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The Democratic Grotesque

Distortion, Liminality, and Dissensus in Post-Revolutionary Tunisia

Charis Boutieri

concept I name the ‘democratic grotesque’. Neither a precise style nor exclusive to the Western visual tradition that coined its name, the grotesque is best understood as a mode of aesthetic communication that startles the senses and evokes a range of

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Gabriel Remy-Handfield

with a sophisticated motion-capture device, performs in front of various digital landscapes populated by the artist's disfigured avatars. His body and movement control “a motley crew of grotesque 3D-modeled characters” ( Lai 2021: 54 ). The performance

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The Medium Is the Message

Olivier Schrauwen’s Arsène Schrauwen beyond Expectations of Autobiography, Colonial History and the Graphic Novel

Benoît Crucifix and Gert Meesters

). The Belgian Congo, the Hybrid and the Grotesque As should be clear by now, Schrauwen’s representation of his grandfather’s journey to the Congo is not attempting to reconstitute the ‘real’ story. In accordance, he does not lay claim to a realistic

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Impolite Interventions?

English Satirical Prints in the Presence of the Academy, c. 1750–1780

Danielle Thom

This article examines the reciprocity between satirical and academic modes of image making, and locates that relationship within the context of an emergent bourgeois public sphere. The cultural and commercial imperatives of that sphere enabled its inhabitants to engage with conflicting modes of cultural output, consuming grotesque and bawdy satire as an exercise in political autonomy, while simultaneously emulating 'elite' politeness. In particular, the commercial growth and increasing visibility of satirical prints challenged the polite hierarchy of art as it was understood by the nascent academies and societies of art established in the same period. This process of establishment needs to be re-framed in the context of satirical intervention, and will be examined via two paintings that provoked distinct satirical responses: Benjamin West's The Death of Wolfe and Francis Hayman's The See-Saw. Correspondingly, satirical print culture itself can be reframed in light of its use (and parody) of academic visual tropes and techniques.

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Refiguring Modernism in European Comics

'New Seeing' in the Works of Lorenzo Mattotti and Nicolas de Crécy

Barbara Uhlig

Both in literature and art, exponents of modernism sought new forms of expression that took into account changes in the social, economic, technical and political conditions of the time. A similar trend towards questioning outmoded forms of representation and establishing new ways of seeing has become apparent in European comics since the 1980s, a development that was initiated primarily in Italy and France. In Murmure (1989), Lorenzo Mattotti invokes expressionism and centres his mystical tale on the individual's inner being. In rejecting the representational norms traditionally applied to comics, Nicolas de Crécy also shows his allegiance to modernism yet reflects in his absurdly hyperrealist work, Foligatto (1991), the grotesque images of Otto Dix. The following article demonstrates how the two artists, despite the deliberate reversion to early twentieth-century art common to both, have, each in his own way, established a new approach to seeing in comics.

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A Tale of Three Candides

Sfar, Meyran and Delcourt Recount Voltaire

Matthew Screech

Since the millennium, bande dessinée artists have retold Voltaire's Candide three times. The first Candide is by Joann Sfar, the second by Philippe Meyran, and the third, by Gorian Delpâture, Michel Dufranne and Vujadin Radovanovic, is being published by Delcourt. This article begins with a brief presentation of the work. Taking our three Candides in chronological order, I then examine how Sfar, Meyran and the Delcourt version retell the story. Specific excerpts are studied, with emphasis on how far they convey Voltaire's irony. We shall see how Sfar finds new ways to infuse Candide with irony. Analogies with medieval illuminations intimate that the great iconoclast is being sanctified. Moreover, Sfar's grotesque artwork contrasts with Voltaire's elegant prose. Thus, Sfar adds a visual dimension to Voltaire's incongruities between what is said and what is meant. Sfar also jokes about ideas raised by Voltaire including philosophical optimism, anti-Semitism and Utopianism. Meyran depicts the hero's sequence of misfortunes with faux naïf caricature. Thus, he makes visible an incongruity between narrative developments and the manner of their recounting. Yet Meyran usually weakens (or eliminates) irony, while playing down philosophical and polemical issues. The Delcourt version employs elegant, technically accomplished artwork. The narrative is not without irony although engagement is intermittent. This work places emphasis on recounting a fast-moving adventure rather than elaborating upon the story's philosophical underpinnings.

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Shylock and the Nazis

Continuation or Reinvention?

Alessandra Bassey

. 4 Restraint in portraying Shylock would soon no longer be enough. When Werner Krauss’s Shylock waddled across the stage for the first time on 15 May 1943, the critics sharpened their pens, eagerly describing and celebrating the comic, grotesque

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Ekaterina Tikhonyuk and Mark McKinney

creating idiosyncratic works for over thirty years, since the late 1980s, when he self-published his first books. La Police specialises in undoing the aesthetic and narrative codes of cartooning and comic art in bizarre, monstrous, grotesque, and ironic

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Marc Saperstein and Ruth Scott

portrayed as Jews and endowed with unprecedentedly coarse, even grotesque faces’ (101). These innovations are associated with changes in the broader society, especially the growth of urban centres and economic prosperity, in which Jews played a significant

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Editorial

Comics and Transnational Exchanges

Lawrence Grove, Anne Magnussen, and Ann Miller

Jewish father and son who have grotesque faces, resembling an alien and a frog, respectively, echoes of a carnivalesque tradition of performance that can be tracked through manifestations such as the commedia dell'arte Pierrot and the Joker, traces of