Royal, Derek Parker: "There Goes the Neighborhood. Cycling Ethnoracial Tensions in Will Eisner’s Dropsie Avenue." In: Shofar 29.2 (2011), S. 120–145.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Royal2011b
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Keywords: "A Contract with God", City, Eisner. Will, Ethnicity, USA
Unlike many of Will Eisner’s graphic novels, texts concerned primarily with Jewish families and communities, Dropsie Avenue (1995) takes on the broader theme of American ethnoracial relations and the dynamics of urban assimilation. It offers a critical and even neo-naturalistic reading of the traditional “melting pot” myth, resistant to any romantic notions of multicultural nationhood. In drawing together the various actions that occur throughout the text, Eisner employs several highly revealing, and visually sophisticated, graphic signifiers that dramatically underscore the violence and alienation that can result within multi-ethnic communities: a metaphoric emphasis on windows, references to fire, and the presence of “For Sale” or “For Rent” signs. These cyclically recurring images function as a form of illustrated shorthand for the seemingly never-ending attempts of diverse populations to work out their differences. Furthermore, they also serve as formal visual links between the assorted sequences that, taken together, emphasize the social fragmentation of the modern urban landscape.
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