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Conrad's Two Visions

Intermedial Transgenericity in Anyango and Mairowitz's Graphic Adaptation of Heart of Darkness

Véronique Bragard

Anyango and Mairowitz's graphic adaptation Heart of Darkness, published in 2010, interweaves parts of the original Conradian novella Heart of Darkness with several entries from Conrad's Congo Diary (1890), a series of stark factual notations he wrote down when visiting Congo in 1890. While this adaptation insists on a spatialization and historicization of the original text, the heterogeneous obscure graphic style as well as the intermediality created by the tension image-text-diary exposes the alterity and ambivalence within Conrad himself. This essay examines how the graphic narrative allows diary and fiction to act in dialogue with image, complicating Conrad's critique of Belgian colonialism and his implied indictment of British colonial expansion.

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From Pioneer of Comics to Cultural Myth

Castelao in Galician Graphic Biography

David Miranda-Barreiro

The multifaceted Galician artist, writer and politician Alfonso Daniel Rodríguez Castelao (1886–1950) has been considered a pioneer of Galician comics, or banda deseñada. This is because of his key role in the development of the medium from his early comic strips in the magazine Vida gallega [Galician life] (1909), to the cartoons that he published in the press in the 1920s and 1930s. Furthermore, Castelao has become a comics character in several graphic biographies since the end of the 1970s. This article not only addresses the reasons for the recurrent presence of Castelao in Galician comics, but it also looks at how the latter have contributed to the mythologisation of this important figure of Galician culture. In aesthetic terms, it will reveal the overlaps between adaptation, biography and comics by analysing all three of them as networks.

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Elizabeth S. Leet

Each tale in the Lanval corpus revolves around fairy women who style their bodies specifically to attract the male gaze. Each fairy uses her body’s visual impact to seduce her lover and resolve the judicial accusations against him. By adapting her body for private audiences, public parades, and even non-noble onlookers, each fairy participates actively in the gaze both to gain her respective lover’s freedom and to win the man of her choosing. The Lanval tales reveal women who submit to be analyzed and objectified in order to satisfy their lover’s wish along with their own goals. Additionally, Sir Landevale and Sir Launfal expand descriptions of the ladies, mirroring the increase in the number of people who assess them at the Arthurian trial. By examining the increasing volume of attire and decreasing interaction with animals across the adaptations, we see these poets problematize the overlap between objectification and empowerment.

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The Lost Thing

Moving Media Language from a Picture Book to a Short Film

Johanna Tydecks

The transformation of a picture book into a film is a special case of film adaptation because this process involves inherently intermedial qualities. In media literacy terms, when viewers look at a picture book that has been made into a film, they familiarize themselves with the story's imagery and plot, which makes it easier for them to comprehend the techniques employed by the film to create meaning. The Oscar-winning short film The Lost Thing is exemplary of this, as it narrates the same story as the original picture book, dealing with social as well as existential issues. This comparative analysis focuses on the two di erent narrations of this story with regard to the literacy skills required to comprehend them.

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Ronald de Rooy

Dante’s multifaceted cultural reception includes many comics adaptations. Against the background of a strong tradition of illustrating and visualising Dante, this article proposes a comparative analysis of significant contemporary comics adaptations from Europe and the United States. Recent European Dante comics generally adopt largely reverent modes of illustration, showing less aggressive forms of adaptation than their US counterparts. The text of Dante’s poem remains of great importance, and artists often refer to certain traditional milestones in Dante’s visual reception. American Dante comics are more firmly rooted in popular culture, adopting reductive adaptation methods to a greater extent, and are frequently embedded in transmedial constellations. Where the highbrow European tradition of Dante’s visual reception does shine through, it is always with strong ironic undertones. Especially interesting in this respect are the toy theatre/puppet movie Dante’s Inferno directed by Sean Meredith, Seymour Chwast’s graphic novel The Divine Comedy and the popular video game Dante’s Inferno.

