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The Intermittent ComFor Update, as of October 2020

by Natalie Veith

Generally speaking, not too much has changed since Stephan’s update in July. Obviously. Most of us are still working from home and we feel the walls slowly closing in on us. Many comic-related events that had been planned for the summer were cancelled or rescheduled. Under different circumstances, the teaching period of the winter semester would start right about now, but most German universities have postponed it for another few weeks to accommodate for the delayed beginning of classes during the summer semester and the difficulties related to scheduling exams. During countless hours on Zoom and other video conference tools over the past months, we have all had ample opportunity to satisfy our voyeuristic drives and take a peek at the interior of our colleagues’ and students’ homes; say hello to various pets, parents and friends interrupting the calls; and realise that there are some students whose name we only know but whose face we have never seen because they do not own a webcam (as opposed to remembering their faces, but not having a clue what their names are, as is usually the case). Maybe it is the knowledge that we are all in this together – though spatially apart – or it is because, given enough time, people get used to anything, but in one way or another, we are all settling into this crazy situation and accepting it as the new normal.

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Posted by on 2020/10/10 in ComFor Updates

 

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The Intermittent ComFor Update, as of July 2020

by Stephan Packard

 

This update was originally planned for May. It would have chronicled a number of spring-time conferences and publications in the German-speaking worlds of comics studies; outlined further plans for this year’s annual ComFor conference; pointed out various courses and lectures on comics in university curricula throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland; and announced a newly elected Executive Board for the German Society for Comics Studies.

And then, of course, a pandemic happened. The ComFor website turned into a chronicle of cancellations and deferments, listing these casualties on a new landing page (but accompanying this with a laconically titled but encouraging international list of comic projects that respond to the pandemic: Comics und Corona). Compromises abound. Leipzig’s Manga Comic Con and the Comiciade at Aachen were both cancelled altogether, as were too many conferences. The joint Bremen and Bydgoszcz conference on empirical studies into language and images in public communication, once planned for May, has been postponed for the fall; organized by Anna Kapuścińska and John Bateman, it is set to continue the first Sprache und Bild in der öffentlichen Kommunikation conference from April 2019. The NEXTCOMIC Festival in Austria originally had to close down most of its events, moving on to planning for 2021; but it did uphold the basic elements of its exhibition – and by now, several new and deferred events have begun to populate its 2020 programme. Stuttgart’s International Trick Film Festival on animation went virtual, as did the Erlangen Comic Salon, Germany’s largest comic convention and conference. It has moved completely online and has now begun a virtual salon on July 10th. Other special events have gone the same route; perhaps most notably, comic artist Ulli Lust presents a ‘coronavirus-safe’ version of her seminar on drawing comics on YouTube.

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Posted by on 2020/07/24 in ComFor Updates

 

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The Trimonthly ComFor Update for January 2020

by Robin-M. Aust

There is an old, often used Lovecraftian saying: “That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die”. Well, the ComFor Update is certainly neither dead nor has the ComFor been caught up in eternal slumber. Instead, the past few months have been busy and eventful, both for the Gesellschaft für Comicforschung as well as for German comics scholarship in general: the fall semester has started at German universities and the summer break has been filled to the brim with conferences and workshops, proceedings are to be written and read, research groups have been founded, announcements are to be made. That’s why a little bit more time than usual has passed since Lukas’s last update and why we decided to switch things up a bit: instead of a bi-monthly rhythm, we will adopt a trimonthly schedule from now on—which also gives us the opportunity to present you with an even more information-packed column.

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Posted by on 2020/01/04 in ComFor Updates

 

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The Bi-Monthly ComFor Update for May 2019

By Lukas R. A. Wilde

It is my pleasure to fill you in on what happened since Natalie’s last update in March on comics scholarship in the German-speaking corners of the world. The summer term started around the middle of April in German universities and, as usual, ComFor’s editorial staff compiled a list of comics related classes and lectures from disciplines as varied as Literature (English, German and French), Media Studies, History, Art Teaching and even Geography. Spring break or not, our motivated team (that Laura Oehme and I have had the honor to hand over some months back) has in general been very busy, as you can see from our new website section dedicated to international comic scholarship journals. Take a look at their second installment introducing new issues and articles of the International Journal of Comic Art, Studies in Comics, the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, ImageTexT and The Comics Grid in a clear arrangement. As usual, you can also find short introductions of new monographs and edited collections on comics within the regular Monitor section. Most of these books are released by international publishing houses and in English, so send a short note to redaktion@comicgesellschaft.de if you know of a publication that should be included in future installments. One notable German-language publication has been released during the last months: Überzeichnete Spektakel: Inszenierungen von Gewalt im Comic [Exaggerated Spectacle: The Staging of Violence in Comics] by ComFor member Jörn Ahrens. The author investigates the many forms, strategies and functions of ‘graphic violence’ from a formal, media-specific perspective, with case studies ranging from classics as Sin City or the works of Joe Sacco, to more contemporary series such as 100 Bullets or DMZ. The monograph’s release was accompanied by a roundtable discussion event on May 14 at the University of Gießen (with Frank Thomas Brinkmann, Ole Frahm and Kirsten von Hagen) on the relationship between comic aesthetics and violence.

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Posted by on 2019/05/27 in ComFor Updates

 

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The Bi-Monthly ComFor Update for March 2019

By Natalie Veith

In March, German universities are on term break, but it is rapidly coming to a close, so we are all busy getting ready for the summer semester that starts in April, preparing for our research and teaching duties, compiling reading lists and shuffling around seminar schedules. But that is not the only thing keeping us busy these days. In the field of comics studies as well as in the general German-language comics scene, this month in particular has been eventful.

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Posted by on 2019/03/26 in ComFor Updates

 

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