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History and Politics in French-Language Comics and Graphic Novels

Publication Year: 2008

With Essays by Baru, Bart Beaty, Cécile Vernier Danehy, Hugo Frey, Pascal Lefèvre, Fabrice Leroy, Amanda Macdonald, Mark McKinney, Ann Miller, and Clare Tufts In Belgium, France, Switzerland, and other French-speaking countries, many well-known comics artists have focused their attention on historical and political events. In works ranging from comic books and graphic novels to newspaper strips, cartoonists have addressed such controversial topics as French and Belgian collaboration and resistance during World War II, European colonialism and U.S. imperialism, anti-Semitism in France, the integration of African immigrant groups in Europe, and the green and feminist movements. History and Politics in French-Language Comics and Graphic Novels collects new essays that address comics from a variety of viewpoints, including a piece from practicing artist Baru. The explorations range from discussion of such canonical works as Hergé's Tintin series to such contemporary expressions as Baru's Road to America (2002), about the Algerian War. Included are close readings of specific comics series and graphic novels, such as Cécile Vernier Danehy's examination of Cosey's Saigon Hanoi, about remembering the Vietnam War. Other writers use theoretical lenses as a means of critiquing a broad range of comics, such as Bart Beaty's Bourdieu-inspired reading of today's comics field, and Amanda Macdonald's analysis of bandes dessinées (French comic books) in New Caledonia during the 1990s. The anthology establishes the French-language comics tradition as one rich with representations of history and politics and is one of the first English-language collections to explore the subject. Mark McKinney is associate professor of French at Miami University, Ohio. With Alec G. Hargreaves, he edited Post-Colonial Cultures in France.

Published by: University Press of Mississippi

Contents

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pp. vii-ix

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Editor’s Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

This book, like any, is a collective accomplishment, but more obviously so because it is an edited volume, with many visible contributors. Moreover, it grew out of a conference, “History and Politics in French-Language Comics,” held at Miami University (Ohio) on November 11–13, 2004. That conference was funded principally by the L. P. Irvin Fund of ...

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French-Language Comics Terminology and Referencing

Album: In French-speaking Europe and many other French-language regions, comics are mostly sold in book form, oftentimes hardbound and almost always in the European A-4 paper format, which is a bit taller and narrower than U.S.-size letter paper. Paper is often of good quality and glossy (not pulp paper). A comic book is called “un album (de bande dessinée).” ...

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CHAPTER ONE: Representations of History and Politics in French-Language Comics and Graphic Novels: An Introduction

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pp. 3-24

Millions of readers worldwide have been introduced to Belgian and French comics through translations of the Tintin series, by Herg

Part One: History, Politics, and the Bande dessin

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CHAPTER TWO: Trapped in the Past: Anti-Semitism in Hergé’s Flight 714

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pp. 27-43

The political sympathies of Hergé (alias Georges Remi, 1907–83), the famous “father of Tintin,” have become a well-known part of the historical record.1 Since the publication of two major biographies it has become even clearer to comics readers that, in his youth, Hergé was positioned on the right wing of Belgian politics, and drifted to the extreme-right wing in ...

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CHAPTER THREE: Re-imaging Heroes / Rewriting History: The Pictures and Texts in Children’s Newspapers in France, 1939–45

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pp. 44-68

When Paris was liberated in the summer of 1944, a beautifully illustrated, twenty-nine-page, hardback comic book about the war appeared on the market seemingly overnight. This publication, La b

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CHAPTER FOUR: The Concept of “Patrimoine” in Contemporary Franco-Belgian Comics Production

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pp. 69-

A curious footnote appears in the indicia of the second edition of Jean- Christophe Menu’s book Meder (2005a). Alongside a dedication to Paul Carali and Etienne Robial, a note by Menu reads: “The first edition of Meder was published in the ‘Gros Nez’ collection by Futuropolis (1972–94) in November 1988.” What is...

Part Two: Political Reportage and Globalism in Bandes dessin

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CHAPTER FIVE: Citizenship and City Spaces: Bande dessin

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pp. 97-116

Reportage has come to take a prominent place in contemporary bande dessinée.1 I begin here with a brief survey of the genre, to suggest the range of work produced under this heading. The remainder of my chapter offers a close textual analysis of a highly accomplished example of the genre, “La Présidente” [The Woman President], drawn by Blutch (i.e., Christian ...

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CHAPTER SIX: Games Without Frontiers: The Representation of Politics and the Politics of Representation in Schuiten and Peeters’s: La Frontière Invisible

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pp. 117-136

In a chapter of his essay Le portrait du roi [Portrait of the King], entitled “Le roi et son géomètre” [The King and His Surveyor], Louis Marin reflects on the hegemonic nature of mapping by analyzing Jacques Gomboust’s 1652 map of Paris, not only...

Part Three: Facing Colonialism and Imperialism in Bandes dessin

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CHAPTER SEVEN: The Algerian War in Road to America (Baru, Th

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pp. 139-165

The impossible wish to evade nationalist politics during the Algerian War (1954–62) is the principal theme of Le chemin de l’Amérique, a graphic novel by Baru [Barulea, Hervé]1 (art and script), Jean-Marc Thévenet (script), and Daniel Ledran...

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CHAPTER EIGHT: The Congo Drawn in Belgium

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pp. 166-185

Belgium has begun showing renewed interest in its former colonies (the Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi), as is demonstrated by the following events: a parliamentary investigation (2000–2001) into the extent of Belgium’s responsibility for the murder of former Congolese prime minister Patrice Lumumba (1925–61);1 a popular colonial exhibition, “Memory of ...

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CHAPTER NINE: Distractions from History: Redrawing Ethnic Trajectories in New Caledonia

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pp. 186-211

It is axiomatic for historians that the grand enterprise of nation-making depends upon the commensurately grave enterprise of history-making. In the case of the Melanesian archipelago, dubbed “New Caledonia” by James Cook in 1774 and thereby drawn inevitably into the history of nations, it appears that the incidental gestures of face-making and the ...

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CHAPTER TEN: Textual Absence, Textual Color: A Journey Through Memory—Cosey’s Saigon-Hanoi

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pp. 212-236

Bernard Cosendai (Cosey) was born in 1950 near Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1969 he met Derib, the only Swiss professional cartoonist at the time. After an internship at Derib’s studio, Cosey became his assistant and worked with him for seven years. Cosey’s own first major artistic creation, the “Jonathan” stories, began appearing in the Tintin magazine in 1975. ...

Part Four: A French Cartoonist’s Perspective on the Working Class and Bandes dessinées

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CHAPTER ELEVEN: The Working Class and Comics: A French Cartoonist’s Perspective

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pp. 239-257

Instead of asserting some definitive truths about comics in general, I will attempt to describe to you my own experience as an author who pays attention to what his stories tell. I am therefore going to relate to you my ideas about content, rather than form. My practice is inscribed in the field...

Bibliography

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pp. 259-276

Contributors

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pp. 277-279

Index

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pp. 281-300


E-ISBN-13: 9781604734454
E-ISBN-10: 1604734450
Print-ISBN-13: 9781604730043
Print-ISBN-10: 1604730048

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2008