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Doonesbury and the Art of G.B. Trudeauby Brian Walker
Synopses & Reviews
What if fairy-tale characters lived in New York City? What if a superhero knew he was a fictional character? What if you could dispense your own justice with one hundred untraceable bullets? These are the questions asked and answered in the course of the challenging storytelling in Fables, Tom Strong, and 100 Bullets, the three twenty-first-century comics series that Karin Kukkonen considers in depth in her exploration of how and why the storytelling in comics is more than merely entertaining.
Applying a cognitive approach to reading comics in all their narrative richness and intricacy, Contemporary Comics Storytelling opens an intriguing perspective on how these works engage the legacy of postmodernismand#8212;its subversion, self-reflexivity, and moral contingency. Its three case studies trace how contemporary comics tie into deep traditions of visual and verbal storytelling, how they reevaluate their own status as fiction, and how the fictional minds of their characters generate complex ethical thought experiments. At a time when the medium is taken more and more seriously as intricate and compelling literary art, this book lays the groundwork for an analysis of the ways in which comics challenge and engage readersand#8217; minds. It brings together comics studies with narratology and literary criticism and, in so doing, provides a new set of tools for evaluating the graphic novel as an emergent literary form.
Garry Trudeau's work has been anthologized before, but this is the first bookto assess the art of the "Doonesbury" comic strip and the ways that Trudeau'siconic style has evolved over the past four decades.
Best known for his wry and incisive takes on American life and politics, Garry Trudeau is among the worldand#8217;s most widely read cartoonists. Trudeau began shaping Doonesbury as an undergraduate contributor to the Yale Daily News in 1968. Today, the strip is syndicated to a daily readership of nearly 100 million.
Trudeauand#8217;s work has been anthologized before, but this is the first book to assess the art of the comic strip and the ways that Trudeauand#8217;s iconic style has evolved over the past four decades. Brian Walker, an expert on the history of comics, sheds light on Trudeauand#8217;s early influences as well as on his creative process, from research to pencil layouts to finished artwork. In addition to revealing how Doonesbury is crafted each week, the book also examines Trudeauand#8217;s magazine illustrations, animation drawings, posters, and product designs, as well as rare and previously unpublished works. Walkerand#8217;s historical text is complemented by insightful commentary by Trudeau and his collaborators, Don Carleton, George Corsillo, and David Stanford, making this book appealing not only to Doonesburyand#8217;s many fans but also to those looking for an approach to the work of a master comic strip artist.
About the Author
Brian Walker organized the first major exhibition of Garry Trudeauand#8217;s work, The Doonesbury Retrospective, at the Museum of Cartoon Art in 1983. He has served as curator for more than sixty-five cartoon exhibitions and has written numerous books on comics including The Comics: The Complete Collection, The Best of Ernie Bushmillerand#8217;s Nancy, and Barney Google and Snuffy Smith: 75 Years of an American Legend.
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