Five Years of Editing Les Cahiers de la Bande Dessinée

in European Comic Art
Thierry Groensteen École européenne supérieure de l'image, France

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Thierry Groensteen looks back over the years during which he edited Les Cahiers de la Bande Dessinée, transformed from the earlier Schtroumpf into a publication that promoted analysis and brought challenging and ambitious comics to the attention of readers, in a context where an earlier generation of comics studies pioneers had deserted the medium, and the experimentation of 1970s comics had given way to the dominance of more commercially viable series. Groensteen details the complex labour of putting a journal together, the recruiting of contributors, the coexistence of disparate theoretical approaches, and the hostility from certain quarters of the comics milieu that considered the journal pretentiously intellectual. The legacy of Les Cahiers endures in the form of major works for which it laid the foundations.

Contributor Notes

Thierry Groensteen curated the Comics Museum in Angoulême from 1993 to 2001. He has been editor-in-chief of two important journals, Les Cahiers de la Bande Dessinee and Neuvième Art, now online as NeuviemeArt2.0. The latter includes a comics encyclopaedia, of which a print version is forthcoming later this year. Groensteen is the founder of the publishing company L'An 2, now an imprint of the group Actes Sud. He teaches at the École européenne supérieure de l'image, in Angoulême, and has curated many exhibitions. He has authored numerous books about the history, the semiotics, and the aesthetics of comics, as well as scripts and novels. Email:

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