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Social Criticism through Humour in the Digital Age

Multimodal Extension in the Works of Aleix Saló

Javier Muñoz-Basols and Marina Massaguer Comes

Abstract

Numerous authors of comics and graphic novels have used the economic crisis in the Iberian Peninsula as a narrative frame for social criticism. Prominent amongst them is the Catalan cartoonist Aleix Saló, who burst onto the comics scene with his animated YouTube video Españistán, a book trailer for his graphic novel Españistán: Este país se va a la mierda [Españistán: This country is going to hell] (2011). This article shows how Saló offers a humorous and didactic portrait of the devastating effects of the economic crisis: he does this through multimodality (using specific shapes, colours, fonts and components of orality) and through creating ‘multimodal extensions’, intertextual relations between published books and book trailers. This analysis presents a case study of the multimodal techniques that authors use to shape and develop their work in the context of the powerful relationship between text and image in the digital age.