Comics as history, comics as litterature

Un appel à communication intitulé « Comics as history, comics as litterature : Roles of the Comic Book in Scholarship, Society, and Entertainment » vient d’être publié. Il nous invite à réfléchir à la « valeur de la bande dessinée comme vecteur de recherches historiques et académiques » (ma traduction). Même si cet appel peut sembler intéressant, nous invitons nos lecteurs à la méfiance. Le texte que nous reproduisons ci-dessous s’appuie sur un corpus réduit (et notamment sur une large évocation de Persepolis) et aucun nom de chercheur n’est indiqué. Nous avons contacté son auteur qui nous assure, sans plus de précision, disposer d’un éditeur mais ne pouvoir signer un contrat qu’après avoir rassemblé quelques chapitres. Louche ?

Comics as History, Comics as Literature: Roles of the Comic Book in Scholarship, Society, and Entertainment

Even with recent waves of scholarship comics still fall in the gutters of placement, research, and understanding. They are hiding in the white matter between respectable, acceptable, educational, and academic. This anthology takes another step in bridging the gap of scholarly resources and documents, bringing comics closer to the center of the academic debate. The forms of comics have morphed into graphic novels, which while a different genre per se they also attest to the popularity and credibility of comics themselves. The 9/11 Report, Comic Encyclopedia, History of the World, The Watchmen, and Perepolis are just some examples of the power of comics to change the way we look at popular culture products. The 9/11 Report and The Watchmen both deal with political moments—real and fictionalized—and in their texts they capture senses of American racisms, hatred, care, and concern. These books grapple with terrifying and compelling subjects, making them readily available to the reader, and in a round about way they make political turmoil understandable. Along these same lines, Marisa Acocella Marchetto’s Cancer Vixen and Marjane Satrapi’s The Complete Persepolis weave female narratives, subject matters, and even political turmoil into the pages of their captivating tales. Cancer Vixen puts the breast cancer battle of a freelance cartoonist into a perspective of humor, fight, pretty shoes. In its pages references are made to access to health insurance, but the story really focuses on the battle of cancer through the eyes of laughter and living life. Satrapi’s narrative tells the story of a young girl in Iran, the failed Iranian revolution, her parents desire to protect her sends her off to boarding school, her marriage and divorce, and the quest for freedom of expression. These brutal and poetic tales illustrate the story of life and history, much like comic books have been doing since their inception in 1837.

This anthology will host a collection of essays examining the role of comics as portals for historical and academic content, while keeping the approach on an international market verse the American one. Few resources currently exist showing the cross-disciplinary aspects of comics. Some of the chapters will look at the use of Wonder Woman during World War II, the brief Jungle Wars comic series in regards to the Vietnam conflict, and European comics for the Cold War and prior. More so, the continual use of comics for the retelling of classic tales and current events demonstrates that the genre has long passed the phase of for children’s eyes only. • Comics as war
• Comics as social movements
• Messages of gender
• Nation/state dialogues
• Racial tolerance
• Promoting racism (overly or accidentally)
• Comics as a voice of literature
• Other ideas are welcome, as long as the subject of comics and their meaning is central to the argument.
Please submit your abstract (no more than 500 words) and a brief CV by 15 April 2011. Invited essays of 5,000 to 8,000 words will be due by 30 June 2011. Chicago format is required. Contact:

Comics as History, Comics as Literature

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