Archives pour la catégorie ACME Speaker Series

Illu Banyat K 1974

ACME Speaker Series – Kin-Wai Chu & Nicolas Verstappen

The Colonization of Cartoon in Nineteenth-Century East Asia (Kin-Wai Chu) & ‘Comics for a Better Life’: Social Realist Comics for Children in 1970s-80s Thailand (Nicolas Verstappen)

3 July 2024, 16:00-17:30 - KU Leuven, Erasmushuis (Blijde Inkomstraat 21, 3000 Leuven), room 03.15


The Colonization of Cartoon in Nineteententury East Asia

Kin-Wai Chu, Ghent University

The 19th century witnessed the meteoric ascent of print journalism, a phenomenon intricately woven into the fabric of the industrial revolution, imperialism, and colonialism. Cartoons, as a form of graphic satire, have long been a significant form of journalism and a barometer of press freedom. The term ‘cartoon’ was coined after the British illustrated satirical magazine Punch or The London Charivari (1841-1992, 1996-2002) which was itself inspired by the Paris-based La Charivari (1832-1937). Punch became a template for satirical magazines across the vast expanse of British Empire in the late nineteenth century, leading to the births of dozens of unofficial Asian offshoots, such as the Hong Kong-based The China Punch (1867-68, 1872-75) and the Yokohama-based The Japan Punch (1862-1898). These satirical cartoons could aptly evade press censorship with wit and artistry, albeit not without struggles. Continue la lecture

Jason Lutes, "Berlin", 2003. All rights reserved

ACME Speaker Series / Lukas Etter

« Ceci n’est pas une personne »: On Jason Lutes’ Berlin (1996–2018) as a Stylistic Showroom

Thursday 23 May, 14:00  / KU Leuven, Van Den Heuvelinstituut (Dekenstraat 2, 3000  Leuven), leslokaal 01.65

During its more than two decades of serial publication and beyond, Jason Lutes’ Berlin has been used by a considerable number of authors pursuing an ‘abstract’ approach to comics, i.e., for illustrating the structures and possibilities of graphic narratives in general terms. These (in a broad sense) didactic uses of Berlin may be explained by the wide variety of its comics-specific elements. The work is a ‘stylistic showroom’ in that it borrows from a number of styles rooted in distinct traditions of 20th-century graphic narratives, employing a variety of different page layouts, text-image combination techniques, and smooth transitions between its different subplots. Continue la lecture

Bingo 5


Politics and criticism in the Latin American comics world during the 1960s and 1970s

4 January 2024, 2:00-3:30 PM, Camelot Room, Third Floor, Blandijn, UGent

Within Latin America, the 1960s and the 1970s constitute a pivotal period for the comics art world. It was a moment when comics artists and intellectuals sought to assert what meant to produce comics in the region, establishing a clear contrast between the Latin American historietas/quadrinhos and the American comics. Echoing critiques against the “dependency” condition and the U.S. “cultural imperialism”, several Latin American editorial projects aimed at introducing new characters and themes to the comics scene. Continue la lecture



Comics as Computation

15 November 2023 — 10:45   |   ULiège, Faculté de philosophie, arts & lettres (Quai Roosevelt 1B – access from Place du XX août), building A4 (histoire), Room A4/R30 (ground floor).

A talk by Ilan Manouach, who will be presenting his postdoctoral research project (ULiège).


Nowadays, anyone can generate stunning algorithmic illustrations with a few inspired keywords. In the fast-evolving world of computational creativity, the potential impact of AI technologies on comics, a medium that has historically served as a laboratory for today’s global entertainment industries, is a case in point. With the term « synthetic comics, » I propose to describe comics content that was generated, modified or manipulated in a highly automated manner by way of machine learning. Continue la lecture

© Dupuis 2023 Goscinny/Morris


Two lectures by two visiting PhD students at the UGent.

Tuesday 13 June 2023, 10h00-12h00 am | ULB, Brussels, campus Solbosch, room AY2.107

Illustration © Dupuis 2023 Goscinny/Morris


The Imaginary Wild West: Transnational Tropes and the Franco-Belgian Cowboys as a Tool of Self-Reflection (a lecture by Audrey Garcia, University of California, Irvine)

Narrating Uncertainty through Comics: Precarious Times and Ghostly Worlds in Citéville and Citéruin by Jérôme Dubois (a lecture by Rodolfo Dal Canto, University of L’Aquila)



 The Imaginary Wild West: Transnational Tropes and the Franco-Belgian Cowboys as a Tool of Self-Reflection (a lecture by Audrey Garcia, University of California, Irvine)

