1st Edition

Teaching Comics Through Multiple Lenses Critical Perspectives

Edited By Crag Hill Copyright 2017
    186 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    186 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Building off the argument that comics succeed as literature—rich, complex narratives filled with compelling characters interrogating the thought-provoking issues of our time—this book argues that comics are an expressive medium whose moves (structural and aesthetic) may be shared by literature, the visual arts, and film, but beyond this are a unique art form possessing qualities these other mediums do not. Drawing from a range of current comics scholarship demonstrating this point, this book explores the unique intelligence/s of comics and how they expand the ways readers engage with the world in ways different than prose, or film, or other visual arts. Written by teachers and scholars of comics for instructors, this book bridges research and pedagogy, providing instructors with models of critical readings around a variety of comics.



    1. Introduction: The Growing Relevance of Comics

    Crag Hill

    Section 1: Materiality and the Reading of Comics

    2. Designing Meaning: A Multimodal Perspective on Comics Reading

    Sean P. Connors

    3. Multimodal Forms: Examining Text, Image, and Visual Literacy in Daniel Handler’s Why We Broke Up and Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief

    Amy Bright

    Section 2: Comics and Bodies

    4. Illustrating Youth: A Critical Examination of the Artful Depictions of

    Adolescent Characters in Comics

    Mark A. Lewis

    5. Just Like Us? LGBTQ Characters in Mainstream Comics

    A. Scott Henderson

    Section 3: Comics and the Mind

    6. Telling the Untellable: Comics and Language of Mental Illness

    Sarah Thaller

     7. Christian Forgiveness in Gene Luen Yang’s Animal Crackers and Eternal Smile: A Thematic Analysis

    Jake Stratman

    Section 4: Comics and Contemporary Society

    8. Poverty Lines: Visual Depictions of Poverty and Social Class Realities in Comics

    Fred Johnson, Whitworth University, and Janine J. Darragh, University of Idaho

    9. Can Superhero Comics Defeat Racism?: Black Superheroes "Torn between Sci-Fi Fantasy and Cultural Reality"

    P.L. Thomas

    10. Teaching Native American Comics with Post-Colonial Theory

    Lisa Schade Eckert

    Section 5: Endpoints

    11. Crag Hill

    List of Contributors

    Additional resources were compiled by Shaina Thomas.


    Crag Allen Hill is Assistant Professor of English Education at Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, University of Oklahoma, USA.

    "For a relatively compact book, Teaching Comics covers substantial ground... Teaching Comics usefully illustrates the importance of comics as a medium and area of study on its own, apart from other media. Though this does not come across as a campaign for legitimacy, it is clear that these scholars have a vested interested in growth and development of this area."
    — Jacinta Yanders, Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

    "This edited volume provides teachers with a series of theoretical approaches applied to a variety of comics to help them in their own practice. It touches on an impressive breadth of graphic texts and theories. meant to open up new ways of thinking about using comics in the classroom. "

    John D. Benjamin, Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies, UTP Journals