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Monstrous imaginaries : the legacy of romanticism in comics

Book - Book

This books brings engages with studies on Romanticism and on monsters in order to map out the heritage, functions and affects of good monsters in contemporary comics and graphic novels. It shows how Romantic inclinations and themes are continued through comics monsters that question the distinction between human and monster, self and other. Taking as its point of departure Romantic artists such as Goya and Blake and protagonists such as Mary ShelleyU+2019s Frankenstein's monster as well as figurations of the trickster and Baudelairian ennui the book gleans recurrent Romantic features that are then drawn out through monstrous protagonists in (English- and French-language) comics: dark romantic predilection for ruins and the sordid, the solitary protagonist, his quest, nostalgia, the prominence of the spectacle, excessive emotions, and above all, the characters' ambiguity and rebelliousness. In addition to insights from studies on comics, monsters and Romanticism, the book also engages with the concepts of the imaginary, presence and remediation. In blurring the otherness of the monster, these protagonists retain the exaggeration and uncontrollability of all monsters while incorporating Romantic elements and thus exemplifying the continuation of one of the most significant transformations of Western consciousness. Each theme is highlighted through close readings of well-known but often overlooked comics: Enki Bilal's Monstre tetralogy, Alan Moore's Swamp Thing run, Mike Mignola's Hellboy and James O'Barr's The Crow.
Pages: 264 p.
Publication year:2020