Magazine

Monitor: New Publications on Comic Books

Tausend Bilder und eins

Tausend Bilder und eins:
Comic als ästhetische Praxis in der postmigrantischen Gesellschaft

Angela Weber and Katharina Moritzen (eds.)
transcript
480 pages
ISBN 978-3-8376-3707-6 (Hardcover)
~€ 29,99
June 2017

Publisher’s page
Die sich gegenwärtig global abzeichnenden Umwälzungsprozesse erfordern ein Umdenken und kreatives Handeln auf allen gesellschaftlichen Ebenen, um den hyperkomplexen Problematiken dieser Welt gerecht zu werden. Ausgehend vom Verständnis des Comics als ein Zwischenraum entfaltet dieser Band ein vielstimmiges, intramediales und transdisziplinäres Kaleidoskop unserer heutigen postmigrantischen Gesellschaft. Er versammelt Comics von Schülern und Studierenden zum Themenfeld Heimat, Fremde, Flucht, Identität, denen Essays und Interviews von Wissenschaftlern und Künstlern gegenübergestellt sind. Das Buch leistet so einen zeitgemäßen Beitrag zu einer lebendigen Wissenschaft und ist zugleich ein Plädoyer für eine sparten-, kultur- und generationenübergreifende Auseinandersetzung mit zentralen Themen unserer Zeit.

Graphic Novels as Philosophy

Graphic Novels as Philosophy

Jeff McLaughlin (ed.)
University of Mississippi Press
240 pages
ISBN 978-1-4968-1327-5 (Hardcover)
~$ 65,00
August 2017

Publisher’s page
In a follow-up to Comics as Philosophy, international contributors address two questions: Which philosophical insights, concepts, and tools can shed light on the graphic novel? And how can the graphic novel cast light on the concerns of philosophy? Each contributor ponders a well-known graphic novel to illuminate ways in which philosophy can untangle particular combinations of image and written word for deeper understanding. Jeff McLaughlin collects a range of essays to examine notable graphic novels within the framework posited by these two questions. One essay discusses how a philosopher discovered that the panels in Jeff Lemire’s Essex County do not just replicate a philosophical argument, but they actually give evidence to an argument that could not have existed otherwise. Another essay reveals how Chris Ware’s manipulation of the medium demonstrates an important sense of time and experience. Still another describes why Maus tends to be more profound than later works that address the Holocaust because of, not in spite of, the fact that the characters are cartoon animals rather than human.

Visions of the Future in Comics

Visions of the Future in Comics:
International Perspectives

Francesco-Alessio Ursini, Adnan Mahmutović, and Frank Bramlett (ess.)
McFarland
256 pages
ISBN 978-1-4766-6801-7 (Paperback)
~$ 39,95
August 2017

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Across generations and genres, comics have imagined different views of the future, from unattainable utopias to worrisome dystopias. These presaging narratives can be read as reflections of their authors’ (and readers’) hopes, fears and beliefs about the present. This collection of new essays explores the creative processes in comics production that bring plausible futures to the page. The contributors investigate portrayals in different stylistic traditions—manga, bande desinées—from a variety of theoretical perspectives. The picture that emerges documents the elaborate storylines and complex universes comics creators have been crafting for decades.

The Cambridge Companion to the Graphic Novel

The Cambridge Companion to the Graphic Novel

Stephen E. Tabachnick (ed.)
Cambridge University Press
244 pages
ISBN 978-1-1075-1971-8 (Paperback)
~£ 21,99
August 2017

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Since the graphic novel rose to prominence half a century ago, it has become one of the fastest growing literary/artistic genres, generating interest from readers globally. The Cambridge Companion to the Graphic Novel examines the evolution of comic books into graphic novels and the distinct development of this art form both in America and around the world. This Companion also explores the diverse subgenres often associated with it, such as journalism, fiction, historical fiction, autobiography, biography, science fiction and fantasy. Leading scholars offer insights into graphic novel adaptations of prose works and the adaptation of graphic novels to films; analyses of outstanding graphic novels, like Maus and The Walking Man; an overview which distinguishes the international graphic novel from its American counterpart; and analyses of how the form works and what it teaches, making this book a key resource for scholars, graduate students and undergraduate students alike.

