One of the most popular picture books series is Sven Nordqvist’s Pettersson & Findus – no wonder that the German film director Ali Samadi Ahadi has recently directed a children’s film based on some of Nordqvist’s stories. For the 50th supplement of the (German-language) Lexikon des Kinder- und Jugendfilms I have written a small article that investigates the film’s production history and analyzes selected aspects of the film: Even though it mainly targets elementary-school-level children, Pettersson & Findus – Kleiner Quälgeist, große Freundschaft employs a surprisingly complex cinematic aesthetics, using the arsenal of contemporary blockbuster cinema.
Tobias Kurwinkel and I were invited for a talk at the Oldenburg symposium “farb klang reim rhythmus” (Colour, sound, rhyme, rhythm). In our presentation “Überlegungen zur Auralität im Bilderbuch” we sketched a way of applying our concept of aurality, originally developed for the analysis of the entanglement of sound and image in children’s film, to the analysis of picturebooks. The symposium, organized by the Forschungsstelle Kinder- und Jugendliteratur (OlFoKi, Research Center for Children’s Literature) of the University of Oldenburg, took place from november 12 to 14, and it assembled many brilliant and talented picturebook scholars as well as musicians, for instance the composer Henrik Albrecht, the conductor-researcher Reinhard Gagel, and the reseacher-publisher Christian A. Bachmann Thanks to the organizers, Mareile Oetken and Lars Oberhaus, for the kind invitation! Here is a link to the flyer of the program.
Comics and grapic novels are becoming a major focus of German intermedia research, and children’s media scholars are no exception. I published a small review on the academic anthology Bild ist Text ist Bild. Narration und Ästhetik in der Graphic Novel on KinderundJugendmedien.de. The volume, edited by Susanne Hochreiter and Ursula Klingenböck, collects a number of inspiring articles on various aspects in which narration and aesthetics figure in comics and graphic novels. Some scholars, such as Dietrich Grünewald or Bernd Dolle-Weinkauff, provide theoretical-historical reflections of the matter, while others attempt a more hands-on, analytic approach – some with a gender perspective. Very nice are the meta-comics of a number of comic book artists on the intricacies of thinking about comics academically. Fans of Scott McCloud’s marvelous Understanding Comics will be delighted. (The review is written in German language.)