1st Edition

The Secret Origins of Comics Studies

Edited By Matthew Smith, Randy Duncan Copyright 2017
    328 Pages
    by Routledge

    328 Pages
    by Routledge

    In The Secret Origins of Comics Studies, today’s leading comics scholars turn back a page to reveal the founding figures dedicated to understanding comics art. Edited by comics scholars Matthew J. Smith and Randy Duncan, this collection provides an in-depth study of the individuals and institutions that have created and shaped the field of Comics Studies over the past 75 years. From Coulton Waugh to Wolfgang Fuchs, these influential historians, educators, and theorists produced the foundational work and built the institutions that inspired the recent surge in scholarly work in this dynamic, interdisciplinary field. Sometimes scorned, often underappreciated, these visionaries established a path followed by subsequent generations of scholars in literary studies, communication, art history, the social sciences, and more. Giving not only credit where credit is due, this volume both offers an authoritative account of the history of Comics Studies and also helps move the field forward by being a valuable resource for creating graduate student reading lists and the first stop for anyone writing a comics-related literature review.

    Foreword by Charles Hatfield

    Preface by Matthew J. Smith and Randy Duncan

    Chapter 1- Educating with Comics by Carol L. Tilley

    Chapter 2 - Educating about Comics by Robert G. Weiner

    Chapter 3 - The Historians of Creators by Brad Ricca

    Chapter 4 - The Historians of the Comics Industry by Julie Davis and Robert Westerfelhaus

    Chapter 5 - The Historians of the Art Form by Ian Horton

    Chapter 6 - The Librarians and Archivists by Jenny Robb

    Chapter 7 - Literary Theory/Narrative Theory by Barbara Postema

    Chapter 8 - Semiotics and Linguistics by Gert Meesters

    Chapter 9 - Myths, Archetype, and Religion by Beth Davies-Stofka and David McConehy

    Chapter 10 - Ideological/Sociological by Ian Gordon

    Chapter 11 - Formalist Theory: The Cartoonists by Henry Jenkins

    Chapter 12 - Formalist Theory: Academics by Ann Miller

    Chapter 13 - Psychology/Psychiarty by Travis Langley

    Chapter 14 - Gender Studies and Queer Studies by Kane Anderson

    Chapter 15 - Manga Studies, A History by Nicholas A. Theisen

    Chapter 16 - The Organizations by Jeremy Larance

    Chapter 17 - The Galleries by Kim Munson

    Chapter 18 - The Conferences by Julia Round and Chris Murray

    Chapter 19 - The Journals by Alec R. Hosterman

    Chapter 20 - The Presses by Joseph Michael Sommers

    Featuring additional sidebars from José Alaniz, Jacqueline Berndt, Christina Blanch, Ian Hague, A. David Lewis, and William Proctor along with 'Pioneer Perspectives' from trailblazing scholars James "Bucky" Carter, Peter M. Coogan, Maurice Horn, M. Thomas Inge, David Kunzle, Pascal Lefèvre, John Lent, and Waldomiro Vergueiro.


    Matthew J. Smith is Professor and Director in the School of Communication at Radford University in Virginia. Along with Randy Duncan, he is co-editor of Routledge’s Advances in Comics Studies series. Previously, the two writing partners teamed with former DC Comics President and Publisher Paul Levitz to produce The Power of Comics: History, Form, and Culture (2nd Edition).

    Randy Duncan is Professor of Communication and Director of the Comics Studies Minor at Henderson State University. He is co-editor, with Matthew J. Smith, of the Eisner-nominated Critical Approaches to Comics: Theories and Methods. He is a co-founder, with Peter M. Coogan, of the Comics Arts Conference and received the Inkpot Award for contributions to Comics Studies.

    "This landmark book makes a compelling and coherent narrative out of the complex and multi-threaded history - and pre-history - of comics studies. Its existence and publication is a powerful testament to just how far comics studies have now progressed." –Richard Reynolds, University of the Arts, London

    "The emergence of comics studies as a full-blown academic discipline constitutes one of the most exciting and important developments in the contemporary humanities. This valuable book explores the circumstances that made our present moment possible while paying a generous and necessary tribute to many early pioneers of the field." –Ben Saunders, University of Oregon