Monitor of Publications

Monitor: New Publications on Comic Books

Jessica Jones, Scarred Superhero

Jessica Jones, Scarred Superhero:
Essays on Gender, Trauma and Addiction in the Netflix Series

Tim Rayborn and Abigail Keyes (eds.)
McFarland
247 pages
ISBN 978-1-4766-6684-6 (Paperback)
~$ 35,00
March 2018

Publisher’s page
Jessica Jones barged onto our screens in November 2015, courtesy of Marvel and Netflix, presenting a hard-drinking protagonist who wrestles with her own inner (and outer) demons. Gaining enhanced abilities as a teenager, she eschews the ‘super costume’ and is far more concerned with the problems of daily life. But when Jessica falls under the control of a villain, her life changes forever. Based on the comic book Alias, the show won a large following and critical acclaim for its unflinching look at subjects like abuse, trauma, PTSD, rape culture, alcoholism, drug addiction, victims’ plight and family conflicts. This collection of new essays offers insight into the show’s complex themes and story lines.

Comics Studies Here and Now

Comics Studies Here and Now

Frederick Luis Aldama (ed.)
Routledge
348 pages
ISBN 978-1-1384-9897-6 (Hardcover)
~£ 115,00
May 2018

Publisher’s page
Comics Studies Here and Now marks the arrival of comics studies scholarship that no longer feels the need to justify itself within or against other fields of study. The essays herein move us forward, some in their re-diggings into comics history and others by analyzing comics—and all its transmedial and fan-fictional offshoots—on its own terms. Comics Studies stakes the flag of our arrival—the arrival of comics studies as a full-fledged discipline that today and tomorrow excavates, examines, discusses, and analyzes all aspects that make up the resplendent planetary republic of comics. This collection of scholarly essays is a testament to the fact that comic book studies have come into their own as an academic discipline; simply and powerfully moving comic studies forward with their critical excavations and theoretical formulas based on the common sense understanding that comics add to the world as unique, transformative cultural phenomena.

Working-Class Comic Book Heroes

Working-Class Comic Book Heroes:
Class Conflict and Populist Politics in Comics

Marc DiPaolo (ed.)
University Press of Mississippi
240 pages
ISBN 978-1-4968-1664-1 (Hardcover)
~$ 90,00
May 2018

Publisher’s page
In comic books, superhero stories often depict working-class characters who struggle to make ends meet, lead fulfilling lives, and remain faithful to themselves and their own personal code of ethics. Working-Class Comic Book Heroes: Class Conflict and Populist Politics in Comics examines working-class superheroes and other protagonists who populate heroic narratives in serialized comic books. Essayists analyze and deconstruct these figures, viewing their roles as fictional stand-ins for real-world blue-collar characters. Informed by new working-class studies, the book also discusses how often working-class writers and artists created these characters. Notably Jack Kirby, a working-class Jewish artist, created several of the most recognizable working-class superheroes, including Captain America and the Thing. Contributors weigh industry histories and marketing concerns as well as the fan community’s changing attitudes towards class signifiers in superhero adventures.

Monitor: New Publications on Comic Books

Essays and Interviews on Quebec Comics

BDQ:
Essays and Interviews on Quebec Comics

Andy Brown (ed.)
Conundrum Press
224 pages
ISBN 978-1-77262-018-4 (Paperback)
~$ 25,00
November 2017

Publisher’s page
The comics community in Quebec has long been heralded as unique, blending the clear line aesthetic of Europe with the underground influences of North America. Think Tintin meets R. Crumb. Of course, most of the work is in the French language. And while artists such as Michel Rabagliati, Guy Delisle, and Julie Doucet are now internationally recognized, much of it is still unknown outside the province. Conundrum Press started its BDANG imprint in 2004 to rectify this situation by translating and publishing work from Quebec comic artists. BDANG stands for Bande Dessinée en ANGlais, or French comics in English. This volume is a companion to the imprint, collecting interviews and essays on Quebec comics, to give context to the history and breadth of the work. Read about the early strips in Montreal newspapers at the turn of the century, Albert Chartier, cartoonist of rural Quebec, the zany antics of Red Ketchup, the underground minicomics boom of the 1990s, the anglophones who found themselves a part of the mix, and the hallucinogenic punk prophet Valium.

The Marvel Studios Phenomenon

The Marvel Studios Phenomenon:
Inside a Transmedia Universe

Martin Flanagan, Andrew Livingstone, and Mike McKenny
Bloomsbury
288 pages
ISBN 978-1-5013-3853-3 (Paperback)
~£ 17,39
December 2017

Publisher’s page
Marvel Studios has provided some of the biggest worldwide cinematic hits of the last eight years, from Iron Man (2008) to the record-breaking The Avengers (2012), and beyond. Having announced plans to extend its production of connected texts in cinema, network and online television until at least 2028, the new aesthetic patterns brought about by Marvel’s ‘shared’ media universe demand analysis and understanding. The Marvel Studios Phenomenon evaluates the studio’s identity, as well as its status within the structures of parent Disney. In a new set of readings of key texts such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the thematics of superhero fiction and the role of fandom are considered. The authors identify milestones from Marvel’s complex and controversial business history, allowing us to appraise its industrial status: from a comic publisher keen to exploit its intellectual property, to an independent producer, to successful subsidiary of a vast entertainment empire.

