Rethinking the ‘Memorable Panel’ from Pierre Sterckx to Olivier Josso Hamel

in European Comic Art
Benoît Crucifix University of Liège

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This article returns to the origins of the case mémorable in the pages of Les Cahiers de la bande dessinée and revisits the debates between Pierre Sterckx and Benoît Peeters over the relationship between single panels and narrative, which were articulated around a conceptual tension between linear and tabular. It proposes that the concept of the ‘memorable panel’ pinpoints important issues concerning the recirculation of single images, isolated from their contexts, and the discourse of memory that becomes associated with them. A close reading of Olivier Josso Hamel’s Au travail, in which the cartoonist redraws his own set of memorable panels, further calls for a reconsideration of Sterckx’s concept in the light of a creative practice that intimately engages with the memory of such panels in a complex relationship to their original narratives.

Contributor Notes

Benoît Crucifix is an F.R.S.-FNRS doctoral fellow at the University of Liège and UCLouvain. His thesis focuses on how contemporary cartoonists reframe and mediate the history of comics both in their own works and in collaboration with other cultural actors. He is a member of the ACME group and has co-organised the international conferences ‘Poetics of the Algorithm’ and ‘Comics and Memory’. E-mail:

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