A decade later it’s here: The Strip Hay(na)ku Project. A collaborative experiment in sequential graphic poetics (Meritage Press & L/O/C/P, 2019)

The Strip Hay(na)ku Project book cover

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The Strip Hay(na)ku Project.  A collaborative experiment in sequential graphic poetics

Edited by Ernesto Priego

With contributions by John Bloomberg-Rissman, Sam Bloomberg-Rissman, Amy Bernier, lola bola (Jane Ogilvie), Horacio Castillo, Ira Franco, Ernesto Priego, and Ginger Stickney.

Foreword by Eileen R. Tabios

Introduction by Ernesto Priego

ISBN 978-1-934299-13-5

Release Date: April 2019

Page Count: 48 pages, full colour.

Price: US$14.00 or equivalent

Distributor: Lulu (Laughing/Ouch/Cube/Publications account)

For more information: meritagepress@gmail.com



Meritage Press and Laughing/Ouch/Cube/Publications are pleased to announce the release of The Strip Hay(na)ku Project, a collection of hay(na)ku poems in comic strip form, edited and co-created by Ernesto Priego with contributors John Bloomberg-Rissman, Sam Bloomberg-Rissman, Amy Bernier, lola bola (Jane Ogilvie), Horacio Castillo, Ira Franco, Ernesto Priego, and Ginger Stickney.

“Hay naku” is a common Filipino expression covering a variety of contexts—like the word “Oh.” The “hay(na)ku” is a 21st century poetic form invented by Eileen R. Tabios. It is a six-word tercet with the first line being one word, the second line being two words, and the third line being three words. Poets around the world have used the form and have created text and visual variations of the form, including the “chained hay(na)ku” which strings together more than one tercet as well as the reverse hay(na)ku where the word count is reversed. Ernesto Priego started co-creating “strip hay(na)ku” poems in 2008, inspired by examples of Slovenian “strip haiku”.


About The Strip Hay(na)ku Project:

“Hay(na)ku, a 21st century fixed verse form, has inherited haiku-sensibility (with its caesuras or paradigm shifts) and added to it a new kind of game, with 1, 2, and 3 words, perfect for the special needs of alphabetical writings. The inventive collaborators of this book successfully transplanted hay(na)ku – not only its basic form but its spirit as well – into the field of visual writing, and what we get is new and exciting. The book contains real comic strips but almost as soon as I started reading/watching the panels I had the strong impression that instead of the usual multitude of voices, speakers, actors etc. we have only two “heroes”, so to speak, inside and outside, and even they are not so different, to say the least. There is no comic strip without a story, and this time we are told and shown (but the texts and images don’t explain each other, their connection is inspiringly dissociative), how those heroes or perspectives keep changing places. It happens gently, almost invisibly…”

-Márton Koppány



Ernesto Priego is a lecturer at the Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design, City, University of London. He is the founder and editor in chief of The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship. He co-curated, with Ivy Alvarez, John Bloomberg-Rissman and Eileen R. Tabios, The Chained Hay(na)ku Project (Meritage Press and xPress(ed) 2010). He is also the author of Not Even Dogs. Hay(na)ku Poems (Meritage Press, 2006); the amazing adventures of Gravity & Grace (Otoliths 2008); The Present Day. The Mañana Poems (Leafe Press 2010); Ahí donde no estás. De nombres propios y otros fantasmas (Instituto Veracruzano de Cultura 2013); and, with Simon Grennan and Peter Wilkins, the non-fiction comic Parables of Care. Creative Responses to Dementia Care (City, University of London, University of Chester and Douglas College, 2017). He posts things online whenever he is able to on his blog, epriego.blog, and on Twitter @ernestopriego.

Eileen R. Tabios has released over 50 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in nine countries and cyberspace. Her books include a form-based “Selected Poems” series: The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets 1996-2019; THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL: Selected Visual Poetry (2001-2009); INVENT(ST)ORY: Selected Catalog Poems & new 1996-2015, and THE THORN ROSARY: Selected Prose Poems and New 1998-2010. Recent poetry collections include HIRAETH: Tercets From the Last Archipelago, MURDER DEATH RESURRECTION: A Poetry Generator, TANKA: Vol. 1, and ONE TWO THREE: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems which is a bilingual English-Spanish edition with translator Rebeka Lembo. Forthcoming is WITNESS IN A CONVEX MIRROR which will inaugurate Tinfish Press’s ”Pacific response to John Ashbery.” She also invented the poetry form “hay(na)ku” whose 15-year anniversary in 2018 is celebrated at the San Francisco and Saint Helena Public Libraries. More information about her works is available at http://eileenrtabios.com.


Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

The Power of Sharing in English, Spanish and French

Symbola Comics Logo


I am happy to announce that today we published ‘The Power of Sharing‘, a comic resulting from the collaboration between figshare, Symbola Comics, and LaGrúa Estudio (1).

You can view the comic, download it, cite it, comment and share it from


Concept and story by Francisco De La Mora & Ernesto Priego

Art by Cristina Durán La Grúa Estudio

Design by Daniela Rocha

The comic is also available in Spanish (2):


and French (3):


The whole set, including the whole InDesign package, are available in a figshare collection (4) at:


As you know I strongly believe that sustainable open access to research and open research data can break barriers of all types and empower the researchers of the future.

I personally hope we’ve been able to share an optimisitc message of empowerment and encouragement.

There’s too many reasons to get dispirited and to just get with the programme. We can change the future by the actions we take in the present- sharing and collaboration are inherently optimistic expressions of trust.

I have faith that what we do today, no matter how apparently insignificant, will have an effect on others tomorrow.


  1. de la Mora, F., Priego, E., Durán, C., Rocha, D., and Hardeman, M., 2018. The Power of Sharing. Available from: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.5993392
  2. de la Mora, F., Priego, E., Durán, C., Rocha, D., and Hardeman, M., 2018. El Poder de Compartir. Available from: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.6061460
  3. de la Mora, F., Priego, E., Durán, C., Rocha, D., and Hardeman, M., 2018. Le Pouvoir de Partager. Available from: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.6204755
  4. de la Mora, F., Priego, E., Durán, C., Rocha, D., and Hardeman, M., 2018. The Power of Sharing. Available from: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4052732

Curating the Digital Reading Network Blog

The Max Fleischer Studios in 1935, where Jack Kirby started his career (Evanier 2008)
The Max Fleischer Studios in 1935, where Jack Kirby started his career (Evanier 2008)

This month I will be participating as a “curator” of the Digital Reading Network’s blog by posting some brief articles around the general topic of “digital comics”.

As explained on their ‘About’ page, “The Digital Reading Network brings together academics, practitioners, stakeholders and ordinary readers to explore the impact of digitisation on readers and reading, with a focus on the reading of literary texts.” It is funded by the UK’s AHRC within the Digital Transformations theme.

It is my intention to use this month’s topic to post on different online platforms that will link back to the Digital Reading Network blog, and hence try to expand the “network” part of the project by linking back to this blog and reciprocally to link to the other resources. I will in fact be “reblogging” myself there (or over there?) and as such also attempt to play critically on the notion of “original publication” on line.

Instead of starting directly addressing “digital comics” as such, I have taken a look at the assembly-line like conditions of production of American comic books before computers became the norm.

Graphixia is a collaborative comics blog published weekly on Tuesdays. Today it was my turn at Graphixia so I published a post titled “Comic Books: Art Made in the Assembly Line”.

At HASTAC: On DH, Transparency and Belonging

Window Photo CC-BY Ramesh NG
Photo CC-BY Ramesh NG

Originally posted at HASTAC: http://www.hastac.org/blogs/ernesto-priego/2013/09/10/dh-transparency-and-belonging

I seldom blog opinion pieces about current academic affairs these days. I force myself to hyperlink thoroughly and the amount of time it takes me I cannot currently justify. The term is about to start and I’m focused on module design and lots of editorial work kickstarting the initial months of our Ubiquity Press-published stage at The Comics Grid. So I often find myself sharpshooting ideas on Twitter, without being able to articulate them properly. Hoping to offer a less unstructured ideas, I have quickly dropped some thoughts below.

It was only until last week that I came across and read Elijah Meeks’ post, “How Collaboration Works and How It Can Fail”. It’s very good. I can’t say I have experience collaborating in the way Elijah describes, but I know it is the case of many in the Digital Humanities (DH). I really enjoyed it.

I am personally concerned with collaboration, and Internet or Web-mediated colaboration a lot. I like to think about alternative ways of enticing collaboration between individuals from different disciplines, institutions, cultures, countries, contexts.