Animal Comics

Animal Comics:
Multispecies Storyworlds in Graphic Narratives

David Herman (ed.)
Bloomsbury
280 pages
ISBN 978-1-3500-1531-9 (Hardcover)
~£ 41,00
December 2017

Publisher’s page
Animal characters abound in graphic narratives ranging from Krazy Kat and Maus to WE3 and Terra Formars. Exploring these and other multispecies storyworlds presented in words and images, Animal Comics draws together work in comics studies, narrative theory, and cross-disciplinary research on animal environments and human-animal relationships to shed new light on comics and graphic novels in which animal agents play a significant role. At the same time, the volume’s international team of contributors show how the distinctive structures and affordances of graphic narratives foreground key questions about trans-species entanglements in a more-than-human world. The writers/artists covered in the book include: Nick Abadzis, Adolpho Avril, Jeffrey Brown, Sue Coe, Matt Dembicki, Olivier Deprez, J. J. Grandville, George Herriman, Adam Hines, William Hogarth, Grant Morrison, Osamu Tezuka, Frank Quitely, Yu Sasuga, Charles M. Schultz, Art Spiegelman, Fiona Staples, Ken’ichi Tachibana, Brian K. Vaughan, and others.

Superheroes and Critical Animal Studies

Superheroes and Critical Animal Studies:
The Heroic Beasts of Total Liberation

J. L. Schatz and Sean Parson (eds.)
Rowman & Littlefield
200 pages
ISBN 978-1-4985-4926-4 (Hardcover)
~$ 90,00
December 2017

Publisher’s page
Superheroes and Critical Animal Studies explores and puts into dialogue two growing field of studies, comic studies and critical animal studies. The book’s aim is to create a form of praxis that people can use to actualize many of the values superheroes strive to protect. To this end, contributor chapters are divided into sections on the foundation of superhero representation and how to teach it, criticisms of particular superheroes and how they fall short of truly protecting the planet, and interpretations of specific characters that can be read to produce a positive orientation to the nonhuman world and craft strategies to promote liberation in the real world. Altogether, the book produces a form of scholarship on the media that is both intersectional in scope and tailored to have an impact on the reader beyond theorizing superheroes for theorization’s sake.

Alan Moore, Out from the Underground

Alan Moore, Out from the Underground:
Cartooning, Performance, and Dissent

Maggie Gray
Palgrave MacMillan
298 pages
ISBN 978-3-319-66507-8 (Hardcover)
~$ 99,99
December 2017

Publisher’s page
This book explores Alan Moore’s career as a cartoonist, as shaped by his transdisciplinary practice as a poet, illustrator, musician and playwright as well as his involvement in the Northampton Arts Lab and the hippie counterculture in which it took place. It traces Moore’s trajectory out from the underground comix scene of the 1970s and into a commercial music press rocked by the arrival of punk. In doing so it uncovers how performance has shaped Moore’s approach to comics and their political potential. Drawing on the work of Bertolt Brecht, who similarly fused political dissent with experimental popular art, this book considers what looking strangely at Alan Moore as cartoonist tells us about comics, their visual and material form, and the performance and politics of their reading and making.

Comics and Authorship

Comics and Authorship:
Special Issue of Authorship 6(2)

Maaheen Ahmed (ed.)
Ghent University
94 pages
ISSN 2034-4643
Open Access
December 2017

Open Access
If media authorship can be understood “as a site of cultural tension” (Johnson and Gray 2013, 10), then a deeper understanding of comics authorship will also provide clues regarding the sustaining—and constraining— of creative practices in other media ecologies and intermedial interactions (such as, for instance, adaptations). For comics, this implies combining insights from comics scholars, practitioners as well as agents involved in the publication and dissemination of comics. This issue, building on the findings of extant scholarship on authorship in comics and other media, hopes to provide incentive for further adventures into the (almost) unknown of comics authorship.

Monitor: New Publications on Comic Books

Peanuts

Peanuts

Joachim Kalka
Reclam
100 pages
ISBN 978-3-15-020448-1 (Paperback)
~€ 10,00
September 2017

Publisher’s page
Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus mit seiner Decke, Schroeder am Klavier und natürlich der Tagträumer Snoopy: Was fasziniert uns eigentlich so an diesen Kindern (und dem Hund) mit ihren Spielen und Ritualen, die doch im Grunde nichts Besonderes erleben? Joachim Kalka zieht die Schmusedecke weg von diesem daily strip, einem der bedeutendsten der Nachkriegs-USA. Er zeigt, welche Strömungen der amerikanischen Gesellschaft, etwa der Hype der Psychiatrie, wie Literatur, Filme und Mode sich in den Peanuts spiegeln, und inwieweit ihr Autor, Charles M. Schulz, sich in seinem Comic selbst verewigt hat.

