European Comic Art

Provides articles on European-language graphic novels, comic strips, comic books and caricature.

Articles

Vol. 4, No. 2, 2011

Introduction: Looking Back and Looking Forward
The EditorsThis issue of ECA takes as its theme the importance of looking back in order the better to look forward. We can apply this in the first instance to our role as editors: this is the final edition of the journal to be published by Liverpool...
Read preview Overview
Figurations and Prefigurations in Hergé's Work, or from Les 7 Boules De Cristal to le Temple Du Soleil and Back Again1
AbstractOur starting point is the idea that Hergé sets up a series of reciprocal links between two of his albums, Les 7 Boules de cristal and Le Temple du Soleil.2 Over and above simple narrative succession, these two albums fit together like two wings...
Read preview Overview
The Cartoon Emperor: The Impact of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte on European Comic Art, 1848-1870
AbstractLouis Napoleon Bonaparte (1808-1873), one-time President of the Second French Republic (1848-1852) and Emperor of the French (as Napoleon III, 1852-1870) exercised a profound effect on European cartoonists and the comic art they produced during...
Read preview Overview
Strange Encounters during Wartime: Bécassine Chez Les Turcs
AbstractToo ideologically conservative to associate with contemporary bande dessinée, the Bécassine albums (1905-1939) nonetheless provide a rich historical and sociological archive of French behaviors, values and attitudes during the latter half of...
Read preview Overview
A Clear Line to Marcinelle: The Importance of Line in ÉMile Bravo's Spirou À Bruxelles
AbstractThis article considers Émile Bravo's screenprint, Spirou à Bruxelles, in order to analyse the relations that existed between the two dominant styles of comic book drawing in Belgium during the mid-twentieth century: the ligne claire style associated...
Read preview Overview
Interview with Baru: Part 1
AbstractHervé Barulea (b. 1947), known as Baru, is a French cartoonist of Italian and Breton heritage, who has spent much of his life in the metalworking region around Nancy, in northeastern France, his birthplace. He outlines his approach to comics,...
Read preview Overview
The First World War in Bande Dessinée Scholarship
Bruno Denéchère and Luc Révillon, 14-18 dans la bande dessinée: Images de la Grande Guerre de Forton à Tardi ['World War I in [Franco-Belgian] comics: Images of the Great War from Forton to Tardi'], Collection La bulle au Carré (Turquant: Cheminements,...
Read preview Overview
KOMIKS: Comic Art in Russia
José Alaniz, KOMIKS: Comic Art in Russia (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2010). 269 pp. ISBN: 978-1604733662 (£38.95)This is the book on the subject it covers. Alaniz's text will be the go to source for many years to come for anyone wishing...
Read preview Overview
The Dragon and the Dazzle: Models, Strategies, and Identities of Japanese Imagination: A European Perspective
Marco Pellitteri, The Dragon and the Dazzle: Models, Strategies, and Identities of Japanese Imagination: A European Perspective, preface by Kiyomitsu Yui, with an essay by Jean-Marie Bouissou (Latina, Italy: Editions Tunué, 2010). 750 pp. 120 b/w pictures....
Read preview Overview

