Kijken en bekeken worden - De avonden als stripverhaal | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 49, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1876-9071
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5729


‘Comic version offers new insights’ – with these words the Stichting Beeldverhaal Nederland acclaimed the publication of Dick Matena’s comic version of De avonden, incorporating the complete text of the novel. But what actually is the benefit of Matena’s approach? In this paper I will investigate how the comic artist has translated Reve’s style into images, paying special attention to visual focalisation techniques. Several examples shall illustrate by which techniques certain themes (monotony, isolation, repressed sexuality) are evoked without being actually depicted. What the text leaves unsaid, is evoked on the panels by means of e.g. layout, colouring, pictorial composition, camera angle, field size, absence of mimicry and (physical as well as eye) contact.

There is, however, one theme which is indeed depicted, namely vision. Whereas the novel can only describe observation, in the comic it can be actually shown. The reader is at the same time a viewer: he watches the protagonist and at the same time literally shares his view. In this way the viewer gets himself involved in the story and thus in a way satisfies the desire of the protagonist to be ‘seen’. The images thus not only repeat or supplement the message of the text, but also provide an additional semantic value.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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