Welcome to the second edition of the International Bande Dessinée Society column, a look back at developments in the world of bande dessinée (francophone comics) scholarship and research.
No retrospective examination of the year in bande dessinée can overlook the tragic events of January 2015: the shooting at the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The events and their ramifications have been discussed endlessly in the press, and discussion of the political or wider global effects of the attack is far beyond the remit of this column. However, the deaths of Stéphane Charbonnier (Charb), Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut (Cabu), Bernard Verlhac (Tignous) and Philippe Honoré represent a huge loss for not only Charlie Hebdo but the wider world of bande dessinée. Several of them were key figures in the development of post-war bande dessinée and wider visual culture in France. For example, Cabu and Wolinski’s work appeared in Charlie Hebdo from its beginnings in 1969 as well as its predecessor Hara-Kiri. Cabu and Charb, along with economist Bernard Maris, who was also killed, were instrumental in the resurrection of Charlie Hebdo in 1992 (publication had ceased in 1981). It is this incarnation which continues to the present day. Charlie Hebdo represents a particularly French tradition of satirical cartooning which lost many of its most important figures in the attacks. If you would like to know more about Charlie Hebdo and its place in French culture, Berghahn has published an informative blog post by Mark McKinney (University of Miami, Ohio) at their site, as well as making available two articles from European Comic Art: a history of the journal and its politics, as well as an interview with Cabu.
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Tags: Angouleme, Ann Miller, bande dessinée, Bart Beaty, Bastien Vivès, Benoît Peeters, Bernard Maris, Cabu, Charb, Charlie Hebdo, Chris Ware, Christian Maucler, David B., Dominique Cerbelaud, Enem, European Comic Art, Fabrice Leroy, France, Francis Lacassin, Georges Wolinski, German occupation of France, Hara-Kiri, Hergé, History, Jan Baetens, Jewish identity, Joann Sfar, Katsuhiro Otomo, Mark McKinney, memory, newspaper strips, Olivier Roche, Pascal Lefèvre, Philippe Honoré, Pierre Fresnault-Deruelle, Ralph Soupault, Riad Sattouf, Rodolphe Töpffer, Salon des Ouvrages sur la Bande Dessinée, satirical cartooning, The Adventures of Tintin, Thierry Crépin, Thierry Groensteen, Tignous, Tintin, Vichy, Vincent Pompetti, WWII
The comic market in the Western world today is heterogeneous and complex. However, I suggest it can be divided into three main segments, or groups of readers (see also the American market commentaries Alexander 2014, Alverson 2013): the first segment are manga fans, many of which also like anime and other kinds of Japanese pop culture. The second segment are comic fans in a narrower sense, who, at least in America, read mostly superhero comic books, and other comics from the genres of science fiction and fantasy. These are the ‘fanboys and true believers’ that Matthew J. Pustz writes about in his book Comic Book Culture (Pustz 1999). Finally, the third segment is the general public. These readers are not fans, but only casual readers of comics – mostly so-called “graphic novels”, newspaper strips and collections thereof, and the occasional bestseller such as the latest Asterix album.
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Tags: Akira, Albin Michel, Archie, autobiography, Barefoot Gen, Bleach, censorship, Comics Buyer's Guide, Der Spiegel, Dragon Ball, economics, fandom, Fantasy Advertiser, First Comics, First Publishing, Frank Miller, Frederick Schodt, gekiga, Graphic Novels, Gōseki Kojima, I Saw It, Ittō Ogami, Japan, Japan Inc., Japanese manga, Katsuhiro Otomo, Kazuo Koike, Keiji Nakazawa, Kozure Ōkami, Lone Wolf and Cub, Lynn Varley, Macao, Mai the Psychic Girl, manga, Manga Nihon Keizai Nyūmon, Martin Skidmore, Matthew J. Pustz, medieval comics, Naruto, Negative Perceptions of Comics, Norman Rentrop, One Piece, Peter Odrich, Rraah!, Sailor Moon, Sexual Violence, Shōtarō Ishinomori, superheroes, Superman, The Legend of Kamui, Translations, University of California Press, USA, Weekly Manga Action