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Beringer, Alex. Lost Literacies: Experiments in the nineteenth-century us comic strip. Studies in Comics and Cartoons. Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Press, 2024. 
Added by: joachim (11/8/23, 10:34 AM)   
Resource type: Book
Language: en: English
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 978-0-8142-1539-5
BibTeX citation key: Beringer2024
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Categories: General
Keywords: Early forms of comics, USA
Creators: Beringer
Publisher: Ohio State Univ. Press (Columbus)
Views: 40/526
Lost Literacies is the first full-length study of US comic strips from the period prior to the rise of Sunday newspaper comics. Where current histories assume that nineteenth-century US comics consisted solely of single-panel political cartoons or simple “proto-comics,” Lost Literacies introduces readers to an ambitious group of artists and editors who were intent on experimenting with the storytelling possibilities of the sequential strip, resulting in playful comics whose existence upends prevailing narratives about the evolution of comic strips.
Over the course of the nineteenth century, figures such as artist Frank Bellew and editor T. W. Strong introduced sequential comic strips into humor magazines and precursors to graphic novels known as “graphic albums.” These early works reached audiences in the tens of thousands. Their influences ranged from Walt Whitman’s poetry to Mark Twain’s travel writings to the bawdy stage comedies of the Bowery Theatre. Most importantly, they featured new approaches to graphic storytelling that went far beyond the speech bubbles and panel grids familiar to us today. As readers of Lost Literacies will see, these little-known early US comic strips rival even the most innovative modern comics for their diversity and ambition.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: Transatlantic Picture Stories
Chapter 1: “Giotto’s Magic Circle”: Breakthroughs in Sequential Comics
Chapter 2: Everyday Adventures: Character Studies and Skits
Chapter 3: Drawn from the Stage: Theater Comics
Chapter 4: Impressions of Places: Augustus Hoppin and Travel Comics
Epilogue: After the First Wave of US Comic Strips


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