The fool, the androgynous and the hybrid: grotesque and carnivalesque elements in The Incal by Jodorowsky and Moebius

  • Antonella Di Nobile "L'Orientale" University of Naples
Keywords: The Incal, Jodorowsky, grotesque, carnival, science-fiction


The purpose of this study is to identify, by means of an analysis based on Bachtin’s works, the grotesque and carnivalesque elements of the popular comic culture in Jodorowsky and Moebius The Incal, in order to fully understand the message it is trying to convey. The analysis is primarily focused on three principal characters (grotesque figures par excellence) to establish a comparison between The Incal’s world and the Medieval carnival. In order to demonstrate Bachtin’s theory of ‘the dual body’ as “growth and immortality of the human rac”’, as “mankind’s historic progress”(Bakhtin, 1984: 324), the study proceeds by analysing the graphical and linguistical images of the “material bodily lower stratum” related to ‘scatological substances’, to the themes of ‘semen-fecundity’, ‘splitting of the body’, ‘aging’ and ‘pregnant death’. The result of the analysis is the identification of a positive and utopic message in a social satire based on a dystopian-science fiction narration.


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Author Biography

Antonella Di Nobile, "L'Orientale" University of Naples
Antonella is a PhD Student in Literary, Linguistic and Comparative studies at Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”. She is doing a research on Argentinian and Spanish comic books and their relationship with dictatorship. She is writing reviews of comics and novels, particularly Hispano-American ones, for the journal “Pagine Inattuali” since 2015. In 2015 she translated the graphic novel “Nero Napoletano” (Comicon Edizioni) from Italian to Spanish for the publishing house “Semana Negra”. It is going to be published her translation from Spanish to Italian of the comic book El eternauta, El Regreso, for the publishing house “001 Edizioni”.


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Barbieri, Daniele, Breve storia della letteratura a fumetti, Roma, Carocci, 2009.

Chastel, André, La grotesque, Paris, Éditions Gallimard, 1991.

Guénon, René, Symboles de la Science sacrée, Paris, Gallimard, 1962.

Jodorowsky, Alejandro – Moebius, L’Incal (1981-1988), trad. it. L’Incal, Roma, Magic Press, 2012.

Jodorowsky, Alejandro – Costa, Marianne, La Via del Tarot (2004), trad. it. di Michela Finassi Parolo, La Via dei Tarocchi, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2014.

Kress, Gunter – van Leeuwen, Theo, Reading images. The grammar of visual design, London – New York, Routledge, 1996.

Kris, Ernst, Psychoanalytic Explorations in Art (1952), trad. it. di Elvio Fachinelli, Ricerche psicoanalitiche sull’arte, Torino, Einaudi, 1967.


La Vida, El Alma, El Amor,, web, (ultimo accesso 27/04/2016).

How to Cite
Di Nobile, A. (2017). The fool, the androgynous and the hybrid: grotesque and carnivalesque elements in <i>The Incal</i&gt; by Jodorowsky and Moebius. Between, 6(12).
Bakhtin's Keys to the Test of Modernity