Precarious Youth in Contemporary Graphic Narratives : Young Lives in Crisis book cover
1st Edition

Precarious Youth in Contemporary Graphic Narratives
Young Lives in Crisis

ISBN 9781032123592
Published September 26, 2022 by Routledge
288 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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


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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.