Text + Kritik Sonderband:  Graphic Novels

Text + Kritik Sonderband: Graphic Novels

Andreas C. Knigge (ed.)
edition text+kritik
330 pages
ISBN 978-3-86916-615-5 (Paperback)
~€ 39,00
October 2017

Publisher’s page
Als “Graphic Novel” hat der Comic das Interesse der Feuilletons gefunden – doch was meint der Begriff? Ist er ein Marketing-Label oder handelt es sich um eine neue literarische Gattung? Lange galt der Comic als trivialer Bestandteil der Jugendkultur – und er war es in der Regel auch, da durch Jugendschutzgesetze jeder Möglichkeit erzählerischer und künstlerischer Entwicklung beraubt. In den 1960er Jahren, im Klima des Summer of Love, der Pop-Art und der Nouvelle Vague, wurde er neu entdeckt. In mehreren Werkporträts verfolgt der Band die unterschiedlichen Ansätze und Motivationen von Künstlern wie Will Eisner, Hugo Pratt, Robert Crumb oder Jacques Tardi, den Comic als eine grafische Literatur zu begreifen und zu nutzen. Weitere Beiträge widmen sich u. a. den Zeichnern und Autoren im deutschen Sprachraum, der Poetik autobiografischer “Graphic Novels”, Superhelden im Zwiespalt, Fundamentalismus und Blasphemie, Erzählformen des Mangas sowie den Bildromanen Frans Masereels. Nach dem Sonderband “Comics, Mangas, Graphic Novels” (edition text + kritik, 2009) erscheint nun das zweite, erweiterte und überarbeitete Heft mit Ergänzungen durch neue, die jüngsten Entwicklungen analysierende Beiträge.

Superman in Myth and Folklore

Superman in Myth and Folklore

Daniel Peretti
university Press of Mississippi
208 pages
ISBN 978-1-4968-1458-6 (Hardcover)
~$ 65,00
October 2017

Publisher’s page
Superman rose from popular culture –comic books, newspaper strips, radio, television, novels, and movies– but people have so embraced the character that he has now become part of folklore. This transition from popular to folk culture signals the importance of Superman to fans and to a larger American populace. Superman’s story has become a myth dramatizing identity, morality, and politics. Through examinations of tattoos, humor, costuming, and festivals, Peretti portrays Superman as a corporate-owned intellectual property and a model for behavior, a means for expression and performance of individual identity, and the focal point for disparate members of fan communities. As fans apply Superman stories to their lives, they elevate him to a mythical status. Peretti focuses on the way these fans have internalized various aspects of the character. In doing so, he delves into the meaning of Superman and his place in American culture and demonstrates the character’s staying power.

Ethics in the Gutter

Ethics in the Gutter:
Empathy and Historical Fiction in Comics

Kate Polak
Ohio State University Press
272 pages
ISBN 978-0-8142-5445-5 (Paperback)
~$ 29,95
October 2017

Publisher’s page
Ethics in the Gutter: Empathy and Historical Fiction in Comics explores an often-overlooked genre of graphic narratives: those that fictionalize historical realities. While autographics, particularly those that place the memoirist in the context of larger cultural conversations, have been the objects of sustained study, fictional graphic narratives that—as Linda Hutcheon has put it—both “enshrine and question” history are also an important area of study. By bringing narratology and psychological theory to bear on a range of graphic narratives, Kate Polak seeks to question how the form utilizes point of view and the gutter as ethical tools that shape the reader’s empathetic reactions to the content. This book’s most important questions surround how we receive and interpret representations of history, considering the ways in which what we think we know about historical atrocities can be at odds with the convoluted circumstances surrounding violence. Beginning with a new look at Watchmen, and including examinations of such popular series as Scalped and Hellblazer as well as Bayou and Deogratias, the book questions how graphic narratives create an alternative route by which to understand large-scale violence. Ethics in the Gutter explores how graphic narrative representations of violence can teach readers about the possibilities and limitations of empathy and ethics.

Arrow and Superhero Television

Arrow and Superhero Television:
Essays on Themes and Characters of the Series

James F. Iaccino, Cory Barker, and Myc Wiatrowski (eds.)
McFarland
243 pages
ISBN 978-0-7864-9787-4 (Paperback)
~$ 19,99
November 2017

Publisher’s page
This collection of new essays focuses on The CW network’s hit television series Arrow—based on DC Comic’s Green Arrow—and its spin-offs The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. Comic book adaptations have been big business for film studios since Superman (1978) and in recent years have dominated at the box office—five of the 11 highest grossing films of 2016 were adapted from comics. Superheroes have battled across the small screen for considerably longer, beginning with The Adventures of Superman (1952–1958), though with mixed results. The contributors explore the reasons behind Arrow’s success, its representation of bodies, its portrayal of women, its shifting political ideologies, and audience reception and influence on storylines.

