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    Remembering the Jazz Orpheus: Barney and the Blue Note by Loustal and Paringaux

    Screech, Matthew ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2100-7362 (2010) Remembering the Jazz Orpheus: Barney and the Blue Note by Loustal and Paringaux. Journal of Popular Culture, 43 (2). pp. 348-367. ISSN 0022-3840

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    In france, the artist Jacques de Loustal and the writer Philippe Paringaux collaborate on comic strips that revive an old text/image arrangement: words appear beneath pictures and there are no balloons at all. Some critics mention Loustal's and Paringaux's original use of that text/image combination: Benoît Peeters, who analyzed one page from their album Barney et la note bleue, describes their attempts to establish new relationships between texts and images (91–93). Other commentators like Patrick Gaumer and Claude Moliterni think Loustal gave comics a literary dimension (403). Barney et la note bleue was translated into English and published under the title Barney and the Blue Note. Sales were unspectacular and the critics largely ignored it, although Alan and Laurel Clark praised Loustal's “evocative watercolours” (115). This article will encourage a wider appreciation of Barney and the Blue Note among English speakers, by analyzing the album in translation and by drawing upon an interview with Loustal.1 Over the coming pages, the implications of having no balloons to represent speech and thought are discussed; I also assess the album's contribution to comic strip mythology and enlarge on its literary aspect.

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