Hype: Academic Perspectives on Comics, Växjö

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At the end of next week, April 16-18, Växjö University in Sweden is hosting an academic conference on comics, the full title of which is the rather torturous “Academic Perspectives on Comics, Manga & Graphic Novels as Intercultural & Intermedial Phenomena.” Don’t let that dissuade you, though — it looks pretty great and features Thierry Groensteen, Paul Gravett and Helena Magnusson as its keynote speakers. For more information, go here or check out the event’s Facebook page.

Unrelated illustration by François Ayroles.

Picks of the Week

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The picks of the week from around the web.

  • Big Numbers #3, by Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz (assisted, infamously, by Al Colombia). (Everyone’s posted this, but what the heck). Bits and pieces of it have been flowing around for years, but finally Pádraig Ó Méalóid has assembled the whole story and put it online. The quality is somewhat dodgy, but it is a thrill — albeit it a somewhat bittersweet one — to be able to read the third chapter in what for a brief moment after Watchmen had made its mark, was the Next Big Thing in comics, until it crashed and burned. A masterwork that never was. Also, read Moore’s original script here, and read Eddie Campbell’s typically insightful and entertaining commentary here. and more here.
  • More Intelligent Life: “The Age of Mass Intelligence”, by John Parker. The Economist‘s rather too-hip-for-its-own-good subsite nevertheless offers some very worthwhile material. This article on the proliferation of high culture in Western society is interesting, as is this trenchant counterpoint, by George Balgobin.
  • Dansk Tegneserieråds Stiftende Generalforsamling — Flix & Dækning


    Efter den stiftende generalforsamling i Dansk Tegneserieråd i torsdags var den nyvalgte formand, Bunkerens egen T. Thorhauge i Deadline på DR2. Her er hans samtale med Kurt Strand — en fin opsummering af rådets tanker og ambitioner.

    Deadlines introduktion til interviewet kan ses nedenfor. De originale links kan findes her og her. Læs i øvrigt også Politikens dækning af begivenheden, med kommentarer fra formand Thorhauge og bestyrelsesmedlemmer Ulf Reese Næsborg & Marianne Eskebæk Larsen her.

    Dansk Tegneserieråd stiftet

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    Aftenens stiftende generalforsamling i Dansk Tegneserieråd var en stor succes. Med et fremmøde på ca. 70 mennesker og — forstår jeg, der desværre ikke var til stede — rigtig god stemning, kom Rådet godt fra start. Den valgte bestyrelse ser sådan ud:

    Formand: Thomas Thorhauge
    Bestyrelsesmedlemmer: Marianne Eskebæk Larsen, Allan Haverholm, Paw Mathiasen (kasserer), Steffen P. Maarup, Carsten Søndergaard, Matthias Wivel
    Suppleanter: Mads Bluhm, Ulf Reese Næsborg
    Revisor: Anders Hjorth-Jørgensen
    Revisorsuppleant: Rikke Platz Cortsen

    Den nyvalgte formand var i DR2 Deadline samme aften, udsendelsen skulle være til at fange her fra en gang i løbet af fredagen. Derudover var der bred dækning af Rådet hele dagen, fra P3 Morgen (med undertegnede) og P2 Kulturnyt (med Steffen Maarup), til forsiden af Politikens kultursektion, der bragte en artikel om danske tegneserieforlæggere og en kort gennemgang af mediets udgivelseshistorie i Danmark siden albummets fremkomst i 70erne.

    I det hele taget er nyheden om Rådet blevet modtaget overvældende positivt. Vi har allerede fået en del lovende tilkendegivelser, både fra tegneseriemiljøet og udefra, så vi ser spændende muligheder på horisonten. Nu skal der arbejdes for sagen!

    Illustration af T. Thorhauge til Politikens artikel om danske forlæggere. Kan du se, hvem der er hvem? Svaret kan læses her.

    Dansk Tegneserieråd stiftes i dag!

    Så er det i aften, at den stiftende generalforsamling i Dansk Tegneserieråd finder sted. Der skal vælges en formand, en bestyrelse og en revisor og der skal diskuteres fremtidsplaner. Kom, meld dig ind og vær med fra starten!

