At the Modern Language Association 2019 Convention, I will present a paper, “Traumatic Narrative in Jacques Tardi’s ‘Basket Case’ ” as a part of the panel, Graphic Narratives of Disability as Multisensory Transactions.
“Basket Case,” originally written and drawn by Tardi in 1979 and reprinted in the American underground graphic anthology series Raw (1990), follows the first-person narrative of a man recently released from institutionalized care. Despite his efforts, Tardi’s narrator, who “just wanted one thing: to forget,” continually engages in hallucinatory encounters with three characters who repeatedly appear in different guises. The narrator tries to inaugurate stable recovery (forgetfulness) by acting against these seemingly indestructible, hostile characters. Tardi’s visuals convey this breakdown through crisp yet economical facial gestures, physical acts such as sweating, and the use of dramatic lighting.
The panel is scheduled for January 6, 2019 at noon.