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Category Archives: Guest Writers

A Survey of Flemish Comic Strips Under Nazi Occupation

A Deceptive Crusade In Flanders Fields – Part 1/3

by Danny de Laet

Translated by Lise Tannahill

Edited by Annick Pellegrin

 

Original publication: de Laet, Danny. « La BD flamande sous l’occupation : Entre croix gammée et croisade faussée. » La Crypte tonique septembre – octobre 2013: 35-44. Print. [1]

 

 

By Way of Introduction

In 1940, the quiet beginnings of Flemish beeldverhaal (that is to say, bande dessinée in Dutch) almost came to nothing. The German invasion of Belgium in May 1940 had something to do with it, putting an end to several publications of this kind, thus depriving several illustrators of their livelihood and leaving them unemployed.

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Spotlight on Indian Comics and Folklore

This post is guest written by Subir Dey, a Research Scholar at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati.

Teenta’ means ‘Three’ in Nagamese language. All the three stories in this book are adapted from ‘the book of Naga folktales’ published by Department of Art and Culture, Nagaland. Folktales are the hidden treasure of our culture and transforming the folktales in comics format was an attempt to unearth the hidden treasure and make it more interesting. The comics presented hereby are work of hard labour, brainstorming and numerous pencil strokes, which are completed over a period of 3 Days, as part of ‘Comics-Comics! A Comics Making Workshop’ conducted by Subir Dey. The main objective of the workshop was to understand the persistence, patience and commitment required for making comics. The art styles are raw and bear certain honesty towards the stories which is rarely seen in today’s polished and flamboyant world of superheroes. The essence of the stories lies in their grounded nature. They tell the stories of spirits, tigers, stepmothers, jealousy, foolishness and so many other emotions and expressions that are part of ‘modern life’ too.

The representation of characters and environment in this book is completely imagined by the artists and may or may not bear resemblance to the Naga culture. This is due to the simple reason that giving out the message of the Naga folktales was given more priority than the exact representation of Naga culture (which would not have been possible in 3 days!).

So, enjoy some of the gems from Naga folktales.
Happy Reading!

To view these comics, please click the link below:

‘Teenta’ Naga Folktales

 
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Posted by on 2017/11/03 in General, Guest Writers

 

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A Space of One’s Own

How and Where Comics Cultures Flourish

by Amy Louise Maynard

 

In a Twitter thread composed in mid-June this year, creator Darryl Ayo (Little Garden) decried what he considered to be the lack of cultural spaces for independent and/or small press comics, both online and offline. According to Ayo, the demise of Google Reader and the decline of Tumblr meant that it was harder for independent creators to have a virtual ‘hub’ where their work could be found, shared and discussed:

Indie comics has a culture problem: specifically, that indie comics attaches itself to other cultures to survive. Whether it’s being driven out of the direct market shops or hitching its collective wagon too tightly to 2000-2008 era internet websites [sic]. Indie comics has the following culture problem: it attempts to survive as a symbiotic subculture but doesn’t insist on its own boundaries (Ayo, 2017).

In regards to physical spaces, Ayo pointed out that serial comics produced through the direct market system still had hubs for consumers; the comics store:

One thing that is appealing about “mainstream” comics, i.e. the North American direct market, is that there remain dedicated cultural spaces. There is a self-sustaining cultural space to go to and to be and to experience that culture. Yes, it’s a commerce space. But it fits (Ayo, 2017).

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Posted by on 2017/10/26 in Guest Writers

 

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The Bi-Monthly ComFor Update for October 2017

by Laura Oehme

 

After a short holiday break, the ComFor editorial team is back on track and it is my pleasure to fill you in on what happened since Lukas’ last update in July. Although, three months have passed, this update is rather brief as comics studies events were expectedly scarce over the summer. The new semester, however, promises to be packed with stimulating conferences, exhibitions, publications and festivals. As ComFor editorial team, we decided to kick off the season with a post that compiles all university classes in Germany that relate to comics in the upcoming winter semester 2017/18.

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Who is Charlie Chan Hock Chye?

Verisimilitude and (The Act of) Reading

by Yiru Lim

 

Figure 1

Figure 1

Source: The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, p. 307. Copyright © 2015 by Sonny Liew. Published in Singapore by Epigram Books http://www.epigrambooks.sg

Singapore’s official version of history is primarily enshrined in the memoirs of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first Prime Minister. Titled The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew, the memoirs were originally published in two volumes in 1998 and 2000 and a memorial edition was released by Marshall Cavendish in 2015, the year of Mr Lee’s passing. Revisionist accounts that stand in opposition to this seminal publication attempt to fill what they see as a void in Singapore’s history: the voice of the opposition, especially in the narratives concerning nation building and independence. They exist in a myriad of forms and genres—film, scholarly publications, prose, poetry—and they seek to debunk existing narratives and proffer more balanced perspectives of history.

Some recent examples include academic publications like Comet in Our Sky (2015), that speaks of the alleged communist Lim Chin Siong and his role in securing Singapore’s independence; Tan Pin Pin’s documentary film To Singapore, With Love (2013); Jeremy Tiang’s State of Emergency: A Novel (2017); and Sonny Liew’s graphic novel The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (2015). Tan’s film has been banned from being screened in Singapore while the latter two have had their grants revoked by the National Arts Council of Singapore (NAC) (Ho, 2017, Today Online 2015 & 2014). Although Liew’s graphic novel did not receive government approval, it has taken the literary world by storm. It became the first graphic novel to win the Singapore Literature Prize in 2016 and has garnered Liew six Eisner nominations and three Eisner Awards this year (Martin, 2017).

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