Visions of the Future in Comics

International Perspectives


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About the Book

Across generations and genres, comics have imagined different views of the future, from unattainable utopias to worrisome dystopias. These presaging narratives can be read as reflections of their authors’ (and readers’) hopes, fears and beliefs about the present. This collection of new essays explores the creative processes in comics production that bring plausible futures to the page. The contributors investigate portrayals in different stylistic traditions—manga, bande desinées—from a variety of theoretical perspectives. The picture that emerges documents the elaborate storylines and complex universes comics creators have been crafting for decades.

About the Author(s)

Francesco-Alessio Ursini is a linguist working on semantic and typology topics and a comics scholar working on cross-cultural aspects of narratives in comics. He lives in Sweden.

Adnan Mahmutović is a lecturer in English literature and creative writing at Stockholm University.

Frank Bramlett is a professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He researches the linguistic nature of comics and serves on the editorial board of Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Francesco-Alessio Ursini, Adnan Mahmutović and Frank Bramlett

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: 35 photos, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6801-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2936-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Francesco-Alessio Ursini, Adnan Mahmutović and Frank Bramlett 1

Part 1: ­Future-Formal
Narrative, Time Travel and Richard McGuire’s “Here” (Roy T Cook) 12
One Soul, From Hell and Here: The Graphic Novel Page as Time Machine (Alex Fitch) 30
English Apocalypses and Robot Skateboards: Warren Ellis’ Futures (Keith Scott) 49
Where Is the Future? An Analysis of Places and Location Processes in Comics (Francesco-Alessio Ursini) 66
Hallucinations of Present Future: Futuristic Patterns Through Images in Japanimation Works (Maxime ­Boyer-Degoul) 85

Part 2: ­Future-Past and ­Future-Present
The Future Is (Ancient) History: Judge Dredd and the Futuristic Legacy of the Classical World (Isak Hammar) 102
The Haunted Futures of Gothic Comics (Fred Francis) 118
Dystopian Chaos, Dystopian Order: Differing Ideological Reinterpretations of the Masked Vigilante in Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Moore and Lloyd’s V for Vendetta (Joakim Jahlmar) 136
Tragicomic Books: Reading Watchmen and Kingdom Come as Pop Apocalyptic (Aaron Gaius Ricker )152
Maxime Miranda in Minimis: The Anthropocene in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Adnan Mahmutović and Denise Ask Nunes) 172

Part 3: ­Future-Culture
The End Is Ahora: Images of the Future in the Mexican Comics La blanda patria and 1874 (Gabriela Mercado Narváez) 194
The Future in Swedish ­Avant-Garde Comics, 2006–2014 (Margareta Wallin Wictorin and Anna Nordenstam) 211
Where Comics and Movies Converge: Days of Future Present (Ana Cabral Martins) 229

About the Contributors 243
Index 245