“Holy Homework, Batman! It’s Comics in the Classroom!. Ruth Lindemann A.L. Webster Endowed Chair Project. Will Eisner’s definition.
A.L. Webster Endowed Chair Project
Comics and sequential art are “juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.”
Flight safety information card, SAS
Promotional material from Snakes on a Plane
Harvey responded to McCloud’s effort with his own: “[C]omics consist of pictorial narratives or expositions in which words (often lettered into the picture area within speech balloons) usually contribute to the meaning of the pictures and vice versa.”
Because these are all “pantomime comics” and does not use words
It may be easiest to paraphrase Justice Potter Stewart in Jacobellis vs. Ohio: “I shall not . . . attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that . . . description [of comics]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it.
Comic burning in Binghamton, NY, 1948
Real recovery began in the 1980s …
Art Spiegelman’sMaus winning a special category Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and the Los Angeles Book Prize (1993) as well as a nomination for the National Book Critics Circle Award (1987)
Alan Moore’s The Watchmen being included in both Time’s Top 100 All-Time Greatest Novels List and Entertainment Weekly’s Best 50 Novels of the Last 25 Years
As with the definition of comics itself, the terms to describe the longer form is also complex and contested.
Responded to the claim that he wrote graphic novels rather than comic books this way. Even though he felt certain it “was meant as a compliment. . . . All of a sudden I felt like someone who'd been informed that she wasn't actually a hooker; that in fact she was a lady of the evening.” Bender, Hy (1999). The Sandman Companion.
Comics exploit existing iconography in many ways
To reinforce and maintain cultural norms.
To invert, challenge and outrage perceived norms.
To parody culture, behavior and comics themselves
Comics appeal to a wide audience because they draw on literary and mythological archetypes to help us interpret and understand our world: heroes, villains, god-like beings, lovers, apprentices and clowns
Abel, Jessica, and Matt Madden. Drawing Words & Writing Pictures. New York: First Second, 2008. Print. A complete step by step guide to the process of comics creation, or as they say in one spot, a definitive course in 15 lessons.
Barnes, Bill, and Gene Ambaum. Unshelved. Web. 22 Oct. 2010. <http://www.unshelved.com>
Barnett, Adam. Weblog post. Comics Make No Sense. N.p., 7 Oct. 2010. Web. 7 Oct. 2010. <http://comicsmakenosense.blogspot.com/>.
Eisner, Will. Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and Practices from a Legendary Cartoonist. Rev. ed. New York: Norton, 2008. Print. A classic guide to the practice and interpretation of comics and sequential art, this is one of two books that will truly raise your understanding and appreciation of what is going on in something that is “just a comic.”
- - -. “The M16A1 Rifle Operation & Preventative Maintenance Guide.” Cartoon. Comics with Problems. Ethan Persoff, 1968. Web. 7 Oct. 2010. <http://www.ep.tc>.
Haidu, David. The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. Print. A history of the devastating events of the 1940s and 1950s attacks by Frederic Wertham on the comic book industry and its consequences on publishers, writers and cartoonists. Includes sections on how the industry had employed women and minorities prior to the clampdown and their particular vulnerability in the wake of events.
Kakalios, James. “James Kakalios Physics Professor and Author.” The Physics of Superheroes. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Oct. 2010. <http://www.physicsofsuperheroes.com/index.html>. The web site of a college professor and comics fan who has embraced comics as a medium through which to introduce people to laws of physics and most recently quantum mechanics. This site includes videos of him discussing Superman, the Watchmen and other comics.
Lloyd, Robin. “Can You Learn Physics from a Comic Book?” Observations. Ed. Scientific American. Scientific American, 20 Feb. 2010. Web. 6 Oct. 2010. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=can-you-learn-physics-from-a-comic-2010-02-20>. This post discusses how superhero comic books, unlike movies and television series, offer an effective method of connecting students with science, as demonstrated by the author of the book The Physics of Superheroes.
McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York: HarperPerennial, 1994. Print. The other key text to truly appreciating comics as a form and arguably one of the most entertaining art appreciation books ever written. If you only look at one book about comics, make this it.
McCloud, Scott, and Google Chrome team. “Google Chrome – Behind the Open Source Browser Project.” Cartoon. Google Chrome. Google, 2010. Web. 7 Oct. 2010. <http://www.google.com/googlebooks/chrome/index.html>.
McGalliard, Julie. “The Questionable Anatomy of the Modern Comic Book Babe.” Goth House. N.p., 12 Dec. 2001. Web. 7 Oct. 2010. <http://www.gothhouse.org/gh_parlour/posts/ghp000094.php>.
Monnin, Katie. Teaching Graphic Novels: Practical Strategies for the Secondary ELA Classroom. Gainesville: Maupin House, 2010. Print. Although targetting middle-school and secondary ed teachers, Monnin’s work provides users with useful templates and guidelines for introducing readers to graphic novels in particular. Its focus is on teaching reading and writing, but instructors new to comics and graphic novels will find a lot of useful information.
Nagata, Ryoichi. “Learning Biochemistry through Manga — Helping Students Learn and Remember, and Making Lectures More Exciting.” Biochemical Education 27.4 (1999): 200-203. Elsevier ScienceDirect. Web. 7 Oct. 2010.
Pieper, Claudia, and Antonino Hombono. “Comics as an Education Method for Diabetic Patients and General Population.” Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 50.1 (2000): 31. Elsevier ScienceDirect College Edition. Web. 7 Oct. 2010.