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Monitor: New Publications on Comic Books

Comic Book Movies

Comic Book Movies

Blair Davis
Rutgers University Press
200 pages
ISBN 978-0-8135-8877-3 (Paperback)
~$ 17,95
April 2018

Publisher’s page
Comic Book Movies explores how this genre serves as a source for modern-day myths, sometimes even incorporating ancient mythic figures like Thor and Wonder Woman’s Amazons, while engaging with the questions that haunt a post-9/11 world: How do we define heroism and morality today? How far are we willing to go when fighting terror? How can we resist a dystopian state? Film scholar Blair Davis also considers how the genre’s visual style is equally important as its weighty themes, and he details how advances in digital effects have allowed filmmakers to incorporate elements of comic book art in innovative ways. As he reveals, comic book movies have inspired just as many innovations to Hollywood’s business model, with film franchises and transmedia storytelling helping to ensure that the genre will continue its reign over popular culture for years to come.

The Psychology of Marvel's Wolverine

The Psychology of Marvel’s Wolverine

Suzana E. Flores
McFarland Books
205 pages
ISBN 978-1-4766-7442-1 (Paperback)
~$ 92,95
June 2018

Publisher’s page
Wolverine. Logan. Weapon X. By any name, Marvel Comic’s savage, brooding antihero is, in his own words, the best at what he does—killing with gratuitous precision. Paradoxically violent yet humane, the beer-swilling, cigar-smoking mutant with retractable claws is universally misjudged in the Marvel Universe yet esteemed by fans worldwide. The author explores Wolverine’s development from bit character to modern legend over more than four decades, with a focus on his enduring appeal as an allegory for resilience through torment.

uffering Sappho

Cultures of War in Graphic Novels:
Violence, Trauma, and Memory

Tatiana Prorokova and Nimrod Tal (eds.)
Rutgers University Press
237 pages
ISBN 978-0-8135-9095-0 (Paperback)
~$ 29,95
June 2018

Publisher’s page
Cultures of War in Graphic Novels examines the representation of small-scale and often less acknowledged conflicts from around the world and throughout history. The contributors look at an array of graphic novels about conflicts such as the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901), the Irish struggle for national independence (1916-1998), the Falkland War (1982), the Bosnian War (1992-1995), the Rwandan genocide (1994), the Israel-Lebanon War (2006), and the War on Terror (2001-). The book explores the multi-layered relation between the graphic novel as a popular medium and war as a pivotal recurring experience in human history. The focus on largely overlooked small-scale conflicts contributes not only to advance our understanding of graphic novels about war and the cultural aspects of war as reflected in graphic novels, but also our sense of the early twenty-first century, in which popular media and limited conflicts have become closely interrelated.

Monitor: New Publications on Comic Books

Weltentwürfe im Comic/Film

Weltentwürfe im Comic/Film:
Mensch, Gesellschaft, Religion

Theresia Heimerl and Christian Wessely (eds.)
372 pages
ISBN 978-3-89472-941-7 (Paperback)
~€ 29,90
April 2018

Publisher’s page
Comics, bis in die späten 1990er-Jahre oft als kulturelles Randprodukt gering geschätzt, geraten in Zeiten der multimedialen Kommunikation zunehmend in den Aufmerksamkeitsfokus. Im Comic erscheint das Bild auf das Allerwesentlichste hin destilliert und durch das Medium Text erweitert. In einem bis wenigen Bildern lassen sich so, optimiert für die Aufmerksamkeitsspanne der Web 2.0 – Generation, weltanschauliche, religiöse und soziale Probleme formulieren und zugleich scheinbare oder tatsächliche Lösungsvorschläge transportieren. Ihr Potential für ein Millionenpublikum entfalten sie in den letzten Dekaden aber durch zahlreiche Verfilmungen, ob als Anime, Arthouse oder Blockbuster. Die Erforschung dieses Potentials ist noch weitgehend unentdecktes Gebiet. In diesem Band werden erste Akzente gesetzt.
On Comics and Legal Aesthetics

