Ivan Lima Gomes

Comic book editions in a transnational perspective: from newspaper to book

Description: Since the mid-nineteenth century comics (comic books) are one of the most popular media among readers of various ages. The memories that many people keep of their own readings or those of others who read comics contrasts with the shy reflection of historical scope that has been around them until now. While fields such as visual arts, media studies and literary theory have already assumed comic books as language with specific narrative aspects, little is questioned within the historical studies about the contributions that comic books can introduce to history and historiography. This research project seeks to point out some paths in this direction, highlighting the relations between visual culture and editorial history and assuming the materiality of comic language as a key element for the understanding of its historicity. Being an unfolding of the theoretical-methodological profile of more specific research; previous ones that I developed from graduation to doctorate, this time the research will assume an almost programmatic tone. Although it presents some objects that will be discussed as the starting point of the project, I do not intend to stick to them, but to use this corpus to explore broader possibilities in terms of theoretical-methodological reflection. The works are: Fantomas contra los vampiros multinacionales, from Julio Cortázar; Batman en Chile, from the Chilean Enríque Lihn; y las brasileñas Pega para Kaputt, from Luis Fernando Veríssimo, Josué Guimarães, Moacyr Scliar and Edgar Vasquez; and Agá, from Hermilo borba Filho. In other words, the research will seek to develop strategies and possible approaches for the study of comic books from a historical perspective, taking into account the historicity of its language as an object; instead of prioritizing one or another series, character, publisher, etc. With this, the project ends up articulating itself to parallel actions that I now hope to develop, such as orientations and reading groups. From the expectations of the public involved in such activities, more specific objects will be approached from the theoretical-methodological approach to be developed throughout the project.