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Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean

by

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

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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

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 this is and how it came to be.

Wolk illuminates the most dazzling creators of modern comics — from Alan Moore to Alison Bechdel to Dave Sim to Chris Ware — and introduces a critical theory that explains where each fits into the pantheon of art. Reading Comics is accessible to the hardcore fan and the curious newcomer; it is the first book for people who want to know not just what comics are worth reading, but also the 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. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

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:

"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 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:

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

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 criticism by the leading critic in the field

Synopsis:

For over seventy-five years, Archie and the gang at Riverdale High have been Americaandrsquo;s most iconic teenagers. Yet they have been relatively ignored by scholarsandmdash;until now. Twelve-Cent Archie is both the first academic study of these comics and an innovative creative work in its own right. In a hundred short chapters, renowned comics scholar Bart Beaty takes us on a witty, eclectic tour of the Archie universe, addressing everything from the history of the American teenager to the mystery of Jugheadandrsquo;s hat.and#160;

Synopsis:

For over seventy-five years,and#160;Archieand#160;and the gang at Riverdale High have been Americaandrsquo;s most iconic teenagers, delighting generations of readers with their never-ending exploits. But despite their ubiquity,and#160;Archieand#160;comics have been relatively ignored by scholarsandmdash;until now.and#160;

Twelve-Cent Archieand#160;is not only the first scholarly study of theand#160;Archieand#160;comic, it is an innovative creative work in its own right. Inspired byand#160;Archieandrsquo;sand#160;own concise storytelling format, renowned comics scholar Bart Beaty divides the book into a hundred short chapters, each devoted to a different aspect of theand#160;Archieand#160;comics. Fans of the comics will be thrilled to read in-depth examinations of their favorite characters and motifs, including individual chapters devoted to Jugheadandrsquo;s hat and Archieandrsquo;s sweater-vest. But the book also has plenty to interest newcomers to Riverdale, as it recounts the behind-the-scenes history of the comics and analyzes howand#160;Archieand#160;helped shape our images of the American teenager.and#160;

As he employs a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches, Beaty reveals that theand#160;Archieand#160;comics themselves were far more eclectic, creative, and self-aware than most critics recognize. Equally comfortable considering everything from the representation of racial diversity to the semiotics of Veronicaandrsquo;s haircut,and#160;Twelve-Cent Archieand#160;gives a fresh appreciation for Americaandrsquo;s most endearing group of teenagers.and#160;

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.

Table of Contents

The Twelve-Cent Archie

Intro

  1. How to Write (Archie) Comics
  2. Story Length
  3. The Archie Hierarchy
  4. Archie Andrews
  5. How Well Does Archie Speak French?
  6. Bowling
  7. Harry Luceyandrsquo;s Rhythm
  8. Veronica Lodge
  9. Riverdale, USA
  10. The Daily Strip
  11. Footnote
  12. andldquo;Why is it Always Between Archie and Reggie?andrdquo;
  13. Archieandrsquo;s Jalopy
  14. Itandrsquo;s as Easy as A-B-V
  15. United Girls Against Jughead
  16. Archieandrsquo;s Giant Series
  17. Invisible Paint
  18. Archie Comics Versus Art
  19. Betty Cooper
  20. Riverdaleandrsquo;s Racial Problem
  21. Fashion
  22. Bettyandrsquo;s Ponytail
  23. Self-Plagiarism
  24. Archieandrsquo;s Sweater Vest
  25. Jughead Jones
  26. Beatniks, Hippies, and Other Undesirables
  27. Dilton Doily
  28. Moose
  29. Reggie Mantle
  30. Jealousy
  31. andldquo;Are You Familiar With Shakespeare, My Young Ignoramus?andrdquo;
  32. andldquo;I Never Squeaked a Pip, Either!andrdquo;
  33. Jugheadandrsquo;s Hat
  34. Fantastic Elements
  35. Archieandrsquo;s Joke Book
  36. Often Imitated, Never Duplicated
  37. The Historical Archie
  38. Mutually Assured Destruction
  39. Betty = Veronica
  40. Head Over Heels
  41. Mr. Weatherbee
  42. Caveman Archie
  43. Life With Archie
  44. What is the Zip Code for Riverdale?
  45. Cover Art
  46. Fairy Godmothers
  47. Dan DeCarloandrsquo;s Foreground Portraits
  48. Archie as an Adventure Comic
  49. Text Pieces
  50. Previously on Archie
  51. Notes for the Norton Anthology
  52. Archie : Arch : Archiekins
  53. Eep! Omigosh! And Other Unusual Contributions to the Language of Comics
  54. Archieandrsquo;s Black Book
  55. Laugh and Pep: The Residual Titles
  56. Pureheart the Powerful
  57. Errors
  58. Midge
  59. You Can Take the Boy Out of Riverdale . . .
  60. Archie Club News
  61. Veronicaandrsquo;s Mother
  62. Mr. Lodge
  63. Bettyandrsquo;s Parents
  64. Jingles
  65. Liandrsquo;l Jinx
  66. Archieandrsquo;s Gender Politics
  67. Should Archie Marry Betty or Veronica?
  68. Big Ethel
  69. The Mayor of Riverdale
  70. Worst. Archie. Story. Ever.
  71. Archie the Klutz
  72. Celebrity Culture
  73. Jugheadandrsquo;s Dipsy Doodles
  74. Imitation is the Lowest Form of Flattery
  75. Surf and Ski
  76. Samm Schwartzandrsquo;s Art
  77. Self-Referential Meta-Fictions
  78. Riverdale High
  79. Who Cut Veronicaandrsquo;s Hair?
  80. Little Archie
  81. Credits
  82. Juvenile Delinquency
  83. Teenese
  84. The Archies
  85. Pop Tateandrsquo;s Choklit Shoppe
  86. Unusual Panels
  87. Smithers
  88. The Archie Archive
  89. Fads and Fashions
  90. Borderless Panels
  91. A Comic About Nothing
  92. Fred (and Mary) Andrews
  93. The Banjo in Archie Comics
  94. Wordless Stories, or Nearly So
  95. Hot Dog
  96. Dan DeCarloandrsquo;s Split Horizon Girl
  97. The (Nearly) Perfect Archie Story
  98. The Myth of Archie
  99. Archie and Me

Product Details

ISBN:
9780306815096
Author:
Wolk, Douglas
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Author:
Beaty, Bart
Subject:
Comic books, strips, etc.
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Popular Culture - General
Subject:
Comics & Cartoons
Subject:
Graphic Novels
Subject:
Form - Comic Strips & Cartoons
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
History & Criticism *
Subject:
Comic books, strips, etc. -- United States.
Subject:
Comics & Graphic Novels
Subject:
General-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
Comics Culture
Publication Date:
July 2, 2007
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Illustrations:
50 illustrations
Pages:
232
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 20.8 oz

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Related Subjects

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 Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 232 pages Perseus Books Group - English 9780306815096 Reviews:
"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. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"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 , "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 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 , "The book is like a magnifying glass for looking carefully at comics."
"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 criticism by the leading critic in the field
"Synopsis" by ,
For over seventy-five years, Archie and the gang at Riverdale High have been Americaandrsquo;s most iconic teenagers. Yet they have been relatively ignored by scholarsandmdash;until now. Twelve-Cent Archie is both the first academic study of these comics and an innovative creative work in its own right. In a hundred short chapters, renowned comics scholar Bart Beaty takes us on a witty, eclectic tour of the Archie universe, addressing everything from the history of the American teenager to the mystery of Jugheadandrsquo;s hat.and#160;
"Synopsis" by , For over seventy-five years,and#160;Archieand#160;and the gang at Riverdale High have been Americaandrsquo;s most iconic teenagers, delighting generations of readers with their never-ending exploits. But despite their ubiquity,and#160;Archieand#160;comics have been relatively ignored by scholarsandmdash;until now.and#160;

Twelve-Cent Archieand#160;is not only the first scholarly study of theand#160;Archieand#160;comic, it is an innovative creative work in its own right. Inspired byand#160;Archieandrsquo;sand#160;own concise storytelling format, renowned comics scholar Bart Beaty divides the book into a hundred short chapters, each devoted to a different aspect of theand#160;Archieand#160;comics. Fans of the comics will be thrilled to read in-depth examinations of their favorite characters and motifs, including individual chapters devoted to Jugheadandrsquo;s hat and Archieandrsquo;s sweater-vest. But the book also has plenty to interest newcomers to Riverdale, as it recounts the behind-the-scenes history of the comics and analyzes howand#160;Archieand#160;helped shape our images of the American teenager.and#160;

As he employs a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches, Beaty reveals that theand#160;Archieand#160;comics themselves were far more eclectic, creative, and self-aware than most critics recognize. Equally comfortable considering everything from the representation of racial diversity to the semiotics of Veronicaandrsquo;s haircut,and#160;Twelve-Cent Archieand#160;gives a fresh appreciation for Americaandrsquo;s most endearing group of teenagers.and#160;

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