Critical Insights: The American Comic Book

Critical Insights Series

The series focuses on an individual author's entire body of work, a single work of literature, or a literary theme.

At a Glance
  • 1 Volume; 300 Pages
  • 10-14 essays offering Current Critical Analysis by Top Literary Scholars
  • Introductory Essay by the Editor
  • Additional Works on Theme
  • Detailed Bio of the Editor
  • General Bibliography
  • General Subject Index
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This volume offers an examination and analysis of the contemporary graphic novel as literature. A great starting point for students seeking an introduction to the theme and the critical discussions surrounding it.

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Editor: Joseph M. Sommers
October 2014 · 1 volume · 300 pages · 6"x9"

Includes Online Database with Print Purchase
ISBN: 978-1-61925-226-4
# of Pages: 300
# of Volumes: 1
Print List Price: $105
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e-ISBN: 978-1-61925-227-1
eBook Single User Price: $105

An exploration of the authors and literary works that identify with The American Comic Book this volume examines the prominent themes and stories of the genre.

The American comic book was one of the most important entertainment forms of the twentieth century in America. Beginning as medium that reprinted popular newspaper comic strips, during the decade of the Great Depression the comic book saw the development of the superhero in characters such as Superman and Batman. The American comic book would go on to feature a wide variety of stories, ranging from horror tales, to Westerns, to love romances, to funny animal stories. During its heyday in the decade following World War II, the comic book rivaled film, radio, and television in popularity. Today, comics continue to inspire the development of the most popular movies and television programs.

Critical Insights: The American Comic Book, aims to serve as both an introduction to the topic for those approaching this medium for the first time and a compendium of fresh and even unexpected insights into the history, inspiration, and stories of one of the most important entertainment forms of the twentieth century. This title is broken up into three sections: Critical Contexts, Critical Readings, and a resource appendix. The first touches upon the foundations of American Comic Books detailing its history, censorship, and culture. The second section, Critical Readings, delves into essays on individual works. The essays review past and current criticism of works and themes.

Each essay is 2,500 to 5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of "Works Cited," along with endnotes. Finally, the volume's appendixes offer a section of useful reference resources:

About This Volume
Critical Context: Original Introductory Essays
Critical Readings: Original In-Depth Essays
Further Readings
Detailed Bibliography
Detailed Bio of the Editor
General Subject Index