>>78741313 I would limit the number of superhero comics, some people might react against them. I would focus as much on the panel layout and the way that things are conveyed visually as the writing. I would do a comparative section on American, Franco-Belgian and Japanese comics. I would make everyone read Understanding Comics before anything else because I am a lazy teacher.
City of Glass by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli Contract With God by Eisner Human Diastrophism by Gilbert Hernandez Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell Jim by Jim Woodring American Splendor by Harvey Pekar et all
And Maus, cause every class about comics uses Maus
I actually took one in college. Started with the Bayeux Tapestry and hieroglyphics. Went on through the years, did French, Belgian, and Japanese comics as well as superhero stuff. I did my big paper on Akira.
>>78741313 >>78741581 Maus Persepolis one of the Tintin stories and/or somthing by Moebius Something by Alan Moore. Watchmen makes better use of the medium but V for Vendetta is shorter and more approachable. Most of his I can't see most of his other stuff being a good introduction for the uninitiated.
- Vagabond (manga, yes. Still a comic) which is a great adaptation of a novel - Les Cités Obscures as an example of using comics as a literally medium (written by a novelist to top). Keraskoet is also good. - The Eternaut / El Eternauta for politics in fiction (and science fiction in particular) - Cerebus the Aardvark for exploring the limits of the medium (there's many of these kind and some better than Cerebus, but none as iconic nor can I can remember) - Tintin or any of the European classic as an example of adventure comics - Anything by Kirby-Lee or just Kirby. Ideally Captain America (pulp comics), Fantastic Four / Thor / Spider-Man (example of golden age superhero comics) or Kirby's New Gods - Something by Robert Crumb for being one of the pioneers of underground comix and one of the first to tell the CCA to fuck itself, and a general example of the 70s in comics. - l'Incal or anything in Heavy Metal / Metal Hürlant for epics, experimental topics and a general outlook of the 80s in comics - To continue with comics, Dork or any of the 90s Alternative Comics. You'll be hard pressed to find any good ones tho' - Watchmen as an example of a deconstruction of genre fiction - For something modern, try and use any of the modern indie graphic novels. There's three trends: The autobiographical ones like the one where that girl goes to a vacation camp and shit happens, the the modern alt comix like Prison Pit and Love & Rockets. Then you have more safe stuff like Underwater Welder and Asterios Polyp. There's a ton and many are great.
I don't know how sensible you gringos are but you should probably try and drop some risque stuff like Italian erotica (Serpieri and Manara come to mind)
He's done lots of shorter works which you could pick from, Black Jack might also be a good pick because its chapters almost never have overarching stories, so you can read only as much of a volume as you need.
>>78742647 what would you say are the literary qualities and common themes that jeff lemire explores? I was thinking maybe nature and nationalism in comics. jeff lemire uses heavy canadian stuff in his books
>>78742166 Your loss, man. >nobody on /co/ likes Mosiac but me ;_;
>>78742353 I wouldn't teach Prophet to a literature class. Its a nice "Whoa man what if the future looked like this and that," but it doesn't explore the societal/ethical consequences of any of it. Its just a fuckton of awesome sci-fi concepts and ice-cream art. Then again, I spontaneously dropped it halfway through so I don't know what happens later on. I really have to catch up, objects at the end of the month are closer than they appear.
>>78742745 i wasn't thinking prophet so much as king city or multiple warheads as a means of using artwork to explore narrative. all of his solo works tend to have minimal dialogue and really let the art tell the story
Morrison's Doom Patrol Born Again Barks' Ducks The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Charley's War Planetary Conan v1 (Dark Horse) Akira (Epic Comics colorized version) Julius Corentin Acquefacques, Prisoner of dreams
The only one I'm not sure of is Born Again. I just can't think of what to replace it with. I'm tempted to say Chandler Red Tide, but I dunno.
And don't listen to the faggots recommending Maus. It's the ultimate "PLEASE GIVE ME CRITICAL ACCLAIM" comic. Stick to shit that achieved something great without having to fall back on clichés and easy mode genre crutches like "holocaust drama".
>>78742517 >- To continue with comics, meant to say comix
There's a lot of other options you could consider. Early newspaper comic strips (you can go as far as using Punch the London Carivari and Puck as examples of comic pioneers), comix inspired 80s-90s parody and satire comics, educative / documental comics like Hip Hop Family Tree, Maus and meta stuff like Understanding Comics. Probably even more things I don't know about.
