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Comics in French
The European Bande Dessinée in Context
360 pages, 40 illus., bibliog.
ISBN 978-1-84545-588-0 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (July 2010)
ISBN 978-0-85745-902-2 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (January 2013)
eISBN 978-1-84545-810-2 eBook
“The [volume] is impressive and the reading rewarding: not only does the author situate most of the major works of the bande dessinéeduring the twentieth century, he mentions as well the main scholarly books devoted to the study of this genre...The sources are very well documented…There is nothing missing in this book, or maybe just the bandes dessinées themselves, which are too numerous to be included even in a dozen volumes.” · Modern & Contemporary France
“…comics, and French comics in particular, are becoming a hot topic in the academic world.…while giving a context to the visual, [the author] succeeds in keeping close to the comic books and even the specific pictures with which he deals. Hence, the book is full of concrete examples of an incredible variety of styles and themes of Bande dessinée, beautifully and smartly contextualized. Indeed, the analyses Grove provides throughout the book make it a very good tool for the study of French culture.” · H-France Review
“…a well-documented and well-written work that will not only be a valuable resource for research but should also be a livre de chevet for anyone teaching a class linked to BD [bandes desinées]…It should be noted that Grove does not merely recapitulate or synthesize the critical work published in French and English on BD. He also stakes out original and sometimes challenging positions.” · French Studies
"Comics in French is written in a friendly, engaging style. Grove patiently explains and justifies his largely chronological, historical approach at each step of the way, discussing its pros and cons. The book covers a vast number of text/image… [and] is a valuable and very readable new contribution to bande dessiné studies. It deserves a place on the bookshelves of teachers, students and aficionados alike.” · Journal of Graphic Novels & Comics
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 considers 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 presents and analyses priceless manuscripts, a Franco- American rodent, Nazi propaganda, a museum-piece urinal, intellectual gay porn and a prehistoric warrior who's really Zinedine Zidane.
Laurence Grove is Reader in French and Director of the Stirling Maxwell Centre for the Study of Text/Image Cultures at the University of Glasgow. His research focuses on historical aspects of text/image forms, and in particular bande dessinée. He is President of the International Bande Dessinée Society. As well as serving on the consultative committees of a number of journals, he is general editor of Glasgow Emblem Studies, and co-editor of European Comic Art. Laurence Grove has authored (in full, jointly or as editor) nine books and approximately forty chapters or articles.