Conference report “Mediality and Materiality of Contemporary Comics”

ZfM_LogoFrom April 24th to 26th 2015 the University of Tübingen hosted the 2nd Workshop of the AG Comicforschung (Comic Studies Board) of the Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft GfM (the German Society for Media Studies) under the header “The Mediality and Materiality of Contemporary Comics”. Keynote-speakers Daniel Merlin Goodbrey (Hertfordshire), Ian Hague (Comics Forum), Karin Kukkonen (Turku), Véronique Sina (Bochum) and Daniel Stein (Siegen), as well as 10 additional presenters, discussed how this relationship has changed in the context of digitalization and an increasingly convergent media culture. A detailed conference report , written by Christian A. Bachmann and Stephan Packard , is now available at Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft (ZfM) , the online journal of the GfM.

-> Conference report.

Workshop-Program “The Mediality and Materiality of Contemporary Comics”

2015 04 24 09:00 - 2015 04 26

The-Mediality-and-Materiality-of-Contemporary-Comics_kleinThe 2nd workshop of the Comic Studies Board (AG Comicforschung) of the German Society for Media Studies (GfM), „The Mediality and Materiality of Contemporary Comics“, examines the relation between the mediality and the materiality of comics, particularly focusing on how this relation has changed in the context of digitalization and an increasingly convergent media culture. Various aspects of the topic will be addressed in 10 paper presentations and 5 keynote speeches by international experts.

Friday, April 24, 2015

09:00-09:30 Jan-Noël Thon/Lukas R.A. Wilde (Tübingen)
Introductory Remarks
09:30-10:30 Daniel Stein (Siegen)
Serial Authorship and Comics in the Digital Age
11:00-13:00 Workshop I (Stein)
Sándor Trippó (Debrecen): Doing History in Graphic Literature: An Analysis of Media Convergence in Recent Documentary Comics by Susanne Buddenberg and Thomas Henseler
Jakob Kibala (Hamburg): Infrastructures of Iconographic Knowledge in Comics
14:30-15:30 Karin Kukkonen (Turku)
Materiality with an Attitude: The Case of Transmetropolitan
16:00-18:00 Workshop II (Kukkonen)
Hans-Joachim Backe (Copenhagen): Love in the Kingdom of TV-Heads. Metalepsis as Media Commentary in B.K. Vaughan’s Saga
Markus Oppolzer (Salzburg): Physical and Digital Transformations of David Hine’s Strange Embrace

Saturday, April 25, 2015

09:30-10:30 Ian Hague (ComicsForum)
Circles, Squares and Dirty Windows: A Toolkit for Thinking About the Materiality of Digital Comics
11:00-13:00 Workshop III (Hague)
Christian A. Bachmann (Bochum): The Material of Metamediality: John Byrne – Scott McCloud – Brian Fies
Lukas Etter (Bern): Materiality and Style in Alternative Comics
14:30-15:30 Daniel Merlin Goodbrey (Hertfordshire)
Game Comics: Look, Listen, Play
16:00-18:00 Workshop IV (Goodbrey)
Gabriel S. Moses (Berlin): Serial Boxes #StackCracklePop. Redefining Social Media as a Game-Comics Hybrid
Oskari Rantala (Jyväskylä): Digital Disruptions of Medium-Specific Narrative Techniques Available to Comics

Sunday, April 26, 2015

09:30-10:30 Véronique Sina (Bochum)
(Re)mediation: Comics and Film in the Digital Age
11:00-13:00 Workshop V (Sina)
Sebastian Bartosch (Hamburg): Understanding Comics’ Mediality as an Actor-Network: Some Elements of Translation in the Works of Brian Fies and Dylan Horrocks
Mathias Bremgartner (Bern): In the Intermedial Zone: Comic Page Meets Theatre Stage

The conference takes place in Room 027 of the Neuphilologicum, also known as Brecht-Bau, which is located at Wilhelmstrasse 50, 72074 Tübingen.
Due to limitations regarding the number of participants we would kindly ask you to register your participation at no later than April 15, 2015.

Jan-Noël Thon & Lukas R.A. Wilde
Department of Media Studies
University of Tübingen

Winter School Tübingen: Mediality and Multimodality across Media

2015 01 28 - 2015 01 30

Poster_Mediality_Multimodality_small The Winter School Mediality and Multimodality across Media examines the forms and functions of a wide variety of multimodal media forms from a range of different (inter)disciplinary perspectives. The keynote speakers will include Charles Forceville (Amsterdam), who is going to discuss Multimodality in Comics. Related issues will also be investigated in the paper presentations, for instance:

Benoît Crucifix (Leuven):
Frozen Moments. Database Logic and Narrative Drawing in Chris Ware’s Building Stories

Lukas R.A. Wilde (Tübingen):
Distinguishing Mediality. The Interplay between Modes and Conceptual Forms in Digital Comics