Vol. 4, No. 1, 2011

The OP War, Libertarian Communication and Graphic Reportage in Georgian London
AbstractOn 18 September 1809, Covent Garden Theatre reopened, lavishly decorated after the devastating fire of the previous year. Far from being an occasion of celebration, an increase in prices and the architectural redistribution raised the ire of...
Read preview Overview
Introduction: Diversity and New Directions
Future directions are often shaped by quirks of necessity or chance: the groundbreaking iconoclast that is Moebius's Garage hermétique, with its rejection of conventional narrative or character coherence, came as a result of the author having forgotten...
Read preview Overview
Interview with Farid Boudjellal
AbstractFarid Boudjellal (b. 1953), a French cartoonist of Algerian and Armenian heritage, outlines his approach to comics. He discusses important inspirations and influences, including cartoonists from France (Gébé), Italy (Hugo Pratt) and the United...
Read preview Overview
'Corsican Speak' in Two French Bandes Dessinées, or How to Manipulate Communication Rules: A Pragmatic Analysis*
AbstractThe analysis of language in French comics has usually been carried out on questions such as variation (especially diastratic and diatopic), focusing on lexical and syntactical elements, but seldom has the question of communication rules been...
Read preview Overview
Joann Sfar Conjures Marc Chagall: The Politics of Visual Representation in the Rabbi's Cat
AbstractThe five episodes of Joann Sfar's The Rabbi's Cat (2002-2006), recently published in English translation in two volumes (2007-2008), and particularly the latest instalment of the series, Africa's Jerusalem, are rich in meta-narrative and meta-iconic...
Read preview Overview
Angoulême, 2011
The 2011 Festival International de la Bande Dessinée (FIBD) in Angoulême saw the return of enormous crowds to the medieval town in south-western France, and for the first time in many years the event felt uncomfortably crowded and difficult to navigate....
Read preview Overview
A Creative Culture Where It Is Hard to Make a Living: The Socio-Economic Situation of Comics Authors and Illustrators in Belgium
AbstractOn the initiative of the research office of the non-profit SMartBe Professional Association for Creative Professions, an exploratory survey into the current socio-economic circumstances of comics authors and illustrators in Belgium has been undertaken...
Read preview Overview
Comic Art and Commitment: An Interview with Morvandiau
AbstractThis interview with political cartoonist and comics artist Morvandiau focuses mainly on his 2007 comic book D'Algérie. After the murder in 1994 of his Uncle Jean, a père blanc ['white father'] in Tizi Ouzou, along with three of his fellow priests,...
Read preview Overview
Drawing France: French Comics and the Republic
Joel E. Vessels, Drawing France: French Comics and the Republic (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2010). 304 pp. ISBN: 978-1-60473-444-7 (printed case binding $50.00); 978-1-60473-445-4 (ebook $50.00)'The best and most telling cartoons are...
Read preview Overview
Drawn and Dangerous: Italian Comics of the 1970s and 1980s
Simone Castaldi, Drawn and Dangerous: Italian Comics of the 1970s and 1980s (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2010). 150 pp. ISBN: 978-1-60473- 749-3 (printed case binding, $40.00); 978-1-60473-777-6 (ebook $40.00)Drawn and Dangerous recounts...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 3, No. 1, 2010

Introduction It Was a Dark and Stormy Night ... Narration in Comics
The EditorsThe modest landmark of the fifth edition of European Comic Art (ECA) entitles us to a mini-retrospective: thus far, we have devoted the journal to explorations of comic art as: innovatory medium in relation to form and subject matter (1.1);...
Read preview Overview
Fire Escapes to Nowhere: Colin and Cilluffo's World Trade Angels
AbstractColin and Cilluffo's graphic novel, World Trade Angels, is an illustration of the creation, through language and image, of a new vocabulary and a new imaginaire, after the events of 11 September 2001. No previously existing language is adequate;...
Read preview Overview
The Monstrator, the Recitant and the Shadow of the Narrator
AbstractThis article provides the base for a narratology that is specific to comics. It takes into account the irrefutable presence of an agent responsible for graphic enunciation, the monstrator, and on the basis of a case study (Franquin, Jidéhem and...
Read preview Overview
Comics and Everyday Life: From Ennui to Contemplation
AbstractThis paper discusses the recent growing presence of the everyday in comics from different traditions, works where ordinary situations and apparently insignificant events take the place of extraordinary worlds and adventure stories. Drawing predominantly...
Read preview Overview
Angoulême, 2010
The 2010 Festival International de la Bande Dessinée was a somewhat smaller celebration of the form than had been typical from recent years. The global economic recession hit the festival in a very direct fashion, with a great deal of public sabre-rattling...
Read preview Overview
Between Writing and Image: A Scriptwriter's Way of Working1
AbstractThis article concerns the way in which a comics scriptwriter works collaboratively with different artists. It traces the development of a working method with François Schuiten, the artist of the Cités obscures ['Cities of the Fantastic'] series,...
Read preview Overview
'C'est Pas Du Tout Ce Que Tu Penses': Improvisational Narrative Strategies in Ruppert and Mulot's la Maison Close1
AbstractImprovisation and performance are not traditionally associated with the comics form, but experiments with them are increasingly found in the area of alternative, or small-press, comics. This essay analyses one example of improvisation in comics,...
Read preview Overview
Narrative Techniques in Tardi's le der Des Ders and Voyage Au Bout De la Nuit
AbstractThis article aims to compare the narrative techniques employed through the combination of text and image in Tardi's adaptations of Le Der des ders and Voyage au bout de la nuit. Le Der des ders is a classic format bande dessinée, and Voyage is...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 2, No. 2, December

