Magazine

Call for Nominations: Martin Schüwer Publication Prize

The Society for Comics Studies (ComFor) and the Committee for Comics Studies (AG Comicforschung) of the German Society for Media Studies (GfM) present an annual award for the best article by an early stage researcher.

In 2022, the Society for Comics Studies (ComFor) and the Committee for Comics Studies (AG Comicforschung) of the German Society for Media Studies (GfM), will award the Martin Schüwer Publication Prize for Excellence in Comics Studies for the fourth time. Since 2019, the prize has been awarded annually. It promotes the work of researchers who, regardless of their actual age, do not yet hold a permanent academic 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 comic 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 2022 must have been published between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021, 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, 2022. Please send your nomination as a single pdf to schuewer-preis@comicgesellschaft.de.

Prize and award ceremony:

The official announcement of the award winner will take place at the annual conference of the German Society for Media Studies (GfM) (autumn 2022). The award ceremony will take place during the annual conference of the Gesellschaft für Comicforschung (autumn 2022). 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 1000.00 €. In addition, the German Society for Media Studies (GfM) will free them from any membership fee for one year and the ComFor will accept them as life-long Honorary Member.

Open Letter to the University of Bonn

Securing and maintaining the Bonn Online Bibliography for Comics Research (BOBC)

To the Dean of Philosophy and the Chancellor at Bonn University,

The Bonn Online Bibliography for Comics Studies (BOBC, https://www.bobc.uni-bonn.de) was launched in 2008 under the direction of Dr. Joachim Trinkwitz, research assistant at the Institute for German Studies, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at the Rheinische FriedrichWilhelms-Universität Bonn. Initially designed as a tool for teaching, it was later published online as a service for the research community. Since then, it has been continuously expanded under Trinkiwtz’ direction. Thanks to his tireless effort, it now offers more than 13,500 international entries for researcher in interdisciplinary comics studies. Particularly noteworthy is the rich indexing of all entries (the dynamically expanded keyword catalogue now includes almost 4,800 entries, each in English and German), made possible by Dr. Trinkwitz’ decades of expertise and interdisciplinary knowledge.

The BOBC has become an irreplaceable, unique resource for international comics studies: it is a central point of reference for this growing field. It is acknowledged well beyond the German-speaking world by renowned researchers as well as international institutions of comics research, who regularly use it and recommend it to young academics (see also the attached research report by Prof. Dr. Bart Beaty and Prof. Dr. Benjamin Woo from the Universities of Calgary and Carleton, Canada). Every month, up to 150,000 database queries and hundreds of individual page views are counted by visitors from all over the world (18% of whom come from the USA and Canada). The bibliography has become an indispensable tool not only in German studies, but also in art and media studies, cultural studies and multimodal linguistics, as well as for many other philologies – such as American studies, English studies, Romance studies, Scandinavian studies, and Japanese studies – which we can no longer conceive their teaching and research into comics without this tool. Recently, even representatives of seemingly more remote disciplines such as medicine, religious studies/theology, and geography have become users of the bibliography.

The German Society for Comics Studies (ComFor e.V.) has been supporting the BOBC for almost a decade with regular sums from its membership fees to finance student staff positions for the initial recording of the ever more rapidly growing number of relevant new publications in our research fields. In order to maintain this indispensable resource, however, beyond this continuous technical labour, there is the need for constant indexing, coherence checking, and qualitative data control, for which an experienced colleague such as Dr Trinkwitz is needed.

In order to secure the future of this important resource even after the imminent retirement of our esteemed colleague, we therefore turn to the University of Bonn and its Faculty of Philosophy with two urgent questions in particular:

  • 1) How can the technical infrastructure for the BOBC be secured?
    The BOBC is currently running on a server of the Bonn Institute under the open source database software “WIKINDX”, which is currently maintained steadily and with commitment, but only through the efforts of a few individuals worldwide. Sooner or later, therefore, it will be necessary either to make a switch to a more expensive alternative database system that is professionally maintained, or to set up a (half-time) IT and information technology position that can continue to update and maintain WIKINDX.
  • 2) How can the professional maintenance of the BOBC be secured?

    Quality control, maintenance, and indexing of new entries require the continued work of a fully employed academic at no less than postgraduate level. Additional support by auxiliary staff for data entry can still be ensured through partner institutions such as the German Society for Comics Studies. We would therefore like to invite you to enter into a dialogue with the German Society for Comics Studies to discuss these needs in order to ensure the continued availability of this internationally and interdisciplinarily renowned research resource at the University of Bonn.

