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
“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
- 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
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
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)
“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.”
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:
Lukas R.A. Wilde
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.
Robin-M. Aust, Alexandra Hentschel, Julia Ingold, Laura Oehme, Katharina Serles, Natalie Veith & Lukas R.A. Wilde
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.
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€.
“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
Last weekend the Bonn Online Bibliography for Comics Research has arrived at the mark of 10,000 entries and meanwhile gotten beyond this milestone. The free of charge accessible database is collecting scholarly works about all aspects of comics and lets the user research them in numerous ways, through search masks, a keyword catalogue and cross-linking of all the entries. The ComFor is sponsoring the bibliography regularly to carry on its progress. We’d like to congratulate Joachim Trinkwitz to this succcess, who has been overseeing the project since its beginnings in 2008, and we’d also like to express our gratitude for his tireless dedication.
Continue to the Bonn Online Bibliography for Comics Research
10. Annual Conference of the „Gesellschaft für Comicforschung“ (ComFor)
04/09/2015 – 06/09/2015
Goethe-University Frankfurt, Campus Westend
As the title indicates, the contributions and discussions of the conference will focus on comics and graphic literature with a double perspective: One field of interest will consist of the historical topics and subjects, ranging from antiquity to contemporary history, that are depicted in works of sequential art from all over the world and attract the attention of a broad readership. Contributing considerably to an international archive of cultural memory, comics play an important role in academic research as both historical source material and as depictions and interpretations of historical events. This provides a fertile ground for interdisciplinary research that combines approaches from academic disciplines such as literature, art, media, and cultural studies and history in particular.
Another field of interest – closely linked to and in correspondence with the aspects mentioned above – consists of the historicisation of the phenomenon ‘comic’, its contemporary varieties and its readership(s) as well as the analysis of its international developments. Focusing on history and the historical in picture stories, it is adequate and relevant to ask about the lines of tradition of the medium and their preconditions: not least since the debates on new (or seemingly new) trends such as manga and graphic novel, seriality, media culture, the relation of comics and picture books, comics in traditional and modern media, etc. raise questions on the nature of graphic literature. Continue Reading