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Author Topic: Graphic Novels as Autobiographies
jrose
babble intern
Babbler # 13401

posted 23 May 2008 05:00 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just stumbled across this article in the latest issue of Broken Pencil, which looks at a trend of presenting autobiographies through graphic novels.

Autobiographic

quote:

The appeal of graphic novels, some say, is rooted in its creation of a unique experience separate from other media: just like a classic literary work, the graphic novel gives us the intimacy of a story well told. But like the film experience, the graphic novel combines visual with verbal rhetoric to give birth to a hybrid form of reading unlike any other. And when an author’s personality peppers the pages, the text is electrified with an energy palpable from the first panel. The best literary memoirs can have us riding shotgun next to the adventurous author, and the best graphic memoirs can accomplish the same with one added twist: we are witness to the images swirling inside the author’s head, recreated from memory for our enjoyment.


I am wondering if anyone has read, or knows of any, excellent examples of autobiographic graphic novels.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
token right-wing mascot
Babbler # 4226

posted 23 May 2008 06:37 AM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There's one on Riel which is fantastic
From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4019

posted 23 May 2008 08:05 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes! Louis Riel, by Toronto artist Chester Brown. It's incredible, but not an autobiography, obviously.

ETA: Oh, and of course, Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis series.

I should also point out that the graphic novel is particularly suited to the autobiography, not simply because of its unique experience of the convergence of image and text (much more complex, I think, than as the article in the OP states, a hybrid of novel & film), but also because the image allows a specific re-casting of memory through projection in away the naturalism of film does not allow. Satrapi employs this re-fashioning of the body with brilliant effect as she negotiates between the anxiety of showing the body in Iran, her own feelings and preoccupation with the veil, and showing her foreignness in a different way than the xenophobic cultures she inhabits project upon her. So it's more than just reproducing memory, like the OP article states, the graphic novel provides an opportunity to actively rework memory to fit the themes and desire of the artist.

[ 23 May 2008: Message edited by: Catchfire ]

[ 23 May 2008: Message edited by: Catchfire ]


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 03 June 2008 08:28 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Dead People, Dads and Daedalus: Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home
quote:
Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home is one of my favourite books to recommend to a non-comic reader (or I should say, new comic reader). It’s literary, intelligent and complex. It’s been recognized in mainstream press and was on the New York Times best seller list. Also, the art is real purty.

Alison Bechdel created Dykes to Watch Out For, a long-running comic strip that appeared in queer newspapers. Fun Home is her autobiographical story about growing up queer, in a funeral home, with a closeted gay dad.

The real meat of the story deals with Bechdel’s relationship with her father — their constant clashes, his obsessive, controlling tendencies, his secret gay affairs with his high school students, his suicide, and Bechdel’s reflections about how she was not so different from him.



From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
token right-wing mascot
Babbler # 4226

posted 03 June 2008 08:40 AM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
Yes! Louis Riel, by Toronto artist Chester Brown. It's incredible, but not an autobiography, obviously.

That's true. I was kinda ignoring the 'auto' part of the subject. Our former moderator introduced me to it a few months ago. Very cool book.


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 03 June 2008 08:51 AM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Chester Brown also wrote "I never liked you" which is a really good autobiography. I got it signed by him a few years ago. I really liked it.
From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 11323

posted 03 June 2008 02:33 PM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Let me vouch for Chester Brown's Louis Riel. It is wonderful and so moving. I can't write eloquent book reviews. I give it as gifts and have never had a dissatisfied customer yet. Please read it.
From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
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Babbler # 10724

posted 03 June 2008 03:32 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sentences : [the life of M.F. Grimm]
By: Carey, Percy.

From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 03 June 2008 03:35 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, never mind. I should have read the next couple of posts!

[ 03 June 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jrose
babble intern
Babbler # 13401

posted 04 June 2008 05:18 AM      Profile for jrose     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just stumbled across this one on my morning blogroll:

365 Days: A Diary by Julie Doucet

quote:
Despite Julie Doucet's renunciation of her comics-centric lifestyle over five years ago, 365 Days is imbued with the iconic talent and studied aesthetic of her seminal comic book series Dirty Plotte, which catapulted her into being one of the world’s greatest cartoonists. This visual journal, starting in late 2002, is an idiosyncratic collision of her various creative interests, wherein personal narrative, collage and drawing begin to tell the story of her pursuits into printmaking and beyond, chronicling her maturation as a mid-career artist and her fluid extension into a broader arts community.

Though it doesn't seem to use much narrative to sew together a story, it seems to use images to fill the space where words are not enough.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
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posted 04 June 2008 06:01 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I adore Julie Doucet and still have my Dirty Plotte comics. I'll have to check out the newest.
From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
angrymonkey
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posted 05 June 2008 12:14 AM      Profile for angrymonkey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
i just picked up that doucet. Her stuff is great. There's a lot of people I haven't followed for some years now. Chester brown, seth, joe matt, james kochalka. I used to read all that stuff.
Have a bunch of joe sacco (palestine etc) that i have to read. Everybody used to be doing autobio comics, not so much now.

I remember when chester and charles burns and a few other artists came in for an art show and collaborated on a poster for it. Was quite cool to each of them work in their own styles. I remember burns used a brush and was real loose and flowing (he didn't like the quality of the brush someone gave him and told him so) and chester was the opposite - curled up and focused making very little movement.


From: the cold | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged

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