Intercultural Crossovers, Transcultural Flows: Manga/Comics edition:1 location:University of Cologne date:30 September - October 2 2010
Amateur comics are a key medium of expression for fans not only in Japan, but also in North America and Europe, where they are classified as “fan art”. Scholars of manga and comics tend to ignore these vibrant comics-creating communities, being under the mistaken assumption that the content of fan comics must be entirely different from commercially published comics and manga. In reality, the main difference is often simply one of legal categories. As a first step towards cross-cultural examinations of fan-created comics, I will document the visual contents of several hundred Japanese amateur manga and amateur manga’s European and North American counterparts based on the same source work (Harry Potter). Through a comparative analysis of the ways in which fan artists visualize established characters, sexual content, and humour (main themes in fanwork everywhere), I will show how culturally defined visual codes influence visuals in fan-created comics and establish transcultural influences between Japanese and North American fan-created comics. Finally, I will propose a non-restrictive way of interpreting the similarities and differences found.