In the 19th Century, artists such as Monet, Renoir, and Gauguin produced artworks partly inscribed within a movement known as Japonism, or in other words: influenced by Japanese arts and styles. Van Gogh, a great admirer of Hiroshige’s drawings, even acknowledged in a letter to his brother that “(a)ll my work is more or less inspired by things Japanese…”. Obviously the influence of Japanese art on European artists is not entirely a new phenomenon, but it has been growing exponentially since French TV in France began broadcasting Japanese anime as early as 1972. Similarly to what happened in the 19th Century, it was in fact ‘pop art’ that seduced the public. Tezuka Osamu’s wonderful anime like: “Kimba the White Lion” and “Princess Knight”, as well as Otomo Katsuhiro’s simultaneously violent and poetic manga “Akira”, spearheaded what would become a real invasion seen on TV sets and in libraries throughout French-speaking countries. In 2001, Frédéric Boilet published what could be seen as a manifesto for a definably titled “nouvelle manga” in which he explained as:
Beyond “le” manga, which is essentially Japanese comics for a public mostly composed of teenagers, there is “la” manga which refers to Japanese comics “d’auteur” that are adult-oriented and universal, that speak of men’s and women’s daily life, that is, a manga closer, for example, to the films of Yasujirô Ozu and Jacques Doillon, or to the novels of Yasushi Inoue than to Sailor Moon or Luc Besson’s cinema.
Boilet was thus inviting European “bédéistes” to explore a new path. Moreover, and beyond the aesthetic and the narrative issues, enterprises like Boilet’s are reminders that the goal and effects could also be economical. This extends not only to publishers – perhaps more on the Japanese side – but for the artists as well (and debatably more so for those who are French).
We are looking for articles about manfra (i.e. French manga) which expand to a large range of perspectives.
Potential subjects may include (and are not limited to):
- Contextual study of Boilet’s Manifesto (support from publishers, French and Japanese institutions, official and non-official agendas)
- Study of manga techniques or its influence on a particular author
- Study of niches: is there a type of shojo manfra and a shonen manfra? Or even hentai or yaoi?
- Market studies: what are the dictates of production and sales?
- Study of its reception (both quantitative and quantitative): who reads manfra?
- A specific artist: Boilet, Vanyda, aurita, etc…
- Comparative studies of different two artists (of manfra, or manga and BD)
- Are the statistics compiled by McCloud considering the six different types of transitions from panel to panel still valid for manfra artists?
- Case studies from other French-speaking countries (Maghreb, Québec, etc.): what makes them unique?
- Comparative studies between the influence of manga in France and the influence of manga in other countries
- Perception of Japan in manfra while set in Japan (Orientalism? Exoticism?)
Responses will be sent by October 30; full articles of about 5000 to 6000 words will be due by December 30. On-line publication planned for June 30, 2016, in Alternative francophone (academic journal referenced in multiple databases, including MLA and DOAJ).