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Monitor 72: New Publications on Comic Books

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: redaktion@comicgesellschaft.de.
See previous Monitor posts.


Jewish Comics and Graphic Narratives: A Critical Guide

Matt Reingold
Bloomsbury Academic
December 2022
Publisher’s website

“The most up-to-date critical guide mapping the history, impact, key critical issues, and seminal texts of the genre, Jewish Comics and Graphic Narratives interrogates what makes a work a “Jewish graphic narrative”, and explores the form’s diverse facets to orient readers to the richness and complexity of Jewish graphic storytelling.
Accessible but comprehensive and in an easy-to-navigate format, the book covers such topics as:

  • The history of the genre in the US and Israel – and its relationship to superheroes, Underground Comix, and Jewish literature
  • Social and cultural discussions surrounding the legitimization of graphic representation as sites of trauma, understandings of gender, mixed-media in Jewish graphic novels, and the study of these works in the classroom
  • Critical explorations of graphic narratives about the Holocaust, Israel, the diasporic experience, Judaism, and autobiography and memoir
  • The works of Will Eisner, Ilana Zeffren, James Sturm, Joann Sfar, JT Waldman, Michel Kichka, Sarah Glidden, Rutu Modan, and Art Spiegelman and such narratives as X Men, Anne Frank’s Diary, and Maus

Jewish Comics and Graphic Novels includes an appendix of relevant works sorted by genre, a glossary of crucial critical terms, and close readings of key texts to help students and readers develop their understanding of the genre and pursue independent study.”

 

Perfect Copies: Reproduction and the Contemporary Comic

Shiamin Kwa
Rutger’s University Press
January 2023
Publisher’s website

“Analyzing the way that recent works of graphic narrative use the comics form to engage with the “problem” of reproduction, Shiamin Kwa’s Perfect Copies reminds us that the mode of production and the manner in which we perceive comics are often quite similar to the stories they tell. Perfect Copies considers the dual notions of reproduction, mechanical as well as biological, and explores how comics are works of reproduction that embed questions about the nature of reproduction itself. Through close readings of the comics My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris, The Black Project by Gareth Brookes, The Generous Bosom series by Conor Stechschulte, Sabrina by Nick Drnaso, and Panther by Brecht Evens, Perfect Copies shows how these comics makers push the limits of different ideas of “reproduction” in strikingly different ways. Kwa suggests that reading and thinking about books like these, that push us to engage with these complicated questions, teaches us how to become better readers.”

 

Asian Political Cartoons

John A. Lent
Rutger’s University Press
January 2023
Publisher’s website

“In Asian Political Cartoons, scholar John A. Lent explores the history and contemporary status of political cartooning in Asia, including East Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan, North and South Korea, Mongolia, and Taiwan), Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), and South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka).
Incorporating hundreds of interviews, as well as textual analysis of cartoons; observation of workplaces, companies, and cartoonists at work; and historical research, Lent offers not only the first such survey in English, but the most complete and detailed in any language. Richly illustrated, this volume brings much-needed attention to the political cartoons of a region that has accelerated faster and more expansively economically, culturally, and in other ways than perhaps any other part of the world.
Emphasizing the “freedom to cartoon,” the author examines political cartoons that attempt to expose, bring attention to, blame or condemn, satirically mock, and caricaturize problems and their perpetrators. Lent presents readers a pioneering survey of such political cartooning in twenty-two countries and territories, studying aspects of professionalism, cartoonists’ work environments, philosophies and influences, the state of newspaper and magazine industries, the state’s roles in political cartooning, modern technology, and other issues facing political cartoonists.
Asian Political Cartoons encompasses topics such as political and social satire in Asia during ancient times, humor/cartoon magazines established by Western colonists, and propaganda cartoons employed in independence campaigns. The volume also explores stumbling blocks contemporary cartoonists must hurdle, including new or beefed-up restrictions and regulations, a dwindling number of publishing venues, protected vested interests of conglomerate-owned media, and political correctness gone awry. In these pages, cartoonists recount intriguing ways they cope with restrictions—through layered hidden messages, by using other platforms, and finding unique means to use cartooning to make a living.”

