Kan, Katharine (Hg.): Graphic Novels and Comic Books. (Reference Shelf, 82.5.) New York: H.W. Wilson, 2010. (195 S.)
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ID no. (ISBN etc.): 978-0-8242-1100-4
BibTeX citation key: Kan2010
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Keywords: Collection of essays, Didactics, Interview, Library
Publisher: H.W. Wilson (New York)
The articles collected in this volume of The Reference Shelf provide an overview of this wildly diverse, increasingly popular, and widely accepted form of literature. The writers range from comics industry insiders and scholars to newbie reporters suspicious of the form. Selections in the first chapter, “Up, Up, and Away: The Rise of Graphic Novels,” touch on the history of comics and chart the format’s rise in popularity in libraries, classrooms, and elsewhere. Just as Scott McCloud employed the format itself in his acclaimed book Understanding Comics, two of the included articles utilize comics to convey information to the reader.
The second chapter, “Out of the ‘Comics Ghetto’: Graphic Novels as Serious Literature,” includes articles that describe the increasing acceptance of graphic novels as literature. Many entries cite Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus and Alan Moore’s deconstruction of the superhero genre, Watchmen, as groundbreaking graphic novels that tackle serious subjects and go well beyond the biff-bang-pow action most often associated with comics.
Educators at all levels are realizing the potential of graphic novels to enhance the reading skills of their students. Pieces in the third chapter, “Comics in the Classroom: Using Graphic Novels to Improve Literacy,” explore this phenomenon.
Librarians have played a large role in legitimizing comics, and selections in the fourth chapter, “Graphica in the Stacks: The Role of Librarians,” examine how they’ve done so, both in school and public libraries. In addition to acting as gatekeepers and selecting the material that makes it to the shelves, librarians can actively promote graphic novels by creating book clubs and hosting informational meetings.
The fifth and final chapter, “The People Behind the Pencils: Conversations with Artists,” features interviews with renowned comic creators Art Spiegelman, Lynda Barry, Marjane Satrapi, Howard Cruse, Alison Bechdel, Daniel Clowes, and Gene Luen Yang. The artists discuss their work habits and inspirations, revealing how they use words and pictures to express their unique views of the world.
The pieces in this book range from newspaper articles and scholarly essays to on-line journal and blog entries. Together, they explain how and why graphic novels have gained such a prominent place in libraries and schools—both as popular reading materials and vital additions to educational curricula. While some prose purists continue to question the validity of graphic novels, the articles in this book offer proof of the form’s literary merits.
Table of Contents
I. Up, Up, and Away: The Rise of Graphic Novels
Editor’s Introduction (3)
1. The Graphic Novel Silver Anniversary. Andrew D. Arnold. Time. (5)
2. What Is a “Graphic Novel”? Jessica Abel. Artbomb.net. (8)
3. Drawing Power. Bob Thompson. The Washington Post. (10)
4. Raw Beginnings. Jonathan Bennett. The Washington Post. (24)
5. Hot Off the Presses. Jonathan Bennett. The Washington Post. (25)
6. Picture the Possibilities. Jonathan Bennett. The Washington Post. (26)
7. Notes from the Underground. Walter Ryce. Monterey County Weekly. (27)
8. Graphic Novels Are New Horizon for Top Authors. George Gene Gustines. The New York Times. (34)
9. A Comic-Book World. Stephen E. Tabachnick. World Literature Today. (36)
II. Out of the “Comics Ghetto”: Graphic Novels as Serious Literature
Editor’s Introduction (45)
1. Graphic Novels Are Legit Lit. Micah Mertes. Lincoln Journal Star.
2. Comics No Longer a Joke in Academia. Lisa Cornwell. The Associated Press.
3. From Pulp to Pulitzer. Fritz Lanham. Houston Chronicle.
4. The Plot Thickens . . . Linda Lou. San Diego Union-Tribune.
5. Once-Avoided Comics Welcomed in Schools. Chris Mautner.
The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.).
6. The Big Battle. Peter Rowe. San Diego Union-Tribune.
III. Comics in the Classroom: Using Graphic Novels to Improve Literacy
1. Comics in the Classroom. Laura Hudson. Publishers Weekly.
2. Going Graphic. James Bucky Carter. Educational Leadership.
3. Using Comics and Graphic Novels in the Classroom. The Council Chronicle.
4. “The Best of Both Worlds.” Sean P. Connors. The ALAN Review.
5. Expanding Literacies through Graphic Novels. Gretchen Schwarz.
IV. Graphica in the Stacks: The Role of Librarians
1. Graphic Novels for (Really) Young Readers. Allyson A. W. Lyga.
School Library Journal.
2. Graphic Novels in Today’s Libraries. John Hogan. Graphic Novel Reporter.
3. Reinventing the Book Club. Jonathan Seyfried. Knowledge Quest.
4. Graphic Novels and School Librarie4. s. Hollis Margaret Rudiger
and Megan Schliesman. Knowledge Quest.
V. The People Behind the Pencils: Conversations with Artists
1. A Comics Legend Draws on 9/11. Dan DeLuca. Philadelphia Inquirer.
2. Being Lynda Barry. By Christopher Borrelli. Chicago Tribune.
3. ‘Scam’ Artist. Robert L. Pincus. San Diego Union-Tribune.
4. Life Drawing. Margot Harrison. Seven Days (Burlington, Vt.).
5. Never Mind the Mullahs. Vivienne Walt. Mother Jones.
6. Cartoon Politics. Michael Scott Leonard. The Berkshire Eagle (Mass.).
7. CR Sunday Interview. Tom Spurgeon. The Comics Reporter.
Additional Periodical Articles with Abstracts
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