Monthly Archive for February, 2010

Politiken and the Mohammed Cartoon: The Wrong Settlement

The following is the official press release from the Danish Comics Council on yesterday’s news of Danish newspaper Politiken‘s settlement with eight Muslim organisations on its publication of the most infamous Mohammed cartoon:

The Danish Comics Council has learned that the Copenhagen daily Politiken has reached a settlement with eight international Muslim organisations representing the descendants of the Prophet Mohammed. In it, Politiken apologises for having offended Muslim sentiments, but not for having published the infamous Bomb in the Turban (which they did in connection with the news of a assasination plot against cartoonist Kurt Westergaard in February 2008).

The Danish Comics Council disapproves of Politiken‘s decision, which we think threatens freedom of speech. Politiken‘s published Westergaard’s cartoon in full accordance with Danish law and press ethics, so there is nothing to apologise for. The risk of feeling offended by an article or a cartoon is, for better or worse, an essential condition in a society with freedom of speech.

By this settlement, Politiken has weathered the threat of a major lawsuit, which the offended party would probably have lost, if it had been heard by a European court, just like we saw it with the lawsuit against the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo for having published the Danish cartoons.

In an interview with his own newspaper, the editor-in-chief at Politiken, Tøger Seidenfaden, says that the settlement “may help ease some of the enduring tensions that have continued popping up.” It is possible that Politiken will succeed in reducing the strain on society posed by this issue in the short term, but at the same time it encourages those opposing freedom of speech in their future endeavours. This is worrying.

The Danish Comics Council hopes that the other Danish newspapers will avoid the temptation of similar settlements in this case. Our freedom of speech is at risk.

Dansk symposium om tegneserieforskning på KU

Dansk tegneserieråd præsenterer nu, i samarbejde med Institut for Kunst- og Kulturstudier og Komiks.dk, et en-dagssymposium for danske tegneserieforskere på IKK. Det indgår i det undervisningsforløb om tegneserier som hovedarrangør og PhD-studerende ved instituttet, Rikke Platz Cortsen pt. kører — et forløb, der i maj kulminerer med en international forskningsdag.

Det foregår mandag d. 22/3 kl.11-17 i lokale 23.4.39, Det nye KUA:

Her er listen over forelæsninger:

  • Hans Christian Christiansen: ” Tegneseriens fortællinger – et tværmedialt perspektiv”
  • Liva Skogemann: ” Komplekse fortællestrategier i nyere tegneserier”
  • Steen Christiansen: ” Mellem drøm og medie: David Macks Kabuki”
  • Carsten Fogh Nielsen: ”Why so serious? – Jokeren som normativt nulpunkt”
  • Anne Magnussen: ”Tegneserier og Historie”
  • Andreas Gregersen: ”Digitale tegneserier, digital tegneseriekultur, digital kultur?”
  • Alle interesserede er meget velkomne, men af hensyn til lokalets størrelse bedes man tilmelde sig til forskningsdagen.

    For yderligere oplysninger, det detaljerede program og tilmelding kontakt venligst Rikke Platz Cortsen: rpc@hum.ku.dk

    Contemporary Comics in Copenhagen – Call for Papers

    The Danish Comics Council is organising an international symposium on comics to be held at the University of Copenhagen on Friday 21 May to coincide with the comics festival Komiks.dk, which will take place that weekend, 22-23 May. The keynote address will be given by Jacques Samson, author with Benoît Peeters of the recent Chris Ware — La bande dessinée réinventé. Ware, not coincidentally, will be amongst the guests of the festival, along with Dan Clowes, Charles Burns, Dave Gibbons, Kevin O’Neill, Frank Quitely and others.

    Here is our call for papers — please spread the word, and please send us an abstract should you wish to contribute a paper at the symposium! More information can be found at the symposium’s official website.

    Art by Cav Bøgelund.

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    Kunstrådets uddelinger til tegneserier 2009

    kunstraadet.gifOvre på Dansk Tegneserieråds hjemmeside, kan man nu læse en opgørelse over Kunstrådets uddeling af støtte til tegneserier og tegneserieskabere i 2009.

