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Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books [Hardcover]

by Jean-Paul Gabilliet, Bart Beaty, Nick Nguyen
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 15, 2009 1604732679 978-1604732672

Originally published in France and long sought in English translation, Jean-Paul Gabilliet's Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books documents the rise and development of the American comic book industry from the 1930s to the present. The book intertwines aesthetic issues and critical biographies with the concerns of production, distribution, and audience reception, making it one of the few interdisciplinary studies of the art form. A thorough introduction by translators and comics scholars Bart Beaty and Nick Nguyen brings the book up to date with explorations of the latest innovations, particularly the graphic novel.

The book is organized into three sections: a concise history of the evolution of the comic book form in America; an overview of the distribution and consumption of American comic books, detailing specific controversies such as the creation of the Comics Code in the mid-1950s; and the problematic legitimization of the form that has occurred recently within the academy and in popular discourse.

Viewing comic books from a variety of theoretical lenses, Gabilliet shows how seemingly disparate issues--creation, production, and reception--are in fact connected in ways that are not necessarily true of other art forms. Analyzing examples from a variety of genres, this book provides a thorough landmark overview of American comic books that sheds new light on this versatile art form.

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Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books + The Power of Comics: History, Form and Culture
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

An analysis of the production, content, and techniques of comic books and graphic novels

About the Author

Jean-Paul Gabilliet is professor of American studies at the University of Bordeaux, France.

Bart Beaty is associate professor of communication and culture at the University of Calgary. He is the author of Unpopular Culture: Transforming the European Comic Book in the 1990s and Fredric Wortham and the Critique of Mass Culture. He is also the translator (with Nick Nguyen) of The System of Comics by Thierry Groensteen.

Nick Nguyen is an archivist at Library and Archives Canada, in Ottawa, Ontario. He is also the translator (with Bart Beaty) of The System of Comics by Thierry Groensteen.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (December 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604732679
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604732672
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,809,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not light reading February 25, 2013
In response to the complaint that the book is not illustrated, that is not what this particular book is designed to be. Of Comics and Men is exactly what the subtitle calls it, a cultural history of American comic books. As such, it is fantastic. Every important point from the beginnings of the industry to the end of the twentieth century is touched upon, as well as examinations of the cultures of the creators and consumers of comic books.

To be fair, this is a work of academic or scholarly writing, and illustrations would have been nice to break up the density of the text. However, I must assume that the costs of licensing the appropriate images from the various media giants who now own them would have been more than a small university press could afford to do.

If you want pictures, buy the Comic Book History of Comics, it lacks the depth and rigor, but covers much the same territory as the first section of this book and does it in the medium it is telling you the history of.
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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT ILLUSTRATED February 13, 2013
This book is over 300 pages long and does not have any illustrations or examples of American cartoons or comic books. None.
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