Professor Murray's research area is comics, although he also works on Film. He is primarily interested in British and American Comics, and writers such as Grant Morrison and Alan Moore. He is currently writing a book on the British Superhero.
He has published on various aspects of comics, including:
- the relationship between American superhero comics, popular culture and propaganda during World War Two;
- the comics of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison;
- horror comics;
- independent/small press comics (mini-comics);
- British comics, specifically DC Thomson.
Chris is editor (along with Dr Julia Round) of new peer-reviewed comics journal, Studies in Comics (Intellect Books). He is Secretary of the Scottish Word and Image Group, and co-editor of Universe Publications titles such as Anthology and Tales of the Universe, which publish work by comics students. He is also on the Steering Committee of the Centre for Scottish Culture: http://dundeescottishculture.org/
Find out more about comics at Dundee.
AHRC funded studentships are available in his research area - more details
Top tips for students
Before studying Comics, Chris recommends that you:
- Read lots of comics!
- Investigate the rich variety of comics scholarship being produced, and attend a comics conference
- Think critically about comics as a medium, in terms of narratology, composition, and form
Champions of the Oppressed: Superhero Comics, Propaganda and Popular Culture in America During World War Two (New Jersey, USA: Hampton Press, 2010). ISBN-10: 9781612890036 / ISBN-13: 978-1612890036, pp. 300
Articles & Chapters
“The Place of Comics on English Degrees” co-written with Paul Williams (University of Exeter), Matt Green (University of Nottingham), and Dean Chan (Edith Cowan University), for The Journal of Comics and Graphic Novels, Vol. 5, 2 (Routledge, 2014), pp. 211-228.
“Co(s)mic Horror”, with Kevin Corstorphine, in New Critical Essays on H.P. Lovecraft, edited by David Simmons (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), pp.157-191, ISBN (10): 1137332247.
“Invisible Symmetries: Grant Morrison, Superheroes and Isaiah Berlin’s Two Concepts of Liberty”, in Studies in Comics 4.2 (Bristol: Intellect, 2013), pp.277-306.
“These are not our Promised Resurrections…” in Alan Moore and the Gothic Tradition, ed. Matt Green (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013), pp.215-234, ISBN (10): 0719085993.
“Denise Mina’s Hellblazer and the Triumph of Scottish Schadenfreude”, in Gothic Studies, Special Issue: 'Contemporary Scottish Gothic' (Manchester UP, 2012), pp.78-97.
“The Pleasures of Persuasion: Comics and Propaganda”, in Critical Approaches to Comics and Graphic Novels, edited by Matthew Smith and Randy Duncan (New York and London: Routledge, 2011), pp.129-141, ISBN (10): 0415885558.
“Signals from Airstrip One: The British Invasion of American Mainstream Comics” in The Rise of the American Comics Artist: Creators and their Contexts edited by Paul Williams and James Lyon (Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2010), pp.31-45, ISBN: 978-1-60473-792-9.
"Islands of Memory: The Science Fiction Films of Andrei Tarkovsky", in Alienation and Resistance (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholar's Press, 2010), pp.96-114, ISBN (10): 1-4438-1964-6, ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-1964-0.
“Subverting the Sublime: Romantic Ideology in the Comics of Grant Morrison” in Sub/versions: Genre, Cultural Status and Critique (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholar's Press, 2008), pp.34-51, ISBN (10): 1-84718-372-7, ISBN (13): 9781847183729.
“Holy Hypertexts! - The Pose of Post-modernity in Comics and Graphic Novels of the 1980s”, in van Koten, H. ed., Reflections on Creativity, Dundee: Duncan of Jordanstone College, 2007. ISBN: 1 899837 56 6. http://imaging.dundee.ac.uk/reflections/abstracts/ChrisMurray.htm
“Rhetoric and Response: Superheroes and World War Two”, in Magnussen, Anne and Hans Christian Christiansen, eds. Comics and Culture (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2000), pp.141-155.
“Thur’s a Man wi a Big Chin an’ a Dug in Thon City Centre: The Importance of Dundee ’s Comics”, in Jarron, Matthew, ed. The Scottish Society for Art History Journal, 2006, pp. 75-81.
“Noble Enterprises: Strip for Me and The British Small Press”, in Lent, John, ed. The International Journal of Comic Art, Vol. 7. 2, (2005), pp. 283-310.
“My Mouth is Quiet But My Mind is Noisy: The Work of John Watson”, co-written with Joyce Walker and Douglas Webster, in Lent, John, ed. The International Journal of Comic Art, Vol. 5.2 (2003), pp. 367-391.
“Superman vs Imago: Superheroes, Lacan and Mediated Identity”, in Lent, John, ed. The International Journal of Comic Art, Vol. 4, 2 (2002), pp. 186-208.
- Entry on Comics Theory for Blackwell’s Encyclopedia of Cultural Theory, ed. by M. Keith Booker.
- Entry on Comics and Graphic Novels for Encyclopaedia Britannica.
- Various entries on comics for Greenwood’s Encyclopedia of Comics and Graphic Novels, ed. by M. Keith Booker.
- Entry on Film Theory, with Brian Hoyle for Blackwell’s Encyclopedia of Cultural Theory, ed. by M. Keith Booker.
- “Comics and Culture Conference”, in Comics Forum (London: Comics Creator's Guild, 1999)
Selected TV and Podcast Appearances
News and Online Articles
News and Online Articles
- Comics studies has been undervalued for too long: we're fighting to change this, The Guardian (18 February 2015)
- Interview with Chris Murray: "Treating Comics Seriously - Six Questions for Dr Chris Murray", downthetubes.net (22 October 2011)
- Review of Comics Day 2011, downthetubes.net (5 November 2011)
- Café Arts talk on DC Thomson Comics at McManus Galleries, Dundee (11 December 2010)
- Review of Comics Day 2010, downthetubes.net (2 May 2010)
- Review of Comics Day 2009, downthetubes.net (1 July 2009)
- Review of Comics Day 2008, downthetubes.net (24 June 2008)
- Review of Comics Day 2008, metaphrog blog (24 June 2008)
- "Having a laugh", BBC Radio Wales (21 August 2007)
- Malvern, Jack, "The new adventures of Dennis the Menace, direct to your mobile", Times Online (20 August 2007)
- Jamieson, Alastair, "It's time to take cartoon capers seriously ... even academically", The Scotsman (26 May 2007)
- "Capers at comics conference", The Courier (26 May 2007)
- "Jings! Comic lovers come to city", BBC News (25 May 2007)
- "Six Cities Design Festival", The List, 575 (8 May 2007)
- Hainey, Raymond, "Bash Street School gets its first new pupil for 50 years", The Scotsman (28 April 2007)
- "City hosts major comic conference", BBC News (23 April 2007)
- Dalgarno, Paul, "Wonder Woman helps launch pioneering research centre", The Sunday Herald (26 March 2006)
- Tavares, Marcus, "Spider-Man: A good model for kids?", Rio Media