The Canadian Alternative

The Canadian Alternative:
Cartoonists, Comics, and Graphic Novels

Dominick Grace and Eric Hoffman (eds.)
University Press of Mississippi
304 pages
ISBN 978-1-4968-1511-8 (Hardcover)
~$ 65,00
November 2017

Publisher’s page
This overview of the history of Canadian comics explores acclaimed as well as unfamiliar artists. Contributors look at the myriad ways that English-language, Francophone, indigenous, and queer Canadian comics and cartoonists pose alternatives to American comics, to dominant perceptions, even to gender and racial categories. In contrast to the United States’ melting pot, Canada has been understood to comprise a social, cultural, and ethnic mosaic, with distinct cultural variation as part of its identity. This volume reveals differences that often reflect in highly regional and localized comics such as Paul MacKinnon’s Cape Breton-specific Old Trout Funnies, Michel Rabagliati’s Montreal-based Paul comics, and Kurt Martell and Christopher Merkley’s Thunder Bay-specific zombie apocalypse. The collection also considers some of the conventionally “alternative” cartoonists, namely Seth, Dave Sim, and Chester Brown. It offers alternate views of the diverse and engaging work of two very different Canadian cartoonists who bring their own alternatives into play: Jeff Lemire in his bridging of Canadian/ US and mainstream/alternative sensibilities and Nina Bunjevac in her own blending of realism and fantasy as well as of insider/ outsider status. Despite an upsurge in research on Canadian comics, there is still remarkably little written about most major and all minor Canadian cartoonists. This volume provides insight into some of the lesser-known Canadian alternatives still awaiting full exploration.

Monitor: New Publicatins on Comic Books

Revision and the Superhero Genre

Revision and the Superhero Genre

David Hyman
Palgrave MacMillan
83 pages
ISBN 978-3-319-64758-6 (Hardcover)
~$ 54,99
September 2017

Publisher’s page
This book argues that superhero revision offers new perspectives on the theory and practice of revision in broader contexts, in particular composition studies. Key developments in the history of superhero and composition revision reveal that both are deeply embedded in questions of narrative temporality. The book looks at three unorthodox revision strategies: sideshadowing, in which traditional tropes of superhero narratives are told with “new” characters that clearly evoke traditional ones; excavation, the reintegration and reinterpretation of elements and influences from earlier texts that have been de-emphasized or written out of continuity; and homodoxy, the narrative coexistence of inconsistent elements culled from different versions of a character’s textual history. The ensuing cross-disciplinary exploration helps correct a distorted stereotype of revision as a neutral mechanical process, revealing it instead as a potent force operating across a spectrum that ranges from restrictive adherence to orthodoxies, to radical resistance against the primacy of tradition.

A Planetary Republic of Comic Book Letters

A Planetary Republic of Comic Book Letters:
Drawing Expansive Narrative Boundaries

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature (STTCL) 42(1)
Frederick Luis Aldama (ed.)
New Prairie Press
ISSN 2334-4415
Open Access
September 2017

Publisher’s page
From the Introduction: ReDrawing of Narrative Boundaries: An Introduction provides an overview of the comics studies field as it relates to discussions and debates regarding its relationship to the study of literature and the arts. It provides a snapshot of today’s comics studies field, including how the scholarly essays collected for this special issue, A Planetary Republic of Comic Book Letters: Drawing Expansive Narrative Boundaries, work to deepen and widen our understanding of comics, and comics from all over the planet. Individually and collectively they eschew the lean toward the fill-in-the-blank (lit, film, etc.) comparisons, and instead excavate and theorize comics on their own terms.

Comic Shop

Comic Shop:
The Retail Mavericks Who Gave Us a New Geek Culture

Dan Gearino
Ohio University Press
264 pages
ISBN 978-0-8040-1190-7 (Hardcover)
~$ 26,95
October 2017

Publisher’s page
The early 1970s saw the birth of the modern comic book shop. Its rise was due in large part to a dynamic entrepreneur, Phil Seuling. His direct market model allowed shops to get comics straight from the publishers, bypassing middlemen. Stores could better customize their offerings and independent publishers could now access national distribution. In this way, shops opened up a space for quirky ideas to gain an audience and helped transform small-press series, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Bone, into media giants. Comic Shop is the first book to trace the history of these cultural icons. Dan Gearino brings us from their origins to the present day, when the rise of digital platforms has the industry at a crossroads even as sales are robust. He spends a year with stores around the country, with a spotlight on The Laughing Ogre in Columbus, Ohio. Along the way he interviews those who shaped comics retailing from the early days, including many pioneering women; top creators; and shop owners who continue to push the industry in new directions. A guide to forty of the most interesting shops around the United States and Canada is a bonus for fans.

Superhero Comics

Superhero Comics

Chris Gavaler
Bloomsbury
376 pages
ISBN 978-1-4742-2635-6 (Hardcover)
~£ 45,50
October 2017

Publisher’s page
A complete guide to the history, form and contexts of the genre, Superhero Comics helps readers explore the most successful and familiar of comic book genres. In an accessible and easy-to-navigate format, the book reveals: The history of superhero comics-from mythic influences to 21st century evolutions; Cultural contexts-from the formative politics of colonialism, eugenics, KKK vigilantism, and WWII fascism to the Cold War’s transformative threat of mutually assured destruction to the on-going revolutions in African American and sexual representation; Key texts-from the earliest pre-Comics-Code Superman and Batman to the latest post-Code Ms. Marvel and Black Panther; Approaches to visual analysis-from layout norms to narrative structure to styles of abstraction.

