News Review: December 2014

04 Jan


South Africa


Pop the Culture’s Kunjanimation Expo took place in Cape Town in November. It is a new initiative that looks at doing workshops and events to improve storytelling in comics, cartooning and animation. Link 1 (English, MR), Link 2 (English, MR)

Bliksem! South African Comic Art Exhibition is running until the 24th January. Link 1 (English, MR), Link 2 (Afrikaans, MR)


United States


Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man #9 and All New Captain America #1 took the top two spots for Diamond Comics Top 100 Comic Books for the month of November. Rounding out in the third spot was DC’s Batman #36. Link (English, MB)

The Walking Dead Volume 22: A New Beginning (Image) was the highest selling graphic novel for the month of November, according to Diamond Comics. Teen Titans Earth One Volume 1 (DC) and Saga Deluxe Edition Volume 1 hardcover (Image) were second and third respectively. Link (English, MB)

Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) occurs annually on the first Saturday of May with comic book shops participating worldwide. A list of the 50 free comic book titles to be offered in 2015 has been released online and in the January issue of Diamond’s Previews. Link (English, MB)


The 39th German Studies Association annual conference will be held in Washington, D.C. between the 1st and 4th October 2015 and will include the panel series, The German Graphic Novel, focusing on history, adaptations and pedagogy. Proposals are due by the 16th February 2015 and presenters must be members of the association. Link (English, MB)

Contributors are being sought for the Encyclopedia of World Comics: Manga, Anime, Tintin and More Comics From Around the Globe, a comprehensive A-Z of entries (500-1,000 words) and essays (1,500-2,500 words). The first wave of entries are due by the 1st March 2015, with full details and email address found through the link. Link (20/12/2014, English, MB)

Noah Berlastsky, editor of the blog The Hooded Utilitarian and author of several books, has penned Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter Comics, 1941-1948, a new publication from Rutgers University Press. Berlastsky’s book analyses the comics for themes that include lesbianism, cross-dressing, rape, and incest. Link (English, MB)

Exploring the comics of the 1940s and 1950s, Michael Barrier’s Funnybooks: The Improbably Glories of the Best American Comic Books focuses specifically on children’s comics published through Dell Comics. In particular, Barrier’s historical narrative tours titles such as Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge, Little Lulu, and Pogo from the likes of Carl Barks, John Stanley and Walt Kelly. Link (English, MB)

The annual edition of Mechademia 9 Origins, edited by Frenchy Lunning, turns the table around and utilises manga, anime and other texts in which to analyse and challenge the concept of “Japan” as a product rather than the producer. Link (English, MB)

There is a call for papers for the 6th International Conference Comics and Medicine, which takes place between the 16th and 18th July 2015 at the University of California, Riverside. The conference theme is “Spaces of Care”, and proposals are due by the 30th January. Link (English, WG)

A new critical anthology, The American Comic Book, has been published through Grey House Publishing and Salem Press. Link (English, WG)

Insider Histories of Cartooning: Rediscovering Forgotten Famous Comics and Their Creators, by Robert C. Harvey, has been published through the University Press of Mississippi. Link (English, WG)




The annual report of the ACBD (Association des critiques de bandes dessinées) has been published for 2014. The report looks back on the state of the bande dessinée publishing industry over the previous year: notably, 2014 saw more titles published than in 2013, but smaller print runs. Link 1 (29/12/2014, French, LTa), Link 2 (French, LTa)



A Batman exhibition is shown in Cologne until the 5th February 2015. Link (01/12/2014, German, MdlI)

An exhibition on war illustration, including comics, is shown in Albstadt until the 19th April 2015. Link (11/12/2014, German, MdlI)

Tagesspiegel names its top 10 comics of the year; Irmina by Barbara Yelin takes the top spot. Link (11/12/2014, German, MdlI)

The comics festival, “Neue Wege”, takes place in Kassel from the 14th until the 18th January 2015. Link (15/12/2014, German, MdlI)

An exhibition of comics from the magazine, Le Monde diplomatique, is shown in Berlin from the 9th until the 31st January 2015. Link (22/12/2014, German, MdlI)


A seminar for librarians on reading promotion through comics is given in Hildesheim, Nordenham, and Lüneburg on the 5th, 6th, and 7th May 2015, respectively. Link (German, MdlI)


