New Book: Naissances de la bande dessinée - De William Hogarth à Winsor McCay
De William Hogarth à
24 x 33 cm / 144 pages
Nombreuses ill. en couleur
ISBN : 978-2-87449-082-8
EAN : 9782874490828
The Many Births of Comics
Around 1900 the American newspapers started publishing a new genre full of humour and action that we have no problems in identifying as the comics. And we also know that this comic strip appeared in the same years as the film and the phonograph. Yet what Thierry Smolderen convincingly demonstrates in this wonderful book is that the origins of this new genre are in fact much older, and that one can only understand the comic strip by linking it to the birth of a totally different genre, that of the modern novel, which appears in England during the the 18th Century. It was the satirical work of the painter and engraver William Hogarth that bridged the gap between image and novel and it was Hogarth who made a seminal contribution to a new narrative environment, enabling totally new forms of interaction between the image and the media of the modern era.
During the 19th Century, the new impulse given by Hogarth did not exceed the limits of a particular group of draughtsmen, the so-called humorist-illustrators who devote their immense visual culture to the mere goals of parody. Fascinated by the world of graffiti, children’s drawings and marginal productions, these artists were the very first to seize the opportunities given by the emerging media, schematized and combined by them in a spirit of irony. Since Rodolphe Töpffer, they also enjoyed themselves by criticizing the representations of the industrial world, which they questioned through their reuse of the naïve past of popular visual narratives. The comic strip will be the future emanation of these first experiments.
The Many Births of Comics proposes a new and fresh vision of what we thought we knew already. The book argues that instead of being a new medium that suddenly emerged at the turn of the century, the comic strip is indebted to a much older culture, that of the image to be read, a culture as old as that of the printed image. Seminal elements such as the speech balloon, the clear line and the visual storytelling are part of a genealogy that is much older and richer than event their authors themselves tended to believe. The initial dialogue of the comic strip with the experimental novel of the 18th Century as well as with the book culture of the romantic era, its long lasting cohabitation with the various kinds of illustrated press, its symbiosis with the world of the film, all these elements make the comics the potential workshop par excellence of today’s images.
Scriptwriter, theorist and Professor at the European School of Visual Arts, Thierry Smolderen is one of today’s top experts in the history of the comic. He has published numerous articles in French magazines (such as 9e Art) as well as American publications (such as Comic Art). The new theoretical foundations on which his research is based on have allowed him to reveal fascinating documents, which until now were unknown. Among his graphic novel plots, one can point out the imagined biography of McCay (illustrated by J-P. Bramanti, Delcourt publications), and the Ghost Money series (illustrated by D. Bertail, Dargaud publications).