FT 06-Q Grapic Novels:The Comic Book As Literary Form
Brian Tucker, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Anyone who has kept up with comics over the past two decades knows: the "funnies" aren't necessarily funny anymore. Artists have turned to graphic novels, book-length works of sequential art, to explore difficult topics, such as illness and death, child abuse, the Holocaust, the Iranian revolution, and even 9/11. This course will study the graphic novel as a hybrid form that combines words and pictures, high and low culture. We will explore the nature of comic art by reading some of the most challenging and acclaimed graphic novels, including Maus, Persepolis, Jimmy Corrigan, Our Cancer Year, A Contract with God, and In the Shadow of No Towers. We will also examine other artistic combinations of word and image - illuminated manuscripts, for example, and concrete poety - to help us situate the graphic novel historically. A variety of essays, films, and interviews will complement our primary reading. Students should expect lively class discussions, oral presentations, and serval 3-4 page papers.