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A Comics Studies Reader Paperback – November 6, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

While such critically acclaimed graphic novels as Art Spiegelman’s Maus (1986, 1991), Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan (2000), and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home(2006) established the artistic legitimacy of comics, academic comics scholarship has thriven apace. The 28 essays Heer and Worcester collect reflect the various approaches to writing about comics taken by writers in the burgeoning discipline. Those include the historical in pieces on nineteenth-century graphic storyteller Rodolphe Töpffer and other progenitors of the medium; the formal in esoteric pieces on the craft and art of comics, covering such aspects as the “verbal-visual blend” of words and pictures, the ways artists indicate panel sequencing, and sound representation in Japanese manga; and the critical-analytic in considerations of seminal works by Ware, Spiegelman, and others. Most of the essays focus on American comics, but several examine works from Japan, Mexico, and France, where scholars have deemed comics “the ninth art.” The contributions range in readability from totally accessible to highly rarefied and borderline pedantic. Still, altogether they attest to the artistic importance of a long-neglected medium. --Gordon Flagg --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"The editorial work accomplished by Heer and Worcester is simply impressive. Not only have they managed to gather material that is challenging, well-written, well-thought and that should enable a big leap forward in comics theory and criticism, but the two editors have also succeeded in giving each text the necessary space and context." - Jan Baetens, Image & Narrative

"Since academics have helped legitimize comics as an art form to be taken seriously, it only makes sense that an entire book of scholarly essays put illustrated fiction under the microscope. It very well could serve as the required reading for that course I never had the opportunity to ace." Rod Lott, Oklahoma Gazette

"Jeet Heer and Kent Worcester have, once again, performed admirably in producing another compendious survey of comics scholarship. Their earlier effort in this vein, Arguing Comics: Literary Masters on a Popular Medium, scanned the historical landscape for essays about comics written by various literary critics and the like; their current production, A Comics Studies Reader, compiles 28 essays by contemporary scholars and critics. The result is a sort of panorama of current serious thinking about the art of cartooning in all its forms."Robert C. Harvey

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi; First Printing edition (November 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604731095
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604731095
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matko Vladanovic on October 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There's really not much to say here apart from what you most probably already know. This is a reader and as such it does what every reader out there does - offers a variety of texts on a certain topic. You might have already guessed (if you're the sort of person who reads the title of the book that you want to buy) what that topic is. Now, this is not the place for lengthy discussion about every article that has been published within these covers (most of them are reprints or excerpts from other books of the same authors), there are specialized pages out there for that sort of work, so I'll skip that part because I'm a relatively sane person. I'll just put down few remarks which you might find useful. Or not, but hey, you never can tell.

Anyhow, this reader offers good introduction to the field of modern-day comics studies. Texts vary from discussions about the history of the medium, discussions about formal characteristics of the medium, interpretations and in-depth analysis of various works from a variety of theoretical backgrounds. Authors heavily rely on the Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics" (in a polemic sort of way; some authors are in agreement with McCloud's definitions, some try to either change, adapt or refute them) and though one might argue that editors chose contributions about some of the most well-known comics out there, ignoring the underground movements and comics that do not come from the largest markets in the world, reader actually offers quite a nice overview of various traditions that are currently present and kicking.

Bibliography is quite extensive and every interested scholar will find plenty information if it happens that some of the topics that are discussed here catch his attention.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A little dense sometimes, but it's really good to think about comics on a deeper level.
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6 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Karna Mustaqim on August 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At last, comics studies got its own legitimate places in between the study of culture, pop-art, and visual aesthetics.
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