A Visit from Philippulus

in European Comic Art

‘Scenariographics’ is defined as the deployment of the (non-specific) codes of the medium by individual comics artists in order to achieve effects that are specific to their work and therefore difficult to transpose to any other medium. L’Étoile mystérieuse, is used as a case study: a close reading of Hergé’s comic demonstrates how the artist creates a complex semiological web, drawing upon the resources of comics syntax and layout, onomatopoeia and emanata, visual metaphor, infra-narrative elements and intertextual motifs, blurring boundaries between dream life (more often nightmares) and wakefulness, realism and the fantastic. Moreover, through the coexistence and transposition of different levels of reality, including the everyday, the supernatural and the psychic, Hergé creates meanings that have political resonance in an album produced for a collaborationist newspaper.