Signatories:

Dr. Joachim Trinkwitz for the BOBC

PD Dr. Christina Meyer, Dr. Lukas R.A. Wilde and Dr. Vanessa Ossa
for the Society for Comics Research (ComFor)

Working Group BOBC within ComFor:

Nicolas Gaspers (Düsseldorf),
PD Dr. Christina Meyer (Braunschweig),
Prof. Dr. Stephan Packard (Köln),
Dr. Joachim Trinkwitz (Bonn),
Dr. Lukas R.A. Wilde (Tübingen)

Continue Reading about supporting Institutions, colleagues, and research report

Monitor 67: New Publications on Comic Books

Monitor is an irregularly published overview of publications from the previous six months that may be of relevance to comics studies scholars. The introductory texts are the respective publishers’. Do you have suggestions or information on new releases that have been overlooked and should be introduced on our website? Please let us know via email: redaktion@comicgesellschaft.de.
See previous Monitor posts.


Robin and the Making of American Adolescence

Lauren R. O’Connor

Rutgers University Press
222 pages
August 2021
publisher’s website

“Holy adolescence, Batman! Robin and the Making of American Adolescence offers the first character history and analysis of the most famous superhero sidekick, Robin. Debuting just a few months after Batman himself, Robin has been an integral part of the Dark Knight’s history—and debuting just a few months prior to the word “teenager” first appearing in print, Robin has from the outset both reflected and reinforced particular images of American adolescence. Closely reading several characters who have “played” Robin over the past eighty years, Robin and the Making of American Adolescence reveals the Boy (and sometimes Girl!) Wonder as a complex figure through whom mainstream culture has addressed anxieties about adolescents in relation to sexuality, gender, and race. This book partners up comics studies and adolescent studies as a new Dynamic Duo, following Robin as he swings alongside the ever-changing American teenager and finally shining the Bat-signal on the latter half of ‘Batman and—.'”

Judge, Jury and Executioner: Essays on The Punisher in Print and on Screen

Alicia M. Goodman, Matthew J McEniry, Ryan Cassidy, Robert G. Weiner (eds.)

McFarland
193 pages
August 2021
publisher’s website

“Since the Punisher’s first appearance in the pages of Spider-Man #129, the character has become one of the most popular and controversial figures in Marvel’s vast universe. The Punisher represents one of the most recognizable types of anti-heroes. His iconic skull insignia stands for a unique type of justice: protecting the innocent while violently eliminating everyone he sees as a villain. This collection examines the Punisher from philosophical perspectives about morality and justice. Essays critique the character through the lenses of gender and feminism; consider the Punisher’s veteran status in relation the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq wars; and examine how politics and gun violence connect the Punisher’s world with the real world. Many iterations of the Punisher are examined within, including the Netflix release of Marvel’s The Punisher, comics series such as Punisher: MAX, Marvel Knights, and Cosmic Ghost Rider, and several fan fiction stories.”

 

The Comic Strip Art of Jack B. Yeats

Michael Connerty

Palgrave Macmillan
283 pages
August 2021
publisher’s website

“This monograph seeks to recover and assess the critically neglected comic strip work produced by the Irish painter Jack B. Yeats for various British publications, including Comic Cuts, The Funny Wonder, and Puck, between 1893 and 1917. It situates the work in relation to late-Victorian and Edwardian media, entertainment and popular culture, as well as to the evolution of the British comic during this crucial period in its development. Yeats’ recurring characters, including circus horse Signor McCoy, detective pastiche Chubblock Homes, and proto-superhero Dicky the Birdman, were once very well-known, part of a boom in cheap and widely distributed comics that Alfred Harmsworth and others published in London from 1890 onwards. The repositioning of Yeats in the context of the comics, and the acknowledgement of the very substantial corpus of graphic humour that he produced, has profound implications for our understanding of his artistic career and of his significant contribution to UK comics history. This book, which also contains many examples of the work, should therefore be of value to those interested in Comics Studies, Irish Studies, and Art History.”

 

The Comics World: Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Their Publics

Benjamin Woo, Jeremy Stoll (eds.)

