Tag Archives: Monitor

Monitor 55: 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.


More Critical Approaches to Comics: Theories and Methods

Matthew J. Smith, Matthew Brown and Randy Duncan (eds.)
Routledge
286 pages
September 2019
Publisher’s website

“In this comprehensive textbook, editors Matthew J. Brown, Randy Duncan, and Matthew J. Smith offer students a deeper understanding of the artistic and cultural significance of comic books and graphic novels by introducing key theories and critical methods for analyzing comics.
Each chapter explains and then demonstrates a critical method or approach, which students can then apply to interrogate and critique the meanings and forms of comic books, graphic novels, and other sequential art. Contributors introduce a wide range of critical perspectives on comics, including disability studies, parasocial relationships, scientific humanities, queer theory, linguistics, critical geography, philosophical aesthetics, historiography, and much more.
As a companion to the acclaimed Critical Approaches to Comics: Theories and Methods, this second volume features 19 fresh perspectives and serves as a stand-alone textbook in its own right. More Critical Approaches to Comics is a compelling classroom or research text for students and scholars interested in Comics Studies, Critical Theory, the Humanities, and beyond.”

 

Performativity, Cultural Construction, and the Graphic Narrative

Leigh Anne Howard and Susanna Hoeness-Krupsaw (eds.)
Routledge
264 pages
September 2019
Publisher’s website

Performativity, Cultural Construction, and the Graphic Narrative draws on performance studies scholarship to understand the social impact of graphic novels and their sociopolitical function.
Addressing issues of race, gender, ethnicity, race, war, mental illness, and the environment, the volume encompasses the diversity and variety inherent in the graphic narrative medium. Informed by the scholarship of Dwight Conquergood and his model for performance praxis, this collection of essays makes links between these seemingly disparate areas of study to open new avenues of research for comics and graphic narratives. An international team of authors offer a detailed analysis of new and classical graphic texts from Britain, Iran, India, and Canada as well as the United States.
Performance, Social Construction and the Graphic Narrative draws on performance studies scholarship to understand the social impact of graphic novels and their sociopolitical function. Addressing issues of race, gender, ethnicity, race, war, mental illness, and the environment, the volume encompasses the diversity and variety inherent in the graphic narrative medium. This book will be of interest to students and scholars in the areas of communication, literature, comics studies, performance studies, sociology, languages, English, and gender studies, and anyone with an interest in deepening their acquaintance with and understanding of the potential of graphic narratives.”

 

 

Maskierte Helden: Zur Doppelidentität in Pulp-Novels und Superheldencomics

Aleta-Amirée von Holzen
Chronos
420 pages
September 2019
Publisher’s website

“Populäre Heldengestalten wie Zorro, Batman oder Spider-Man vollbringen ihre Taten in der Öffentlichkeit nur maskiert, verbergen aber in Zivil jeden Anschein von Heldentum. Mit diesem Geheimnis ermöglichen solche maskierten Helden in ihren Geschichten die vielfältige Thematisierung von Identitätsvorstellungen – kommt der Maske doch schon immer die Funktion zu, Identitätskategorien und -kategorisierungen zu hinterfragen. In den Spannungsfeldern der Maskerade zwischen Sein und Schein versuchen diese Figuren seriellen Erzählens immer wieder aufs Neue, die Balance zwischen Individualität und Konformität zu finden oder zu halten.
Was maskierte Helden ausmacht und wie solche Figuren zwischen Fragen nach dem ‹wahren› Ich und multiplen Selbsten oszillieren, zeigt dieses Buch in einem grossen zeitlichen Bogen über das gesamte 20. bis ins beginnende 21. Jahrhundert, in dem auch die Genese des maskierten Helden als Figurentypus nachgezeichnet wird. Weltbekannte Figuren wie Superman, weniger bekannte wie Daredevil, die Thunderbolts und The Shadow sowie eine Vielzahl fast vergessener Helden aus den US-amerikanischen Pulp-Novels und frühen Superheldencomics stehen dabei im Fokus.”

 

 

Only at Comic-Con: Hollywood, Fans, and the Limits of Exclusivity

Erin Hanna
Rutgers University Press
300 pages
September 2019
Publisher’s website

“When the San Diego Comic-Con was founded in 1970, it provided an exclusive space where fans, dealers, collectors, and industry professionals could come together to celebrate their love of comics and popular culture. In the decades since, Comic-Con has grown in size and scope, attracting hundreds of thousands of fans each summer and increased attention from the media industries, especially Hollywood, which uses the convention’s exclusivity to spread promotional hype far and wide. What made the San Diego Comic-Con a Hollywood destination? How does the industry’s presence at Comic-Con shape our ideas about what it means to be a fan? And what can this single event tell us about the relationship between media industries and their fans, past and present? Only at Comic-Con answers these questions and more as it examines the connection between exclusivity and the proliferation of media industry promotion at the longest-running comic convention in North America.”

 

 

 

Gothic for Girls: Misty and British Comic Books

Julia Round
University Press of Mississippi
358 Seiten
October 2019
Publisher’s website

“Today fans still remember and love the British girls’ comic Misty for its bold visuals and narrative complexities. Yet its unique history has drawn little critical attention. Bridging this scholarly gap, Julia Round presents a comprehensive cultural history and detailed discussion of the comic, preserving both the inception and development of this important publication as well as its stories.
Misty ran for 101 issues as a stand-alone publication between 1978 and 1980 and then four more years as part of Tammy. It was a hugely successful anthology comic containing one-shot and serialized stories of supernatural horror and fantasy aimed at girls and young women and featuring work by writers and artists who dominated British comics such as Pat Mills, Malcolm Shaw, and John Armstrong, as well as celebrated European artists. To this day, Misty remains notable for its daring and sophisticated stories, strong female characters, innovative page layouts, and big visuals.
In the first book on this topic, Round closely analyzes Misty’s content, including its creation and production, its cultural and historical context, key influences, and the comic itself. Largely based on Round’s own archival research, the study also draws on interviews with many of the key creators involved in this comic, including Pat Mills, Wilf Prigmore, and its art editorial team Jack Cunningham and Ted Andrews, who have never previously spoken about their work. Richly illustrated with previously unpublished photos, scripts, and letters, this book uses Misty as a lens to explore the use of Gothic themes and symbols in girls’ comics and other media. It surveys existing work on childhood and Gothic and offers a working definition of Gothic for Girls, a subgenre which challenges and instructs readers in a number of ways.”

