Altaplana, world of Francois Schuiten and Benoit Peeters

the impossible & infinite encyclopedia of the world created by Schuiten & Peeters

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Génie de la bande dessinée. De Töpffer à Emil Ferris

Génie de la bande dessinée. De Töpffer à Emil Ferris is a lecture by Benoît Peeters given on October 7, 2020 as the inaugurating of the Year of the Comic Book at the Collège de France.


In 1837, Rodolphe Töpffer presented his album Monsieur Jabot in these terms: “This little book is of a mixed nature. It consists of a series of drawings accompanied by one or two lines of text. The drawings, without this text, would have only an obscure meaning; the text without the drawings would mean nothing. The whole thing together forms a kind of novel, all the more original as it looks no better than a novel than anything else.

Töpffer was convinced of the future of this new form of narrative, but he could never have imagined the importance it would take on.

Oscillating between press and book, childhood and adulthood, caricature and realism, playing with boxes and strips, cutting and layout, phylacteries and onomatopoeia, comics is a medium in its own right that neither film, video games nor the Internet have threatened until now.

If the ninth art has already given birth to many masterpieces, from Krazy Kat to Spirou and Fantasio, from Peanuts to Persepolis, from manga to graphic novels, it is today more diverse and more alive than ever.