This introduction provides a historical overview of the graphic novel, with a strong focus on its international significance.
Jan Baetens is Professor of Cultural and Literary Studies at the University of Leuven. His main research areas are modern French poetry and word and image studies, mainly in so-called minor genres such as comics, photonovels and novelisations. He is the author of some fifteen volumes (among which is a classic volume on Tintin, 2006) and has published widely in journals such as Critical Inquiry, PMLA, History of Photography, Poetics Today, Yale French Studies, Poetique, English Language Notes, Romanic Review, and French Forum. In 2007-8 Baetens was the holder of a Belgian Francqui Chair, and the same year he was awarded the triennial prize of poetry of Francophone Belgium. Hugo Frey is Head of Department and Reader in History at the University of Chichester. He is the author of Louis Malle (2004) and Cinema and Nationalism in France: Political Mythologies and Film Events, 1945-1995 (2014). He has published articles on historiography, cinema and bande dessinee in journals such as Contemporary French Civilization, the Journal of European Studies, South Central Review and Yale French Studies. Recent publications include a critique of the politics of Renaud Camus for Ralph Sarkonak, ed., Les Spirales du sens chez Renaud Camus (2010). In autumn 2013, he was invited to lecture for The Prince's Teaching Institute, London.