Journal Monitor 04: 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.


The Comics Grid – Journal of Comics Scholarship

online (open access)
Website

    • Tony Pickering: Diabetes Year One. Drawing my Pathography: Comics, Poetry and the Medical Self
    • Robert J. Hagan: Touch Me/Don’t Touch Me: Representations of Female Archetypes in Ann Nocenti’s Daredevil
    • Leah Misemer: A Historical Approach to Webcomics: Digital Authorship in the Early 2000s
    • Xiyuan Tan: Guoxue Comics: Visualising Philosophical Concepts and Cultural Values through Sequential Narratives
    • Hailey J. Austin: “That Old Black Magic”: Noir and Music in Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido’s Blacksad
    • Lisa Kottas, Martin Schwarzenbacher: The Comic at the Crossroads: The Semiotics of ‘Voodoo Storytelling’ in The Hole: Consumer Culture Vol. 1
    • Nick Dodds: The Practice of Authentication: Adapting Pilgrimage from Nenthead into a Graphic Memoir
    • Ilan Manouach: Peanuts minus Schulz: Distributed Labor as a Compositional Practice

 

Inks 3.2 (Summer 2019)

online (via subscription)
Website

    • Martha Kuhlman: The Avant-Garde Aesthetic of Vojtěch Mašek
    • Mike Borkent: Anarchist Fantasies: A Cognitive Analysis of Fantasy to Promote Anarchism and Cultural Reformulation in Therefore Repent! A Post-Rapture Graphic Novel
    • Sean Guynes: Worlds Will Live, Worlds Will Die: Crisis on Infinite Earths and the Anxieties and Calamities of the Comic-Book Event
    • Paul Williams: The Greatest Team-Up Never Told? Paul Buhle Theorizes the New Left and Underground Comix
    • Paul Buhle: Komix Kountermedia (1969)
    • Jeffery Klaehn: “The History and Appreciation of an Art Form”: Talking Comics Studies with M. Thomas Inge

 

Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics

online (via subscription)
Website

    • Carla Calargé & Alexandra Gueydan-Turek: Unreading Beirut in the age of disaster capitalism: Jorj Abou Mhaya’s Madinah Mujawirah lil Ard
    • Larisa Nadya Sembaliuk Cheladyn: Forgotten immigrant voices: the early Ukrainian Canadian comics of Jacob Maydanyk
    • Yaakova Sacerdoti: An allegorical-ideological trinity: the beast is dead — the second World War among the animals (1944)
    • Sathyaraj Venkatesan & Anu Mary Peter: On comics and the chronicles of emaciation: an interview with Katie green
    • Matt Reingold: Autotransmogrification in Asaf Hanuka’s ‘The Realist’ as critique on Israeli society
    • Noha F. Abdelmotagally: Veillance in Verax and Āyālw (Ialu): Two countries, one concern
    • Peter Stanković: Corto Maltese and the process of endless semiosis
    • Rebecca Scherr: Regarding the ruins: ruins and humanitarian witnessing in Satrapi and Sacco
    • Sathyaraj Venkatesan & Anu Mary Peter: Anorexia through creative metaphors: women pathographers and graphic medicine
    • Ahmed Abdel-Raheem: The multimodal recycling machine: toward a cognitive-pragmatic theory of the text/image production
    • Elizabeth Nijdam: Transnational girlhood and the politics of style in German Manga
    • Philip Smith: ‘Getting Arno’: the New Yorker cartoon caption competition
    • Christopher Smith: Becoming illegible: the repatriation of Japanese fan culture in Genshiken
    • Sathyaraj Venkatesan & Sweetha Saji: Graphic illness memoirs as counter-discourse
    • Patrick L. Smith et al.: Graphic novelisation effects on recognition abilities in students with dyslexia
    • Jeffery Klaehn: “Bold and bright, combining the aesthetics of comics and Saturday morning cartoons”: an interview with comic book artist and writer Tom Scioli
    • Julia Ludewig: Different beasts? National and transnational lines in the German-Indian anthology The Elephant in the Room
    • Sathyaraj Venkatesan & Chinmay Murali: “Childless? Childfree? Neither, Just ME”: pronatalism and (m)otherhood in Paula Knight’s The Facts of Life
    • Jeffery Klaehn: ‘Making comics for me is about making comics and nothing else’: talking comics with Michel Fiffe, Charles Forsman, and Benjamin Marra
    • Cristina Salcedo González: Penelopean aesthetics in Fun Home: drawing queer potentialies

 

Comicalités – Études de culture graphique

online (open access)
Website

    • Sofiane Taouchichet: Représentations auctoriales dans Excel Saga: figures, enjeux et métafiction
    • Camille Roelens: Figure d’autorité, maître et disciple(s): Hugo Pratt par Milo Manara
    • Zoé Vangindertael: La représentation muséale de l’auteur de bande dessinée: enjeux d’une dialectique entre l’artiste et l’artisan

Monitor 54: 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.


Representing Acts of Violence in Comics

Nina Mickwitz, Ian Horton and Ian Hague (eds.)
Routledge
196 pages
August 2019
Publisher’s website

Representing Acts of Violence in Comics raises questions about depiction and the act of showing violence, and discusses the ways in which individual moments of violence develop, and are both represented and embodied in comics and graphic novels. Contributors consider the impact of gendered and sexual violence, and examine the ways in which violent acts can be rendered palatable (for example through humour) but also how comics can represent trauma and long lasting repercussions for both perpetrators and victims.”

 

Contexts of Violence in Comics

Ian Hague, Ian Horton and Nina Mickwitz (eds.)
Routledge
204 pages
August 2019
Publisher’s website

Contexts of Violence in Comics asks the reader to consider the ways in which violence and its representations may be enabled or restricted by the contexts in which they take place. It analyzes how structures and organising principles, be they cultural, historical, legal, political or spatial, might encourage, demand or prevent violence. It deals with the issue of scale: violence in the context of war versus violence in the context of an individual murder, and provides insights into the context of war and peace, ethnic and identity-based violence, as well as examining issues of justice and memory.”

