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This introduction to studying comics and graphic novels is a structured guide to a popular topic. It deploys new cognitive methods of textual analysis and features activities and exercises throughout.Deploys novel cognitive approaches to analyze the importance of psychological and physical aspects of reader experienceCarefully structured to build a sequenced, rounded intro This introduction to studying comics and graphic novels is a structured guide to a popular topic. It deploys new cognitive methods of textual analysis and features activities and exercises throughout.Deploys novel cognitive approaches to analyze the importance of psychological and physical aspects of reader experienceCarefully structured to build a sequenced, rounded introduction to the subjectIncludes study activities, writing exercises, and essay topics throughoutDedicated chapters cover popular sub-genres such as autobiography and literary adaptation


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This introduction to studying comics and graphic novels is a structured guide to a popular topic. It deploys new cognitive methods of textual analysis and features activities and exercises throughout.Deploys novel cognitive approaches to analyze the importance of psychological and physical aspects of reader experienceCarefully structured to build a sequenced, rounded intro This introduction to studying comics and graphic novels is a structured guide to a popular topic. It deploys new cognitive methods of textual analysis and features activities and exercises throughout.Deploys novel cognitive approaches to analyze the importance of psychological and physical aspects of reader experienceCarefully structured to build a sequenced, rounded introduction to the subjectIncludes study activities, writing exercises, and essay topics throughoutDedicated chapters cover popular sub-genres such as autobiography and literary adaptation

30 review for Studying Comics and Graphic Novels

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Very disappointing. And I had such great hopes for this. However, while there are definitely moments within the text that might prove useful in an introductory (and only introductory) course in Comics Studies—Kukkonen's own examples of close reading and some of her suggested assignments and class activities come to mind—the book is otherwise riddled with errors, which could now slip into academic canon and be propagated to students, unless the instructors who use this text are savvier about comi Very disappointing. And I had such great hopes for this. However, while there are definitely moments within the text that might prove useful in an introductory (and only introductory) course in Comics Studies—Kukkonen's own examples of close reading and some of her suggested assignments and class activities come to mind—the book is otherwise riddled with errors, which could now slip into academic canon and be propagated to students, unless the instructors who use this text are savvier about comics than Kukkonen herself. The creator of Prince Valiant, for example, is (the brilliant artist and writer) Hal Foster—not Forster. And Kukkonen's mistakes are not simple typos; this particular one is made over and over again. Has she read Foster's work? It sure didn't seem like it. A panel does not *hold* an image; it *is* the image, in a sequence thereof. A caption is a multifaceted narrative tool, not merely an indication of off-scene voice-over dialogue. The job of a comics editor is vastly different from that of a continuity editor for film. "Speech bubbles" is a term used by five-year-olds—and not by anyone who actually works in comics. "Graphic novel" is not "[Will] Eisner's term," nor is A Contract with God the first place it appeared. Unfortunately, I could go on. Academic interest in comics has been a long time coming, but now that it's here—be careful what you wish for—there's no reason for the scholarship to be as . . . haphazard as it is. And we might legitimately ask: Who's watching these self-proclaimed academic watchmen (and -women)? Who are the peers and/or editors reviewing these texts before publication, and what are their own credentials for such a job? Most importantly, what of Kukkonen herself? Her bio says she's a postdoc research fellow. I hope her next foray into Comics Studies benefits from real research, because this one sadly does not.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brie

    Had high hopes for this but was ultimately very disappointed. Not only was the book filled with typos and grammatical errors, but there were also formatting issues that made several portions close to impossible to read. Also the history of comics was disappointingly brief and surface level and there were very few examples so it's not great either as a textbook or as a fun read, but falls somewhere unsatisfyingly between the two. Had high hopes for this but was ultimately very disappointed. Not only was the book filled with typos and grammatical errors, but there were also formatting issues that made several portions close to impossible to read. Also the history of comics was disappointingly brief and surface level and there were very few examples so it's not great either as a textbook or as a fun read, but falls somewhere unsatisfyingly between the two.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    An excellent introduction for students interested in studying comics! I found the suggested readings and glossary particularly helpful.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Derek Royal

