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Tag Archives: German Comics

The Bi-Monthly ComFor Update for February 2017

By Lukas R. A. Wilde

The ComFor editorial team concluded the last year – which already feels like ages ago – with a more detailed self-introduction of our new staff and started off again with the 2016/17 installment of comic book reading recommendations by some of ComFor’s members. Shortly after, an extensive and long-awaited ComFor-publication was released by the Christian A. Bachmann publishing house: Comics an der Grenze. Sub/Versionen von Form und Inhalt [Comics Crossing Borders. Sub/versions of Form and Content], edited by Matthias Harbeck, Marie Schröer and Linda Heyden. This collection of 25 articles (with a sensational cover illustration by Paul Paetzel) collects some of the papers presented at ComFor’s 9th annual conference held in Berlin in 2014. Scholars from various fields question, on the one hand, the many medial, cultural, national, generic and disciplinary boundaries that are crossed by comics as a form, as well as, on the other hand, the representations of threshold conditions of gender, bodies and borders within individual works. Five of the contributions are in English, including a must-read conversation with Black Kirby (an artist collective comprised of John Jennings and Stacey ‘Blackstar’ Robinson) that created a spectacular exhibition on the intersections of Black history, AfroFuturism and comic book culture.

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Posted by on 2017/02/15 in ComFor Updates

 

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The Bi-Monthly ComFor Update for December 2016

by Laura Oehme

Looking back on 2016, I have to say that it was a great year for comics studies in Germany. The past two months in particular were yet again full of academic events and publications, but also festivals and exhibitions around the comics medium. From a distinct ComFor perspective, the annual ComFor meeting in November was certainly a highlight of the year. As Stephan already mentioned in his last update, this year’s ComFor conference focused on comics’ didactics and brought together academia and teachers in very productive ways.

Speaking from an even more specific perspective of the ComFor online editorial team, the past two months have seen two very particular novelties. For one, we asked all ComFor members to let us know about their lectures and seminars with a comics focus in the winter semester 2016/17 and collected them in an unprecedented overview post on the ComFor website. Secondly, we were lucky enough to gain two new members for our (still rather small) editorial team, but also lost one of our core editors who has been a beloved team member for many years now. Thus, to use a rough translation of a German idiom “with one sad and two cheerful eyes”, we say a heartfelt “goodbye and farewell” to Nina Heindl (Art History, University of Cologne), and welcome Alexandra Hentschel (museum’s director, Erika-Fuchs-Haus) as well as Julia Ingold (German literature, University of Kiel) to the team! We are very grateful for all the hard work that Nina has invested over the years and we are looking forward to the “breath of fresh air” that our newest team members will certainly bring to the ComFor website!

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Posted by on 2016/12/16 in ComFor Updates

 

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The Representation of Music and Musicians in Caricatures and early Comics (1830–1930): Three Case Studies.

Christian A. Bachmann

This article is the first part of a short series that deals with the representation of music and musicians in cartoons and early comics. European magazines such as Charivari (Paris), Punch (London), and Fliegende Blätter (Munich) published caricatures and picture stories about the virtues of music and her practitioners throughout the 19th century and beyond. Preoccupied with making their readers laugh, artists such as Grandville or Wilhelm Busch have often depicted the failing musical aspirant who makes his instrument and his audience churn. The rise of and constant debate about Wagnerian ‘modern music’ spurred the idea of oversized instruments, powered by steam engines that, accordingly, made the very same noise rather than delightful music. With the ascent of Franz Liszt and other virtuoso musicians in the 1830s and 1840s, a new stereotype entered the stage of the satirical magazines. The ideas, characters, motifs, and techniques developed for representing music and musicians were by no means limited to Europe, but also carried over to the United States where they were adapted for an American magazine readership and became part of the ideas and techniques on which the early newspaper comics were based. Unsurprisingly, because artists like Frederick Burr Opper and Frank M. Howarth, both of whom drew pictures stories about musicians, started out with their careers in US-magazines like Puck and Judge, before moving on to work for the newspaper industry around the turn of the century.

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Posted by on 2016/06/24 in Guest Writers

 

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