Thomas, Evan: "A Renaissance for Comics Studies. Early English Prints and the Comics Canon." In: Partial Answers 13.2 (2015), S. 255–266.
Added by: joachim (2016-04-25 00:18:24)
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Thomas2015
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Keywords: Frühformen des Comics, Großbritannien
Collection: Partial Answers
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This paper argues that the term “comics” can and should be used to refer to prints from early modern England. We have ample reason to shift the starting date for comics to at least the seventeenth century, if not earlier, within the English-speaking world. The invention of print stimulated the creation, adoption, and codification of elements of the comics form. Print also changed the quantity and quality of social encounters with the comics form. Readings from “A true discourse. Declaring the damnable life and death of one Stubbe Peeter” and The Triumphs of God’s Revenge Against the Crying and Execrable Sinne of Murther demonstrate that scholars of the comics canon must turn their attention to the early modern English print.
“[…] the scenes of death incorporate panel divisions and xylographic text in a way that more closely resembles modern comics. Modern techniques, then, appear at moments of salient representations of criminality.
I suspect that this combination of comics form and criminal content developed into a continuous lineage of true-crime comics from the early print period to the present day. Malcolm Jones underscores the criminal, subversive aspects of the early modern press with his section divisions, such as “The Body Politic,” “The Moral Order,” and “The Social Order.” In the same vein of social history, Sheila O’Connell traces the long lineage of prints into the nineteenth century. Over time, her selection of prints draws more attention to the emergence of penny bloods and penny dreadfuls. Printed image-texts — perhaps, “comics” — sometimes outlasted the criminal codes that they originally subverted, as with the bi-centennial lifespan of “Cats Castle.”” Added by: joachim
“Early prints that satisfy the leading definitions of comics suggest a special importance of narrative image-texts under the Elizabethan settlement, and a continuous lineage of true-crime comics.”
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