Dony, Christophe. "The rewriting ethos of the Vertigo imprint: Critical perspectives on memory-making and canon formation in the American comics field." Comicalités 2014. Accessed 22 Apr. 2014. <http://comicalites.revues.org/1918>.
Added by: joachim (4/22/14, 8:44 AM)
|Resource type: Web Article
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Dony2014
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Keywords: Canon, Publishing, USA, Vertigo
This essay investigates how and why strategies of rewriting have been central to Vertigo’s poetics and editorial project for over twenty years. Drawing notably on the works of Harold Bloom, Thierry Groensteen, and Geoffrey Klock, it first proceeds to establish the relevance of the concept of rewriting as it can be applied to comics (studies), particularly in showing how inter- and hypertextual relations are inherently connected to issues of nostalgia, memory as well as lineage, and therefore to processes of (self-)canonization and discourses of cultural legitimacy. It then moves on to identify some of the label's rewriting trends and discusses how they engage both intro- and retrospectively with the comics form, its history, and its (renewed) perception in the American context. More specifically, in recurrently paying homage to the DC archive, the pulp heritage, as well as to the Gothic tradition, it is my contention that Vertigo has participated in a critical logic of commemoration that distances itself from the mnemonic discourses championed by both the mainstream and alternative poles of the comics industry. In so doing, Vertigo may have attempted to create a canon of its own while certainly challenging Groensteen's claim that comics is an “art without memory”. But perhaps more importantly, the essay concludes that Vertigo's cherishing of specific rewriting strategies has helped it adopt a politics of demarcation in regards to the structuring forces of the American comics field, a politics that not only subverts the field's power relations dynamics but also “writes back” to its practices of domination and exclusion.