Graphic Novels: An Introduction
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Graphic Novels: An Introduction Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Vanessa Irvin Morris Assistant Professor The iSchool at Drexel University Philadelphia, PA, USA [email_address]
  • 2. Comics to Graphic Novels
    • Historical Timeline
      • Comic form originally literacy format for working class and poor
      • Graphic novels go as far back as 1842
      • 1930s: Banner decade for Newspaper Comic Strip launchings
          • Blondie & Dagwood (1930 – still running)
          • Superman (1939 - 1966)
          • The Phantom (1936 – still running)
      • 1934: DC Comics established
      • 1938: DC Comics launched Superman, volume 1
        • Superman ran 1939-1988, issues 0-423
        • Adventures of Superman ran 1987 – 2006, Issues 424-649
      • 1939: Marvel Comics parent company (Timely Publications) established
  • 3. Comics to Graphic Novels
    • 1940s: Big boom in comics – readership sky high –
    • post-War reading – considered “Golden Age of Comics”
      • 1940: Will Eisner lauded for The Spirit
      • 1941: Marvel launched Captain America
    • 1950s: TV makes fiction visual; Comic sales go down
      • 1951: Timely (aka Atlas Comics) officially becomes Marvel Comics
    • 1960s: Anime comes to America
      • Underground comics
        • Deal with political and social topics of the day
        • Japanese animation comes to American TV
  • 4. Comics to Graphic Novels
    • Historical Timeline
      • 1970s: Creation of “Graphic Novel”
        • 1972: Maus, by Art Spiegelman is born as a small comic strip;
        • 1978: Publication of Will Eisner’s Contract with God,
        • the first ever graphic novel – a connective series of
        • short stories bound in one volume, subtitled as
        • “ a graphic novel by Will Eisner”
      • 1980s: Begins “Modern Age of Comics”
        • Graphic novel renaissance w/mass-market trade paperbacks;
        • 1986: Art Spiegelman morphs Maus into full graphic novel form
        • 1988: Eisner Awards are born at Comic-Con Conference
          • Considered the “Oscars” of comic book industry (see willeisner.com)
  • 5. Comics to Graphic Novels
    • Historical Timeline
      • 1990s:
        • Batman, Darkman begin resurgence of comic characters in cinema;
        • Graphic novels available as serializations;
        • Graphic novels gain popularity in libraries;
        • 1992 – Maus, A Survivor’s Tale, wins Pulitzer Prize,
        • solidifying literary quality of graphic novel form
      • 2000s:
        • Comic franchises in cinema w/movie tie-ins, of course;
          • X-Men I, II, III, IV (forthcoming), V (forthcoming)
          • Spider Man I, II, III
          • Fantastic Four I, II
          • Iron Man I, II (forthcoming)
        • Biographies, literary classics in graphic novel form;
        • American Born Chinese (2006) wins 2007 Printz Award from YALSA
  • 6. Contemporary US Comics Defined
    • Categories:
      • Traditional Comics
        • Typical flimsy magazine format serialized
      • Graphic Novels
        • Original book-length stories in comic format
      • Collected Works
        • Also called trade collections or graphic albums previously published in graphic novel form
      • Manga
        • Japanese comics, pocket-sized, highly serialized
    SOURCE: http://library.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/guides/graphicnovels/formats/
  • 7. Comics and Libraries
    • Traditional Comics (flimsy mags)
      • Not usually in library collections
      • Still popular in comic book shops,
      • amongst collectors, comic conventions
      • May be stored in archives, historical art collections
    • Graphic Novels & Manga
      • Popular in library collections, esp. public libraries
      • If literary tie-in, may be present in school libraries
      • High circulating
    • Collected Works
      • Popular in library collections, esp. art collections
      • May circulate; may be reference
  • 8. Comics & Censorship
    • May have challenges to:
      • Language
      • Graphic depictions of violence
      • Possible sexist representations
      • Possible objectionable themes
        • Horror/Supernatural
        • Science Fiction
        • Crime
        • Contemporary Issues (Middle East themes, war, etc.)