Marie Marcks died. Link (08/12/2014, German, MdlI)


The 10th Comic Kolloquium took place in Hamburg on the 11th December. Link (08/12/2014, German, MdlI)

Paul Gravett’s opening speech at the exhibition, Art-Comics: Artists’ Lives As Graphic Novels, in Ludwigsburg in November is available in English on his website. Link (10/12/2014, English, MdlI)



Hungarocomix 2014, a one-day festival of Hungarian comics and their creators took place with great success on the 6th December in Budapest. Link (Hungarian, ES)

The first crowd funded comics project in Hungary entitled “Nyugat+Zombik” is about to start in January 2015. The one-month Indiegogo campaign aimed at collecting the one-year income of the creator, Olivér Csepella, but it closed on the 7th December with 232% of the desired support. The greatly anticipated graphic story features canonical Hungarian poets from the beginning of the 20th century fighting an invasion of brainless and aggressive ex-readers. Link (English, ES)



There is a call for papers for the panel, The Sequential Art: Comics as a Cultural Nexus. It is attached to The Third Global Forum of Critical Studies: Asking Big Questions Again, organised by Euroacademia and taking place in Florence between the 6th and 7th February. Details can be found through the link. Link (English, WG)



There is a call for papers for the NNCORE 2015 International Conference in Comics Studies, which will take place at the University of Oslo, between the 11th and 12th June. The conference theme is “War and Conflict in Sequential Art”, and proposals are due by the 15th February. Link (English, WG)



The exhibition, Mujeres de tinta. Antología de autoras de comic (1926-2014), which explores the work of Spanish women comic artists, was shown at the Pabellón de Cristal de Casa de Campo (Madrid) between the 12th and 14th December 2014. There was also a cycle of conferences on the topic at Museo ABC (Madrid) as part of the comics festival Expocomic. Link (09/12/2014, Spanish, EdRC)

Moi, assassin, the new work by Antonio Altarriba (El arte de volar) and Keko, has been awarded the Grand Prix de la Critique ACBD 2015. Link (07/12/2014, French, EdRC)

The exhibition, Gastronomía y tebeos, dealing with the presence of food in comics (mostly Spanish), is being shown at the Palacio de Villauso (Vitoria) from the 4th December 2014 until the 17th January 2015. Link (04/12/2014, Spanish, EdRC)

The exhibition, Mafalda 50 años, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of Quino’s famous character, is being shown at La Térmica (Málaga) from the 11th December 2014 until the 15th February 2015. Link (01/12/2014, Spanish, EdRC)


The illustrator and political cartoonist Máximo died on the 28th December. Link (29/12/2014, Spanish, EdRC)



Scholars Carolene Ayaka and Ian Hague have edited a collection of essays,Representing Multiculturalism in Comics and Graphic Novels, which delve into the representations of multiculturalism in the medium of comics. The collection is part of the Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies series. Link (English, MB)

The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship has published an open call for contributions to the journal. Link (English, WG)




There was a lot of activity at Squishface Studio in Melbourne this December, with the art exhibition Yeeha! on the 1st, the Squishface Coaster show on the 7th, and the launch of Tim Molloy’s latest graphic novel Mr Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye on the 13th. Grants are also available to cover printing costs for the Homecooked Comics Festival next year. More information can be found through the link. Link (English, ALM)

Pikitia Press have begun their annual ‘Year in Review’ interview series, with Matt Emery interviewing comics creators from Australia and New Zealand (scroll down). Link (English, ALM)

Alisha Jade has started a comprehensive directory of women making comics in Australia. Link (English, ALM)


The ebook of Daniel Best’s study, Newton Comics – The Rise and Fall, is now available. Link (English, ALM)

*                    *                    *


News Editor: Will Grady (

Correspondents: Michele Brittany (MB, North America & UK), Enrique del Rey Cabero (EdRC, Spain), William Grady (WG, UK), Martin de la Iglesia (MdlI, Germany), Amy Louise Maynard (ALM, Australia), Moray Rhoda (MR, South Africa), Eszter Szép (ES, Hungary), Lise Tannahill (LTa, France).

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 Will Grady at the email address above.



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