Rediscovering 1960s Pulp-Pop Comics

May 6, 2022

Aula Magna, Accademia di Belle Arti (Via delle Belle Arti, 54 Bologna)

Round Table: 'Rediscovering 1960s Pulp-Pop Comics'

Featuring: Jan Baetens and Hugo Frey      

Chair: Enrico Fornaroli

Discussants: Gino Scatasta and Daniele Barbieri


This keynote paper will introduce everything we remember and forget about the 1960s comics craze. It will set out the origins of Jean-Claude Forest's groundbreaking 'Barbarella' before discussing its huge influence not only adult comics in Europe and in the United States with Grove Press but also start to explore how its pulp-pop look influenced all of the visual arts. The paper will also set out some of the hidden ideological wiring to these important forgotten comics. Certainly this material is shaped by a powerful sexist male gaze, yet by the period of May '68 the field was filled with important works that commented on the youth revolts as well as the protests against the US war in Vietnam. In short there is more than meets the eye to the adult comics of the mid-to-late 1960s.