    Uden at medregne de seks 100.000-kroners legater, der er blevet uddelt til tegneserietegnere til støtte for illustrationsprojekter, der sandsynligvis ikke er tegneserier, er det samlede beløb på 478.815, hvoraf 390.000 gik til tegneserieprojekter og 88.815 til rejselegater. Alt i alt et anseligt beløb i forhold til tidligere år og mere end de kr. 400.000, der var til rådighed for Litteraturrådets i 2003 afviklede Tegneseriepulje, og mere end de forgående år.

    Alt i alt en positiv udvikling for tegneseriens tilstand i det kulturelle system, om end man stadig kan spørge sig selv om, hvad den røde tråd i uddelingerne er. Det er imidlertid svært at konkludere ret meget, når man ikke kender til de ansøgninger, der ikke opnåede støtte. Hvis jeg får tid, vil jeg grave lidt og muligvis skrive lidt mere senere.

    Picks of the Week

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    The picks of the week from around the web.

    Comics time! This week I read a some good comics online. Apologies if you’ve already seen them posted elsewhere.

  • Yuichi Yokoyama: “Outdoor”. Great ecology-themed short piece from the master of kinetic comics.
  • John Porcellino: King Cat #63. The awesome group comics blog What Things Do now features an issue of King Cat, which is about as good as any recent work from one of the masters of contemporary comics.
  • USS Catastrophe: “Leon Beyond in the 66-Year Stink”. Zettwoch, Huizenga and May take their triviameister Leon Beyond on a tour of St. Louis’ polluted history, delirious factoid-style.
  • Ego comme X. The French publisher’s website has oodles of excellent comics from the world-class cartoonists it its stable available online. In addition to extracts from some great books, a number of short pieces appear in their entirety. I particularly recommend “Émile” by Fabrice Neaud, the short “Soeurs Zabîme” pieces by the late great Aristophane.
  • Kevin O’Neill til Komiks.dk

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    Så er endnu en international gæst til den kommende danske, internationale tegneseriefestival, Komiks.dk, blevet annonceret. Britiske Kevin O’Neill har en stolt fortid i seriemagasinet 2000AD, særligt med “Nemesis the Warlock”, forfattet af Pat Mills, og var i mange år bedst kendt for den veldrejede og morsomme, Judge-Dredd-på-Epo-tæsker-superhelte-serie Marshall Law, ligeledes med Mills bag skrivemaskinen.

    Hans claim to fame i dag er naturligvis The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, forfattet af Alan Moore, der har givet ham mulighed for at vise sit talents bredde hinsides satirisk ekspressionisme. Det er i stigende grad blevet klart hvorledes han arbejder i klar forlængelse ikke blot af af den britiske tradition for såvel væsset satire, men også dens Kitchen Sink-realisme, hvilket giver de groteske løjer en overraskende fintfølt menneskelig dimension. Det lader til at blive en fin festival i år!

    Læs pressemeddelelsen her.

    Thorhauge om selvcensurdebatten

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    Dansk Tegneserieråds formand, Thomas Thorhauge, udtaler sig officielt i debatten om selvcensur ovre på Rådets hjemmeside.

    Tegning af Claus Seidel, fra Caricature.dk.

    Angoulême 2010: The Flix!

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    Check in for the official Comics Journal/Metabunker photo reportage from this year’s Angoulême festival. Oh, and peep the Ruppert/Mulot Cent pour Cent show:

    Angoulême 2010: Aftermath

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    Right. Sunday at the Angoulême festival is always a bit of a wash when one lives abroad and hasn’t booked another night in France, but now it’s Monday and here are some thoughts on the festival as a whole.

    The policy of announcing the festival awards and the Grand Prix winner on Sunday afternoon, instated last year, has removed a significant element of excitement from the festival — not only does it negate the popular rush to acquire the winning books from the publishers’ tents and make the awards ceremony an event an afterthought rather than a centerpiece, it removes from the awards an element of discourse and sense of import for the guests that might not compare with the Monday morning press, but surely still counts for something, seeing that it’s visited by some 200.000 people. Continue reading ‘Angoulême 2010: Aftermath’

    Ruppert/Mulot at TCJ.com

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    It’s been a long time coming, but my interview with rising star cartoonists Florent Ruppert and Jérôme Mulot, conducted in Angoulême last year, is now online over at TCJ.com. Look for an essay on their work in the not too far future.