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Schneider, Greice. What Happens When Nothing Happens: Boredom and everyday life in contemporary comics. Studies in European Comics and Graphic Novels. Leuven: Leuven Univ. Press, 2016. 
Added by: joachim (9/6/16, 10:17 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (11/16/20, 1:18 PM)
Resource type: Book
Language: en: English
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 9789462700734
BibTeX citation key: Schneider2016a
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Categories: General
Keywords: Alternative Comics, Chabosy. Laurent, France, Narratology, Tomine. Adrian, Trondheim. Lewis, USA, Ware. Chris
Creators: Schneider
Publisher: Leuven Univ. Press (Leuven)
Views: 131/1491
Contemporary graphic novels show an interesting shift from the extraordinary to the ordinary in slice-of-life stories in which nothing happens. Present-day graphic accounts are inhabited by melancholic characters whining about the lack of meaning in life. This book examines this intriguing transition and brings a historical, aesthetical and narratological approach to comics in which boredom is not only a topic, but also awakens a deliberate affective response in the very experience of reading. This volume brings together close readings of work by Lewis Trondheim, Chris Ware and Adrian Tomine.

Table of Contents


What Is Interesting about Boredom?
Defining a Slippery Corpus
Two Approaches and Three Authors

Part One: The Relationship between Comics and Everyday Life and Boredom

1. A Brief History of Boredom
Boredom and Modernity: New Words for a New Feeling
Avoiding or Enduring Boredom?
Heidegger and the Phenomenology of Boredom
Benjamin and the Atrophy of Experience

2. Boredom and the Everyday in Comics
Keeping Boredom Away
Gag a Day: Repetition and Variation in Comic Strips
Escaping Tediousness: Super-hero Comic Books and BDs
From Underground Comix to Alternative Comics
In Praise of the Loser
Gender and Boredom in Alternative Comics
The Joy and the Burden of the Comics Artist

3. Four Approaches Towards the Everyday
Grasping the Everyday
Observational Humour
Derisive Humour

Part Two: The Ambiguity of Boredom in Terms of an Aesthetic Phenomenon

4.The Poetics of Boredom
A Dynamics of Boredom and Interest
The Paradox of Boredom
A Plea for Attention
Slowness and Speed
Repetition and Variation
Minimalism and Excess
On Gestures and Facial Expressions

Part Three: The Narratological Perspective of the Dialectics of Boredom

5. Boredom as a Narratological Concept
Uneventful Eventfulness
And So What? Tellability and the ‘Point’ of the Story
On Boredom and Narrative Tension

6. What Happens When Nothing Happens
Linearity and Tabularity in Narrative Tension
Defying the Cliffhanger
Open-Ended Everyday and Diary Comics
When Suspense Is Suspended
Expectation Becomes the Event
Eventfulness: Too Much or Too Little?

Part Four: Focus on the Works of Lewis Trondheim, Chris Ware and Adrian Tomine

7. The Little Nothings of Lewis Trondheim
Minimalism, Constraints and Repetition
Rabbits and Dungeons in a Neo-Baroque Farce
The Drama of Having Nothing to Tell

8. Adrian Tomine: Lost Gazes, Detached Minds
From Mini-Comics to Graphic Novels and Back to Floppies
In Praise of Apathy in the Name of Honesty
Graphic Transparency and Linear Reading
Reticent Endings and Suspended Gaze

9. Chris Ware: Resisting Narrative Immersion
Against Immersion
Temporal Immersion: In Defence of Slow Reading
Emotional Immersion: Clear Line and Graphic Empathy
Spatial Immersion: Playing with Page Layout
(Un)eventfulness in Building Stories
Against Distraction

Works Cited

Added by: joachim  Last edited by: joachim
Rez.: Laura Schlichting: The Depiction and Interpretation of the Ambiguous Nature of Boredom and Everyday Life in Contemporary Comics. In: KULT_online 49 (2017).
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