This project focuses on the trope of the Western and the Western cowboy firstly as a tool for transnational exchange and also for exploring national imaginaries, specifically, projections of Franco-Belgian identity. In this study, the prominence of the American cowboy rises to the forefront as I present the cowboy and the mythological West to be a “safe space” for Belgian comics to explore their relation to power and its identity through a third party. Because the mythologized West is an adaptable stage found within the adventure genre, it has potential to convey localized ideologies. Cowboys’ unique openness results from the fact that the “American” cowboy is truly not American at all; cowboys popularized by cinema are based on Italian Spaghetti Westerns or are inspired by tales of Mexican ‘vaqueros’. Therefore, the cowboy is a figment of imagination rooted in idealism and a mythologized version of the American West. The inherent transnationality of cowboys creates a figure capable of becoming adapted by any specific culture. The transnationalism of cowboys and geographic distance of its setting allows the genre to be used as a tool of fantasy that removes itself directly while maintaining its Franco-Belgian characteristics. Furthermore, the ability for these figures to travel internationally allows it to open pathways for various social commentary and expansion into new iterations of the trope.


Narrating Uncertainty through Comics: Precarious Times and Ghostly Worlds in Citéville and Citéruin by Jérôme Dubois (a lecture by Rodolfo Dal Canto, PhD student at the University of L’Aquila)

In 2020, French cartoonist Jérôme Dubois simultaneously published a couple of comics for two different publishing houses: Citéville, brought out by Cornélius, and Citéruin, released by Éditions Matière. The former features nine short chapters set in a major urban center, Citéville: here the characters are victims of various forms of systemic violence, within dynamics that border on dystopia. Citéruin looks like the same comic, with the division into short stories with the same title, identical layout and framing, with one fundamental change: the streets of Citéville are deserted, completely devoid of human presence, and the buildings seem to have been abandoned long ago or struck by a sudden catastrophe. Jérôme Dubois’ double work shows different levels of precariousness, which turn out to coexist in a layered dialogue. On the one hand, Citéville shows through a grotesque style some characteristics peculiar to our contemporary times, such as job precariousness or the difficulty of building a future within dynamics that are as rigid as they are absurd; on the other hand, Citéruin stages, through a story told by subtraction, the existential uncertainty of humanity as a whole. Through an original use of tools proper to the comic medium, the author makes human presence coexist with his own absence, inviting reflection on the time and space we inhabit, and the ruin inscribed in them. The presentation will navigate through these intersections, analyzing the two texts using an approach that links the themes related to ecocriticism, posthumanism, and precarity with the formal strategies through which they are told, using a medium-specific approach.

photo_2022-10-15_13-08-41 (2)


Comics in the reading ecosystem: Discussing children’s comics as part of literary education in the Spanish Elementary School

Friday 12 May 2023, 15h00-17h00 | KULeuven, Mgr. Sencie Instituut (MSI), room 02.15

The lecture by Clara Vilaboa Sáenz (PhD student of Education and Literature, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona) will be followed by a group discussion of the book in open access Sugar, Spice, and the Not So Nice: Comics Picturing Girlhood, ed. by Dona Pursall and Eva Van de Wiele (only chapter 1 and chapter 9).


Elementary Schools constitute a key context in the literary experience of the child reader as open, public spaces in which all children have an opportunity to encounter literature. This research project aims to analyse the literary and pedagogic value of children’s comics and focuses on the double impact that comics have as tools to promote reading and as strategies to develop the multimodal reading competence. To document and interpret the reality of comics in the reading ecosystem of the school, we have carried out an ethnographic, collaborative study on a public school in Spain (6- to 12-year-olds) that has focused on the needs, interests and challenges that appear when integrating comics in the school. Here, we have designed two main lines of action: the analysis of how comics are integrated and promoted from the school library and the analysis of the pedagogy implied in the promotion, reading and discussion of comics in a 4th-year classroom (8- to 10-year-olds). In addition, we have documented the perspectives of children, teachers, librarians and families to have a holistic perception of the role of comics in the school. This ethnographic study constitutes the core of the research project and has been complemented with a theoretical review of the research published on the intersection of comics and Elementary Education between the years 2000 to 2023. Thus, the project has allowed us to acquire a longitudinal and contextualised perspective of the role that children’s comics have in Elementary School.



“Traduit du flamand”? How Les Noceurs (2010) by Brecht Evens found its way to France and French-speaking Belgium

Tuesday 25 April 2023, 13h00-15h00 | UGent, Campus Boekentoren, Blandijnberg 2: Faculteitszaal (1st floor)

The lecture by Timothy Sirjacobs (KULeuven, FWO) will be followed by a group discussion of the book in open access How Comics Travel by Katherine Kelp-Stebbins (only the introduction, chapter 1 and chapter 3).


