Notre travail concerne la relation entre le texte et l’image dans trois romans graphiques : Persepolis (tome 1) de Marjan Satrapi (2000), Je vais rester de Lewis Trondheim et Hubert Chevillard (2018) et Le grand désordre, Alzheimer, ma mère et moi de Sarah Leavitt (2014). En effet, le roman graphique est une sorte de BD avec un aspect plus développé, un peu plus littéraire, ayant une histoire plus compliquée destinée à un publique adulte. En étudiant la structure, la forme et les deux langages utilisés (verbal et iconique), nous avons pour l’objectif l’étude de l’image qui nous aide à construire le sens du texte, en effet, le texte et l’image se contribuent pour que le sens se clarifie. Notre hypothèse c’est que la narration passe d’abord par les images. Pour cela nous avons choisi pour la méthode la sémiologie de l’image, basée plutôt sur les travaux de Roland Barthes. A travers cette étude, nous allons voir les différences qui existent entre ces trois œuvres et les visées essentielles de chaque roman.
Image and Text, a semiotics Study of the Graphic Novel
The graphic novel is a work in which we find the indispensable relationship between text and image. It is often made up of a single story or several shorter stories. It has all the characteristics of a literary novel, with an added aspect of drawing. We can say that the graphic novel is a kind of Comic Strip with a more complicated story intended for an adult audience.
Our text corpus is made up of 3 works: Persepolis (volume 1) by Marjan Satrapi, Stay by Lewis Trondheim and Hubert Chevillard and Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer's, My Mother, and Me by Sarah Leavitt. These books don’t resemble traditional Comic Strips in form or history, which is why we prefer to call them Graphic Novels instead of Comic Strips.
Persepolis was popularized by its adaptation to the cinema. This novel is not only a historical, but also an autobiographical and a socio-political tale. Through the four volumes of this graphic novel, Marjan Satrapi recounts her childhood and passage to adulthood against the background of the Iranian revolution. In this story, the author attempts to recount the situation of the people during the Islamic revolution in Iran. Images are in black and white. Normally, there are texts for each image. The proportion of text to image is, like all graphic novels, unbalanced i.e. the space is occupied more by images than by text.
Stay is the story of a couple, Fabienne and Roland. They plan to spend a week's vacation in Palavas. The couple are walking quietly by the sea, smiling. All of a sudden, a gust of wind causes them to panic. Parasols fly away, grains of sand nestle in their eyes, children's inflatable balloons roll at full speed. Amused, Fabienne looks around for her man and discovers, bewildered, that the worst has happened. Roland is beheaded. The next day newspaper headlines will tell the news of the vacationer beheaded by an awning. Fabienne will then make the singular choice of staying in Palavas and following the plan that Roland had concocted for them. It is the color images that tell this story. Textual explanations are very short and only make up about twenty percent of the book.
The third work, Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer's, My Mother, and Me is the real story of a family written by their daughter. This novel is a testimony to a complex illness and a tribute of a girl to her mother. Sarah, the daughter of this family, has always had a bad memory. When doctors diagnose her mother with Alzheimer's disease, she writes down everything that happens to remember the insane moments, the beauty and the tragedy of their story. She takes us with her on a journey to show us how her family is challenged by Alzheimer's disease. It's an autobiography. Images are in black and white. Textual explanations are very long. In this novel, the text, not the images, tells the story.
We focused on images in these novels to demonstrate how they help us construct the meanings of the texts. The objective of this study is to show the differences between all these three works while showing the relationship that exists between text and image to find meaning. Our hypothesis is that images are more important than the written text because narration in these novels happens through images first.
The chosen method is semiology, which is the study of signs in communication systems. Our study is based on the basic concepts defined by semiologists, especially Roland Barthes. After having defined important concepts specific to our analysis, we will provide examples from our corpus to answer this question: What is the relationship between image and text? To show the importance of the image, we will first explain the form of the graphic novel. Form, as the plane of expression, is very important to semiologists and semioticians. It is the form that initially helps the reader understand the story. Then we will study the different functions of the two languages utilized: verbal and iconic. We must add that the proportion of the two types of languages is not necessarily equal. For instance, results indicate the importance of image over text as in Stay, and the importance of text over image in Tangles. We will study the coherent relationship between text and image to identify three most common uses in visual communication: complementarity, redundancy and sensitivity and, finally, the six aims of the image: narrative, explanatory, figurative, informative, expressive, and argumentative.
Depending on the functions of the two languages that we have studied and the relationship between image and text, we have found out that in Persepolis there is very little redundancy, with some sensitive images and proper complementarity between image and text. These images are rich because they have multiple purposes. In Stay, we have the supremacy of image over text. These images are also rich and there is a complementary relationship between image and text. In addition, there is little redundancy. In Tangles,thoughthere is some redundancy and sensitivity, images and the text are rather complementary. The text plays the role of a relay which helps the reader understand the story better. The text is richer, compared to simple images. Indeed, we see sequences of abundant textual material, which give the reader the feeling of reading a novel. we would rather call it a novel with pictures and not a real comic strip or graphic novel. It is as if the author wrote the text first and then added pictures. The space devoted to the text in relation to the images makes the reader confused, so we think that there must be a relationship between the title of this graphic novel Tangles and the disorder present in the work and the life of the author.
Keywords— Graphic novel, Comic strip, semiology, text, image.
 BARTHES Roland, ‘Rhetoric of the image’, Communications n° 4, Seuil, Paris, 1964.
 GHOSN Joseph, Graphic Novels: 101 proposals for readings from 1960 to 2000, Le mot le reste, Marseille, 2009.
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 JOLY Martine,The image and its interpretation, Nathan, Paris, 2002.
 LEAVITT Sara, Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer's, My Mother, and Me, Steinkis, California, 2014.
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 SATRAPI Marjan, Persepolis, volume 1, Association, Paris, 2000.
 TRONDHEIM Lewis, CHEVILLARD Hubert, Stay, Rue de sèvres, Paris, 2018.