The New Scholarship of Comics

Most of my attempts to justify my love of comic books, er, graphic novels sound like desperate rationalizations: “No, they can be literate and very smart. Really.”

So I am happy to have some help from the Chronicle of Higher Education (via Arts Journal)

“The best and most interesting of comic strips and comic books have entertained but also educated us — despite (sometimes partly because of) the disapproval that parents and cultural critics have expressed — all of our lives. They have taught us, despite a paucity of didacticism, about manners and morals, but mostly about the subtly changing scene behind the ostensible narrative of politics, economics, and warfare. … Comics offer a running commentary, whether by artistic intent or otherwise, on the look and feel of daily life. They provide, at their best (however rare that might be), a meditation on the anonymous social history around us. And they provide, at least potentially, a way for the teacher to connect, without condescending, to the life of the student mind.”

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