In this Book

The Rise of the American Comics Artist
summary
Starting in the mid-1980s, a talented set of comics artists changed the American comic-book industry forever by introducing adult sensibilities and aesthetic considerations into popular genres such as superhero comics and the newspaper strip. Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (1986) and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's Watchmen (1987) revolutionized the former genre in particular. During this same period, underground and alternative genres began to garner critical acclaim and media attention beyond comics-specific outlets, as best represented by Art Spiegelman's Maus Publishers began to collect, bind, and market comics as "graphic novels," and these appeared in mainstream bookstores and in magazine reviews.The Rise of the American Comics Artist: Creators and Contexts brings together new scholarship surveying the production, distribution and reception of American comics from this pivotal decade to the present. The collection specifically explores the figure of the comics creator--either as writer, as artist, or as writer and artist--in contemporary U.S. comics, using creators as focal points to evaluate changes to the industry, its aesthetics, and its critical reception. The book also includes essays on landmark creators such as Joe Sacco, Art Spiegelman, and Chris Ware, as well as insightful interviews with Jeff Smith, Jim Woodring and Scott McCloud As comics have reached new audiences, through different material and electronic forms, the public's broad perception of what comics are has changed. The Rise of the American Comics Artist surveys the ways in which the figure of the creator has been at the heart of these evolutions

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. -
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-
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  1. Introduction: In the Year 3794
  2. pp. xi-xxvi
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  1. I: Marketing Creators
  2. pp. 3-56
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  1. 1. How the Graphic Novel Changed American Comics
  2. pp. 3-13
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  1. 2. “Is this a book?” DC Vertigo and the Redefinition of Comics in the 1990s
  2. pp. 14-30
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  1. 3. Signals from Airstrip One: The British Invasion of Mainstream American Comics
  2. pp. 31-45
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  1. Interview: Jeff Smith
  2. pp. 46-56
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  1. II: Demo-Graphics: Comics and Politics
  2. pp. 57-89
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  1. 4. State of the Nation and the Freedom Fighters Arc
  2. pp. 57-67
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  1. 5. Critique, Caricature, and Compulsion in Joe Sacco’s Comics Journalism
  2. pp. 68-89
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  1. III: Artists or Employees?
  2. pp. 90-134
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  1. 6. Too Much Commerce Man? Shannon Wheeler and the Ironies of the “Rebel Cell”
  2. pp. 90-134
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  1. 7. Comics Against Themselves: Chris Ware’s Graphic Narratives as Literature
  2. pp. 103-123
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  1. Interview: Jim Woodring
  2. pp. 124-134
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  1. IV: Creative Difference: Comics Creators and Identity Politics
  2. pp. 135-164
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  1. 8. Questions of “Contemporary Women’s Comics”
  2. pp. 135-149
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  1. 9. Theorizing Sexuality in Comics
  2. pp. 150-163
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  1. 10. Feminine Latin/o American Identities on the American Alternative Landscape: From the Women of Love and Rockets to La Perdida
  2. pp. 164-177
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  1. V: Authorizing Comics: How Creators Frame the Reception of Comic Texts
  2. pp. 177-203
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  1. 11. Making Comics Respectable: How Maus Helped Redefine a Medium
  2. pp. 179-193
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  1. 12. “A Purely American Tale”: The Tragedy of Racism and Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth as Great American Novel
  2. pp. 194-209
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  1. 13. “That Mouse’s Shadow”: The Canonization of Spiegelman’s Maus
  2. pp. 210-234
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  1. Interview: Scott McCloud
  2. pp. 235-242
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 243-246
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 247- 253
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