Whitted, Qiana: "‘And the Negro thinks in hieroglyphics’. Comics, visual metonymy, and the spectacle of blackness." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 5.1 (2014), S. 79–100.
Added by: joachim (2016-10-23 07:50) Last edited by: joachim (2019-05-12 23:53)
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Whitted2014
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Keywords: "Aya", "Nat Turner", Abouet. Marguerite, Africa, Baker. Kyle, Ethnicity, History comics, Intermediality, Ivory Coast, Oubrerie. Clément, Postcolonialism, USA
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
This essay examines how comics grapple with transnational racial discourses that have historically marked and muted blackness, and identifies a series of visual and verbal strategies in recent texts that seek to restore the agency of a black speaking, seeing subject. Using as examples the American graphic novel Nat Turner by Kyle Baker (2008, Abrams) and the first volume of the West African francophone comic series Aya by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie (2007, Drawn & Quarterly), my analysis demonstrates how these comics incorporate metonymy and its contiguous associations to experiment with subversive acts of black speech and spectatorship. Metonyms of books and other written material allow Baker to (re)assemble the US slave leader from the 1831 Virginia rebellion as an embodied visual text. In the Cote d’Ivoire comic, Abouet and Oubrerie juxtapose the metonymic deployment of post-colonial media advertisements with the inscrutable messages of the pagne cloth patterns that Aya wears. Both comics destabilize the meanings that blackness has traditionally signified in the comics form and develop new sequential frames of reference between the self and the racial other.
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