Personally, I have tried to be as transparent as possible about what I am doing and working on. It’s not always possible, but for example I try as much as I can to keep everyone in the loop about developments around and within The Comics Grid, and I have constantly enabled mechanisms for open participation amongst people I know and don’t know, through google forms, open calls, etc. The poor team behind the Comics Grid often get a lot of collective emails.

Of course this is not enough to enable collaboration. Academia is incredibly competitive. Competition moves at neck-breaking speeds these days. Often you feel like you can’t afford to sleep at nights for fear you will miss out on one opportunity or another.

We live of course in an era in which transparency and the digital technologies we use to communicate to each other and publish our work are both complementary and at odds with each other. It gets more complicated when the mechanisms for academic recognition and promotion are not properly adapted to a more recent culture of immediate publishing and dissemination.

This double-bind (in case it’s still cool to use that term) is at the crux of academic collaboration and career advancement: the culture relies too much on what is not said and when it’s not said: for academics, what is edited out is as important as what is edited in; there can only be the inclusion of some if others are excluded. Making this process transparent is complicated because collegiality and professional relationships rely not only in pragmatic mutual dependency but (hopefully) in values like mutual trust and friendship.

Recently it saddens me to realise that often DH has not been able to overcome some of the most painful traits of ‘traditional’ academia. As if academia were closer to professional football, where players are forced to compete not only against the other team but against each other– come the transfer window, you are likely to be playing against the team you are hoping will offer the big bucks for you.

Elijah is completely right when he argues that “if you can’t pay a person what the position should entail, you need to entice them with ownership.” I used to believe (I still want to believe) that it should be possible, given the technologies we have available to us, to be willing to collaborate with others without having money or even [complete] ownership. What I mean by this is that if we for one minute stopped thinking of the Other as a de facto competitor in a professional, intellectual, reputational and consequently financial sense, if we were guided by the wish to include and create, we would be working towards more inclusive platforms and more inclusive, transparents methods of collaboration and production.

There is, of course, lots of good will and fantastic camaraderie in the field(s) of DH. No need to emphasise that again. A concentrated focus on competition and opacity is not exclusive of DH, in any case it is an extension of the current systems of academic production, interaction, recognition and promotion. As we engage through technologies that make it possible for almost anyone to find what everyone else is deciding to share online, honest transparency becomes both rarer and more and more needed.

It is precisely because DH works with/on/in/about technologies that are so embedded with possibilities to increase and diversify participation (but also to limit it) is that we wish the field were more transparent about how decisions and processes of inclusion are carried out. No matter how much you love social media it is more and more common to feel like it’s a collection of voices talking to themselves about themselves. When competition is this fierce, in spite of the technically levelled field of interaction, it is as easier to include as it is to exclude. Exclusion tends to promote resentment, and resentment to a deterioration of any social tissue.

This is why careful decisions must be made when sharing information and when developing working groups. Transparency must be demanded equally from the big ‘uns and from the (not for long) small ones. Transparency is about clarity of purpose. Transparency implies making a mission statement, a process, clearly available in a timely fashion. It means allowing others in whilst there is still time to make a difference. Transparency cannot and will not get rid of exclusion. Exclusion of this or that might be at the heart of the academic endeavour, but transparency about the criteria will make a lot of us feel less alienated and make us more understanding of why and how certain things that we care about happen.

In the end what is at the stake is a problem very dear to recent DH: that of identification or belonging.

Are we making our colleagues feel included or excluded?

What are we doing to develop mechanisms of academic collaboration and production, i.e. what methods are we employing to make other colleagues feel welcome and included to participate in ongoing and as-yet-not-created projects, not only as consumers or ‘collaborators’ with the end-product, but during its inception and development?

*With many thanks to my colleague Melonie Fullick for her feedback and encouragement.

If you’d like to leave a comment please do it on the original HASTAC post.  Thank you.

We have relaunched Networked Researcher

Networked Researcher banner

After various brainstorming sessions with my colleague Sarah Quinnell (the generous founder of Networked Researcher) we are relaunching the project as the online arm of our social media and e-learning training and as a proper online collaborative publishing and research networking platform.

We want to encourage more researchers to publish more and better media-specific online research. We want to offer a space where we practice what we preach, and where we support researchers to publish and collaborate online.

Our call for contributions is ongoing. You can read my post about the relaunch here.