Courses

Summer 2017

  R1B Section 2 | CCN: 11765

Reading and Writing about Visual Experience: Beyond the Page: Comic Books and Graphic Novels (Session D)

Keith Budner

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday | 2:00 - 4:00PM

In this course we are going to explore the world of comics and graphic novels from their origins in the 1930s to the present day. Comics and graphic novels will open us up to a series of broader questions of art historical and cultural importance: what happens when divergent media are united (image with text)? How should we think about the figure of the artist and author (and the attendant legal category of creative copyright) within a context of collaboration (a writer working with an illustrator, or many writers with many illustrators), not mention amid the pressures of a publishing industry? What are the intellectual challenges, as well as the benefits, of moving between (or uniting) fandom and dispassionate critical analysis?


Our comparative, interdisciplinary and multimedia approach will force us not only to consider various genre and media but also to put these different aesthetic categories in conversation with one another. We’ll examine how comics and graphic novels are influenced by and are in conversation with “high art” (from contemporary novels to movements in the visual arts, such as Surrealism and Modernist Expressionism), and conversely why “high art” would look to the world of comics for its own inspiration, as we see with the pointillist works of Roy Lichtenstein and other Pop Art painters and sculptures.