>>78742602 Well I don't know exactly what "1 book for every two weeks" entails. Posted assuming OP was making an essay / presentation on each.
>>78742623 Wich I could help you more with that. There's some absolutely fascinating stuff the Nips do, they have an attention to movement and detail that's almost unheard of in the west and have absolutely bizarre experimental works.
>>78742996 All the comix I've read can be described as that. Punk, sex and gross out humour where their kind of thing.
>>78743563 >>78742955 Akira is a great example of sci fi and Morrison's Doom Patrol is, on top of a great comic that plays around with themes and storytelling, a subtle parody/love letter of the 60s and 70s political movements.
Gonna Check out Charly's War. Tried to get Acquefaques but I couldn't find the series in english.
>>78743700 >>78743927 Well, it's meant to give the reader the basics in the format and form. It's true that the medium has evolved a ton, we should tell Scott to start thinking of making Understanding Comics 2.
>>78743870 I had a backlog with +300 items and great names, around 50 of them manga, in there but I lost it in a HDD crash. Only eastern thing I could read in depth were some horror artists of which Junji Ito consistently blew my mind.
>>78744846 From what I'm reading right now, he did speculation book on the future of comics in the 2000 called Reinventing Comics, but nothing really fancy.
I'd like to know what he has to say about a bunch of things. Comics that use nonstatic .gifs, comics that present themselves in takes like marvel's digital stuff, comics that evolve according and even depend on fandom input like Problem Sleuth and interactive content in comics like Homestuck and Prequel
As rage inducing as the stuff I mentioned can be to some people, regardless of the content itself, if you put it against the classic comic and webcomic formats they are downright revolutionary.
>>78741973 lol but a class on comic books as literature should at least have one book from DC and Marvel since they make up the vast majority of comic book sales, plus the most popular comics ARE capeshit
>>78746075 No, because while they ARE popular, they're far from the best. With capeshit, on the other hand, there are plenty of really great capeshit stories that are top-of-the-genre, not to mention the fact that Action Comics/Detective Comics are the reason that comics rose to popularity
not to mention the fact that a lot of literature classes do, in fact, incorporate HP and "Africans Playing Volleyball: the Book"
Sandman volume 8: (World's End) Daytripper Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid on Earth Batman and Robin (or something else to showcase Quietly's art) Some of the old crime comics/tales from the crypt stuff The Spirit (compare Will Eisner to Darwyn Cooke's 'reboot', MAYBE include the movie too) Enigma
>>78741544 Pretty much this with a few indy titles thrown in.
Going to teach comics, OP? Living the dream. I wanted to teach Watchmen when I taught high school English but my principal was an ignorant hick and I knew I couldn't argue the value of the comic to trump the blue dick.
>>78746075 Yes, it's an introductory class, and they're trying to explain basic theory by contrasting some beloved canon with stuff kids just filling credit requirements may have heard of before. Or just anyway, because college is a scam now.
>>78747350 >well known, and totally wrong about everything You just described the more popular capeshit comics and their manchild ideologies. Again, why WOULDN'T they put capeshit in a comics as literature class?
>>78747582 You have to establish some comics that are literature by comparing them to conventional literature first. Anything but the most meritorious capeshit could wait for semester 2, or be skipped. >>78747308 >it's if it's*
>>78747730 >tcj ugh also, this just means to me that comics aren't to be held to the standards of literature. What I want to do with this class is make people love comics while also looking at them in a critical manner. Saying a medium can't be looked at in a critical, academic manner because of the medium itself is reductive thinking
>>78741313 Watchmen, um, its Watchmen Blankets, best self examination Infinity Gauntlet, man deals with failing at Godhood We3, literature represented by pictures The Filth, subversive examination of society The Intimates, coming of age in a digital age
>>78747730 >>78748394 Comics are comics. Literature is literature. They are different mediums and each is to be held up to their own standards.
To think comics are reductive and can't be held to high standards or seen as art is laughable.
>>78746016 You need to read comics outside the US. Capes are but a fraction of the international market.
>>78747308 >>78748394 I don't know how much stuff like Watchmen and Dork would stand to absolute comic newbies. They'll possibility love something like l'Incal, Sloane, Cerebus or Tintin as long as they don't flip out over seeing a boob. Getting them to appreciate the genred with simplicity, fun and a little 2deep4u is your best bet.
Best thing to do would also explain some things about the CCA and how hard it fucked american comics in the ass.
