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Sipp, Geo: "Wolves in the City – The Algerian War and Colonialism in Comics." In: Journal of Comics and Culture 1 (2016), S. 175–189.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Sipp2016
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Keywords: Algerien, Kolonialismus, Krieg, Schaffensprozess, Sipp. Geo
Collection: Journal of Comics and Culture
As I have researched the history of the French-Algerian War for a graphic novel I am creating entitled Wolves in the City, (http://www.facebook.com/wolvesinthecity) I have become more aware of the topical relevance of this conflict, particularly as it relates to insurgency and counter-insurgency military tactics. Additionally, the plight of the human condition becomes a central theme and can be visually explored with an intimacy unique to the discipline of comics. It takes the work beyond the narrative of graphic fiction and draws parallels to conflicts and issues that we face militarily today and brings to the forefront the moral ambiguity of how people react to the emotional and physical displacement of citizens in crisis. Through meticulously researched comic strips such as Tintin, Terry and the Pirates and Prince Valiant, audiences have been compelled by the adventures of the lead characters in exotic foreign locations, while gleaning historical insights as foundations for the story content. More recently, with Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Joe Sacco’s Palestine, Footnotes in Gaza and Safe Area Gorazde and Jacques Tardi’s It Was the War in the Trenches, the expanded format of the graphic novel has enabled artists to examine from a journalistic perspective the complexities of human cruelty and desperation. The examina on of Colonialism in comics, particularly as it pertains to France’s dominion over Algeria is explored in depth by Jacques Ferrandez with his series Carnets d’Orient and Alain and Désirée Frappier with their publica on Dans l’ombre de Charonne. My intent with Wolves in the City is to provide an historical context of the French-Algerian War from 1954–1962, particularly as it relates to the ethical ambiguities of The Question, French journalist Henri Alleg’s autobiography of the torture he endured at the hands of the French military. Yet the work also refers back to the romance of older adventure strips through the protagonist being an American expatriate joining the French Foreign Legion to escape a criminal past. Comics and graphic novels, through their unique perspective of observing and controlling the illusion of me, can create a narrative.
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