Comics Studies Monograph Series

Gary Hoppenstand

Published by: RIT Press

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Comics Studies Monograph Series

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The Dark Night Returns

The Contemporary Resurgence of Crime Comics

By Terrence Wandtke

Crime comic books in the 1950s caused controversy leading to their suppression and near extinction. Twenty-five years later, the dark hero, femme fatale, and bleak outlook of crime story comic books are even more striking and subversive. Terrence Wandtke traces the history of crime comics from their beginnings to the current resurgence and analyzes the cultural forces that give rise to influential works like Frank Miller’s Sin City, Brian Azzarello’s 100 Bullets, and Ed Brubaker’s Criminal.

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Narrative Structure in Comics

Making Sense of Fragments

by Barbara Postema

In Narrative Structure in Comics: Making Sense of Fragments, Barbara Postema seeks to explain how comics communicate and create meaning, with an emphasis on two aspects of comics. She first examines the pictorial quality of comics, which receives more emphasis than verbal/textual elements. Her second focus is upon the storytelling and narrative qualities of comics, as well as the literary explorations they provide. The “narrative structure” refers to the potential of images, the story telling capacities of panels, and the sequence of panels, in addition to the more traditional narratological concepts. Overall, the author presents a credible rationale for the way in which comics structure their narratives. At every level of communication, comics rely on gaps or absences to create meaning and guide the reader to a meaningful experience. RIT Press is pleased to announce Narrative Structure in Comics: Making Sense of Fragments as the first book published in its Comics Monograph Series. Take a detailed look at the narrative qualities of beloved comics in ways that will educate and excite the reader.

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Superheroes in Crisis

Adjusting to Social Change in the 1960s and 1970s

by Jeffrey K. Johnson

As the founding fathers of the superhero comic books, Superman and Batman have defined a genre of American mythology from the mid-twentieth century to the present. The author describes how the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight dealt with their midlife crises brought on by the cultural and social changes of the 1960s and 1970s. Johnson describes how the superheroes’ problems and adaptations mirror much of American societal changes during that time. RIT Press is pleased to announce Superheroes in Crisis as the second book published in its Comics Studies Monograph Series. The series editor is Dr. Gary Hoppenstand, Professor of English at Michigan State University.

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