As a hybrid between ‘high’ literature and ‘trivial’ comics, graphic adaptations
have been the subject of extensive debate in Germany. This article
discusses the specific cultural conditions of graphic adaptation in Germany,
which have been influenced by a process of emancipation from deeply rooted
prejudice against comics as a medium of popular culture. To illustrate the
changes brought about by the term ‘graphic novel’ around 2000, this article
analyses two examples of a newer generation of graphic adaptation in detail.
Flix’s Faust (2009–2010) and Drushba Pankow’s Das Fräulein von Scuderi
[Mademoiselle de Scudery] (2011) represent a new self-confident approach
to classic literature, but they also reflect on their own status as adaptations
and thus contribute to ‘closing the gap’ between ‘high’ and popular culture.