This editorial discusses the articles published and the activities undertaken by The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship during 2021, and calls for research system-wide cultural changes and wider contextual awareness in order to make scholarly communication fairer and up to the challenges of our time.
While extensive research has been done by animal rights activists, philosophers, and interdisciplinary academics on the animal body in moments of crisis, there is little analysis and exploration of this topic in the comics form. Through engaging in the comics form (both as a maker and scholar), I argue that comics offer a unique perspective to consider body and space, especially regarding human-animal relationships in our current moment in time. The comics form offers the ability for scholarship and theory to unfold and layer beyond textual analysis; with the use of both text and image, comics not only explore topics, but reposition them to cultivate new meanings. For this project I aim to not only unpack human-animal relationships through themes of body and space, but to also demonstrate why the comics form is especially useful when understanding these topics. In employing the comics form, I aim to explore questions like: How does the comics form allow the reader to engage with theory? Why is the comics form pertinent to understanding human-animal relationships today? How are animal bodies and identities considered as living beings during the COVID-19 crisis? How are their bodies constructed and dismantled in spaces that have been created and defined by the COVID-19 crisis? My source material consists of interdisciplinary modern, spatial, and animal theory, as well as comic analysis and theory. In using the comics form and theoretical approaches to explore body and space, this project aims to add a new intervention into the comics realm, demonstrates how the comics form must be a considered approach in animal rights and spatial academia, and offers a new lens in understanding how we can use comics as a method to approach body, space, and the COVID-19 crisis.
Wonder Woman is one of the world’s most recognisable comic book superheroines, yet the history of her creation and the unique universe of the early 'Wonder Woman' comics are often eclipsed by television shows, and limited edition merchandise; whilst scholars simply focus upon Wonder Woman as the first mainstream comic book superheroine, a mere placeholder in the tapestry of comic book history. In 'Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter Comics 1941–1948' (Rutgers University Press; 2015), Noah Berlatsky examines the original 'Wonder Woman' comics and creators William Moulton Marston and Harry Peter, revealing a comic ahead of its time, capable of handling taboo subjects where other comics could not.
This article examines how the Silver Surfer issues #40–43 relate to the American recession in 1990 and discusses the result with regard to the superhero genre and the medieval emblematic exemplum. Similar to Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (1986), the Surfer issues are a critical commentary on capitalism and American society. However, where Miller’s work delivers a clear message about how ordinary people can resist an unjust regime, in the Surfer issues there is no victory for the ordinary citizen. Instead, the reader is consoled in a cathartic way in identifying with a superhero stripped of his powers by the system. In a historical analysis of the comic story’s response-inviting devices, structure and techniques, the article demonstrates that while the issues feature traits typical of the superhero genre, they are also instances of the medieval genre of the emblematic exemplum. When read through this lens, the issues gain explanatory power in addition to their ability to move the readers. They explain what happens to society when bureaucrats take over, foreground the relation between comics and their readers and problematize the issue of what it means to be human.
Available on the web and often excerpted by the visually-oriented algorithms of social media feeds, webcomics arguably have the broadest reach of any form of comics, yet they remain under-theorized. Given the close association with the development of the mode (digital technology) and the medium (webcomics) that Campbell (2006) points out in his history of the form, webcomics ought to be studied alongside other digital media, approached not just as comics, but as a series of websites and webpages where comics appear amidst such elements as ads, banners, links, and comments, all of which shift over time. By discussing not just the comics, but also the contextual elements of the webpages and websites of reciprocal guest comics from Jeph Jacques’s Questionable Content (QC) and Sam Logan’s Sam and Fuzzy, this article applies a historically-focused approach to webcomics as digital media to demonstrate how the attention economy, where ‘eyeballs’ are a form of currency, recasts relationships between authors so they are characterized by cooperative competition via webcomics collectives. Webcomics, as serial texts published by the same author over long periods of time, can teach us much about how developments in digital technology have shaped digital media over time.