 

Visible Cities, Global Comics: Urban Images and Spatial Form

Benjamin Fraser
University Press of Mississippi
302 pages
September 2019
Publisher’s website

“More and more people are noticing links between urban geography and the spaces within the layout of panels on the comics page. Benjamin Fraser explores the representation of the city in a range of comics from across the globe. Comics address the city as an idea, a historical fact, a social construction, a material-built environment, a shared space forged from the collective imagination, or as a social arena navigated according to personal desire. Accordingly, Fraser brings insights from urban theory to bear on specific comics.
The works selected comprise a variety of international, alternative, and independent small-press comics artists, from engravings and early comics to single-panel work, graphic novels, manga, and trading cards, by artists such as Will Eisner, Tsutomu Nihei, Hariton Pushwagner, Julie Doucet, Frans Masereel, and Chris Ware.
In the first monograph on this subject, Fraser touches on many themes of modern urban life: activism, alienation, consumerism, flânerie, gentrification, the mystery story, science fiction, sexual orientation, and working-class labor. He leads readers to images of such cities as Barcelona, Buenos Aires, London, Lyon, Madrid, Montevideo, Montreal, New York, Oslo, Paris, São Paolo, and Tokyo.
Through close readings, each chapter introduces readers to specific comics artists and works and investigates a range of topics related to the medium’s spatial form, stylistic variation, and cultural prominence. Mainly, Fraser mixes interest in urbanism and architecture with the creative strategies that comics artists employ to bring their urban images to life.”

 

Consequential Art: Comics Culture in Contemporary Spain

Samuel Amago and Matthew J. Marr (eds.)
University of Toronto Press
280 pages
September 2019
Publisher’s website

“Spanish comics have attracted considerable critical attention internationally: dissertations have been written, monographs have been published, and an array of cultural institutions in Spain (the media, publishing houses, bookstores, museums, and archives) have increasingly promoted the pleasures, pertinence, and power of graphic narrative to an ever-expanding readership – all in an area of cultural production that was held, until recently, to be the stuff of child’s play, the unenlightened, or the unsophisticated. This volume takes up the charge of examining how contemporary comics in Spain have confronted questions of cultural legitimacy through serious and timely engagement with diverse themes, forms, and approaches – a collective undertaking that, while keenly in step with transnational theoretical trends, foregrounds local, regional, and national dimensions particular to the late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century Spanish milieu. From memory and history to the economic and the political, and from the body and personal space to mental geography, the essays collected in Consequential Art account for several key ways in which a range of comics practitioners have deployed the image-text connection and alternative methods of seeing to interrogate some of the most significant cultural issues in Spain.”

 

Buffy to Batgirl: Essays on Female Power, Evolving Femininity and Gender Roles in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Julie M. Still and Zara T. Wilkinson (eds.)
McFarland
252 pages
October 2019
Publisher’s website

“Science fiction and fantasy are often thought of as stereotypically male genres, yet both have a long and celebrated history of female creators, characters, and fans. In particular, the science fiction and fantasy heroine is a recognized figure made popular in media such as Alien, The Terminator, and Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. Though imperfect, she is strong and definitely does not need to be saved by a man. This figure has had an undeniable influence on The Hunger Games, Divergent, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and many other, more recent female-led book and movie franchises.
Despite their popularity, these fictional women have received inconsistent scholarly interest. This collection of new essays is intended to help fill a gap in the serious discussion of women and gender in science fiction and fantasy. The contributors are scholars, teachers, practicing writers, and other professionals in fields related to the genre. Critically examining the depiction of women and gender in science fiction and fantasy on both page and screen, they focus on characters who are as varied as they are interesting, and who range from vampire slayers to time travelers, witches, and spacefarers.”

Monitor 53: 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 World of DC Comics

Andrew Friedenthal
Routledge
108 pages
April 2019
Publisher’s website

“The first sustained study of the DC Comics Multiverse, this book explores its history, meanings, and lasting influence. The multiverse is a unique exercise in world-building: a series of parallel and interactive worlds with a cohesive cosmology, developed by various creators over more than 50 years.
In examining DC’s unique worlds and characters, the book illustrates the expansive potential of a multiverse, full of characters, histories, geographies, religions, ethnographies, and more, and allowing for expressions of legacy, multiplicity, and play that have defined much of DC Comics’ output. It shows how a multiverse can be a vital, energizing part of any imaginary world, and argues that students and creators of such worlds would do well to explore the implications and complexities of this world-building technique.
Andrew J. Friedenthal has crafted a groundbreaking, engaging, and thoughtful examination of the multiverse, of interest to scholars and enthusiasts of not just comics studies, but also the fields of media studies and imaginary world studies.”

 

Representation and Memory in Graphic Novels

Golnar Nabizadeh
Routledge
198 pages
April 2019
Publisher’s website

“This book analyses the relationship between comics and cultural memory. By focussing on a range of landmark comics from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the discussion draws attention to the ongoing role of visual culture in framing testimony, particularly in relation to underprivileged subjects such as migrants and refugees, individuals dealing with war and oppressive regimes and individuals living with particular health conditions. The discussion is influenced by literary and cultural debates on the intersections between ethics, testimony, trauma, and human rights, reflected in its three overarching questions: ‘How do comics usually complicate the production of cultural memory in local contents and global mediascapes?’, ‘How do comics engage with, and generate, new forms of testimonial address?’, and ‘How do the comics function as mnemonic structures?’
The author highlights that the power of comics is that they allow both creators and readers to visualise the fracturing power of violence and oppression – at the level of the individual, domestic, communal, national and international – in powerful and creative ways. Comics do not stand outside of literature, cinema, or any of the other arts, but rather enliven the reciprocal relationship between the verbal and the visual language that informs all of these media. As such, the discussion demonstrates how fields such as graphic medicine, graphic justice, and comics journalism contribute to existing theoretical and analytics debates, including critical visual theory, trauma and memory studies, by offering a broad ranging, yet cohesive, analysis of cultural memory and its representation in print and digital comics.”

 

Rewriting Humour in Comic Books: Cultural Transfer and Translation of Aristophanic Adaptations

Dimitris Asimakoulas
Palgrave Studies in Translating and Interpreting
Palgrave
189 pages
July 2019
Publisher’s website

“This book examines comic book adaptations of Aristophanes’ plays in order to shed light on how and why humour travels across cultures and time. Forging links between modern languages, translation and the study of comics, it analyses the Greek originals and their English translations and offers a unique, language-led research agenda for cultural flows, and the systematic analysis of textual norms in a multimodal environment. It will appeal to students and scholars of Modern Languages, Translation Studies, Comics Studies, Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature.”

