PROGRAMM: Comics | Games – Aesthetic, Ludic, and Narrative Strategies

Venue: Convention Center Schloss Herrenhausen

Time: Monday, 5 November 2018, to Wednesday, 7 November 2018

MONDAY, 5 November 2018

13.30       Registration
14.00       Welcome and Opening Address

14.30       Panel I: Franchises

Chair: Daniel Stein (University of Siegen)

Dan Hassler-Forest (University of Utrecht): Gaming the System: Comic Book Narratives and Gamer Culture in Transmedia Franchising

Robert Alan Brookey (Ball State University): All Your Base Are Belong to Disney: Superheroes, Franchises, and the Synergy of Media Conglomerates

Dominik Mieth (Mediadesign University of Applied Sciences Munich): The Art of Re-Creation – Intertextuality as Narrative Strategy

16.30       Coffee Break

17.00   Panel II: Manga/Media Mix

Chair: Jan-Noël Thon (University of Nottingham)

Jaqueline Berndt (University of Stockholm): On the ‘Gamification’ of Reading Manga

Selen Çalık Bedir (Kyoto Seika University): Playing Games and Their Likes: Addressing Media Specificity through “Gamelikeness”

Joleen Blom (IT University Copenhagen): The Manifestations of Characters in Games and Manga in the Media Mix

19.00       Dinner


TUESDAY, 6 November 2018

9.00       Panel III: Adaptation (1)

Chair: Andreas Rauscher (University of Siegen)

William Uricchio (MIT/Utrecht University): When Rules Collide: Coherence and Constraint in Comic Book-Based Games

James Fleury (UC Los Angeles): The Road to Arkham: Batman: Dark Tomorrow and Transitional Transmedia

Simon Born (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz/University of Siegen): The Many Lives of Batman: Intertextuality in the Game Adaptations of the Dark Knight

11.00       Coffee Break

11.30   Panel IV: Adaptation (2)

Chair: Véronique Sina (University of Cologne)

Derek A. Burrill (UC Riverside): The Pain Makes You Different: Affect, Ideology and Masculinity in XIII

Carman Ng (University of Bremen): Interfacing Comics and Games: A Socio-Affective Multimodal Approach

Claudius Stemmler (University of Siegen): A Comparison between the Video Game Metal Gear Solid and its Comic Adaptation

13.30       Lunch Break

14.30    Panel V: Hybridity

Chair: Benjamin Beil (University of Cologne)

Hans-Joachim Backe (IT University of Copenhagen): Comic-Games and Game-Comics: Towards an Understanding of Hybrid Forms

Daniel Merlin Goodbrey (University of Hertfordshire): Game Comics: Theory and Design

Joshua Boggs (Melbourne, Australia): Designing Framed

16.30       Coffee Break

17.00    Panel VI: Playfulness

Chair: Stephan Packard (University of Cologne)

Kieron M. Brown (University of Siegen): Playful Comics

Nina Heindl (University of Cologne): “To Induce an Agreeable Tone of Recreation in Youth of Both Sexes”: The Relationship Between Comics and Games in Chris Ware’s Works

Tim Glaser (HBK Braunschweig): Homestuck as a Game: Analysis of a Webcomic between Playful Participation and Irritating Inventory Systems

19.00       Dinner


Wednesday, 7 November 2018

09.00       Mentoring Sessions

11.00       Coffee Break

11.30       Panel VII: Infrastructures

Chair: Lukas Wilde (University of Tübingen)

Nicolas Labarre (Université Bordeaux Montaigne): A Sudden Discovery: Early Mutual Representations (1981–1983)

Marc Steinberg (Concordia University): Delivering Media Franchises: The Convenience Store as Media Mix Hub

Stephanie Boluk/Patrick LeMieux (UC Davis): Clicks, Coins, and Cookies: The Serial Horror of Idle Games

13.30       Lunch Break

14.30       Panel VIII: Convergence

Chair: Judith Ackermann (FH Potsdam)

Susana Tosca (Roskilde University): Only One Hour of Videogames per Day: Gin Tama´s Transmedial Transgressions

Josefa Much (University Magdeburg): Creating Lara Croft: The Meaning of the Comic Books for Transmedia-Storytelling

Mia Consalvo (Montreal): Creating Game-Related Comics and Art on Twitch: The Procedurality of Live Streaming Creative Activities

16.30       Coffee Break

17.00       Concluding Plenary Discussion on Future Collaborations

PROGRAMM zum Download

Call for Papers: Symposium «Comics | Games: Aesthetic, Ludic, and Narrative Strategies» | Nov. 5-7, 2018

