1st Edition

Contexts of Violence in Comics

Edited By Ian Hague, Ian Horton, Nina Mickwitz Copyright 2019
    220 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    220 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is part of a nuanced two-volume examination of the ways in which violence in comics is presented in different texts, genres, cultures and contexts.

    Contexts of Violence in Comics asks the reader to consider the ways in which violence and its representations may be enabled or restricted by the contexts in which they take place. It analyzes how structures and organising principles, be they cultural, historical, legal, political or spatial, might encourage, demand or prevent violence. It deals with the issue of scale: violence in the context of war versus violence in the context of an individual murder, and provides insights into the context of war and peace, ethnic and identity-based violence, as well as examining issues of justice and memory.

    This will be a key text and essential reference for scholars and students at all levels in Comics Studies, and Cultural and Media Studies more generally.

    Contexts of Violence in Comics

    Ian Hague, Ian Horton & Nina Mickwitz

    History and Memory

    Doing justice to the past through the representation of violence: Three and ancient Sparta
    Lynn Fotheringham

    Comics do not forget: Historical memory and experiences of violence in the Spanish Civil War and early Francoism
    Enrique del Rey Cabero

    Legacies of War: Remembering Prisoner of War Experiences in French Comic Books about the Second World War
    Claire Gorrara

    "I think we’re maybe more or less safe here": Violence and Solidarity
    during the Lebanese Civil War in Zeina Abirached’s A Game for Swallows
    Mihaela Precup

    War and Peace

    In a Growing Violent Temper: The Swedish Comic Market during World War II
    Michael F. Scholz

    Will Eisner and the Art of War: Educational Comics in the American
    Defence Industry
    Malin Bergström

    Urban Conflict

    Bringing the War Back Home: Reflecting Violence in Brian Wood’s DMZ
    Jörn Ahrens

    Infrastructural Violence: Urbicide, Public Space, and Postwar Reconstruction
    in Recent Lebanese Graphic Memoirs
    Dominic Davies

    Law, Justice and Censorship

    The Lives of Others: Figuring Grievability and Justice in Contemporary
    Comics and Graphic Novels
    Golnar Nabizadeh

    Scales of Violence, Scales of Justice, and Nate Powell’s Any Empire
    Alex Link

    Oink: The Story of a Dangerously Funny Comic
    David Huxley


    Ian Hague is the third year Contextual and Theoretical Studies Coordinator in the Design School at London College of Communication, UAL. His research takes a materially oriented approach to comics and graphic novels, with a particular focus on the ways in which comics’ material forms affect the experiences of their readers. His first monograph, Comics and the Senses: A Multisensory Approach to Comics and Graphic Novels, was published by Routledge in 2014, and he is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on subjects such as materiality, adaptation and media forms. Ian co-edited Representing Multiculturalism in Comics and Graphic Novels (Routledge 2015), and was the founder of the Comics Forum conference series, which has run since 2009 (online since 2011). He is also a peer reviewer for various publishers and journals. Ian’s current research looks at digital comics as they relate to materiality, economics, histories and geographies. He is a founder member of the Comics Research Hub (CoRH) at the University of the Arts London. 

    Ian Horton is Reader in Graphic Communication at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. His present research is focused in three related areas: comic books, graphic design and illustration. His book Hard Werken: One for All (Graphic Art & Design 1979-1994) (co-authored with Bettina Furnee) is the first academic study of this influential avant-garde Dutch graphic design studio and was published by Valiz in 2018. Within the field of Comics Studies he has published work on: national identity in European and British comic books; the relationship between art history and comics; public relations and comic books. In 2014, along with Lydia Wysocki (founder of Applied Comics Etc) and John Swogger  (archeological illustrator and comic book artist), he founded the Applied Comics Network. He is a founder member of the Comics Research Hub (CoRH) at the University of the Arts London and is associate editor of the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. 

    Nina Mickwitz is one of the founder members of the Comics Research Hub (CoRH) at University of the Arts London and the author of Documentary Comics: Graphic Truth-telling in a Skeptical Time (Palgrave Macmillan 2015). Situated in the intersection of comics and mobilities, current research includes comics that deal with refugee narratives, migration and displacement. Another area of interest concerns the local/global dynamic of contemporary comics cultures, and the interactions and transactional networks between smaller, ‘peripheral’ cultures of production.

    'This book brings new and wide-ranging perspectives from outstanding scholars to an area of comics that critical discourse has tended to shy away from: violence, whether flamboyantly exaggerated, or painfully recovered and made visible.' -Ann Miller, University Fellow, University of Leicester, UK