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Gazing at Medusa

Adaptation as Phallocentric Appropriation in Blue Is the Warmest Color

Marion Krauthaker and Roy Connolly

Hélène Cixous’s liminal text ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’ calls for a challenge of traditional representations of femininity and prompts women to inscribe their hitherto concealed femininity into the world. Depicting the love, relationship and loss experienced by two female characters, Julie Maroh’s 2010 Blue Is the Warmest Color provides a narrative sustained by a reclaimed matrixial gaze that challenges patriarchal definitions of women. Whereas the original comic book acts in concert with Cixous’s perspective and seeks to assert the infinite richness of women’s individual constitutions, the 2013 film adaptation by Abdellatif Kechiche presents a different economy. This article analyses how, in contrast to Maroh’s original, the filmic adaptation discounts the feminine stance, develops a heteronormalised take on the same story and could therefore be read as promoting heteronormative leitmotifs and fantasised clichés of lesbian subjectivity and sexuality.

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Md Saidul Islam and Si Hui Lim

Home to 60 percent of the world's population, Asia accounts for 85 percent of those killed and affected globally by disaster events in 2011. Using an integrated sociological framework comprised of the pressure and release (PAR) model and the double-risk society hypothesis, and drawing on data obtained from the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT), PreventionWeb, and the IPCC special report on extreme events, this article offers a sociological understanding of disaster development and recovery in Asia. The particular focus is on seven Asian countries, namely, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Rather than treating disasters entirely as “natural” events caused by “violent forces of nature”, we emphasize various ways in which social systems create disaster vulnerability. We argue that existing disaster mitigation and adaptation strategies in Asia that focus almost entirely on the natural and technological aspects of hazards have serious limitations, as they ignore the root causes of disaster vulnerabilities, such as limited access to power and resources. This article therefore recommends a holistic approach to disaster management and mitigation that takes into consideration the various larger social, political, and economic conditions and contexts.

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Perspectives on Cinema and Comics

Adapting Feature Films into French-Language Comics Serials during the Post-war Years

Alain Boillat

This article focuses on the relatively little-known editorial context of children’s French-language comics serials at a time when they constituted the main distribution channel of the bande dessinée medium (before the album became the dominant format), from the immediate post-war years to the mid-1950s. I examine the importance given to the adaptation of films into bande dessinée by studying the editorial strategy to which this practice of adaptation contributes (focusing on the magazine L’Intrépide [The daredevil], which, at the time, specialised in adaptation) and the narrative and figurative aspects of the adapters’ approaches. I show in particular how bandes dessinées are inscribed in genres that structure the periodical publications, where these were previously established in the cinematographic domain such as the swashbuckler and the western. The processes of condensation or amplification of the narrative, as well as the use of the feuilleton, are at the centre of the case studies.

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Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation

Perspectives from a Century of Water Resources Development

Clive Agnew and Philip Woodhouse

The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the influential Stern Report both reinforce the warming of the earth's climate system. The alarming environmental, social, and economic consequences of this trend call for immediate action from individuals, institutions, and governments. This article identifies parallels between the problem of adaptive management presented by climate change and an earlier 'global water crisis'. It explores how adaptive strategies have successively emphasized three different principles, based on science, economics, and politics/institutions. The article contends that the close association between climate change and water resources development enables a comparative analysis to be made between the strategies that have been adopted for the latter over the last 100 years. It argues that the experience of water resources development suggests a strong interdependence between the three principles and concludes that conceptualizing them as different dimensions of a single governance framework is necessary to meet the challenge of climate change adaptation.

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The Incredible Edible Movement

People Power, Adaptation, and Challenges in Rennes (France) and Montreal (Canada)

Giulia Giacchè and Lya Porto

All over the world, different forms of urban food gardens (family gardens, school gardens, community gardens, allotment gardens, and so on) are flourishing. These initiatives vary in terms of space, actors, functions, and forms of organization. This article explores community garden typologies, focusing on Incredible Edible (IE) initiatives. We propose a theoretical discussion of IE initiatives and the differential adaptation of this model in contrasting contexts, specifically the city of Rennes, in France, and the city of Montreal, in Canada. The investigation of IE in both case studies is predicated on a qualitative methodological approach. A key conclusion is that the IE movement survives largely because of the input of volunteers. However, its longer-term sustainability requires resources and investment from municipal institutions if a real transition to edible cities is to be attained.