Books if you want to study comics seriously

Philosophy and art of comic books. Need we say more?
The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach
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The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach

by Aaron Meskin,Roy T. Cook

About the book:  The Art of Comics is the first-ever collection of essays published in English devoted to the philosophical topics raised by comics and graphic novels. In an area of growing philosophical interest, this volume constitutes a great leap forward in the development of this fast expanding field, and makes a powerful contribution to the philosophy of art. The first-ever anthology to address the philosophical issues raised by the art of comics Provides an extensive and thorough introduction to the field, and to comics more generally Responds to the increasing philosophical interest in comic art Includes a preface by the renowned comics author Warren Ellis Many of the chapters are illustrated, and the book carries a stunning cover by the rising young comics star David Heatley


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Autobiographical comics
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Autobiographical comics

by Elisabeth El Refaie

About the book:  A troubled childhood in Iran. Living with a disability. Grieving for a dead child. Over the last forty years the comic book has become an increasingly popular way of telling personal stories of considerable complexity and depth. In Autobiographical Comics: Life Writing in Pictures, Elisabeth El Refaie offers a long overdue assessment of the key conventions, formal properties, and narrative patterns of this fascinating genre. The book considers eighty-five works of North American and European provenance, works that cover a broad range of subject matters and employ many different artistic styles. Drawing on concepts from several disciplinary fields--including semiotics, literary and narrative theory, art history, and psychology--El Refaie shows that the traditions and formal features of comics provide new possibilities for autobiographical storytelling. For example, the requirement to produce multiple drawn versions of one's self necessarily involves an intense engagement with physical aspects of identity, as well as with the cultural models that underpin body image. The comics medium also offers memoirists unique ways of representing their experience of time, their memories of past events, and their hopes and dreams for the future. Furthermore, autobiographical comics creators are able to draw on the close association in contemporary Western culture between seeing and believing in order to persuade readers of the authentic nature of their stories.


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The Best American Comics Criticism
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The Best American Comics Criticism

by Visit Amazon's Ben Schwartz Pagesearch resultsLearn about Author CentralBen Schwartz

About the book:  An immediate perennial, documenting the critical rise of the graphic novel. Conventional wisdom states that cartooning and graphic novels exist in a golden age of creativity, popularity, and critical acceptance. But why? Today, the signal is stronger than ever, but so is the noise. New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Bookforum critic Ben Schwartz assembles the greatest lineup of comics critics the world has yet seen to testify on behalf of this increasingly vital medium. The Best American Comics Writing is the first attempt to collate the best criticism to date of the graphic novel boom in a way that contextualizes and codifies one of the most important literary movements of the last 60 years. This collection begins in 2000, the game changing year that Pantheon released the graphic novels Jimmy Corrigan and David Boring. Originally serialized as “alternative” comics, they went on to confirm the critical and commercial viability of graphic literature. Via its various authors, this collection functions as a valuable readers’ guide for fans, academics, and librarians, tracing the current comics renaissance from its beginnings and creative growth to the cutting edge of today’s artists. This volume includes Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) in conversation with novelist Jonathan Lethem (Fortress of Solitude), Chris Ware, Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections), John Hodgman (The Daily Show, The Areas of My Expertise, The New York Times Book Review), David Hajdu (The 10-Cent Plague), Douglas Wolk (Publishers Weekly, author of the Eisner award-winning Reading Comics), Frank Miller (Sin City and The Spirit film director) in conversation with Will Eisner (The Spirit’s creator), Gerard Jones’ (Men of Tomorrow), Brian Doherty (author Radicals of Capitalism, This is Burning Man) and critics Ken Parille (Comic Art), Jeet Heer (The National Post), R.C. Harvey (biographer of Milton Caniff), and Donald Phelps (author of the landmark book of comics criticism, Reading the Funnies). Best American Comics Writing also features a cover by nationally known satirist Drew Friedman (The New York Observer, Old Jewish Comedians) in which Friedman asks, “tongue-in-cheek,” if cartoonists are the new literati, what must their critics look like?


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Comics and the City: Urban Space in Print, Picture and Sequence
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Comics and the City: Urban Space in Print, Picture and Sequence

by Jörn AhrensArno Meteling

About the book:  Comics emerged parallel to, and in several ways intertwined with, the development of modern urban mass societies at the turn of the 20th century. On the one hand, urban topoi, self-portrayals, forms of urban cultural memories, and variant readings of the city (strolling, advertising, architecture, detective stories, mass phenomena, street life, etc.) are all incorporated into comics. On the other hand, comics have unique abilities to capture urban space and city life because of their hybrid nature, consisting of words, pictures, and sequences. These formal aspects of comics are also to be found within the cityscape itself: one can see the influence of comic book aesthetics all around us today. With chapters on the very earliest comic strips, and on artists as diverse as Alan Moore, Carl Barks, Will Eisner and Jacques Tardi, Comics and the City is an important new collection of international scholarship that will help to define the field for many years to come.


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Crossing Boundaries in Graphic Narrative: Essays on Forms, Series and Genres
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Crossing Boundaries in Graphic Narrative: Essays on Forms, Series and Genres

by Jake Jakaitis

About the book:  Although the idea that graphic narratives represent an important literary form is still debated in academic circles, in recent years comics scholarship has emerged into wider contexts. This collection of new essays considers various literary approaches to graphic narrative and sequential art. The authors examine the politics of comic form and narrative, the ways in which graphic narrative and sequential art "cross over" into other forms and genres, and how these articulations challenge the ways we read and interpret texts. By bringing literary theory to bear on graphic narrative and balancing readings of individual texts with larger ideas about comics scholarship as a whole, this work expands our understanding of the form itself and its engagement with political culture.


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Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics (Gender and Culture Series)
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Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics (Gender and Culture Series)

by Hillary L. Chute

About the book:  Some of the most acclaimed books of the twenty-first century are autobiographical comics by women. Aline Kominsky-Crumb is a pioneer of the autobiographical form, showing women's everyday lives, especially through the lens of the body. Phoebe Gloeckner places teenage sexuality at the center of her work, while Lynda Barry uses collage and the empty spaces between frames to capture the process of memory. Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis experiments with visual witness to frame her personal and historical narrative, and Alison Bechdel's Fun Home meticulously incorporates family documents by hand to re-present the author's past.These five cartoonists move the art of autobiography and graphic storytelling in new directions, particularly through the depiction of sex, gender, and lived experience. Hillary L. Chute explores their verbal and visual techniques, which have transformed autobiographical narrative and contemporary comics. Through the interplay of words and images, and the counterpoint of presence and absence, they express difficult, even traumatic stories while engaging with the workings of memory. Intertwining aesthetics and politics, these women both rewrite and redesign the parameters of acceptable discourse.


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