Status Quaestionis: Drawing (Hi)stories: Rethinking Historical Graphic Narratives

Due Date: 03-31-2020

The Italian academic journal Status Quaestionis, a comparative literature publication based at Sapienza University of Rome, seeks articles on historical comics for a special issue to be published in 2021.

Like historical novels or films, historical comics ask writers and artists to reconstruct the past to tell their stories—or retell someone else’s. It is a challenging endeavor, as creators cannot rely on their personal memories and must turn into a researcher. This sets these sequential narratives apart from the rest of the comics world. Practitioners of this kind of sequential art may think of Hugo Pratt’s painstaking reproduction of old uniforms and tribal ornaments; Tardi’s re-creation of World War I trenches; Frank Miller’s controversial retelling of the Battle of Thermopilae; or Koike and Kojima’s Path of the Assassin, which keeps in the background Tokugawa Ieyasu’s rise.

Historical reconstruction (or, even, construction), however, has a complex relation with the times in which it is produced: the artists’ ability to conjure a long-gone world; to resurrect the dead; and to unearth forgotten stories, places, or cultures is conditioned by those artists’ sociopolitical background. These features may reveal much about the artist’s historical moment in addition to the times they depict.

We seek essays providing such analysis and discussion, focusing on historical comics from diverse national and cultural backgrounds. Essays on fiction or nonfiction comics are welcome; we are also interested in articles dealing with educational comics and those that deal with the past with an ironic, parodic, or satirical approach.

Proposals (no longer than 700 words), with a brief biographical note, can be sent to Tracy Lassiter ( and Umberto Rossi ( no later than 31 March 2020. For more information, please visit