FRAMING COMICS
1900 2000
COMICS RAHMEN

Workshop der Forschergruppen
Übersetzen und Rahmen // Universität Hamburg
und Journalliteratur // Ruhr-Universität Bochum

27.–28. Oktober 2017
Universität Hamburg
// Mollerstraße 10
20148 Hamburg

KEYNOTE

Prof. Dr. Roger Sabin // London

MIT BEITRÄGEN VON

Dr. Christian A. Bachmann // Bochum – Sebastian Bartosch // Hamburg
Prof. Dr. Astrid Böger // Hamburg – Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hallet // Gießen
PD Dr. Christina Meyer // Hannover – Johannes C.P. Schmid // Hamburg
Prof. Dr. Monika Schmitz-Emans // Bochum – Dr. Jeff Thoss // Berlin
Andreas Veits // Hamburg

ABENDVERANSTALTUNG MIT

Simon Schwartz
// Hamburg/Mailand

 

PROGRAMM

ABSTRACTS

 

PROGRAMM

Freitag, 27. Oktober 2017

12.30 BEGRÜßUNG//OPENING REMARKS

13.00 CHRISTINA MEYER (HANNOVER)
TRANSGRESSING FRAMES - FRAMING TRANSGRESSIONS: THE ROLE OF MATERIAL, MEDIAL, AND AESTHETIC BORDERS IN COMICS

14.00 CHRISTIAN A. BACHMANN (BOCHUM)
DOLL'S HOUSES, PAPER THEATRES: COMICS AND THE DIORAMIC PROSCENIUM AROUND 1900

15.00 PAUSE//BREAK

15.30 JEFF THOSS (BERLIN)
THROUGH THE PROSCENIUM ARCH OF THE COMIC PANEL: INTERMEDIAL FRAMES IN BRYAN TALBOT'S ALICE IN SUNDERLAND

16.30 ASTRID BÖGER (HAMBURG)
"THINGS ARE DIFFERENT NOW": RE-FRAMING AUSTRALIAN IDENTITY IN PAT GRANT'S BLUE

19.00 LESUNG UND KÜNSTLERGESPRÄCH MIT
SIMON SCHWARTZ (HAMBURG/MAILAND)

 

Samstag, 28. Oktober 2017

09.00 ROGER SABIN (LONDON) // KEYNOTE
FRAMING BRITISH COMICS PRE-1914

10.30 PAUSE//BREAK

10.45 JOHANNES C.P. SCHMID (HAMBURG)
FRAMING STRATEGIES IN DOCUMENTARY COMICS

11.45 WOLFGANG HALLET (GIEßEN)
THE GRID PATTERN AS FRAME: THE REPRESENTATION OF THE MODERN WESTERN CITY IN GRAPHIC FICTION

12.45 MITTAGSPAUSE//LUNCH BREAK

14.00 SEBASTIAN BARTOSCH (HAMBURG)
HOW TO NOT FREEZE THE FRAMES OF MEDIALITY: LOOKING BACK AT OLD COMIC BOOKS

15.00 ANDREAS VEITS (HAMBURG)
SUBJEKTIVITÄT ALS RAHMEN. PAUL HORNSCHEMEIERS DIE DREI PARADOXIEN

16.00 PAUSE//BREAK

16.15 MONIKA SCHMITZ-EMANS (BOCHUM)
RAHMENWELTEN. MUSEUMS-COMICS ALS METACOMICS

17.15 ABSCHLUSS

 

 

ABSTRACTS

Bachmann // Bartosch // Böger // Hallet // Meyer // Sabin (Keynote) // Schmid // Schmitz-Emans // Thoss // Veits

 

CHRISTIAN A. BACHMANN (BOCHUM)
DOLL'S HOUSES, PAPER THEATRES: COMICS AND
THE DIORAMIC PROSCENIUM AROUND 1900

A large number of types of visual satire has been invented and advanced in 19th century satirical magazines such as Charivari, Punch, Fliegende Blätter etc. In the early days of cartooning, artists have payed a great deal of attention to visually framing their cartoons and satirical illustrations. Often new types of satirical pictures featured a specific style of framing of which the French salon caricatural with its elaborate picture frames is a prime example. However, other archetypes prove to be almost as common and widespread, especially some that imbed a satirical picture, a series of pictures or even a narrative within a framework that purports to be a house or a façade thereof. A vertical section of the house akin to a sheer plan, or the removal of one wall, if you will, allows the viewer to look into the rooms in which the graphic narrative unfolds, much alike the proscenium of the theatre stage. This paper looks at cartoons and comics from around 1900 that make use of this staging and seeks to contextualize them before a backdrop of doll’s houses, dioramas, and paper theatres that became popular methods of entertainment and playful transfer of knowledge in the course of the 19th century.

