Comicgesellschaft

Introduction of the new ComFor Managing Comittee

During ComFor’s online members’ meeting on 31 July, 2020, the new managing comittee that had previously been elected via postal vote was confirmed.

The previous comitee members Stephan Packard (president since 2013) and Véronique Sina (vice president since 2018) did not run for another term. We would like to thank both of them for their dedication and the many valuable contributions they have made!

The new managing comittee consists of:

President

PD Dr. Christina Meyer has been a ComFor member since 2010. She is an American Studies scholar with a research focus on American newspaper comics of the late 19th century. She is currently visiting professor at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the FU Berlin. In November 2019 her monograph Producing Mass Entertainment: The Serial Life of the Yellow Kid was published by the Ohio State University Press (see publisher’s website), which was nominated for the 2020 Eisner Award in the category “Best Academic/Scholarly Work.” She is co-editor of New Perspectives on American Comic Books and Graphic Novels (a special issue of the journal Amerikastudien / American Studies, 2011) and Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives: Comics at the Crossroads (2013). For more information, please see her ComFor profile page.

 

Vice President

Dr. Lukas R.A. Wilde has been a ComFor member since September 2012 and was in charge of the coordination of the ComFor website for many years. In 2018, he first joined the ComFor managing comittee as treasurer. He works in the field of media studies at the University of Tuebingen, where he submitted his Ph.D. thesis on the ‘mangaization’ of public spaces in Japan and the implementation of transmedial figures (kyara) in functional communication (Im Reich der Figuren, Cologne 2018), which was honored with the Roland-Faelske-Award. Moreover, he supports Eve Jay in the organisation of Comic Solidarity (see Website) and is one of the initiators of the German Inclusive Comic Award of the Independent Scene GINCO (see Website). Together with Vanessa Ossa and Jan-Noël Thon, he organizes the 15th annual ComFor conference (8-10 Oktober, 2020) on „Comics and Agency“. For more information, please see his ComFor profile page.

 

Treasurer

Vanessa Ossa has been a ComFor member since 2017, and has been responsible for the website category “Call for Papers” as part of the online editorial team since 2019. Together with Jan-Noël Thon and Lukas R.A. Wilde, she organizes this year’s annual conference “Comics & Agency: Actors, Publics, Participation.” She concluded her doctoral thesis “Sleeping Threats—The Sleeper Agent in Post-9/11 Media” at the collaborative research center “Threatened Order—Societies under Stress” at the university of Tuebingen in 2019. The thesis covers the figure of the ‘sleeper’ in US cinema, serial television, and comic books. Currently, she is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department for Media Culture and Theater at the University of Cologne. Her most recent research interests include comic book fandom and participatory practice as a part of comic book culture. For more information, please see her ComFor profile page.

Schedule for the Annual ComFor Conference 2020: „Comics & Agency“

Termin:
2020 10 08 - 2020 10 10

15th Annual Conference of the German Society for Comic Studies:

Comics & Agency: Actors, Publics, Participation

Online | Live via Zoom

Registration:

There is no conference fee, but in order to participate you will need to register by sending an email to comfor@comicgesellschaft.de no later than 5 October 2020.

Organisers:

Vanessa Ossa (University of Cologne)
Jan-Noël Thon (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Lukas R. A. Wilde (University of Tuebingen)

Schedule:
Thursday, 8 October 2020
13:30 CEST Welcome and Introduction: Christina Meyer (Free University Berlin), Vanessa Ossa (University of Cologne), Jan-Noël Thon
(Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Lukas R. A. Wilde (University of Tuebingen)
Panel 1: Digital Agency
14:00 CEST
  • Nicolle Lamerichs (HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht):
    Comics Interfaces: Digital Innovation and Fandom on Webtoon
  • Giorgio Busi Rizzi (Ghent University):
    Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Readers? Digital Comics Enhancing and Undermining the Agency of Their Users
  • Hans-Joachim Backe (IT University of Copenhagen):
    Who Controls the Speech Bubbles? Refl ecting on Agency in Comic-Games
15:30 CEST Coffee Break
Panel 2: Intermedial Agency
16:00 CEST
  • Manuel Herrero-Puertas (National Taiwan University):
    “Unconquerable and Simple”: Whitman, Democracy, Comics
  • Greice Schneider (Universidade Federal de Sergipe):
    Telling Stories with Photo-Archives: Narrativizing Visual Archives through Documentary Comics
  • Jared Gardner (The Ohio State University):
    Playing Comics, Reading Games
17:30 CEST Coffee Break
Keynote 1
18:00 CEST Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California):
Comics and Stuff
Award Ceremony: Martin-Schüwer-Preis 2020
20:00 CEST Dorothee Marx (University of Kiel), Daniel Stein (University of Siegen), and the Winner of the Martin-Schüwer-Preis

