Reframing the Western Genre in Bande dessinée, from Hollywood to Ledger Art

An Intermedial Perspective

in European Comic Art
Nicolas Martinez Graduate, Cardiff University, UK

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In European Francophone Western comics, intermediality goes beyond the widely acknowledged visual influences from Western films. The different sections of this article outline in several case studies how Western bande dessinée often translates an intermedial web of pictorial and photographic hypotexts that have been researched to different extents. Finally, this paper explores a neglected perspective on the visual representations of the American frontier in comics: the artistic production of Native Americans, which is very much present in Western bande dessinée. Building on this analysis and following the lead of researchers that have surveyed some of the main historical developments of graphic narratives, this article posits that the critical and historical study of marginalised visual narratives such as Native American ledger art could feature more prominently in comics scholarship.

Contributor Notes

Nicolas Martinez graduated from Cardiff University in 2020 with a PhD in Languages and Translation Studies. His work focuses on the sociology of translation and adaptation, applied linguistics, visual studies, comics and graphic narratives, genre fiction, and transnational censorship. He is a member of the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS) and the International Association of Word and Image Studies (IAWIS), and a founding member of the Comics Studies Society (CSS). His publications include contributions to the volume Comics Memory: Archives and Styles (Palgrave Macmillan) and to the blog The Middle Spaces, and reviews for the journals Studies in Comics and Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. ORCiD: 0000-0001-9535-6306.

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