This class will explore the creative ambition, political courage, and pop-cultural legacy of what was once regarded as a “trash” publisher of the 1950s. Because our primary materials are comic books, we will spend a portion of our time thinking about what makes the comics form distinctive from other modes of representation, both in formal and cultural terms. We will also take advantage of the unique resource presented by the “Aliens, Monsters, and Madmen” exhibition running concurrently at the JSMA; at least one assignment will be built around this unusual exhibition.
Comics Studies Minor courses present students with an international, historical, and critical perspective on the art of editorial cartoons, comic books, and graphic novels, and how these forms communicate, inform, and emotionally engage their audiences. Students will be required to think outside of accustomed disciplinary boundaries, and to analyze and experiment with the interaction of both visual and linguistic systems of meaning.