Book Cover

Drawing (in) the Feminine

Bande Dessinée and Women

Edited by Margaret C. Flinn

279 pp. 6 x 9
26 illustrations
6 tables
Pub Date: February, 2024

Subjects: Comics Studies
Gender & Sexuality Studies
Literary Studies, European

Series: Studies in Comics and Cartoons

Order Hardcover $99.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-1514-2
Order Paperback $32.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-5900-9
Order PDF ebook$32.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-8333-2

This book is freely available in an open access edition thanks to The Ohio State University Libraries’ Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum and generous support provided by a grant from The Ohio State Energy Partners (OSEP). OSEP is a joint venture between ENGIE North America and Axium Infrastructure.

“From the portrayal of women in comics in relation to environmental concerns and social/political debates over abortion, to women in sub-Saharan African and MENA comics, the scholarship in Drawing (in) the Feminine is at the forefront of current conversations in both gender and comics studies.” —Ann Miller, author of Reading Bande Dessinée: Critical Approaches to French-Language Comic Strip

Drawing (in) the Feminine seamlessly integrates a French corpus that is neither comics nor graphic novel with a cultural studies approach to graphic narrative, keeping the best of each. Even for scholars trained in the Francophone corpus and research tradition, it will hold many new discoveries.” —Jan Baetens, author of Novelization: From Film to Novel

Drawing (in) the Feminine celebrates and examines the richness of contemporary women’s production in French and Francophone comics art and considers the history of representations made by both dominant and marginalized creators. Bridging historical and contemporary comics output, these essays illuminate the interfaces among genre, gender, and cultural history. Contributors from both sides of the Atlantic, and across a variety of methodologies and disciplinary orientations, challenge prevailing claims about the absence of women creators, characters, and readers in bande dessinée, arguing that women have always been part of its history. While still far from achieving parity with their male counterparts, female creators are occupying an increasingly significant portion of the French-language comics publishing industry, and creators of all genders are putting forth stories that reflect on the diversity and richness of women’s and gender-nonconforming people’s experiences. In the essays collected here, contributors push back against the ways in which the marginalization of women within bande dessinée history has overshadowed their significant contributions, extending avenues for further exploring the true diversity of a flourishing contemporary production.

Contributors: Armelle Blin-Rolland, Véronique Bragard, Michelle Bumatay, Benoît Crucifix, Isabelle Delorme, Jacques Dürrenmatt, Margaret C. Flinn, Alexandra Gueydan-Turek, Jennifer Howell, Jessica Kohn, Sylvain Lesage, Catriona MacLeod, Mark McKinney

Margaret C. Flinn is an Associate Professor in the Department of French and Italian and the Department of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts at The Ohio State University. She is the author of The Social Architecture of French Cinema, 1929–1939.


List of Illustrations

List of Tables

Editor’s Acknowledgments



Margaret C. Flinn

Part 1   Industry, Audience, and Platforms

Chapter 1        Women Cartoonists: A New Avenue for Understanding a Little-Known Profession?

Jessica Kohn

Chapter 2        Women in Color: Comics Artists and the Ninth Art in France

Sylvain Lesage

Chapter 3        Between Ah! Nana and Okapi: Nicole Claveloux at the Crossroads

Benoît Crucifix

Chapter 4        Gender Equality? Hshouma! Women, Sexuality, and Comics Activism in Morocco

Jennifer Howell

Part 2   Geographies of Identity

Chapter 5        Graphic Entanglements: Images of Women, Nature, and Brittany in Contemporary Comics

Armelle Blin-Rolland

Chapter 6        The Feminine Plural in Africa and the Diaspora: Quartets of Women in Aya de Yopougon and La vie d’Ebène Duta

Michelle Bumatay

Chapter 7        Revolutionary Comics: Samandal’s Feminist Topography of Resistance

Alexandra Gueydan-Turek

Chapter 8        Unveiling IVG: Representations of Women’s Experiences of Abortion in the Bande Dessinée

Catriona MacLeod

Part 3   Representations and History (Herstories)

Chapter 9        The Face of Women in Early Bandes Dessinées: Töpffer, Cham, Musset, Gustave Doré

Jacques Dürrenmatt

Chapter 10      The Amazons of Dahomey in French and African Comics

Mark McKinney

Chapter 11      Catel: Portrait of the Twenty-First-Century Feminist Artist and Author of Drawn Biography

Isabelle Delorme

Chapter 12      The Women behind the Woman behind the Man: Women Drawing Plural Collective Voices onto the Page in Emilie Plateau’s Noire

Véronique Bragard


List of Contributors


Related Titles:

Book Cover

Comics and Nation

Power, Pop Culture, and Political Transformation in Poland

Ewa Stańczyk

Book Cover

Comics and the Body

Drawing, Reading, and Vulnerability

Eszter Szép