Print ISBN: 978-1-58765-957-7
# of Pages: 475
# of Volumes: 1
Print List Price: $195
e-ISBN: 978-1-58765-958-4
eBook User Price: $195
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Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: History, Theme, and Technique

Editors: Bart H. Beaty, University of Calgary, & Stephen Weiner, Maynard Public Library, MA
October 2012


This one-volume reference contains over 65 essays covering themes and concepts of graphic novels, including genres, time periods, foreign language traditions, social relevance, and craftsmanship such as penciling and inking.

A "first" in the field, this brand new Critical Survey series focuses on all aspects of the graphic novels format, aiming to establish it as an important academic discipline and research topic in libraries. Designed for academic institutions, high schools, and public libraries, the series provides unique insight into the stories and themes expressed in historic and current landscape of the graphic novel medium.

The fourth set in this series, Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: History, Theme, and Technique, provides in-depth insight for over 65 themes and topics related to graphic novels. This single-volume subset contains both historical and social overviews-from the medium's beginnings in ancient times to the latest graphic novels that form today's "canon" for both coursework and library collections-as well as contextual topics such as anthropomorphism, the influence of film, and the genre of "Bible" in graphic novels. A wide spectrum of other genres is also presented in critical format, ranging from the nationalistic, such as Japanese manga and African graphic novels, to the traditional, such as Westerns, science fiction, and the archetypal superhero genre and mythos.

This set also provides insight into various aspects of the industry, from craftsmanship such as lettering, inking, and illustration styles, to the production and distribution of graphic novels and the significance and history of comic book conventions. This diverse and varied scope also delves into issues of readership and literacy, library collection development, and censorship.

As with earlier sets in this series, each essay will take a scholarly approach to the thematic constructs of the medium and look beyond the "pop culture" aspects of graphic novels to focus on theory, form, and function. In highlighting specific gravel novel traditions and complexities, readers and researchers alike will gain a deeper understanding of the medium and its growing presence in composition studies, curricula, and academic or vetted bibliotheca.

Essay Sections
Each essay in History, Theme, and Technique includes the following:

  • Topic: Names the topic, such as "History of Graphic Novels: 1970's" or "Lettering".
  • Definition: Defines the topic and its significance.
  • Introduction: Presents a critical introduction to the topic.
  • Subsections: Text is broken into 3-5 logical subsections clearly headed to indicate essay's organization and coverage.
  • Impact: Covers the topic's impact on the history of graphic novels.
  • Bibliography: Works for further study.

Second Edition of Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: History, Theme & Technique - Spring 2019

Find out more information and pre-order this new title here.


View a Full List of Titles from the Critical Survey of Literature Series