Monitor is an irregularly published overview of publications from the previous six months that may be of relevance to comics studies scholars. The introductory texts are the respective publishers’. Do you have suggestions or information on new releases that have been overlooked and should be introduced on our website? Please let us know via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
→ See previous Monitor posts.
Lauren R. O’Connor
Rutgers University Press
“Holy adolescence, Batman! Robin and the Making of American Adolescence offers the first character history and analysis of the most famous superhero sidekick, Robin. Debuting just a few months after Batman himself, Robin has been an integral part of the Dark Knight’s history—and debuting just a few months prior to the word “teenager” first appearing in print, Robin has from the outset both reflected and reinforced particular images of American adolescence. Closely reading several characters who have “played” Robin over the past eighty years, Robin and the Making of American Adolescence reveals the Boy (and sometimes Girl!) Wonder as a complex figure through whom mainstream culture has addressed anxieties about adolescents in relation to sexuality, gender, and race. This book partners up comics studies and adolescent studies as a new Dynamic Duo, following Robin as he swings alongside the ever-changing American teenager and finally shining the Bat-signal on the latter half of ‘Batman and—.'”
Alicia M. Goodman, Matthew J McEniry, Ryan Cassidy, Robert G. Weiner (eds.)
“Since the Punisher’s first appearance in the pages of Spider-Man #129, the character has become one of the most popular and controversial figures in Marvel’s vast universe. The Punisher represents one of the most recognizable types of anti-heroes. His iconic skull insignia stands for a unique type of justice: protecting the innocent while violently eliminating everyone he sees as a villain. This collection examines the Punisher from philosophical perspectives about morality and justice. Essays critique the character through the lenses of gender and feminism; consider the Punisher’s veteran status in relation the Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq wars; and examine how politics and gun violence connect the Punisher’s world with the real world. Many iterations of the Punisher are examined within, including the Netflix release of Marvel’s The Punisher, comics series such as Punisher: MAX, Marvel Knights, and Cosmic Ghost Rider, and several fan fiction stories.”
“This monograph seeks to recover and assess the critically neglected comic strip work produced by the Irish painter Jack B. Yeats for various British publications, including Comic Cuts, The Funny Wonder, and Puck, between 1893 and 1917. It situates the work in relation to late-Victorian and Edwardian media, entertainment and popular culture, as well as to the evolution of the British comic during this crucial period in its development. Yeats’ recurring characters, including circus horse Signor McCoy, detective pastiche Chubblock Homes, and proto-superhero Dicky the Birdman, were once very well-known, part of a boom in cheap and widely distributed comics that Alfred Harmsworth and others published in London from 1890 onwards. The repositioning of Yeats in the context of the comics, and the acknowledgement of the very substantial corpus of graphic humour that he produced, has profound implications for our understanding of his artistic career and of his significant contribution to UK comics history. This book, which also contains many examples of the work, should therefore be of value to those interested in Comics Studies, Irish Studies, and Art History.”
Benjamin Woo, Jeremy Stoll (eds.)
University Press of Mississippi
“The Comics World: Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Their Publics is the first collection to explicitly examine the production, circulation, and reception of comics from a social-scientific point of view. Designed to promote interdisciplinary dialogue about theory and methods in comics studies, this volume draws on approaches from fields as diverse as sociology, political science, history, folklore, communication studies, and business, among others, to study the social life of comics and graphic novels.
Taking the concept of a “comics world”—that is, the collection of people, roles, and institutions that “produce” comics as they are—as its organizing principle, the book asks readers to attend to the contexts that shape how comics move through societies and cultures. Each chapter explores a specific comics world or particular site where comics meet one of their publics, such as artists and creators; adaptors; critics and journalists; convention-goers; scanners; fans; and comics scholars themselves. Through their research, contributors demonstrate some of the ways that people participate in comics worlds and how the relationships created in these spaces can provide different perspectives on comics and comics studies.
Moving beyond the page, The Comics World explores the complexity of the lived reality of the comics world: how comics and graphic novels matter to different people at different times, within a social space shared with others.”