning Firefly/Serenity. Papers should show a strong awareness of existing academic scholarship on the series and film (including the existing Slayage special issue from 2008). Preference will be given to proposals which take an original approach and/or engage with more recent additions to the Firefly ‘verse, particularly the Serenity comics.

Individuals who are interested in contributing should send a 200-300-word abstract/proposal by August 15, 2014. Submissions will be due September 30, 2014. Please send your proposal to

Final papers will be 5,000 – 7,000 words in length and in Modern Language Association (MLA) style.


2. Collection on Marvel’s Black Widow

Publisher McFarland & Company is interested in an essay collection on the character Black Widow. At the present time, chapters in the collection will be written by Stephanie Graves, Jillian Coleman, Lewis Call, David Kociemba, and editor Sherry Ginn. If you would like to submit a proposal for possible inclusion, please send your name, email address, a tentative title, and a brief summary of your proposed essay to Sherry Ginn, at She would especially be interested in receiving a proposal that discusses the early history of Black Widow and her depictions in the comics.

The timeline for this collection is as follows:
First drafts to me no later than 1 April 2015.
Second drafts due 1 July 2015 (in order to incorporate Avengers 2).
Manuscript to McFarland by 1 October 2015. This will result in the book being in print in time for the 7th Biennial Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses.


3.  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 AngelBuffy, andSerenity 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 August 31, 2014. Completed papers are due November 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 SHIELDDoctor 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 that 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 FallAngel: 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 with any questions.