Academic Research as Dialogue
The academic study of comics is not yet fully established in Germany. The terminology is still being developed and many methodical and theoretical questions remain open - Comics research is a young discipline in German academia. CLOSURE consciously decides to promote young academic talent alongside more established researchers and therefore publishes innovative findings and approaches from students, doctoral candidates, post-doctoral candidates and professors. This diversity is also reflected in the editorial team of CLOSURE; researchers with varying backgrounds and levels of experience have come together to help establish a Comics research network in Germany.
CLOSURE aims to have a transparent review process and seeks an open dialogue between the contributors and the editorial team. We have a multi-stage review process of publication and peer review by three reviewers, all from our editorial staff; this process moves from reviewing the contributionâ€™s arguments in the first phase to fine-tuning the articles in the final edit. Each contribution is read and discussed by all the editorial team in order to guide the allocated peer reviewers in their editorial decisions. All contributions receive a detailed written assessment whether included or not in that respective journal issue. Once accepted, contributors receive their texts back with comments and suggestions. Only when these have been addressed will the contribution be accepted for publication.
Our review process follows the DFGâ€™s (German Research Foundation) guidelines for good academic practice.
Academic Research across Borders
Comics are text and image, language and narrative, medium and art form - and much more, depending from which epistemological perspective they are considered. Storytelling in a graphic format is multi-faceted and therefore requires equally diverse research approaches across disciplines. Whether it be formal descriptions, theories on image-text relationships or individual analyses, â€ºinterdisciplinarityâ€¹ is not just a slogan for CLOSURE but the foundation of a culture of debate engendered by methods from a wide range of disciplines. This is all the more important because comic research in Germany is not, as yet, fully-fledged. However, this is not to say that research into Comics in Germany does not exist - rather, it takes place in various fields such as literary and media studies, linguistics, art history, and ethnography. CLOSURE offers an interdisciplinary platform to bring together this existing academic research into Comics.
The term â€ºClosureâ€¹ refers to the Â»phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the wholeÂ« (McCloud, 1994: 63) when the reader interprets or makes meaning in the gaps between comic panels. In the spirit of this definition, our journal is situated between the lines of methodical and theoretical exchange between academic disciplines. As these disciplines each have their own approaches and terminologies, interdisciplinary collaboration requires negotiation on several fronts. In turn, this growing understanding across disciplinary borders benefits the individual fields of research: familiar methods and terminologies can be revisited and re-envisaged as a result of cross-disciplinary work. This interdisciplinary exchange is enhanced by the open-access format which means a greater possibility of Comics research development within the academic world and even beyond academiaâ€™s boundaries.