Memory and Absence. The family house in two autobiographical graphic novels

Ilaria Trizio


In this contribution, which starts with an analysis of the already consolidated relationship between architecture and comics, then tries to look deeper into the role of the family home within two graphic novels. Based on some theories, the comic book itself is a suitable medium for investigating stories related to buildings because the comic book pages recall the sections and shapes of the buildings. Looking instead into the merits of the two stories analyzed, beyond the obvious similarities and the inevitable differences between them, what emerges strongly is that the houses around which the stories rotate provide the opportunity to reflect profoundly on memory and absence. The accuracy of the details with which the two cartoonists manage to characterize their respective houses represents a refined exercise of memory and results in the houses themselves becoming protagonists of these stories, in which their respective fathers are absent, and whose lives have been spent in a large part in building those houses.


graphic novel; comic books and architecture; sequential drawing; Alison Bechdel; Paco Roca

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