 

 

Beowulf in Comic Books and Graphic Novels

Richard Scott Nokes
McFarland
February 2023
Publisher’s website

“The legendary story of Beowulf comes to us in only one medieval manuscript with no illustrations. Modern comic book and graphic novel artists have created visual interpretations of Beowulf for decades, both illustrating and altering the classic story to pull out new themes.
This book examines the growing canon of Beowulf comic books and graphic novels since the 1940s, and shows the remarkable emergence of new traditions—from re-envisioning the medieval look, to creating new plotlines, and even to transforming his identity. While placing Beowulf in a fantastical medieval setting, a techno-dystopia of the future, or modern-day America, artists have appropriated the tale to comment on social issues such as war, environmental issues, masculinity, and consumerism. Whether Beowulf is fighting new monsters or allying with popular comic book superheroes, these artists are creating a new canon of illustration that redefines Beowulf’s place in our culture.”

 

 

Journal Monitor 16: New Publications on Comic Books

The Journal Monitor is a subcategory of the regular Monitor. It is an irregularly published overview of issues of international journals on comics studies as well as special issues on corresponding topics. The introductory texts and/or tables of contents come from the respective websites.
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: redaktion@comicgesellschaft.de.
See previous Monitor posts.


European Comic Art  16.1

online, subscription
Website

  • Tilmann Altenberg: “Don Quixote Unbound: Intertextuality, Interpictoriality, and Transculturality in Flix’s German Graphic Novel Adaptation (2012)”
  • Jörn Ahrens: “The Graphical Epistemology of Comics via Jeff Lemire’s Gideon Falls
  • Alicia Lambert: “(Mis)Leading the Reader: Decolonising Adventure Comics in Baruti and Cassiau-Haurie’s Le Singe jaune
  • Ylva Lindberg: “The Agency of the Periphery: Changes in Local Comics through Flows of Francophone Bandes dessinées to Sweden, 1950–2020”

Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 14.1 & 2

online, subscription
Website

  • Wajeehah Aayeshah: “Hockey sticks, purple smoke bombs, and empathy: female character representation in Pakistani comics”
  • Parnika Agarwal: “Calvin and Hobbes: satirising work, leisure, imagination and agency within the context of the pervasive forces of capitalism”
  • Jackson Ayres: ‘“A very, very bad mood”: the turn to horror in Alan Moore’s late comics’
  • Jerzy Szyłak, Sebastian Jakub Konefał: “The influence of local and national press on the comic publishing industry in the Polish People’s Republic between 1956 and 1989”
  • Prateek: “Emergency’s children: satire in the hindi comics of Hawaldar Bahadur”
  • Michael Cop, David Large: “‘Words, Words, Words’: Making Comics and Sense of the Three Texts of Hamlet
  • Hanae Kim: “‘I read webtoon every day!’: young adult k-pop fans’ language learning and literacies with korean webcomics”
  • Jonathan M. Bullinger: “Marvel tells / sells its own history: figureheads, promotion, curation, and application, 1982-1987”
  • Janina Wildfeuer, Ielka van der Sluis, Gisela Redeker, Nina van der Velden: “No laughing matter!? Analyzing the Page Layout of Instruction Comics”
  • Robert Aman: “Semi-naked revolutionary: native Americans, colourblind anti-racism and the Pillaging of Latin America in Tumac
  • Sathyaraj Venkatesan, Arya Suresh: “Critique of DSM, medicalisation and graphic medicine”
  • Thomas Hamlyn-Harris: “Double take: ephemera and viewpoint construction in graphic memoir”
  • Sohini Bera, Rajni Singh: “Graphic narratives as history: the emergency period (1975– 1977) in Vishwajyoti Ghosh’s Delhi Calm
  • Shriya Raina: “Corpse geographies in Munnu: a boy from Kashmir: sites of resistance and post-mortem agency”

 

Studies in Comics  13.1-2

online, subscription
Website

  • Denis Dépinoy: “‘Tu te trompes, Fantasio’: Yves Chaland’s decoding and recoding of Spirou
  • Shromona Das: “The perfect victim: Reading trauma and victimhood in rape narratives in Indian comics”
  • Nora Hickey, Amaris Feland Ketcham: “Troubling the sequential image: The poetry comics of Bianca Stone”
  • Benjamin Fraser: “The shape of European jazz: On mute, mutable and pedagogical musical representations”
  • Francesco-Alessio Ursini, Giuseppe Samo: “The purple thread: The reception of Prince as a fictional character in graphic narratives”
  • Greice Schneider, João Senna Teixeira: “Cuteness and everyday humour in Nathan W. Pyle’s Strange Planet
  • Damon Herd: “Introduction: Uncomics”