Stan Lee

Stan Lee:
The Man behind Marvel

Bob Batchelor
Rowman & Littlefield
260 pages
ISBN 978-1-4422-7781-6 (Hardcover)
~$ 22,95
September 2017

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From the mean streets of Depression-era New York City to recipient of the National Medal of Arts, Lee’s life has been almost as remarkable as the thrilling adventures he spun for decades. From millions of comic books fans of the 1960s through billions of moviegoers around the globe, Stan Lee has touched more people than almost any person in the history of popular culture. In Stan Lee: The Man behind Marvel, Bob Batchelor offers an eye-opening look at this iconic visionary, a man who created (with talented artists) many of history’s most legendary characters. In this energetic and entertaining biography, Batchelor explores how Lee capitalized on natural talent and hard work to become the editor of Marvel Comics as a teenager. After toiling in the industry for decades, Lee threw caution to the wind and went for broke, co-creating the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, and others in a creative flurry that revolutionized comic books for generations of readers. Marvel superheroes became a central part of pop culture, from collecting comics to innovative merchandising, from superhero action figures to the ever-present Spider-Man lunchbox.

Comic Book Film Style

Comic Book Film Style:
Cinema at 24 Panels per Second

Dru Jeffries
University of Texas Press
269 pages
ISBN 978-1-4773-1450-0 (Hardcover)
~$ 29,95
September 2017

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Superhero films and comic book adaptations dominate contemporary Hollywood filmmaking, and it is not just the storylines of these blockbuster spectacles that have been influenced by comics. The comic book medium itself has profoundly influenced how movies look and sound today, as well as how viewers approach them as texts. Comic Book Film Style explores how the unique conventions and formal structure of comic books have had a profound impact on film aesthetics, so that the different representational abilities of comics and film are put on simultaneous display in a cinematic work. With close readings of films including Batman: The Movie, American Splendor, Superman, Hulk, Spider-Man 2, V for Vendetta, 300, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Watchmen, The Losers, and Creepshow, Dru Jeffries offers a new and more cogent definition of the comic book film as a stylistic approach rather than a genre, repositioning the study of comic book films from adaptation and genre studies to formal/stylistic analysis. He discusses how comic book films appropriate comics’ drawn imagery, vandalize the fourth wall with the use of graphic text, dissect the film frame into discrete panels, and treat time as a flexible construct rather than a fixed flow, among other things. This cinematic remediation of comic books’ formal structure and unique visual conventions, Jeffries asserts, fundamentally challenges the classical continuity paradigm and its contemporary variants, placing the comic book film at the forefront of stylistic experimentation in post-classical Hollywood.

Monitor: New Publications on Comic Books

Picturing Childhood

Picturing Childhood:
Youth in Transnational Comics

Mark Heimermann and Brittany Tullis (eds.)
University of Texas Press
280 pages
ISBN 978-1-4773-1162-2 (Hardcover)
~$ 27,95
March 2017

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Comics and childhood have had a richly intertwined history for nearly a century. From Richard Outcault’s Yellow Kid, Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo, and Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie to Hergé’s Tintin (Belgium), José Escobar’s Zipi and Zape (Spain), and Wilhelm Busch’s Max and Moritz (Germany), iconic child characters have given both kids and adults not only hours of entertainment but also an important vehicle for exploring children’s lives and the sometimes challenging realities that surround them. Bringing together comic studies and childhood studies, this pioneering collection of essays provides the first wide-ranging account of how children and childhood, as well as the larger cultural forces behind their representations, have been depicted in comics from the 1930s to the present. The authors address issues such as how comics reflect a spectrum of cultural values concerning children, sometimes even resisting dominant cultural constructions of childhood; how sensitive social issues, such as racial discrimination or the construction and enforcement of gender roles, can be explored in comics through the use of child characters; and the ways in which comics use children as metaphors for other issues or concerns. Specific topics discussed in the book include diversity and inclusiveness in Little Audrey comics of the 1950s and 1960s, the fetishization of adolescent girls in Japanese manga, the use of children to build national unity in Finnish wartime comics, and how the animal/child hybrids in Sweet Tooth act as a metaphor for commodification.

