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Brown, Jeffrey A. Super Bodies: Comic book illustration, artistic styles, and narrative impact. World Comics and Graphic Nonfiction. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 2023. 
Added by: joachim (9/10/23, 2:58 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (9/10/23, 4:14 PM)
Resource type: Book
Language: en: English
DOI: 10.7560/327364
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 9781477327364
BibTeX citation key: Brown2023
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Categories: General
Keywords: Body, Narratology, Style, Superhero, USA
Creators: Brown
Publisher: Univ. of Texas Press (Austin)
Views: 55/357
Attachments   Table of Contents [2/20]
For many, the idea of comic book art implies simplistic four-color renderings of stiff characters slugging it out. In fact, modern superhero comic books showcase a range of complex artistic styles, with diverse connotations. Leading comics scholar Jeffrey A. Brown assesses six distinct approaches to superhero illustration—idealism, realism, cute, retro, grotesque, and noir—examining how each visually represents the superhero as a symbolic construct freighted with meaning.
Whereas comic book studies tend to focus on text and narrative, Super Bodies gives overdue credit to the artwork, which is not only a principal source of the appeal of comic books but also central to the values these works embody. Brown argues that superheroes are to be taken not as representations of people but as iconic types, and the art conveys this. Even the most realistic comic illustrations are designed to suggest not persons but ideas—ideas about bodies and societies. Thus the appearance of superheroes both directly and indirectly influences the story being told as well as the opinions readers form concerning justice, authority, gender, puberty, sexuality, ethnicity, violence, and other concepts central to political and cultural life.
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