University Press of Mississippi
286 pages
July 2021
publisher’s website

The Comics World: Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Their Publics is the first collection to explicitly examine the production, circulation, and reception of comics from a social-scientific point of view. Designed to promote interdisciplinary dialogue about theory and methods in comics studies, this volume draws on approaches from fields as diverse as sociology, political science, history, folklore, communication studies, and business, among others, to study the social life of comics and graphic novels.
Taking the concept of a “comics world”—that is, the collection of people, roles, and institutions that “produce” comics as they are—as its organizing principle, the book asks readers to attend to the contexts that shape how comics move through societies and cultures. Each chapter explores a specific comics world or particular site where comics meet one of their publics, such as artists and creators; adaptors; critics and journalists; convention-goers; scanners; fans; and comics scholars themselves. Through their research, contributors demonstrate some of the ways that people participate in comics worlds and how the relationships created in these spaces can provide different perspectives on comics and comics studies.
Moving beyond the page, The Comics World explores the complexity of the lived reality of the comics world: how comics and graphic novels matter to different people at different times, within a social space shared with others.”

Journal Monitor 11: New Publications on Comic Books

The Journal Monitor is a subcategory of the regular Monitor. It is an irregularly published overview of issues of international journals on comics studies as well as special issues on corresponding topics. The introductory texts and/or tables of contents come from the respective websites.
Do you have suggestions or information on new releases that have been overlooked and should be introduced on our website? Please let us know via email: redaktion@comicgesellschaft.de.
See previous Monitor posts.


Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society 5.1 & 2

online via subscription
Website

5.2

  • Michelle Ann Abate: “’Sometimes My Hand Shakes So Much I Have to Hold My Wrist to Draw’: Charles M. Schulz and Disability”
  • Yosa Vidal: “The Aesthetic and Political Economy of Betrayal in Oesterheld’s Two Versions of The Eternaut I
  • Justin Wigard: “’The Fearless Spaceman Spiff, Interplanetary Explorer Extraordinaire’: Parodic Imagination and the Pulp Aesthetic in Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes
  • Rik Spanjers, Aimée de Jongh, Kees Ribbens: “’I Am Always Amazed About What I Find Out When I Get on the Ground’: Joe Sacco On, Before, and After the Page”

5.1

  • Benjamin Bigelow, Rüdiger Singer: “Introduction: Migration in Twenty-First-Century Documentary Comics”
  • Benjamin Bigelow: “Presenting Absence: Migration and Dislocation in Lene Ask’s Dear Rikard (2014)”
  • Ning Ma: “Beyond Race: The Monkey King and Creative Polyculturalism in Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese
  • Elizabeth “Biz” Nijdam: “Tying Up Loose Ends: The Fabric of Panel Borders in Kate Evans’ Threads
  • Agnès Schaffauser: “The Wretched of the Sea: Clandestine Immigration and Graphic Artistry in Bessora and Barroux’s Alpha: Abidjan to Gare du Nord

 

Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 

online via subscription
Website

  • Emily A. Geest, Ashley R. Knoch, Andrine A. Shufran: “Villainous snakes and heroic butterflies, the moral alignment of animal-themed characters in American superhero comic books”
  • N. Yadav: “Whose line is it anyway: graphic anthology drawing the line as a counter to mainstream rape reportage in India”
  • Jeffrey A. Brown: “‘I’m too old for this #$&%.’ Old Wolverine and masculinity”
  • Anna-Sophie Jürgens, David Tscharke, Jochen Brocks: “From Caligari to Joker: the clown prince of crime’s psychopathic science”
  • Philip Smith: “Representations of Israel, literal and allegorical, in X-Men comics”
  • Steven W. Holloway, Justina Kaiser, Brian Flota:Re-imagining (black) comic book cataloguing: increasing accessibility through metadata at one university library”
  • James Hodapp: “Fashioning Africanfuturism: African comics, Afrofuturism, and Nnedi Okorafor’s Shuri
  • Luis J. Tosina Fernández: “Visual representation of proverbs in comic books and their translation: Asterix as a paradigmatic case”
  • Fatemeh Badi-Ozaman, Masoud Sharififar, Mina Zandrahimi: “Analysing the Persian translation of sound effects in comic books by Celotti’s strategies”
  • Wajeehah Aayeshah: “Hockey sticks, purple smoke bombs, and empathy: female character representation in Pakistani comics”
  • Kalervo A. Sinervo, Ariela Freedman: “Feeling your pain: empathy in comics”
  • Raees Calafato, Freda Gudim: “Comics as a multimodal resource and students’ willingness to communicate in Russian”
  • Sohini Bera, Rajni Singh: “Appeal for embracing posthumanist perspectives in Orijit Sen’s The River of Stories
  • Harriet Earle: “Traumatic absurdity, palimpsest, and play: A Slaughterhouse-Five case study”
  • Natalia Banasik-Jemielniak: “‘Unicorn humour isn’t very subtle.’ Graphic novels and comics as a potential didactic tool for teaching irony to children: the example of Dana Simpson’s Phoebe and her unicorn
  • Betül Gaye Dinç, Ilgım Veryeri Alaca: “Göbeklitepe and Ecological Thinking: Human/Nature Entanglement in Firat Yasa’s Graphic Novel Tepe (The Hill)”
  • Manatchai Amponpeerapan, Jaray Singhakowinta: “Confrontations and exchanges of virtue ethics: a study of dialectical friendship between superman and batman in comic books”
  • Sandra Rousseau” “Of shapes and sounds : identity and Algerian memory in Nawel Louerrad’s graphic novels”
  • Bruce Mutard, Stuart Medley, Helen Kara: “Scholarship in action”
  • Kyra Kietrys: “Antonio Altarriba’s El ala rota: remembering a woman hidden in ‘the back room of history’”
  • Nicholas Werse: “Framing Religious Violence: Exploring the Paths to Faith and Apostasy in Punk Rock Jesus
  • Partha Bhattacharjee, Priyanka Tripathi, Bidisha Pal: “‘The problem of gender violence in India… was not a legal problem, but a cultural problem’: a conversation with comics creator Ram Devineni”

