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Comics and graphic novels: fairy-tale graphic narrative
chapterposted on 2018-03-28, 00:00 authored by Emma WhatmanEmma Whatman
Comics and graphic novels offer multi-modal media for the adaptation of fairy-tale narratives, characters, motifs, and iconography. Many contemporary comics and graphic novels adapt classic literature such as fairy tales, myths, and legends in order to reimagine, expand, and update familiar, well-known stories. These graphic adaptations are a vehicle for many different ideas, stories, and images and they function as a visual and textual conduit for shifting social, cultural, and political landscapes. This chapter analyses a selection of fairy-tale comics and graphic novel to investigate the different ways that they draw on medium-specific conventions and different genres to adapt various tales. I explore how different graphic styles, and the multimodal and temporal possibilities of fairy-tale comics and graphic novels shape the way they subscribe to, or transcend the ideological origins of earlier versions. While many fairy-tale graphic narratives enable the reproduction of problematic ideologies – particularly surrounding femininity – others offer different ways to represent subversive discourses and offer a space to challenge and negotiate complex life experiences such as trauma and abuse.