Conveners: Andreas Rauscher, Daniel Stein, Jan-Noël Thon
Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation

Exchanges between comics and games have become as complex as their respective source material. Indeed, transmedia activities that extend the aesthetics and narratives of comic books beyond their original medium have become a key element of our current culture of media convergence. Driven by the success of Marvel studio productions, films based on comic book superheroes have come to dominate Hollywood mainstream cinema, while the success of comics-based Netflix television series has begun to reshape contemporary serial television production. Less noted by scholars and non- academic commentators, video games constitute another commercially and culturally pervasive host medium for a sprawling wealth of comic-derived material. Before Lego Batman became a successful animated movie satire of superhero conventions in early 2017, for example, an earlier Lego video game series had already been covering the lighter side of the dark knight since 2008, while the ongoing series of Batman Arkham games continues to deliver the doom and gloom aesthetics expected from Gotham’s Finest for an older demographic. Beyond the franchise-oriented game design of large parts of the games industry, games like Framed (2014) allow the player to experience the formal structures of comics, and the graphic novel adaptation Valiant Hearts (2014) explores the events of World War I from a multi-perspective angle outside the digital battlefields of more mainstream video games.

AG Games | AG Comicforschung | Volkswagen Stiftung

Against this background, the symposium Comics|Games: Aesthetic, Ludic, and Narrative Strategies aims to further our understanding of the ways in which comics and video games interrelate and cross- fertilize each other at our current moment of media convergence. The symposium, funded by the VolkswagenStiftung, is a joint effort between the Working Group Comics Studies (AG Comicforschung) and the Working Group Game Studies (AG Games) of the German Society for Media Studies (Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft).

We invite 15-minute papers on issues related to questions of adaptation, franchising, poetics, design, hybridity, gender, representation, seriality, and/or transmedia focused on one or more of the following areas of inquiry:

Aesthetic strategies: What happens to the “sequential art” of the comic when the pictures originally fixed on a printed page are set into motion by the game player? In what ways does the configurative practice of the gaming situation affect the representation of the static comic book page? Can modalities associated with stylistic traditions of the comic book like cartooning be adapted to games, and what are the potential consequences of such adaptations for the experience of gameplay mechanics? Is the role of the player restricted to redrawing prefigured characters and situations, or can s/he subvert even potentially harmful stereotypes of gender and race in a playful way? Does the recurring use of characters, settings, and situations across media affirm the stagnation of comics and video games as cultural-industrial commodities, or can we identify traces of a creative approach toward cultural rituals between repetition and variations as they are emphasized in recent genre theory and seriality studies?

Ludic strategies: What ludic qualities can be discovered in comic book franchises and in serial practices of storytelling in particular? Are aspects of transmedial world-building closer to the non-linear attractions of an adventure playground than to the traditional heroic epic seeking closure in order to create meaning? What detours from the conventional superhero’s journey are enabled by a playful attitude? What practices of textual poaching and which types of fan cultures, involving cosplay, game mods, and fan fiction, can be found in the borderlands between comics and gaming cultures? Does cultural re-evaluation affect the initial pleasures of comics and gaming culture, or are serious games the next graphic novel? And are our current methods even adequate to discuss the possibilities and pitfalls, the pleasure and pain, of franchising practices within the comics and games industries?

Narrative strategies: Is comics’ multimodal configuration in need of emancipation from its narrative function in ways similar to what early ludologists claimed for the ludic structures of (video) games? Does the “drillability” of transmedia storyworlds really create a deeper understanding of a unified narrative experience spread across several media? Does every picture tell a story, or do we have to consider updated models for verbal-pictorial and interactive audiovisual narratives? What are the appropriate methods (from close reading to world mapping) for navigating sequential and spatial art forms? What historical perspectives connect image-, hyper- and cybertext? In what ways can the techniques and stylistic forms such as the use of narrators, the foregrounding of character subjectivity through free indirect discourse, the principles of montage, or pictorial emulation of character point- of-view be adapted from literature and film to comics and games? What are the material modalities and semiotic styles of narrative in comics (from cartoons to graphic novel realism) and games (from early 2D games to 21st-century 3D photorealism and back to current indie game abstraction)?

