Dr Catriona MacLeod's research focuses on the representation of women in French-language graphic novels (bande dessinée) and the work of contemporary female bande dessinée artists. Her newly published book, Invisible Presence, is best described by her publisher:
"This book looks at the representation of female characters in French comics from their first appearance in 1905. Organised into three sections, the book looks at the representation of women as main characters created by men, as secondary characters created by men, and as characters created by women.
It focuses on female characters, both primary and secondary, in the francophone comic or bande dessinée, as well as the work of female bande dessinée creators more generally. Until now these characters and creators have received relatively little scholarly attention; this new book is set to change this status quo.
Using feminist scholarship, especially from well-known film and literary theorists, the book asks what it means to draw women from within a phallocentric, male-dominated paradigm, as well as how the particular medium of bande dessinée, its form as well as its history, has shaped dominant representations of women.
This is the first book to study the representation of women in the French-language drawn strip. There are no other works with this specific focus, either on women in Franco-Belgian comics, or on the drawn representation of women by men.
This is a very useful addition to both general discussions of French-language comics, and to discussions of women’s comics, which are focused on comics by women only."
You can read more and order the book here.