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Christian Alexius
Doctoral candidate, second cohort (2020-2023)

Personal Film Histories in Comics between Cinephile Practice and Alternative Film Historiography

How do comics deal with film history and which possibilities do they hold for their authors to discover and explore personal film histories? These are two essential questions at the heart of this dissertation. Comics like So Long, Silver Screen (Blutch, New York 2013) or A Fistful of Drawings (Joe Ciardiello, Seattle 2019) can be considered representatives of the migration of film historiography from the written word into other media contexts, as it emerges during the 1990s. The discussion that began at this time about the death of film as a result of its increasing digitisation also turns comics into an archive of cinematic images and secures the memories we have of them. In this context, the comics in focus combine a cinephile interest in film with practices that are primarily associated with fan culture – for example, by creating fictional making-of stories, as Italian comic artist SeSar does. The dissertation project thus not only discusses personal film histories, but also raises questions about the relationship between film and comics as well as comic drawing as a cinephile practice.

Fig. 1:
SeSar: King Kong! e altre storie, Mailand: Rizzoli, 1991, p. 25.
Fig. 2:
Blutch: Ein letztes Wort zum Kino, Berlin: Reprodukt, 2016.
Fig. 3:
Joe Ciardiello: A Fistful of Drawings, Seattle: Fantagraphics, 2019, p. 27.


Christian Alexius works at the Philipps-Universität Marburg and is currently a PhD candidate in the Graduiertenkolleg “Configurations of Film” at Goethe University, Frankfurt. He received his M.A. in film studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. During his studies, he volunteered at FILMZ – Festival des deutschen Kinos for many years, was awarded the Deutschlandstipendium twice and worked as a tutor of film history. On his website he collects texts about moments in films which reflect the cinephilia of their authors. His publications include Den Glauben an die Welt mit dem Wahnsinn bezahlen: Reflexionen zum postklassischen Kino (Baden-Baden 2020) and Paolo Sorrentino: Das Werk eines Ästheten (with Lucas Curstädt and Björn Hayer, Marburg 2020).