Random records through the 2017 ComFor conference

Random records through the 2017 ComFor conference

Regular readers of the blog might have wondered why, after 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, there clearly was no blogpost in the 2016 ComFor (German Society for Comics Studies) meeting. There is certainly an easy reason behind that: we hadn’t attended last year’s conference. Fourteen days ago, nevertheless, the trip was taken by me to Bonn where this year’s meeting (subject: “Comics and their Popularity”) happened. Take note that listed here records aren’t meant to acceptably summarise the conference that is respective; alternatively they’re rather subjective and random – ergo the name of the blogpost.

The seminar began on Friday, December 1 with all the “Open Workshops”, i.e. Papers outside the seminar theme of “Comics and their Popularity”.

  • The presentation that is first by Zita Husing (Bonn) on “Being and Nature: the importance for the Southern Space of this Swamp in Alan Moore’s The Saga associated with the Swamp Thing” in which she submit connections between tropes for the United states South and Swamp Thing, e.g. That both are difficult to kill – no matter what defectively they have been maimed or burned down, they constantly come back through the dead. Like was remarked into the conversation a while later, nonetheless, it is interesting how article writers after Moore, such as for instance Jeff Lemire, have actually expanded Swamp Thing’s backstory in to a cosmology that shifts the focus from the neighborhood into the international.
  • Within the paper that is second “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 example their simple iconicity: for example, Killer Croc is in fact a man that is murderous seems like a crocodile.
  • Daniela Kaufmann (Graz) then offered “A Study in monochrome. Zur Signifikanz der Farben Schwarz und Wei? im Comic” (“on the importance for the tints black colored and white in comics”). Beginning with Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square – featured e.g. In Nicolas Mahler’s comic Lulu und das Schwarze Quadrat – she proceeded to Krazy Kat as well as the ambiguity that is racial of its creator George Herriman and its own eponymous protagonist.
  • It was followed closely by Elisabeth Krieber‘s (Salzburg) paper on “Subversive Female shows in artistic Media – Phoebe Gloeckner’s and Alison Bechdel’s Graphic Narratives” which additionally considered the musical adaptation of Fun Residence while the movie adaptation of Diary of a Teenage woman granny anal porn.

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

  • The presentation that is next attended ended up being 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 main examples had been the comics of Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Harvey Pekar, and she also talked about Jonas Engelmann’s hypothesis of popular tradition given that dissolution of identification.
  • Pnina Rosenberg (Haifa) mentioned “Mickey au camp de Gurs: governmental critique and car censorship in comics done through the Holocaust”, by which she delivered three image publications created by Hans Rosenthal during their internment at a concentration camp in 1942.
  • The keynote that is first of meeting was handed by Julia Round (Bournemouth), en en en titled “Canon or typical? Sandman, Aesthetics, Intertextuality and Literariness”. She talked about the ongoing battle about the status of comics generally speaking and Sandman in specific as literary works (also: high vs. Low art, “graphic novels” vs. Comic publications), exactly how it is afflicted with the intimate writer idea around Neil Gaiman (“Mr Gaiman may be the Sandman” – Clive Barker), and exactly how this discourse comes to your fore in fan talks at neilgaimanboard.com.

Saturday, December 2:

  • In their talk on “Batmans queere Popularitat. Ein comicwissenschaftlicher und kulturhistorischer Annaherungsversuch” (“Batman’s queer popularity. A method through the viewpoint of comics studies and history” that is cultural, Daniel Stein (Siegen) talked about how Batman is appropriated as homosexual by some visitors, while 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 appeal of superheroes” portrayed the eccentric figure of ‘Mail-Man’, a real-life translator and editor whom additionally responded fan mail into the page pages of Finnish Marvel comics from 1980 onward.
  • “Das Popula(e)re und das Signifikante. Der Comic als Antwort auf die Krise liberaler Erzahlungen? ” (“The popular additionally the significant. Comics as a remedy to your crisis of liberal ” that is 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 while the Eastern European Black Forest. In the popular ideology of fictionality in comics”) additionally the connection that is sometimes problematic fictional things and their real-world counterparts. An example that is striking the current “Alien Nation” tale from Captain Marvel vol. 1 (2017) that is partly set within the “Black Forest”, albeit A black colored woodland that does not look any such thing such as the genuine one in Southern Western Germany and it is found, based on a caption, in “Eastern Europe”. Packard unfolded a concise theoretical framework which included the types of fiction concept talked about by Marie-Laure Ryan including the ‘principle of minimal departure’, but also Theodor Adorno’s ‘categorical imperative for the tradition industry’, amongst others.

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

The next paper ended up being 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 absence of text. The outcomes associated with the analysis revealed an increase that is significant of requirements in the long run, but general these traits (which David Turgay interpreted since the impact of separate comics) still took place less frequently in 2016 than anticipated.

  • In their presentation on “Der Fluch der Graphic Novel aus (hochschul)didaktischer Sicht” (“the curse for the visual novel through the perspective of (tertiary) training”), Markus Oppolzer (Salzburg) talked about the dreaded g-word once more, but he additionally mentioned Conan the Librarian through the movie UHF – as being a librarian myself, We can’t think I had never ever been aware of him before!
  • Dietrich Grunewald (Reiskirchen) talked about “Grenzganger. Comics und Bildende Kunst” (“border crossers. Comics and art” that is fine and just how artwork such as for instance 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 title: “Slippers and music are particularly 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. Regarding the depiction of popular music in photo tales associated with the nineteenth and comics regarding 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) introduced a paper on “Tintin und die Recherche: Von der ‘ligne claire’ Herges zu den synasthetischen Traumsequenzen bei Heuet” (“Tintin additionally the recherche: from Herge’s ‘ligne claire’ to Heuet’s synesthetic fantasy sequences”). Stephane Heuet adapted Marcel Proust’s searching for Lost Time as a few comic volumes utilizing a ligne claire design.
  • Martin Lund (Vaxjo / brand brand brand New York) provided the 2nd keynote on “Jack T. Chick, a well known Propagandist”. With more than 260 ‘Chick tracts’ since 1961 of which a calculated 900 million copies have already been distributed, Chick may have been “the most commonly distributed comics creator on earth” (Darby Orcutt 2010 – but see also https: //en. Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_comic_series). Chick’s comics certainly are a wellspring of real information on subjects such as for instance development, abortion and environment modification; by way of example, are you aware that “global warming experts 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 designed to transform unbelievers to Chick’s twisted opinions, but instead to reassure those individuals whom currently had been on their part.
  • Sunday, December 3:

    • Michael Wetzel‘s (Bonn) paper had been en en en titled Auteurism‘ that is“‘Graphic Kreativitat und Copyright im Comic” (“On imagination and copyright in comics”). A fascinating theory had been that the favorite idea of a ‘Romanticist idea of authorship’ is flawed because Romanticist writers such as for instance E. T. A. Hoffmann actually deconstructed authorship.

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