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The Working-class Cartoonist


  • Jacob Habinc

Summary, in English

Swedish working class literature has since its origins as rebellious poems shared among working class citizens become an acclaimed literary movement. During the last century working class literature changed drastically depending on factors such as reception and literary trends, most notably the trend of autobiographic novels presenting the authors own experiences of class based injustice during “the golden age” of Swedish working class literature during the 1930s. Today working class literature differs much from the golden age, as our perception of class has changed and class related themes and topics are being explored in new mediums, such as the graphic novel. However, the literary science conducted on working class literature tends to focus solemnly on “the golden age”, thus omitting the contemporary working class literature. By conducting two case studies on two contemporary Swedish graphic novels – Nya Norrland by Mats Jonsson and Fridas resor by Frida Ulvegren – I’ve investigated how class themes and topics are addressed in the graphic novel medium.
I analysed the comic book authors different narratological strategies and how they used the mediums unique property of the interplay between verbal and visual storytelling. The two graphic novels explore two different class related topics and address the topics in relatively different ways. Jonsson explores class identity, literature as political activism and the decay of the Swedish mainly through dialog whilst Ulvegren explores the mistreatment of models in the fashion industry primarily though the mediums visual trait.
The results exemplify the diverse and innovative ways class related themes and topics are explored in contemporary works of graphic novels and suggests that the Swedish literary science conducted on working class literature needs to re-evaluate how it defines the working- class and dwell beyond literature in order to be able to keep up with contemporary working class literature.


  • Master's Programme: Literature - Culture - Media

Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Working-class literature
  • class
  • graphic novels


  • Anders Ohlsson (Professor)