Comics bibliography

Hi, everyone. Here is a select list of scholarship, history books, cartooning manuals, and a few graphic novel recommendations that you might be interested in reading. The field is still so young, so you’ll notice a lot from 2004 onwards. I’ll keep updating this post as I think of and stumble upon more relevant material.

Scholarship on female comics creators

Chute, Hillary. Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics. New York: Columbia UP, 2010.

De Jesús. Melina L. “Liminality and Mestiza Consciousness in Lynda Barry’s One Hundred Demons.” MELUS 29.1 (2004): 219-252.

Tensuan, Theresa M. “Comic Visions and Revisions in the Work of Lynda Barry and Marjane Satrapi.” Modern Fiction Studies 52.4 (2006): 947-964.

On Jimmy Corrigan

Banita, Georgiana. “Chris Ware and the Pursuit of Slowness.” The Comics of Chris Ware: Drawing as a Way of Thinking. Eds. David M. Ball and Martha B. Kuhlman. Jackson, Miss.: UP of Mississippi, 2010. 177-190.

Bredehoft, Thomas. “Comics Architecture, Multidimensionality, and Time: Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid of Earth.” Modern Fiction Studies 52.4 (2006): 869-890.

On Maus

Gordon, Andrew. “Jewish Fathers and Sons in Spiegelman’s Maus and Roth’s Patrimony.” ImageTexT 1.1 (2004): <

20th century histories and contexts

Gordon, Ian. Comic Strips and Consumer Culture, 1890-1945. Washington: Smithsonian Institution P, 2002.

Hajdu, David. The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America. New York: Picador, 2008.

Sabin, Roger. Comics, Comix & Graphic Novels: A History of Comic Art. London: Phaidon, 1996.

Spiegelman, Art. “Commix: An Idiosyncratic Historical and Aesthetic Overview.” Print 42.7 (1989): 61-73 and 195-196.

Eds. Williams, Paul and James Lyons. The Rise of the American Comics Artist: Creators and Contexts. Jackson, Miss.: UP of Mississippi, 2010.

Interpreting comics

Carrier, David. The Aesthetics of Comics. University Park, Penn: Pennsylvania State UP, 2000.

Phelps, Donald. Reading the Funnies: Essays on Comic Strips. Seattle: Fantagraphics, 2001.

Wolk, Douglas. Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean. Cambridge, Mass.: De Capo, 2007.

Making comics

Brunetti, Ivan. Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice. New Haven, Conn.: Yale UP, 2011.

Collection of early newspaper comics

Eds. Blackbeard, Bill and Martin Williams. The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics. Washington: Smithsonian Institution P, 1977.

You can’t go wrong with these graphic novels

Daniel Clowes, David Boring (2000)
Charles Burns, Black Hole (2005)
Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely, We3 (2005): cat, dog, and rabbit as mecha-assassins.
Carol Tyler, You’ll Never Know, vols 1-3 (2009-2012): one-upping the whole father-bleeds-history genre.
Julie Doucet, My New York Diary (1999)
Chester Brown, The Playboy (1992)
Kyle Baker, Nat Turner (2007)

Journalism in comics form

Joe Sacco on the Bosnian War in The Fixer (2003)
David Collier (a Hamiltonian) on not quite making it to Afghanistan in Chimo (2011)


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