Neon Visions

Neon Visions:
The Comics of Howard Chaykin

Brannon Costello
LSU Press
292 pages
ISBN 978-0-8071-6832-5 (Paperback)
~$ 29,95
October 2017

Publisher’s page
In Neon Visions, Brannon Costello offers the first book-length critical evaluation of Chaykin’s work and confronts the blind spots in comics scholarship that consign this seminal artist to the margins. He argues that Chaykin’s contributions are often overlooked because his comics eschew any pretensions to serious literature. Instead, Chaykin’s work revels in the cliffhanger thrills of heroic-adventure genres and courts outrage with transgressive depictions of violence and sexuality. Examining Chaykin’s career from his early successes to compelling contemporary series such as City of Tomorrow, Dominic Fortune, and the controversial Black Kiss 2, Costello explores how this inventive body of work, through its evolving treatment of the theme of authenticity, incisively investigates popular culture’s capacity to foster or constrain individual identity and political agency. Challenging prevailing assumptions about the types of comics deemed worthy of scholarly attention, Costello reveals that the work of an artist as distinctive as Howard Chaykin demands a nuanced reading—one that confronts his unique approach to the comics medium, his blending of autobiographical themes and genre trademarks, and his engagement with comic books as artifacts of consumer culture.

Autobiographical Comics

Autobiographical Comics

Andrew J. Kunka
Bloomsbury
304 pages
ISBN 978-1-4742-2784-1 (Paperback)
~£ 15,39
November 2017

Publisher’s page
A complete guide to the history, form and contexts of the genre, Autobiographical Comics helps readers explore the increasingly popular genre of graphic life writing. In an accessible and easy-to-navigate format, the book covers such topics as: The history and rise of autobiographical comics; Cultural contexts; Key texts – including Maus, Robert Crumb, Persepolis, Fun Home, and American Splendor; Important theoretical and critical approaches to autobiographical comics. Autobiographical Comics includes a glossary of crucial critical terms, annotated guides to further reading and online resources and discussion questions to help students and readers develop their understanding of the genre and pursue independent study.

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

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.

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

Publisher’s page
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

Publisher’s page
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.

NEW PUBLICATIONS ON COMIC BOOKS

Comics, Trauma, and the New Art of War

Comics, Trauma, and the New Art of War

Harriet E. H. Earle
University Press of Mississippi
240 pages
ISBN 978-1-4968-1246-9 (Hardcover)
~$ 65,00
June 2017

Publisher’s page
Conflict and trauma remain among the most prevalent themes in film and literature. Comics has never avoided such narratives, and comics artists are writing them in ways that are both different from and complementary to literature and film. In Comics, Trauma, and the New Art of War, Harriet E. H. Earle brings together two distinct areas of research-trauma studies and comics studies-to provide a new interpretation of a long-standing theme. Focusing on representations of conflict in post-Vietnam War American comics, Earle claims that the comics form is uniquely able to show traumatic experience by representing events as viscerally as possible. […] With themes such as dreams and mourning, Earle concentrates on trauma in American comics after the Vietnam War. These works include Alissa Torres’s American Widow, Doug Murray’s The ‘Nam, and Art Spiegelman’s much lauded Maus. These works pair with ideas from a wide range of thinkers, including Sigmund Freud, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Fredric Jameson, as well as contemporary trauma theory and clinical psychology. Through these examples and others, Comics, Trauma, and the New Art of War proves that comics open up new avenues to explore personal and public trauma in extraordinary, necessary ways.

Posthumanism and the Graphic Novel in Latin America

Posthumanism and the Graphic Novel in Latin America

Edward King and Joanna Page
UCL Press
236 pages
ISBN 978-1-911576-46-4 (Paperback)
~£ 20,00
June 2017

Publisher’s page
Latin America is experiencing a boom in graphic novels that are highly innovative in their conceptual play and their reworking of the medium. Inventive artwork and sophisticated scripts have combined to satisfy the demand of a growing readership, both at home and abroad. Posthumanism and the Graphic Novel in Latin America, which is the first book-length study of the topic, argues that the graphic novel is emerging in Latin America as a uniquely powerful force to explore the nature of twenty-first century subjectivity. The authors place particular emphasis on the ways in which humans are bound to their non-human environment, and these ideas are productively drawn out in relation to posthuman thought and experience. The book draws together a range of recent graphic novels from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay, many of which experiment with questions of transmediality, the representation of urban space, modes of perception and cognition, and a new form of ethics for a posthuman world.

Make Ours Marvel

Make Ours Marvel:
Media Convergence and a Comics Universe

Matt Yockey (ed.)
University of Texas Press
368 pages
ISBN 978-1-4773-1250-6 (Hardcover)
~$ 29,95
June 2017

Publisher’s page
Tracing the rise of the Marvel Comics brand from the creation of the Fantastic Four to the development of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this volume of original essays considers how a comic book publisher became a transmedia empire.

Jim Shooter: Conversations

Jim Shooter:
Conversations

Jason Sacks and Eric Hoffman (eds.)
University Press of Mississippi
256 pages
ISBN 978-1-4968-1179-0 (Hardcover)
~$ 40,00
June 2017

Publisher’s page
As an American comic book writer, editor, and businessman, Jim Shooter (b. 1952) remains among the most important figures in the history of the medium. Starting in 1966 at the age of fourteen, Shooter, as the young protégé of verbally abusive DC editor Mort Weisinger, helped introduce themes and character development more commonly associated with DC competitor Marvel Comics. Shooter created several characters for the Legion of Super-Heroes, introduced Superman’s villain the Parasite, and jointly devised the first race between the Flash and Superman. […] Interviews collected in this book span Shooter’s career. Included here is a 1969 interview that shows a restless teenager; the 1973 interview that returned Shooter to comics; a discussion from 1980 during his pinnacle at Marvel; and two conversations from his time at Valiant and Defiant Comics. At the close, an extensive, original interview encompasses Shooter’s full career.

