Die 10. International Graphic Novel and Comic Conference (IGNCC) findet in diesem Jahr vom 24. bis 28. Juni an der Manchester Metropolitan University statt. Zum diesjährigen Thema „Storyworlds and Transmedia Universes“ hat das Organisationskommittee ein breites Programm zusammengestellt: geplant sind beinahe 40 Vorträgen, Workshops und Präsentationen zu Themen wie Intertextualität und Intermedialität, Geschlechtlichkeit, Kindheit, Geschichte und Krankheit im Comic. Ebenfalls auf dem Programm stehen Beiträge der ComFor-Mitglieder Lukas R.A. Wilde (On the Systematic Divide of Transmedia Character Theory: Characters Within and Beyond the Storyworld), Jan-Noël Thon (Theorizing Transmedia Characters: Comics and Beyond) und Vanessa Ossa (Mind MGMT as (Simulated) Transmedial Narrative).
The notion of a storyworld, that is to say a shared universe within which the settings, characters, objects, events, and actions of one or more narrative are present, existed long before the present day media. Examples include myths and legends of Antiquity, folktales and Arthurian romances. Today’s storyworlds, described by Mark Wolf (2012) as, “transnarrative, transmedia, and transauthorial in nature” (14), open up fresh opportunities. Storyworlds have found a fertile terrain in comic strips and graphic novels. After all, the text/images form provides narratives dedicated to specific characters, times and places; these narratives are often used as source material for adaptations in film, games and broadcast media. Consequently creators, fans and corporations can interact with other forms beyond comics, thereby developing characters and narratives, as well as exploring new storytelling methods.
The possibilities seem almost infinite. Storyworlds may relate to Marvel’s and DC’s extended universes of the future. They can be adapted or constructed from half-remembered myths and legends, as in Isabel Greenberg’s Encyclopedia of Early Earth. Some story worlds (e.g. the manga Barefoot Gen) reveal historical events from individual perspectives. Others recount alternate histories (e.g. the Gallo-Roman era in Asterix by Goscinny/Uderzo, or the Belle Epoque with Adèle Blanc-Sec by Tardi). Still others offer parallel worlds (e.g. Clockwatch by Yomi Ayeni, (http://clockworkwatch.com/) which is a collaboratively created storyworld involving fandom), or the ‘Sword and Sorcery’ parody Donjon started by Sfar and Trondheim, which invites contributions from other artists and has given rise to numerous side projects.