Stories of the harsh reality of World War II have been told in every medium, from film to literature to oil on canvas. Next week, an author will visit the university to share her mother’s story through comics.
French author Julia Billet will discuss her graphic novel, “La Guerre de Catherine,” about her mother’s experiences in Nazi-occupied France, at a free event Tuesday at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.
Margaret Flinn, associate professor of French, will join Billet in discussing her book and the author’s writing process for novels and comics, and will facilitate an audience Q&A session.
Flinn, a film scholar, said she specializes in French-language comics, or bande dessinée. She said in an email that she is teaching Billet’s graphic novel to her students in French 4401, a class about how culture is represented in French-language comics.
The illustrated novel is a coming-of-age story about a young girl finding her identity and discovering a passion for photography, while going into hiding to evade the danger of Nazi-occupied France, according to the Cultural Services French Embassy website.
“True-life stories of survival and perseverance such as this have a way of connecting on a human level and are relevant to everyone,” Anne Drozd, museum coordinator at the library, said in an email.
Drozd said the comic’s format can relay many different narratives, including historical biography, making it an accessible and effective historical resource for researchers.
“The immediacy of image combined with words can make for a more visceral connection,” Drozd said.
“A Conversation with French Comics Writer Julia Billet” will take place in the library’s Will Eisner Seminar Room from 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesday. There will also be a book sale and signing.