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Comics in French : The European Bande Dessinee in Context

Comics in French : The European Bande Dessinee in Context Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Whereas in English-speaking countries comics are for children or adults "who should know better," in France and Belgium the form is recognized as the "ninth art" and follows in the path of poetry, architecture, painting, and cinema. The bande dessinée [comic strip] has its own national institutions, regularly obtains front-page coverage, and has received the accolades of statesmen from De Gaulle onwards. On the way to providing a comprehensive introduction to the most francophone of cultural phenomena, this book will consider national specificity as relevant to an anglophone reader, whilst exploring related issues such as text/image expression, historical precedents, and sociological implication. To do so it will present and analyse priceless manuscripts, a Franco-American rodent, Nazi propaganda, a museum-piece urinal, intellectual gay porn and a prehistoric warrior who's really Zinedine Zidane.

Book News Annotation:

The Bande Dessine is a Francophone phenomenon that has only recently spread to other countries, particularly Japan. In this enlightening study, Grove (French, University of Glasgow) introduces English speakers to the art and history of the French "comic book." He begins with an explanation of the art, including terminology. He then gives a history of influences, starting with the Bayeaux Tapestry, in which words and pictures are combined to tell a story. Less problematic are nineteenth-century examples that are often satirical or pedagogical. Grove discusses the art from the French point of view but also looks at subtleties that might strike foreign readers more sharply. He points out the influence of Disney and the portrayal of villains as Semites in bandes dessines printed under the Vichy government. Grove also gives many examples of the range of artists and topics that make this a cultural art form that is not at all considered to be just for kids. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

The European Bande Dessinee in Context
Berghahn Books
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comics & Graphic Novels
Comic Books, Strips, etc.
History and criticism
Publication Date:
Grade Level:

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Graphic Novels » Literary
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Comics and Graphic Novels
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Comics in French : The European Bande Dessinee in Context
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Product details pages Berghahn Books - English 9781845455880 Reviews:
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