Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Comics Criticism from Within. Metatextual Musings on Comics and Cognitive Disability in Emotional World Tour: diarios itinerantes (2009) by Miguel Gallardo and Paco Roca

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2022), 99, (4), 347–370.

Abstract

Critical light is shed on Emotional World Tour: diarios itinerantes (Miguel Gallardo and Paco Roca, 2009), a multilayered meta-text about the creation of and subsequent promotional tour for two award-winning comics from 2007, Arrugas and María y yo. Though numerous scholarly studies have attended to these narratives of disability (Alzheimer’s and autism), I argue that Gallardo and Roca were among the first to reflect on their own comics critically, an exercise carried out from within the realm of comics creation. In the context of recent theorizations of scholarly composing with comics and an intensification of self-reflexivity within the Affective Turn, I read Gallardo and Roca’s play on the early ‘voyages and travels’ genre as a means of harnessing its powers of scientific and intellectual enquiry to comment on image/ text representations of cognitive disability, and of theorizing from early on about the changing landscape of comics in twenty-first-century Spain.

Emotional World Tour: diarios itinerantes (Miguel Gallardo y Paco Roca, 2009) es un meta-texto que trata de la creación y gira promocional de dos comics españoles premiados: María y yo y Arrugas, ambos del 2007. Aunque varios estudios han abordado la representación del autismo y del Alzheimer a través del medio del cómic, sostenemos que Emotional World Tour fue uno de los pioneros al respecto, pese a lo cual, sus aportes críticos y teóricos han pasado casi desapercibidos. Partiendo de las teorizaciones más recientes sobre cómics y de la intensificación de la auto-reflexividad inherente al llamado ‘Giro Afectivo’, proponemos el uso de técnicas retóricas del género tradicional de la literatura de viajes como medio de resaltar sus contribuciones a la investigación científica e intelectual. Emotional World Tour muestra las posibilidades abiertas por los cómics sobre discapacidad cognitiva, así como teoriza sobre el panorama cambiante del cómic español en el siglo XXI.

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NAGTEGAAL, JENNIFER