By Hillary L. Chute
Loaded with full-color reproductions of labor by way of such legends as R. Crumb, artwork Spiegelman, Alison Bechdel, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, and Lynda Barry, the ebook addresses where of comics in either a latest and historic context. Essays via such high-profile figures as Tom Gunning, N. Katherine Hayles, Patrick Jagoda, and W. J. T. Mitchell handle a beautiful diversity of themes, together with where of comics within the background of aesthetics, alterations to renowned paintings varieties, electronic humanities, and ongoing tensions among new and previous media. the result's a considerable leap forward for our knowing of what comics are and will be, and the transforming into position they carry in our culture.
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Extra info for Comics & Media: A Special Issue of "Critical Inquiry"
As we began to imagine this issue, we had back-to-back teaching and research collaborations with artists—Chute with cartoonist Bechdel, Jagoda with new media artist Sha Xin Wei—through the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, which enabled us to work within forms like comics and transmedia games, thinking through their properties and constraints from the inside-out as well as the outside-in. Collaboration, as our work together on this issue suggests, is a critical component of the transmedia ecologies and approaches that we track.
Spiegelman: Sorry, but you have to play your part. Mitchell: So this conversation is in place of a keynote address on the topic of Comics: Philosophy and Practice. We might want to begin by asking this general question throughout: is there a philosophy of and in comics? Can comics engage in philosophical discourse? We know they can tell stories and record events. But can they philosophize? I firmly believe they can, if only in their unrivalled capacity to reflect on their own status as an infinitely flexible medium that combines words and images, stories and bodies, thoughts and actions, subjective and objective experience.
It was a highly dense kind of picture making. Insofar as I’m partially responsible, having been called—God knows why—the father of the graphic novel (I have been demanding the blood test ever since)— I trace it all back to my Mad lessons. Mitchell: You don’t like the phrase “graphic novel”? Spiegelman: I don’t like the phrase. It existed as one of the euphemisms that people have used to say that comics are not a guilty pleasure. Graphics: sort of respectable. Novel: since the nineteenth century, very respectable.