 

Writing Queer Women of Color: Representation and Misdirection in Contemporary Fiction and Graphic Narratives

Monalesia Earle
McFarland
248 pages
July 2019
Publisher’s website

“Queer women of color have historically been underrepresented or excluded completely in fiction and comics. When present, they are depicted as “less than” the white, Eurocentric norm. Drawing on semiotics, queer theory, and gender studies, this book addresses the imbalanced representation of queer women of color in graphic narratives and fiction and explores ways of rewriting queer women of color back into the frame. The author interrogates what it means to be “Other” and how “Othering” can be more creatively resisted.”

Journal Monitor 03: 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 12.1 (2019)

online (subscription)
Website

  • Maaheen Ahmed: Instrumentalising Media Memories – The Second World War According to Achtung Zelig!
  • Yaakova Sacerdoti: A Transtextual Hermeneutic Journey – Horst Rosenthal’s Mickey au camp de Gurs (1942)
  • Sean A. McPhail: Fall-Out and the German People – The Political Climate in Pausewang’s Novel Die Wolke (1987) and Anike Hage’s Manga Adaptation (2013)
  • David Leishman: Drawing National Boundaries in Barr’s Ba-Bru Comic Strip Advertising
  • David Morgan: Looking Awry at Georgian Caricature – Lacan and the Satirists

 

Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society 3.1 (Spring 2019)

online (subscription)
Website

  • Margaret Galvan, Leah Misemer: Introduction – The Counterpublics of Underground Comics
  • Leah Misemer: Serial Critique – The Counterpublic of Wimmen’s Comix
  • Joshua Abraham Kopin: “With Apologies to The Old Masters” – Jack Jackson’s Citational Practice and the History of Comic Book History
  • Aaron Kashtan: Christmas Card from a Cat Dancer in Mipple City: Omaha the Cat Dancer and Midwestern Counterpublics
  • Lara Saguisag: X-Rated – Childhood and the “Adults Only” World of Underground Comix
  • Margaret Galvan: Adjacent Genealogies, Alternate Geographies – The Outliers of Underground Comix & World War 3 Illustrated

 

ImageText: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies 10.3 (2018/19)

online (open access)
Website

  • Vincent M. Basso: The Poverty of the Kid – Visualizing the Ragamuffin in R.F. Outcault’s Hogan’s Alley
  • Mary J. Henderson: Representation Matters – Post-Racial Tensions in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur
  • Emily Lauer: Fun (Mobile) Home
  • Debraghya Sanyal: Krazy Kolors – Exploring Identities and Ambiguities in George Harriman’s Krazy Kat
  • Rikke Platz Cortsen: Kverneland and Fiske in the Footsteps of Great Artists – Re-tracing as a Tool for Artist Biographies in Comics Form
  •  Jean-Matthieu Méon: Comics in Museums and at their Periphery – Hierarchical Reaffirmation and Domination Adjustments in French Art Museums
  • Elizabeth Nijdam: The Expressionist Aesthetics of Anke Feuchtenberger’s Graphic Narrative
  • Małgorzata Olsza: Collage Technique in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

 

Studies in Comics 10.1 (2019)


online (via subscription)
Website

    • Alice Vernon: Graphic Wales: Exploring identity, landscape and language in Carol Swain’s Gast
    • David Miranda-Barreiro: Invoking the past in graphic biographies: The life, death and ghostly return of Alexandre Bóveda
    • Guillem Colom-Montero: Mass tourism as cultural trauma: An analysis of the Majorcan comics Els darrers dies de l’Imperi Mallorquí (2014) and Un infern a Mallorca (La decadència de l’Imperi Mallorquí) (2018)
    • Armelle Blin-Rolland: ‘Tu te décolonises’: Comics re-framings of the Breton Liberation Front (FLB)
    • Edward A. Shannon: Good grief, Comrade Brown! Woody Guthrie, Charles Schulz and the little cartoon book that was a big lie
    • Paul Humphrey: ‘Yo soy Groot’: Afro-Caribbean religions and transnational identity in the comic metropolis

 

Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings 19.1 (2019)

Special Issue: Comics Fiction
print (subscription)
Website

  • Iwan Gunawan: Indonesian Comic Strips – Localities in a Global Medium
  • Nicolas Verstappen: When Popeye and Mickey Mouse became Siamese – The Birth of Thai Comics Art and its Early Borrowings
  • Chong Lingying: My Mother, the Comic Book Publisher
  • Emma Hayley: ‘Comic Books aren’t just about latex-clad Superheroes’ – Indie Publisher Emma Hayley Reflects on her Company, SelfMadeHero
  • Monica Chiu: Inter-visuality in Kawaguchi’s Manga Eagle: The Making of an Asian-American President and its Translation into an American Series
  • Weihsin Gui: Braiding Stories and Affordances in the Graphic Novels of Sonny Liew and Koh Hong Teng

Monitor 52: 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 Comics of Rutu Modan: War, Love, and Secrets

Kevin Haworth
University Press of Mississippi
194 pages
March 2019
Publisher’s website

“Best known for her Eisner Award-winning graphic novels, Exit Wounds and The Property, Rutu Modan’s richly colored compositions invite readers into complex Israeli society, opening up a world too often defined only by news headlines. Her strong female protagonists stick out in a comics scene still too dominated by men, as she combines a mystery novelist’s plotting with a memoirist’s insights into psychology and trauma.
The Comics of Rutu Modan: War, Love, and Secrets conducts a close reading of her work and examines her role in creating a comics arts scene in Israel. Drawing upon archival research, Kevin Haworth traces the history of Israeli comics from its beginning as 1930s cheap children’s stories, through the counterculture movement of the 1970s, to the burst of creativity that began in the 1990s and continues full force today.
Based on new interviews with Modan (b. 1966) and other comics artists, Haworth indicates the key role of Actus Tragicus, the collective that changed Israeli comics forever and launched her career. Haworth shows how Modan’s work grew from experimental mini-comics to critically acclaimed graphic novels, delving into the creative process behind Exit Wounds and The Property. He analyzes how the recurring themes of family secrets and absence weave through her stories, and how she adapts the famous clear line illustration style to her morally complex tales.”

