Horton, Ian. "Colonialist Stereotypes in Innovative European Comic Books." Bilderwelten – Textwelten – Comicwelten. Romanistische Begegnungen mit der Neunten Kunst. Eds. Frank Leinen and Guido Rings. München: Meidenbauer, 2007. 125–41.
Added by: joachim (7/20/09, 1:28 AM) Last edited by: joachim (11/12/09, 3:57 PM)
|Resource type: Book Article
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Horton2007a
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Keywords: Colonialism, Critique of ideology, Europe, Stereotypes
Creators: Horton, Leinen, Rings
Publisher: Meidenbauer (München)
Collection: Bilderwelten – Textwelten – Comicwelten. Romanistische Begegnungen mit der Neunten Kunst
The presence of colonialist attitudes in some comic books, Tintin and Asterix for example, have been noted. Other European examples from the middle decades of the twentieth century also promoted such a viewpoint. In a British context a range of characters that appeared in comics such as The Eagle, Victor, Valiant and Hotspur displayed colonialist attitudes and many stories were set in historical colonialist scenarios. This can, in part, be explained by the general focus on issues of national identity after the Second World War but it is perhaps more difficult to account for the persistence of these attitudes in contemporary comic book writing.
This paper explores this continuity in values by examining a range of European comic books from the middle of the 20th century and comparing these with later works by the English writer Alan Moore and the French artist-writer Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud.
An examination of the comic books turned graphic novels Watchmen (1986, artist Dave Gibbons) and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (1999–2003, artist Kevin O’Neill) by Moore shows that the narrative structure and visual languages employed are innovative and playfully engage with comic book genre stereotypes. In addition they reference many other sources of popular literature ranging from Victorian posters and novels to contemporaneous advertising campaigns. Giraud’s comic books Lieutenant Blueberry (1963–, co-creator Jean-Michel Charlier) and Upon a Star (1983) similarly subvert genre stereotypes and employ innovative narrative structures. However, despite their radical nature these comic books also contain colonialist features and this paper will explore this tension and its underlying causes.
Added by: joachim Last edited by: joachim