Studies in Comics 11.2

print via subscription
Website

  • Xosé Pereira Boán:
    ”Forging intragenerational and common memories: Revisiting Paracuellos’s graphic violence in times of confinement”
  • Benoît Crucifix: “Jojo, Jimmy and Marie Chairne: What scribbled comics can (not) tell us”
  • Keiko Miyajima: “Queering the palate: The erotics and politics of food in Japanese gourmet manga”
  • Monica Chiu: “Graphic panelling and the promotion of transnational affiliations in Thien Pham’s Sumo
  • Daniel Pinti: “Panelling without walls: Narrating the border in Barrier
  • Orion Ussner Kidder: “Fire in the jungle: Genocide and colonization in Russell and Pugh’s The Flintstones
  • Amrita Singh: “Photographic silence: Remediating the graphic to visualize migrant experience in Shaun Tan’s The Arrival
  • Christopher A. Crawford, Igor Juricevic: “Understanding pictorial metaphor in comic book covers: A test of the contextual and structural frameworks”
  • Chester N. Scoville: “‘She’s practically normal!’: Disability, gender and image in Doom Patrol
  • Dragoş Manea, Mihaela Precup: “‘Who were you crying for?’: Empathy, fantasy and the framing of the perpetrator in Nina Bunjevac’s Bezimena
  • Paul A. Aleixo, Daniel Matkin, Laura Kilby: “What do teachers think about the educational role of comic books?: A qualitative analysis”

Program of the ComFor Annual Conference 2021: “Coherence in Comics”

Termin:
2021 10 14 - 2021 10 16

The ComFor web editorial team is back from its summer break with an announcement on its own behalf: the 16th annual conference of the German Society for Comics Studies (ComFor) will take place from 14-16 October 2021!

Announcement:

The 16th Annual Conference of the German Society for Comics Studies (ComFor) approaches the topic “Coherence in Comics” from an interdisciplinary perspective. We seek to not only negotiate and explain meaning-making across panel borders and semiotic modes, but also across disciplines, seeking commonalities, shared interests and points of contact. […] We are looking forward to keynotes by Janina Wildfeuer, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Information Studies at the University of Groningen, Barbara Postema, author of Narrative Structure in Comics: Making Sense of Fragments, and Charles Forceville, Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam (Department of Media Studies). Apart from the conference’s central focus on coherence, ComFor aims to promote interdisciplinary cooperation and dialogue across all areas of comics research. The 16th Annual Conference will therefore continue the tradition of an open workshop format that allows researchers to present and gather feedback on various projects within comics studies, without any thematic restrictions. We are also excited to announce a comic reading (in German) by Vina Yun as part of this year’s program, arranged by the Austrian Comics Society (OeGeC – Österreichische Gesellschaft für Comic-Forschung und -Vermittlung).

Registration:

The conference will be held online via WebEx; there is no conference fee; registration by email to comfor2021@sbg.ac.at is requested.