On Comics and Legal Aesthetics:
Multimodality and the Haunted Mask of Knowing

Thomas Giddens
230 pages
ISBN 978-1-1382-2403-2 (Hardcover)
~£ 92,00
April 2018

Publisher’s page
What are the implications of comics for law? Tackling this question, On Comics and Legal Aesthetics explores the epistemological dimensions of comics and the way this once-maligned medium can help think about – and reshape – the form of law. Traversing comics, critical, and cultural legal studies, it seeks to enrich the theorisation of comics with a critical aesthetics that expands its value and significance for law, as well as knowledge more generally. It argues that comics’ multimodality – its hybrid structure, which represents a meeting point of text, image, reason, and aesthetics – opens understanding of the limits of law’s rational texts by shifting between multiple frames and modes of presentation. Comics thereby exposes the way all forms of knowledge are shaped out of an unstructured universe, becoming a mask over this chaotic ‘beyond’. This mask of knowing remains haunted – by that which it can never fully capture or represent. Comics thus models knowledge as an infinity of nested frames haunted by the chaos without structure. In such a model, the multiple aspects of law become one region of a vast and bottomless cascade of perspectives – an infinite multiframe that extends far beyond the traditional confines of the comics page, rendering law boundless.

uffering Sappho

“Suffering Sappho!”:
Lesbian Content and Queer Female Characters in Comics

Special Issue of Journal of Lesbian Studies
Michelle Ann Abate, Karly Marie Grice, and Christine N. Stamper (eds.)
Taylor & Francis
ISSN 1089-4160
Mai 2018

Publisher’s page
Comics have been an important locus of queer female identity, community, and politics for generations. Whether taking the form of newspaper strips, comic books, or graphic novels and memoirs, the medium has a long history of featuring female same-sex attraction, relationships, and identity. This special issue explores the past place, current presence, and possible future status of lesbianism in comics. It features essays about cartoonists such as Jennifer Camper, characters such as Wonder Woman, and titles such as Lumberjanes. This special issue also includes a roundtable that examines underrepresented identities in lesbian comics. These pieces address subjects ranging from the depiction of a Latina lesbian protagonist in AMERICA: The Life and Times of America Chavez and the debut of the first lead Black lesbian female superheroine in Cyberzone to the presentation of queer women in graphic novels from South Asia and the experience of re-reading Hothead Paisan in the age of Trump.

Michelle Ann Abate, Karly Marie Grice und Christine N. Stamper: Introduction: “Suffering Sappho!”: Lesbian content and queer female characters in comics

Caitlin McGurk: Lovers, enemies, and friends: The complex and coded early history of lesbian comic strip characters

Laura M. Jiménez: PoC, LGBTQ, and gender: The intersectionality of America Chavez

Margaret Galvan: Making space: Jennifer Camper, LGBTQ anthologies, and queer comics communities

Poushali Bhadury: “There is no such thing as a straight woman”: Queer female representations in South Asian graphic narratives

Erica Gillingham: Representations of same-sex relationships between female characters in all-ages comics: Princess Princess Ever After and Lumberjanes

Sheena C. Howard: Situating Cyberzone: Black lesbian identity in comics

Cynthia Barounis: Survival angst: Reading Hothead Paisan in the Trump era

Publication: “Empirical Approaches to Comics Research”


“This edited volume brings together work in the field of empirical comics research. Drawing on computer and cognitive science, psychology and art history, linguistics and literary studies, each chapter presents innovative methods and establishes the practical and theoretical motivations for the quantitative study of comics, manga, and graphic novels. Individual chapters focus on corpus studies, the potential of crowdsourcing for comics research, annotation and narrative analysis, cognitive processing and reception studies. This volume opens up new perspectives for the study of visual narrative, making it a key reference for anyone interested in the scientific study of art and literature as well as the digital humanities.”