SEBASTIAN BARTOSCH (HAMBURG)
HOW TO NOT FREEZE THE FRAMES OF MEDIALITY:
LOOKING BACK AT OLD COMIC BOOKS

In contemporary comics, we encounter different kinds of frames: The process of ‘mise en cadre’ has been singled out as an organizing principle according to which panels are conceived as parts of a narrative sequence (Groensteen 2007). The unit of the page has been called a ‘meta-panel’ (Eisner 2005) or ‘hypercadre’ (Peeters 1991) determining the size and arrangement of the panels, whereas different publication formats – e.g. newspaper strips, comic books, albums, graphic novels or webcomics – also affect both the style and content of comics (Lefèvre 2000). In addition, the socio-cultural practices of producing and reading comics can be considered as being temporally and spatially framed by ‘boundary markers’ separating them from other activity (Goffman 1974). How can we describe the mediality of comics ­­– the quality that allows us to identify them as a medium – with regards to these different framings, their relations and their respective functions? To account for ensembles of material-technological, discursive and social elements that conjoin in the formation of knowledge, power and subjects, media studies have traditionally employed theoretical concepts like the ‘discursive network’ (Kittler [1985] 1990) or the dispositif (Kessler 2007). However, as this paper will argue, we may have to revise notions of mediality as a single, separate and determining frame to properly describe how it is maintained through historical changes – and to understand how the different frames of comics are implicated in such transformations. Starting with Daniel Clowes’ David Boring (2000), this paper will describe how comics and graphic novels since 2000 have addressed transformations of their mediality by depicting older comics as different from themselves – i.e. as products of historically contingent publication strategies, paper qualities, printing technologies and drawing styles, among others. Older comic books thus appear as the results of certain historical framings precisely as they are framed as parts of a recent comic – and by applying new production technologies to identify historical characteristics. With regard to these relations, we can trace the mediality of comics as a ‘principle of connections’, according to which heterogeneous actors are assembled as they engage in the ‘practical work of setting up frames’ (Latour 1988, 2005, 2010). Allowing us to look back at old comics books, recent comics thus may point us towards their mediality as an on-going process unfolding across, and hence connecting, different historical instantiations.

ASTRID BÖGER (HAMBURG)
"THINGS ARE DIFFERENT NOW": RE-FRAMING AUSTRALIAN IDENTITY
IN PAT GRANT'S BLUE

By looking at the frames and framings in/of comics one might critically reflect on viable medial predispositions, and the techniques or artistic devices to generate certain effects; moreover, a frame analysis sheds light on the zones of contestation negotiated in comics. Against this backdrop I aim to discuss exemplary comics that appeared in the Sunday colored supplements in the mass press around the turn of the century. The supplements were huge, bright, and eye-catching. Many of the early comics in the Sunday newspapers, as for instance, George B. Luks’s so-called Incubator series, the serialized Yellow Kid comics, the various graphic travel narratives by diverse comics artists, or the many animal and kid comics, show ‘unframed’ layout compositions. The only physical frames and material constraints are the borders of the newspaper page. Page borders insulate the illustrations and limit the interaction with neighboring features in the papers’ comic weeklies; sometimes, however, a depicted scene slops over into and is continued on another page of the newspaper supplement, thus creating interesting points of contact between the different features of the Sunday extra sections (as well as other parts of the newspapers). In my paper I wish to reflect on the various transgressions, how they are mediated, and the effects they generate. Furthermore, I will address how the ‘gleefully anarchic’ layout composition of the early newspaper comics trigger interpretative options, and how ‘cognitive frames’ play into the reading practices.