In 2010 the French publishing house Actes Sud issued ‘Les Noceurs’ (original Dutch title: ‘Ergens waar je niet wil zijn’; English title: ‘The Wrong Place’) by the Flemish graphic novelist Brecht Evens (1986). Despite the financial aid by a prominent literary institution of his home region and its promotion of Evens’ work at the international festival of Angoulême (2009), this was still a seemingly audacious endeavor. Especially considering that at the moment of purchasing the translation rights (2009) the graphic novel was an unpublished graduate project of a then 22-year-old Flemish-Belgian graphic artist. In spite of these obstacles, the translation of the Dutch language original found its way in the catalog of an Arles-based publishing house that promotes writers such as W.G. Sebald, Imre Kertész and recent Goncourt-winning author Nicolas Mathieu. This presentation will thus be centered around the following questions: “How did ‘Ergens waar je niet wil zijn’ find its way to a French literary publisher, how was it received in France, and to what extent did this ‘French mobility’ influence Evens’ reception in the French-speaking part of Belgium?”

This case study is situated within the framework of BELTRANS, a joint project of KULeuven, UCLouvain and the Belgian National Library (KBR) that aims to analyze intra-Belgian literary translation flows between 1970 and 2020.

ACME Speaker Series — Pablo Turnes

Trauma, memory and history. The (re)construction of the recent past in 21st Century Latin American comics

26 November 2021 — 16:00   |   ULB, Campus du Solbosch, Bâtiment A, Porte Z, 4e niveau, local 103 (salle de réunion) : A.Z.4.103

Jeús Cossio - Conga. Vida y muerte en tiempos del extractivismo (2014)

Jeús Cossio – Conga. Vida y muerte en tiempos del extractivismo (2014)

The Argentinian comics scholar Pablo Turnes will share an in-progress research project.

Project description

Since Maurice Halbwachs’ reflections, ‘collective memory’ has become an increasingly complex subject. How to tackle this issue from contemporary comics? Studies on memory and its representation in comics have been booming since the publication of Art Spiegelman’s Maus (1980-1991) and its impact on key memory studies scholars such as Marianne Hirsch, Michael Rothberg and Andreas Huyssen. These works were crucial to develop a reflection on how popular culture could contribute to new ways of grappling such complex historical events like the Shoah. Continue la lecture


Table-ronde autour d’(À Suivre)

Table-ronde autour d’(À Suivre)

avec Johan De Moor, Sylvain Lesage, Benoît Glaude, Gert Meesters & Éric Warnauts 

Organisé dans le cadre du festival LaBD

Mardi 19 février 2019, 14h
Salle des Professeurs (Place du 20 Août, 4)

Le journal (À Suivre) (1978-1997) proposait de la bande dessinée pour un public adulte et voulait rapprocher la bande dessinée et la littérature. Plusieurs auteurs très connus, comme Pratt et Tardi, fonctionnaient comme figures de proue, mais de jeunes Liégeois (Servais, Warnauts & Raives) y contribuaient également. Cette table ronde rassemblera des chercheurs qui ont pu consulter les archives de l’éditeur pour les analyser dans leur livre (À Suivre). Archives d’une revue culte  (Presses universitaires François Rabelais, 2018) avec des auteurs qui ont publié dans le journal et qui l’ont donc connue de l’intérieur.

Continue la lecture

ACME Speaker Series – Indie Comics in Hong Kong

ACME Speaker Series

7 December 2018 – 4 PM
Petit Physique
Place du 20-août, Liège

Independent Comics from British Hong Kong to Hong Kong, China

 a conference by Kin Wai Chu (FWO/KULeuven)

Figure 1-full page

Siuhak, « HSBCrazy », Fake Forensic Science, Volume 1, 2006, pages 8​-9

Hong Kong independent comics refer to those comics produced solely by the author-artist who pursues comic aesthetics and narratives that are different from mainstream comics. Their emergence does not simply reflect a transnational influence of the alternative comics movement initiated in Europe and Northern American regions in the 1990s. More importantly, they came about at the transition era of Hong Kong–from British Hong Kong to Hong Kong, China. This talk will begin with an introduction to Hong Kong independent comics and then zoom in on some examples expressing the changing politics and Hong Kong identity.

Kin Wai Chu is a PhD Fellow of the Research Foundation of Flanders (FWO) at the University of Leuven, Belgium. She researches and writes on comics and cultural studies.