Transatlantic Terror! French Horror Theater and American Pre-Code Comics

Hand, Richard J. and Wilson, Michael (2012) Transatlantic Terror! French Horror Theater and American Pre-Code Comics. The Journal of Popular Culture, 45 (2). pp. 301-319. ISSN 00223840

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Abstract / Summary

Wilson has been researching into Grand-Guignol horror performance, in collaboration with Richard Hand, since 1998 and this partnership has resulted in articles, performances, public lectures and two co-authored volumes (Grand-Guignol, 2002; London’s Grand Guignol, 2007), both published by the University of Exeter Press. These volumes contain historical analysis and playscripts (often in original translation), which have been performed across the world. This paper is their latest contribution to a growing collection of work in the field, with two further volumes planned over the next three years., The publication of this article in The Journal of Popular Culture was deliberately planned in order to contextualise Grand-Guignol theatre as a form of popular entertainment and to locate it within the wider frame of other popular cultural forms, in this case pre-code American comics, which draw upon the mythology that had built up around the Grand-Guignol. Also by publishing in a journal that is not specifically focussed on theatre, it speaks to a wider cross-disciplinary readership.

The establishing of connections between theatre and comic book art simultaneously draws attention to the melodrama of the Grand-Guignol (and its origins in the Fait Divers of the popular Parisian press of the nineteenth century) and the theatricality of the pre-code comic book form., Wilson and Hand’s earlier work on the Grand-Guignol has had particular impact in the Unites States and this article (and its publication in an American academic journal) attempts to draw connections between European and American cultural forms to better address the cultural references of an American readership.

As with all the work on Grand-Guignol that has been completed by Wilson and Hand, both authors contributed in equal proportions to the work.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
ISSN: 00223840
Depositing User: Mike Wilson
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2013 14:20
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 16:03


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