The Comic Book Western

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The Comic Book Western

New Perspectives on a Global Genre

Edited by Christopher Conway and Antoinette Sol

Postwestern Horizons Series

328 pages
34 illustrations, index

Hardcover

June 2022

978-1-4962-1899-5

$99.00 Add to Cart
Paperback

June 2022

978-1-4962-3164-2

$30.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

June 2022

978-1-4962-3223-6

$30.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

June 2022

978-1-4962-3222-9

$30.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

One of the greatest untold stories about the globalization of the Western is the key role of comics. Few American cultural exports have been as successful globally as the Western, a phenomenon commonly attributed to the widespread circulation of fiction, film, and television. The Comic Book Western centers comics in the Western’s international success. Even as readers consumed translations of American comic book Westerns, they fell in love with local ones that became national or international sensations.

These essays reveal the unexpected cross-pollinations that allowed the Western to emerge from and speak to a wide range of historical and cultural contexts, including Spanish and Italian fascism, Polish historical memory, the ideology of shōjo manga from Japan, British post-apocalypticism and the gothic, race and identity in Canada, Mexican gender politics, French critiques of manifest destiny, and gaucho nationalism in Argentina. The vibrant themes uncovered in The Comic Book Western teach us that international comic book Westerns are not hollow imitations but complex and aesthetically powerful statements about identity, culture, and politics.

 

Author Bio

Christopher Conway is a professor of Spanish at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is the author or editor of several books, including Heroes of the Borderlands: The Western in Mexican Film, Comics, and MusicAntoinette Sol is a professor of French at the University of Texas at Arlington and coeditor of MLA’s Teaching Representations of the French Revolution.
 

Praise

“Masterfully organized and expansive in scope, The Comic Book Western brings together diverse perspectives on the global reach of Western comics. Simply a must-read for readers interested in popular culture, frontier myths, and the transnational life of cultural goods.”—William Acree, author of Staging Frontiers: The Making of Modern Popular Culture in Argentina and Uruguay

“Creators outside the United States have restaged the Western’s themes to explore their own culture and politics since the beginning of comics. This volume is especially welcome because it looks at the importance of translation, transcreation, adoption, reterritorialization, and hybridity in relation to global comic studies.”—Flavia Brizio-Skov, author of Ride the Frontier: Exploring the Myth of the American West on Screen

“The assembled scholars beautifully trace how the oft-overlooked Western comic is truly adventurous, engaging, critical, and vital for any study of transnational and global comics today.”—Nhora Lucía Serrano, editor of Immigrants and Comics: Graphic Spaces of Remembrance, Transaction, and Mimesis

“This excellent collection unpacks over a hundred years of reinventions of the frontier theme in comic books and offers trailblazing new readings of the entanglements between the various national traditions. Examining as it does the global reach of the comic book Western genre, and firmly positioning it in the context of transnational comic book history, Conway and Sol’s volume is essential reading.”—Ewa Stanczyk, editor of Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and the Holocaust 

“The essays collected here establish the historical origins for the international fascination with the American West and its stories, tracing how the Western migrated from other media into comic books and situating the Western comic within the broader context of graphic narratives in their home countries. Together, they reveal how the Western comic both affirms and challenges local and imported cultural traditions and conventions.”—Andrew Patrick Nelson, author of Still in the Saddle: The Hollywood Western, 1969–1980

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Globalization of the Comic Book Western
Christopher Conway and Antoinette Sol
Part 1. Transnational Histories
1. Italian Western Comics and the Myth of the Open Frontier
Simone Castaldi
2. Comic Book Westerns and the Melodramatic Imagination in Mexico
Christopher Conway
3. German Western Readers and the Transnational Imagination
Johannes Fehrle
4. Beyond Parody: Polish Comic Book Westerns from the 1960s through the 2010s
Marek Paryz
5. Blueberry: Remaking the Western in Franco-Belgian Bandes dessinées
Antoinette Sol
Part 2. Critical Reinscriptions
6. Argentina’s Outlaws and the Revisionist Western: The Case of Héctor Germán Oesterheld and Hugo Pratt’s Sargento Kirk
Manuela Borzone
7. British Comics and the Western: The Future West, the Supernatural, and Strong Women in The HellTrekkers, The Dead Man, and Missionary Man
Lee Broughton
8. Canada’s Triumph Comics and David Garneau’s Métis Response to the “Indian” of the Comic Book Western
Joel Deshaye
9. A Spanish View of the American West: El Coyote and His Comic Magazine
David Rio
10. Faraway So Close: The Representation of the American West in Igarashi Yumiko’s Mayme Angel
Rebecca Suter
Contributors
Index

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