    There are many good things about this book, one of the most notable being Kukkonen's abilities at close reading. She does a wonderful job at getting into a comics page and ferreting out meaning and providing insights. However, to judge this book on it's intended ground -- as a textbook to be used in a course on comics -- it's an incomplete and flawed work. First off, much of the analysis and presentation is truncated (the chapter on the history of comics being the most egregious example), and al There are many good things about this book, one of the most notable being Kukkonen's abilities at close reading. She does a wonderful job at getting into a comics page and ferreting out meaning and providing insights. However, to judge this book on it's intended ground -- as a textbook to be used in a course on comics -- it's an incomplete and flawed work. First off, much of the analysis and presentation is truncated (the chapter on the history of comics being the most egregious example), and also the perspective and preference of textual analysis is quite limited. You can tell in reading this text that the author comes solely from an academic perspective. By that I mean she primarily privileges "literary" comics, or the kind that are taught over and over and over again. In other words, she only turns to the "usual suspects" when it comes to discussions and examples. And her demonstrated knowledge of the superhero and other popular genres is noticeably thin. The academy still needs a good textbook for comics studies. Unfortunately, this is not it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    The_Mad_Swede

    I will say upfront that I do not necessarily agree with everything Kukkonen writes or all of her definitions, but there is no argument about being both a very useful and much needed textbook when teaching comics in a classroom, and learning and understanding how to analyse comics narratives in general. One of the textbook's advantages is its levelled approach both to analysis of various component part (from panel through page composition to larger narrative sequences and sociohistorical and cultu I will say upfront that I do not necessarily agree with everything Kukkonen writes or all of her definitions, but there is no argument about being both a very useful and much needed textbook when teaching comics in a classroom, and learning and understanding how to analyse comics narratives in general. One of the textbook's advantages is its levelled approach both to analysis of various component part (from panel through page composition to larger narrative sequences and sociohistorical and cultural contexts), and while, as stated, I am not always in agreement with Kukkonen's take on certain matters, her text itself often (if not always) opens itself up to be contradicted and positioned against alternative formulations, definitions, and, if you will, narratives. Part of this also, I assume, comes with her textbook approach to cover both alternative theories and fields, and various levels of the medium itself and the analysis thereof. At any rate, it is an interesting read, and a good starting point for somebody about to enter the field of comics studies, one way or another.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    3.5 stars would be more accurate. Studying Comics and Graphic Novels seems geared to college students taking a class in comics/graphic novels. (One section even shows you how to write an essay.) As such, the book assumes you know little-to-nothing about comics/graphic novels, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Kukkonen does go into a fair amount of depth in discussions of narrative and panel layout as well as a good, but concise history of comics. At times Kukkonen gets a little too academic f 3.5 stars would be more accurate. Studying Comics and Graphic Novels seems geared to college students taking a class in comics/graphic novels. (One section even shows you how to write an essay.) As such, the book assumes you know little-to-nothing about comics/graphic novels, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Kukkonen does go into a fair amount of depth in discussions of narrative and panel layout as well as a good, but concise history of comics. At times Kukkonen gets a little too academic for my tastes, but this is a textbook, after all. The recommended reading list is also good. Worth a look, especially for those new to comics studies.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Norman

    A thin very cl;ear;y written book offering a great introduction to the differing strands of scholarship that have grown up around comics in the last 20 or so years. A breath of fresh air for the beginner and a great overview for any scholar

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lauryn

  11. 4 out of 5

    Robin

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Lange

  13. 4 out of 5

    Levia Hayes

  14. 5 out of 5

    emma dobson

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alexandrine

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mark Benedict Lim

  17. 5 out of 5

    David

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kenia

  19. 5 out of 5

    Raisu

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dylan

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maarja Koovit

  22. 4 out of 5

    PJ Ebbrell

  23. 4 out of 5

    Byronic

  24. 5 out of 5

    Armin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Keijo Ahlqvist

  26. 5 out of 5

    Scott Ashworth

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kudinova

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mikaela

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