Random records through the 2017 ComFor conference
Regular readers with this blog might have wondered why, after 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, there was clearly no blogpost regarding the 2016 ComFor (German Society for Comics Studies) seminar. There clearly was an easy cause for that: we hadn’t attended year’s conference that is last. A couple of weeks ago, nonetheless, we took the journey to Bonn where this year’s conference (subject: “Comics and their Popularity”) happened. Take note that listed here records are not designed to acceptably summarise the conference that is respective; alternatively they’re rather subjective and random – ergo the name of this blogpost.
The meeting began on Friday, December 1 because of the “Open Workshops”, i.e. Documents not in the meeting theme of “Comics and their Popularity”.
- The very first presentation had been by Zita Husing (Bonn) on “Being and Nature: the value for the Southern Space regarding the Swamp in Alan Moore’s The Saga regarding the Swamp Thing” for which she submit connections between tropes regarding the United states South and Swamp Thing, e.g. That both are difficult to kill – no matter what defectively they truly are maimed or burned down, they constantly keep coming back through the dead. Like was remarked within the discussion afterward, nevertheless, it is interesting how article writers after Moore, such as for example Jeff Lemire, have actually expanded Swamp Thing’s backstory in to a cosmology that shifts the main focus through the neighborhood into the international.
- Within the 2nd paper, “Batwing, Batflugel oder Flugel-Bat. Die onimischen Einheiten im Comic” (“onimic devices in comics” – all translations mine), Rafal Jakiel (Wroclaw) viewed 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 appears like a crocodile.
- Daniela Kaufmann (Graz) then introduced “A Study in monochrome. Zur Signifikanz der Farben Schwarz und Wei? im Comic” (“on the importance associated with the tints black colored and white in comics”). Beginning with Kazimir Malevich’s Ebony Square – showcased e.g. In Nicolas Mahler’s comic Lulu und das Schwarze Quadrat – she proceeded to Krazy Kat in addition to ambiguity that is racial of its creator George Herriman and its particular eponymous protagonist.
- This is followed closely by Elisabeth Krieber‘s (Salzburg) paper on “Subversive feminine Performances in Visual 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.
Regrettably we missed the following 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 next presentation I 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 primary examples had been the comics of Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Harvey Pekar, and she additionally talked about Jonas Engelmann’s theory of popular tradition whilst the dissolution of identification.
- Pnina Rosenberg (Haifa) talked about “Mickey au camp de Gurs: governmental critique and car censorship in comics done through the Holocaust”, by which she introduced three image books 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 typical? Sandman, Aesthetics, Intertextuality and Literariness”. She talked about the ongoing battle about the status of comics as a whole and Sandman in specific as literary works (also: high vs. Low art, “graphic novels” vs. Comic publications), exactly just how that is afflicted with the intimate writer idea around Neil Gaiman (“Mr Gaiman may be the Sandman” – Clive Barker), and exactly how this discourse comes into the fore in fan talks at neilgaimanboard.com.
Saturday, December 2:
- in the talk on “Batmans queere Popularitat. Ein comicwissenschaftlicher und kulturhistorischer Annaherungsversuch” (“Batman’s queer popularity. A method through the viewpoint of comics studies and social history”), Daniel Stein (Siegen) big cock tranny porn talked about how Batman is appropriated as gay 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’ plus the interest in superheroes” portrayed the eccentric figure of ‘Mail-Man’, a real-life translator and editor whom additionally replied fan mail when you look at 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 response into 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 samples of comics that reveal the restrictions 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 together with Eastern European Black Forest. Regarding the popular ideology of fictionality in comics”) additionally 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) that is partly set into the “Black Forest”, albeit A black colored woodland that does not look such a thing such as the genuine one in Southern Western Germany and it is situated, based on 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 of this tradition industry’, amongst others.
Lecture hallway IX at Bonn University during David Turgay’s talk. Photograph by Ronny Bittner
The paper that is next 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”) in which he examined the panels of 150 American 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 a significant enhance of those requirements as time passes, but general these faculties (which David Turgay interpreted because the impact of separate comics) nevertheless happened less frequently in 2016 than anticipated.
Sunday, December 3:
- Michael Wetzel‘s (Bonn) paper ended up being en en titled “‘Graphic Auteurism‘: Von Kreativitat und Copyright im Comic” (“On imagination and copyright in comics”). A fascinating theory had been that the most popular idea of a ‘Romanticist idea of authorship’ is flawed because Romanticist writers such as for instance E. T. A. Hoffmann actually deconstructed authorship.