Natacha: Flying Bellhop

by  Philippe Capart

Translated by Annick Pellegrin

Edited by Lise Tannahill

Original publication: Capart, Philippe. “Natacha : Groom de l’air.” La Crypte tonique nov/déc 2012: 28-34. Print.[1]

Peyo’s Gang

Peyo, Franquin, Will, Tillieux and Roba, the creative nucleus of the magazine Spirou, were buddies. Stuck at their drawing tables for long days, they occasionally needed to get together and often went out as a gang. However, Gos specifies: “But it was their… they were friends amongst themselves, as for us, we were a generation below, hey!”. There were drinking parties that sometimes made Mondays a difficult day for the team. According to Gos,

François [Walthéry] understood psychology better than I did, he had said to me “For God’s sake! Don’t come and show your drawings on Mondays, he may have partied hard on the Saturday and still be headachy, it’s not the right time to show him what we’ve done! I never show him anything on Mondays, I show him on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.” François, he’s a “clever peasant” as Peyo used to say.
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News Review December 2017


United States


The Comics Studies Society has announced four prizes to be awarded in relation to comics scholarship from 2017. Nominations are due by the 2nd February. Link (English, WG)

Superheroes and Critical Animal Studies: The Heroic Beasts of Total Liberation, edited by J.L. Schatz and Sean Parson, has now been published through Rowman and Littlefield. Link (English, WG)

Graphic Novels as Philosophy, edited by Jeff McLaughlin, has now been published through the University Press of Mississippi. Link (English, WG)

Forging the Past: Seth and the Art of Memory, by Daniel Marrone, has now been published in paperback by University Press of Mississippi. Link (English, WG)

There is a call for papers for the edited collection The Comics of R. Crumb: Underground in the Art Museum. A 250-500 word abstract is due by the 15th January. Link (English, WG)

The Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, administered by the Library of Congress, is accepting applications for its graduate fellowship for the 2018-2019 academic year. The deadline for applications is 15th February. Link (English, WG)

The Comics@CSUN Group is putting on its second “Comics and Visual Culture” conference, to be held on the CSU Northridge campus in Los Angeles on March 10, 2018. Deadlines for submission is the 12th January 2018. Link (English, ST)




A special issue on “Comics and Authorship” has been published through the Ghent-based journal Authorship. Link (23/12/2017, English, BC)



The shortlist for the Fauves awards of the Angoulême international comics festival has been published. Link (01/12/2017, French, BC)

The Prix Papier Nickelés, rewarding the best comics criticism of the year during the SoBD festival, has been awarded to the collective volume Case, strip, action! Link (10/12/2017, French, BC)



Former head of Tokyopop Germany, Joachim Kaps, has started a new manga publishing house, Altraverse. Link (08/12/2017, German, MdlI)


A symposium on “Japan Pop Goes Global?” is going to take place in Cologne on the 19th January. Link (German, MdlI)


“Abrafaxe” creator Lona Rietschel died on the 19th December aged 84. Link (19/12/2017, German, MdlI)



The Portuguese Association “Chilli com Carne” is organizing the contest “Toma lá 500 paus e faz uma antologia de BD” [Take 500 bucks and create a comics anthology]. The contest awards 500 Euros for the best comic story submitted. The deadline for submitting proposals is the 4th February, 2018. Link (Portuguese, RR)



S.M.A.S.H. at Artizan Street Library & Community Centre takes place on the 20th January, and hosts an array of talks on comics. Link (English, WG)


European Comic Art 10.2 has recently been published. Link (English, WG)

*                    *                    *

News Editor: Simon Turner (

Correspondents: Benoît Crucifix (BC, Belgium and France), William Grady (WG, UK and United States), Martin de la Iglesia (MdlI, Germany), Renata Rafaella (RR, Portugal), and Simon Turner (ST, United States).

Click here for News Review correspondent biographies.

Click here to see the News Review archive.

Suggestions for articles to be included in the News Review can be sent to Simon Turner at the email address above.


The Bi-Monthly ComFor Update for December 2017

by Stephan Packard


For comics studies in the German speaking parts of the world, the last two months of this year were dominated by two major conferences.

On the one hand, the annual ComFor conference took place in early December. Hosted for the first time at Bonn University, the conference focused on Comics and their Popularity. With this topic, organisers Joachim Trinkwitz and Rolf Lohse brought the continuously expanding discussion in the German Society for Comics Studies back to some aspects that had almost been neglected in several years of research, as the discipline had moved towards perspectives on advanced, avant-garde and aesthetically unique comics. This year returned our attention to the art form as a decisively popular genre and thus revisited questions of seriality, popularity, ideology and culture industry. Beginning with the by now traditional open workshop for planned and ongoing research, the conference then moved on to discussing practices of identity, political and ideological aspects, discourses of cultural legitimacy, facets of authorship and finally the concept of the popular itself. In their keynote lectures, Julia Round (Bournemouth) and Martin Lund (Växjo/New York) discussed canonicity and aestheticism in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and the popular propaganda of Jack T. Chick’s ‘chick tracts’ respectively.

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Bangladeshi Women Creating Comics

by Sarah McNicol

Comics are, of course, found in many cultures, from Japanese manga and Chinese manhua to South and Central American historietas, and Filipino komiks that draw on traditional folklore as well as elements of mainstream US comics. Moreover, it has been argued that comic books “have always been attuned to the experiences of immigrant Others” (Davis-McElligatt, 2010: 137). Graphic narratives have long played a crucial role in representing and constructing immigrant subjects and the immigrant experience. Today, several of the most widely known graphic novels address issues of migration including Chris Ware’s (2001) Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth and Shaun Tan’s wordless graphic novel (2007) The Arrival. The latter is often said to depict a universal story of migration, telling “not an immigrant’s story, but the immigrant’s story” (Yang, 2007). Nevertheless, it is explicitly the story of a man’s migration as he leaves his wife and daughter behind to make a better life in a new land. At the end of his struggles, the man reunites with his family who, it would appear, settle seamlessly into their new life without experiencing any of the hardships he has endured. Discussing literature more broadly, Pavlenko (2001: 220) argues, “immigrant women’s stories were continuously ignored by the literary establishment” despite the fact that female migrant life writing often explores different themes from those of traditional male autobiographies.

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Conference Report: International Conference “Tintin au XXIe siècle” [Tintin In The 21st Century]

17 – 20 May 2017 – Louvain-la-Neuve – Musée Hergé – Collège Érasme, Université Catholique de Louvain

by Olivier Roche

Translated by Annick Pellegrin

Edited by Lise Tannahill


In Europe, the Belgian author Hergé, whose real name was Georges Remi, is considered to be one of the greatest bande dessinée artists of the 20th century, just like Winsor McCay (Little Nemo in Slumberland), Charles Schulz (Peanuts) or Jirō Taniguchi (A Distant Neighborhood). His body of work—mostly The Adventures of Tintin and Quick and Flupke—has become mythical, and the subject of collections, of speculation, of exhibitions, of hundreds of scholarly studies, of thousands of articles and all kinds of artistic and cultural tributes. In France or in Belgium, universities have had a lot of trouble embracing bande dessinée. However, in the last few years, there has been a notable and growing interest for the ninth art, and in particular for Hergé’s work, in higher education and research. From 17 to 20 May 2017, an international conference was held in Louvain-la-Neuve, at Université catholique de Louvain and at Musée Hergé [Hergé Museum], to mark Hergé’s 110th birthday. The conference, organised by a scientific committee representing six universities in Belgium, France and Switzerland, brought together 20 speakers from 8 countries over 4 days, a first, and it was a great success.
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