Mellette, Justin: "Serialization and Empire in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman." In: Studies in the Novel 47.3 (2015), S. 319–334.
Added by: joachim (4/23/16, 8:55 AM)
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Mellette2015
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Keywords: "The Sandman", Didactics, Gaiman. Neil, Seriality, United Kingdom, USA
Collection: Studies in the Novel
While comics at large continue to achieve legitimacy in academia, both in terms of the number of scholarly publications in contemporary literature journals as well as the breadth and variety of courses taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, comics studies and pedagogy remains decidedly skewed toward privileging single volume works rather than comics that originally appeared in a serialized format. In addition to biases against their mainstream status, more akin to “low culture” than, say, a critically and publically celebrated graphic memoir à la Bechdel’s Fun Home or Spiegelman’s Maus, monthly comics are commonly excluded in the classroom for thematic and structural reasons. Teachers commonly associate ongoing serialization with a loose, sprawling structure, akin more to a television drama than a single volume work of literature. This view ultimately marginalizes authors’ thematic concerns—Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, which clocks in at seventy-five issues, focuses on a cluster of related themes, explored in vastly more depth and intricacy than could have been achieved in a single volume work. While limitations on class time often precludes teaching comics series that run for dozens or hundreds of issues, comics scholars should make a more concerted effort to incorporate such works into the classroom, bringing to light important concerns regarding narrative structure and marketplace concerns that are less readily visible in single volume works. Using Sandman as a case study, I will argue for the pedagogical benefits of incorporating mainstream comics into the classroom, emphasizing that by studying such works, we can gain a richer and fuller understanding of the narrative and thematic possibilities of comics.
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