Organisators:

  • Elisabeth Krieber (Universität Salzburg)
  • Markus Oppolzer (Universität Salzburg)
  • Hartmut Stöckl (Universität Salzburg)

Programme:

Thursday, 14 Oct., 2021
10:30 – 11:30 – Members’ Meeting of the Society for Comics Studies (ComFor) (in German)
11:30 – 13:00 – Lunch Break

13:00 – 13:15 – Conference Opening

13:15 – 14:15 – OPEN FORUM I

Mihaela Precup and Dragoș Manea – “The Overfamiliar Perpetrator: Hipster Hitler, Transcultural Memory, and the Banalisation of Genocide”
Pedro Réquio – “Revolutionary Comics/Revolutionary Politics: Portugal in the 1970’s”

14:15 – 14:45 – Break

14:45 – 15:45 – OPEN FORUM II
Ahlam Almohissen – “Multimodal Humour in Cartoons: Social Semiotic Perspective”
Xiaolan Wei – “Coherence Constructed through Comics and Spoken Language in Chinese College Students’ Five Minutes English Academic Speech”

15:45 – 16:15 – Break

16:15 – 17:30 – KEYNOTE Janina Wildfeuer
“Demystifying the Magic. A Multimodal Linguistic Approach to Coherence in Visual Narratives”

17:30– 18:00 – Break

18:00 – 19:00 – AWARD CEREMONY
Martin-Schüwer-Publication Prize 2021 for Excellence in Comic Studies


Friday, 15 Oct., 2021
09:00 – 10:30 – PANEL 1: FORMS AND AESTHETICS OF COHERENCE (Panel Chair: Stephan Packard)

Elisabeth El Refaie – “A Tripartite Classification of Visual Metaphor as a Basis for Studying Coherence in Comics”
Martin Foret – “‘Like a Speech’ or Searching for Coherence between Codes Used in Comics: The Interplay of Various Codes within the Specific Complex Code (or Better Meta-Code) of Comics”
Lukas R.A.Wilde – “Essayistic Comics: Non-narrative Coherence and Pictogrammatics with Schlogger, Sousanis, Barry”

10:30 – 11:00 – Break

11:00 – 12:30 – PANEL 2: COHESION IN COMICS: MULTIMODAL AND PRAGMATICIST APPROACHES (Panel Chair: Janina Wildfeuer)

Chiao-I Tseng – “Structures of Cohesion in Comics”
John Bateman – “Nonlinear Coherence? Steps Beyond the Sequence in Sequential Art”
Stephan Packard  – “Cohesion in Panel Graphs: A Psychosemiotic Approach”

12:30 – 14:00 – Lunch Break

14:00 – 15:30  – PANEL 3: IN(COHERENT) SPACES AND NARRATORS (Panel Chair: Mihaela Precup)
Barbara Margarethe Eggert  – “Comics as Coherence Machines? Exemplary Observations on the Functional Spectrum of Museum Comics”
Martha Kuhlman -“Comics and the Miniature: Thinking Inside the Box”
Elizabeth Allyn Woock – “The Graphic ‘I’ in Academic Comics”

15:30 – 16:00 – Break

16:00 – 17:15 – KEYNOTE: Charles Forceville: “Visual and Multimodal (Meta)Representation of Speech, Thought, and Sensory Perception in Comics”

17:15 – 17:30  – Break

17:30 – 19:00 – COMIC READING (in German)
presented by the Austrian Comics Society (OeGeC Österreichische Gesellschaft für Comic-Forschung und -Vermittlung)
Vina Yun: Homestories


Saturday, 16 Oct., 2021
09:00 – 11:00  – PANEL 4: Linguistic and Cognitive Approaches to the Visual Language of Comics (Panel Chair: Neil Cohn)

Neil Cohn – “Grammar of the Visual Language of Comics”
Irmak Hacımusaoğlu  – “What Are Motion Lines Anyways?”
Bien Klomberg – “Calvin the Elephant: Resolving Discontinuity through Conceptual Blends”
Lenneke Lichtenberg  – “Understanding Lightbulb Moments in Comics: The Processing of Visual Metaphors that Float above Characters’ Heads”

11:00 – 11:30 – Break
11:30 – 12:45 – KEYNOTE Barbara Postema – “Narrative Structure in Wordless Comics”

12:45 – 14:30 – Lunch Break

14:30 – 16:00 – PANEL 5: FRACTURED BODIES AND IDENTITIES (Panel Chair: Barbara Margarete Eggert)

