A Clear Line to Marcinelle

The Importance of Line in Émile Bravo's Spirou à Bruxelles

in European Comic Art
Bart Beaty University of Calgary beaty@ucalgary.ca

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This article considers Émile Bravo's screenprint, Spirou à Bruxelles, in order to analyse the relations that existed between the two dominant styles of comic book drawing in Belgium during the mid-twentieth century: the ligne claire style associated with Le Journal de Tintin and the Marcinelle school characterised by artists affiliated with Le Journal de Spirou. Working outward from the specific details of this image, the article situates Spirou within the history of Belgian children's publishing, and the world of modernist and surrealist painting as it can be encapsulated in the figure of René Magritte. The article suggests that the study of line has been historically overlooked by comics studies, and suggests ways by which this absence might be rectified.

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