The yearly DH conference will be taking place in Utrecht, the Netherlands, this year, and we’re happy to report that we’ll be participating with two papers. There were a total 891 (!) proposals, apparently, with an acceptance rate of 42 per cent. Alexander Dunst & Rita Hartel will be talking about “Quantifying Complexity in Multimodal Media: Alan Moore and the ‘Density’ of the Graphic Novel”. Rita and Oliver Moisich will also be presenting a poster on our editor software, which is available for download in a new version and with new features here. See you in Utrecht!
David Dubray and Jochen Laubrock just published a preprint on automatic speech balloon detection and segmentation using deep CNNs, https://arxiv.org/abs/1902.08137. The fully convolutional model, trained on our GNC annotations, achieves state-of-the-art performance on the GNC as well as the eBDtheque data sets. Such semantic segmentation of images is an interesting problem in computer vision and document analysis. Speech balloon (and caption) segmentation can also be considered an important step in building an OCR pipeline for analyzing text in graphic novels.
Here’s another pre-holidays piece of news: In the first episode of a new podcast on American Studies, appropriately titled “Talking American Studies”, Alexander Dunst talks to Dennis Mischke and host Verena Adamik (both from the University of Potsdam) about the DH scene in Germany and an upcoming special issue of the journal Amerikastudien, titled Digital Scholarship in American Studies. You can listen to the episode here. Many thanks to Verena for making this possible!
It’s been a hectic few weeks writing and reviewing abstracts for the DH and DHd conferences next year, but we’re happy to report that our first batch of papers has been accepted. Here’s what we’ll present at DHd 2019 in Frankfurt and Mainz, which will take place from 25-29 March:
1. Alexander Dunst & Rita Hartel: “Herausforderungen und
Potenzial kombinatorischer Bild- und Textanalysen am Beispiel Comics”
2. Jochen Laubrock & David Dubray: “Grundzüge einer visuellen Stilometrie”
3. Oliver Moisich & Rita Hartel: Multimedia Markup Editor (M3): Semi-Automatische Annotationssoftware für statische Bild-Text Medien (Poster).
Hope to see you there, and happy holidays from the Hybrid Narrativity research group!
For anyone interested to know what we’ve been up to over the summer, our contributions to the upcoming “3rd International Workshop on Comics Analysis, Processing and Understanding” (somehow, short: MANPU) are now available in a handy pre-print format. The workshop will take place as part of the Multimedia Modeling (MMM) conference in Thessaloniki, Greece, from 8-11 January.
Here are the links to Alex and Rita’s “‘How good is good enough?’: Establishing Quality Thresholds for the Automatic Text Analysis of Retro-Digitized Comics” and Jochen and David’s “CNN-Based Classification of Illustrator Style in Graphic Novels: Which Features Contribute Most“.
Comics is a medium constituted of images combined with text and other visual information in order to narrate a story. Nowadays, comic books are a widespread cultural expression all over the world. The market of comics continues to grow, for example, the market in Japan is about 4.25 billion USD in 2015. Moreover, from the research point of view, comics images are attractive targets because the structure of a comics page includes various elements (such as panels, speech balloons, captions, leading characters, and so on), the drawing of which depends on the style of the author and presents a large variability. Therefore, comics image analysis is not a trivial problem and is still immature compared with other kinds of image analysis.
The scope of this workshop includes, but is not limited to:
- – Comics Image Processing
- – Comics Analysis and Understanding
- – Comics Recognition
- – Comics Retrieval and Spotting
- – Comics Enrichment
- – Born digital Comics
- – Reading Behavior Analysis of Comics
- – Comics Generation
- – Copy Protection – Fraud Detection
- – Physical/Digital Comics Interfaces
- – Cognitive Processing and Comprehension of Comics
- Linguistics Analysis of Comics
Workshop Paper submission deadline: August 27, 2018
Camera ready papers due: October 12, 2018
Author Registration: October 12, 2018
All accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings, as part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) series by Springer. Authors of selected papers of MMM 2019 will be invited to publish extended versions in a journal special issue.
To evaluate the proposed works, participants will be able to use the following datasets that are publicly available. Researchers can request to download them at each website.
- – eBDtheque consists of 100 images with ground truth for panels, speech balloons, tails, text lines, leading characters.
- – Manga109 consists of over 20 thousand images of 109 volumes (21,142 images).
- – Jean-Christophe Burie (University of La Rochelle, France), General Co-Chair
- – Motoi Iwata (Osaka Prefecture University, Japan), General Co-Chair
- – Yusuke Matsui (National Institute of Informatics, Japan), General Co-Chair
- – Alexander Dunst (Paderborn University, Germany), Program Co-Chair
- – Miki Ueno (Toyohashi University of Technology, Japan), Program Co-Chair
- – Tien-Tsin Wong (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong), Program Co-Chair
We’re happy to report that the edited volume “Empirical Comics Research: Digital, Multimodal, and Cognitive Methods” is now in press and should be out in July. Many thanks to all our contributors, and of course our co-editor, Janina Wildfeuer! More information on the volume can be found here.