 

Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society  6.3

online, subscription
Website

  • Rachel Miller, Daniel Worden: “Understanding Comics at 30: An Introduction”Hillary Chute: “’Weirder than That’: Understanding Comics at Thirty”
  • Kate Polak: “Three Ideas”Moritz Fink: “’Cool’ Media Studies: McCloud, McLuhan, and the Popification of the Humanities”
  • Marco d’Alessandro: “Unaframed: A Short Visual Essay”
  • Charles Hatfield: “The Empowered and Disempowered Reader: Understanding Comics against Itself”
  • Caitlin Cass: “Alchemy and Control”
  • Paul Fisher Davies: “What We Do in the Gutters: Or, If Not Transitions, What?”
  • Ken Parille: “Image over Text: ‘Visual Emphasis’ and Understanding Comics”
  • Shreya Sangai, Beena Anirjitha Urumy: “Lines from the Margins: Gond Artists Engage with McCloud”
  • Misha Grifka Wander: “Someone Else’s Icon: Complicating Comics and Identification”
  • Antonija Cavcic: “Contemplating Covid through Understanding Comics: Conveying Meaning with Panel Transitions in Covid-themed Comics”
  • Chris Malone: “Reader Participation in Comics (Through Walking my Dog)”
  • Harriet Hustis: “Understanding McCloud: (En)Countering Closure in the Context of Trauma”
  • Jason DeHart: “Form and Counter-Narratives: Using Understanding Comics with Pre-Service Teachers”

ImageText  13.3

online, open access
Website

  • Brian Olszewski: “The Joke Work of Batman: The Killing Joke”
  • Christopher Younie: “Journey to the West goes Queer”
  • Jake Zawlacki: “Searching for Legitimacy: Spawn, McFarlane, and the Homage Cover”

Monitor 71: New Publications on Comic Books

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: redaktion@comicgesellschaft.de.
See previous Monitor posts.


The LGBTQ+ Comics Studies Reader: Critical Openings, Future Directions

Alison Halsall, Jonathan Warren (Eds.)
University Press of Mississippi
October 2022
publisher’s website

The LGBTQ+ Comics Studies Reader explores the exemplary trove of LGBTQ+ comics that coalesced in the underground and alternative comix scenes of the mid-1960s and in the decades after. Through insightful essays and interviews with leading comics figures, volume contributors illuminate the critical opportunities, current interactions, and future directions of these comics.
This heavily illustrated volume engages with the work of preeminent artists across the globe, such as Howard Cruse, Edie Fake, Justin Hall, Jennifer Camper, and Alison Bechdel, whose iconic artwork is reproduced within the volume. Further, it addresses and questions the possibilities of LGBTQ+ comics from various scholarly positions and multiple geographical vantages, covering a range of queer lived experience. Along the way, certain LGBTQ+ touchstones emerge organically and inevitably—pride, coming out, chosen families, sexual health, gender, risk, and liberation.
Featuring comics figures across the gamut of the industry, from renowned scholars to emerging creators and webcomics artists, the reader explores a range of approaches to LGBTQ+ comics—queer history, gender and sexuality theory, memory studies, graphic medicine, genre studies, biography, and more—and speaks to the diversity of publishing forms and media that shape queer comics and their reading communities.
Chapters trace the connections of LGBTQ+ comics from the panel, strip, comic book, graphic novel, anthology, and graphic memoir to their queer readership, the LGBTQ+ history they make visible, the often still quite fragile LGBTQ+ distribution networks, the coded queer intelligence they deploy, and the community-sustaining energy and optimism they conjure. Above all, The LGBTQ+ Comics Studies Reader highlights the efficacy of LGBTQ+ comics as a kind of common ground for creators and readers.”