Muslim Superheroes

Muslim Superheroes:
Comics, Islam, and Representation

A. David Lewis and Martin Lund (eds.)
Harvard University Press
264 pages
ISBN 978-0-6749-7594-1 (Paperback)
~$ 24,95
July 2017

Publisher’s page
The roster of Muslim superheroes in the comic book medium has grown over the years, as has the complexity of their depictions. Muslim Superheroes tracks the initial absence, reluctant inclusion, tokenistic employment, and then nuanced scripting of Islamic protagonists in the American superhero comic book market and beyond. This scholarly anthology investigates the ways in which Muslim superhero characters fulfill, counter, or complicate Western stereotypes and navigate popular audience expectations globally, under the looming threat of Islamophobia. The contributors consider assumptions buried in the very notion of a character who is both a superhero and a Muslim with an interdisciplinary and international focus characteristic of both Islamic studies and comics studies scholarship. Muslim Superheroes investigates both intranational American racial formation and international American geopolitics, juxtaposed with social developments outside U.S. borders.

Comics Art in China

Comics Art in China

John A. Lent and Xu Ying
University Press of Mississippi
288 pages
ISBN 978-1-4968-1174-5 (Hardcover)
~$ 65,00
July 2017

Publisher’s page
In the most comprehensive and authoritative source on this subject, Comics Art in China covers almost all comics art forms in mainland China, providing the history from the nineteenthcentury to the present as well as perspectives on both the industry and the art form. This volume encompasses political, social, and gag cartoons, lianhuanhua (picture books), comic books, humorous drawings, cartoon and humor periodicals, and donghua (animation) while exploring topics ranging from the earliest Western-influenced cartoons and the popular, often salacious, 1930s humor magazines to cartoons as wartime propaganda and comics art in the reform. Coupling a comprehensive review of secondary materials (histories, anthologies, biographies, memoirs, and more) in English and Chinese with the artists’ actual works, the result spans more than two centuries of Chinese animation. Structured chronologically, the study begins with precursors in early China and proceeds through the Republican, wartime, Communist, and market economy periods.

Invitation to subscribe: “ADVENTURES OF A NEW TELEMACHUS”

ADVENTURES OF A NEW TELEMACHUS:
A Picture Story from 1786

Edited and Introduced by Dietrich Grünewald; translated to English by Stephan Packard;
German and English Edition; hardcover, c. 100 Seitepages, with numerous colourful illustrations;
to appear in winter 2017/18;

ISBN 978-3-941030-46-6, € 25,00 (inkl. gesetzl. USt.);
€ 25,00 (incl. VAT) Subscription price available until 31 Oktober 2017: € 15,00 (incl. VAT).

In order to subscribe, please write to bestellen@christian-bachmann.de. Continue to Publisher’s page (German).

Publisher’s announcement:
“For his 30th birthday Christian Gottfried Körner, Friedrich Schiller’s friend and benefectator, received a picture story hand-drawn by the scandalous author of The Robbers. Initially intended as a private jest among close friends and later presumed lost, it has since been recovered an is finally presented in print complete with the accompanying manuscript by Ferdinand Huber for the first time. For ease of reading this edition complete with a transcript of the Huber’s manuscript in German and English. The historical context and aesthetics of Schiller’s picture story, in which Körner doubles Hercules, faces voracious crocodiles in Egypt, and even gets corned, is explained by Dietrich Grünewald in an extensive introductory essay.”

Flyer herunterladen (deutsch)
Download flyer (englisch)
Publisher’s page (German).

NEW PUBLICATIONS ON COMIC BOOKS

The Lent Comic Art Classification System

The Lent Comic Art Classification System

John A. Lent and Mike Rhode (eds.)
Lulu
146 pages
ISBN 978-1-3658-2274-2 (Paperback)
~€ 21,00
March 2016

Publisher’s page
A worldwide classification system of comic art, including comic books, comic strips, animation, caricature, political & editorial cartoons, and gag cartoons based on John A. Lent’s pioneering bibliographic work. Created in honor of Lent’s 80th birthday.

Das Marvel Cinematic Universe

Das Marvel Cinematic Universe:
Anatomie einer Hyperserie

Peter Vingold
Schüren
176 pages
ISBN 978-3-89472-970-7 (Paperback)
~€ 19,90
April 2017

