Leuven University Press
Boredom and melancholy in the experience of readingContemporary graphic novels show an interesting shift from the extraordinary to the ordinary in slice-of-life stories in which nothing happens. Present-day graphic accounts are inhabited by melancholic characters whining about the lack of meaning in life. This book examines this intriguing transition and brings a historical, aesthetical and narratological approach to comics in which boredom is not only a topic, but also awakens a deliberate affective response in the very experience of reading. This volume brings together close readings of work by Lewis Trondheim, Chris Ware and Adrian Tomine.
With a foreword by Raphäel Baroni (University of Lausanne).
With 'What Happens When Nothing Happens' Greice Schneider lays the groundwork for an aesthetics of boredom and everyday life in comics by steadily exploring and travelling between the concepts of comics, boredom, and narratology. The author sets important constraints on comics storytelling in relationship to boredom by drawing on works of contemporary comic scholars. Moreover, the book historically traces the development of the concept of boredom, pointing out that there is no universally accepted definition of boredom. The term has been applied in many cultural contexts and covers a variety of states of mind. The book furthermore offers tools to analyse boredom in contemporary comics, since boredom is not yet a narratological concept.[...] this publication is worth reading, perhaps less for laymen interested in sequential art than for comics scholars and boredom experts. And this read in particular is truly an escape from boredom.Laura Schlichting, KULT_online, Review Journal for the Study of Culture, No 49 (2017)