On September 26, my students and I visited the exhibition Manga, Comics, and CO. The New Culture of German Comics at the Goethe Zentrum Atlanta. The exhibit featured an overview over the independent scene that emerged after the Fall of the Berlin Wall with artists like Anke Feuchtenberger, Mawil, or Line Howen. Our tourguide was a graduate student in Sequential Arts at the SCAD, the renowned Savannah College of Art and Design. He is a comic expert as his Master’s thesis consists of creating his own graphic novel.
All of the 15 students who attended the exhibit were intrigued by the very diverse comic styles. One student even remarked that “the Germans took comics to a whole new level by invoking not only humor in their art but also social and political issues.” My GER 101 students wished they could have understood more of the words in the panels already. This comment made me very happy as it shows how eager they are to learn German. Personally, I was impressed by the transnational nature of the comics. Although the exhibit featured “German” comics, we could see influences from Belgian/French styles, American super hero comics, and Japanese mangas. Those transnational influences clearly question the very idea of “German” art.
Update 13 October 2011: We are also featured at the Oglethorpe University Blog!
This post is dedicated to my GER 101, GER 201, and GER 400 students.