Publisher’s page
Das Marvel Cinematic Universe, das über Kinofilme hinaus auch TV- und Webserien hervorgebracht hat, führt den Begriff der linear organisierten Serie an die Grenzen seiner Beschreibungsfähigkeit. Der Autor stellt diesem das Konzept der multilinearen Hyperserie entgegen, mit dessen Hilfe sich die serialisierten Narrationen des MCU hierarchisch strukturieren und ihre Relationen zueinander bestimmen lassen. Auf der Grundlage von theoretischen Überlegungen zu Ästhetik und Ökonomie der Serie im Kino und der Betrachtung einiger Fallbeispiele aus Film und Fernsehen zeichnet der Autor anhand des X-Men-Filmfranchises den Übergang von einer linearen Serie zu einer multilinearen Hyperserie nach, und wendet das hier entstehende Modell in einer anschließenden Analyse auf das Marvel Cinematic Universe an, in dem unterschiedliche, interseriell kohärente Binnenserien an einer den einzelnen Film übersteigenden Narration mitschrieben. In einer ausführlichen Auseinandersetzung mit den im MCU zur Anwendung kommenden Serialitätsstrukturen, aber auch unter ständiger Berücksichtigung der die Filme und Serien begleitenden Produktionsdiskurse, verdeutlicht der Autor Zusammenhänge zwischen Ästhetik und Ökonomie eines visuell neu formatierten, seriellen Blockbusterkinos vor der Hintergrund einer Kultur der Medienkonvergenz.

Krieg im Comic?

Krieg im Comic?
Grafisches Erzählen zu Militarismus und Gewalt

Gerhard Mauch and André Märtens (eds.)
Books on Demand
92 pages
ISBN 374-313650-3 (Paperback)
~€ 6,00
April 2017

Preview page
Dieser Sammelband enthält Rezensionen von Comic-Bänden bzw. Berichte über grafische Literatur, die Krieg, Militär und Gewalt thematisiert. Im Zentrum der Anthologie stehen die Fragen, wie in ‘Graphic Novels# grafisches Erzählen funktioniert, wie der zeichnerische und der gesellschaftliche Kontext aussehen und wie die Rezeption verläuft. Dabei werden historische und aktuelle Entwicklungen in der Literatur betrachtet. Vor allem geht es um die Unterschiede in der zeichnerischen Umsetzung und der erzählerischen Herangehensweise an die verschiedenen Themen. So wird etwa untersucht, in welchem Verhältnis grafische Reportagen und dokumentarische Bildgeschichten, die im Stil eines Abenteuers gestaltet sind, stehen oder wie Gewalt in japanischen Comics (Mangas) dargestellt wird. Die gesammelten Texte bzw. die darin besprochenen Comics spannen einen Bogen von Europa über Amerika nach Asien und behandeln Stoffe aus verschiedenen historischen Phasen und auch aus Fantasiewelten. Die Aufsätze behandeln Krisen und Kriege wie Afghanistan, den Ersten und Zweiten Weltkrieg, Kriege der USA, Israel/Palästina und die Revolution in Nicaragua. Gerhard Mauchs Politcomic Die Störenfriede wird in Auszügen vorgestellt. Kommentierte Literatur- und Linklisten schließen diesen Sammelband ab.

Watchmen

The Narratology of Comic Art

Kai Mikkonen
Routledge
312 pages
ISBN 978-1-1382-2155-0 (Hardcover)
~£ 105,00
May 2017

Publisher’s page
By placing comics in a lively dialogue with contemporary narrative theory, The Narratology of Comic Art builds a systematic theory of narrative comics, going beyond the typical focus on the Anglophone tradition. This involves not just the exploration of those properties in comics that can be meaningfully investigated with existing narrative theory, but an interpretive study of the potential in narratological concepts and analytical procedures that has hitherto been overlooked. This research monograph is, then, not an application of narratology in the medium and art of comics, but a revision of narratological concepts and approaches through the study of narrative comics. Thus, while narratology is brought to bear on comics, equally comics are brought to bear on narratology.

Manga in Theory and Practice

Manga in Theory and Practice:
The Craft of Creating Manga

Hirohiko Araki
VIZ Media
280 pages
ISBN 978-1-4215-9407-1 (Hardcover)
~$ 13,00
June 2017

Publisher’s page
Learn how to create manga from Hirohiko Araki creator of Jojo s Bizarre Adventure anda master of the medium! Hirohiko Araki is the author of one of the longest-running and most beloved manga of all time, the epic fan favorite JoJo s Bizarre Adventure. According to him, manga is the ultimate synthesis of all forms of art, and in this book he reveals the secrets behind how to make the magic happen using concrete examples from his own work. Read all about his golden ratio of beauty for drawing, the investigative reports he draws up for each of the characters he creates, his methodology for storytelling inspired by the great Ernest Hemingway, and many more aspects of manga creation in this how-to guide penned by an industry legend

A Theory of Narrative Drawing

A Theory of Narrative Drawing

Simon Grennan
Palgrave MacMillan
277 pages
ISBN 978-1-137-52165-1 (Hardcover)
~$ 109,00
June 2017

Publisher’s page
This book offers an original new conception of visual story telling, proposing that drawing, depictive drawing and narrative drawing are produced in an encompassing dialogic system of embodied social behavior. It refigures the existing descriptions of visual story-telling that pause with theorizations of perception and the articulation of form. The book identifies and examines key issues in the field, including: the relationships between vision, visualization and imagination; the theoretical remediation of linguistic and narratological concepts; the systematization of discourse; the production of the subject; idea and institution; and the significance of resources of the body in depiction, representation and narrative. It then tests this new conception in practice: two original visual demonstrations clarify the particular dialectic relationships between subjects and media, in an examination of drawing style and genre, social consensus and self-conscious constraint. The book’s originality derives from its clear articulation of a wide range of sources in proposing a conception of narrative drawing, and the extrapolation of this new conception in two new visual demonstrations.