    • Collection development policy should cover intellectual freedom
    • ALA Code of Ethics counsels against self-censorship
    • Always use sanctioned resources for selection
    SOURCE: http://library.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/guides/graphicnovels/dev/censorship.php
  • 9. Comics and Gender
    • Comics (American)
      • Typically attracts males, young & old
      • Female characters can be sexist in representation, even the super-heroes
        • Sub-genres
          • Bad-girl Comics
            • Catwoman
            • Xena: Warrior Princess
          • Babe Comics
            • Witchblade
            • Lady Pendragon
    • Manga (Japanese)
      • Typically attracts females, young & old
      • Gender-swapping common (girl mistaken for boy, vice-versa)
      • Gender representations culture-specific to Japan
      • American publications may be sensitized to American cultural norms
    http://library.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/guides/graphicnovels/dev/women.php ; http://web.mit.edu/rei/www/manga-gender.html
  • 10. Creators & Artists
    • Writer: writes story / dialogue
    • Penciller: draws comic in pencil
    • Inker: outlines images in black ink
    • Colorist: adds color to black/white line art, using paints, photography, digital media, etc.
    • Letterer: writes story in speech bubbles, usually last part of process
    • Editor: oversees process, for glitches and errors
    Artist: can be combo of penciller and/or inker
  • 11. Graphic Novel - Formats
    • Series
      • Monthly,
      • Bi-Monthly
      • Quarterly
      • Irregular
    • Limited Series (finite set of issues)
      • Most contain 4 issues
        • But can be from 2 to 12 issues.
      • Mini-Series
        • 4 issues or less
      • Maxi-Series
        • 10 issues or more
    SOURCE: http://library.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/guides/graphicnovels/formats/
  • 12. Graphic Novels - Formats
    • Standard Annual
      • Yearly supplement to an ongoing series
        • Batman Annual
        • Fantastic Four Annual
      • Stand-alone titles
        • Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror
        • Aliens vs. Predator Annual
    • One-Shot
      • Monographic (one-time) publication.
        • Standard comic format or
        • Prestige Comic or
        • Treasury Edition
    SOURCE: http://library.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/guides/graphicnovels/formats/
  • 13. Graphic Novel - Formats
    • Standard format
      • Typically 32-page s, 7” x 10”
      • “ Double-Size" = 48 pages,
        • Annuals
        • Special editions (anniversary, special event, lengthier story)
      • “ 80-Page Giants”: Some DC Comics annuals and special anthologies
    • Prestige Format
      • Standard 8" x 10“
        • square-bound with heavier stock covers
        • Oftentimes high quality paper
        • Most are one-shots
    • Treasury Edition
      • Folio sized
        • Typically prestige format and tabloid-sized.
    SOURCE: http://library.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/guides/graphicnovels/formats/
  • 14. Graphic Novels - Formats
    • Magazine
      • Ongoing series , but can have larger
      • dimensions and pages than standard
      • format
    • Black & White Comics
      • Smaller publishers
      • Independent publishers
      • May have color covers, but black and white content (typical of manga)
    SOURCE: http://library.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/guides/graphicnovels/formats/
  • 15. Graphic Novels – Collection Criteria
    • Popularity
      • Monthly lists of the top-selling comics
      • Library Review Sources
        • Library Journal
        • YALSA’s Graphic Novels for Teens
        • IPL Teen Space – Graphic Novels
        • No Flying, No Tights @: http://www.noflyingnotights.com/
        • www.graphicnovelreview.com
        • www.mycomicshop.com/graphicnovels
    • Tie-ins
      • TV shows
      • Movies
      • Video games
    SOURCE: http://library.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/guides/graphicnovels/
  • 16. Graphic Novels – Collection Criteria
    • Age level
      • Target audience
        • Tweeners
        • Teens
        • Young Adults
        • Adults
      • General suitability
        • Not too mature
        • Not too immature
    • Writing quality - Originality important
      • Plot & Character Development
      • Dialogue
      • Pacing
  • 17. Graphic Novels – Collection Criteria
    • Genre
      • Most popular genres:
        • Super-Hero
        • Fantasy
      • Other genres include:
        • Science fiction
        • Horror/Supernatural
        • Action/Adventure
        • Classics
        • Biography
        • Girl Comics (see ‘comics and gender’ slide)
    SOURCE: http://library.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/guides/graphicnovels/
  • 18. Graphic Novels – Collection Criteria
    • Artistic quality
      • Layout
      • Dramatic impact
      • Storytelling flow
