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This title in other editions

Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean

by

Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean Cover

 

Staff Pick

Douglas Wolk writes with a critic's authority, offering penetrating analysis of seminal comics writers and their best-known works alongside introductions to lesser-known talents. But he also writes with a fan's enthusiasm, and it shows through in every page of this riveting study. A must-read if you're a lifelong comics lover or a newcomer who's just getting started, and for anyone in between.
Recommended by Chris Bolton, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Suddenly, comics are everywhere: a newly matured art form, filling bookshelves with brilliant, innovative work and shaping the ideas and images of the rest of contemporary culture.

In Reading Comics, critic Douglas Wolk shows us why and how. Wolk illuminates the most dazzling creators of modern comics — from Alan Moore to Alison Bechdel to Chris Ware — and explains their roots, influences, and where they fit into the pantheon of art. As accessible to the hardcore fan as to the curious newcomer, Reading Comics is the first book for people who want to know not just which comics are worth reading, but ways to think and talk and argue about them.

Review:

"As the graphic novel flourishes and gains legitimacy as an art form, serious comics criticism is an inevitable byproduct, and PW contributing editor Wolk's analytical discourse is a welcome starting point. The volume contains two sections: 'Theory and History,' an explanation of comics as a medium and an overview of its evolution, and 'Reviews and Commentary,' a diverse examination of creators and works. This section spans Will Eisner's pioneering efforts as well as the groundbreaking modern comics by the Hernandez brothers, Chris Ware and Alison Bechdel. Since there are decades worth of books already focusing on the superhero genre, the raw clay from which the comics industry was built, the relatively short shrift given to the spandex oeuvre's insular mythologies is a wise choice that allows the nonfan a glimpse into the wider range that comics commands. Wolk's insightful observations offer much to ponder, perhaps more than can be fully addressed in one volume, but the thoughtful criticism and knowledgeable historical overview give much-needed context for the emerging medium. B&w illus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The book is like a magnifying glass for looking carefully at comics." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Wolk's informed, readable assessment is lucid enough to serve as a primer for neophytes wondering what these graphic novels are all about, yet even the most hard-core comics fans will garner considerable insight from it." Booklist

Review:

"Armed with Reading Comics...we can live with extra light in the closets and dank basements where the comic books are stored." Oregonian

Review:

"Wolk's tough-love approach is deliciously quotable....You'll find great artwork by Frank Miller, Kevin Huizenga, R. Crumb and Peter Bagge. Perhaps it is greedy to wish for even more." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Wolk makes a likeable and unpretentious guide, never hectoring or waxing polemical, and his enthusiastically imparted knowledge should ensure that readers go on to investigate his recommendations." Times Literary Supplement (UK)

Review:

"The fine theory and history section holds plenty of weight for both fan folk and newbies to comics....By contrast, the reviews and commentary section has more value for aficionados." Library Journal

Review:

"A diehard comics reader might think the book is written for newbies, but would likely be won over by Wolk's fresh interpretations of classic works. Still, it's the ideal primer for the literate reader who has noticed the recent surge of media attention to comics and graphic novels." Newsday

Synopsis:

Critic Wolk illuminates the most dazzling creators of modern comics — from Alan Moore and Alison Bechdel to Dave Sim and Chris Ware — and introduces a critical theory that explains where each fits into the pantheon of art.

Synopsis:

The first serious, readable, provocative, canon-smashing book of comics theory and criticism by the leading critic in the field

About the Author

Douglas Wolk writes about comics and music for publications including the New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Washington Post, Salon, and The Believer. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780306816161
Author:
Wolk, Douglas
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Subject:
Popular Culture - General
Subject:
Comics & Cartoons
Subject:
Form - Comic Strips & Cartoons
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
History & Criticism *
Subject:
Comic books, strips, etc. -- United States.
Subject:
Comics & Graphic Novels
Subject:
General-General
Edition Description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Publication Date:
20080631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
103 b/w illustrations
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 15.5 oz

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Fiction and Poetry » Graphic Novels » History and Criticism
Fiction and Poetry » Graphic Novels » Toon History
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Comics and Graphic Novels

Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.99 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Da Capo Press - English 9780306816161 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Douglas Wolk writes with a critic's authority, offering penetrating analysis of seminal comics writers and their best-known works alongside introductions to lesser-known talents. But he also writes with a fan's enthusiasm, and it shows through in every page of this riveting study. A must-read if you're a lifelong comics lover or a newcomer who's just getting started, and for anyone in between.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "As the graphic novel flourishes and gains legitimacy as an art form, serious comics criticism is an inevitable byproduct, and PW contributing editor Wolk's analytical discourse is a welcome starting point. The volume contains two sections: 'Theory and History,' an explanation of comics as a medium and an overview of its evolution, and 'Reviews and Commentary,' a diverse examination of creators and works. This section spans Will Eisner's pioneering efforts as well as the groundbreaking modern comics by the Hernandez brothers, Chris Ware and Alison Bechdel. Since there are decades worth of books already focusing on the superhero genre, the raw clay from which the comics industry was built, the relatively short shrift given to the spandex oeuvre's insular mythologies is a wise choice that allows the nonfan a glimpse into the wider range that comics commands. Wolk's insightful observations offer much to ponder, perhaps more than can be fully addressed in one volume, but the thoughtful criticism and knowledgeable historical overview give much-needed context for the emerging medium. B&w illus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The book is like a magnifying glass for looking carefully at comics."
"Review" by , "Wolk's informed, readable assessment is lucid enough to serve as a primer for neophytes wondering what these graphic novels are all about, yet even the most hard-core comics fans will garner considerable insight from it."
"Review" by , "Armed with Reading Comics...we can live with extra light in the closets and dank basements where the comic books are stored."
"Review" by , "Wolk's tough-love approach is deliciously quotable....You'll find great artwork by Frank Miller, Kevin Huizenga, R. Crumb and Peter Bagge. Perhaps it is greedy to wish for even more."
"Review" by , "Wolk makes a likeable and unpretentious guide, never hectoring or waxing polemical, and his enthusiastically imparted knowledge should ensure that readers go on to investigate his recommendations."
"Review" by , "The fine theory and history section holds plenty of weight for both fan folk and newbies to comics....By contrast, the reviews and commentary section has more value for aficionados."
"Review" by , "A diehard comics reader might think the book is written for newbies, but would likely be won over by Wolk's fresh interpretations of classic works. Still, it's the ideal primer for the literate reader who has noticed the recent surge of media attention to comics and graphic novels."
"Synopsis" by , Critic Wolk illuminates the most dazzling creators of modern comics — from Alan Moore and Alison Bechdel to Dave Sim and Chris Ware — and introduces a critical theory that explains where each fits into the pantheon of art.
"Synopsis" by ,
The first serious, readable, provocative, canon-smashing book of comics theory and criticism by the leading critic in the field
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