 

Friday, 9 October 2020
Panel 3: Authorial Agency
11:30 CEST
  • Georges Felten (University of Zurich):
    Moving Pictures: “Anti-Authorial” Dynamics in Wilhelm Busch’s Max und Moritz
  • Laura Glötter (Heidelberg University):
    Comics Artist versus Artistic Genius: Authorship and Metafi ction in Fiske’s and Kverneland’s Kanon
  • Jörn Ahrens (University of Giessen):
    Ada in the Jungle and Aya in Yop City: Doing Gender and Doing Africa
13:00
CEST
Lunch Break
Panel 4: Editorial Agency
14:00 CEST
  • Jaqueline Berndt (Stockholm University): Distributive Agents Coming to the Fore: The Manga Editor in Recent Media Texts
  • Barbara Eggert (University of Art and Design Linz):
    Distribution and Publication as Topics in Autobiographical Graphic Novels and Comics Anthologies
  • Jessica Burton (University of Luxembourg):
    Tintin’s Global Journey: Invisible Actors behind a Europeanisation of the Comics Industry in the 1960s
15:30 CEST Coffee Break
Panel 5: Distributional Agency
16:00 CEST
  • Shawna Kidman (University of California San Diego):
    Licensing and Licensors as Agents of Change in US Comic Book Publishing
  • Romain Becker (École Normale Supérieure de Lyon):
    How Reprodukt Creates Series
  • Ian Horton (University of the Arts London) and John Miers (Kingston University London):
    Issues of Agency when Archiving and Displaying Mini-Comics from the Les Coleman Collection
17:30 CEST Coffee Break
Keynote 2
18:00 CEST Mel Gibson (Northumbria University):
Librarians, Agency, Young People, and Comics: Graphic Account and the Development of Graphic Novel Collections in Public Libraries in Britain in the 1990s
Virtual Comic Museum Erlangen
20:00 CEST Lisa Neun and Ralf Marczinczik

 

Saturday, 10 October 2020
Open Forum
11:30 CEST
  • Cathérine Lehnerer (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna):
    Comic Workshops: New Ways to Shape Participation in Education
  • Janina Wildfeuer, Ielka van der Sluis, and Gisela Redeker (University of Groningen):
    No Laughing Matter? Analyzing Instructional First-Aid Comics
  • Mark Hibbett (University of the Arts London):
    Toward a Tool for Measuring Transmedia Character Coherence
13:00
CEST
Lunch Break
Panel 7: Fan Agency (Part I)
14:00 CEST
  • Benjamin Woo (Carleton University):
    The Self-Commodifi cation of Comics Fandoms: From “Active” to “Agentic” Audiences?
  • Matthew J. Smith (Radford University):
    Pilgrimage to Hall H: Fan Agency at Comic-Con
  • Suzanne Scott (University of Texas at Austin):
    Towards an Aesthetics of Noncompliance: Comics Iconography and Fan Tattoos
15:30 CEST Coffee Break
Panel 8: Fan Agency (Part II)
16:00 CEST
  • Safiyya Hosein (Ryerson University/York University):
    Muslim Manga: Fandom Discourses and Issues of Cultural Participation
  • Anke Marie Bock and Ashumi Shah (University of Augsburg):
    Death of the Endless and Fan Projections
  • Christopher Pizzino (University of Georgia):
    Comics and the Omnipotent Reader: The Body of Richard C. Meyer
17:30 CEST Coffee Break
Concluding Discussion: Where Do We Go from Here?
18:00 CEST Vanessa Ossa (University of Cologne), Jan-Noël Thon (Norwegian University of Science and Technology),
Lukas R. A. Wilde (University of Tuebingen)

 

Download schedule as PDF file.

