Citation Marshall B (2012) European Comic Art and Quebec. European Comic Art, 5 (1), pp. 4-8. http://berghahn.publisher.ingentaconnect.com/content/berghahn/eca/2012/00000005/00000001/art00002; https://doi.org/10.3167/eca.2012.050102
Abstract First paragraph: The welcome attention paid to Quebec in this issue of European Comic Art immediately points to a cluster of intellectual questions concerning identity, territory and academic discipline(s). What need was there for grouping a corpus, and analysis of it, according to this category, and what meanings are implied in that selection? And what problems are evoked by the adjective 'European'? These are familiar questions for all those Quebec specialists working in French ('and Francophone' Studies), as well as, in my case, Film Studies. On the one hand, Quebec culture in all its forms of expression possesses a relevance and richness, due to historical and spatial factors I shall outline below, but is largely off the radar of the disciplines and sub-disciplines it could enrich. This is no more true than in French Studies, where it is difficult, but also necessary, topical (witness the continuing debate, five years after the manifesto, around littérature-monde) and urgent, to challenge the hierarchy implied in the centre and periphery generated by '(and) Francophone'. The challenge is to place Quebec in an endlessly comparative relationship with other French-speaking cultures, with other Atlantic spaces etc. in order to break down the barriers implied in an often ghettoised 'specialisation'. Here bande dessinée scholarship has an interesting advantage, in that, despite the phenomenal cultural weight of the art form within metropolitan French life, a decidedly non-metropolitan space, i.e. Belgium, offers a central position. The opportunity is there to emphasise lateral connections that bypass as well as include metropolitan France, hence the work here on Tintin in Quebec.To an extent, bande dessinée monde, to coin a phrase, is already a reality.