1. Comics and Empirical Research: An Introduction (Alexander Dunst, Jochen Laubrock, Janina Wildfeuer)

I. Digital Approaches to Comics Research

2. Two Per Cent of What? Constructing a Corpus of Typical American Comic Books (Bart Beaty, Nick Sousanis, Benjamin Woo)

3. The Quantitative Analysis of Comics: Towards a Visual Stylometry of Graphic Narrative (Alexander Dunst, Rita Hartel)

4. “The Spider’s Web”: An Analysis of Fan Mail from Amazing Spider-Man, 1963-1995 (John Walsh, Shawn Martin, Jennifer St. Germain)

5. Crowdsourcing Comics Annotations (Mihnea Tufis and Jean-Gabriel Ganascia)

6. Computer Vision Applied to Comic Book Images (Christophe Rigaud and Jean-Christophe Burie)

II. Linguistics and Multimodal Analysis

7. From Empirical Studies to Visual Narrative Organization: Exploring Page Composition (John A. Bateman, Annika Beckmann, Rocio Varela)

8. Character Developments in Comics and Graphic Novels: A Systematic Analytical Scheme (Chiao-I Tseng, Jochen Laubrock, Jana Pflaeging)

9. How Informative are Information Comics in Science Communication? Empirical Results from an Eye Tracking Study and Knowledge Testing (Hans-Jürgen Bucher, Bettina Boy)

10. The Interpretation of an Evolving Line Drawing (Pascal Lefèvre, Gert Meesters)

III. Cognitive Processing and Comprehension

11. Viewing Static Visual Narratives Through the Lens of the Scene Perception and Event Comprehension Theory (SPECT) (Lester Loschky, John P. Hutson, Maverick E. Smith, Tim J. Smith, Joseph P. Magliano)

12. Attention to Comics: Cognitive Processing during Reading of Graphic Literature (Jochen Laubrock, Sven Hohenstein, Matthias Kümmerer)

13. Reading Words and Images: Factors Influencing Eye Movements in Comic Reading (Clare Kirtley, Christopher Murray, Phillip B. Vaughan, Benjamin W. Tatler)

14. Detecting Differences Between Adapted Narratives: Implication of Order of Modality on Exposure (Joseph P. Magliano, James Clinton, Edward J. O’Brien, David N. Rapp)

15. Visual Language Theory and the Scientific Study of Comics (Neil Cohn)

To the website

Exhibition Poster and Program Flyers for ComFor 2018

2018 07 11 12uhr - 2018 09 20
„SuperQueeroes. Unsere LGBTI*-Comic-Held_innen“

In less than two and a half months, ComFor’s Annual Conference 2018 will take place at the University of Cologne on the topic “Spaces Between – Gender, Diversity and Identity in Comics”. At the same time one can visit the exhibition “SuperQueeroes. Unsere LGBTI*-Comic-Held_innen”, which was designed in 2016 by the Schwules Museum Berlin and shown with great success. For the first time, queer comic heroes of various kinds were thematized in the German museum world. As part of the ComFor annual conference, the exhibition was brought to Cologne under the organization of Christine Gundermann and reworked for the university by students as part of a seminar.
The exhibition can be visited from 11 July to September 20 in the foyer of the Philosophikum of the University of Cologne. Vernissage is on the 11th of July from 12 o’clock, opening with a talk by and about comic artist Ralf König . Subsequently, the exhibition will be opened by Dr. Kevin Clarke, curator of the Schwules Museum Berlin.

The organizers of the conference, Véronique Sina and Nina Heindl, have now also published digital program flyers in German and English (design: Julia Eckel), which not only provide quick overviews of the topics and the schedule of the conference, but – with motifs by artist Aisha Franz – also turned out to be very appealing:

Program flyer in German
Program flyer in English

Continue to the conference’s page with information on the registration process