1st Edition

Graphic Justice Intersections of Comics and Law

Edited By Thomas Giddens Copyright 2015
    286 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The intersections of law and contemporary culture are vital for comprehending the meaning and significance of law in today’s world. Far from being unsophisticated mass entertainment, comics and graphic fiction both imbue our contemporary culture, and are themselves imbued, with the concerns of law and justice. Accordingly, and spanning a wide variety of approaches and topics from an international array of contributors, Graphic Justice draws comics and graphic fiction into the range of critical resources available to the academic study of law. The first book to do this, Graphic Justice broadens our understanding of law and justice as part of our human world—a world that is inhabited not simply by legal concepts and institutions alone, but also by narratives, stories, fantasies, images, and other cultural articulations of human meaning. Engaging with key legal issues (including copyright, education, legal ethics, biomedical regulation, and legal personhood) and exploring critical issues in criminal justice and perspectives on international rights, law and justice—all through engagement with comics and graphic fiction—the collection showcases the vast breadth of potential that the medium holds. Graphic Justice will be of interest to academics and postgraduate students in: cultural legal studies; law and the image; law, narrative and literature; law and popular culture; cultural criminology; as well as cultural and comics studies more generally.


    Thomas Giddens

    1 Lex Comica: On Comics and Legal Theory

    Thomas Giddens

    Part 1: Introducing Comics and Law

    2 Holy Blurring of Core Copyright Principles, Batmobile!

    Kimberly Barker

    3 Devil’s Advocate: Representation in Heroic Fiction, Daredevil and the Law

    Graham Ferris and Cleo Lunt

    4 I am the Law Teacher!: An Experiential Approach using Judge Dredd to Teach Constitutional Law

    Richard Glancey

    5 Not Foresighting and Not Answering: Using Graphic Fiction to Interrogate Social and Regulatory Issues in Biomedicine

    Shawn HE Harmon

    6 Law and the Machine: Fluid and Mechanical Selfhood in The Ghost in the Shell

    Thomas Giddens

    Part 2: Graphic Criminology

    7 When (Super)heroes Kill: Vigilantism and Deathworthiness in Justice League, Red Team, and the Christopher Dorner Killing Spree

    Nickie D Phillips and Staci Strobl

    8 Extreme Restorative Justice: The Politics of Vigilantism in Vertigo’s 100 Bullets

    Angus Nurse

    9 Violent Lives, Ending Violently? Justice, Violence and Ideology in Watchmen

    James Petty

    10 Stepping off the Page: ‘British Batman’ as Legal Superhero

    Nic Groombridge

    Part 3: Graphic Justice International

    11 The Hero We Need, Not the One We Deserve: Vigilantism and the State of Exception in Batman Incorporated

    Chris Comerford

    12 Judge, Jury and Executioner: Judge Dredd, Drones, Jaques Derrida

    Chris Lloyd

    13 Crimes against (Super)Humanity: Graphic Forms of Justice and Governance

    Chris Boge

    14 Graphic Reporting: Human Rights Violations through the Lens of Graphic Novels

    Jérémie Gilbert and David Keane


    Thomas Giddens is Lecturer in Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Law and Culture at St Mary’s University. He researches in cultural legal studies, focusing on the use of comics and graphic fiction in legal studies, as well as criminal justice and legal philosophy.

    "In the words of the editorial team, the book brings comics and graphic fiction ‘into the range of critical resources available to the academic study of law’ and is apparently the first book to do so. Almost undoubtedly, it is the first book to present such an amazingly wide spectrum of legal issues that emerge from -- or are influenced by -- graphic fiction. These include not just copyright, but legal ethics, education and social and regulatory issues -- for example, in biomedicine -- as well as such areas as human rights abuses and much more." - Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers