Representing Multiculturalism in Comics and Graphic Novels: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Representing Multiculturalism in Comics and Graphic Novels

1st Edition

Edited by Carolene Ayaka, Ian Hague


270 pages | 24 B/W Illus.

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Multiculturalism, and its representation, has long presented challenges for the medium of comics. This book presents a wide ranging survey of the ways in which comics have dealt with the diversity of creators and characters and the (lack of) visibility for characters who don’t conform to particular cultural stereotypes. Contributors engage with ethnicity and other cultural forms from Israel, Romania, North America, South Africa, Germany, Spain, U.S. Latino and Canada and consider the ways in which comics are able to represent multiculturalism through a focus on the formal elements of the medium. Discussion themes include education, countercultures, monstrosity, the quotidian, the notion of the ‘other," anthropomorphism, and colonialism. Taking a truly international perspective, the book brings into dialogue a broad range of comics traditions.

Table of Contents

Introduction Carolene Ayaka and Ian Hague Part 1: Histories and Contexts 1. Multiculturalism Meets the Counterculture: Representing Racial Difference in Robert Crumb’s Underground Comix Corey K. Creekmur 2. The Impact of Latino Identities and the Humanizing of Multiculturalism in Love and Rockets Ana Merino 3. The Presidential Penis: Questions of Race and Representation in South African Comic and Satirical Art Andy Mason Part 2: Depicting Difference 4. Recognition and Resemblance: Facture, Imagination and Ideology in Depictions of Cultural and National Difference Simon Grennan 5. ‘Badgers? We don’t need no steenkin’ badgers!’ Talbot’s Grandville, Anthropomorphism and Multiculturalism Mel Gibson 6.The Image of the Foreigner in Historical Romanian Comics under Ceauşescu’s Dictatorship Mihaela Precup Part 3: Monstrosity and Otherness 7. The Monster Within and Without: Spanish Comics, Monstrosity, Religion, and Alterity Sarah D. Harris 8.Colonialist Heroes and Monstrous Others: Stereotype and Narrative Form in British Adventure Comic Books Ian Horton 9. Set Pieces: Cultural Appropriation and the Search for Contemporary Identities in Shōnen Manga Jacob Birken Part 4: Challenging Assumptions 10. Narrative Exploration against Mentality Issues: Indirect Education for Multiculturalism in Tintin Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru 11. Embracing Childish Perspective: Rutu Modan's A Royal Banquet With the Queen Lily Glasner Part 5: Case Studies 12.An Innocent at Home: Scott Pilgrim and His Canadian Multicultural Contexts Brenna Clarke Gray and Peter Wilkins 13.The Lower East Side as Mishmash of Jewish Women’s Multicultural Images in Leela Corman’s Unterzakhn Dana Mihăilescu 14. They All Look Alike? Representations of East Asian Americans in Adrian Tomine’s Shortcomings and Scenes from an Impending Marriage Emma Oki 15. Tulips and Roses in a Global Garden: Speaking Local Identities in Persepolis and Tekkon Kinkreet Alex Link

About the Editors

Carolene Ayaka has a doctorate in social policy from the University of Chichester. She did her MA in Gender studies and diversity at the University of Bradford. Her main area of interest is identity; how it is theorised and presented as well as its negotiations and diverseness (thus far having mainly focused on African female identity). Her interest in comics stems from her enjoyment of exploring how they are used to represent and translate people’s everyday lives and imagined lives.

Ian Hague is the director of Comics Forum (, an academic organization that promotes the study of comics and related forms. He is the author of Comics and the Senses: A Multisensory Approach to Comics and Graphic Novels (Routledge 2014) as well as various articles and reviews, and he holds a PhD from the University of Chichester. He can be found online at and on [email protected]

About the Series

Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies

Cultural and media studies are now well-established as important academic disciplines and are inspiring new research into a wide range of pertinent issues. This series presents outstanding research in these subjects, helping to shape the direction of future inquiry.


To submit a proposal for this series, please contact:
Suzanne Richardson, Commissioning Editor for Media, Cultural and Communication Studies
[email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comics & Graphic Novels
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies