Tag Archives: Monitor

Monitor: 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.

Lone Heroes and the Myth of the American West in Comic Books, 1945-1962

David Huxley
Palgrave Macmillan
90 pages
ISBN 978-3-319-93084-8 (Hardcover)
~€ 58,84
July 2018
Publisher’s homepage

This book examines the role of comics in the perpetuation of the myth of the American West. In particular, it looks at the ways in which lone central characters, and their acts of violence, are posited as heroic. In doing so, the book raises questions both about the role of women in a supposedly male space, in addition to the portrayal of Native Americans within the context of this violence. Various adaptations of historical figures, such as Buffalo Bill and Billy the Kid, as well as film and television stars such as The Lone Ranger and Dale Evans are examined in detail. Although concentrating on American comics, examples both from Britain and France are also analyzed.

North Korean Graphic Novels: Seduction of the Innocent?

Martin Petersen
Routledge
306 pages
ISBN 978-1138046931 (Hardcover)
~£ 84.00
July 2018
Publisher’s homepage

Graphic novels (kurimchaek) are a major art form in North Korea, produced by agents of the regime to set out its vision in a range of important areas. This book provides an analysis of North Korean graphic novels, discussing the ideals they promote and the tensions within those ideals, and examining the reception of graphic novels in North Korea and by North Korean refugees in South Korea. Particular themes considered include the ideal family and how the regime promotes this; patriotism, and its conflict with class identities; and the portrayal of the Korean War – “The Fatherland Liberation War”, as it is known in North Korea – and the subsequent, continuing stand-off. Overall, the book demonstrates the importance of graphic novels in North Korea as a tool for bringing up children and for promoting North Korean ideals. In addition, however, the book also shows that although the regime sees the imaginative power of graphic novels as a necessity for effective communication, graphic novels are also viewed with caution in that they exist in everyday social life in ways that the regime may be aware of, and seeks to control, but cannot dominate completely.

Gary Larson and The Far Side

Kerry D. Soper
University Press of Mississippi
224 pages
ISBN 978-1496817631 (Softcover)
~$25.00
August 2018
Publisher’s homepage

Kerry D. Soper reminds us of The Far Side‘s groundbreaking qualities and cultural significance in Gary Larson and “The Far Side.” In the 1980s, Gary Larson (b. 1950) shook up a staid comics page by introducing a set of aesthetic devices, comedic tones, and philosophical frames that challenged and delighted many readers, even while upsetting and confusing others. His irreverent, single panels served as an alternative reality to the tame comedy of the family-friendly newspaper comics page, as well as the pervasive, button-down consumerism and conformity of the Reagan era.
In this first full study of Larson’s art, Soper follows the arc of the cartoonist’s life and career, describing the aesthetic and comedic qualities of his work, probing the business-side of his success, and exploring how The Far Side brand as a whole – with its iconic characters and accompanying set of comedic and philosophical frames – connected with its core readers. In effect, Larson reinvented his medium by creatively working within, pushing against, and often breaking past institutional, aesthetic, comedic, and philosophical parameters.

Comics Memory: Archives and Styles

Maaheen Ahmed and Benoît Crucifix  (eds.)
Palgrave Macmillan
290 pages
ISBN 978-3-319-91745-0 (Hardcover)
~€ 106,99
August 2018
Publisher’s homepage

Despite the boom in scholarship in both Comics Studies and Memory Studies, the two fields rarely interact—especially with issues beyond the representation of traumatic and autobiographical memories in comics. With a focus on the roles played by styles and archives—in their physical and metaphorical manifestations—this edited volume offers an original intervention, highlighting several novel ways of thinking about comics and memory as comics memory. Bringing together scholars as well as cultural actors, the contributions combine studies on European and North American comics and offer a representative overview of the main comics genres and forms, including superheroes, Westerns, newspaper comics, diary comics, comics reportage and alternative comics. In considering the many manifestations of memory in comics as well as the functioning and influence of institutions, public and private practices, the book exemplifies new possibilities for understanding the complex entanglements of memory and comics.

Comic Books, Graphic Novels and the Holocaust: Beyond Maus

Ewa Stańczyk (ed.)
Routledge
132 pages
ISBN 978-1138598645 (Hardcover)
~£ 92,00
September 2018
Publisher’s homepage

This book analyses the portrayals of the Holocaust in newspaper cartoons, educational pamphlets, short stories and graphic novels. Focusing on recognised and lesser-known illustrators from Europe and beyond, the volume looks at autobiographical and fictional accounts and seeks to paint a broader picture of Holocaust comic strips from the 1940s to the present. The book shows that the genre is a capacious one, not only dealing with the killing of millions of Jews but also with Jewish lives in war-torn Europe, the personal and transgenerational memory of the Second World War and the wider national and transnational legacies of the Shoah. The chapters in this collection point to the aesthetic diversity of the genre which uses figurative and allegorical representation, as well as applying different stylistics, from realism to fantasy. Finally, the contributions to this volume show new developments in comic books and graphic novels on the Holocaust, including the rise of alternative publications, aimed at the adult reader, and the emergence of state-funded educational comics written with young readers in mind.

Monitor: New Publications on Comic Books

Superman and Comic Book Brand Continuity

Superman and Comic Book Brand Continuity

Phillip Bevin
Routledge
166 pages
ISBN 978-0-8153-6859-5 (Hardcover)
~£ 92,00
August 2018

Publisher’s page
Superman and Comic Book Brand Continuity traces the development of comic book continuity through the case study of Superman, examining the character’s own evolution across several media, including comics, radio, television, and film. Superman’s relationship with continuity illustrates a key feature of the way in which people in western societies construct stories about themselves. In this respect, the book is a study of narrative and how comic book continuity reflects the way that, in wider western post-enlightenment culture, storytelling shapes the common sense and received wisdoms that influence how we perceive “reality.” The scope of the analysis extends from Superman’s creation in the late 1930s to the recent films Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), as well as the current comic book reboot Rebirth (2016).

Comics and Adaptation

Comics and Adaptation

Benoît Mitaine, David Roche, and Isabelle Schmitt-Pitiot (eds.)
University Press of Mississippi
240 pages
ISBN 978-1-4968-0337-5 (Hardcover)
~$ 70,00
August 2018

Publisher’s page
Both comics studies and adaptation studies have grown separately over the past twenty years. Yet there are few in-depth studies of comic books and adaptations together. Available for the first time in English, this collection pores over the phenomenon of comic books and adaptation, sifting through comics as both sources and results of adaptation. Essays shed light on the many ways adaptation studies inform research on comic books and content adapted from them. Contributors concentrate on fidelity to the source materials, comparative analysis, forms of media, adaptation and myth, adaptation and intertextuality, as well as adaptation and ideology. After an introduction that assesses adaptation studies as a framework, the book examines comics adaptations of literary texts as more than just illustrations of their sources. Essayists then focus on adaptations of comics, often from a transmedia perspective. Case studies analyze both famous and lesser-known American, Belgian, French, Italian, and Spanish comics.

Iron Man vs. Captain America and Philosophy

Iron Man vs. Captain America and Philosophy

Nicolas Michaud and Jessica Watkins (eds.)
Open Court
276 pages
ISBN 978-0-8126-9976-0 (Softcover)
~$ 19,95
August 2018

Publisher’s page
Iron Man or Captain America? Which one is superior―as a hero, as a role model, or as a personification of American virtue? Philosophers who take different sides come together in Iron Man versus Captain America to debate these issues and arrive at a deeper understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of these iconic characters. The discussion ranges over politics, religion, ethics, psychology, and metaphysics. The book you have in your hands is a little unusual. Often, philosophy and popular culture books explore many aspects of a pop culture phenomenon. This book focuses on one specific question, “Who is better?” You might think that there isn’t much to say on this issue, and we’re sure you have your own opinion already, but comparing Captain America and Iron Man brings out a lot of questions and problems we don’t normally think about.

The reason why these two men in philosophical competition with each other is so important and terrifying isn’t just because they are the good guys, but because they are both our good guys. Let’s be honest, Iron man isn’t exactly a Communist superhero, and Captain America is well Captain America. Tony Stark is the poster boy for capitalism. In fact, Stan Lee created him specifically to see if he could make people love a ragingly selfish capitalist. Captain America was created originally as a kind of propaganda to support our war effort . . . his first issue shows him punching Hitler! BOTH represent key aspects of the United States: Our economic, social philosophy “competition makes things better” and the ideas of patriotism, liberty, and just doing the right thing. When these heroes fight, they’re revealing something we know at the core of our being is both a tremendous strength and a tremendous danger in our society . . . We are at intellectual war with ourselves! And we don’t just mean liberals and conservatives, religious and non-religious, Ford and Chevy. We mean each of us living here in the States embodies a fight between these two men and their philosophies . . . the unsolvable problem of safety vs. freedom.

Monitor: New Publications on Comic Books

Comic Book Movies

Queer about Comics:
Special Issue of American Literature 90(2)

Darieck Scott and Ramzi Fawaz (eds.)
Duke University Press
Partly open access
ISSN (print) 0002-9831
June 2018

Publisher’s page
There’s something queer about comics. Whether one looks to the alternative mutant kinships of superhero stories (the epitome of queer world making), the ironic and socially negative narratives of independent comics (the epitome of queer antinormativity), or the social stigma that makes the medium marginal, juvenile, and outcast from ‘proper’ art (the epitome of queer identity), comics are rife with the social and aesthetic cues commonly attached to queer life. Moreover, the medium has had a long history as a top reading choice among those ‘queer’ subjects variously called sexual deviants, juvenile delinquents, dropouts, the working class, and minorities of all stripes. Despite this, comics studies and queer theory have remained surprisingly alienated from each other.

