Magazine

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

Monitor 53: 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.


The World of DC Comics

Andrew Friedenthal
Routledge
108 pages
April 2019
Publisher’s website

“The first sustained study of the DC Comics Multiverse, this book explores its history, meanings, and lasting influence. The multiverse is a unique exercise in world-building: a series of parallel and interactive worlds with a cohesive cosmology, developed by various creators over more than 50 years.
In examining DC’s unique worlds and characters, the book illustrates the expansive potential of a multiverse, full of characters, histories, geographies, religions, ethnographies, and more, and allowing for expressions of legacy, multiplicity, and play that have defined much of DC Comics’ output. It shows how a multiverse can be a vital, energizing part of any imaginary world, and argues that students and creators of such worlds would do well to explore the implications and complexities of this world-building technique.
Andrew J. Friedenthal has crafted a groundbreaking, engaging, and thoughtful examination of the multiverse, of interest to scholars and enthusiasts of not just comics studies, but also the fields of media studies and imaginary world studies.”

 

Representation and Memory in Graphic Novels

Golnar Nabizadeh
Routledge
198 pages
April 2019
Publisher’s website

“This book analyses the relationship between comics and cultural memory. By focussing on a range of landmark comics from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the discussion draws attention to the ongoing role of visual culture in framing testimony, particularly in relation to underprivileged subjects such as migrants and refugees, individuals dealing with war and oppressive regimes and individuals living with particular health conditions. The discussion is influenced by literary and cultural debates on the intersections between ethics, testimony, trauma, and human rights, reflected in its three overarching questions: ‘How do comics usually complicate the production of cultural memory in local contents and global mediascapes?’, ‘How do comics engage with, and generate, new forms of testimonial address?’, and ‘How do the comics function as mnemonic structures?’
The author highlights that the power of comics is that they allow both creators and readers to visualise the fracturing power of violence and oppression – at the level of the individual, domestic, communal, national and international – in powerful and creative ways. Comics do not stand outside of literature, cinema, or any of the other arts, but rather enliven the reciprocal relationship between the verbal and the visual language that informs all of these media. As such, the discussion demonstrates how fields such as graphic medicine, graphic justice, and comics journalism contribute to existing theoretical and analytics debates, including critical visual theory, trauma and memory studies, by offering a broad ranging, yet cohesive, analysis of cultural memory and its representation in print and digital comics.”

 

Rewriting Humour in Comic Books: Cultural Transfer and Translation of Aristophanic Adaptations

Dimitris Asimakoulas
Palgrave Studies in Translating and Interpreting
Palgrave
189 pages
July 2019
Publisher’s website

“This book examines comic book adaptations of Aristophanes’ plays in order to shed light on how and why humour travels across cultures and time. Forging links between modern languages, translation and the study of comics, it analyses the Greek originals and their English translations and offers a unique, language-led research agenda for cultural flows, and the systematic analysis of textual norms in a multimodal environment. It will appeal to students and scholars of Modern Languages, Translation Studies, Comics Studies, Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature.”

 

Writing Queer Women of Color: Representation and Misdirection in Contemporary Fiction and Graphic Narratives

Monalesia Earle
McFarland
248 pages
July 2019
Publisher’s website

“Queer women of color have historically been underrepresented or excluded completely in fiction and comics. When present, they are depicted as “less than” the white, Eurocentric norm. Drawing on semiotics, queer theory, and gender studies, this book addresses the imbalanced representation of queer women of color in graphic narratives and fiction and explores ways of rewriting queer women of color back into the frame. The author interrogates what it means to be “Other” and how “Othering” can be more creatively resisted.”