New Publication: ComFor Conference Proceedings “Spaces Between”

We are happy to announce the publication of the proceedings of the 13th annual ComFor conference that took place in September 2018 in Cologne. Edited by ComFor members Véronique Sina und Nina Eckhoff-Heindl, the edited volunme Spaces Between: Gender, Diversity, and Identity in Comics contains numerous contributions by members and non-members.

 

Nina Eckhoff-Heindl and Véronique Sina (eds.)

Spaces Between: Gender, Diversity, and Identity in Comics

Springer, 2020

ISBN 978-3-658-30115-6

 

Publisher’s description:

“The contributions gathered in this volume exhibit a great variety of interdisciplinary perspectives on and theoretical approaches to the notion of spaces between’. Theydraw our attention to the nexus between the medium of comics and the categories of difference as well as identity such as gender, dis/ability, age, and ethnicity, in order to open and intensify an interdisciplinary conversation between comics studies and intersectional identity studies.” → go to publisher’s website

Contents:

  • Cocca, Carolyn: “Reproducing Inequality and Representing Diversity: The Politics of Gender in Superhero Comics”
  • Blank, Juliane: “Gendered Violence and Structures of Power. Reclaiming the Victim Narrative in the Netflix Show Marvel’s Jessica Jones
  • Brown, Jeffrey A.: “Spider-Analogues: The Unmarking and Unmasking of White Male Superheroism”
  • Crawford, Philip: “My Noose Around that Pretty’s Neck: Meditations on Matt Baker’s Good Girls
  • Miller, Ann: “The Nude and the Naked: From Fine Art to Comics”
  • Rauchenbacher, Marina, and Katharina Serles: “Fragmented and Framed. Precarious ‘Body Signs’ in Comics by Regina Hofer, Ulli Lust, Barbara Yelin and Peer Meter”
  • Veith, Natalie: “Othering Voices and the Voice of the Other: The Depiction of Joseph Merrick in From Hell
  • Neldner, Jonas: “Dis/ability and Hybridity: The Bodies of Charles Burns”
  • Becker, Romain: “The Binary Comics of a Non-binary Artist: How Vaughn Bodé’s Identity Structured His Art”
  • Eckhoff-Heindl, Nina: “Branford the Best Bee in the World. The Socio-Culturally Imprinted Self of Anthropomorphic Bodies”
  • Sina, Véronique: “‘If only I’d had a nose job’. Representations of the Gendered Jewish Body in the Works of Aline Kominsky-Crumb”
  • Berndt, Jaqueline: “Manga Aging: Grannies and Gutters”
  • Oksman, Tahneer: “An Art of Loss”

Conference report of the 13th annual ComFor conference
Overview of all annual ComFor conferences
Overview of all conference proceedings

Final Post of the Year 2019

As in previous years, the editorial team of the Society for Comics Studies (ComFor) will take a brief holiday break. We wish a Happy New Year to all of our members, friends, and readers and hope that 2020 will be a successful year full of exciting reading experiences and research opportunities for all of us. We will be back on 9 January 2020 with regular news on comics studies. As usual, we will begin the new year with some reading recommendations (in German) by our ComFor members.

Happy holidays,
Robin-M. Aust, Alexandra Hentschel, Julia Ingold, Katharina Serles & Natalie Veith

Publication: “Producing Mass Entertainment. The Serial Life of the Yellow Kid”

We are happy to announce the recent publication of the monograph Producing Mass Entertainment: The Serial Life of the Yellow Kid by ComFor member Christina Meyer:

 

Producing Mass Entertainment. The Serial Life of the Yellow Kid

Christina Meyer

278 pages, 35 illustrations

ISBN 978-0-8142-1416-9 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 978-0-8142-5560-5 (Paperback)
ISBN: 978-0-8142-7746-1 (eBook)

Publisher’s website

 

Official blurb:

“Emerging mass culture in nineteenth-century America was in no small way influenced by the Yellow Kid, one of the first popular, serial comic figures circulating Sunday supplements. Though comics existed before, it was through the growing popularity of full-color illustrations printed in such city papers as Inter Ocean (Chicago) and the World (New York) and the implementation of regular, weekly publications of the extra sections that comics became a mass-produced, mass-distributed staple of American consumerism. It was against this backdrop that one of the first popular, serial comic figures was born: the Yellow Kid.
Producing Mass Entertainment: The Serial Life of the Yellow Kid offers a new take on the emergence of the Yellow Kid comic figure, looking closely at the mass appeal and proliferation of the Yellow Kid across different media. Christina Meyer identifies the aesthetic principles of newspaper comics and examines the social agents—advertising agencies, toy manufacturers, actors, retailers, and more—responsible for the Yellow Kid’s successful career. In unraveling the history of comic characters in capitalist consumer culture, Meyer offers new insights into the creation and dissemination of cultural products, reflecting on modern artistic and merchandising phenomena.”

Announcement of the laureate of the first Martin-Schüwer Prize 2019

We return a few days earlier  from our summer break on the occasion of the announcement of the laureate of the Martin-Schüwer Prize 2019. The prize is a joint venture of the ComFor and the Committee for Comic Studies (AG Comicforschung) of the German Society of Media Studies (GfM) and is this year awarded for the first time. Among a total of 14 submissions from the field of interdisciplinary comics studies, it was the contribution of Dorothee Schneider (now Dorothee Marx), “The ‘Affected Scholar’. Reading Raina Telgemeier’s Ghosts as a Disability Scholar and Cystic Fibrosis-Patient”, that stood out the most, earning her the first Martin Schüwer Prize for Excellence in Comics Studies! The essay was published in Closure 5 (2018).

In addition to Marx’s submission, the judges also made special mention of two more shortlisted essays that struck them as particularly interesting: “Opazität und Transparenz: Überlegungen zum poietischen Potenzial in Chris Wares Comics und Animationen“ by Nina Eckhoff-Heindl and „Visible Hand? Subjectivity and Its Stylstic Markers in Graphic Narratives” by Lukas Etter.

The official award ceremony will take place on 09 November, 2019, as part of the Annual ComFor Conference 2019 where  Dorothee Marx is going to hold a special lecture entitled “Approaching Ghosts – Creating affected scholarship”.

We congratulate the laureate Dorothee Marx as well as the shortlisted authors Nina Eckhoff-Heindl and Lukas Etter on their outstanding contributions!

The judges were:
Stephan Packard
Véronique Sina
Lukas R.A. Wilde

Summer Break and Initiative for more Diversity in the Field of Comics Studies

The ComFor‘s web editorial team will take a break over the summer months. Therefore, there will be no regular posts on the website until 30 September 2019. We will, however, keep updating the sections on ongoing calls for papers and on exhibitions.

But before we say good bye, we would like to announce the formation of a new committee within the ComFor, the Committee for Diversity, an initiative instigated by ComFor Vice-President Véronique Sina.

The aim of this committee is to contribute to an equal, gender-neutral research culture by promoting the visibility of non-hegemonic, queer-feminist research and researchers, both within the ComFor as well as in the comics studies community in general. The initiative is a reaction to a lack of diversity that characterises the field of comics studies in many ways, for example in terms of methodological approaches and the canon of works as well as the research community in general. To counteract these excluding mechanisms of representation, the Committee for Diversity aims at establishing a more inclusive research environment and introduce new academic impulses.

Last year’s annual ComFor Conference, which was dedicated to topics relating to intersectional gender and diversity studies, showed both the great necessity of and interest in queer-feminist questions and perspectives in the field of comics studies. But it also clarified the desideratum and the gaps that need to be explored to arrive at a critically reflexive and interdisciplinary engagement with comics.

With the foundation of the Committee for Diversity, the ComFor takes an important step to fill these gaps and to send a clear message against any form of discrimination and exclusion.

Currently the committee is in the planning phase,  but during this year’s annual ComFor Conference at Schwarzenbach, a constitutive meeting will take place on 10 November, 2019, during which the committee‘s approach and line of work will be decided.

For further information, contact the Committee for Diversity via email: AGDiversity@comicgesellschaft.de

For now, we wish all of our readers a nice summer and look forward to once more keep you posted with regular news on comics studies in early autumn.

All the best,

Robin-Martin Aust, Katharina Serles, and Natalie Veith

on behalf of the web editorial team