This book examines the concepts of Post/Humanism and Transhumanism as depicted in superhero comics. Recent decades have seen mainstream audiences embrace the comic book Superhuman. Meanwhile there has been increasing concern surrounding human enhancement technologies, with the techno-scientific movement of Transhumanism arguing that it is time humans took active control of their evolution. Utilising Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of the rhizome as a non-hierarchical system of knowledge to conceptualize the superhero narrative in terms of its political, social and aesthetic relations to the history of human technological enhancement, this book draws upon a diverse range of texts to explore the way in which the posthuman has been represented in superhero comics, while simultaneously highlighting its shared historical development with Post/Humanist critical theory and the material techno-scientific practices of Transhumanism.
Art Spiegelman. Alan Moore. Osamu Tezuka. Neil Gaiman. Names such as these have become synonymous with the medium of comics. Meanwhile, the large numbers of people without whose collective action no comic book would ever exist in the first place are routinely overlooked. Cultures of Comics Work unveils this hidden, global industrial labor of writers, illustrators, graphic designers, letterers, editors, printers, typesetters, publicists, publishers, distributors, translators, retailers, and countless others both directly and indirectly involved in the creative production of what is commonly thought of as the comic book. Drawing upon diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives, an international and interdisciplinary cohort of cutting-edge researchers and practitioners intervenes in debates about cultural work and paves innovative directions for comics scholarship.
This book offers an original new conception of visual story telling, proposing that drawing, depictive drawing and narrative drawing are produced in an encompassing dialogic system of embodied social behavior. It refigures the existing descriptions of visual story-telling that pause with theorizations of perception and the articulation of form. The book identifies and examines key issues in the field, including: the relationships between vision, visualization and imagination; the theoretical remediation of linguistic and narratological concepts; the systematization of discourse; the production of the subject; idea and institution; and the significance of resources of the body in depiction, representation and narrative. It then tests this new conception in practice: two original visual demonstrations clarify the particular dialectic relationships between subjects and media, in an examination of drawing style and genre, social consensus and self-conscious constraint. The book’s originality derives from its clear articulation of a wide range of sources in proposing a conception of narrative drawing, and the extrapolation of this new conception in two new visual demonstrations.
This book argues that superhero revision offers new perspectives on the theory and practice of revision in broader contexts, in particular composition studies. Key developments in the history of superhero and composition revision reveal that both are deeply embedded in questions of narrative temporality. The book looks at three unorthodox revision strategies: sideshadowing, in which traditional tropes of superhero narratives are told with “new” characters that clearly evoke traditional ones; excavation, the reintegration and reinterpretation of elements and influences from earlier texts that have been de-emphasized or written out of continuity; and homodoxy, the narrative coexistence of inconsistent elements culled from different versions of a character’s textual history. The ensuing cross-disciplinary exploration helps correct a distorted stereotype of revision as a neutral mechanical process, revealing it instead as a potent force operating across a spectrum that ranges from restrictive adherence to orthodoxies, to radical resistance against the primacy of tradition.
This book explores Alan Moore’s career as a cartoonist, as shaped by his transdisciplinary practice as a poet, illustrator, musician and playwright as well as his involvement in the Northampton Arts Lab and the hippie counterculture in which it took place. It traces Moore’s trajectory out from the underground comix scene of the 1970s and into a commercial music press rocked by the arrival of punk. In doing so it uncovers how performance has shaped Moore’s approach to comics and their political potential. Drawing on the work of Bertolt Brecht, who similarly fused political dissent with experimental popular art, this book considers what looking strangely at Alan Moore as cartoonist tells us about comics, their visual and material form, and the performance and politics of their reading and making.
This book investigates the intersection of Indian society, the encoding of post-millennial modernity and ‘ways of seeing’ through the medium of Indian graphic narratives. If seeing in Indian cultures is a mode of knowing then what might we decode and know from the Indian graphic narratives examined here? The book posits that the ‘seeing’ of post-millennial Indian graphic narratives revolves around a visuality of the inauspicious, complemented by narratives of the same. Examining both form and content across nine Indian, post-millennial graphic narratives, this book will appeal to those working in South Asian visual studies, cultural studies and comics-graphic novel studies more broadly.
This book examines the role of comics in the perpetuation of the myth of the American West. In particular, it looks at the ways in which lone central characters, and their acts of violence, are posited as heroic. In doing so, the book raises questions both about the role of women in a supposedly male space, in addition to the portrayal of Native Americans within the context of this violence. Various adaptations of historical figures, such as Buffalo Bill and Billy the Kid, as well as film and television stars such as The Lone Ranger and Dale Evans are examined in detail. Although concentrating on American comics, examples both from Britain and France are also analyzed.