Benoît Crucifix, Drawing from the Archives. Comics Memory in the Contemporary Graphic Novel, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, coll. “Cambridge Studies in Graphic Narratives”, 2023.
Following Art Spiegelman’s declaration that “the future of comics is in the past,” this book considers comics memory in the contemporary North American graphic novel. Cartoonists such as Chris Ware, Seth, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, and others have not only produced some of the most important graphic novels, they have also turned to the history of comics as a common visual heritage to pass on to new readers. This book is a full-length study of contemporary cartoonists when they are at work as historians: it offers a detailed description of how they draw from the archives of comics history, examining the different gestures of collecting, curating, reprinting, forging, swiping, and undrawing that give shape to their engagement with the past. In recognizing these different acts of transmission, this book argues for a material and vernacular history of how comics are remembered, shared, and recirculated over time.
Chapter 1 – Collecting
Chapter 2 – Curating
Chapter 3 – Reprinting
Chapter 4 – Forging
Chapter 5 – Swiping
Chapter 6 – Undrawing
Benoît Crucifix is Assistant Professor Cultural Studies at KU Leuven and researcher at the Royal Library of Belgium (KBR), working on the FED-tWIN ‘Pop Heritage’ project. He coedited Comics Memory: Archives and Styles (2018) and Abstraction and Comics (2019). He is a member of ACME and a co-editor for the journal Comicalités.
Cambridge Studies in Graphic Narratives
This series has been established to give readers access to the latest ground breaking research on graphic narrative. Combining meticulously researched historical studies with new theoretically rich critical engagements, it will publish the leading scholars at work today. Graphic narrative – the study of both comics and graphic novels, as well as other associated text-image materials – is a deliberately open approach that invites a move away from sterile, and too insider, discussions on the definition of forms. Works published in the series will be focussed on Anglophone and North American graphic narrative but will also explore where that milieu is central to the developments of ‘world’ graphic narrative. The series will upgrade notions of where graphic narrative has come from and where it is going next. It will provide original re-interpretation of classic works and bring to new attention missing masterpieces now ripe for re-evaluation. It opens a new conversation on how text and image combine to tell powerful stories that really matter. In a period of significant change in how texts and images are consumed via digital platforms, the series is intended to be a research landmark that will shape scholarly thinking and teaching through the 2020s.
General Editors :
Jan Baetens, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium; Hugo Frey, University of Chichester; Martha Kuhlman, Bryant University, Rhode Island