From Gruesome to Grey: The Moralisation of Perpetrators

  • Laurike in ’t Veld
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels book series (PSCGN)


This chapter offers a nuanced look at the moral issues at stake in visualising perpetrator positions in graphic novels that deal with genocide. The chapter proposes a visual and thematic scale that runs from Manichean depictions of extraordinary evil to explorations of the “ordinariness” of perpetrators. Drawing on a range of examples, in ’t Veld outlines the cultural model of the evil Nazi and demonstrates how excessive perpetrators are constructed in graphic novels. Critically questioning the immoral and visual excess of these perpetrator figures, in ’t Veld explores graphic novels that offer a more nuanced and heterogeneous view of perpetrators. Finally, in ’t Veld explores how Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Goražde present a complex mix of approaches to the construction of perpetrator figures.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurike in ’t Veld
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Historical CultureErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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