by Neal Curtis
Definitions of comics are numerous and yet no single version can quite capture the fecundity, variety and experimental profusion of the medium as it continues to evolve. I would therefore agree with Joseph Witek who suggests that arguments over what defines or qualifies as a comic often “devolve into analytical cul-de-sacs and hair splitting debates over an apparently endless profusion of disputed boundary cases and contradictory counter-examples” (149). Witek continues that in light of this, “‘comicness’ might usefully be reconceptualized from being an immutable attribute of texts to being considered as a historically contingent and evolving set of reading protocols that are applied to texts, that to be a comic text means to be read as a comic” (149). Although this suggests a cultural relativist approach to the medium it does still enact some boundary policing in the sense that the graphic information sheet placed in the pockets of airplane seats, while sharing certain features with the comics medium—panels and a combination of word and image—is not a comic because it is not read as such.
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Tags: After Maria, Andy Warhol, comicity, comicness, digital comics, digital media, directed reading, double page, Emma Sou, Gemma Sou, John Cei Douglas, memory, multi-directional reading, multiframe, newspaper strips, Off Life, online comics, open access, page, page layout, Show Me The Map To Your Heart, smartphones, space, spatial co-presence, spatial solidarity, Static, tablets, Thierry Groensteen, Tick Tock, time, trauma, UK, wordless comics
Nicola Streeten and Steven Appleby in conversation
Golnar Nabizadeh: Comics and Spatial Recognition
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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