Fabian Gregori (Dresden):
To Cry Wolf in the Digital Age: Transmedial Narrative in Bill Willingham’s Fables and Telltale Games‘ The Wolf Among Us

Full program and additional information

Klaus Sachs-Hombach & Jan-Noël Thon
Department of Media Studies
University of Tübingen

Opening of the Comics Collection at the Library of the John-.F.-Kennedy-Institute

jfki-Collection_smallIn 2013, the library of the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies started to systematically develop its comic collection, which had been existing since the early 1970s. With the help of the Einstein Foundation, the library was able to buy more than 500 collections of historical newspaper comic strips, superhero anthologies from all ages, collections of important artists and writers, graphic novels and other current and historical examples of North American graphic narrative art. As part of a cooperation with the Comic Arts Collection at Michigan State University, the library additionally started collecting comic books. Michigan State University will donate double issues from its collection as a continuing donation to the library. The donations span genres and time periods from Action Comics of the 1960s and 70s to science fiction comics from the 1980s and current superhero comics. Together with other popular primary sources as movies, tv series, magazines or newspapers, comics serve as a regular source for research and teaching at the John F. Kennedy Institute. They are of special interest to the Research Unit “Popular Seriality — Aesthetics and Practice”.

The Collection offically opened on Nov. 25, 2014. You can read two talks about the collection that were held at the opening ceremony here:

Julia Mayer: Comics in wissenschaftlichen Bibliotheken und die Comic-Sammlung der Bibliothek des JFKI

Daniel Stein: Comics Studies in Germany: A Look at the John-F.-Kennedy-Institute’s Comics Collection through the Lens of the Research Unit “Popular Seriality – Aesthetics and Practice”

Further Information about the collection can be accessed here:

Keith Knight-University Tour: “They Shoot Black People, Don’t They?”

2014 11 17 - 2014 11 25

Keith_Knight_smallCreated by award-winning indie cartoonist Keith Knight, a selection from 20 years of his socio-political cartoons are presented in a PowerPoint-based slide show called “They Shoot Black People, Don’t They?” this week. Knight is the creator behind K Chronicles; his work can be found in the pages of the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Daily KOS,, and MAD Magazine.
The tour’s last presentation in Berlin will also serve as the opening of the JFKI Library’s comics collection.

Knight will visit five different universities throughout Germany, with his “They Shoot Black People, Don’t They?” presentation. The tour schedule is as follows:
• Mon. 11/17/14 (4:00pm) – University of Siegen
• Tue. 11/18/14 (4:15pm) – University of Bremen
• Wed. 11/19/14 (6:00pm) – University of Osnabrück
• Thu. 11/20/14 (8:00pm) – University of Bochum, at Goldkante
• Tue. 11/25/14 (2:00pm) – Free University of Berlin, at the JFK Library

Reading With Pictures: A Seminar on Comics in the (Academic) Classroom

Josh Elder, an award-winning graphic novelist, “Comics Ambassador” for the US State Department and founder of the nonprofit literacy organization Reading With Pictures, will discuss how comics and graphic novels can enhance student engagement, improve the efficiency of instruction and increase overall educational efficacy in virtually any subject.

Presented by the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and the Library of the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies

15:00 – 17:00 s.t.
John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies / Library Course, Room 113
Lansstr. 7 – 9
14195 Berlin

Zur Veranstalterseite


Conference Hildesheim: The Translation and Adaptation of Comics

2014 10 31 - 2014 11 02

Übersetzung und Adaptionen von Comics

“Up to the present day translation studies have paid little attention to Comics. There are many possible reasons for this. Research within the discipline has for a long time almost exclusively focused on verbal texts. On one hand, since the 1990s it had devoted more attention to audio-visual texts, but a clear emphasis has been with those inter- and intra-lingual forms of translation which are required by films. On the other hand it is much harder to differentiate comics clearly from other text types, regardless of whether comics are seen as a genre, a distinct communication medium or as a hybrid collection of signs. Finally, comics have been regarded – especially in Germany – as unserious, and this undoubtedly has meant that they have been discussed in peripheral areas of literary criticism, media science and translation studies.

We intend in this conference to work with a broad concept of translation: one which embraces both inter-lingual and inter-semiotic aspects of translation. To translate comics from one language and culture into another almost invariably involves the adaptation of non-verbal and para-verbal elements. This is particularly evident both in the increasingly common practice of adapting comics across medium and across genre – as film, video game, radio play, stage play – and in the corresponding practice of adapting literary sources as comics, usually with the label Graphic Novel. In these processes, inter-lingual and inter-semiotic translation goes hand in hand with those adaptation processes which are a necessary part of changing medium or genre.”

Attendance at the conference is free. Please register though via email!
The Conference Program is now available in English
To the host’s page