In the young twenty-first century, several Spanish comics about memory and the Civil War have garnered well-deserved critical acclaim. However, they have been explored very little in academia. This conversation brings together two scholars working on memory and Spanish comics to discuss the current comics scene in Spain, the Civil War and its aftermath, the representation of the war in recent graphic novels and comics, and possible pedagogical opportunities for using some of these publications in the classroom. Enrique is currently researching and teaching in Australia, and Sarah is a professor of Spanish in the USA. For both of them, this conversation introduces some of their most recent research projects.
ENRIQUE: I think the first thing I would like to point out is how vibrant the Spanish comics scene is today. Comics are now more widely appreciated among many audiences. The rise of the graphic novel at a global level has played an important role and has already produced notable examples in the Spanish context, such as Arrugas (Wrinkles, Knockabout)  and some of the ones we will be talking about in this round table. Comics have also increased their visibility in media (newspapers, television), online (through websites and webcomics) and there has been some institutional support by the Spanish Ministry of Culture (since 2007, a National Comics Prize is awarded annually to the best Spanish comic of the year, under the same program as other national prizes such as Literature, History, etc.), public libraries (which have considerably extended their comics catalogue in recent years) and universities (which organize more and more conferences and seminars).
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Tags: Paracuellos, Spain, Spanish Civil War, Spanish comics, tebeos, trauma, War
The Joint International Conference of Graphic Novels, Comics and the International Bande Dessinée Society’s Seventh International Conference
July 5-8 2011
Manchester Metropolitan University
The bande dessinée part of the joint conference took up the baton after two very stimulating days with GNAC and SIC. We too were pleased by the quantity and quality of papers and we ran parallel sessions. The morning of 7th July began with panels comprising two distinct strands: bandes dessinées and Francophone Africa, and BDs drawing upon the European Classics. The first strand began with Laurike in’t Veld’s insights into how the Rwandan genocide was represented in comics, and continued with Michel Bumatay’s study of Sub-Saharan African Francophone BDs. The focus on Africa continued with Mark Mckinney, who drew upon (post) colonial strips to argue that autobiography began in BDs earlier than is generally recognised. This was followed by Cathal Kilcline’s analysis of Boudjellal, who depicts an immigrant family in Toulon. The European Classics strand began with papers by Linda Rabea-Heyden and Matthew Screech on comic strip adaptations of canonical literary works: Goethe’s Faust and Voltaire’s Candide. Next came a re-examination of bande dessinée Classics with Bart Beaty, who closely scrutinised panels from Bravo’s re-make of the best-selling hero Spirou. Another strip to enter the pantheon of classics, Lieutenant Blueberry, was discussed by Martha Zan, who established its similarities with ss.
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Tags: Africa, Alberto Cipriani, Ann Miller, Annick Pellegrin, anti-comics feeling, architecture, autobiography, Émile Bravo, bande dessinée, Bart Beaty, body, Canada, Catriona Macleod, Charlotte Pylyser, China, Christophe Meunier, Clare Tufts, colonialism, Dali, detective BD, dramatic intensity, Edmond Baudoin, Etienne Davodeau, excess, Fernand Stefanich, Flanders, France, Gender, Germany, Goethe, Greice Schneider, Guy Delisle, Hélène Sirven, Hergé, Holland, immgration, Jimenez Lai, Jorge Catala-Carrasco, Klara Arnberg, Latin America, Laurence Grove, Laurike in’t Veld, Le Temple du Soleil, Les Sept Boules de Cristal, Lieutenant Blueberry, Linda Rabea-Heyden, Louvre, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manuel de la Fuente, Mark McKinney, Mary Toft, Matthew Screech, Mauro Marchesi, Michael D. Picone, Michel Bumatay, Michel Rabagliati, Michelle Bloom, Moebius, Morris, museum, narrative tension, Paracuellos, parody, Paul Malone, Pénélope Bagieu, Pierre Fresnault-Deruelle, post-feminism, Renata Pascoal, Rik Sanders, Rikke Platz Cortsen, Rwandan genocide, space, spaghetti Westerns, Spanish Civil War, Spirou, Steven Surdiacourt, Sub-Saharan African Francophone BD, Sweden, Sylvie Dardaillon, time, Tomas Nilson, UK, Voltaire, Western Comics, Women