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The Comics of Julie Doucet and Gabrielle BellA Place inside Yourself$
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Tahneer Oksman and Seamus O'Malley

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496820570

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496820570.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

A Very Dirty Word

A Very Dirty Word

Cuteness as Affective Strategy in the Comics of Julie Doucet

Chapter:
(p.97) A Very Dirty Word
Source:
The Comics of Julie Doucet and Gabrielle Bell
Author(s):

Sarah Richardson

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496820570.003.0005

This chapter examines a range of short narrative comics by Julie Doucet, and investigates Doucet’s use of cuteness as an affective and aesthetic strategy. It employs Sianne Ngai’s theory of cuteness as per formative powerlessness to argue that Doucet's comics subvert the historically gendered assumptions of cuteness as weakness. Doucet's work uses a visual a estheticdensely populated byrounded figures and small, anthropomorphic domestic objects, and her protagonist’s submissive, feminized poses, juxtaposed with violence and abjection, resist and critique gender norms. Her work parodies psycho analytic tropes, foreground sheravatar’s pleasure and control, and rejects the abnegation of abject desires. Doucet’s comics challenge patriarchal ideology, instead embracing a joyful refusal to conform.

Keywords:   Julie Doucet, Sianne Ngai, Cuteness, Affect, humor

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