Benoît Crucifix, "Drawing from the Archives: Comics Memory in the Contemporary Graphic Novel" (Cambridge UP, 2023)


Following Art Spiegelman's declaration that 'the future of comics is in the past, Drawing from the Archives: Comics Memory in the Contemporary Graphic Novel (Cambridge UP, 2023) considers comics memory in the contemporary North American graphic novel. Cartoonists such as Chris Ware, Seth, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, and others have not only produced some of the most important graphic novels, they have also turned to the history of comics as a common visual heritage to pass on to new readers. This book is a full-length study of contemporary cartoonists when they are at work as historians: it offers a detailed description of how they draw from the archives of comics history, examining the different gestures of collecting, curating, reprinting, forging, swiping, and undrawing that give shape to their engagement with the past. In recognizing these different acts of transmission, this book argues for a material and vernacular history of how comics are remembered, shared, and recirculated over time.

Dr. Benoît Crucifix is assistant professor of Cultural Studies at KU Leuven and researcher at the Royal Library of Belgium, working on the FED-tWIN “Pop Heritage” project. The aim of the project is to valorize collections of popular print culture. He is interested in the cultural practices that move and reframe existing comics in a variety of contexts and settings.

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Elizabeth Woock

Elizabeth Allyn Woock an assistant professor in the Department of English and American Studies at Palacky University in the Czech Republic with an interdisciplinary background in history and popular literature. Her specialization falls within the study of comic books and graphic novels.

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