 

Shōjo Across Media: Exploring “Girl” Practices in Contemporary Japan

Jaqueline Berndt, Kazumi Nagaike und Fusami Ogi (eds.)
East Asian Popular Culture
Springer
397 pages
March 2019
Publisher’s website

“Since the 2000s, the Japanese word shōjo has gained global currency, accompanying the transcultural spread of other popular Japanese media such as manga and anime. The term refers to both a character type specifically, as well as commercial genres marketed to female audiences more generally. Through its diverse chapters this edited collection introduces the two main currents of shōjo research: on the one hand, historical investigations of Japan’s modern girl culture and its representations, informed by Japanese-studies and gender-studies concerns; on the other hand, explorations of the transcultural performativity of shōjo as a crafted concept and affect-prone code, shaped by media studies, genre theory, and fan-culture research.
While acknowledging that shōjo has mediated multiple discourses throughout the twentieth century—discourses on Japan and its modernity, consumption and consumerism, non-hegemonic gender, and also technology—this volume shifts the focus to shōjo mediations, stretching from media by and for actual girls, to shōjo as media. As a result, the Japan-derived concept, while still situated, begins to offer possibilities for broader conceptualizations of girlness within the contemporary global digital mediascape.”

 

Lessons Drawn: Essays on the Pedagogy of Comics and Graphic Novels

David D. Seelow (ed.)
McFarland
258 pages
2019
Publisher’s website

“Imagine a classroom where students put away their smart phones and enthusiastically participate in learning activities that unleash creativity and refine critical thinking. Students today live and learn in a transmedia environment that demands multi-modal writing skills and multiple literacies. This collection brings together 17 new essays on using comics and graphic novels to provide both a learning framework and hands-on strategies that transform students’ learning experiences through literary forms they respond to.”

 

Politics in Gotham: The Batman Universe and Political Thought

Damien K. Picariello (ed.)
Palgrave
237 pages
March 2019
Publisher’s website

“In Politics in Gotham, scholars from a variety of fields—political science, philosophy, law, and others—provide answers to the question: “What does Batman have to do with politics?” Contributors use the Batman canon, from the comics to the feature films, to explore a broad range of issues in politics and political thought. What can Batman’s role in Gotham City teach us about democracy? How do Batman’s vigilantism and his violence fit within a society committed to the rule of law? What’s the relationship between politics in Gotham and politics in our own communities? From Machiavelli to the fake news phenomenon, this book provides a compelling introduction to the politics behind one of the world’s most enduring pop culture figures.”

 

Women’s Manga in Asia and Beyond: Uniting Different Cultures and Identities

Fusami Ogi, et al. (eds.)
Palgrave
366 pages
March 2019
Publisher’s website

Women’s Manga in Asia and Beyond offers a variety of perspectives on women’s manga and the nature, scope, and significance of the relationship between women and comics/manga, both globally as well as locally. Based on the activities since 2009 of the Women’s MANGA Research Project in Asia (WMRPA), the edited volume elucidates social and historical aspects of the Asian wave of manga from ever-broader perspectives of transnationalization and glocalization. With a specific focus on women’s direct roles in manga creation, it illustrates how the globalization of manga has united different cultures and identities, focusing on networks of women creators and readerships.
Taking an Asian regional approach combined with investigations of non-Asian cultures which have felt manga’s impact, the book details manga’s shift to a global medium, developing, uniting, and involving increasing numbers of participants worldwide. Unveiling diverse Asian identities and showing ways to unite them, the contributors to this volume recognize the overlaps and unique trends that emerge as a result.”

Monitor 51: 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.

 

Peanuts and American Culture: Essays on Charles M. Schulz’s Iconic Comic Strip

Peter W. Y. Lee
McFarland
211 pages
March 2019
Publisher’s website

Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz insisted good ol’ Charlie Brown and his friends were neither “great art” nor “significant.” Yet Schulz’s acclaimed daily comic strip—syndicated in thousands of newspapers over five decades—brilliantly mirrored tensions in American society during the second half of the 20th century.
Focusing on the strip’s Cold War roots, this collection of new essays explores existentialism, the reshaping of the nuclear family, the Civil Rights Movement, 1960s counterculture, feminism, psychiatry and fear of the bomb. Chapters focus on the development of Lucy, Peppermint Patty, Schroeder, Franklin, Shermy, Snoopy and the other characters that became American icons.”

 

Serial Selves: Identity and Representation in Autobiographical Comics

Frederik Byrn Køhlert
Rutgers University Press
242 pages
March 2019
Publisher’s website

“Autobiography is one of the most dynamic and quickly-growing genres in contemporary comics and graphic narratives. In Serial Selves, Frederik Byrn Køhlert examines the genre’s potential for representing lives and perspectives that have been socially marginalized or excluded. With a focus on the comics form’s ability to produce alternative and challenging autobiographical narratives, thematic chapters investigate the work of artists writing from perspectives of marginality including gender, sexuality, disability, and race, as well as trauma. Interdisciplinary in scope and attuned to theories and methods from both literary and visual studies, the book provides detailed formal analysis to show that the highly personal and hand-drawn aesthetics of comics can help artists push against established narrative and visual conventions, and in the process invent new ways of seeing and being seen.
As the first comparative study of how comics artists from a wide range of backgrounds use the form to write and draw themselves into cultural visibility, Serial Selves will be of interest to anyone interested in the current boom in autobiographical comics, as well as issues of representation in comics and visual culture more broadly.”

 

The Ages of The Flash: Essays on the Fastest Man Alive

Joseph J. Darowski (ed.)
McFarland
194 pages
April 2019
Publisher’s website

“While many American superheroes have multiple powers and complex gadgets, the Flash is simply fast. This simplicity makes his character easily comprehendible for all audiences, whether they are avid comic fans or newcomers to the genre, and in turn he has become one of the most iconic figures in the comic-book industry. This collection of new essays serves as a stepping-stone to an even greater understanding of the Flash, examining various iterations of his character—including those of Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, Wally West and Bart Allen—and what they reveal about the era in which they were written.”

 

The Artistry of Neil Gaiman: Finding Light in the Shadows

Joseph Michael Sommers and Kyle Eveleth (eds.)
University Press of Mississippi
300 pages
April 2019
Publisher’s website

“Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) reigns as one of the most critically decorated and popular authors of the last fifty years. Perhaps best known as the writer of the Harvey, Eisner, and World Fantasy-award winning series The Sandman, Gaiman quickly became equally renowned in literary circles for Neverwhere, Coraline, and award-winning American Gods, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie Medal-winning The Graveyard Book. For adults, children, comics readers, and viewers of the BBC’s Doctor Who, Gaiman’s writing has crossed the borders of virtually all media, making him a celebrity around the world.
Despite Gaiman’s incredible contributions to comics, his work remains underrepresented in sustained fashion in comics studies. The thirteen essays and two interviews with Gaiman and his frequent collaborator, artist P. Craig Russell, examine the work of Gaiman and his many illustrators. The essays discuss Gaiman’s oeuvre regarding the qualities that make his work unique in his eschewing of typical categories, his proclamations to “make good art,” and his own constant efforts to do so however the genres and audiences may slip into one another.
The Artistry of Neil Gaiman forms a complicated picture of a man who always seems fully assembled virtually from the start of his career, but only came to feel comfortable in his own voice far later in life. “

Monitor 50: 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.