MONITOR: NEW PUBLICATIONS ON COMIC BOOKS

Neil Gaiman

Critical Insights:
Neil Gaiman

Joseph M. Sommers (ed.)
Salem Press
300 pages
ISBN 978-1-68217-260-5 (Paperback)
~$ 105,00
December 2016

Publisher’s page
One of the most prolific writers of prose, graphic novels, feature-length films, and television serials, Neil Gaiman is as popular with critics as he is with readers. His works encourage readers to embrace love, fear, pain, pride, and most of the remaining emotional spectrum with an earnest vigor, gentle humor, and honest warmth, the likes of which humble the greats in all media to which he has contributed. Edited by Joseph Michael Sommers of Central Michigan University, this volume contains 14 essays that constitute an interesting mélange thoughts, ruminations, perspectives, and approaches that are as diverse a look at the life and work of Neil Gaiman as any in print today.

The Trauma Graphic Novel

The Trauma Graphic Novel

Andrés Romero-Jódar
Routledge
180 pages
ISBN 978-1-1382-3888-6 (Hardcover)
~£ 88,00
January 2017

Publisher’s page
The end of the twentieth century and the turn of the new millennium witnessed an unprecedented flood of traumatic narratives and testimonies of suffering in literature and the arts. Graphic novels, free at last from long decades of stern censorship, helped explore these topics by developing a new subgenre: the trauma graphic novel. This book seeks to analyze this trend through the consideration of five influential graphic novels in English. Works by Paul Hornschemeier, Joe Sacco, Art Spiegelman, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons will be considered as illustrative examples of the representation of individual, collective, and political traumas. This book provides a link between the contemporary criticism of Trauma Studies and the increasingly important world of comic books and graphic novels.

Superman: The Persistence of an American Icon

The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Graphic Novels,
Second Edition

Francisca Goldsmith
ALA Editions
232 pages
ISBN 978-0-8135-8751-6 (Paperback)
~$ 54,00
February 2017

Publisher’s page
The first edition of this readers’ advisory represented a pioneering effort to provide help and encouragement to librarians diving into this exciting format, and since then the popularity of graphic novels has continued apace. Goldsmith has updated her guide to encompass a bounty of new titles, authors, and styles, ensuring its continued usefulness as a tool for both RA and collection development. Suitable for newbies and hardcore fans alike, this book sketches in the history of graphic novels, tracing their evolution and showing what makes them unique; explores traditional and cutting edge titles most friendly to children, teens, and adults, reflecting the burgeoning and maturing publishing efforts made for each of these audiences; discusses common themes, topics, and the place of diversity in graphic novels; gives in-depth guidance on ways to connect readers to titles they’ll be sure to love; offers ideas for media tie-ins, displays, programming, book clubs, and more; includes annotated bibliographies, with appeal characteristics noted, and multiple indexes to ensure that locating the right graphic novel is a snap; and provides detailed tips for keeping current and aware of new titles and trends.

Watchmen

Cinema Journal 56(2)
In Focus: Watchmen

Blair Davis (ed.)
University of Texas Press
36 pages
ISSN 0009-7101
February 2017

Publisher’s page
In Focus is a regular feature of Cinema Journal in which several short essays examine a case study from multiple perspectives. In addition to writing the introduction, Davis gathered together five scholars (Mark J.P. Wolf, Aaron Taylor, Drew Morton, Kathryn Frank and Dana Polan) to look at Watchmen‘s role within film, media and comics studies, exploring ideas about canonization, world-building, transmedia, adaptation, digital comics, authorship and academia.
Continue to the open access-issue

The Ages of the Justice League

The Ages of the Justice League:
Essays on America’s Greatest Superheroes in Changing Times

Joseph J. Darowski (ed.)
McFarland
220 pages
ISBN 978-1-4766-6225-1 (Paperback)
~$ 19,00
March 2017

Publisher’s page
The first superhero team from the Silver Age of comics, DC’s Justice League has seen many iterations since its first appearance in 1960. As the original comic book continued and spin-off titles proliferated, talented writers, artists and editors adapted the team to appeal to changing audience tastes. This collection of new essays examines more than five decades of Justice League comics and related titles. Each essay considers a storyline or era of the franchise in its historical and social contexts.

Retcon Game

Retcon Game:
Retroactive Continuity and the Hyperlinking of America

Andrew J. Friedenthal
University Press of Mississippi
176 pages
ISBN 978-1-4968-1132-5 (Hardcover)
~$ 65,00
April 2017

Publisher’s page
The superhero Wolverine time travels and changes storylines. On Torchwood, there’s a pill popped to alter the past. The narrative technique of retroactive continuity seems rife lately, given all the world-building in comics. Andrew J. Friedenthal deems retroactive continuity, or “retconning,” as a force with many implications for how Americans view history and culture. In the first book to focus on this subject, Friedenthal regards the editable Internet hyperlink, rather than the stable printed footnote, as the de facto source of information in America today. To embrace retroactive continuity in fictional media means accepting that the past itself is not a stable element, but rather something constantly in contentious flux. Due to retconning’s ubiquity within our media, we have grown familiar with narratives as inherently unstable, a realization that deeply affects how we understand the world.