Graphzine Graphzone

Xavier-Gilles Néret ‘Graphzine-Graphzone’ 2019

“Graphzine Graphzone” is the first in-depth study devoted to graphzines, this alternative, born in the wake of punk, both to comics and to so-called contemporary institutional art. If the world of graphzine may indeed seem close to that of independent comic book publishing, one more step is taken in radicalism: the producers of graphzines, good practitioners of Do it yourself, favor self-production and the limited editions, experiment with different printing processes and overcome the constraints of traditional storytelling. What unites them is undoubtedly the obsession with images (from the most conventional to the most astonishing and shocking) and an artisanal realization often carried out in network. To retrace the history and grasp the conceptual challenges of this production, the author draws heavily on the words of those skilled in the art, a choral approach that responds to the polymorphic nature of graphzine. Starting from the pioneers (Bazooka and Elles Sont De Sortie), X.-G. Néret explores in detail this phenomenon which was to proliferate outside institutions from the 1980s. A new territory opened up, which broke the narrative conventions of comics by the ambiguous bringing together of images and texts. By analyzing the variety of influences and forms of graphzine, among which the heta-uma, Japanese graphic current invented by Teruhiko Yumura, important source although underground, the author releases the essence of this practice. Graphzine proves to be a lifestyle, the affirmation of a creative power which implies a reversal of values ​​favoring the expression of singularities; a freedom that manifests itself both in terms of form, experimental and content, subject to no censorship other than that which the artists inflict on themselves – at the risk, for some, of being intimidated or condemned. They thus explore, sometimes with disarming “insatiable innocence”, territories that the normalizing bodies condemn, in particular those which relate to sexuality and death. X.-G. Néret also sees in it a powerful graphic avant-garde, in the wake of Dada, of lettering and situationism, helping to prolong and renew “a secret history of the 20th century”.

“Make a newspaper like a work of art … Use printing, drawing, text, typography, layout, as material for artistic expression.” (Loulou Picasso) “We wanted to create something as strong as the Dada movement … We did not like traditional graphics, nor galleries … We were a micro society … We imitated the terrorist commando … Graphic dictatorship, that was to do things without asking permission. ” (Kiki Picasso) “Of course it is art, and much stronger than all the impostures that we can see in galleries. These apparently stateless productions constantly question everything through the richness and quantity of the images which they propose… Perhaps that one will reproach us for lacking a bourgeois strategy. But one day our work will be seen and it will have the effectiveness of having said the time. ” (Bruno Richard) “Radical publications produced outside of any editorial structure by enthusiasts.” (Pierre La Police) “It’s like a little art exhibit in the form of a printed booklet.” (DeePee) “It is an object, an object that you never tire of turning pages. You have never seen pages like these.” (Delfeil de Ton) “Afterwards, you will never again buy the pack of crap cartoons that you usually read.” (Willem) “Resolutely the opposite of the apology of the commercial which prevails everywhere … Since you are told that what these people do is the best in terms of Contemporary Art!” (Jean-Christophe Menu) “Be deliberate not to play the game of self-censorship …” (Fredox) “Do it yourself if you are not happy.” (Kerozen)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s