Please send 200-word abstracts and 100-word biographies by 30 April 2018 via email to the three conference conveners:
Andreas Rauscher rauscher [at] medienwissenschaft.uni-siegen [dot] de
Daniel Stein stein [at] anglistik.uni-siegen [dot] de
Jan-Noël Thon jan-noel.thon [at] [dot] uk

Symposium Comics | Games
Aesthetic, Ludic, and Narrative Strategies
Herrenhausen Palace Conference Centre,
Hannover, Germany
November 5–7, 2018

Anmeldung: Graphic Realities: Comics as Documentary, History, and Journalism

Bitte melden Sie sich bis zum 10.02.2018 unter Angabe Ihres Namens und ihrer E-Mail-Adresse an. Falls Sie für die Dauer der Tagung Kinderbetreuung benötigen, vermerken Sie dieses bitte kurz im Textfeld „Bemerkungen“. Wir werden Ihre Anfrage dann an unsere Koordinatorin Frau Silvia Boide (GCSC) weiterleiten, die sich mit Ihnen in Verbindung setzen wird.

If you need childcare for the duration of the conference, please make a short note in your registration mail. We will forward your request to Ms Silvia Boide who is the responsible coordinator for „Combining Family & Career“ at the GCSC. She will directly contact you and take into account your individual needs. The deadline for registration (and childcare matters) is February, 10 2018.

Durch das Klicken des „Abschicken“-Buttons melden Sie sich zur Tagung Graphic Realities: Comics as Documentary, History, and Journalism an. Wir nutzen Ihre Daten ausschließlich für organisatorische Zwecke und geben diese nicht an Dritte weiter.

By pressing the „Abschicken“/“Send“-Button you sign up for the conference Graphic Realities: Comics as Documentary, History, and Journalism. We will use your data for organizational purposes only and never give them away to third parties.

PROGRAMM | Graphic Realities: Comics as Documentary, History, and Journalism


Day 1, 22 February 2018
11.00-12.00 Registration
12.00-12.30 Welcome Address
12.30-13.30 Wibke Weber (Winterthur, CH)
Understanding Comics Journalism: Research Perspectives on a Journalistic Genre
13.45-15.30 PANEL SESSION 1
Felipe Muanis (Juiz de Fora, BRA)
Reading News from Sequential Art: Brazilian Newspapers Editing Journalism through Comics
Sigrid Thomsen (London, UK)
Portraying the Constrained Love of Others in ‘Love Story à l’Iranienne’
  Augusto Paim (Weimar, GER)
On the Characteristics of Sketchbooks as a Journalistic Tool
15.30-16.00 Coffee Break
16.00-17.00 Dirk Vanderbeke (Jena, GER)

History and Journalism in the History of Graphic Information

17.15-19.00 PANEL SESSION 2
Francisco Sáez de Adana (Alcalá de Henares, ESP)

The Sino-Japanese War in ‘Terry and the Pirates’

Amrita Singh (New Delhi, IND)

Of Superheroes in Ordinary Clothing: Reinventing Biography, History and the Comic Form in ‘A Gardener in the Wasteland’

Christine Gundermann (Cologne, GER)

The Graphic Anne: Anne Frank as Trans-Media and Trans-National Lieu de Mémoire

20.00 Conference Dinner
Day 2, 23 February 2018
9.00-10.00 Nina Mickwitz (London, UK)

‘True Story’: Documentary Claims in Comics Form

10.15-12.00 PANEL SESSION 3
Jakob F. Dittmar/Ofer Ashkenazi (Malmö, SWE/Jerusalem, ISR)

Documentary Comics as Secondary Sources for Academic/Scientific Research

Dieter Declercq (Kent, UK)
Two Styles to Tell the Truth. The Satire and Comics Journalism of Matt Bors
Joanna Rostek (Giessen, GER)

Documenting the Experience of Polish Labour Migrants in the UK: Agata Wawryniuk’s ‘Rozmówki polsko-angielskie’ (2012/2016)

12.00-13.15 Lunch Break
13.15-14.15 Jörn Ahrens (Giessen, GER)

Why Documenting? The Quest for the Limits of Indexicality

14.30-16.15 PANEL SESSION 4
Chiao-I Tsen (Bremen, GER)
Merging Fact and Fiction: Graphic War Narratives, Persuasion and Narrative Immersion
Lukas R.A. Wilde (Tuebingen, GER)
Non-Fictional Comics as Historical Reenactment: Pictorial Representations of 9/11 beyond the Index
Philip Smith (Nassau, BHS)
Horst Rosenthal’s Holocaust Testimony
16.30-18.00 Meeting of the Comics Studies Working Group

Anmeldungen zur Tagung sind bis spätestens zum 10.02.2018 hier möglich.