This article advocates that the comic character of Catwoman is a comic incarnation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Edward Hyde. It does this first by problematizing Andreas Reichstein’s reading of Batman as Hyde (1998). While the similarity between Bruce Wayne and Dr. Henry Jekyll is considerable (such as both being accomplished and affluent men of science who have nocturnal alter egos), Hyde embodies hedonistic desire and loss of control while Batman is the incarnation of discipline and control. This work then goes on to offer the numerous and stark similarities between Hyde and Catwoman, such as offering their counterparts animalistic freedom and the ability to achieve unification through embracing their darker halves. Because of her desire to embrace her dual human experience, the hero/villain Catwoman encapsulates the most human of comic characters.
This article explores how Rutu Modan’s graphic novel 'Exit Wounds' (2007) uses background art to provide richer insights into both the existential fear of complete annihilation experienced by many Israelis during The Second Intifada, and the inability of numerous Israelis to confront this fear directly. Drawing on comics studies, trauma studies, and Israel-Palestine studies the article examines markers of trauma, pulsating in plain sight yet hidden against a foreground of normality. In these backgrounds, recurring references to terror work to juxtapose the pretense of normalcy in the main narrative. By identifying repetitions of a common theme ‘braided’ throughout the illustrations, the reader has the potential to experience a supplementary affect outside of the narrative continuity of the work. The text simultaneously expresses a reticence to tell and a desire to show—rewarding close readings with a deeper understanding of the dissociative trauma that permeates Modan’s Israel.
Seeking to move beyond Scott McCloud’s spatio-temporal reading of the bleed (1993: 103), this article explores how Canadian writer/artist Emily Carroll’s graphic narrative 'Through the Woods' (2014) employs the bleed as a means to give form to a mode of horror known as the ‘abject’. Employing theories of embodiment that excavate historical conflations of femininity and nature, in addition to socio-cultural discourses that figure the female body as more uncontrollable than the male, this article explores the anxieties experienced by Carroll’s adolescent protagonists as they traverse the boundary separating girlhood from womanhood. By paying particular attention to Carroll’s excessive use of bleeds, this article argues that the stylistic convention of the bleed is utilised to adumbrate and illustrate the abject horror of such boundary crossings.
This article documents a selection of scholarly books received by 'The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship' during the 2017–2018 editorial year and notes them briefly, collating their metadata and publisher’s blurbs, as well as hyperlinks to the respective publisher’s web pages for each book. This round-up seeks to promote awareness of these recent publications within comics scholarship, and to encourage their acquisition by academic libraries, academic review and, if appropriate, inclusion in syllabi.
Kate Evans’ 2017 comic Threads: From the Refugee Crisis chronicles her visits to the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais, where she volunteered with a group of other British nationals to help build shelters and offer general assistance to those in the camp. The comic is bookended with double-page spreads that depict traditional lace making processes. Calais is particularly famous for lace production and it is a trade that has long been the domain of women. In addition, lace is used throughout the comic in the gutters of the pages.Using close textual and visual analysis, this article considers the use of lace throughout the comic. Beginning with a brief history of the fabric itself, it is argued that the use of lace provides a clear socio-political and cultural framework by which we can read the comic, positioning the stories of refugees within representational frameworks governed by white, European artistic and cultural production. Moreover, the lace can be read as a metaphor for the geopolitical interactions which led to the massive displacement of people and, so, the creation of ‘the Jungle’.
This article presents a commentary on 'The Citi exhibition Manga' (British Museum, 23 May–26 August 2019) from the point of view of a Southeast Asian who is a fan of manga and Japanese culture, but whose family history, like many in the region, was shaped by the outcome of World War 2. By considering the historical context and themes behind some key works, the article concludes that the exhibition succeeded in presenting manga and anime as the intermediary over which common values and sentiments can be shared by all, despite past grievances and political differences.
