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Instituto Franklin > Events > Interdisciplinary Seminar. The Comic Book and the Spanish Civil War.


Interdisciplinary Seminar. The Comic Book and the Spanish Civil War.

The comic or graphic novel is a way of artistic expression that unites in a very peculiar and idiosyncratic way all sorts of stories in which all kinds of genres fit and which is aimed at all types of audience.

A fundamental characteristic of comic books is their ability to represent historical events. Specifically in the case of the Spanish Civil War, there are two recent studies: El cómic sobre la Guerra Civil española (The comic about the Civil War) by Michel Matly and Las caras de la Guerra (The faces of war) by Tomás Ortega, that show the importance that this conflict has had in the comic book not only nowadays, but also during the years of the conflict itself.

The aim of this seminar is to show how the comic book has played the role of a historian of the Spanish Civil War all throughout history, from the comic books that were published during the conflict to the most recent works that try to recover the historical memory.

This analysis will be carried out as a panel with some of the most relevant experts in comic book studies in Spain. The program of the seminar will be completed with a case study based on the capacity of the comic to adapt literary works, focusing in the works of Paul Preston, La Guerra Civil Española (The Spanish Civil War) and La Muerte de Guernica (The Death of the Guernica) and Soldados de Salamina adapted by José Pablo García.

Date: Thursday, May 23

Place: Seminar 3. Aulario María de Guzmán

Hour: 10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m


10.00-10.15. Welcome and program presentation. Francisco Manuel Sáez de Adana (Director of the Instituto Franklin-UAH).

10.15-12.15. Round Table: “Visions of the Spanish Civil War in Comics”. Michel Matly, Ivan Pintor and Francisco Manuel Sáez de Adana.

12.15-12.30. Break.

12.30-13.30. Conference: “Adapting Paul Preston. Analysis of La Guerra Civil Española, La Muerte de Guernica and Soldados de Salamina of José Pablo García” (with the presence of the author).

13.30-14.00. Conclusions.

Round Table

Michel Matly

French researcher associated with the CELIS laboratory of the Blaise Pascal de Clermont-Ferrand University and PhD in Hispanic Studies, with a thesis on “Comic books and the Spanish Civil War- representations and keys of analysis”. In the last three years he has published several articles on the war and the comic book in magazines of Spanish history and civilization, such as Pasado y Memoria (Alicante), Hispania Nova (Madrid), Les Cahiers de Framespa (Toulouse) or the Revista del Centro de Civilización Española Contemporánea (Paris). He publishes articles in magazines about comic books, such as Tebeosfera (Sevilla) and Comicalités (Paris) and collaborates with the French magazine Papiers Nickelés (Paris). He has presented papers on comic books and the Spanish Civil War at conferences in the University Carlos III (Madrid, 2015) and the University of Valencia (Valencia, 2015). In addition, he has collaborated in the preparation of the exposition “La memoria dibujada de los vencidos” (Saint-Denis, 2016).


Ivan Pintor Iranzo

PhD in Audiovisual Communication, scriptwriter and teacher of “Tendencias del Cine contemporáneo”, “Evolución de los lenguajes visuals” and “History of the comic book” in the Degree of Audiovisual Communication at the University Pompeu Fabra. In addition, he reaches “Encrucijadas contemporáneas entre cine, television y comic” in the Master’s Degree in Contemporary Film and Audiovisual Studies at the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. He has been writing in the supplement “Cultura/s” of the newspaper La Vanguardia for over a decade and in other publications, such as Transversal or El Viejo Topo, Shangri-La or Trama y Fondo.


Francisco Manuel Sáez de Adana 

Director of the Instituto Franklin-UAH. Professor of the University of Alcalá. Computer Science’s Department. In the field of engineering, he has published 30 articles in international magazines, a book and three book chapters; he has also participated in 64 international conferences, 31 Spanish conferences and in over 50 research projects. He worked at Arizona State University for six months as a Visiting Scholar in 2003 and as a visiting professor during two months in 2013. He has directed four doctoral theses. He has recently started to work in the field of the history of science and technology, within which he directs a project funded by the Instituto Franklin-UAH. He also works on issues related to comic books and the North American Pop Culture, a field in which he has published five book chapters and five articles in both national and international journals. Regarding this topic, he has received the Benjamin Franklin Scholarship for a short stay at Ohio State University.




Plenary Speaker

José Pablo García

(Málaga, 1982) is a comic artist. After winning several national contests, he published “Órbita 76”, with a script written by Gabriel Noguera. The author of “Las aventuras de Joselito” and “Vidas ocupadas”, two non-fiction comic books that deal, respectively, with the life of the famous singer nicknamed “el pequeño ruiseñor” (the little mockingbird) and the chronicle of the author’s trip to the occupied Palestian Territories, protected by Action Against Hunger and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). He is also behind the successful graphic adaptations of the essays of Paul Preston “La Guerra civil española” and “La muerte del Guernica”, as well as the work of Javier Cercas, “Soldados de Salamina”.

Jose Pablo García

This seminar is supported by the UAH PhD School (EDUAH) and is recognized as a branch-specific training activity.

The attendance at the Seminar is reserved to the first 25 applications received.

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