1st Edition

Precarious Youth in Contemporary Graphic Narratives Young Lives in Crisis

Edited By María Porras Sánchez, Gerardo Vilches Copyright 2023
    288 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume explores comics as examples of moral outrage in the face of a reality in which precariousness has become an inherent part of young lives. Taking a thematic approach, the chapters devote attention to the expression and representation of precarious subjectivities, as well as to the economic and professional precarity that characterizes comics creation and production.

    An international team of authors, young and senior systematically examines the representation of precarious youth in graphic fiction and autobiographic comics, superheroes and precarity, market issues and spaces of activism and vulnerability. With this structure, the book offers a global perspective and comprehensive coverage of different aspects of a complex and multifaceted field of knowledge, with a special attention to minorities and liminal subjects. The comics analyzed function as examples of "ethical solicitation" that bear witness of the precarious existence younger generations endure, while at the same time creating images that voice their outrage and might move readers to act.

    This timely and truly interdisciplinary volume will appeal to comics scholars and researchers in the areas of media and cultural studies, modern languages, education, art and design, communication studies, sociology, medical humanities and more.

    List of Figures
    List of Contributors

    Introduction: Graphic Narratives and the Precarious Condition
    María Porras Sánchez and Gerardo Vilches

    Part I

    Representations of Precarious Youth in Graphic Fiction

    1. The Ideological Depiction of Childhood during the Great Depression: from Little Orphan Annie to Little Lefty
    Francisco Saez de Adana

    2. Oppressive Structures and Childhood Precarity in The Witches: A Graphic Novel
    María Augusta Albuja Aguilar

    3. Journey to Adulthood: Visual Representation of a Morphing Identity in Inio Asano’s Goodnight Punpun
    José Andrés Santiago

    4. “A Malaise That We Don’t Know What to Name:” Cruel Optimism and Residual Disenchantment in Nadar’s El Mundo a Tus Pies (2015)
    Katie Salmon

    5. What Is Love? Precarious Lives, Precarious Loves in the Works of Italian Women Graphic Novelists
    Nicoletta Mandolini and Giorgio Busi Rizzi

    Part II

    The Young Self in Crisis in (Auto)Biographic Comics

    6. Uncertain Homes: Trauma, Fracture, and Resilience in Roma Biographies from the “Children’s Homes” in the Czech Republic
    Andrea Hoff

    7. Finding Voice Within the Objects of Their Lives: Adolescents Writing Memoir Comics to Interrogate Crisis
    Michael Kersulov

    Part III

    Superheroic Precarity

    8. Super-Precariat: Socioeconomic Fictions and Realities of Superhero Comic Books
    Elisa McCausland and Diego Salgado

    9. “What Happens to a Dream Deferred?”: Super Villains of African Descent
    Óscar Gual Boronat and Mario Millanes Vaquero

    Part IV

    Surviving in a Precarious Market: Labour Insecurity and the Publishing Sector

    10. Precarious Identity: Labelling Oneself Fumettista?
    Lisa Maya Quaianni Manuzzato and Eva Van de Wiele

    11. Amazing Ultradeformer Cartoonist from Ituzaingó: The Memes of Pedro Mancini
    Amadeo Gandolfo

    12. In Conversation with Vicent Giard: A Decade Taking Care of a Little Colossus
    Enrique Bordes

    Part V

    Spaces of Vulnerability / Spaces of Action

    13. Crises, New Modalities of Social Struggle and the Emergence of LGBTIQ+ Discourses as Revulsive and Autonomous Responses in the Field of Argentine Comics (2016- 2020)
    Laura Cristina Fernández

    14. Cultural Otherness in Der Traum von Olympia (An Olympic Dream)
    Julia C. Gómez Sáez

    15. Wasted Potential, Disposable Bodies: The Many Victims of Backderf’s My Friend Dahmer
    Monica Chiu

    16. Strike Comics: Representing the Inequities and Absurdities of Academic Precarity
    Lydia Wysocki



    María Porras Sánchez is an Assistant Professor at the Department of English Studies, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. Her main research areas are graphic narratives, cultural translation, and postcolonial and transnational literatures in English language.

    Gerardo Vilches holds a PhD in Contemporary History at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain, and has completed a doctoral thesis on the politics of the Spanish Transition in the satirical press. He also teaches History at Universidad Europea, Madrid, Spain.