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Goodall, Mark: "The ‘Book of Manson’. Raymond Pettibon and the killing of America." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 3.2 (2012), S. 159–170.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Goodall2012
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Keywords: Kunst, Musik, Pettibon. Raymond, Randformen des Comics, USA
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Raymond Pettibon’s work sits uncomfortably in the world of comics or cartoons. Instead of jokes or punch-lines, his work promotes an intense form of narrative and exhibits a unique ‘illustrative-comic style’ (O’Connor, The Believer [online], 1995). His work emerged from and reflects upon underground pop culture (rock music, TV, films), and it is the dark side of humanity that his work explores. Pettibon says that he actually prefers writing to drawing and the importance of ‘texts’ can be seen in Raymond Pettibon: A Reader (1998, Philadelphia Museum of Art), a collection in which the written inspirations for his psycho-graphic style is clear. This paper examines how the disturbing subject of Charles Manson oozes into the consciousness of writers, artists and musicians, using Pettibon’s work as a powerful case study of this weird phenomenon. Manson has haunted the art of our time; he typifies the way in which, as Pettibon acknowledges, ‘There are certain figures, without even my meaning to do it, that become subjects’ (O'Connor, The Believer [online], 1995). In his cartoons, Pettibon depicts Charles Manson in a variety of ways. This reflects the various multiple readings of Manson and his story evident since his trial and conviction in the late 1960s. Pettibon’s links with the American music underground brought him in contact with Manson as a symbol. The media obsession with celebrity – especially ‘bad’ celebrities – is a powerful force which Pettibon addresses. In 1989, Pettibon even made a low-budget movie about Manson and his followers. It is a fascinating intersection of graphic art, music and murder which this paper opens up.
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