Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature
In the 1980s, a sea change occurred in comics. Fueled by Art Spiegel- man and Franoise Mouly's avant-garde anthology Raw and the launch of the Love Rockets series by Gilbert, Jaime, and Mario Hernandez, the decade saw a deluge of comics that were more autobiographical, emotionally realistic, and experimental than anything seen before. These alternative comics were not the scatological satires of the 1960s underground, nor were they brightly colored newspaper strips or superhero comic books. In Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature, Charles Hatfield establishes the parameters of alternative comics by closely examining long-form comics, in particular the graphic novel. He argues that these are fundamentally a literary form and offers an extensive critical study of them both as a literary genre and as a cultural phenomenon. Combining sharp-eyed readings and illustrations from particular texts with a larger understanding of the comics as an art form, this book discusses the development of specific genres, such as autobiography and history. Alternative Comics analyzes such seminal works as Spiegelman's Maus, Gilbert Hernandez's Palomar: The Heartbreak Soup Stories, and Justin Green's Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary.
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2004 Gilbert Hernandez aesthetic alternative comics American Splendor Anja Anja’s argues art form Art Spiegelman Art’s artists author’s autobiographical comics become Binky Brown Binky’s book’s breakdown cartoon cartoonist Cerebus chapter characters Clowes comic art comic book comic shops complex critical crucial Crumb cultural depict direct market drawing Eisner emphasis example experience fact fandom fantasy Fermin fiction Figure film form’s format Garza genre Gilbert Hernandez graphic novel Green growth Harvey Pekar Harvey’s Heartbreak Soup Human Diastrophism Humberto instance ironic authentication irony issues Jaime Justin Green literary long-form comics Love & Rockets Luba Luba’s magazine Maria Maus Maus’s McCloud medium ment narrative object Ofelia packaging Palomar Pedro permission Peter photograph Poison River political potential publishers radical reader reinforces relationship scene self-reflexive sense sequence serial Sim’s social Spiegelman’s story story’s suggests superhero symbols tension thematic tion Tonantzin traditional truth underground comix visual Vladek words