Author: nitnatter

Esther McConnell, The Graphic Novel: Interview with Dr Lisa El Refaie, Part 2

 This blog post is the fourth in a series by Esther McConnell, exploring graphic fiction and publishing. These posts are being written as part of Esther’s second project on the Project Management and Research undergraduate module at Cardiff University. 

Interview with Dr Lisa El Refaie, Part 2: WhizzKids United

Dr Lisa El Refaie is a senior lecturer at Cardiff University. Her main research interests are in visual and multimodal communication, with a particular focus on newspaper cartoons, autobiographical comics (or “graphic memoirs”), and the use of visual storytelling in health campaigns. Much of her work has explored the differences between verbal and visual/multimodal forms of metaphor, irony, and humour. She is currently giving a third year module on the Graphic Memoir at Cardiff University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy.  (more…)

Advertisements

Esther McConnell, The Graphic Novel: Interview with Dr Lisa El Refaie, Part 1

 This blog post is the third of a series by Esther McConnell, exploring graphic fiction and publishing. These posts are being written as part of Esther’s second project on the Project Management and Research undergraduate module at Cardiff University. 

Interview with Dr Lisa El Refaie, Part 1: The History and Culture of Graphic Literature

Dr Lisa El Refaie is a senior lecturer at Cardiff University. Her main research interests are in visual and multimodal communication, with a particular focus on newspaper cartoons, autobiographical comics (or “graphic memoirs”), and the use of visual storytelling in health campaigns. Much of her work has explored the differences between verbal and visual/multimodal forms of metaphor, irony, and humour. She is currently giving a third year module on the Graphic Memoir at Cardiff University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy. 

How did you first become interested in the graphic novel and multimodal communication?

It started with my PhD, which was on metaphors in Austrian newspaper discourses about asylum seekers. I was only looking at the language but then I noticed that some of the photographs and cartoons also reflected these metaphors. So I started to get interested in multimodal communication and how to analyse it. I then did a little bit of work on political cartoons, more generally, and, in particular, how young people understand and interpret cartoons. I had a project working with a human geographer; we used the cartoons as triggers for interviews about geopolitics with young people. So that was how I became interested in multimodal communication. (more…)

Esther McConnell, The Graphic Novel: A Potted History

This blog post is the second of a series by Esther McConnell, exploring graphic fiction and publishing. These posts are being written as part of Esther’s second project on the Project Management and Research undergraduate module at Cardiff University. 

The title of this piece is a simple one; the aim, too. To deliver a potted history of the graphic novel should not be so very hard. There is, however, rather a lot of history to pot. We could take ourselves back to Palaeolithic cave paintings, ancient Egyptian tombs, or the Bayeux tapestry. All of these represent narratives in a pictorial form. Even when we limit ourselves to a slightly more recent history (which I’m afraid, for the sake of my keyboard, we must), we find that each country and area of the world has comics and illustrated books evolving entirely differently. Where in Japan Manga begun as pro-military, extremely nationalistic and quickly developed creative techniques of pictorial storytelling, America’s comics evolved primarily in newspapers as attractive but simple strips. Different areas of the world saw different readerships and target audiences.

We will focus our attention on the history of the graphic novel in the UK. This will necessarily include the evolution of comic strips and the illustrated book and hopefully come to an end where the two intersect. (more…)

Esther McConnell, The Graphic Novel: Introduction

This blog post is the first of a series by Esther McConnell, exploring graphic fiction and publishing. These posts are being written as part of Esther’s second project on the Project Management and Research undergraduate module at Cardiff University.

On this bright February day I find myself sat comfortably next to shelves colourfully lined with graphic novels. It is a quiet, sunny spot, in an otherwise deeply serious, bustling library. Unlike the dry and heavy law volumes, or the readings and re-readings of Freud; these books are bright with their colours and promise. They offer up a world of visual and narrative experiences in (thank you Cardiff University) a vast range of languages. It is against this distracting array of books that I must turn my back and begin to type.

This first blog post marks the beginning of a series based around this type of book: the graphic novel. The series will explore the history of the form, the publishing world that surrounds it, the scholarship associated with it, and, how it is reaching out into the world. This exploration into the graphic novel will take the form of a series of interviews, portrayals, reflective and research based blog posts. Nevertheless, before we get into all that, it is probably for the best if we first consider what on earth a graphic novel is. (more…)