Tannahill, Lise: "Bécassine, a bande dessinée pioneer." In: Studies in Comics 7.2 (2016), S. 221–235.
Added by: joachim (2017-10-30 12:13)
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Tannahill2016
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Keywords: "Bécassine", France, Gender
Collection: Studies in Comics
Running continually from 1905 to 1939, with albums appearing sporadically until the 1960s, Les Aventures de Bécassine (Caumery and J.P. Pinchon, 1905–1939) straddled the divide between old-style illustrés and bona fide bandes dessinées (BD). Its heroine, Breton servant Bécassine, was incredibly popular, spawning dolls, films and other merchandise. The character is particularly notable for being the first female star of modern BD. Response to Les Aventures de Bécassine has been mixed, due to the series’ problematic, stereotypical depiction of Brittany and Bretons: the country is backward, the inhabitants are credulous and unintelligent. Beyond this, however, is the presence of Bécassine as a rare female character in BD. She functions both as a figure of fun and as a role model for her readers, undertaking many exciting activities (pilot, tram inspector, intrepid traveller, etc). The series gives an insight into the upheaval French society underwent in the early years of the twentieth century, and is of particular use regarding the changing place of women. It demonstrates the tensions between the ‘old world’ of French nobility and the new modernity, offering an exploration of women’s new opportunities in a fast-changing world.
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