The Gourary Töpffer Manuscript of Monsieur Jabot: A Question of Authenticity. with the Dating and Distribution of Rodolphe Töpffer's First Published Picture Story, and the World's First Modern Comic Strip
AbstractThe purpose of this essay is dual and makes for a two-part division: the first, after a physical description, argues for the authenticity, genesis and dating of the Gourary manuscript album of drawings for Monsieur Jabot. The existence of this...
Read preview Overview
Objectif Bulles: Bande Dessinée et Histoire ['Destination Balloons: Comics and History']
Michel Porret, ed., Objectif bulles: Bande dessinée et histoire ['Destination Balloons: Comics and History'] (Geneva: Georg, 2009; 'L'Equinoxe' collection; Médecine et Hygiène). 304 pp. ISBN 978-2-8257-0961-0 (22.00)The prominence of historical themes...
Read preview Overview
The Conquest of Space: Evolution of Panel Arrangements and Page Layouts in Early Comics Published in Belgium (1880-1929)
AbstractThis article focuses on panel arrangements and page layouts of early comics published in Belgium in the five decades before the start of Tintin in 1929. It investigates the degree of standardisation in this pivotal period, in which the old system...
Read preview Overview
Bande Dessinée Franco-Belge et Imaginaire Colonial: Des Années 1930 Aux Années 1980 ['Franco-Belgian Bande Dessinée and the Colonial Imaginary: From 1930 T0 the 1980s']
Philippe Delisle, Bande dessinée franco-belge et imaginaire colonial: Des Années 1930 aux années 1980 ['Franco-Belgian bande dessinée and the Colonial Imaginary: From 1930 t0 the 1980s'] (Paris: Karthala, 2008). 196 pp. ISBN 987-2-8111- 0083-4 (18.05,...
Read preview Overview
The Spanish Tebeo*
AbstractIt seems difficult to speak about comic art in Spain without considering what tebeos mean to Spaniards. This term is not simply a Spanish translation of bande dessinée. It refers to a special kind of comic strip aimed at children, which appeared...
Read preview Overview
Introduction: The Nineteenth Century and Beyond
The EditorsIf comic art were to have its equivalent of the Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes ['Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns'],1 it would be the polemic that developed in 1996 as an 'add-on' to the centenary celebrations of the invention...
Read preview Overview
Ally Sloper on Stage
AbstractThe article argues that the significance of the nineteenth-century comics character Ally Sloper cannot be understood without reference to the parallel career that this fictional celebrity developed across other media, most notably music hall....
Read preview Overview