Weitere Infos unter:

CfP: Graphic Realities: Comics as Documentary, History, and Journalism (22./23. Februar 2018, Gießen)

International Conference

22.-23.02.2018, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen/GCSC

Call For Papers: PDF Download

While comics have traditionally been associated with fictional, especially funny and/or fantastic stories, they have in recent decades become a major vehicle for nonfiction, as well. This development coincides with a time that has been described as ‘post-truth’, in which established news media face a crisis of confidence. The turn towards comics is a turn towards a medium, which inherently promotes simplification and exaggeration. Cartoon imagery thus immediately exhibits the subjectivity of the artist and her or his interpretation – but what could be considered a hindrance towards factual reporting has become an important resource. The overt display of subjectivity and medial limitations as a show of honesty has been described as an authentication strategy of graphic nonfiction. In contrast to formats based on camera-recorded images like photography and film nonfiction comics cannot lay claim to indexing premedial reality. Rather, individual graphic styles index their own creator who as witness becomes the main authenticator. Thus, comics shift the weight of authentication from medial prerequisites towards their authors and artists and thus the textual properties referencing them. One of the questions that will be discussed at the conference is thus the relation of inherent medial properties of comics as vehicle for nonfiction.

While among graphic nonfiction life writing in particular has received widespread scholarly attention, this conference will focus on recent approaches to comics as documentary, history, and journalism. As opposed to graphic memoirs in which authors reflect upon their own lives and experiences, these works focus on the lives and experiences of others. Thus, authors and artists need to do justice towards their subjects, as well as to their own experience and negotiate their own voices within their stories. This becomes especially relevant as a majority of graphic reportages centers around highly traumatizing crises and catastrophes, such as war, displacement, natural disasters, and oppression. The conference is intended to explore how authors and artists utilize the medium of comics for nonfiction and address these ‘graphic realities’.

Invited Speakers:

  • Prof. Dr. Jörn Ahrens (Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen)
  • Dr. Nina Mickwitz (University of the Arts London)
  • Prof. Dr. Dirk Vanderbeke (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)
  • Prof. Dr. Wibke Weber (Züricher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Winterthur)

Submission for talks should address one or more of the following questions:

  • How is the medium of comics employed for reportage, history writing, and to report on war, crises, and trauma?
  • Which narrative and aesthetic strategies do authors and artists employ to present and authenticate their comics as nonfiction?
  • How do the genres of ‘documentary’, ‘history’, and ‘journalism’ in comics relate to each other and how do they relate to other genres of graphic nonfiction such as ‘life-writing’ or educational formats?
  • Does the medium of comics inherently support nonfictionality, or does it depend on con- and paratexual framing practices?
  • How do different ‘transfer media’ such as comic books or webcomics affect the potential of comics for factual reporting?
  • How and to what extent is nonfictionality created through intermediality, especially with regard to more conventionally ‘factual’ media such as photography and film?
  • In how far do different comics traditions differ transnationally and -culturally with regard to their status as nonfiction?

Please submit your proposals (no longer than 300 words) for talks (20 min) and a short CV including your affiliation to until November 3rd, 2017.

The conference is organized as collaboration between the International Centre for the Study of Culture Giessen (GCSC) and the Comics Studies Working Group (AG Comicforschung) of the German Society for Media Studies (GfM) by Laura Schlichting (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen) and Johannes C. P. Schmid (University of Hamburg).

A membership in the Comics Studies Working Group is not mandatory for participation.

SAVE THE DATE: AG-Tagung 2018 in Kooperation mit dem GCSC (Gießen)

Tagung der AG Comicforschung in Kooperation mit dem Gießener
International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC)
22. – 23. Februar 2018, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Folgende geladene Referent_innen haben ihre Teilnahme an der Tagung bereits zugesagt:

  • Prof. Dr. Jörn Ahrens (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen)
  • Dr. Nina Mickwitz (University of the Arts London)
  • Prof. Dr. Dirk Vanderbeke (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)
  • Prof. Dr. Wibke Weber (Züricher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften, Winterthur).

Ein entsprechender Call for Papers wird Anfang September 2017 veröffentlicht!