WOLFGANG HALLET (GIEßEN)
THE GRID PATTERN AS FRAME: THE REPRESENTATION OF THE
MODERN WESTERN CITY IN GRAPHIC FICTION

This paper will discuss the visual representation and design of the modern western city ingraphic fiction at the beginning of the 20th century. Culturalimages, graphic representations and thought patterns of city lives and spaces –the hidden or visible geometries of the city and (formerly) open territories –will be traced mainly in some of the popular comic strips in American daily newspapersat the beginning of the 20th century and in the works of Frans Masereel. Historicallyand culturally, creating and imposing the grid on both open spaces and cityspaces can be read as an act of framing, as cultural and economic appropriationand as colonization. A final part will be devoted to traces of and referencesto the visual image and pattern of the grid in the contemporary graphic art ofcomics author Art Spiegelman.

CHRISTINA MEYER (HANNOVER)
TRANSGRESSING FRAMES - FRAMING TRANSGRESSIONS:
THE ROLE OF MATERIAL, MEDIAL, AND AESTHETIC BORDERS IN COMICS

By looking at the frames and framings in/of comics one might critically reflect on viable medial predispositions, and the techniques or artistic devices to generate certain effects; moreover, a frame analysis sheds light on the zones of contestation negotiated in comics. Against this backdrop I aim to discuss exemplary comics that appeared in the Sunday colored supplements in the mass press around the turn of the century. The supplements were huge, bright, and eye-catching. Many of the early comics in the Sunday newspapers, as for instance, George B. Luks’s so-called Incubator series, the serialized Yellow Kid comics, the various graphic travel narratives by diverse comics artists, or the many animal and kid comics, show ‘unframed’ layout compositions. The only physical frames and material constraints are the borders of the newspaper page. Page borders insulate the illustrations and limit the interaction with neighboring features in the papers’ comic weeklies; sometimes, however, a depicted scene slops over into and is continued on another page of the newspaper supplement, thus creating interesting points of contact between the different features of the Sunday extra sections (as well as other parts of the newspapers). In my paper I wish to reflect on the various transgressions, how they are mediated, and the effects they generate. Furthermore, I will address how the ‘gleefully anarchic’ layout composition of the early newspaper comics trigger interpretative options, and how ‘cognitive frames’ play into the reading practices.

ROGER SABIN (LONDON) // KEYNOTE
FRAMING BRITISH COMICS PRE-1914

This paper will look at four ways in which early British comics were framed. In so doing, the hope is to shed light on how the very notion of 'the comic' (as publication rather than strip) was being constructed during this first period of its commercial flowering. Firstly, in terms of publishing culture - the differences between satirical magazines, 'funny papers', and comics. Mainstream versus 'independent'. The influence of promotional culture - the growing importance of advertising, competitions, promotions, and 'stunts'. Secondly, in terms of the wider entertainment industry - the relationship with variety theatre, the circus and other forms of live performance. Comics as 'fanzines' and celebrity vehicles. Thirdly, in terms of political orientation - comics as ostensible proponents of the 'middle ground'; the influence of individual proprietors and of New Journalism. Fourthly, in terms of audiences - men/women; kids/adults; working class/middle class. In particular, the desire to produce 'wholesome amusement' in the face of the penny dreadfuls, and the shift to more juvenile content over time.

JOHANNES C.P. SCHMID (HAMBURG)
FRAMING STRATEGIES IN DOCUMENTARY COMICS

The mediality of the comic book essentially relies on the visual frames of the panel and the page, as well as the medial frame of the book. At the same time, to make sense of the world and medial artifacts human beings essentially depend on cognitive frames as preconceived and conventionalized evaluative schemata that ascribe default causalities and roles to the agents and objects in a situation encountered. By ‘framing’ a situation within the logic of one such schema communicators may seek to influence the conclusion their audiences draw. Documentary comics seek to report on real world issues that are oftentimes overlooked by conventional news media. In contrast to the graphic memoir these works do not focus on the authors own lives but seek to make a case for others whose voices might go unheard. Thus, authors of documentary comics commonly seek to frame their reports in manners that will raise awareness and possibly facilitate change regarding social injustices in the world. This paper will describe how the semiotic resources of the comic book, specifically its visual frames, are employed to facilitate political framing by selecting and accentuating aspects of their reportages.