Vol. 2, No. 1, June

Introduction: Caricature
The EditorsThe history of European comic art is closely intertwined with that of caricature. The comic books by Swiss cartoonist Rodolphe Töpffer - his romans en estampes ['novels in engravings'] - which are foundational to the medium, are essentially...
Read preview Overview
'I Must Not Draw.'*
AbstractThe publication of some caricatures of the prophet Mohammed by the Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, and their distribution around the globe provoked a tremendous outcry and debate, which even led to physical destruction and death. This raises...
Read preview Overview
Graphic Shorthand: From Caricature to Narratology in Twentieth-Century Bande Dessinée and Comics*
AbstractThe initial aim of this article is to examine semiotic and narratological aspects of the graphic definition of character and caricature, as found in the image-based storytelling of the twentieth century. Our analysis will focus on North American...
Read preview Overview
Early French Caricature (1795-1830) and English Influence
AbstractThis article analyses the production of caricatures in post-revolutionary Paris, specifically the role of publishers and artists and the constraints of censorship within society of that time. By considering such factors in the light of English...
Read preview Overview
'From the Land Where the Word Balloons Throw Shadows': An Interview with Anke Feuchtenberger
AbstractAnke Feuchtenberger is a German avant-garde cartoon artist (b. 1963) with a strongly caricatural style. In this interview she discusses her childhood and education in former East Germany, historical influences upon her - including Rodolphe Töpffer...
Read preview Overview
Caricaturing 'The Colonial Good Life' in French Indochina
AbstractAndré Joyeux's La Vie large des colonies ['The Colonial Good Life'] is an insider's portrait of the French colonial encounter in Southeast Asia. Published in Paris in 1912 but most likely penned in Saigon, the collection of cartoons explores...
Read preview Overview
Bête et Méchant: Politics, Editorial Cartoons and Bande Dessinée in the French Satirical Newspaper Charlie Hebdo
AbstractThe weekly French satirical newspaper, Charlie hebdo, which originally ran from 1969 to 1982, pending a revival in 1992, distinguishes itself through its bête et méchant ['stupid and nasty'] humorous heritage, defined in its parent publication,...
Read preview Overview
Cabu Reporter
AbstractFrench editorial cartoonist and comic-strip artist Cabu (pen name of Jean Cabut) is interviewed by Tanitoc, French cartoonist and contributing artist to European Comic Art. They talk about the evolution of political caricature in France, differing...
Read preview Overview
Rewriting Tintin
Rewriting TintinDaniel Couvreur, Frédéric Soumois and Philippe Goddin, Les Vrais Secrets de la Licorne ['The True Secrets of the Unicorn'] (Brussels/Tournai: Moulinsart/ Casterman, 2006). 127 pp., ISBN 978-2-87424-118-5 (hardback, euro15.00)Daniel Couvreur...
Read preview Overview
Angoulême, 2009
It is possible that, years from now, we will look back on the 2009 iteration of the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée in Angoulême as the launch of an important direction in moving comics off the page. So much of what was compelling about this...
Read preview Overview
Le Petit Dessein: Le Louvre S'ouvre Au Neuvième Art ['Modest Plans: The Louvre Opens Up to the Ninth Art']
Musée du Louvre, Paris, Le Petit dessein: Le Louvre s'ouvre au neuvième art ['Modest Plans: The Louvre Opens up to the Ninth Art'], 22 January to 13 April 2009.There should be benefits for all sides when the world's best-known art museum mounts an exhibition...
Read preview Overview
Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature
Charles Hatfield, Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature (Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2005). 182 pp. ISBN 978-1578067190 (paperback, $22.00)The growing significance of comics and graphic novels within academe has led to an increasing number of critical...
Read preview Overview
Comics as Philosophy
Jeff McLaughlin, Comics as Philosophy (Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2005). 246 pp. ISBN 1-57806-794-4 (paperback, £12.50)Comics as Philosophy compiles 11 essays with the task of revealing 'how the issues and questions that philosophers deal with can be...
Read preview Overview
Images À Mi-Mots ['Images Halfway to Words']
Pierre Fresnault-Deruelle, Images à mi-mots ['Images Halfway to Words'] (Brussels: Impressions nouvelles, 2008). 191 pp. ISBN 978-2-87449-048-4 (euro20.00)Any book by the semiologist Pierre Fresnault-Deruelle must be of interest to students of comic...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 1, No. 2, December

Editorial
Among the many new books on comic strips published in the past year one of the most provocative has been Nicolas Rouvière's Astérix ou la parodie des identités ['Asterix or the Parody of Identities'].1 Rouvière provides a fascinating analysis of questions...
Read preview Overview
North and South in Belgian Comics
Abstract'National' culture, one that is linked to the daily perception of cultural artefacts and inevitably affected by the context of globalisation, can be considered through the optic of Belgian comics. And although Belgian national culture escapes...
Read preview Overview
'Is There Any Boudin on the Moon?' Depicting Cajun Ethnicity in Bec Doux et Ses Amis
AbstractThe Bec Doux et ses amis comics series, written by Cajun authors in Cajun French, is little known outside of its native French-speaking Louisiana. Although it can be inscribed within the wider Cajun ethnic revival that began in the late 1960s,...
Read preview Overview
Arthème Fayard's Magazines and the Promotion of Picture Stories 'À la Française'1
AbstractIn this article I propose to elucidate the pioneering role played by the publishing house Fayard at the beginning of the twentieth century in the promotion of French comic strip and in the development of its distinctively national characteristics....
Read preview Overview
The Silence of the Page: Une Trop Bruyante Solitude: The Graphic Novel Adaptation of Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal
AbstractThis article discusses the issues faced by two French artists who have produced a bande dessinée adaptation of a novel, Prílis hlucná samota ['Too Loud a Solitude'], by the Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal, and the reception of their work in the Czech...
Read preview Overview
The Frontier and the Affrontier: French-Language Algerian Comics and Cartoons Confront the Nation1
AbstractAlgerian and Algerian-French cartoonists have often thematised national identity in their art. Their interest in this subject has created problems for them when they have crossed the 'affrontier', a line of demarcation whose nature and place...
Read preview Overview
Francis Lacassin, 1931-2008
The community of comic art scholars will have been saddened to learn of the death of Francis Lacassin, on 12 August this year. Lacassin was, in the words of the tribute paid to him by Christine Albanel, the French Minister of Culture, 'un touche-à-tout...
Read preview Overview
Groensteen's User's Guide: A User's Guide
Groensteen's User's Guide: A User's Guide Thierry Groensteen, La bande dessinée, mode d'emploi ['Comic Strip: A User's Guide'] (Brussels: Les impressions nouvelles, 'Réflexions faites', 2008). 224 pp. ISBN: 978-2-87449-041-5. EAN: 9782874490415. (euro22.00)To...
Read preview Overview
Olladas Do Cómic Ibérico ['Perspectives on Iberian Comics']
Antonio Gil González and Anxo Tarrío Varela, eds., Olladas do Cómic Ibérico ['Perspectives on Iberian Comics']. Special issue of Boletín Galego de Literatura ['Galician Bulletin of Literature'] 35, 10 semestre, 2006 (Santiago: Servizio de Publicacións,...
Read preview Overview
Tintin and the Secret of Literature
Tom McCarthy, Tintin and the Secret of Literature (London: Granta, 2006). 211 pp. ISBN: 978-1-86207-831-9 (hb, £14.99)Tom McCarthy's Tintin and the Secret of Literature is likely to be devoured by Tintinologists the world over who are rabid for any new...
Read preview Overview
Jeu De Massacre
Alain Jessua, dir., Jeu de massacre, DVD (Les films inclassables, Studio Canal distribution, 1967). French without subtitles. DVD extras include: photogallery, original trailer and printed script/English-language printed script.Studio Canal have relatively...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 1, No. 1, June

