Skip to main content
I teach and research the history and theory of illustration and animation with a specialism in comics, cartooning, and visual narrative.
My research has been published in peer-reviewed journals and academic books in the fields of Comics Studies and Art & Design History, as well as general-audience publications.
I am active in the Comics Studies community and sit on the organising committee of the Comics Forum conference, part of the Thought Bubble festival, and the editorial board of the journal Studies in Comics. I'm a member of the Comics & Performance Network and an associate member of the UAL Comics Research Hub (CoRH!!). I've taught the history of art and design, aesthetics, cultural and contextual studies as an Associate Lecturer at Middlesex University, London College of Communication, Central St. Martins, and University College London.
With Nick White and John Miers, I co-run the Kingston School of Art Comic Club, ksacomicclub.tumblr.com
I'm interested in supervising PhDs in the fields of Comics Studies and Illustration, both practice-based or theory-based. Please get in touch if you'd like to discuss your research.
Senior Lecturer in Critical and Historical Studies (Illustration Animation)
As a teacher I'm interested in active and collaborative inquiry-based learning and critical pedagogy. I am learning and working with students and colleagues on the decolonisation of art & design history (while wary of the cooption and limitations of this process within the neoliberal university).
My research area is comics and cartooning, with a particular interest in the politics of image-making, the social conditions of creative labour, and the materiality of cultural production and consumption.
My work so far has focused on the history of British comics and its relationship to cultures of resistance and political dissent. My PhD research looked at the work of Alan Moore from 1971- 1989 in relation to theories of mass culture and cultural resistance from Critical Theory and Cultural Studies. Subsequently I became more and more interested in Moore's earliest work as a cartoonist and how that sat within his wider creative practice as an illustrator, performer, poet and musician, and the larger context of the design, media and politics of the hippie and punk undergrounds.
I am particularly interested in the performative aspects of comics and cartooning, as a mode of drawing and storytelling, and the politics of performance thereby invoked. My current research looks at the relationships between the alternative comics and alternative theatre movements in the UK 1968-1992, as supported by the shared infrastructure of community arts and the alternative press, and what approaches to performance labelled 'cartoon theatre' or 'comic strip theatre' might tell us about cartooning and comics.
Gray, Maggie (2020) UK Underground Comix: Ar:Zak, the Birmingham Arts Lab, and Streetcomix #4. Confessions of an Aca-fan,
Gray, Margaret [Reviewer] (2019) Book Review of: 'The expanding art of comics : ten modern masterpieces' by Thierry Groensteen, translated by Ann Miller. European Comic Art, 12(1), pp. 111-116. ISSN (print) 1754-3797
Gray, Maggie (2012) Rummaging around in Alan Moore's shorts (Introduction). Comics Forum,
Gray, Maggie (2011) Alan Moore’s underground : The formation of a dissident cultural practice. Studies in Comics, 2(1), pp. 21-37. ISSN (online) 2040-3232
Gray, Maggie (2010) ‘A fistful of dead roses…’. Comics as cultural resistance : Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V for Vendetta. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 1(1), pp. 31-49. ISSN (print) 2150-4857
Gray, Maggie [Reviewer] (2010) Book review of 'Alan Moore : Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel' by Annalisa Di Liddo. Studies in Comics, 1(1), pp. 176-178. ISSN (print) 2040-3232
Gray, Maggie and Horton, Ian, eds. (2022) Seeing Comics through Art History: Alternative Approaches to the Form. Palgrave Macmillan. (Palgrave Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels) ISBN 978-3-030-93506-1
Horton, Ian and Gray, Margaret (2022) Art history for comics : past, present and potential futures. London, U.K. : Palgrave Macmillan. (Palgrave studies in comics and graphic novels) ISBN 9783031073533
Gray, Maggie (2017) Alan Moore, out from the underground : cartooning, performance and dissent. New York, U.S. : Palgrave Macmillan. (Palgrave studies in comics and graphic novels) ISBN 9783319665078
Gray, Maggie and Horton, Ian (2022) Ways of seeing comics: art-historical approaches to the form. In: Gray, Maggie and Horton, Ian, (eds.) Seeing comics through art history: Alternative approaches to the form. Cham, Switzerland : Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 1-9. (Palgrave Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels) ISBN 9783030935061