 

Young People, Comics and Reading: Exploring a Complex Reading Experience

Lucia Cedeira Serantes
Elements in Publishing and Book Culture
Cambridge University Press
110 pages
February 2019
Publisher’s website

“Scholars and professionals interested in the study and engagement with young people will find this project relevant to deepening their understanding of reading practices with comics and graphic novels. Comics reading has been an understudied experience despite its potential to enrich our exploration of reading in our currently saturated media landscape. This Element is based on seventeen in-depth interviews with teens and young adults who describe themselves as readers of comics for pleasure. These interviews provide insights about how comics reading evolves with the readers and what they consider a good or bad reading experience. Special attention is paid to the place of female readers in the comics community and material aspects of reading. From these readers, one begins to understand why comics reading is something that young people do not ‘grow out of’ but an experience that they ‘grow with’.”

 

Perspectives on Digital Comics: Theoretical, Critical and Pedagogical Essays

Jeffrey S.J. Kirchoff, Mike P. Cook (eds.)
McFarland
257 pages
February 2019
Publisher’s website

“This collection of new essays explores various ways of reading, interpreting and using digital comics. Contributors discuss comics made specifically for web consumption, and also digital reproductions of print-comics. Written for those who may not be familiar with digital comics or digital comic scholarship, the essays cover perspectives on reading, criticism and analysis of specific titles, the global reach of digital comics, and how they can be used in educational settings.”

 

“I’m Just a Comic Book Boy”: Essays on the Intersection of Comics and Punk

Christopher B. Field, et al. (eds.)
McFarland
240 pages
February 2019
Publisher’s website

“Comics and the punk movement are inextricably linked—each has a foundational do-it-yourself ethos and a nonconformist spirit defiant of authority. This collection of new essays provides for the first time a thorough analysis of the intersections between comics and punk. The contributors expand the discussion beyond the familiar U.S. and UK scenes to include the influence punk has had on comics produced in other countries, such as Spain and Turkey.”

 

Urban Comics: Infrastructure and the Global City in Contemporary Graphic Narratives

Dominic Davies
Routledge
274 pages
March 2019
Publisher’s website

Urban Comics: Infrastructure and the Global City in Contemporary Graphic Narratives makes an important and timely contribution both to comics studies and urban studies, offering a decolonisation and reconfiguration of both of these already interdisciplinary fields. With chapter-length discussions of comics from cities such as Cairo, Cape Town, New Orleans, Delhi and Beirut, this book shows how artistic collectives and urban social movements working across the global South are producing some of the most exciting and formally innovative graphic narratives of the contemporary moment.
Throughout, the author reads an expansive range of graphic narratives through the vocabulary of urban studies to argue that these formal innovations should be thought of as a kind of infrastructure. This ‘infrastructural form’ allows urban comics to reveal that the built environments of our cities are not static, banal, or depoliticised, but rather highly charged material spaces that allow some forms of social life to exist while also prohibiting others. Built from a formal infrastructure of grids, gutters and panels, and capable of volumetric, multi-scalar perspectives, this book shows how urban comics are able to represent, repair and even rebuild contemporary global cities toward more socially just and sustainable ends.
Operating at the intersection of comics studies and urban studies, and offering large global surveys alongside close textual and visual analyses, this book explores and opens up the fascinating relationship between comics and graphic narratives, on the one hand, and cities and urban spaces, on the other.”

 

EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest

Qiana Whitted
Rutger’s University Press
196 pages
March 2019
Publisher’s website

“Entertaining Comics Group (EC Comics) is perhaps best-known today for lurid horror comics like Tales from the Crypt and for a publication that long outlived the company’s other titles, Mad magazine. But during its heyday in the early 1950s, EC was also an early innovator in another genre of comics: the so-called “preachies,” socially conscious stories that boldly challenged the conservatism and conformity of Eisenhower-era America.
EC Comics examines a selection of these works—sensationally-titled comics such as “Hate!,” “The Guilty!,” and “Judgment Day!”—and explores how they grappled with the civil rights struggle, antisemitism, and other forms of prejudice in America. Putting these socially aware stories into conversation with EC’s better-known horror stories, Qiana Whitted discovers surprising similarities between their narrative, aesthetic, and marketing strategies. She also recounts the controversy that these stories inspired and the central role they played in congressional hearings about offensive content in comics.
The first serious critical study of EC’s social issues comics, this book will give readers a greater appreciation of their legacy. They not only served to inspire future comics creators, but also introduced a generation of young readers to provocative ideas and progressive ideals that pointed the way to a better America.”

Journal Monitor 02: 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.


IJOCA (International Journal of Comic Art) 20.2 (2018)