Introduction
The EditorsEuropean Comic Art as an Industry and an ArtAs preparations get under way for the celebration, in 2009, of the eightieth anniversary of Tintin and the fiftieth of Astérix, it seems strange that, until now, there has been no journal in English...
Read preview Overview
De Luca and Hamlet: Thinking outside the Box
AbstractGianni De Luca's 1975 adaptation of Hamlet converted 30,000 words into 48 pages of graphic novel. One of the key techniques De Luca drew upon was that of 'continuous narrative', a historically tested method of 'thinking outside the box', whereby...
Read preview Overview
A Few Words about the System of Comics and More
AbstractThe following text is the transcript of the presentation given by Thierry Groensteen at the conference of the International Bande Dessinée Society at the French Institute in London on 14 April 2007, in which he outlined the key elements of his...
Read preview Overview
Bande Dessinée and the Cinematograph: Visual Narrative in 1895
AbstractThe Lumière brothers' L'Arroseur arrosé ['The Sprinkler Sprinkled'] of 1895 was probably the first staged fiction film to be shown in public, but also the first cinematic adaptation of a comic strip, previous treatments of the subject including...
Read preview Overview
Family History and Social History: ÉTienne Davodeau's Reportage of Reality in Les Mauvaises Gens
AbstractThis article discusses a bande dessinée that recounts the life story of the artist's parents, factory workers in a deeply conservative milieu who became trade union militants. The article is split into four sections. The first deals with techniques...
Read preview Overview
Autobiographical Innovations: Edmond Baudoin's ÉLoge De la Poussière
AbstractThe article analyses Éloge de la poussière ['In Praise of Dust'] (1995), an autobiographical bande dessinée by French cartoonist Edmond Baudoin (1942-). The work is compared with autobiographical writings by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Michel Leiris...
Read preview Overview
Lire Tintin: Les Bijoux Ravis ['Reading Tintin: The Stolen Jewels']
BenoÎt Peeters, Lire Tintin: Les Bijoux ravis ['Reading Tintin: The Stolen Jewels'] (Brussels: Les Impressions Nouvelles, 2007). 287 pp., ISBN 978-2-87449-037-8 ([euro]20.00)Cultural critic and novelist BenoÎt Peeters is well known to readers of bande...
Read preview Overview
Unpopular Culture: Transforming the European Comic Book in the 1990s
Bart Beaty, Unpopular Culture: Transforming the European Comic Book in the 1990s (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007). ix+303 pp.; cloth: ISBN 978-0-8020-9133-9 (US $65, £42); paper: ISBN 978-0-8020-9412-4 (US $30.95; £20)As Bart Beaty notes...
Read preview Overview
Father of the Comic Strip: Rodolphe Töpffer/Rodolphe Töpffer: The Complete Comic Strips
David Kunzle, Father of the Comic Strip: Rodolphe Töpffer (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2007). xii +207 pp. ISBN: 978-1-57806-948-4 (paperback, $25.00)Rodolphe Töpffer, Rodolphe Töpffer: The Complete Comic Strips, compiled, translated and...
Read preview Overview
Web Journals
One of the most fervent debates in academic publishing circles in recent years has been the extent to which web journals are likely to take over from their paper counterparts. The notional possibility of electronic publishing as an outlet for scholarly...
Read preview Overview