Monday, November 22, 2010

A medieval comic: Las Cántigas de Santa Maria

Las Cántigas de Santa Maria is a Galician-Portuguese religious chansonnier of the 13th century made of 424 songs composed in honor of the Virgin Mary. But, besides being one of our literary and artistic jewels, the editor, critic and researcher Breixo Arguinde has spent years working on the thesis that this medieval work is a clear predecessor of comics.

But, beyond the fact of the existence of illuminated capital letters and the usual miniatures in the medieval codexes, Harguinde reveals us that many of the illustrated pages that accompany the songs are structured in panels distributed in two columns. On the other hand, each panel represents a concrete moment in the action and together they compose complete narratives with supportive explicational texts; definitely, a comic.

The research, revealed to the public in an exhibition in the last Salón do Comic de Cangas, focuses also in the advanced narrative techniques used, like the representation of two distinct moments in the same scene or the splitting of the panel. Las Cántigas de Santa Maria are the first case of sequential narrative in the Iberian Peninsula.

Taken from Fancómic via Neorama dos Quadrinhos.

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