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.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: The Growing Relevance of Comics
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
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
7. Christian Forgiveness in Gene Luen Yang’s Animal Crackers and Eternal Smile: A Thematic Analysis
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"
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