This review offers a criticaloverview of Ester Szép’s Comics and The Body:Drawing, Reading, and Vulnerability (2020)a text that formulates a model ofembodied interpretation and creation that establishes a dialogue between readerand artist based on their shared vulnerability. In this review I explore Szép’sutilisation of the line and the materiality of the comic as an expression of andengagement with the body and vulnerability across comics dealing with trauma,illness, and war. I highlight Szép’s innovative consideration of the body ofthe reader as an interpretive tool, a theory that starts from her own embodiedreactions to these comics. In the second half of this review, I consider theimplications of Szép’s approach to vulnerability and the body with regards theCovid-19 pandemic, disability, and Graphic Medicine, drawing from the recentdiscourse of vulnerability by disabled people, the social model of disabilityand its limitations, and critical work on the field of Graphic Medicine byThomas Cousser. Rather than seeing this as a limitation of the text I askwhether Szép’ methodology could be adopted to answer these and similarquestions and point to work she already appears to be doing is such adirection.
his article conducts the first in-depth political-aesthetic analysis of Joyce Farmer and Lyn Chevli's Abortion Eve. In this article, we argue that Abortion Eve uses its visual form in a way that cuts between the contexts of later forms of graphic medicine and feminist comix, and in so doing contributed to a political culture of feminist information sharing, through a self-published visual medium.
This article considers the extent to which UK-based academics can rely upon the copyright regime to reproduce extracts and excerpts from published comics and graphic novels without having to ask the copyright owner of those works for permission. In doing so, it invites readers to engage with a broader debate about the nature, demands and process of academic publishing.
This essay compiles a range of 40 graphic narratives in order to identify and categorize the ways in which artists visually differentiate individual panels from other panels within page layouts. By differentiating or accenting a panel, creators give the accented panel’s story content greater value relative to other story content depicted on the same page. This essay explores the eight most common methods.
Since the publication of the Budapest Open Access Initiative statement in 2002, Open Access has grown from an ideal to a reality. Open Access and the Humanities explores scholarly practices, communications, and cultures in light of this change and argues that humanists can and should retake responsibility for how they chose to publish.
This is an interview with comics artist Kate Evans, author of Red Rosa (2015) and Threads: From the Refugee Experience (2017), as well as a number of other comics, about her recent work, which operates at the intersection of several of the most exciting genre developments in comics in recent years. In the interview Evans reflects on recent shifts in comics journalism, as well as other trends in the field such as the rise of graphic memoir, through examples taken from Evans’s own work as well as that of Joe Sacco, Lynda Barry, Alison Bechdel and others.
'Comics and Adaptation', edited by Benoît Mitaine, David Roche and Isabelle Schmitt-Pitiot, translated by Aarnoud Rommens and David Roche, University Press of Mississippi; 238 pages, 2018, ISBN 978-1-4968-0337-5 This review discusses the contents of the edited collection 'Comics and Adaptation' (edited by Benoît Mitaine, David Roche and Isabelle Schmitt-Pitiot, translated by Aarnoud Rommens and David Roche, University Press of Mississippi 2018) and comments on the translation of the text. The review concludes that this is a timely and useful collection which challenges some of the presuppositions of adaptation studies.
Autobiographical comics have a more conflicted relationship with the truth than explicitly fictional work, due in part to the constraint to fidelity but complicated further by producer-orientated methods of authentication. Every graphic work has a unique expressive style, a transformation through eye and hand which foregrounds the artist’s vision, underscoring the process of mediation and subjectivity in interpretation. The structural and visual modality of the comic-book form does not allow for a representational facsimile of the world, involving as it does elements of story compression, visual abstraction and duality in the rendering of text and image. This paper will focus on current doctoral research investigating the graphic memoir, in particular; the authenticating role of the comic-book practitioner in regard to the representation and memorialization of the past and the indexical reference to real-world events and locations. This line of enquiry will be explored via current studio-based practice involving the initial preparation and treatment of a graphic adaptation of 'Pilgrimage from Nenthead', a working-class memoir written by Chester Armstrong (published by Methuen in 1938).
