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.)
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.)
256 pages
ISBN 978-1-4766-6801-7 (Paperback)
~$ 39,95
August 2017

Publisher’s page
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

Publisher’s page
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

Publisher’s page
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

Publisher’s page
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.

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