Visualising Small Traumas

Contemporary Portuguese Comics at the Intersection of Everyday Trauma

Pedro Moura

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Monograph - paperback

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Cultural history of contemporary Portuguese comics and their creative responses to trauma

Portugal's vibrant comics scene originated as early as the 19th century, bringing forth brilliant individual artists, but has remained mostly unknown beyond Portugal’s borders to this day. Now a new generation employs this medium to put into question hegemonic views on the economy, politics, and society. Following the experience of the financial crisis of the past decades and its impact on social policies, access to and rules of public discourse, and civil strife, comics have questioned what constitutes a traumatogenic situation and what can act as a creative response.

By looking at established graphic novels by Marco Mendes and Miguel Rocha, fanzine-level, and even experimental productions, Visualising Small Traumas is the first English-language book that addresses Portuguese contemporary comics and investigates how trauma studies can both shed a light on comics making and be informed by that very same practice.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

“By exploring a number of books that bring to the fore painful memories of the dictatorial regime in Portugal, or explore the price of the austerity policies in response to the economic crisis of 2008, or the ongoing capitalist assault on cultural diversity, workers' rights, and personal expression, I hope to question many issues that will hopefully contribute to a stronger diversity in Comics Studies.”
Read a Q&A with Pedro Moura


Introduction: Going small to widen the scope

1. The semi-peripheral role of the Portuguese comics scene

2. A short history of trauma 

3. Marco Mendes and the ever-temporary rebuilding of the self 

4. Miguel Rocha and working through the acting out of history

5. Minor comics and atomised responses to small traumas



Format: Monograph - paperback

Size: 230 × 170 mm

240 pages

ISBN: 9789462703032

Publication: March 10, 2022

Series: Studies in European Comics and Graphic Novels 9

Languages: English

Stock item number: 147231

Pedro Moura is an independent scholar, teacher, and comics scriptwriter from Lisbon, Portugal. He holds a PhD from the University of Lisbon and KU Leuven.