Was ist ein „Geschichtscomic“?
Über historisches Erzählen in Comic, Manga und Graphic Novel
This contribution deals with the problems of classification of a certain type of the graphic narrative (comics, manga and graphic novel) as a genre of historical storytelling. Starting with the idea that the single fact of treating historic details, characters and objects as such cannot be seen as a prove of a historical tale, it is necessary to leave aside all comics narrations that only present a few historic fragments. With the focus on those stories that show a continuous historic plot there has to be made a difference between factual narrations with a strong attitude of authenticity and often a didactic purpose on one side and fictional narrations which are trying to find an adequate balance between historical facts and literary invention on the other side. Among these, apart from gag strips with a historical content and examples of humorous historical storytelling as a persiflage, like Astérix and others, there are two types of historical comics narrations: with reference to Umbero Ecos categories that he presented in the “Postscript to ‘The name of the rose’”, the historical narration in comics, manga and graphic novels can be described as appearing either in the form of the historic novel or the historical adventure story. However, from these true variations of the genre the form of the comics romance with more or less superficial historical applications in often fantastic combinations – like Fosters “Prince Valiant” and others – has to be distinguished as it tends to create fantasy stories more than such of historical quality.