    Dansk Tegneserieråds hjemmeside har en liste over kandidaterne til bestyrelsesposterne. Klik ind på ‘Arbejdsgruppen’ og kig efter dem, der er markeret med små asterixer.

    Kl. 19.00
    Den Gule Villa
    Dirch Passers Allé 2
    2000 Frederiksberg [se på kort].

    Vel mødt!

    Kristoffer Mogensen er død

    kristoffermogensen.jpgDet er med stor sorg, at Metabunkerens redaktion erfarer, at den mangeårige tegneserie- og populærkulturformidler, samt tegneserieforfatter, Kristoffer Mogensen er død. Jeg selv mødte ham desværre kun en enkelt eller to gange, men husker ham som et ualmindeligt venligt og imødekommende menneske.

    Han var måske den første person jeg ikke kendte, som viste interesse for Rackham, da jeg troppede op til en Fahrenheit-reception med et snoldet fejltryk af første nummer engang i tidernes morgen. Han nævnte det sågar i Troldspejlet, hvor han redigerede tegneseriestoffet, for hvilket jeg altid har været meget taknemmelig. Det er naturligvis kun en mindre handling blandt mange andre og mere vægtige i et aktiv liv, men ikke desto mindre en, der forekom mig emblematisk for Kristoffer Mogensen.

    Hvil i fred.

    Andre har kendt ham langt bedre. Seriejournalen har samlet mindeord fra Per Sanderhage og Jacob Stegelmann.

    Almost Colossus

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    Kramers Ergot 7 is a product of colossal ambition, it is of colossal size and it was published to colossal expectations. Is it any surprise that the result is less than colossal?

    There is no doubt that this is a rare achievement in comics production, and it is certainly also a high-quality anthology containing some great comics, but editor Sammy Harkham and the stellar line up of cartoonists invited to contribute have set the bar so high in their previous work that much of what they offer here nevertheless fails to reach the high water mark of contemporary comics that the book could have been.

    In addition to many of the artists who contributed to earlier issues of the anthology and helped make Kramers the statement in contemporary comics art it has been, Harkham this time around invited some of the heavy-hitters of past generations: Ivan Brunetti, Dan Clowes, Kim Deitch, Matt Groening, Jaime Hernandez, Ben Katchor, Seth, Adrian Tomine and Chris Ware. In contrast to earlier such “guest appearances”—Ware, for example, seemed conspicuously out of place in KE5—the uniqueness of the present project and the sheer number of very different cartoonists contributing overrides any concerns one might otherwise have had about artistic dissonance. Actually, the book’s sheer eclecticism is a strength in that it adds to the feeling that this could potentially be a kind of Pioneer Plaque—or an Ark, as Tom Gauld would have us imagine with his gorgeous contribution—of early 21st-century comics, one day to bring four-coloured fun to Morlocks.

    Harkham exhibits what seems like self-ironic awareness of this with his front cover. It depicts the Fairfax, LA street in which he and his brothers run a book store, Family Books, evidently decorated by Ron Regé. Only, the setting is post-apocalyptic. Nature has reclaimed the streets, shared in harmony between mostly herbivorous animals and nude women. It is night, but a new day is dawning. Water runs from the broken storefront, puddling around a discarded comic book.

    Picks of the Week

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    The picks of the week from around the web.

  • Times Literary Supplement: Shakespeare (Unfound(ed)? Katherine Duncan Jones offers a strongly argued dismissal of the recently publicised alleged portrait of Shakespeare.
  • London Review of Books: “Is it Art?” Great article on video games as art by John Lanchester.
  • François Ayroles: Nouveaux moments clés de l’histoire de la Bande Dessinée Brilliant, and hilarious, illustrations of a number of key moments in both North American and French comics of the last couple of decades. (Thanks, Dirk).
  • Savage Critics: “The Politics of Smurfing”. Joe McCulloh on what is arguably the best of the Smurf stories, the classic King Smurf — or Le Schtroumpfissime — by Peyo and Yvan Delporte. Read this especially if you are unaware of the Smurf comics and how great they are.
  • Daily Crosshatch: MOMEntum address by Eric Reynolds. This is a bit old, but what the heck, it’s good: the head of marketing and publicity at Fantagraphics and co-editor of the Mome anthology offers his considerable insights on the development of the market for alternative comics.