      • Drawing skill
      • Coloring (where relevant)
      • Lettering
    SOURCE: http://library.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/guides/graphicnovels/
  • 19. Graphic Novels – Collection Criteria
    • Reputation of writers and artists, many of whom have strong fan followings
    • Awards and recognition received
      • The Eisner, Harvey, and Kirby awards
      • Significant annual fan awards include:
        • Comics Buyer's Guide Fan Awards and,
        • Usenet’s rec.arts.comics, "Squiddy Awards"
    • Reputation of publisher
      • For list of graphic novel/manga PUBLISHERS go to:
    • http://library.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/guides/graphicnovels/dev/censorship.php
    • Color versus black & white
      • Manga readers accustomed to b&w comics
    SOURCE: http://library.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/guides/graphicnovels/
  • 20. Anime
    • Anime – short for “Animation”
      • First anime recorded circa 1917
      • 1960s: Astro Boy explodes on Japanese & American TV
      • 1970s: Anime was originally called “Japanese Animation”
      • 1980s: “Japanimation” – now considered offensive
      • 1990s: “Anime” term adapted late 90s into 21 st century
        • Worldwide: targeted for late teens and adults
          • Usually violent and sexual content
      • 2000s: U.S.: popularized towards tweeners and teens
        • OVA: Original Video Animation
          • films released straight to video
        • TV: American-made shows in Anime style
          • Avatar; Naruto; Inu Yasha; Phineas & Ferb
  • 21. Anime
    • Was/Is inspiration for Manga in US
    • Anime came first, during the 1960s,
      • when TV shows like “Speed Racer”
      • and “Kimba the White Lion” were adapted
      • from Japanese format to American animation
    • However, while Astro Boy went to print in
    • the 1960s in Japan, it did not go to print for
    • US audiences until 2002!
    SOURCE: Thompson, J. (2007). “Manga in America.” Wired 15(11) Available: http://www.wired.com/special_multimedia/2007/1511_ff_manga
  • 22. Manga
    • Manga – “Japanese comics”
      • Comes in various genres for different target
      • audiences
        • Shonen: school-age boys, under age 18
          • Suspense and action-oriented
          • Humor
        • Shojo: school-age girls, under age 18
          • Romance and drama-oriented
      • In addition to fictional entertainment, non-fiction genres also include:
        • Informational texts
        • Educational texts
        • Corporate texts
        • Even Legal texts
      • Fictional genres can be sexual, graphic, violent and combination
      • of all 3 elements
  • 23. Manga
    • Origins of Manga
      • Osamu Tesuka (1928 - 1989)
        • 1947 (age 19) Inspired by Treasure Island - made an illustrated version of it
        • Tesuka was also inspired by Disney characters!
          • Known as “Walt Disney” of Japan!
          • Known as “God of Manga”
        • He was also creator of Astro Boy
      • 1960s:
          • 1963: Astro Boy debuted in Japan on TV, also a hit in US
          • Childhood manga readers now college students
          • Continued high interest in the art form
            • Moving into adult themes: soap operas; erotica
    See: http://www.dnp.co.jp/museum/nmp/nmp_i/articles/manga/manga2.html; http://www.wired.com/images/pdf/Wired_1511_mangaamerica.pdf
  • 24. Manga
    • 1970s
      • Shojo manga explodes
        • 1974: Toma no Shinzo (“The Heart of Thomas”), created by female manga artist, Moto Hagio, published – instant classic
          • It is a glbtq story with male protagonists
      • Girl heroines became more independent,
      • individualistic, less maiden-esque
      • Format evolves from magazine strips to independent paperbacks
    SOURCE: Thorn, M. (2001). Shojo Manga: Something for the Girls. Japan Quarterly 48(3): July-September issue. Book cover for “ Toma No Shinzo”
  • 25. Manga
    • 1980s
      • Art becomes more realistic/documentary-esque
      • Manga for women
    • 1990s – today
      • Manga = 1/3 all publishing in Japan
      • It is estimated that at least ½ Japanese women
      • under 40, and 3/4 teen girls, read manga regularly
      • Pokemon explodes in the US – was biggest Japanese export during this decade
      • 1996: Dragonball-Z gains US popularity
    SOURCE: Thorn, M. (2001). Shojo Manga: Something for the Girls. Japan Quarterly 48(3): July-September issue.
  • 26. Manga
    • Characteristics of Manga
      • Characters have large, expressive eyes
      • Hair is usually large, spiked, brightly colored
      • Books bound Japanese style, on the right,
      • thus read, back to front
      • Books are pocket-sized
      • Serialized for many volumes
        • Stories can become epic, lasting for years
      • Art has abstract imagery, flowery – to attract girls
      • Color covers, black and white content
    SOURCE: Thorn, M. (2001). Shojo Manga: Something for the Girls. Japan Quarterly 48(3): July-September issue.
