ComFor News

Publication: “Comics and Videogames: From Hybrid Medialities to Transmedia Expansions”

For those still looking for a special Christmas gift, we are happy to announce that the book Comics und Video Games: From Hybrid Medialities to Transmedia Expansions, edited by Andreas Rauscher, Daniel Stein und Jan-Noël Thon, was published by Routledge earlier this year in October.  We are proud to say that we are very well represented in this work – not only are two of the editors members, but two of the other contributors as well: Daniel Stein, Jan-Noël Thon, Hans-Joachim Backe and Nina Eckhoff-Heindl.

Official announcement:

This book offers the first comprehensive study of the many interfaces shaping the relationship between comics and videogames. It combines in-depth conceptual reflection with a rich selection of paradigmatic case studies from contemporary media culture. 

The editors have gathered a distinguished group of international scholars working at the interstices of comics studies and game studies to explore two interrelated areas of inquiry: The first part of the book focuses on hybrid medialities and experimental aesthetics “between” comics and videogames; the second part zooms in on how comics and videogames function as transmedia expansions within an increasingly convergent and participatory media culture. The individual chapters address synergies and intersections between comics and videogames via a diverse set of case studies ranging from independent and experimental projects via popular franchises from the corporate worlds of DC and Marvel to the more playful forms of media mix prominent in Japan. 

Offering an innovative intervention into a number of salient issues in current media culture, Comics and Videogames will be of interest to scholars and students of comics studies, game studies, popular culture studies, transmedia studies, and visual culture studies.

 

Contributions:

Further information on the articles as well the PDFs can also be found here. A print version is available from  Routledge.

Martin Schüwer Publication Prize 2021

Call for Nominations:
Martin Schüwer Publication Prize for Excellence in Comics Studies

In 2021, the Society for Comics Studies (ComFor) and the Committee for Comics Studies at the German Society for Media Studies (GfM), will award the Martin Schüwer Publication Prize for Excellence in Comics Studies for the third time. Since 2019, the prize has been awarded annually. It promotes the work of emerging scholars, i.e. researchers who, regardless of their actual age, do not yet hold a permanent academic position as tenured faculty. Honoring outstanding publications in the interdisciplinary field of comics studies, the Martin Schüwer Publication Prize aims to create more visibility for comics-related research, promoting and communicating its importance to a wider public.

The prize is named after the late Martin Schüwer, a scholar of English Literature and Culture who specialized in comics studies and who, very unfortunately, died at a far too early age in 2013. His dissertation Wie Comics erzählen (2006) has opened up new ground for narratological comics research and has become a standard work in German-language comics studies. With this and his other works on comics as well as on the didactics of English literature, Martin Schüwer has set valuable standards regarding the excellence, accessibility and range that publications in our fields can achieve. Both as a comics researcher and as a person, Schüwer had a distinct way of talking to people, characterized by his open-mindedness and a genuine interest in others. Talking to and with others, he aimed to advance comics studies. We dedicate the award to him and this very goal.

Submission and nominations:

Eligible for submission are published texts that do not exceed the length of an article or book chapter. They may have appeared as articles in collective volumes or journals, as chapters in longer monographs, or as essays and other text types of similar length. The submitted/nominated texts may have been written by one or more authors. Authors are only eligible for the award if, at the time of nomination, they did not yet hold a permanent job position within academia.

Papers nominated for the Martin Schüwer Prize 2021 must have been published between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2020, in either German or English. Texts that are still forthcoming or only accepted for publication cannot be considered. Papers can only be submitted once. Entire monographs as well as unpublished work from dissertational research are also excluded from submission. Editors of collective volumes or journal issues cannot be nominated; however, nomination of individual contributions to these collections/issues are very welcome.

To nominate yourself or others, please submit the nominated text and a short explanatory statement (300-500 words). Self-nominations are possible and welcome. The deadline for all submissions is March 31, 2021. Please send your nomination as a single pdf to schuewer-preis@comicgesellschaft.de.

Prize and award ceremony:

The award ceremony will take place during the annual conference of the Society for Comics Studies (autumn 2021). The awardee will be asked to give a lecture and introduce their research during the conference. They will also be invited to serve as a member of the jury in the following year and will receive a prize money of 500.00 €. In addition, the German Society for Media Studies (GfM) will free them from any membership fee for one year.

Download call for nominations 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

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

Last Post of the Year 2018

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 friends and members and hope that 2019 will be a successful year full of exciting reading experiences for all of us. We will be back on 7 January 2019 with regular news on comics studies. As usual, we will begin the new year with some reading recommendations by our ComFor members.

Happy holidays,
Robin-M. Aust, Alexandra Hentschel, Julia Ingold, Laura Oehme, Katharina Serles, Natalie Veith & Lukas R.A. Wilde

New Publication Series on Comics Studies

Recently, two new publication series on comics studies have been announced by their respective editors:

Wilfried Laurier University Press is currently preparing the series Crossing the Lines: Transcultural/Transnational Comics Studies, edited by Barbara Postema, Candida Rifkind and Nhora Lucía Serrano. This interdisciplinary publication series will focus on contemporary research that unites comics studies with impulses from the fields of gender studies, art history and visual studies as well as postcolonial and Diaspora studies. Further information and contact addresses can be found in the flyer. –> see flyer

Routledge is planning to release the series Routledge Focus on Gender, Sexuality, and Comics Studies, edited by Frederik Byrn Køhlert. This series will collect contributions from the fields of gender and sexuality studies that engage with comics and similar formats as well as their consumption. Further information and contact addresses can be found in the flyer. –> see flyer

The editors call for submissions of relevant publications. Please see the flyers for further information.

“Re-Animate Europe”-Comic competition 2017

ReAnimate Europe

Twice already, in 2013 and 2015, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom organised the International Comic Competition “Animate Europe”. End of February, a seven-head strong international expert jury will again select seven comic artists who will then be asked to finish an eight-page graphic short story by Monday, 22. May 2017. The finalists will receive a grant of 800€. Their entries will be published in an anthology at the end of the competition and they will travel around Europe in form of a travelling exhibition. The winner will be announced at an award ceremony on 11 July 2017 at the Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels and will receive a prize of 500€.

Organizer’s announcement:
“We’re thrilled to announce that “Animate Europe” will be running for a third round, starting now! This time, we’re looking for your creative ideas to „Re-Animate Europe“! After many external crises and internal shake-ups, from the migration crisis to Brexit to a lack of trust, the once strong and confident body of the European Union seems tattered and tired. The European heartbeat has lost its rhythm. How can we help to get Europe back on its feet? Who or what will be the healer, who can find the magic potion for Europe’s ailing heart? Share your vision with us – send us your „medication“ for a healthy European heartbeat!”

Continue to the organizer’s page