Alberto Breccia’s Parody of Futurist Paintings in Modern Bande Dessinée: Resisting Transatlantic Fascism
During wars, art and culture often develop a “culture of camouflage” (Ojeda 68) to invite the reader to decipher hidden meanings as a form of political subversion. In Argentina, the ‘Golden Age’ of comics emerged in the 1940s in response to the rise of Fascist sentiments originating from the Futurist leader Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s transatlantic propaganda and flourished in the following decades. During and following the ‘Process of National Reorganisation’ from 1976 onwards, illustrator Alberto Breccia used graphic narratives as a form of counter-censorship as he appropriated Futurist aesthetics and the conventions of the modern bande dessinée. He considered this method as being able to allow “artistry and imagination [take] over from logical progressions” (Grove 25). Using this form, he encouraged the public to reflect on Argentina’s changing transatlantic landscape.
This paper examines to what extent Breccia’s Le Coeur Révélateur: Et Autres Histoires Extraodinaires d’ Edgar Poe (1995) borrows Futurist visuality and makes use of the flexibility of the settings in Poe’s stories. This is done to recreate the haunting figures of history as they “turn away from the original work” to “conceive new forms of storytelling that explore the medium-specific properties of the host medium” (Baetens 7). This paper employs an interdisciplinary approach as, in addition to reading Poe’s original texts, this article also discusses Breccia’s appropriation of Futurist techniques, including “Divisionism, the use of threadlike brush strokes,” uniform application of colours according to their “precise tone and luminosity” (Rainey 9), and the dynamic sensation (Boccioni 46).
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