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Inventing Comics


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Inventing Comics recovers and translates two of Rudolphe Töpffer’s nineteenth-century essays on the rhetorical invention of comics, an amateur aesthetic practice of the popular image. Growing out of contemporary philosophical thought, these essays reflect an early iteration of post-critical thought in the cultural and institutional shift from literacy to electracy.



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Published 01 November 2016
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EAN13 9781602358713
Language English
Document size 10 MB

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from a host of scholars in a diverse range of îelds, including rhet
and signiîcance of graphic novels has remained unavailable to  îlls this gap by presenting a translation of two essays by Töpffer that place the
neva, Töpffer not only wrote popular îction (graphic novels, novels, plays) but also a host of scholarly works addressing the relationship between aesthetics and poetics. Pulling from Töpffer’s scholarly corpus, Figueiredo argues that Töpffer’s invention of graphic novels was the manifestation of a much broader media theory, one that engaged with the social, cultural, political, and technological shifts accompanying the Industrial Revolution in the early- and mid-nineteenth century. While Figueiredo’s primary focus
emergence of what Gregory L. Ulmer has called
history, graphic novels, literary studies, philosophy, sensory studies, and writing studies.
is Assistant Professor of Media and Rhetoric in the Department of English at Kennesaw State University.
Series Editor: Marguerite Helmers
The cover design is by Brian Graines and uses an original drawing from Töpffer’s
3015 Brackenberry Drive Anderson, South Carolina 29621 http://www.parlorpress.com S A N: 2 5 4 – 8 8 7 9 ISBN: 978-1-60235-871-3
arlor Press
A New Translation of Rodolphe Töpffer’s ReLections on Graphic Storytelling, Media Rhetorics, & Aesthetic Practice
Edited, Translated, and Introduced by Sergio C.Figueiredo
Inventing Comics
Visual Rhetoric Series Editor: Marguerite Helmers
The Visual Rhetoric series publishes work by scholars in a wide variety of disciplines, including art theory, anthropology, rheto-ric, cultural studies, psychology, and media studies.
Books in the Series Inventing Comics: A New Translation of Rodolphe Töpffer’s Reflections on Graphic Storytelling, Media Rhetorics, and Aesthetic Practice, ed. and trans. by Sergio C. Figueiredo (207) Haptic Visions: Rhetorics of the Digital Image, Information, and Nanotechnolog yby Valerie L. Hanson (205) Locating VisualMaterial Rhetorics: The Map, the Mill, and the GPSby Amy D. Propen (202) Visual Rhetoric and the Eloquence of Design, ed. by Leslie Atzmon (20) Writing the Visual: A Practical Guide for Teachers of Composition and Communica tion, ed. by Carol David and Anne R. Richards (2008) Ways of Seeing, Ways of Speaking: The Integration of Rhetoric and Vision in Con structing the Real, ed. by Kristie S. Fleckenstein, Sue Hum, and Linda T. Calendrillo (2007)
A New Translation of Rodolphe Töpffer’s Reflections on Graphic Storytelling, Media Rhetorics, and Aesthetic Practice
Edited, Translated, and Introduced by Sergio C. Figueiredo
Parlor Press Anderson, South Carolina www.parlorpress.com
Parlor Press LLC, Anderson, South Carolina, USA © 207 by Parlor Press All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America S A N: 2 5 4 - 8 8 7 9
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Tèopffer, Rodolphe, 799-846, author. | Figueiredo, Sergio C.,  editor, translator, writer of introduction. Title: Inventing comics : a new translation of Rodolphe Tèopffer’s  reflections on graphic storytelling, media rhetorics, and aesthetic  practice / edited, translated, and introduced by Sergio C. Figueiredo. Description: Parlor Press : Anderson, South Carolina, [207] | Se-ries: Visual  rhetoric | Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 20703895| ISBN 978602358690 (pbk. : alk. pa-per) | ISBN  978602358706 (hardcover : acid-free paper) Subjects: LCSH: Graphic novels. | Graphic arts. | Cartooning. | Visual  communication. Classification: LCC PQ2452.T2 A2 207 | DDC 74.5/9--dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/20703895
2 3 4 5
978--60235-869-0 (paperback); 978--60235-870-6 (hardcover); 978--60235-87-3 (pdf); 978--60235-872-0 (epub); 978--60235-873-7 (iBook); 978--60235-874-4 (Kindle)
Visual Rhetoric Series Editor: Marguerite Helmers
The cover design is by Brian Graines and uses an original drawing from Töpffer’sNouveaux Voyages en Zigzag[854]. Printed on acid-free paper.
Parlor Press, LLC is an independent publisher of scholarly and trade titles in print and multimedia formats. This book is available in paper, cloth and eBook formats from Parlor Press on the World Wide Web at http://www. parlorpress.com or through online and brick-and-mortar bookstores. For submission information or to find out about Parlor Press publications, write to Parlor Press, 305 Brackenberry Drive, Anderson, South Caro-lina, 2962, or email editor@parlorpress.com.
Acknowledgmentsix Rodolphe Töpffer, Media Rhetorics, & Electracyxi
Part I: “Essay on Physiognomy” [1845]3 Introduction to “Essay on Physiognomy”5 Chapter One15 Chapter Two17 Chapter Three21 Chapter Four25 Chapter Five35 Chapter Six43 Chapter Seven49 Chapter Eight53 Chapter Nine67 Chapter Ten73 Chapter Eleven83 Chapter Twelve89 Part 2: “Essay on Autography” [1842]95
Part 3: “Of a Genevan Painter” [1830]123 Introduction to “Of a Genevan Painter”125 Of a Genevan Painter [1830]131
Works Cited173 About the Editor and Translator177
This book is dedicated to my grandmother: Maria Cacilda Borges Correia.
Acknowledgments he making of this book has been influenced by a wide-range forTtheir enduring encouragement and thoughtful, generous men-of people, histories, events, and places. First and foremost, I would like to thank Cynthia Haynes and Victor Vitanza torship, beginning with the dissertation that eventually led to this project. Thanks also to Marguerite Helmers for her continued sup-port and careful readings of the essays in this book during the vari-ous stages of production. Additional thanks go to Victor Taylor for his enthusiasm and support for this project, and for offering me a variety of opportunities to explore the significance of Töpffer’s work across a range of fields in the arts and humanities. And thanks to Cheryl Ball for reviewing a manuscript of my dissertation and offering extensive and thoughtful feedback—specifically, her com-ments concerning the need for additional research that prompted me to discover Töpffer. Gregory Ulmer’s work on apparatus the-ory and electracy has been especially influential in this research. Thanks also to Johanna Drucker, Jason Helms, Richard Smyth, and Nick Sousanis for their enthusiastic support for the project. Thanks also to David Blakesley for his guidance through the pro-duction process. I am also grateful to a number of colleagues that have allowed me to share this project with them as it was developing: Letizia Gugliel-mo, M. Todd Harper, Laura McGrath, Chris Palmer, Geoff Sirc, Drew Stowe. Thanks also to the Global Art and Ideas Nexus, RCID Research Forum at Clemson University,Textshop Experiments, andIm ageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studiesfor offering me fora to present var-ious aspects of Töpffer’s work. I would also like to give a shout out to my cohort (and the cohorts that came before and after) at Clem-son University’s Rhetorics, Communication, and Information De-sign (RCID) doctoral program, particularly in recognition of the