Superheroines and the Epic Journey

Superheroines and the Epic Journey:
Mythic Themes in Comics, Film and Television

Valerie Estelle Frankel
McFarland
296 pages
ISBN 978-1-4766-6878-9 (Paperback)
~$ 19,99
March 2017

Publisher’s page
The heroine’s journey echoes throughout ancient legend. Each young woman combats her dark side and emerges stronger. This quest is also a staple of American comic books. Wonder Woman with semi-divine powers gives us a new female-centered creation story. Batgirl, Batwoman and Black Widow discover their enemy is the dark mother or shadow twin, with the savagery they’ve rejected in themselves. Supergirl similarly struggles but keeps harmony with her sister. From Jessica Jones and Catwoman to the new superwomen of cutting-edge webcomics, each heroine must go into the dark, to become not a warrior but a savior. Women like Captain Marvel and Storm sacrifice all to join the ranks of superheroes, while their feminine powers and dazzling costumes reflect the most ancient tales.

Marvel’s Black Widow:
From Spy to Superhero

Sherry Ginn (ed.)
McFarland
188 pages
ISBN 978-0-7864-9819-2 (Paperback)
~$ 19,99
March 2017

Publisher’s page
First appearing in Marvel Comics in the 1960s, Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, was introduced to movie audiences in Iron Man 2 (2010). Her character has grown in popularity with subsequent Marvel films, and fans have been vocal about wanting to see Black Widow in a titular role. Romanoff has potent appeal: a strong female character who is not defined by her looks or her romantic relationships, with the skill set of a veteran spy first for the KGB, then for S.H.I.E.L.D. This collection of new essays is the first to examine Black Widow and her development, from Cold War era comics to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Wonder Woman and Philosophy

Wonder Woman and Philosophy:
The Amazonian Mystique

Jacob M. Held (ed.)
Wiley Blackwell
240 pages
ISBN 978-1-119-28075-0 (Paperback)
~$ 14,40
May 2017

Publisher’s page
Wonder Woman and Philosophy: The Amazonian Mystique explores a wide range of philosophical questions surrounding the most popular female superhero of all time, from her creation as feminist propaganda during World War II up to the first female lead in the blockbuster DC movie-franchise: The first book dedicated to the philosophical questions raised by the complex and enduringly iconic super-heroine; Fighting fascism with feminism since 1941, considers the power of Wonder Woman as an exploration of gender identity and also that of the human condition – what limits us and what we can overcome; Confronts the ambiguities of Wonder Woman, from her roles as a feminist cause and fully empowered woman, to her objectification as sexual fantasy; Topics explored include origin stories and identity, propaganda and art, altruism and the ethics of care, Amazonians as transhumanists, eroticism and graphic novels, the crafting of a heroine, domination, relationships, the ethics of killing and torture, and many more.

Bibliotherapeutische Arbeit mit Comics

Bibliotherapeutische Arbeit mit Comics:
Zur narrativen Funktion von Bild-Text-Gefügen im Religionsunterricht der Grundschule

Ute Oskamp
LIT Verlag
280 pages
ISBN 978-3-643-13372-4 (Paperback)
~€ 34,90
May 2017

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as vorliegende Buch stellt eine Vernetzung von Religionspädagogik, Bibliotherapie und Comicforschung vor und ist damit ein Novum in der Innovation des Religionsunterrichts. Es geht um die Bedeutung des Bildes für religiöse Lernprozesse, um umfassende Ausführungen zur Bibliotherapie sowie zur Religionspädagogik und Comictheorie. Drei Unterrichtseinheiten mit kinderliterarischen Comics verweisen darauf, dass mit der Verbindung von Bild und Text differenzierte Lernangebote für heterogene Lerngruppen realisiert werden können. Im Rahmen einer explorativen Studie werden ermutigende Lernprozesse belegt.

Drawn Stories, Moving Images: Comics and Comic Movie Adaptations

Drawn Stories, Moving Images:
Comics and Comic Movie Adaptations

JRFM – Journal for Religion, Film and Media (1/2017)
Christian Wessely and Alexander D. Ornella (eds.)
Schüren
216 pages
ISBN 978-3-7410-0064-5 (Paperback)
~€ 19,90
May 2017

Publisher’s page
The comic transcends the merely entertaining, and fans of comics become engaged and invested in the field through a range of activities. Major cities host regular comic conventions, attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees each year, who search for special issues of their favourite comic-book series, meet artists, attend workshops and buy merchandise. Many fans do not stop at just attending conventions; they do so dressed as their favourite comic characters or wearing badges, buttons, T-shirts or sweaters with images of those characters on them. In other words: many fans do ot merely consume comic books; rather, they arrange a considerable part of their lives around them and in some cases even embody their heroes, that is, they copy their behaviour and their language. The comic universe, the comic books and the range of activities emerging out of them and around them become a meaningful universe for fans.