Gray, Maggie (2020) The freedom of the press : comics, labor and value in the Birmingham Arts Lab. In: Giddens, Thom, (ed.) Critical directions in comics studies. University Press of Mississippi. (In Press)
Gray, Maggie (2020) The risks of representation : making gender and violence visible in 'The Ballad of Halo Jones'. In: Mickwitz, Nina , Horton, Ian and Hague, Ian, (eds.) Representing acts of violence in comics. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 139-158. (Routledge Advances in Comics Studies) ISBN 9781138484535
Gray, Maggie (2013) A Gothic politics: Alan Moore's Swamp Thing and radical ecology. In: Green, Matthew J A, (ed.) Alan Moore and the Gothic tradition. Manchester, U.K. : Manchester University Press. pp. 42-62. ISBN 9781784993634
Gray, Maggie (2013) Alan Moore. In: Smith, Matthew J and Duncan, Randy, (eds.) Icons of the American comic book: from Captain America to Wonder Woman. Santa Barbara, USA. : Greenwood. pp. 531-544. (Greenwood Icons) ISBN 9780313399237
Gray, Maggie (2009) ’The fantasy bribe’ : comics and punk. In: Schneider, Norbert, (ed.) Bildwissenschaft und Visual Culture Studies in der Diskussion [Bildwissenschaft and Visual Culture Studies in Conversation]. Göttingen, Germany : Universitätsverlag Osnabrück at V&R unipress. pp. 63-67. (Kunst und Politik : Jahrbuch der Guernica-Gesellschaft [Art and Politics : Guernica-Gesellschaft Yearbook], (10)) ISBN 9783899715309
Gray, Maggie and Horton, Ian (2021) Art history for comics: past, present and potential futures. In: Comics|Histories Conference; 16 - 17 July 2021, Held online. (Unpublished)
Gray, Maggie, Metwally, Calico and Moffat, Cameron (2021) Dismantling the single story : (how) can we decolonise illustration history? In: Illustration Research Symposium; 11 - 12 Feb 2021, Kingston upon Thames, U.K. (Held online).
Gray, Maggie (2020) Cartooning and performance: 'cartoon style' alternative theatre. In: Cartoon Animation: Satire and Subversion; 17 Feb 2020, Farnham, Surrey. (Unpublished)
Gray, Margaret (2019) “Talk to me in a language I can understand”: constructing cartoon storyworlds in alternative theatre. In: Joint International Conference of Graphic Novels, Comics and Bande Dessinées; 24th - 28th June 2019, Manchester Metropolitan University. (Submitted)
Gray, Margaret (2019) Performing form and playing in print: comics in Oxford’s other paper. In: Oxford Comics Network; 05 Feb 2019, Oxford, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Gray, Maggie (2018) Drawing attention to drawing, performing print : Alan Moore, underground cartoonist. In: Drawing Yourself In and Out of It : The 2nd International Amsterdam Comics Conference; 15 - 17 Nov 2018, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Unpublished)
Gray, Maggie (2018) Putting reality into the hands of people : a comics materialism. In: Transitions 8 : New Directions in Comics Studies; 10 Nov 2018, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Gray, Margaret (2018) The sound of the underground : Alan Moore, cartooning and music. In: Graphic Brighton : Music and Comics; 19 - 20 Jul 2018, Brighton, U.K..
Gray, Maggie (2017) The freedom of the press : comics production and the Birmingham Arts Lab. In: Comics and Critique : Invigorating Critical Study of the Medium; 03 Jul 2017, Twickenham, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Gray, Maggie (2017) Alan Moore, comics and music. In: The Eighth International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference part of the Joint International Conference of Graphic Novels, Bandes Dessinées and Comics 2017 : Borders : Identity, Difference and Representation; 26-30 Jun 2017, Dundee, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Gray, Maggie (2012) A Gothic politics : Alan Moore's 'Swamp Thing' and radical ecology. In: Contemporary Fiction Research Seminar; 30 Jun 2012, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Gray, Maggie (2010) ‘Nothing but flat, dead wood?’ Comics and ecocriticism. In: Transitions : New Directions in Comics Studies; 05 Nov 2010, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Gray, Maggie (2010) Hanging out with Halo Jones – the first feminist comics heroine? In: Comics Forum 2010 : Women in Comics II; 18 Nov 2010, Leeds, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Gray, Maggie (2008) ‘The Fantasy Bribe’ comics, punk and the perfect product. In: Marxism in Culture; 2008, Institute of Historical Research, London. (Submitted)
Gray, Maggie (2007) 'All comics are political' Comics as cultural resistance : Alan Moore's 'V for Vendetta'. In: "The Aesthetics of Trash" : Reassessing Animation and the Comic; 28-29 Aug 2007, Manchester, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Gray, Maggie (2007) The Quest for Cultural Legitimacy: Comics in the Gallery. In: Location: Museum, Academy, Studio, 34th Annual Conference of the Association of Art Historians; 2007, London, U.K..