Comics of the New Europe

Reflections and Intersections

Edited by Martha Kuhlman and José Alaniz

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A new generation of European cartoonists

Bringing together the work of an array of North American and European scholars, this collection highlights a previously unexamined area within global comics studies. It analyses comics from countries formerly behind the Iron Curtain like East Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Ukraine, given their shared history of WWII and communism. In addition to situating these graphic narratives in their national and subnational contexts, Comics of the New Europe pays particular attention to transnational connections along the common themes of nostalgia, memoir, and life under communism. The essays offer insights into a new generation of European cartoonists that looks forward, inspired and informed by traditions from Franco-Belgian and American comics, and back, as they use the medium of comics to reexamine and reevaluate not only their national pasts and respective comics traditions but also their own post-1989 identities and experiences.

Contributors: Max Bledstein (University of Winnipeg), Dragana Obradović (University of Toronto), Aleksandra Sekulić (University of Arts in Belgrade), Pavel Kořínek (Institute of Czech Literature, Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague), Martin Foret (Palacký University), Michael Scholz (Uppsala University), Sean Eedy (Carleton University), Elizabeth Nijdam (University of British Columbia), Ewa Stańczyk (University of Amsterdam), Eszter Szép (Eötvös Loránd University)

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

In this video Martha Kuhlman discusses various aspects of the book 'Comics of the New Europe', focusing in particular on Czech authors.

General Introduction: Comics of the 'New' Europe 
Martha Kuhlman, José Alaniz

Part 1: The Former Yugoslav States

Un-Drawn Experience: Visualizing Trauma in Aleksandar Zograf’s Regards from Serbia
Max Bledstein

Filial Estrangement and Figurative Mourning in the Work of Nina Bunjevac
Dragana Obradović

Reality Check Through the Historical Avant-garde: Danilo Milošev Wostok
Aleksandra Sekulić

Part 2: Czechoslovakia/the Czech Republic

Facets of Nostalgia: Text-centric Longing in Comics and Graphic Novels by Pavel Čech
Pavel Kořínek

The Avant-Garde Aesthetic of Vojtěch Mašek
Martha Kuhlman

Regardless of Context: Graphic Novels with the Faceless (and Homelandless) Hero of Branko Jelinek
Martin Foret

Part 3: Germany

Co-Opting Childhood and Obscuring Ideology in Mosaik von Hannes Hegen, 1959-1974
Sean Eedy

Images of Spies and Counter Spies in East German Comics
Michael F. Scholz

Towards a Graphic Historicity: Authenticity and Photography in the German Graphic Novel
Elizabeth “Biz” Nijdam

Part 4: Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary

Women, Feminism and Polish Comic Books: Frąś/Hagedorn’s Totalnie nie nostalgia
Ewa Stańczyk

Igor Baranko and National Precarity in Post-Soviet Ukrainian Comics
José Alaniz

The Autobiographical Mode in Post-Communist Romanian Comics:

Everyday Life in Brynjar Åbel Bandlien’s Strîmb Living and Andreea Chirică’s The Year of the Pioneer
Mihaela Precup

Avatars and Iteration in Contemporary Hungarian Autobiographical Comics
Eszter Szép


About the authors


Format: Edited volume - free ebook - PDF

290 pages

18 color images, 23 b&w images

ISBN: 9789461665270

Publication: May 02, 2023

Series: Studies in European Comics and Graphic Novels 7

Languages: English

Stock item number: 134524


José Alaniz is professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Martha Kuhlman is professor of Comparative Literature in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at Bryant University.
Altogether, this volume represents a very welcome and stimulating introduction to comics production in a region that has been overlooked by critics. [...] this collection does represent an intriguing and novel exploration of new areas of study for comics scholarship. The introduction makes clear that the editors “consider this book an open invitation for further research” (13). It can only be hoped that their call will find receptive ears, and that some at least of the obviously worthwhile works they discuss will also find suitable publishers in the “old” Europe or North America.
Vittorio Frigerio, Paradoxa, No. 32, 2021

Carefully edited by two specialists of comics culture and Slavic culture with a longtime interest in the margins of Western culture, this collection on the comics culture of Central and Eastern Europe (that is the countries that have progressively joined the EU after the fall of the Berlin Wall) is much more than an eye-opener. The book does not only disclose a wide range of a virtually “unknown” production (and why not confess that I felt ashamed of my own ignorance as a European scholar after reading Comics of the New Europe?), it also offers a new insight of the very meaning of making and reading comics in cultural, economic, political and ideological contexts that are sometimes very different from what we take for granted.
Jan Baetens, IMAGE [&] NARRATIVE, Vol. 22, No.1 (2021)