In this interview Adrian Edwards, lead curator of Printed Historical Sources, The British Library, talks to Ernesto Priego about the Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK exhibition at The British Library, 2 May – 19 August 2014.
'Graphic Novels for Children and Young Adults: A Collection of Critical Essays', edited by Michelle Ann Abate and Gwen Athene Tarbox, University Press of Mississippi, 352 pages, 2017, ISBN 978-1-4968-1167-7 This article is a review of 'Graphic Novels for Children and Young Adults: A Collection of Critical Essays', edited by Michelle Ann Abate and Gwen Athene Tarbox (University Press of Mississippi, 2017). Filling a significant gap in current scholarly research in comic studies, the collection will appeal to a wide range of scholars and educators. The review argues that reading this collection is less of a chore and more of a joyful journey of discovery.
This review probes 'On Comics and Legal Aesthetics – Multimodality and the Haunted Mask of Knowing 'by Thomas Giddens (Routledge, 2018). The book explores the unique ways in which comics – with their hybridized text and images – can augment the ways we come to know of law’s rationality. This review explains the primary methodologies that Giddens utilizes such as highlighting the strict rationality of legal texts and their chaotic edges through comics narratives. It concludes with a warm endorsement of this deeply intellectual contribution to comics studies.
African Americans produced many comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels during the twentieth century but their works were rarely recognized in reviews of mainstream and independently published comics until recently. These efforts to acknowledge Black comics creatives and their contributions to the industry must continue. This article participates in the ongoing effort to capture and share the experiences of African American creatives in the independent comic book publishing industry by placing a spotlight on the author and co-creator of the 'Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline' (1990–1996) comic book series, Guy A. Sims. The 'Brotherman' brand is part of a long legacy of inspirational media from independent Black producers. Guy’s early experiences provided him with tangible examples of successful Black-owned media companies that were creating content for Black audiences. His most important influence was his father, Dr. Edward Sims, Jr. Edward introduced young Guy to the works of Richard Wright for inspiration. He also engaged his son in questions that further inspired his creativity. 'Brotherman' now serves as a source of inspiration to multiple generations of new comic book artists and writers.
This article draws on comics studies, autobiography theory, and feminist theory to explore two autographics by the late Québecoise cartoonist Geneviève Castrée (1981–2016) and their mobilization online by a bereaved comics community. The article begins with Castrée’s 'Susceptible' (2012), a graphic memoir of coming-of-age in a dysfunctional family in 1980s Québec. By focusing on lettering, layouts, and the braided motif of the bed, I show that Castrée draws her maternal home as a conflicted space of both anxiety and security. This analysis extends to Castrée’s 2015 series of self-portraits, ‘Blankets Are Always Sleeping,’ in order to reflect on the complex figure of the Sad Girl as a sign of gendered resistance. After her untimely death, images of the sleeping cartoonist were mobilized on social media by bereaved fans. I argue that this digital circulation inevitably simplified and sentimentalized her autographic persona, as the remediation of her self-portraits online transferred their signification from individual expression to communal grief. The article concludes with two graphic elegies posted online by Diane Obomsawin and Vanessa Davis in the week after Castrée’s death to consider her posthumous place amongst North American female cartoonists.
'Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371', by MK Czerwiec. Paperback; 50 pgs; full colour. March 15 2017. Penn State University Press. ISBN-13: 978-0271078182 This review argues that 'Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371' (Czerwiec 2017) provides an accurate and factual account of the history of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in America in the 1990s. Through the use of illustrations and text, the book presents the reader with an immersive account of what it was like to provide care to HIV/AIDS patients during that time.