print (subscription)
Website

  • John A. Lent: A 20-Year Harvest of Comic Art Scholarship: International Journal of Comic Art 1999-2018
  • Rob Rogers: Six in a Row? That Has to Be Some Kind of Record!
  • Haydon Manning, Robert Phiddian: The Editorial Cartoon’s Fading Impact – The State of Play in Australia at the Federal Election of 2016 and Beyond
  • John A. Lent: The New Wave of Investigative Cartooning in South Korea
  • Benjamin Wai-ming Ng: Drawing Chinese Political Cartoons in Japan: Blessing in Disguise or Trade-off?
  • Leonard Rifas: The Politics of Underground Comix and the Environmental Crisis
  • Richard Scully: Mark Knight vs Serena Williams – Crossing the Line: Offensive and Controversial Cartoons in the 21st Century – “The View from Australia” – Part Two
  • Lim Cheng Tju: Morgan Chua (1949-2018) and Political Cartooning in Singapore
  • Sara S. Elmaghraby: Cartooning Poverty: Are Cartoonists Helping Sustainable Development in Egypt?
  • Jose Alaniz: “Hippies” and Pacifism in Igor Kolgarev’s Militariisk Comics
  • Milind Ranade: Discovering Tom Browne and His Postcards
  • Jeffrey SJ Kirchoff: Beyond the Printed Page: Dementia, Graphic Medicine, and Digital Comics
  • Janis Breckenridge, Maia Watkins: Reading Between the Lines: Drawing on the Horrors of Disappearance in “Un asesino anda suelto”
  • Mike Rhode: A Chat with Izar Lunacek of Slovenia
  • Izar Lunacek: A Brief History of Slovenian Comics
  • Melanie Hernandez: Currier & Ives’s Darktown Series: Recovering White Social Capital through Violent Satire
  • Tomasz Zaglewski: Superhero Sentimentalism. Analyzing the Social Media Nostalgia for the First Wave of American Comics in Poland
  • Jean Braithwaite: Navigating Jimmy Corrigan: Time, Space, and Puzzles, Including Pagination
  • Marlene Pohle: A Cartoonist Chronicler of Cartoonists’ Confabs
  • William H. Foster III: March Graphic Novel: “American History Lives Again”
  • Steve Danziger: Malice, Metaphysics, and Mengele – Holocaust Motifs and the Renunciation of Evil in EC Horror Comics
  • Robyn Johnson: Bishie Man or Woman, It Matters Not: Grotesque Resistance to Heteronormative Love in Yu Wo’s 1/2 Prince
  • Citlaly Aguilar Campos: Liminality and Meta-fiction in Comics: The Ayotzinapa Case by Augusto Mora
  • Joilo Batista Freitas Cardoso, Caio Mattos Moreira Cardoso: The V Mask in Translation: From Commercial to Subversive Systems
  • Ken Junior Lipenga: Intersections of Sex and Violence in Preacher
  • Ignacio Fernandez Sarasola: Crime News: Blaming Comic Books for Crimes Committed During the “Golden Age”
  • J.T.H. Connor: Behind the Scenes of the “War in Comics” Exhibit: An Interview with Canada’s Andrew Loman and Irene Velentzas
  • Paola Moreno Izaguirre: Art Toy as Anatomical Sketch
  • Northrop Davis: Legendary Hollywood Designer Syd Mead’s Important Contributions to Landmark Anime
  • Barry Pearl: Charles M. Schulz: Cartoons Without Peanuts

Studies in Comics 9.2 (2018)

online (subscription)
Website

  • Joshua Gowdy: Meaning from Movement: Blurring the Temporal Border between Animation and Comics
  • Carolina Martins: Unfolding and Crossing the Augmented Space: Metaleptic Tools and Processes within Graphic Narrative Installations
  • Tara McInerney: Doujinshi and Comiket: A Day of ‘Hare’
  • J. B. O’Ready: Exploring the Borders between American, Muslim, Female and Superhero Identities with Kamala Khan
  • Stella Oh: Colonial Hauntings in Lynda Barry’s One Hundred Demons
  • Paul Fisher Davies: Goffman’s Frame Analysis, Modality and Comics
  • Nancy Pedri: Breaking Out of Panels: Formal Expressions of Subjectivity in Ellen Forney’s Marbles and Una’s Becoming Unbecoming
  • Lauranne Poharec: Focalized Split Panels: Bridging the Borders in Comics Form
  • Golnar Nabizadeh: An Interview with Shaun Tan

Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 9 (2018)

online (subscription)
Website

  • Esther De Bruijn, Kelsey Hughes: Millennial Capitalism’s Vampires: The South African Graphic Novel Rebirth
  • Tomasz Żaglewski: ‘A Joke less Killing’. Animated Remediation of a Comic Book as an Extra-mediation
  • Cord A. Scott: Cold War Politics, Cuba, and Spy vs. Spy
  • Dominic Davies: Graphic Katrina: Disaster Capitalism, Tourism Gentrification and the Affect Economy in Josh Neufeld’s A.D.: New Orleans after the Deluge (2009)
  • Olivia Albiero: Between Free Movement and Confinement: Overcoming Boundaries in Simon Schwartz’s Drüben! and Colleen Frakes’s Prison Island
  • William Schulte, Nathaniel Frederick: Black Panther and Black Agency: Constructing Cultural Nationalism in Comic Books Featuring Black Panther, 1973–1979
  • Francesca Battaglia: Gender Boundaries in Saiyūki by Kazuya Minekura: The Queer Family as a Model of Leadership
  • Buket Akgün: Mythology Moe-ified: Classical Witches, Warriors, and Monsters in Japanese Manga
  • A. J. Paylor: “Hello World!” Gwenpool: Marvel’s Camusian Absurd Hero
  • Francesco-Alessio Ursini: ‘Alla Ricerca dei Plumcake Perduti’: Visual Metaphors, Satire, and Intertextuality in Zero Calcare’s fumetti
  • Vera J. Camden, Valentino L. Zullo: Wonder Woman and the Public Humanities: A Reflection on the 2016 Wonder Woman Symposium
  • Vera J. Camden, Valentino L. Zullo: Truth, Justice, and the Amazonian Way: An Interview with Greg Rucka
  • Phil Jimenez: Wonder Woman, Feminist Icon? Queer Icon? No, Love Icon
  • Trina Robbins: Babes in Arms
  • Melanie Elizabeth Gibson: Rising from the Ashes: Making Spaces for new Children’s Comics Cultures in Britain in the 21st Century
  • Genevieve Valentine: Empire of a Wicked Woman: Catwoman, Royalty, and the Making of a Comics Icon
  • Vera J. Camden, Valentino L. Zullo: Wonder Woman Symposium Roundtable
  • Chris Gavaler, Leigh Ann Beavers: Clarifying Closure

ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies 10.2 (2018-2019)

online (open access)
Website

  • Jon Holt: What You See Is What You Get: Visualizing Hypocrisy in Umezu Kazuo’s Manga Cat-Eyed Boy
  • Rui Lopes: “must we all remain helpless?”: Superman vs. the Nuclear Threat in the Late Cold War
  • Russell McConnell: Historical Avant-Garde: How Marcia Williams Recreates Shakespeare’s Theater in the Comics Medium
  • Kai Mikkonen, Olli Philippe Lautenbacher: Global Attention in Reading Comics: Eye-movement Indications of Interplay between Narrative Content and Layout
  • Nicholas Wirtz: Beyond Words: The Visual Demands of Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Goražde
  • Asuka Yamazaki: “Only the Winner is Allowed to Live”: The Concept of Cannibalism in Attack on Titan

The Comics Grid 9 (2019)

online (open access)
Website

  • Ken Junior Lipenga: The New Normal: Enfreakment in Saga
  • Paul Fisher Davies: New Choices of the Comics Creator
  • Pat Grant: The Board and the Body: Material Constraints and Style in Graphic Narrative
  • Enrique del Rey Cabero: Beyond Linearity: Holistic, Multidirectional, Multilinear and Translinear Reading in Comics
  • Melanie McGovern, Martin Paul Eve: Information Labour and Shame in Farmer and Chevli’s Abortion Eve
  • Ian Hornsby: …Comic Books, Möbius Strips, Philosophy and…

Monitor 49: 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.

