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Means-Shannon, Hannah: "Violent Cases and Mr. Punch. Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean reflect darkly on the imagery of individuation." In: Studies in Comics 2.2 (2012), S. 357–373.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: MeansShannon2012a
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Keywords: "Mr. Punch", "Violent Cases", Autobiographie, Gaiman. Neil, Großbritannien, Jung. Carl Gustav, McKean. Dave, Psychologie
Collection: Studies in Comics
This study considers aspects of personality development present in the autobiographical visual narratives of childhood created by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean in the graphic works Violent Cases (1987) and The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch (1994). In particular, Carl Jung’s theories of individuation are implemented to investigate the use of light and shadow in the presentation of childhood memory and adult narrative perspective. Archetypical expressions, such as the shadow and the trickster form the basis of dialogue between the conscious ego and the unconscious psyche in the works. This dialogue results in transcendent symbols of interrelationship between the ego and the psyche. Exploration of the graphic narratives illustrate the ways in which early childhood forms an identification with the shadow, while later childhood and adulthood assimilate the personal shadow and reject the shadow’s collective aspects in order to regulate society. The sequential narratives present Jungian ‘active imagination’ in motion through the adult contributions of narrator and artist, illustrating development towards balanced selfhood. An investigation of the ‘dark reflections’ present within these works results in a deeper understanding of imagery associated with individuation and affirms the process of visual narrative as a mode for psychological exploration. The place of psychological autobiographical graphic narratives within the wider genre of autobiographical graphic narratives is also discussed, highlighting a need for further consideration of genre classification.
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