Children of Iniquity: Representation of the Fourteenth century in A Distant Mirror and Les Compagnons du Crépuscule
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Les Compagnons du Crépuscule is a graphic narrative by François Bourgeon set in Fourteenth century France. There has always been discussion around the cultural status of comic books, which can be a barrier in allowing these works to be discussed in an educational or academic light. This is a shame, as Les Compagnons is an extremely well-researched historical narrative. Bourgeon's detailled artstyle lends itself well to the depiction of history, but the setting informs more than the aesthetics of the work: the way characters speak and act are all influenced by their environment. Compared to a more traditional historical narrative like Barbare Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, Les Compagnons is a smaller narrative, offering a personal voice and engagement with history in lieu of explaining or expanding beyond the scope of the story. A Distant Mirror explains history, Les Compagnons depicts it. Readers have a different way of perceiving a graphic narrative, which is often described as an interplay between text and image. Graphic narratives have a unique way of manipulating the perception of time within the pages, can encourage nonsequential readings, and manipulate tension through formal aspects like panel density. All these aspects influence the experience of reading Les Compagnons.