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Canadian Graphic: Picturing Life Narratives

Canadian Graphic: Picturing Life Narratives (Paperback)

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This book presents critical essays on contemporary Canadian cartoonists working in various forms of graphic life narrative, from confession to memoir to biography. The contributors draw on literary theory, visual studies, and cultural history to ask why and how Canadian cartoonists have become so prominent in the international market for comic books based on real-life experiences. The essays explore the highly varied visual styles and auto/biographical storytelling techniques of Canadian cartoonists both well known (Chester Brown, Seth, and Julie Doucet) and emerging (Sarah Leavitt, Scott Chantler, Ho Che Anderson, and David Alexander Robertson). Canadian Graphic also considers the role of graphic life narratives in reimagining the national past, from Indigenoussettler relations to both world wars to Quebec's Quiet Revolution. The editors argue that no single stylistic or thematic school of Canadian graphic life narratives exists, even as these works share a concern with the spectacular vulnerability of the self.

Contributors use a range of approaches and methodologies to analyse the political, aesthetic, and narrative tensions embedded in these works between self and other, memory and history, individual and collective. An original contribution to the study of auto/biography, alternative comics, and Canadian print culture, Canadian Graphic proposes new ways of reading the intersection of comics and auto/ biography both within and across national boundaries.

Candida Rifkind is an associate professor in the Department of English, University of Winnipeg. She published Comrades and Critics: Women, Literature, and the Left in 1930s Canada (2009) and has chapters on graphic life narratives in Material Cultures in Canada (WLU Press, 2015), Canadian Literature and Cultural Memory (2014), and the journals Biography, International Journal of Comic Art, and Canadian Review of American Studies. Susanna Egan is a professor in the department of English at the University of British Columbia. Her most recent monograph is titled Mirror Talk: Genres of Crisis in Contemporary Autobiography.

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