ISSN: 20509790
First published in 2014
3 issues per volume
Volume 4 Issue 3
Cover Date: September 2017
‘Comics on the Main Street of Culture’: Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell (1999), Laura Oldfield Ford’s Savage Messiah (2011) and the politics of gentrification
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Authors:  Dominic Davies 
DOI: 10.1386/jucs.4.3.333_1

comics,the graphic novel,zines,DIY culture,London,gentrification

Through a comparative discussion of Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell (serialized 1989−96, collected 1999), which is now widely marketed as a ‘graphic novel’, and Laura Oldfield Ford’s more self-consciously subcultural zine, Savage Messiah (serialized 2005 to 2009, collected 2011), this article explores the correlation between the gentrification of the comics form and the urban gentrification of city space − especially that of East London, which is depicted in both of these sequential art forms. The article emphasizes that both these urban and cultural landscapes are being dramatically reshaped by the commodification and subsequent marketization of their subcultural or marginalized spaces, before exploring the extent to which this process neutralizes their subversive qualities and limits democratic access to them. In conclusion, however, the article demonstrates that comics artists tend to collect their ephemeral comics and publish them as marketable graphic novels not to commodify them, nor to maximize their profits. Rather, they do so in order to reach a wider readership and thereby to mobilize their subversive, anti-gentrification political content more effectively, constituting radical urban subcultures that resist the reshaping of London into a segregated and discriminatory cityscape.
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