Synopses & Reviews
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;
"'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.)
"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
"Armed with Reading Comics...we can live with extra light in the closets and dank basements where the comic books are stored." Oregonian
"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
"The book is like a magnifying glass for looking carefully at comics." Kirkus Reviews
"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)
"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
"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
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.
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.
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.
The first serious, readable, provocative, canon-smashing book of comics criticism by the leading critic in the field
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;
At lastand#8212;a spotlight on the flesh-and-blood cartoonists whose sensibilities have helped define The New Yorker.
Available for the first time to The New Yorker
and#8217;s one million-plus readers: a volume dedicated to the individual careers of the magazineand#8217;s cartoon superstars.
Widely considered to be the pantheon of single-panel cartooning, The New Yorker cartoonistsand#8217; styles are richly varied, and their personal stories are surprising. For example, did you know that Arnie Levin is a seventy-three-year-old former Beatnik painter with a handlebar mustache and a back decorated by Japanand#8217;s foremost tattoo artists?
Gehrand#8217;s book features fascinating biographical profiles of such artists as Gahan Wilson, Sam Gross, Roz Chast, Lee Lorenz, and Edward Koren. Along with a dozen such profiles, Gehr provides a brief history of The New Yorker cartoon itself, touching on the lives and work of earlier illustrating wits, including Charles Addams, James Thurber, and William Steig.
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
- How to Write (Archie) Comics
- Story Length
- The Archie Hierarchy
- Archie Andrews
- How Well Does Archie Speak French?
- Harry Luceyandrsquo;s Rhythm
- Veronica Lodge
- Riverdale, USA
- The Daily Strip
- andldquo;Why is it Always Between Archie and Reggie?andrdquo;
- Archieandrsquo;s Jalopy
- Itandrsquo;s as Easy as A-B-V
- United Girls Against Jughead
- Archieandrsquo;s Giant Series
- Invisible Paint
- Archie Comics Versus Art
- Betty Cooper
- Riverdaleandrsquo;s Racial Problem
- Bettyandrsquo;s Ponytail
- Archieandrsquo;s Sweater Vest
- Jughead Jones
- Beatniks, Hippies, and Other Undesirables
- Dilton Doily
- Reggie Mantle
- andldquo;Are You Familiar With Shakespeare, My Young Ignoramus?andrdquo;
- andldquo;I Never Squeaked a Pip, Either!andrdquo;
- Jugheadandrsquo;s Hat
- Fantastic Elements
- Archieandrsquo;s Joke Book
- Often Imitated, Never Duplicated
- The Historical Archie
- Mutually Assured Destruction
- Betty = Veronica
- Head Over Heels
- Mr. Weatherbee
- Caveman Archie
- Life With Archie
- What is the Zip Code for Riverdale?
- Cover Art
- Fairy Godmothers
- Dan DeCarloandrsquo;s Foreground Portraits
- Archie as an Adventure Comic
- Text Pieces
- Previously on Archie
- Notes for the Norton Anthology
- Archie : Arch : Archiekins
- Eep! Omigosh! And Other Unusual Contributions to the Language of Comics
- Archieandrsquo;s Black Book
- Laugh and Pep: The Residual Titles
- Pureheart the Powerful
- You Can Take the Boy Out of Riverdale . . .
- Archie Club News
- Veronicaandrsquo;s Mother
- Mr. Lodge
- Bettyandrsquo;s Parents
- Liandrsquo;l Jinx
- Archieandrsquo;s Gender Politics
- Should Archie Marry Betty or Veronica?
- Big Ethel
- The Mayor of Riverdale
- Worst. Archie. Story. Ever.
- Archie the Klutz
- Celebrity Culture
- Jugheadandrsquo;s Dipsy Doodles
- Imitation is the Lowest Form of Flattery
- Surf and Ski
- Samm Schwartzandrsquo;s Art
- Self-Referential Meta-Fictions
- Riverdale High
- Who Cut Veronicaandrsquo;s Hair?
- Little Archie
- Juvenile Delinquency
- The Archies
- Pop Tateandrsquo;s Choklit Shoppe
- Unusual Panels
- The Archie Archive
- Fads and Fashions
- Borderless Panels
- A Comic About Nothing
- Fred (and Mary) Andrews
- The Banjo in Archie Comics
- Wordless Stories, or Nearly So
- Hot Dog
- Dan DeCarloandrsquo;s Split Horizon Girl
- The (Nearly) Perfect Archie Story
- The Myth of Archie
- Archie and Me