The Cambridge History of the Graphic Novel

The Cambridge History of the Graphic Novel

Jan Baetens, Hugo Frey, and Stephen E. Tabachnick (eds.)
Cambridge University Press
750 pages
ISBN 978-1-3167-5998-1 (Hardcover)
~£ 125,00
July 2018

Publisher’s page
The Cambridge History of the Graphic Novel provides the complete history of the graphic novel from its origins in the nineteenth century to its rise and startling success in the twentieth and twenty-first century. It includes original discussion on the current state of the graphic novel and analyzes how American, European, Middle Eastern, and Japanese renditions have shaped the field. Thirty-five leading scholars and historians unpack both forgotten trajectories as well as the famous key episodes, and explain how comics transitioned from being marketed as children’s entertainment. Essays address the masters of the form, including Art Spiegelman, Alan Moore, and Marjane Satrapi, and reflect on their publishing history as well as their social and political effects. This ambitious history offers an extensive, detailed and expansive scholarly account of the graphic novel, and will be a key resource for scholars and students.

Comic Book Movies

Comics and History:
Special Issue of Feminist Media Histories 4(3)

Kathleen McClancy (ed.)
University of California Press
273 pages
ISSN (online) 2373-7492
July 2018

Publisher’s page
Comics inherently have a complex relationship with history. Popular conceptions of ‘history’ as a line of cause-and-effect relationships culminating inevitably in the present moment are formally challenged by sequential art, which tends to refuse linear conceptions of time. Specifically, and contradicting the usual locating of history in an inaccessible past, comics as a medium depict past and present simultaneously. As Barbara Postema notes, unlike in film, all the images in comics exist at the same time—time is constructed spatially, as the eye moves from one panel to the next throughout the book, but the images themselves remain, regardless of the reader’s attention.

Monitor: New Publications on Comic Books

Comic Book Movies

Comic Book Movies

Blair Davis
Rutgers University Press
200 pages
ISBN 978-0-8135-8877-3 (Paperback)
~$ 17,95
April 2018

Publisher’s page
Comic Book Movies explores how this genre serves as a source for modern-day myths, sometimes even incorporating ancient mythic figures like Thor and Wonder Woman’s Amazons, while engaging with the questions that haunt a post-9/11 world: How do we define heroism and morality today? How far are we willing to go when fighting terror? How can we resist a dystopian state? Film scholar Blair Davis also considers how the genre’s visual style is equally important as its weighty themes, and he details how advances in digital effects have allowed filmmakers to incorporate elements of comic book art in innovative ways. As he reveals, comic book movies have inspired just as many innovations to Hollywood’s business model, with film franchises and transmedia storytelling helping to ensure that the genre will continue its reign over popular culture for years to come.

The Psychology of Marvel's Wolverine

Untamed:
The Psychology of Marvel’s Wolverine

Suzana E. Flores
McFarland Books
205 pages
ISBN 978-1-4766-7442-1 (Paperback)
~$ 92,95
June 2018

Publisher’s page
Wolverine. Logan. Weapon X. By any name, Marvel Comic’s savage, brooding antihero is, in his own words, the best at what he does—killing with gratuitous precision. Paradoxically violent yet humane, the beer-swilling, cigar-smoking mutant with retractable claws is universally misjudged in the Marvel Universe yet esteemed by fans worldwide. The author explores Wolverine’s development from bit character to modern legend over more than four decades, with a focus on his enduring appeal as an allegory for resilience through torment.

uffering Sappho

Cultures of War in Graphic Novels:
Violence, Trauma, and Memory

Tatiana Prorokova and Nimrod Tal (eds.)
Rutgers University Press
237 pages
ISBN 978-0-8135-9095-0 (Paperback)
~$ 29,95
June 2018

Publisher’s page
Cultures of War in Graphic Novels examines the representation of small-scale and often less acknowledged conflicts from around the world and throughout history. The contributors look at an array of graphic novels about conflicts such as the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901), the Irish struggle for national independence (1916-1998), the Falkland War (1982), the Bosnian War (1992-1995), the Rwandan genocide (1994), the Israel-Lebanon War (2006), and the War on Terror (2001-). The book explores the multi-layered relation between the graphic novel as a popular medium and war as a pivotal recurring experience in human history. The focus on largely overlooked small-scale conflicts contributes not only to advance our understanding of graphic novels about war and the cultural aspects of war as reflected in graphic novels, but also our sense of the early twenty-first century, in which popular media and limited conflicts have become closely interrelated.

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.