  • 27. More Comics in Libraries
    • Aaron McGruder’s Boondocks
    • (series – multiple pub dates)
    • Soo-Young, Lee’s Model (2003)
    • (story re: Korean art student
    • living in Europe)
  • 28. More Comics in Libraries
    • Jimmy Gownley’s Amelia Rules (2006)
      • Re: 9 y.o. girl moves from city
      • to small town following family
      • divorce – create girl power group
      • (multiple volumes)
    • Robert James Luedke’s Eye Witness series (2004 - )
      • Christian Graphic Novel Series
      • 4 volumes total
      • Publisher: www.headpress.info
  • 29. People to Know in Comics
    • Marvel Comics (founded 1939)
    • Stan Lee (1922 - )
      • Captain America
      • Spider Man
      • X-Men
      • Fantastic Four
      • Daredevil
      • The Hulk
      • Iron Man
    • Partners: Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko
    • Will do the “Hitchcock Thing”
    • in his movies!
  • 30. People to Know in Comics
    • DC Comics ( founded 1934)
      • Batman: Bob Kane (1915 – 1988) & Bill Finger (1914-1974)
      • Superman: Jerry Siegel (1914-1996) & Joe Schuster (1914-1992)
      • Wonderwoman: Wm Marston (1893 – 1947)
      • The Flash: Gardner Fox (1911-1986) & Harry Lampert (1916-2004)
      • Green Lantern: Bill Finger (1914-1974) & Martin Nodel (1915-2006)
      • The Watchmen: Alan Moore (1953 - ) & Dave Gibbons (1949 - )
      • Other important DC Comics characters:
        • Bat-Girl
        • Catwoman
        • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
        • Promethea
  • 31. People to Know in Comics
    • Art Spiegelman (1948- )
      • Maus I, A Survivor’s Tale (1986)
        • Won Pulitzer (1992)
      • Maus II, And Here My Troubles Began (1991)
      • Osamu Tesuka (1928 - 1989)
        • Astro Boy (1963)
        • Kimba the White Lion (1966)
          • “ Father of Anime” | “God of Manga”
          • There were legal issues for the
          • similarities between Kimba the White Lion
          • and Disney’s film, The Lion King (1994)
  • 32. People to know in Comics
    • Moto Hagio (1949 - )
      • The Heart of Thomas (1974)
        • Regarded as “mother of
        • Shonen manga”
    • Will Eisner (1917-2005)
      • A Contract with God, and
      • Other Tenement Stories (1978)
      • First US Graphic Novel
      • Comic Award named after Eisner
  • 33. Librarian Considerations 4 Graphic Novels/Anime/Manga
    • Collect for children, teens, and adults
    • for a wide-range collection
    • Anime:
      • Subtitled & Re-Dubbed may have varying titles
    • Manga:
      • Purchase series as a whole b/c serializations usually one story
      • Label clearly so patrons know sequence
    • Graphic Novels:
      • Purchase literary titles for reluctant readers
        • Classics
        • Biographies
    Source: http://www.koyagi.com/Libguide.html#anchor118912
  • 34. References
    • Graphic Novels Resources for Librarians
        • http://library.buffalo.edu/libraries/asl/guides/graphicnovels/
    • Shotaro Inshinomori Website (Excellent Manga Timeline) @: http://en.ishimoripro.com/prof/index.html
    • Booklist: Reference on the Web, Graphic Novels
        • http://www.booklistonline.com/default.aspx?page=show_product&pid=1538194
    • A History of Manga: http://www.dnp.co.jp/museum/nmp/nmp_i/articles/manga/manga1.html
    • Gender and Gender Relations in Manga and Anime. (2000).
    • Available: http://web.mit.edu/rei/www/manga-gender.html
  • 35. References
    • Thorn, M. (2001). Shojo Manga: Something for the Girls. Available: http://www.matt-thorn.com/shoujo_manga/japan_quarterly/index.php
    • Thompson, J. (2007). How Manga Conquered the US, A graphic guide to Japan’s coolest export.
    • Available: http://www.wired.com/special_multimedia/2007/1511_ff_manga
    • The Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe.
    • Available: http://www.dcuguide.com/