Since African Francophone bandes dessinées are a subset of print culture, their production, distribution, and consumption closely resemble that of African Francophone literature. European publishers and festivals remain crucial gatekeepers while African festivals are supported by European institutions and feature European cartoonists. Similarly, editors and well-established cartoonists often inhabit the paratextual space in many bandes dessinées, thus generating a patronage system in which African cartoonists heralded by European cultural brokers go on to validate the talent of other cartoonists. However, since the rise of such bandes dessinées occurred well after the height of Négritude and decades after the era of mega-festivals in Africa, including Léopold Senghor's FESMAN, cartoonists benefit from lessons learned by previous generations. Focusing on cartoonists' participation and performance, this article considers recent festivals to examine how such events and their byproducts reveal and challenge neocolonial trends and ideologies embedded in the global marketplace.


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pp. 35-48
Launched on MUSE
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