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Ahrens, Jörn and Arno Meteling, eds. Comics and the City: Urban space in print, picture and sequence. London, New York: Continuum, 2010. 
Added by: joachim (7/20/09, 1:29 AM)   Last edited by: joachim (4/1/22, 4:28 PM)
Resource type: Book
Language: en: English
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 978-0-8264-0389-6
BibTeX citation key: Ahrens2010
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Categories: General
Keywords: Architecture, City, Collection of essays, Space
Creators: Ahrens, Meteling
Publisher: Continuum (London, New York)
Views: 56/1976
Comics and the City deals with possibly the most important aspect of the aesthetics and narratives of comics—urban topography and environment. This collection of essays covers a variety of international approaches from the three main comic book cultures: the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Not only is the city depicted repeatedly in comic books, but it also serves as a major structural and aesthetic influence on them. Comics emerged parallel to, and in several ways intertwined with, the development of modern urban mass societies at the turn of the 20th century. On the one hand, urban topoi, self-portrayals, forms of urban cultural memories, and variant readings of the city (strolling, advertising, architecture, detective stories, mass phenomena, street life, etc.) are all incorporated into comics. On the other hand, comics have unique abilities to capture urban space and city life because of their hybrid nature, consisting of words, pictures, and sequences. These formal aspects of comics are also to be found within the cityscape itself: one can see the influence of comic book aesthetics all around us today. With chapters on the very earliest comic strips, and on artists as diverse as Alan Moore, Carl Barks, Will Eisner and Jacques Tardi, Comics and the City is an important new collection of international scholarship that will help to define the field for many years to come.

Table of Contents

Notes on the Contributors (vii)

Jörn Ahrens and Arno Meteling: Introduction (1)

I. History, Comics, and the City
1. Jens Balzer: “Hully Gee, I’m a Hieroglyphe” – Mobilizing the Gaze and the Invention of Comics in New York City, 1895 (19)
2. Ole Frahm: Every Window Tells a Story: Remarks on the Urbanity of Early Comic Strips (32)
3. Anthony Enns: The City as Archive in Jason Lutes’ Berlin (45)

II. Retrofuturistic and Nostalgic Cities
4. Henry Jenkins: “The Tomorrow that Never Was” – Retrofuturism in the Comics of Dean Motter (63)
5. Stefanie Diekmann: Remembrance of Things to Come: François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters’ Cities of the Fantastic (84)
6. Michael Cuntz: Paris au pluriel: Depictions of the French Capital in Jacques Tardi’s Comic Book Writing (101)

III. Superhero Cities
7. William Uricchio: The Batman’s Gotham City™: Story, Ideology, Performance (119)
8. Arno Meteling: A Tale of Two Cities: Politics, and Superheroics in Starman and Ex Machina (133)
9. Anthony Lioi: The Radiant City: New York as Ecotopia in Promethea, Book V (150)
10. Jason Bainbridge: “I am New York” – Spider-Man, New York City and the Marvel Universe (163)

IV. Locations of Crime
11. Greg M. Smith: Will Eisner, Vaudevillian of the Cityscape (183)
12. Björn Quiring: “A Fiction That We Must Inhabit” – Sense Production in Urban Spaces According to Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell (199)
13. Jörn Ahrens: The Ordinary Urban: 100 Bullets and the Clichés of Mass Culture (214)

V. The City-Comic as a Mode of Reflection
14. André Suhr: Seeing the City through a Frame: Marc-Antoine Mathieu’s Acquefacques-Comics (231)
15. Andreas Platthaus: Calisota or Bust: Duckburg vs. Entenhausen in the Comics of Carl Barks (247)
16. Thomas Becker: Enki Bilal’s Woman Trap: Reflections on Authorship under the Shifting Boundaries between Order and Terror in the City (265)

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