Tina Helbig  – “Frames as Skin and Comic Book Pages as a Fractured Bodies in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman and in Emily Carroll’s Short Horror Comics”
Carolina González Alvarado  – “A Perverse Beauty and the Mechanisms of Control over the Body: An Analysis of Helter Skelter by Kyoho Okazaki”
Rita Maricocchi – “(In)coherencies in the Manifestations of German Identity in Birgit Weyhe’s Madgermanes”

16:00 – 16:30 – Break

16:30 – 18:00 – PANEL 6: COHERENCE IN SUPERHERO NARRATIVES: THE CHALLENGES OF SERIALIZATION AND WORLD-BUILDING (Panel Chair: Lukas R.A. Wilde)
Mark Hibbett – “Image Quotation of Past Events to Enforce Storyworld Cohesion in John Byrne’s Fantastic Four”
Amadeo Gandolfo  – “Do the Collapse: Final Crisis and the Impossible Coherence of the Superhero Crossover”
Scott Jordan and Victor Dandridge Jr. – “Invincible: The Many Shapes, Forms, and Sizes of Coherence through Comics”

18:00 – 18:15 – Conference Closing


Further information and a detailed programme can be found on Event website.

Monitor 66: New Publications on Comic Books

Monitor is an irregularly published overview of publications from the previous six months that may be of relevance to comics studies scholars. The introductory texts are the respective publishers’. Do you have suggestions or information on new releases that have been overlooked and should be introduced on our website? Please let us know via email: redaktion@comicgesellschaft.de.
See previous Monitor posts.


Die Shoah im Comic seit 2000: Erinnern zeichnen

Thomas Merten

De Gruyter
357 pages
May 2021
publisher’s websitee

“Wie erinnern künftige Generationen an die Shoah, wenn die letzten Zeitzeugen gestorben sind? Die Comics der vergangenen Jahre geben Hinweise darauf: Während die Kinder noch versuchen, Anschluss an die nicht mehr selbst erlebte, aber gleichwohl als einschneidend erfahrene Vergangenheit ihrer Eltern herzustellen – und sich davon zu emanzipieren –, beschäftigt sich die Enkelgeneration primär mit der Tatsache, dass sie die Shoah hauptsächlich medial oder aus zweiter Hand erzählt bekommt.
Um die Geschehnisse besser zu verstehen, versuchen die jüngeren Autorinnen und Autoren, das Bezeugen der historischen Ereignisse selbst nachzuempfinden oder versetzen die Handlung gleich gänzlich ins Jetzt – wo die Shoah vor allem als Spuren und Spätfolgen zu ihnen vordringt. So holen sie Vergangenes eindringlich in die Gegenwart und üben ihrerseits Kritik an Darstellungen, die eher Distanz als Nähe zur Shoah erzeugen. In neueren Comics wollen sie nicht mehr nur von einer vermeintlich fernen Vergangenheit erzählen, sondern deren Auswirkungen und Parallelen in der eigenen Lebenswelt verstehen. So besteht die Chance, die Shoah auch anderen zu vermitteln, die keinen persönlichen Bezug zur Geschichte mehr haben können – und damit dem Vergessen etwas entgegenzusetzen.
Diese Arbeit ordnet die Comics in die gegenwärtige Entwicklung ein, liefert eine kurze Geschichte des Sujets “Shoah-Comic” und entwickelt dazu eine Theorie des erinnernden Comics. Zusätzlich werden Werke von Autorinnen und Autoren der Kinder- und Enkelgeneration untersucht und miteinander verglichen, darunter Comics von Michel Kichka, Bernice Eisenstein, Rutu Modan, Barbara Yelin und Reinhard Kleist.
Eine Spurensuche danach, wie die Nachkommen in Sprechblasen und Panels ihre Rolle im Gefüge der Zeit finden und mit eigenem Wissen, eigenen Deutungen und eigenen Fragen anreichern.”

 

Creation, Translation, and Adaptation in Donald Duck Comics: The Dream of Three Lifetimes

Peter Cullen Bryan

Palgrave Macmillan
222 pages
May 2021
publisher’s website

“This book examines the scope and nature of Donald Duck and his family’s popularity in Germany, in contrast to the diminished role they play in America. This is achieved through examination of the respective fan communities, business practices, and universality of the characters. This work locates and understands the aspects of translation and adaptation that inform the spread of culture that have as yet been underexplored in the context of comic books. It represents a large-scale attempt to incorporate adaptation and translation studies into comics studies, through a lens of fan studies (used to examine both the American and German fan communities, as well as the work of Don Rosa). This work builds on the efforts of other scholars, including Janet Wasko and Illaria Meloni, while expanding the historical understanding of what might be the world’s best-selling comics.”