Translated editions of Katsuhiro Ōtomo’s manga 'Akira' played an important role in the popularisation of manga in the Western world. Published in Japan between 1982 and 1990, editions in European languages followed as soon as the late 1980s. In the first US edition (Epic 1988–1995) the originally black and white manga was printed in colour and published in 38 issues, which were designed not unlike typical American comic books. The first German edition (Carlsen 1991–1996) marked the beginning of Carlsen’s manga publishing efforts. It was based on the English-language edition and also printed in colour, and combined two American issues in one. This article analyses the materiality of these two translated editions with a focus on three main issues – the mirroring (or ‘flipping’) which changes the reading direction from right-to-left into left-to-right, the colouring of the originally black and white artwork, and the translation of different kinds of script (sound effects, speech bubble text, and inscriptions or labels)
In April 1973 David Bowie released 'Aladdin Sane'. The cover of 'Aladdin Sane' features an iconic image of David Bowie, a close-up shot of the artist with brightly colored orange hair and asymmetrical lightning bolt make-up on the right side of his face. This article argues that the cover image for 'Aladdin Sane' uses the Close-Up Eye Asymmetry (CUE-A) pictorial device (i.e., close-up view of David Bowie, asymmetrical make-up around his eye) and that CUE-A was adopted into Comic Book Visual Language by first providing evidence that CUE-A is used in comic book art. A link is then established between comic book art and music album art by showing that: (1) David Bowie was familiar with Comic Book Visual Language and could make a contribution to the language, and (2) comic book artists are influenced by music album art. I then make a case that the adoption of CUE-A into Comic Book Visual Language was specifically due to the cover image for 'Aladdin Sane' by analyzing: (1) the use of CUE-A by influential artists in the 1990s and (2) the different rates of adoption of CUE-A for the depiction of established versus newer comic book characters.
A review of 'Alan Moore and the Gothic Tradition' (2013), a collection of 14 articles edited by Matthew J.A. Green and published by Manchester University Press. Addressed to readers who already have a substantial knowledge on Alan Moore, the reviewed book focuses on the different level of relationship that the English writer maintains with the many layers of the Gothic tradition, and what is the impact of these interactions. From politics to magic, monsters to superheroes, and sex to abject, this review explores how Green's collection tackles all the recurrent themes of Moore's oeuvre.
This note explores how experiences of people with dwarfism are explored in the graphic narrative Alisa’s Tale (A short story) by Al Davison. The purpose of Alisa’s tale is for young people to emphasise the lived experiences of people with dwarfism. This demonstrates how the graphic narrative uses imagery to convey the everyday social and spatial encounters experienced by people with dwarfism and subsequently Alisa’s experiences of psycho-emotional disablism. Unlike conventional forms of awareness raising, the graphic narrative forces the reader to stare at the dwarf body and witness the common reactions towards it through multimodal forms of representations. Graphic narratives provide expressive possibilities for vivid meaning-making through multimodal forms of representations (Garland-Thomson, 2016). Unlike conventional stories, the use of graphics within Alisa’s tale aids in situating the reader within Alisa’s perspective. This helps to demonstrate the world seen through the gaze of a young woman with dwarfism and position the average sized person as problematic. In the narrative, the average sized people who react negatively towards Alisa are depicted as monsters. According to Garland-Thomson (2016), the most distinct representational opportunity comics offer is hyperbole. Presenting average sized people as monsters helps to situate them as villains. How the narrative uses imagery to construct other people, who react negatively to Alisa’s presence, as monsters do two things. Firstly, as a reader with dwarfism, I can relate to the story. For average sized readers, it helps them to question their ableist beliefs and reactions towards people with dwarfism. According to Foss, Gray and Whalen (2016), graphic narratives offer the unique potential for transforming our understanding of disability in truly profound ways. This note will demonstrate how graphic narratives are beneficial in raising awareness about dwarfism.
Research exploring the multimodal characteristics of comics has recently flourished, and Dale Jacobs has been one of the early prolific authors on this topic. Jacobs expands these ideas further in 'Graphic Encounters: Comics and the Sponsorship of Multimodal Literacy', a monograph which engages with theories of multimodality, but shifts its focus primarily to literacy sponsorship.
