2015 WESS/SEES Program

From Wess

Jump to: navigation, search

WESSWeb > Past WESS Conferences > WESS/SEES Program: Beyond Tintin: Collecting European Comics in the U.S.


Beyond Tintin: Collecting European Comics in the U.S.


Joint Program of the Western European Studies Section
and the Slavic and East European Section (ACRL).

Co-sponsored by ACRL's Literatures in English Section and the ALA Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Member Interest Group
ALA Annual Conference, San Francisco, California

What are the major trends in European comics? Where can librarians interested in building an international collection find resources? How can collecting address the different publishing formats, e.g. graphic novels, minicomics, webcomics? As comics gain recognition alongside other art forms and are increasingly the subject of scholarship, more academic libraries naturally wish to expand their collecting activities into this hitherto neglected terrain. Many comics collections at American institutions have a decidedly domestic focusing on American superhero comics, newspaper strips, underground comix from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and, to a lesser extent, manga. Comics produced in the various countries and languages of Europe have remained mostly off the radar of collection development policies at North American research institutions.

Our panel surveys the European comics scene and offers practical suggestions about how and what to collect in this burgeoning field. Comics, often categorized as popular or fringe materials, continue to play a mostly minor role in academic library collections. European comics in particular represent an undercollected area owing to additional challenges such as inadequate distribution, limited international collection budgets, and lack of librarian expertise. Many libraries that have taken a serious interest in collecting comics have gone to the extreme of shelving them in special collections where they are better protected, but less available to researchers and other patrons. With a panel of experts, this program aims to dismiss notions of the marginality of comics and demonstrate how visual literature and graphic narratives representing a variety of languages and cultural contexts hold an important a place in research collections alongside scholarly texts and more traditional narrative formats. As more dissertations are filed, and more college-level classes are taught on comics, it only makes sense that more academic libraries should be expanding their international coverage of these publications.

Program Date/Time & Location

WHEN: Saturday, June 27, 2015, 1-2:30 pm
WHERE: Moscone Convention Center - Room 3004 West


José Alaniz - "The Non-Fiction Turn in Eastern European Comics"

Associate Professor, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, University of Washington
Powerpoint presentation (pdf, 8.6 MB)

Scott Bukatman - "Stacking the Shelves: Comics and Bibliophilia"

Professor of Film and Media Studies, Department of Art & Art History, Stanford University
Powerpoint presentation (pdf, 21.5 MB)

Mark Siegel - "Bringing French Comics Authors to the U.S. Reader"

Editorial Director, First Second Books
Powerpoint presentation (pdf, 3.2 MB)

Moderator, Jenny Robb

Curator and Associate Professor, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, The Ohio State University


  • José Alaniz has published two books, Komiks: Comic Art in Russia (University Press of Mississippi, 2010) and Death, Disability and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond (UPM, 2014). His articles have appeared in the International Journal of Comic Art, the Comics Journal, Ulbandus, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema, the Slavic and East European Journal, Comics Forum and Kinokultura, as well as such anthologies as The Ages of Superman: Essays on the Man of Steel in Changing Times (McFarland, 2012), The Cinema of Alexander Sokurov (I.B. Tauris, 2011) and Russian Children’s Literature and Culture (Routledge, 2007). Since 2011 he has served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF), the leading comics studies conference in the US. In 2014 he assumed the directorship of the University of Washington’s Disability Studies Program. His research interests include Death and Dying, Disability Studies, Film Studies, Eco-criticism and Comics Studies. His current projects include a “Disability in Alternative Comics” and a study on the representation of history in Czech graphic narrative.

  • Scott Bukatman is a cultural theorist and Professor of Film and Media Studies at Stanford University. His research explores how such popular media as film, comics, and animation mediate between new technologies and human perceptual and bodily experience. His books include Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction, one of the earliest book-length studies of cyberculture; a monograph on the film Blade Runner commissioned by the British Film Institute; and a collection of essays, Matters of Gravity: Special Effects and Supermen in the 20th Century. His most recent book, The Poetics of Slumberland: Animated Spirits and the Animating Spirit, celebrates play, plasmatic possibility, and the life of images in cartoons, comics, and cinema. Bukatman has been published in abundant journals and anthologies, including October, Critical Inquiry, Camera Obscura, and Science Fiction Studies. He is presently completing a study that uses Mike Mignola's Hellboy comics to better understand the ways in which comics engage and engross their readers.

  • Jenny Robb is Curator and Associate Professor of The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, the largest academic research institution dedicated to cartoons and comics. Before coming to Ohio State in 2005, she served as Curator of the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco for 5 years. She holds masters degrees in History and Museum Studies from Syracuse University. She is the author of several comics-related articles including “Bill Blackbeard: the Collector Who Rescued the Comics” in the Journal of American Culture and “From the Periodical Archives: Winsor McCay, George Randolph Chester and the Tale of the Jungle Imps” published in American Periodicals: A Journal of History, Criticism, & Bibliography. She has also curated numerous cartoon and comics exhibitions, including, most recently, Exploring Calvin and Hobbes, which debuted at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum in spring 2014 and traveled to Angoulême, France in January 2015.

  • Mark Siegel was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and grew up in France. He is the editorial director of First Second and an accomplished writer and illustrator. He is the illustrator of To Dance: A Ballerina's Graphic Novel, a Robert F. Sibert Award Honor Book, written by his wife, Siena Cherson Siegel; and author and illustrator of the picture book Moving House, published by Roaring Brook Press. The New York Times Best-Selling Sailor Twain is his most recent graphic novel.


  • Bibliography of secondary sources for the program (pdf, 1.2 MB)
  • Recommended publishers of European comics and graphics novels by country (GoogleDoc)
  • Resources on Bande Dessinée prepared by Amalivre especially for the program: 1) The Rise of the BD, 2) BD Publishers, 3) Manga, 4) From Press Illustration to 'Le BD-reportage'
  • Slideshow/bibliography of European comics and graphics novels selected by the WESS/SEES program committee: pdf (18.4 MB) or ppt (23.7 MB)
  • Vendor Catalogs: Amalivre (France/Belgium) | Casalini (Italy) | Eastview (Eastern Europe) | Harrassowitz (Germany) | Puvill (Spain) | Humanitatis (Spain) | Critical Studies on Comics and Graphic Novels: A selection of titles from Italy, France, Spain and Portugal (Casalini)

    Program Documents

    Thumb.gif Flyer for conference program (PDF, 291K)


    For more information on the program, please contact Claude Potts.

  • 2015 WESS Conference Planning Committee

    Claude Potts, Chair (UC Berkeley)
    Sam Dunlap (UC San Diego), Deb Raftus (U. of Washington), Kathleen Smith (Stanford), Jeffrey Staiger (U. of Oregon), Sarah Sussman (Stanford)

  • 2015 SEES Conference Planning Committee

    Kirill Tolpygo, Chair (UNC Chapel Hill)
    Thomas Keenan (Princeton), Liladhar Pendse (UC Berkeley)


    Program supported in part by a generous grant from Amalivre
    and by the ACRL Conference Program Fund
    Information on previous annual WESS programs available here.

    WESSWeb > Past WESS Conferences > WESS/SEES Program: Beyond Tintin: Collecting European Comics in the U.S.

    URL: http://wessweb.info/index.php/2015_WESS/SEES_Program

  • Personal tools