Teaching Comics Through Multiple Lenses: Critical Perspectives

Crag Hill (Ed.)
Routledge
186 pages
December 2018
Publisher’s website

“Building off the argument that comics succeed as literature—rich, complex narratives filled with compelling characters interrogating the thought-provoking issues of our time—this book argues that comics are an expressive medium whose moves (structural and aesthetic) may be shared by literature, the visual arts, and film, but beyond this are a unique art form possessing qualities these other mediums do not. Drawing from a range of current comics scholarship demonstrating this point, this book explores the unique intelligence/s of comics and how they expand the ways readers engage with the world in ways different than prose, or film, or other visual arts. Written by teachers and scholars of comics for instructors, this book bridges research and pedagogy, providing instructors with models of critical readings around a variety of comics.”

Funny Girls: Guffaws, Guts, and Gender in Classic American Comics

Michelle Ann Abate
University Press of Mississippi
286 pages
December 2018
Publisher’s website

“For several generations, comics were regarded as a boy’s club — created by, for, and about men and boys. In the twenty-first century, however, comics have seen a rise of female creators, characters, and readers.
Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, the medium was enjoyed equally by both sexes, and girls were the protagonists of some of the earliest, most successful, and most influential comics. In Funny Girls: Guffaws, Guts, and Gender in Classic American Comics, Michelle Ann Abate examines the important but long-overlooked cadre of young female protagonists in US comics during the first half of the twentieth century. She treats characters ranging from Little Orphan Annie and Nancy to Little Lulu, Little Audrey of the Harvey Girls, and Li’l Tomboy — a group that collectively forms a tradition of funny girls in American comics.
Abate demonstrates the massive popularity these funny girls enjoyed, revealing their unexplored narrative richness, aesthetic complexity, and critical possibility. Much of the humor in these comics arose from questioning gender roles, challenging social manners, and defying the status quo. Further, they embodied powerful points of collection about both the construction and intersection of race, class, gender, and age, as well as popular perceptions about children, representations of girlhood, and changing attitudes regarding youth. Finally, but just as importantly, these strips shed light on another major phenomenon within comics: branding, licensing, and merchandising. Collectively, these comics did far more than provide amusement — they were serious agents for cultural commentary and sociopolitical change.”

Breaking the Frames: Populism and Prestige in Comics Studies

Marc Singer
World Comics and Graphic Nonfiction Series
University of Texas Press
312 pages
January 2019
Publisher’s website

“Comics studies has reached a crossroads. Graphic novels have never received more attention and legitimation from scholars, but new canons and new critical discourses have created tensions within a field built on the populist rhetoric of cultural studies. As a result, comics studies has begun to cleave into distinct camps — based primarily in cultural or literary studies — that attempt to dictate the boundaries of the discipline or else resist disciplinarity itself. The consequence is a growing disconnect in the ways that comics scholars talk to each other — or, more frequently, do not talk to each other or even acknowledge each other’s work.
Breaking the Frames: Populism and Prestige in Comics Studies surveys the current state of comics scholarship, interrogating its dominant schools, questioning their mutual estrangement, and challenging their propensity to champion the comics they study. Marc Singer advocates for greater disciplinary diversity and methodological rigor in comics studies, making the case for a field that can embrace more critical and oppositional perspectives. Working through extended readings of some of the most acclaimed comics creators — including Marjane Satrapi, Alan Moore, Kyle Baker, and Chris Ware — Singer demonstrates how comics studies can break out of the celebratory frameworks and restrictive canons that currently define the field to produce new scholarship that expands our understanding of comics and their critics.”

The Comics of Julie Doucet and Gabrielle Bell: A Place inside Yourself

Tahneer Oksman und Seamus O’Malley (Eds.)
Critical Approaches to Comics Artists Series
University Press of Mississippi
240 pages
January 2019
Publisher’s website

“In a self-reflexive way, Julie Doucet’s and Gabrielle Bell’s comics defy easy categorization. In this volume, editors Tahneer Oksman and Seamus O’Malley regard Doucet’s and Bell’s art as actively feminist, not only because they offer women’s perspectives, but because they do so by provocatively bringing up the complicated, multivalent frameworks of such engagements. While each artist has a unique perspective, style, and worldview, the essays in this book investigate their shared investments in formal innovation and experimentation, and in playing with questions of the autobiographical, the fantastic, and the spaces in between.
Doucet is a Canadian underground cartoonist, known for her autobiographical works such as Dirty Plotte and My New York Diary. Meanwhile, Bell is a British American cartoonist best known for her intensely introspective semiautobiographical comics and graphic memoirs, such as the Lucky series and Cecil and Jordan in New York. By pairing Doucet alongside Bell, the book recognizes the significance of female networks, and the social and cultural connections, associations, and conditions that shape every work of art. ”

The Representation of Genocide in Graphic Novels: Considering the Role of Kitsch

Laurike in’t Veld
Palgrave Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels
Palgrave Macmillan
240 pages
January 2019
Publisher’s website

“This book mobilises the concept of kitsch to investigate the tensions around the representation of genocide in international graphic novels that focus on the Holocaust and the genocides in Armenia, Rwanda, and Bosnia. In response to the predominantly negative readings of kitsch as meaningless or inappropriate, this book offers a fresh approach that considers how some of the kitsch strategies employed in these works facilitate an affective interaction with the genocide narrative. These productive strategies include the use of the visual metaphors of the animal and the doll figure and the explicit and excessive depictions of mass violence. The book also analyses where kitsch still produces problems as it critically examines depictions of perpetrators and the visual and verbal representations of sexual violence. Furthermore, it explores how graphic novels employ anti-kitsch strategies to avoid the dangers of excess in dealing with genocide. The Representation of Genocide in Graphic Novels will appeal to those working in comics-graphic novel studies, popular culture studies, and Holocaust and genocide studies.”