As many as half of the new teachers who begin each year will leave either the school or the profession of teaching within five years. In underperforming districts and in schools with low resources, the retention among teachers is even worse (Ingersoll, 2010; Ingersoll & May, 2011). This comic examines a group of early career teachers; their experiences demonstrate the challenges and opportunities that are the reality for many new teachers entering high needs schools. The major themes that were uncovered included culture, success and failures, and work satisfaction. We conclude that the use of the comic representation is important in conveying the thoughts and feelings of these teachers.
By launching in 1938 a series of adaptations of folktales in comics form, Thai cartoonist Prayoon Chanyawongse established the 'Cartoon Likay' genre which places the reader as a member of an audience attending a 'Likay' performance. The local theatrical form frames his graphic narratives where scenes of a play performed on a stage continuously alternate with sequences taking place in the vast realms of epics set in the Ayutthaya period. By introducing key 'Likay' conventions such as recurring humorous interruptions and asides, Chanyawongse could effectively address contemporary social issues and political topics within traditional folktales. This paper explores several 'Cartoon Likay' narratives in the context of the 'Likay' theatrical form and the local folktale repertoire to discuss the nature and development of Chanyawongse’s signature comics genre.
'Captain America, Masculinity, and Violence: The Evolution of a National Icon', by J. Richard Stevens, Syracuse University Press, 376 pages, 6 . 9, 2015, ISBN 978-0-8156-3395-2; ebook 978-0-8156-5320-2 This article favourably reviews' Captain America, Masculinity, and Violence: The Evolution of a National Icon' (Stevens 2015) and offers some suggestions for further research. The review explores the ways in which the book offers insights into one of the most popular characters in comics and also gestures towards the work scholars of mainstream American superhero comics must tackle in the future.
The use of analepsis in representations of traumatic experience is not a new phenomenon in traumatic art in general or comics in particular. However, in GB Tran’s family narrative of the Vietnam War, 'Vietnamerica' (2011), this trope is used in a particular fashion. While discussing his father’s imprisonment at the hands of the Vietnamese Government, Tran uses heavy black art before ‘flashing back’ into his father’s past, all of which is drawn in a style highly reminiscent of 'Ligne Claire'. The high contrast of Tran’s two artistic styles is especially interesting when we consider that he is trying to recreate a traumatic experience told in analepsis and also when we remember the French occupation of Vietnam and, invariably, the influence of French art on Tran’s father. Why does Tran use this iconic style for the flashback? How does this shift in style affect the narrative? How does it assist in the representation of the traumatic experience within the text?
Similar drawingssometimes appear in comics, which could have been copied from old comics orcould have been generated independently by chance. Once defined if the image isa copy or not the aim of the present work was a proposal to analyze similarimages using the analogy concept since two disciplines, linguistic andbiological. The linguistic concept of analogy could be used when the recurringelement or the image is in the speech of the copy and the recreations, On theother hand, when the images are similar by chance, the concept of biologicalanalogy could be used and the images interpreted using the theory of thecollective unconscious. In this brief note, we show some examples of how theuse of tools outside visual disciplines can be useful when standardizedmethodologies for the analysis of recurring images are lacking. The authorssuggest in conclusion that the aesthetic experience is not only about observing, but about having the time and thecontextual framework to find similarities and interconnections, and hithertonon-existent patterns.
Musical terminology is often used when discussing narrative forms of art. However, this is seldom accompanied by a systematic application of musical concepts for use by artists in these other mediums. Comics, in particular, parallel music in terms of the multiframe, where various individual elements are perceived at once. Therefore, a useful analogy can be made between the multiframe and thematic and vertical musical construction. The interactivity among jazz musicians during a collective improvisation exemplifies this musical simultaneity, and this article creates an analogy between improvisation and narrative comics, deriving several analytical tools that can be used to inform the creation of more meaningful multiframes.
