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Comics & Media

A Special Issue of "Critical Inquiry"

The past decade has seen the medium of comics reach unprecedented heights of critical acclaim and commercial success. Comics & Media reflects that, bringing together an amazing array of contributors--creators and critics alike--to discuss the state, future, and potential of the medium.

Loaded with full-color reproductions of work by such legends as R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Alison Bechdel, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, and Lynda Barry, the book addresses the place of comics in both a contemporary and historical context. Essays by such high-profile figures as Tom Gunning, N. Katherine Hayles, Patrick Jagoda, and W. J. T. Mitchell address a stunning range of topics, including the place of comics in the history of aesthetics, changes to popular art forms, digital humanities, and ongoing tensions between new and old media. The result is a substantial step forward for our understanding of what comics are and can be, and the growing place they hold in our culture.

272 pages | 97 color plates, 110 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2014

A Critical Inquiry Book

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory


"Accommodate[s] a wealth of visual content. . . . Many interesting points are raised."

Times Literary Supplement

“Testif[ies] to the vividness of the debates about comics, both current and past.”

Oxford Art Journal

Table of Contents

Hillary Chute and Patrick Jagoda
Comics & Media

Lynda Barry
Car and Batman

W.J.T. Mitchell and Art Spiegelman
Public Conversation: What the %$&# Happened to Comics?

Tom Gunning
The Art of Succession:  Reading, Writing, and Watching Comics

Hillary Chute and Alison Bechdel
Bartheses: Barthesian Doubt Edition

Joe Sacco and W.J.T. Mitchell
Public Conversation

Yuri Tsivian
Charlie Chaplin and His Shadows: On Laws of Fortuity in Art

François Mouly
My Life as a Cartoon

Phoebe Gloeckner, Justin Green, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Carol Tyler
Panel: Comics and Autobiography
Moderated by Deborah Nelson

Scott Bukatman
Sculpture, Stasis, the Comics, and Hellboy

Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Kristen Schilt
Public Conversation

Aline Kominsky-Crumb
Of What Use Is an Old Bunch?

Daria Khitrova
“This Is No Longer Dance”:  Media Boundaries and the Politics of Choreography in The Steel Step

Justin Green

Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Seth, Chris Ware
Panel: Graphic Novel Forms Today
Moderated by Hillary Chute

Katalin Orbán
A Language of Scratches and Stitches:  The Graphic Novel between Hyperreading and Print

Phoebe Gloeckner
Arpía and Valiente

Françoise Mouly with Daniel Clowes, R. Crumb, Chris Ware
Talk on Blown Covers

Garland Martin Taylor
Out of Jest: The Art of Henry Jackson Lewis

Alison Bechdel and Hillary Chute
Public Conversation

N. Katherine Hayles, Patrick Jagoda, and Patrick LeMieux
Speculation:  Financial Games and Derivative Worlding in a Transmedia Era

Lynda Barry, Ivan Brunetti, R. Crumb, Gary Panter
Panel: Lines on Paper
Moderated by Hamza Walker

W.J.T. Mitchell
Comics as Media:  Afterword

Carol Tyler
What’s Newsworthy?


Foldout:  Chris Ware, conference poster, “Comics: Philosophy and Practice,” May 2012

Foldout Seth, pages from George Sprott, 2009

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