A Feminist Reading of Popular Culture
A fascinating feminist reading of an often scorned medium: the storytelling, cross-platform success, and female fandom of the photoromance.
Born in Italy and successfully exported to the rest of the world, photoromances had a readership of millions in the postwar years. By the early 1960s, more than ten million Italians read a photoromance each week. Despite its popularity, the photoromance--a form of graphic storytelling that uses photographs instead of drawings--was widely scorned as a medium, and its largely female audience derided as naive, pathetic, and uneducated. In this provocative book, Paola Bonifazio offers another perspective, making a case for the relevance of the photoromance for both feminism and media culture. She argues that the photoromance pioneered storytelling across platforms, elevated characters and artists into brands, and nurtured a devoted fan base. Moreover, Bonifazio shows that female readers--condescended to by intellectuals, journalists, and politicians of both the left and the right--powered the Italian photoromance industry's success.