This Groensteen paragraph is perfect for Finder: Voice. You can find it in the coursepack on page 77 (essay page 127). Groensteen’s ruling out a definition of comics that depends on “the presence of a recurrent character,” and this is his fifth counter-example:
The character as a recognizable individual dissolves when all the characters resemble each other, ruining the very idea of identity. Within a population such as that of the Smurfs, the physical marks of individuation are extremely rare (initially reserved for Papa Smurf, Brainy Smurf, and, of course, Smurfette). Here, the process of naming (under a form of qualified epithet: Grouchy Smurf, Poet Smurf, Jokey Smurf, etc.) allows the story to adapt to the state that Bruno Lecigne has precisely baptized hyper-twinhood (hypergemellite). Certain stories by Francis Masse or by Florence Cestac have also come close to the total indifferentiation of the body.
(Above: image source. Below: my scan.)
Some resources for our final two comics, Asterios Polyp and Finder: Voice.
Derik Badman, “Rampant Formalism”: I repeated a few of these smart points in class. Badman hones in on five formal elements in Asterios Polyp: speech balloons, colour, the ending, brushwork, and large interiors.
My interest in more natural and less arbitrary panel divisions in Asterios Polyp gestured back to the early cartoonist Lyonel Feininger, whose “Pie Mouth is Rescued by Kind-Hearted Pat” strip is solid, impenetrable, and metafictional.
Then I talked about stairs a lot.
An interview with Carla Speed McNeil on the world of the Finder comics. Laura Hudson on Finder: Voice: “It is the lie of Betty Draper, the lie of the magazines and the movies: that if you can find a way to do a flawless impression of the person you are expected to be, then you will finally be happy.” And if you enjoyed Finder: Voice, then you can read a pencilled version of the sequel on McNeil’s website. Torch furthers Rachel’s story.
Expect a mass email tomorrow, class.