Visualising risk in Pat Grant’s Blue: Xenophobia and graphic narrative

Golnar Nabizadeh (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)
    245 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Published in 2012, Pat Grant’s debut graphic novel, Blue, depicts life in Bolton, a fictional Australian town that receives migrants who look noticeably different from the local community. Risk shapes Blue with regard to its aesthetic and formal concerns: the racism in Bolton places the foreigners at risk; Christian’s uneasy nostalgia depicts a community vulnerable to the ravages of time; and the work itself was self-published by Grant as a graphic novel. The genesis of the work arose from Grant’s accidental presence at the 2005 Cronulla riots in Sydney, a clash between Anglo and Middle Eastern Australians that brought to the fore questions about racism and community in Australian society. I argue that comics are highly suited to exploring ‘risky’ narratives because of the medium’s history as well as its formal properties. Comics have thus become popular vehicles for social criticism, frequently in the form of autobiography and memoir. As a highly mediated form, comics map time as space and in this article I argue that the form productively depicts the return of the past in the present-especially for pasts whose remembrance is inherently compromised or prohibited through other form of record in the visual archive.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)537-552
    Number of pages16
    JournalTextual Practice
    Volume31
    Issue number3
    Early online date7 Mar 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • Blue
    • Comics
    • Cronulla
    • Pat Grant
    • Risk
    • Xenophobia

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Literature and Literary Theory

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