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Pogo, Pop and Politics

Robert Benayoun on Comics and Roy Lichtenstein

Gavin Parkinson

Abstract

This article examines for the first time the writings on comics and pop art by the surrealist Robert Benayoun in the 1950s and 1960s. Analysing Benayoun’s repudiation of Roy Lichtenstein’s work especially, it argues that these writings offer one means of navigating the rarely assessed overlap between surrealism and pop. Benayoun claimed immense significance for comics and derided Lichtenstein’s appropriation of the form from a political position gained from his immersion in surrealism; this position is only fully understandable through examination of surrealism’s theory of culture and its historical and cultural context of the 1950s and 1960s. Ultimately, I want to show not only why surrealism prefers Pogo to pop and Li’l Abner to Lichtenstein, but also how its occultist theory can accommodate culture where pop art sustains a conflict, in spite of what many have perceived as the collapse of high and low in pop.

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High Comics Art

The Louvre and the Bande Dessinée

Margaret C. Flinn

This article concerns the eight albums currently available in a series of bandes dessinées commissioned by the Louvre from established, well-respected bédéistes and co-published with Futuropolis since 2005. This successful, high-profile series has elicited positive critical response, but that response has also exposed persistent mutual antagonisms between bande dessinée and the establishment art world as represented by the Louvre Museum. These tensions between 'high' and 'low' culture can be read within the narratives of the albums themselves, in which we see reflexivity used to highlight bande dessinée's artistic value, and various types of obstruction and sensory impairments (realist and supernatural) are used to disrupt quotidian relationships to museum space.

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Introduction

Comics and Adaptation

Armelle Blin-Rolland, Guillaume Lecomte, and Marc Ripley

article develops a similar argument: Juliane Blank focuses on graphic adaptation in Germany in the context of a still prominent but now narrowing gap between ‘highandlowculture. Blank offers an overview of the development of the medium’s cultural

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Invoking the “Yolocaust”?

German Memory Politics, Cultural Criticism, and Contemporary Popular Arts

Ralph Buchenhorst

topical, even after the proclaimed and seminally discussed shift to postmodernism, a paradigmatic shift that promotes the elimination of the distinction between “highandlowculture. It is important to be considered if only for the purpose of

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Introduction

Tradition and Innovation in Franco-Belgian Bande dessinée

Fransiska Louwagie and Simon Lambert

case of the recent petitions and counter-petitions regarding a proposed Brussels-based ‘Musée du Chat’, featuring Philippe Geluck's iconic character. It gave proponents of high and low culture a new opportunity for debate, with Benoît Peeters placing

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‘… But Is It Literature?’

Graphic Adaptation in Germany in the Context of High and Popular Culture

Juliane Blank

Schund in the 1950s and 1960s to the conception of comics as literature brought about by the arrival of the term ‘graphic novel’. Concepts of ‘highandlowculture remain dominant to this day, and they have influenced and partly restricted the

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The Nineteenth-Century Dime Western, Boyhood, and Empowered Adolescence

Martin Woodside

an emphasis on quantity rather than quality, and shipped all over the country. Fueling emergent distinctions between high and low culture, dime novels represent one of America’s earliest and most prominent forms of popular culture. Western themes

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Making Friends of the Nations

Australian Interwar Magazines and Middlebrow Orientalism in the Pacific

Victoria Kuttainen and Sarah Galletly

presence in the region. Middlebrow orientalism, we argue, not only held in nervous tension the typical registers of “high and lowculture germane to the aspirational consumer culture of the emerging middlebrow, 2 but also mediated in these magazines

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The Professionalization of the Clergy

Parish Priests in Early Modern Malta

Frans Ciappara

,” [The parish priest: a mediator between high and low culture], in Storia d'Italia , Annali 4, Intellettuali e Potere , ed. Corrado Vivanti (Turin: Einaudi, 1981), 927. 70 NLM, Libr. 12, p. 598. 71 NAV, Ignazio Saverio Bonavita, 6 / 580, unnumbered

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Don Quixote Unbound

Intertextuality, Interpictoriality, and Transculturality in Flix's German Graphic Novel Adaptation (2012)

Tilmann Altenberg

interpictoriality does not discriminate between high and low culture. This practice, as well as the resulting levelling of traditional cultural hierarchies, has been considered part of a stylistic conception of postmodernism. 74 However, the fact that the German