 

Politics in the Gutters: American Politicians and Elections in Comic Book Media

Christina M. Knopf

University Press of Mississippi
306 pages
July 2021
publisher’s website

“From the moment Captain America punched Hitler in the jaw, comic books have always been political, and whether it is Marvel’s chairman Ike Perlmutter making a campaign contribution to Donald Trump in 2016 or Marvel’s character Howard the Duck running for president during America’s bicentennial in 1976, the politics of comics have overlapped with the politics of campaigns and governance. Pop culture opens avenues for people to declare their participation in a collective project and helps them to shape their understandings of civic responsibility, leadership, communal history, and present concerns.
Politics in the Gutters: American Politicians and Elections in Comic Book Media opens with an examination of campaign comic books used by the likes of Herbert Hoover and Harry S. Truman, follows the rise of political counterculture comix of the 1960s, and continues on to the graphic novel version of the 9/11 Report and the cottage industry of Sarah Palin comics. It ends with a consideration of comparisons to Donald Trump as a supervillain and a look at comics connections to the pandemic and protests that marked the 2020 election year.
More than just escapist entertainment, comics offer a popular yet complicated vision of the American political tableau. Politics in the Gutters considers the political myths, moments, and mimeses, in comic books—from nonfiction to science fiction, superhero to supernatural, serious to satirical, golden age to present day—to consider how they represent, re-present, underpin, and/or undermine ideas and ideals about American electoral politics.”

 

Rebirth of the English Comic Strip: A Kaleidoscope, 1847-1870

David Kunzle

University Press of Mississippi
472 pages
July 2021
publisher’s website

Rebirth of the English Comic Strip: A Kaleidoscope, 1847–1870 enters deep into an era of comic history that has been entirely neglected. This buried cache of mid-Victorian graphic humor is marvelously rich in pictorial narratives of all kinds. Author David Kunzle calls this period a “rebirth” because of the preceding long hiatus in use of the new genre, since the Great Age of Caricature (c. 1780–c. 1820) when the comic strip was practiced as a sideline. Suddenly in 1847, a new, post-Töpffer comic strip sparks to life in Britain, mostly in periodicals, and especially in Punch, where all the best artists of the period participated, if only sporadically: Richard Doyle, John Tenniel, John Leech, Charles Keene, and George Du Maurier. Until now, this aspect of the extensive oeuvre of the well-known masters of the new journal cartoon in Punch has been almost completely ignored. Exceptionally, George Cruikshank revived just once in The Bottle, independently, the whole serious, contrasting Hogarthian picture story.
Numerous comic strips and picture stories appeared in periodicals other than Punch by artists who were likewise largely ignored. Like the Punch luminaries, they adopt in semirealistic style sociopolitical subject matter easily accessible to their (lower-)middle-class readership. The topics covered in and out of Punch by these strips and graphic novels range from French enemies King Louis-Philippe and Emperor Napoleon III to farcical treatment of major historical events: the Bayeux tapestry (1848), the Great Exhibition of 1851, and the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. Artists explore a great variety of social types, occupations, and situations such as the emigrant, the tourist, fox hunting and Indian big game hunting, dueling, the forlorn lover, the student, the artist, the toothache, the burglar, the paramilitary volunteer, Darwinian animal metamorphoses, and even nightmares. In Rebirth of the English Comic Strip, Kunzle analyzes these much-neglected works down to the precocious modernist and absurdist scribbles of Marie Duval, Europe’s first female professional cartoonist.”

Comics|Histories – International Conference

Termin:
2021 07 16 - 2021 07 17

The international Conference “Comics|Histories” is organised by ComFor members Jaqueline Berndt (Stockholm University, Sweden), Felix Giesa (Goethe University
Frankfurt, Germany) and Christina Meyer (TU Braunschweig, Germany).

Description of the conference by the organisers:

“Comics Studies are on the rise, but the bulk of comics research prioritizes contemporary productions, whereas comics’ histories and genealogies, or preconditions of what appears as comics and  the forms of graphic narratives today, remain understudied. To fill the gap and to map as yet unknown territories, a new book series will be launched soon by academic publisher Rombach Wissenschaft, and this conference, organized by the series editors, is intended as a kick-off event. The book series and conference aim to revise the wide spectrum of what is now regarded as comics (including caricature, cartoons, graphic novel, etc.), broadening the view of Comics Studies not only retrospectively, but also prospectively at a moment in time when modern media identities are dissolving.

