“The 9th Art and the second gender” or the place of women in comics in the center of a documentary film

Comics, a man’s job? Before the 70s, of course. But ever since pioneer Claire Brétécher, women have stepped in the door and taken over this male art field. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Angoulême Comics Festival, five authors trace their journey with humor and determination and the road ahead.

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Festival of Lights 2022 in Lyon

What do they have in common? Laureline Mattiussi, Sandrine Revel, Jeanne Puchol, Claire Gaudriot are the designers. Marie Bardiaux-Vaïente is the screenwriter. All these women live from their art and paintings and express the place of the second gender in the 9th art in front of the camera of Laurent Turnebis.

There is a world to go from the all-male art discipline to the coronation of the Grand Prix of the last edition of Angoulême in 2022, the Canadian Julie Doucet. A world whose lines have shifted and all five are privileged witnesses.

The clichés of female designers are rigid, like comic book heroines, femme fatales with overly perfect plastic beauty or, conversely, mother figures of a world confined to the family home.

But as Jeanne Puchol recalls, Claire Brétécher appeared in the 1970s as the devil who entered her box and kicked the anthill. His first hero? Cellulite. His name alone creates a scene and gives a gift.

Disrespect found its face: Claire Bretécher overturned the table. Agrippina has been the queen of punchlines even before the word existed.

And the man takes it for his rank.

Still, it was not easy for him to make a living from his art.

This profession seemed unattainable to me, but I have always drawn since I was three years old, and always in the form of comics.

But it took courage to rush into a breach opened by Bretécher. Laureline Mattiussi remembers that it was difficult to convey just the word “author”. The place of women in comics was not given to them with respect. We should have won, go get it. Each of our five witnesses recalls common expressions of misogyny.

You shoot well for a woman.

Jeanne Puchol, comic book author

“The 9th art and the second sex” documentary film

They all embrace their feminism, in their words, in their paintings.

Laureline Mattiussi, in chicken coop island, enjoys creating a cowardly hero whose charm is not physical and whose language is somewhat vulgar.

Originally from Langone and a former student of the Conservatoire des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, Sandrine Revel published last year a comic book adaptation of Annick Cojean’s Grand Reporter au Monde, a 1972 trial, after working in the youth universe. Bobigny. This emblematic abortion rights trial was won by the equally iconic lawyer Gisèle Halimi.
as the latest in a long line of women’s rights books Rebirths, women in the process of desocialization or a portrait of Marilyn Monroe.

Jeanne Puchol did not go there all four ways. The name of his first album? Nerdy!

If she dedicated an album to François Mitterrand or, more recently, to Malik Oussequin, her contribution to the feminist movement is the red thread of her work. The pinnacle of her mark is undoubtedly in 2012’s Joan of Arc, scripted by Valerie Mangin, which begs the almost blasphemous question: what if Joan of Arc was a witch?

In 2015, he was part of the new BD Egalité collective, a non-mixed community that allows authors to come together, discuss and support each other.

Screenwriter and historian Marie Bardiaux-Vaïente is also part of this collective. “Comics are popular art in the noblest sense of the term. It allows to attract the attention of most political or social subjects. Feminism is one of them.” does it thereby demonstrate its commitment?

If I am a feminist activist, it is because feminism seeks justice.

Marie Bardiaux-Vaïente, author of comics

“The 9th art and the second sex” documentary film

Feminism is also claimed by Claire Gaudriot. Coming from the world of youth comics, she dedicated several albums to portraits of real-life heroes and women who chose freedom instead of the path assigned to them. It starts with Calamity Jane.

Or Ada Lovelace, the English countess famous for inventing the first computer program in the 19th century.

Uninvited, women invaded the world of comics. They brought a serious side to him and allowed him to break out of his two enforced universes: youth and fantasy. Frontally, they have profoundly influenced the perception of comics, from the script to the graphics. With determination, as we have seen, but also with a more lethal weapon: humor. Sometimes a subtle humor echoes the often awkward expressions of conventional machismo.

The provocation of women is laughable.

Jeanne Puchol

“The 9th art and the second sex” documentary film

Today comes a new generation, more courageous, confident with the battles of their elders. If the lines have certainly shifted, stereotypes are as rigid in comics as anywhere else.
In fifty years, the Angoulême Festival has honored only four women: Claire Bretche with the 10th anniversary special prize in 1982 and three Grand Prix for Florence Chestak in 2000, Rumiko Takahashi in 2014 and Julie Doucet in 2022. parity is still a long way off. off.

There are so many left to write boards that tell the story of women and comics.

France 3 mobilizes to celebrate with you the 50th anniversary of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Angoulême Comics Festival and to relive its highlights, meetings, longings, among others. To view and review on our France.tv platform.

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