Contextual images, part 2

6) Rodolphe Töpffer, from The Story of Albert. Cartoonists turn to Töpffer, a Swiss teacher, to bypass the superhero’s monopoly on fatherhood. In Print magazine, 1988, Spiegelman writes, “Töpffer observed that, when you repeated a cluster of signs, it became possible to further simplify those signs, counting on the reader to recognize the image from its context . . . In The Story of Albert, 1845, Albert drinks a toast to Health, then to Liberty, then to Equality, Fraternity, the Death of Tyranny, and so on, until the images and text all dissolve into drunken squiggles” (62). Image source.

7) Cubistic portrait on Luba on the back of Blood of Palomar (1989), the Fantagraphics volume which contained Human Diastrophism. My scan.

8) Walter Gropius, Bauhaus Manifesto (1919), with a woodcut by Kin-Der-Kids creator Lyonel Feininger. Translation of the manifesto’s opening salvo: “The ultimate aim of all creative activity is a building!” Image source.

9) Thomas Rowlandson, Six Stages of Mending a Face (1792). Image source.


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