MONIKA SCHMITZ-EMANS (BOCHUM)
RAHMENWELTEN. MUSEUMS-COMICS ALS METACOMICS

Im Zeichen des in jüngerer Zeit zunehmenden Interesses am Museum, seinen Funktionen und Spielformen haben sich auch Comiczeichner dieser spezifischen Spielform eines heterotopischen Raums zugewandt. Zumal das Kunstmuseum lädt ein zu impliziten und expliziten (Selbst-)Vergleichen, schon weil es Serien von Bildern bietet, die zur spielerischen Analogisierung mit Comicpanels einladen, und weil es ähnlich dem Comic maßgeblich durch Rahmungen strukturiert erscheint. Hiervon ausgehend, setzen Museumscomics aber gleichwohl recht unterschiedliche thematische Akzente im Umgang mit Bildern und ihren Rahmen. Dies zeigt der Vergleich zwischen (a) David Prudhomme: Einmal durch den Louvre (2013; zuerst frz. 2012); Marc-Antoine Mathieu: Le Sous-sols du Revolu (2006) und Nicolas Mahler: Thomas Bernhard: Alte Meister. Kömodie. Gezeichnet von Mahler (2011).

JEFF THOSS (BERLIN)
"THROUGH THE PROSCENIUM ARCH OF THE COMIC PANEL":
INTERMEDIAL FRAMES IN BRYAN TALBOT'S ALICE IN SUNDERLAND

My paper proposes to analyse intermedial framing techniques in Bryan’s Talbot’s Alice in Sunderland (2007). On the one hand, this comic book presents itself as a theatre performance and film screening. On the other hand, it also provides a stage for a wealth of other text and/or image-based media that are reproduced in it: paintings, photographs, prints, billboards, cigarette cards, illuminated manuscripts, newspapers, maps, etc. By framing comics a as performing art that showcases other art forms, Alice in Sunderland makes a case for widening the conceptual frame of comics to encompass a broad range of loose text and image combinations. It thus intervenes in contemporary discourses both on the nature of comics as well as on the relationship between, and specificity of, media.

ANDREAS VEITS (HAMBURG)
SUBJEKTIVITÄT ALS RAHMEN. PAUL HORNSCHEMEIERS DIE DREI PARADOXIEN

Wie innerhalb der Narratologie verschiedentlich betont worden ist (z.B. David Herman 2009 oder Monika Fludernik 1996), besitzen Repräsentationen von Subjektivität für narrative Medien eine zentrale Bedeutung: Erst wenn Handlungen und Geschehnisse, die in erzählten Welten von Figuren ausgeführt werden oder von denen sie betroffen sind, an innere Zustände der Figuren rückgebunden werden können, werden diese für Rezipierende nachvollziehbar. Um unterschiedliche Elemente einer Storyworld zu verknüpfen und Kohärenz zu erzeugen, sind Repräsentationen figuraler Erinnerungen, Emotionen, persönlicher Einstellungen oder Träume somit ein wichtiges Erfordernis. Anhand der Graphic Novel Die drei Paradoxien (2008) von Paul Hornschemeier werden verschiedene formale und handlungsbezogene Rahmungshinweise erarbeitet, die in Comics gemeinhin dazu eingesetzt werden, um Rezipierenden zu signalisieren, dass innerhalb der Erzählung ein Wechsel zwischen der Ebene der diegetischen ‚Realität‘ und der inneren subjektiven Welt einer Figur anzunehmen ist. Darüberhinausgehend soll an Hornschemeiers Comic aufgezeigt werden, wie der Autorenzeichner derartige Darstellungskonventionen im Verlauf der Erzählung bricht, um die Unzuverlässigkeit und Beeinflussbarkeit menschlicher Erinnerung durch die medialen Voraussetzungen des Comics erfahrbar zu machen. Die Graphic Novel lässt sich – vor dem Hintergrund entstehender Rahmungsunsicherheiten – als metafiktionaler Diskurs (Wolf 1993: 230) interpretieren, der Rezipierende mit der Bedeutung von Subjektivität auf unterschiedlichen Ebenen konfrontiert.