We welcome in particular contributions that engage with both theories and methods employed in Comics Studies so far, and crucial disciplinary concerns of history (as specified in literary, cultural, media, or art history, and so on). While there is already a significant amount of publications that foreground representations history in comics, our conference seeks to highlight comics-specific contributions to history. In addition to that, we invite papers that address comics from a transnational while culturally situated, perspective, without privileging national histories of the medium in the narrower sense, i.e., as confined to North American, Franco-Belgian, or Japanese publication markets. Last but not least, we call for papers that put the spotlight on the historiography of Comics Studies, in other words, the inter- and transdisciplinary research on comics as an object of analysis in itself. Multidisciplinary assessments of the field and its practices of research and publishing, authorand editorship promise new insight into processes of knowledge formation, as well as the power relations involved.”

Registration is open until July 15th via comicshistories@uni-frankfurt.de.

The conference takes place online via ZOOM from July 16th to July 17th; the ZOOM link will be sent out to registered participants.

New Publication: Handbook of Comics and Graphic Narratives

Today we announce a publication that has the potential to quickly become a standard work in the field of comics studies: the Handbook of Comics and Graphic Narratives, published by De Gruyter. Edited by Sebastian Domsch, Dan Hassler-Forest and ComFor member Dirk Vanderbeke, this handbook unites a variety of critical approaches, historical contexts, and close readings. We are particularly happy that there are several ComFor members among the contributors to this unique volume.

Go to publisher’s website.

Publisher’s description:

“Whether one describes them as sequential art, graphic narratives or graphic novels, comics have become a vital part of contemporary culture. Their range of expression contains a tremendous variety of forms, genres and modes − from high to low, from serial entertainment for children to complex works of art. This has led to a growing interest in comics as a field of scholarly analysis, as comics studies has established itself as a major branch of criticism. This handbook combines a systematic survey of theories and concepts developed in the field alongside an overview of the most important contexts and themes and a wealth of close readings of seminal works and authors. It will prove to be an indispensable handbook for a large readership, ranging from researchers and instructors to students and anyone else with a general interest in this fascinating medium.”

Contents:

Introduction

  • Sebastian Domsch, Dirk Vanderbeke, Dan Hassler-Forest: “Comics Studies: Survey of the Field”

Part I: Systematic Aspects

Part II: Contexts and Themes

  • Stephan Packard: “Politics”
  • Dan Hassler-Forest: “World-Building”
  • Astrid Böger: “Life Writing”
  • Anna Oleszczuk: “Gender”
  • Kay Sohini: “Queerness”
  • Heike Elisabeth Jüngst: “Science Comics”
  • Sandra Heinen: “Postcolonial Perspectives”
  • Marie Vanderbeke: “DocuComics in the Classroom”
  • Dan Hassler-Forest: “Superheroes – Historical Overview”
  • Matt Yockey: “Superheroes – The Golden Age: Batman”
  • Matt Boyd Smith: “Superheroes – The Silver Age: Nick Fury”
  • William Proctor: “Superheroes – The Dark Age: Superheroes in the 1980s”

Part III: Close Readings

  • Christina Meyer: “Richard F. Outcault: The Yellow Kid
  • Corey Creekmur: “George Herriman: Krazy Kat
  • Sebastian Domsch: “Winsor McCay: Little Nemo in Slumberland
  • Eric Hoffman: “Dave Sim: Cerebus
  • Martin Lund: “Will Eisner: A Contract with God
  • Dawn Stobbart: “Raymond Briggs: When the Wind Blows
  • Joanne Pettitt: “Art Spiegelman: Maus
  • Nicola Glaubitz: “Robert Crumb”
  • Monika Pietrzak-Franger: “Alan Moore: From Hell
  • Evan Hayles Gledhill: “Neil Gaiman: The Sandman
  • Erin La Cour: “Alison Bechdel: Dykes to Watch Out For
  • Gerry Canavan: “Chris Ware: Jimmy Corrigan – The Smartest Kid on Earth
  • Erik Grayson: “Daniel Clowes: Ghost World
  • Luisa Menzel: “Martin Rowson: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
  • Harriet Earle: “Marjane Satrapi: Persepolis
  • Oliver Moisich: “Grant Morrison: Flex Mentallo