The ‘Outside’ World: Isolationism and Interconnectedness in Comics Cultures, 26th Jun

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Paul Gravett Keynote at the The International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference

Date: Wednesday 26th June 2019

Time: 4.30pm – 5.30pm

Location: Geoffrey Manton Building, Rosamond St West, Manchester Met

Tickets: £5 – Available here.

In our high-speed, highly connected, ‘borderless’ world, it’s easy to forget that export, exchange and trade have always been part of the global industries of comics.

Since its early newspaper strips began to be syndicated abroad over a century ago, America has long been the most enterprising, if not aggressive exporter of its cartoon properties worldwide. However Britain, France and other centres of comics’ production were also proactive in seeking fresh markets for their products. Even a nation as largely self-isolating for several centuries as Japan owes much in the modern forms of manga to crucial connections with the West.

Manga has evolved in response to its eventual huge success abroad in translation, adjusting from a medium targeted mainly at its own local readership to one increasingly aware of appealing, at least in part, to international audiences.

Paul Gravett explores how the big three – American comics, Franco-Belgian bande dessinée and Japanese manga – as well as other players have been determined to spread their sales abroad and also receptive, in the end, to enriching external content and influences. The more interconnected comics cultures become, is
it more likely that specific national styles, themes and schools are set to vanish and for a stateless, nternationalist ‘world comics’ style to emerge?

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