Drawing on Bourdieu’s concept of ‘the biographical illusion’ and Eakin’s concept of the ‘relational self’, this article explores the ways in which the conventions of wrestling add new layers of multimodal storytelling in Box Brown and Brandon Easton’s Andre the Giant graphic biographies. Through textual and visual analyses, the article argues that Easton’s first-person narration blurs the relationship between biographical writer and subject to create an intimate portrait of Andre as a conflicted individual. Conversely, the article shows how Brown’s referential narration refuses entry into Andre’s inner life while illustrating the entanglements of the self with others.
The Canadian comics world has been split along linguistic and cultural lines since its beginning. Although the boundary between both has been a bit less rigid in the last 30 years, movement across the linguistic border is still not fluid. Until recently, BDQ mostly continued the Franco-Belgian tradition while the Canadian comics were influenced by the American tradition. In the last three decades, more transfer could be seen among all traditions mostly as a result of globalization, which includes the globalized graphic narrative. However, there is still a difference in fluidity in the two Canadian comics worlds. For several reasons, the Anglo-Canadian comics world has been quite receptive to the manga while the French-Canadian one has been much less so. I argue that this Quebecer cool welcoming is reflected in the use of a more rigid grid than in Anglo-Canadian comics. Using Brenna Clarke Gray’s parallel between territorial border and comics gutter, I explain these differences using some concrete examples from both Canadian linguistic communities.
In the late 1980s, Ann Nocenti became the principle writer on the Marvel comic book, 'Daredevil', the second woman to be lead creator on the book and the first to write a significant run on an ongoing basis. Nocenti integrated themes relating to social justice, violence and the treatment of children into the narrative. She also shone the spotlight on the supporting female cast members in a way that was original and refreshing. In this article, Nocenti’s challenging of feminine archetypes, such as the housewife, the temptress and the Barbie Doll, reflects ideas of mutable identities, promoted by second-wave feminism. Examining her writing of Karen Page, Typhoid Mary, Brandy Ash and Number Nine, this article argues that, despite the comic centring around a male superhero and with a predominantly male readership, Nocenti succeeds in introducing a more nuanced picture of women and pre-empting some of the changes in the promotion of female characters now apparent in the industry.
This study presents a qualitative analysis on the representation of black women in comic books using a sociocultural approach to their production-release background. We study the X-Men mutant character Storm, whose path reinforces and questions the social roles these women enact. We state that the analysis of cultural assets aimed at entertainment, like comic books, helps us consider the relationship between gender and ethnicity in our society.
The call for papers Brilliant Corners: Approaches to Jazz and Comics was published on 30 July 2015. In it, the editors made a public invitation for scholarship that proposed meeting points between the disciplines of jazz studies and comics studies. This editorial discusses the motivations for the collection, the editorial methodology, and the research articles included. Finally, the editors suggest some areas in which jazz studies and comics scholarship might address under-researched and fertile topics.
Cultural memory in comics studies mostly seems to revolve around nonfictional graphic novels tackling major historical events. Drawing on recent trends in cultural memory studies, this paper focuses on Jacques Ristorcelli‘s Les Écrans (2014) as an experimental counterpoint where memory is animated by the author’s use of collage. Delving into an ‘archive’ of heterogeneous elements, Les Écrans borrows from old war comics in a way that reflexively constructs a discourse on the past of the medium and its memory. Through the analysis of Ristorcelli’s book, this paper highlights how collage can function in comics as a work of memory that reaches back to appropriative practices common to both readers and fine artists.
This article is a review of Key Terms in Comics Studies, edited by Erin La Cour, Simon Grennan, and Rik Spanjers (Palgrave 2022). This volume covers a broad array of disciplines and terminology utilized in comics studies, with the aim of creating new connections in the field between its varied disciplinary approaches. The review contextualizes the volume within the emerging genre of reference collections and analyses the role and utility of such collections within comics studies and higher education.