The graphic narrative 99 Days couples the American detective noir genre with a backstory that deals with the 1994 Rwandan genocide. This article explores two strategies of representation used in this comic: the blurring of genres and the use of an animal metaphor. The comic uses visual and verbal transition points, a fusion of iconographies, and thematic links between the genocide in Rwanda and the violent conflicts in Los Angeles to connect these two disparate geographical locations and genres.
In doing so, there is a constant appropriation of the Rwandan genocide into an American context. Furthermore, the comic uses the animal metaphor of the hyena to deal with moral questions around genocide survival. These strategies might seem to distance the Rwandan genocide, but this article argues that it is exactly through the inclusion of the detective format and the animal figure that the audience can productively engage with the genocide narrative.

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Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Department of History

in 't Veld, L. (2015). Introducing the Rwandan Genocide from a Distance: American Noir and the Animal Metaphor in 99 Days. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 6(2), 138–153. doi:10.1080/21504857.2015.1027941