This book contains graphic language: comics as literature

Front Cover
Continuum, 2007 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 237 pages
1 Review
This Book Contains Graphic Language looks at different literary forms and genres ”including journalism, fiction, memoirs, and film ”in relation to their comic book counterparts. By demonstrating the ways in which comic books (and graphic novels) both reflect upon, and expand the boundaries of literature, Rocco Versaci demonstrates that comics have earned the right to be taken just as seriously as any other literary form. As comics and graphic novels become more popular than ever, literary critics are finding that they now have a new subject to examine. But while many advocates of the medium maintain that comics are a true art form, there have been no detailed comparisons among comics and &"legitimate&" types of literature. Filling this void, This Book Contains Graphic Language examines different literary forms in relation to their comic book counterparts. These literatures include prose memoir, Holocaust memoir, journalism, film, and-for lack of a better term-the &"classics.&" Each richly-illustrated chapter outlines the key issues of one of these forms and then explores how comic books have been able to reflect and expand upon those issues in unique ways. The comics discussed include Eightball by Daniel Clowes, Love and Rockets by Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, American Splendor by Harvey Pekar, Maus by Art Spiegelman, Palestine by Joe Sacco, Frontline Combat and Two-Fisted Tales from EC Comics, Sandman by Neil Gaiman and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore. By examining the ways in which these and other comic books and graphic novels expand the boundaries of literature, English professor Rocco Versaci demonstrates that the medium of comics has earned the right to be regarded as an important artistic and literary form. >

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

This book contains graphic language: comics as literature

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This book initially seems to be an earnest attempt to justify comics (and graphic novels) as a sophisticated literary art form. But once Versaci (English, Palomar Community Coll., San Marcos, CA ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jtodd1973 - LibraryThing

Pretty disappointing, overall. Versaci makes some good points here and there, but for the most part, the book offers very little insight. Read full review


Creating a Special Reality
ReWaivstering the Past
The New Journalism Revisited

4 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

Rocco Versaci is Associate Professor of English at Palomar Community College in San Marcos, California, where he developed what is now one of the department's most popular classes: English 290 - Comic Books as Literature. His writing on comics has appeared in The English Journal and The International Journal of Comic Art.

Bibliographic information