 

Manga: A Critical Guide

Bloomsbury Comics Studies

Shige Suzuki, Ronald Stewart
Bloomsbury
October 2022
publisher’s website

“A wide-ranging introductory guide for readers making their first steps into the world of manga, this book helps readers explore the full range of Japanese comic styles, forms and traditions from its earliest texts to the internationally popular comics of the 21st century.
In an accessible and easy-to-navigate format, the book covers:

  • The history of Japanese comics, from influences in early visual culture to the global ‘Manga Boom’ of the 1990s to the present
  • Case studies of texts reflecting the range of themes, genres, forms and creators, including Osamu Tezuka, Machiko Hasegawa and Katsuhiro Otomo
  • Key themes and contexts – from gender and sexuality, to history and censorship
  • Critical approaches to manga, including definitions, biography and reception and global publishing contexts

The book includes a bibliography of essential critical writing on manga, discussion questions for classroom use and a glossary of key critical terms.”

 

Comics and Archeology

Palgrave Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels

Zena Kamash, Katy Soar, Leen Van Broeck (Eds.)
Palgrave
October 2022
publisher’s website

“This book adds to the scant academic literature investigating how comics transmit knowledge of the past and how this refraction of the past shapes our understanding of society and politics in sometimes damaging ways. The volume comes at these questions from a specifically archaeological perspective, foregrounding the representation and narrative use of material cultures. It fulfils its objectives through three reception studies in the first part of the volume and three chapters by comic creators in the second part. All six chapters aim to grapple with a set of central questions about the power inherent in drawn images of various kinds.”

 

Precarious Youth in Contemporary Graphic Narratives: Young Lives in Crisis

Routledge Advances in Comics Studies

María Porras Sánchez, Gerardo Vilches (Eds.)
Routledge
September 2022
publisher’s website

“This volume explores comics as examples of moral outrage in the face of a reality in which precariousness has become an inherent part of young lives. Taking a thematic approach, the chapters devote attention to the expression and representation of precarious subjectivities, as well as to the economic and professional precarity that characterizes comics creation and production.
An international team of authors, young and senior systematically examines the representation of precarious youth in graphic fiction and autobiographic comics, superheroes and precarity, market issues and spaces of activism and vulnerability. With this structure, the book offers a global perspective and comprehensive coverage of different aspects of a complex and multifaceted field of knowledge, with a special attention to minorities and liminal subjects. The comics analyzed function as examples of “ethical solicitation” that bear witness of the precarious existence younger generations endure, while at the same time creating images that voice their outrage and might move readers to act.
This timely and truly interdisciplinary volume will appeal to comics scholars and researchers in the areas of media and cultural studies, modern languages, education, art and design, communication studies, sociology, medical humanities and more.”

 

Art History for Comics: Past, Present and Potential Futures

Palgrave Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels

Ian Horton , Maggie Gray
Palgrave
September 2022
publisher’s website

“This book looks at comics through the lens of Art History, examining the past influence of art-historical methodologies on comics scholarship to scope how they can be applied to Comics Studies in the present and future. It unearths how early comics scholars deployed art-historical approaches, including stylistic analysis, iconography, Cultural History and the social history of art, and proposes how such methodologies, updated in light of disciplinary developments within Art History, could be usefully adopted in the study of comics today. Through a series of indicative case studies of British and American comics like Eagle, The Mighty Thor, 2000AD, Escape and Heartbreak Hotel, it argues that art-historical methods better address overlooked aspects of visual and material form. Bringing Art History back into the interdisciplinary nexus of comics scholarship raises some fundamental questions about the categories, frameworks and values underlying contemporary Comics Studies.”

 

Reframing the Perpetrator in Contemporary Comics: On the Importance of the Strange

Palgrave Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels

Dragoș Manea
Palgrave
August 2022
publisher’s website

“This book foregrounds the figure of the perpetrator in a selection of British, American, and Canadian comics and explores questions related to remembrance, justice, and historical debt. Its primary focus is on works that deliberately estrange the figure of the perpetrator—through fantasy, absurdism, formal ambiguity, or provocative rewriting—and thus allow readers to engage anew with the history of genocide, mass murder, and sexual violence. This book is particularly interested in the ethical space such an engagement calls into being: in its ability to allow us to ponder the privilege many of us now enjoy, the gross historical injustices that have secured it, and the debt we owe to people long dead.”