>>78746016 That's only true in the US. Worldwide mangas and franco-belgian sell more and have no cape genre. If you're going to have 2 separate classes on DC and Marvel (for no other reason besides company war faggotry) then you should have a class about both Naruto and One Piece. Which is a waste of time.
>>78741313 I wouldn't bother. Pushing ones tastes on others never works, they'll just end up hating what you try to share. Especially if they're kids. If they're adults then ask if there's any interest in the topic before you even bother wasting your time on research. Else, stick to the bare bones.
>>78750565 It has distinct arcs that only lightly reference each other. To get the overarching story, you could probably read More Than Rubies, parts of The Doll's House, Brief Lives, The Kindly Ones and The Wake and get most of it. And maybe A Game of You for extra credit.
>>78751000 While many are resistant as fuck to discover anything in the context of school, I know one of the main reasons I like reading books was because I was forced to read and understand some material in school. In other words: no.
>>78742007 >>78742125 It could go both ways. I just finished a re-read of Ronin today, and it's got a lot of artistic merit, while not involving superheroes. If I were going to use a comic/GN as a reading piece in a lit class of any kind, that'd be in my top 5. Though TDKR is a good Miller choice as well, and could be used to posit external (as in "in our universe" as opposed to "in universe") character evolution. After all, it did shape the perception of Batman after the fact.
>>78751941 They are these days. There's political maneuvering to harness and stampede a witch hunt aiming to solve all their society's woes by stomping out lolicon, and other absurd censorship that will only kill the industry faster in the wake of smartphones finally making serious headway in Japan.
>>78752740 So were horror comics. So were romance comics. They'll "decide" to come after one thing at a time, until all you have left is Scott Pilgrim and really weird underground or online comics. All so a handful of old rich guys can get a political leg up, and the music industry can piss on all the cakes to sell their nasty twinkies more effectively.
>>78741575 Definitely throw in some franco-belgian comics. Asterix might be good to look at due to him being a cultural icon, but there was one comic story-timed on /co/ a while back about a kid bellhop living in belgium during the start of (I think) the Great War, that might be a good one to track down for your class as well.
As part of the curriculum you could gloss over some of the pros and cons of the huge overarching stories of most cape comics, as well as talk about how characters can change and evolve. Honestly, since you posted it in your opening post, I'd definitely say include some All Star Superman if you do choose to go for a cape book.
Take an anthropological approach, focusing on the works of people like Levi Strauss, maybe use Grant Morrison's Supergods to apply a mythological approach to superhero characters. Use V for Vendetta to talk about intertextual reference and ideology, and Watchmen for postmodernism and deconstructionist approach.
A Contract With God for historical significance Maus for historical significance American Splendor for documentary experiments Palestine by Joe Sacco for documentary comics Anything by Robert Crumb for older Comix culture Death Ray, Something Casual by Michael DeForge and MMO for newer comix culture First few Superman issues, first Shazam! issues for trial controversy and the general movement of the market, how ideas are made through market movement First Batman issues, a few episodes of the TV show and then The Dark Knight Human Torch, Namor and Fantastic Four (with Silver Surfer) Then Marvels and Kingdom Come to showcase continuity and the differences between DC as a wild growing tapestry and Marvel as a tight-knit collaboration effort Maybe have one lecture about Image (for their interesting business model) and the like, maybe Dark Horse and Mignola, but no required reading there
What are the merits of Y the last man aside from being a good story? For it to be required reading, it should have something exceptional or representational for a bigger movement in comics. It's really good, don't get me wrong, but I don't see how it would be illustrative for anything but itself being good.
>>78757280 Okay, I get it. But some of them like Pax Americana, Ultra comics and Flex Mentallo to some level do go into the structure of comic books. Though most of the metafiction can be applied to fiction in general.
One book for every two weeks is really restrictive, considering your average 20ish comic can be easily read in under half an hour. I'm assuming when you say book, you mean something more like 12 issues, right?
In that case, you could have a week dealing with multiple graphic novels, for example
Dark Knight Returns Marvels Superman Red Son (I'd prefer ASS but that's too many pages)
Maybe if you gave us a class breakdown, it would be easier, like
1) Introduction to comics - have them read a bunch of contemporary floppies
2) American superhero comics - Golden and Silver Age
3) American superhero comics - Bronze and Dark Age
4) American superhero comics - Modern
5) American indie comics I
6) American indie comics II
7) Franco-Belgian comics
8) Italian comics (some amazing stories here, sadly very little translated into English)
Just an example, but giving us your idea of the syllabus would help anons fill in the gaps much easier.
