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Critical Directions in Comics Studies$
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Thomas Giddens

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496828996

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496828996.001.0001

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“So You Still Believe in the Future?”

“So You Still Believe in the Future?”

Socialist Utopianism and Marxist Critique in The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia

(p.263) 12 “So You Still Believe in the Future?”
Critical Directions in Comics Studies

Matthew J. A. Green

University Press of Mississippi

The third in a trilogy of graphic novels by Mary and Bryan Talbot, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia both explores the intersection of violence, law, and gender, and allows an unprecedented opportunity to explore what can be called the expository function of graphic narrative. This chapter provides the first ever exploration of the continuity between Mary Talbot’s writing for comics and her academic work, whilst also addressing the surprising gap in scholarly work on Bryan Talbot whose international reputation and pioneering work in the medium merit further enquiry. Drawing on a Marxist tradition of critique embodied by Frederic Jameson and Slavoj Žižek, the chapter explores the political commitments of this graphic novel, enriching our understanding of the way Red Virgin combines fiction and non-fiction, as well as text and image, to provide a nuanced contribution to debates concerning utopianism and revolutionary politics within critical comics studies.

Keywords:   Marxism, Utopianism, Gender, Revolutionary violence

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