Organisator_innen: Laura Schlichting (Gießen) und Johannes C.P. Schmid (Hamburg)

Tagungsberichte „Zur Ästhetik des Gemachten in Animation und Comic“

Für die Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft (ZfM) hat Vanessa Ossa einen Tagungsbericht zum Symposium „Zur Ästhetik des Gemachten in Animation und Comic“ (9.-11.11.2016, Schloss Herrenhausen Hannover) verfasst. Ein englischsprachiger Bericht von Sebastian Bartosch ist zudem in der März-Ausgabe von animation: an interdisciplinary journal [vol. 12 (1), 100-104] erschienen. Weiterlesen Tagungsberichte „Zur Ästhetik des Gemachten in Animation und Comic“

Programm: Zur Ästhetik des Gemachten in Animation und Comic (2016)


Zur Ästhetik des Gemachten in Animation und Comic

Interdisziplinäres Symposium deutschsprachiger Animations- und Comicforschung

09.-11.11.2016 | Tagungszentrum der Volkswagen-Stiftung
Schloss Herrenhausen Hannover

Animation und Comic weisen in ihren Ästhetiken offenkundige Parallelen auf, denen jedoch bislang in der jeweils einschlägigen Forschung kaum angemessene Aufmerksamkeit gewidmet wurde. Beide basieren auf künstlerischen Praktiken, die im Umgang mit spezifischen Techniken Bilder generieren, welche wiederum diese Techniken ihrer Entstehung in einer besonderen Art- und Weise mit-ausstellen. So verweisen die gezeichneten Linien des Comics oder des Cartoons auf den Akt des Zeichnens selbst, die Knetfiguren im Stop-Motion-Animationsfilm auf den Akt ihrer händischen (Ver-)Formung oder die hyperrealistischen, überhöhten Figuren des Superheld_innen-Comics und VFX-Kinos auf ihre artifizielle Hergestelltheit. Animation und Comic erscheinen dabei – im Vergleich zu rein indexikalischen Medien wie z.B. Fotografie oder Realfilm – als grafische, ‚handgemachte‘ Artefakte, die die Künstlichkeit ihrer Entstehung tendenziell stärker offenlegen und dadurch besonders eindrücklich reflektieren; beide Techniken weisen aber auch Unterschiede auf, wenn es z.B. darum geht, dass die sichtbare Gemachtheit in der digitalen Animation vielfach eine Schwelle darstellt, die es im Hinblick auf realitätsgetreue Simulation gerade zu überwinden gilt.

Diese Thematisierung der eigenen Gemachtheit soll den Hauptgegenstand des Symposiums bilden und parallel eine intensivere, dauerhafte Kooperation zwischen Animations- und Comicforschung im deutschsprachigen Raum einleiten. Die dreitägige Veranstaltung ist als gemeinsames, interdisziplinäres Diskussionsforum geplant, in dessen Rahmen die Parallelen, Schnittstellen und Unterschiede herausgearbeitet werden sollen, die sich im Kontext von Animations- und Comicforschung im Hinblick auf die analytische, ästhetische und methodische Erfassung ihrer jeweiligen Gegenstände ergeben. Wie lässt sich also die spezifische Qualität, Materialität und Ästhetik von Animation und Comic wissenschaftlich erfassen? Wie gehen Comicforscher_innen und Animationsforscher_innen aus unterschiedlichen Disziplinen mit dieser besonderen Beschaffenheit ihrer Gegenstände um? Welche Themen und Konzepte werden aktuell innerhalb der Forschungsfelder im Hinblick auf die genannte Fragestellung bearbeitet und sind dabei produktive Kontaktpunkte auszumachen?

Als Keynotes Speaker werden Jaqueline Berndt (Kyoto Seika University) und Nicola Glaubitz (TU Darmstadt) zu Gast sein. Das Symposium umfasst zudem 21 weitere Vorträge internationaler Animations- und Comicforscher_innen sowie eine Podiumsdiskussion mit Animations- und Comickünstler_innen und ein Vernetzungstreffen.

Hans-Joachim Backe (Kopenhagen), Julia Eckel (Marburg/Bochum), Erwin Feyesinger (Tübingen),
Véronique Sina (Köln) und Jan-Noël Thon (Tübingen)

Eine Kooperation der AG Animation und AG Comicforschung
der Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft (GfM)

Das Programm zum Symposium „Zur Ästhetik des Gemachten in Animation und Comic“ ist online und kann hier eingesehen werden. Auch Informationen zur Anmeldung sind nun verfügbar. Eine Teilnahme am Symposium ist ausschließlich nach vorheriger Anmeldung möglich.

Weitere Infos finden sich auf der offiziellen Tagungswebseite:

Programmflyer der Tagung (Download PDF)
Tagungsplakat A2 (Download PDF)