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Spooner, Catherine. "My Friend the Devil: Gothic comics, the whimsical macabre and rewriting william blake in vehlmann and kerascoët’s satania." Gothic Studies 25. (2023): 318–34. 
Added by: joachim (12/4/23, 3:49 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (12/4/23, 4:01 PM)
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.3366/gothic.2023.0178
BibTeX citation key: Spooner2023
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Satania", Blake. William, Cosset. Sébastien, Early forms of comics, Ethics, France, Horror, Intertextuality, Kerascoët, Pommepuy. Marie, Vehlmann. Fabien
Creators: Spooner
Collection: Gothic Studies
Views: 68/241
This article develops the concept of the ‘whimsical macabre’, introduced in my book Post-millennial Gothic: Comedy, Romance and the Rise of Happy Gothic (2017) to refer to texts which deliberately fuse the comic and cute with the sinister, monstrous or grotesque. I propose that Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoët’s graphic novel Satania (2016) extends the whimsical macabre in new directions, by drawing on the work of Romantic poet and artist William Blake, whose illustrated books are often cited as forerunners of modern comics. By rewriting Blake’s visionary account of a journey into the infernal regions in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1793) and alluding to Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1789/1794), Satania reveals the serious ethical dimensions that underlie the whimsical macabre. In doing so, it interrogates and complicates the maturational narrative associated with children’s and young adult literature. The article concludes by suggesting that Satania’s heroine Charlie’s relationship with her demon draws on a Blakeian model of friendship in opposition, pointing towards a ‘reparative’ form of Gothic in which otherness is neither erased nor expelled, but embraced and cherished.
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