Random records through the 2017 ComFor conference

Random records through the 2017 ComFor conference

Regular readers with this blog may have wondered why, after 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, there is no blogpost regarding the 2016 ComFor (German Society for Comics Studies) meeting. There was an easy cause for that: I experiencedn’t attended year’s conference that is last. Fourteen days ago, nonetheless, we took the journey to Bonn where this year’s meeting (subject: “Comics and their Popularity”) took place. Please be aware that the next records aren’t meant to acceptably summarise the conference that is respective; alternatively they’re rather subjective and random – ergo the name for this blogpost.

The seminar began on Friday, December 1 with all the “Open Workshops”, i.e. Documents not in the meeting theme of “Comics and their Popularity”.

  • The very first presentation ended up being by Zita Husing (Bonn) on “Being and Nature: the value associated with the Southern Space for the Swamp in Alan Moore’s The Saga of this Swamp Thing” in which she submit connections between tropes associated with the United states South and Swamp Thing, e.g. That both are difficult to kill – no matter what poorly these are typically maimed or burned down, they constantly keep coming back through the dead. Like was remarked within the conversation a short while later, nonetheless, it is interesting how article writers after Moore, such as for example Jeff Lemire, have actually expanded Swamp Thing’s backstory into a cosmology that shifts the main focus through the regional into the international.
  • When you look at the 2nd paper, “Batwing, Batflugel oder Flugel-Bat. Die onimischen Einheiten im Comic” (“onimic devices in comics” – all translations mine), Rafal Jakiel (Wroclaw) looked over the names (poetonyms) of figures in superhero comics and identified traits such as for instance their simple iconicity: as an example, Killer Croc is just a man that is murderous seems like a crocodile.
  • Daniela Kaufmann (Graz) then introduced “A Study in grayscale. Zur Signifikanz der Farben Schwarz und Wei? im Comic” (“on the value for the tints black and white in comics”). Beginning Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square – showcased e.g. In Nicolas Mahler’s comic Lulu und das Schwarze Quadrat – she proceeded to Krazy Kat together with ambiguity that is racial of its creator George Herriman as well as its eponymous protagonist.
  • This is followed closely by Elisabeth Krieber‘s (Salzburg) paper on “Subversive feminine shows in artistic Media – Phoebe Gloeckner’s and Alison Bechdel’s Graphic Narratives” which additionally considered the adaptation that is musical of Residence plus the movie adaptation of Diary of a Teenage woman.

Unfortuitously we missed the second two speaks by Karoline M. Pohl and Sakshi Wason, correspondingly, whom closed the “Open Workshops” section after which it the documents in the “Popularity” theme began.

  • The next presentation we attended had been by Veronique Sina (Cologne / Tubingen) on “Comickeit is Judischkeit. Uber das diskursive Zusammenspiel von Comic, Popularkultur und judischer Identitat” (“on the discursive interplay of comics, popular tradition, and Jewish identity”). Her examples that are main the comics of Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Harvey Pekar, and she additionally talked about Jonas Engelmann’s theory of popular tradition once the dissolution of identification.
  • Pnina Rosenberg (Haifa) mentioned “Mickey au camp de Gurs: governmental critique and automobile censorship in comics done through the Holocaust”, for which she introduced three photo publications created by Hans Rosenthal during their internment at a concentration camp in 1942.
  • The keynote that is first of seminar was presented with by Julia Round (Bournemouth), en en en titled “Canon or popular? Sandman, Aesthetics, Intertextuality and Literariness”. She talked about the ongoing fight about the status of comics generally speaking and Sandman in specific as literature (also: high vs. Low art giant tranny dick, “graphic novels” vs. Comic publications), just just just just how this is certainly suffering from the intimate writer idea around Neil Gaiman (“Mr Gaiman may be the Sandman” – Clive Barker), and just how this discourse comes to your fore in fan conversations at neilgaimanboard.com.

Saturday, December 2:

  • inside the talk on “Batmans queere Popularitat. Ein comicwissenschaftlicher und kulturhistorischer Annaherungsversuch” (“Batman’s queer popularity. A strategy through the viewpoint of comics studies and social history”), Daniel Stein (Siegen) talked about how Batman is appropriated as homosexual by some visitors, although some are gripped by ‘queer anxiety’, i.e. The fear that their beloved character might formally be homosexual.
  • Laura Antola‘s (Turku) paper “Marvel’s Comics in Finland: Translation, ‘Mail-Man’ together with rise in popularity of superheroes” portrayed the eccentric figure of ‘Mail-Man’, a real-life translator and editor whom additionally replied fan mail within the page pages of Finnish Marvel comics from 1980 forward.
  • “Das Popula(e)re und das Signifikante. Der Comic als Antwort auf die Krise liberaler Erzahlungen? ” (“The popular while the significant. Comics as a solution towards the crisis of liberal narratives? ”) by Mario Zehe (Leipzig) talked about Economix by Goodwin/Burr, Le Singe de Hartlepool by Lupano/Moreau, and fortunate Luke: Los Angeles Terre vow by Jul/Achde as types of comics that demonstrate the limitations of cosmopolitanism.
  • Stephan Packard (Cologne) mentioned “President Lex Luthor, Wakanda und der osteuropaische Schwarzwald. Zur popularen Ideologie der Fiktionalitat in Comics” (“President Lex Luthor, Wakanda as well as the Eastern European Black Forest. From the popular ideology of fictionality in comics”) therefore the often problematic connection between fictional things and their real-world counterparts. A striking instance is the current “Alien Nation” tale from Captain Marvel vol. 1 (2017) which will be partly set into the “Black Forest”, albeit A black colored woodland that does not look any such thing just like the genuine one in Southern Western Germany and it is positioned, relating to a caption, in “Eastern Europe”. Packard unfolded a tight theoretical framework which included the types of fiction concept talked about by Marie-Laure Ryan for instance the ‘principle of minimal departure’, but also Theodor Adorno’s ‘categorical imperative for the tradition industry’, and others.

Lecture hallway IX at Bonn University during David Turgay’s talk. Photograph by Ronny Bittner

The next paper had been David Turgay‘s (Landau) very interesting “Das alternate im Popularen: Eine korpusgestutzte Analyse von Mainstream-Comics” (“the alternative within the popular: a corpus-based analysis of mainstream comics”) for which he examined the panels of 150 US comic publications from 1996 and from 2016 pertaining to six requirements: politics / social critique, narrative peculiarities, creative peculiarities, metafictional elements, absence of fighting, and lack of text. The outcome associated with analysis revealed an increase that is significant of requirements with time, but general these faculties (which David Turgay interpreted because the impact of separate comics) nevertheless happened less frequently in 2016 than anticipated.

  • The Librarian from the film UHF – as a librarian myself, I can’t believe I had never heard of him before!
  • Dietrich Grunewald (Reiskirchen) talked about “Grenzganger in his presentation on “Der Fluch der Graphic Novel aus (hochschul)didaktischer Sicht” (“the curse of the graphic novel from the perspective of (tertiary) education”), Markus Oppolzer (Salzburg) discussed the dreaded g-word again, but he also mentioned Conan. Comics Bildende that is und Kunst (“border crossers. Comics and art” that is fine and exactly how art work such as for example paintings are utilized in comics, e.g. As background details in Volker Reiche’s Strizz.
  • Christian A. Bachmann‘s (Bochum) share ended up being possibly the one with all the longest name: “Slippers and music are extremely various things, oder: von high key to low key. Zur Darstellung popularer Musik in Bildergeschichten diverses 19. Und Comics des fruhen 20. Jahrhunderts” (“from high key to low key. In the depiction of popular music in photo tales of this nineteenth and comics for the very very early twentieth century”). Among their examples had been Billy DeBeck’s Barney Bing and Richard F. Outcault’s Buster Brown.
  • Kirsten von Hagen (Gie?en) provided a paper on “Tintin und die Recherche: Von der ‘ligne claire’ Herges zu den synasthetischen Traumsequenzen bei Heuet” (“Tintin as well as the recherche: from Herge’s ‘ligne claire’ to Heuet’s synesthetic fantasy sequences”). Stephane Heuet adapted Marcel Proust’s looking for Lost Time as a number of comic volumes utilizing a ligne claire design.
  • Martin Lund (Vaxjo / brand brand brand New York) offered the 2nd keynote on “Jack T. Chick, a favorite Propagandist”. With more than 260 ‘Chick tracts’ since 1961 of which a projected 900 million copies have now been distributed, Chick may have been “the most commonly distributed comics creator in the field” (Darby Orcutt 2010 – but see also https: //en. Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_comic_series). Chick’s comics really are a wellspring of real information on subjects such as for example development, abortion and weather modification; as an example, did you know warming that is“global pray to Ixchel“, the Mayan “goddess of this moon and creativity”? But really: in accordance with Martin Lund, the Chick tracts had been never ever meant to transform unbelievers to Chick’s beliefs that are twisted but instead to reassure the individuals whom currently had been on their part.
  • Sunday, December 3:

    • Michael Wetzel‘s (Bonn) paper had been en en en titled “‘Graphic Auteurism‘: Von Kreativitat und Copyright im Comic” (“On imagination and copyright in comics”). An appealing theory ended up being that the most popular notion of a ‘Romanticist idea of authorship’ is flawed because Romanticist writers such as for example E. T. A. Hoffmann actually deconstructed authorship.

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