Introduction

Diversity and New Directions

in European Comic Art

Future directions are often shaped by quirks of necessity or chance: the groundbreaking iconoclast that is Moebius’s Garage hermétique, with its rejection of conventional narrative or character coherence, came as a result of the author having forgotten previous scripts from one week to the next; Rodolphe Töpffer, so often credited for having invented the modern comic strip, initially saw himself as producing no more than scribblings for the entertainment of his pupils; one of the earliest of text/image forms, the emblem, may well be the result of Augsburg printer, Heinrich Steiner, adding images in 1531 to Andrea Alciato’s epigrams, a far cry from the composed intertwining of Francesco Colonna’s Hypnerotomachia Poliphili of 1499. Mirroring such processes in our own way, European Comic Art is embarking on a new direction, as we turn to issues that can reflect the diversity of comic art rather than being necessarily united by a single theme. It is a logical direction, but also one shaped by chance and necessity, that of the diversity of high-quality submissions that we have been delighted to receive.

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