Also to everyone arguing against any discussion of superhero comics beyond a token mention - this is an American university. The only rational thing is to discuss comics from an American perspective. I myself am European, but I wouldn't expect an American university to dedicate more time to European comics than to American comics, and the majority of American comics have been superhero comics, although that's changing. Not to mention, anyone taking that class would likely think of capes when someone mentions comics, and would expect them to be discussed. Not to mention that the Big Two are responsible for multi-billion dollar franchises, which absolutely makes them pop-cultural hallmarks at this point. A class on sci-fi HAS to talk about Star Wars, regardless of whether it's good sci-fi or representative of the genre (it's not, really). This is an intro class, cut the kids some slack, you have to ease them in, can't give them the really weird shit from the jump.
>>78758002 I agree completely, that's why I said it's not representative of the genre. It's the Hero's Journey, just with aliens and spaceships instead of monsters and regular ships. I do think people would walk into that class expecting to talk about SW, regardless, for the reasons you mentioned.
He shouldn't bother with most capeshit, as most of it is just pure entertainment with little to no literary value, but I do think some chronological discussion is necessary (WWII-era comics, for example, were different in some very interesting ways, and often served as propaganda tools - "Slap a Jap" Supes), and there are some great books to be found in capeshit (Magneto Testament is one I consider to be under-appreciated, as it's a chilling depiction of the Holocaust through the eyes of a character we know from later in life, with zero superhero tropes).
>>78757973 If it's an 18 week class than you don't need that much superhero stuff, maybe three-four meetings would be enough.
I feel a lot of you guys have a history-approach to the subject. But OPs asking for comics as literature which differs a lot. Most of the genre-stuff would then not qualify (or at least lose the USP). Let's take Bone for instance. I love it beyond doubt and it is a great genre-masterwork of high fantasy mixed with the most basic cartoon characters. But it's not an example for a comic that can be seen as literature, although it certainly is a masterpiece and groundbreaking. But so was Neuromancer at its time and Asimovs works, still they're not the first thing that springs to mind when saying literature.
Take it from someone who actually studies graphic novels in academia:
1. Link it to other literary theories and don't just focus on capes. You have works like Mauss and Barefoot Gen you can easily link to trauma theory and holocaust lit.
2. If you want to do capeshit, do it academically. Considering the language in comics. Take a look at the theories of Scott McCloud and Peter Coogan. There are academics who have studied capeshit. Even Umberto fucking Ecco wrote on the moralizing and pedagogic value of heroes like Superman.
I did a dissertation on Superman so I know there is room for it in academia.
>>78769494 Feel like sharing the dissertation? I'll most likely do my masters thesis on the narrative of the Rusty Brown ACME Novelty Library books and would like to read other /co/related academic works first.
>>78769788 I would, but I'm not allowed as the university is still considering it for possible publishing.
The work was on the iconicity of Superman and how he represented the ideal superhero according to most comic scholars. I then used Coogan's theory to define what makes a hero and showed various examples (like Injustice here) where writers undo Superman as a hero by playing with these characteristics.
You would have to define literature. Literature is deemed as something that should be read, and if something should be read is highly dependent on the worldview and aims of the person / society that makes a list of literature. For instance, I consider Illuminatus! to be literature and something everybody should have read at least once. Many would not share that opinion.
Bone could be literature, precisely because it is something that emerged against all odds. But again, it depends how the qualification to be literature is defined.
I didn't say I know anything about literature. I said that as a contested concept it would have to be defined, before a syllabus is constructed. Which is precisely what your link says, by the way. But when the layman talks about literature, that is what he means. Thanks for reminding me that I know nothing about literature.
>>78770233 Let me just say: If you're anything like Will Brooker, you're not helping anything or anyone, you're just a cancer that's hijacking entertainment for political agendas and I hate you for it.
If you're not like Will Brooker then good luck! I hope you get it published.
>>78742517 >>78775722 Also gonna say, knock off Cerebus. It's a classic that deserves attention but isn't it vol 2 out of print anyways? That's the only one that could easily be taught/studied. Things like Incal are also laughable because who can buy an expensive hardcover like that for class? Or to the person suggesting the Epic recolors of Akira - how on earth could anyone even buy them readily? Unfortunately Enigma is OOP too so my own suggestion is ridiculous.
Nemo in Slumberland would be another great addition to the class, but the fact remains it would be difficult for students to have the 'study' material.
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