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[publication] Request for ImageTexT Book Reviews

Posted 14 Apr, 2010

ImageTexT is currently seeking reviewers for the following new book titles:

  • The Anime Machine: A Media Theory of Animation by Thomas Lamarre
  • Komiks: Comic Art in Russia by José Alaniz
  • Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books by Jean-Paul Gabilliet, translation by Bart Beaty and Nick Nguyen
  • History and Politics in French-Language Comics and Graphic Novels, edited by Mark McKinney
  • Comics as Philosophy, edited by Jeff McLaughlin
  • Art Spiegelman: Conversations, edited by Joseph Witek
  • Harvey Pekar: Conversations, edited by Michael G. Rhode

The Anime Machine: A Media Theory of Animation by Thomas Lamarre
ISBN: 9780816651559

From the book description:

"Despite the longevity of animation and its significance within the history of cinema, film theorists have focused on live-action motion pictures and largely ignored hand-drawn and computer-generated movies. Thomas Lamarre contends that the history, techniques, and complex visual language of animation, particularly Japanese animation, demands serious and sustained engagement, and in The Anime Machine he lays the foundation for a new critical theory for reading Japanese animation, showing how anime fundamentally differs from other visual media. ... Lamarre first addresses the technology of anime: the cells on which the images are drawn, the animation stand at which the animator works, the layers of drawings in a frame, the techniques of drawing and blurring lines, how characters are made to move. He then examines foundational works of anime, including the films and television series of Miyazaki Hayao and Anno Hideaki, the multimedia art of Murakami Takashi, and CLAMP's manga and anime adaptations, to illuminate the profound connections between animators, characters, spectators, and technology."

Komiks: Comic Art in Russia by José Alaniz
ISBN: 9781604733662

From the book description:

"José Alaniz explores the problematic publication history of komiks--an art form much-maligned as "bourgeois" mass diversion before, during, and after the collapse of the USSR with an emphasis on the last twenty years. Using archival research, interviews with major artists and publishers, and close readings of several works, Komiks: Comic Art in Russia provides heretofore unavailable access to the country's rich but unknown comics heritage. The study examines the dizzying experimental comics of the late Czarist and early revolutionary era, caricature from the satirical journal Krokodil, and the postwar series Petia Ryzhik (the "Russian Tintin"). Detailed case studies include the Perestroika-era KOM studio, the first devoted to comics in the Soviet Union; post-Soviet comics in contemporary art; autobiography and the work of Nikolai Maslov; and women's comics by such artists as Lena Uzhinova, Namida, and Re-I. Alaniz examines such issues as anti-Americanism, censorship, the rise of consumerism, globalization (e.g., in Russian manga), the impact of the internet, and the hard-won establishment of a comics subculture in Russia."

Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books by Jean-Paul Gabilliet, translation by Bart Beaty and Nick Nguyen
ISBN: 9781604732672

From the book description:

"Originally published in France and long sought in English translation, Jean-Paul Gabilliet's Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books documents the rise and development of the American comic book industry from the 1930s to the present. The book intertwines aesthetic issues and critical biographies with the concerns of production, distribution, and audience reception, making it one of the few interdisciplinary studies of the art form. A thorough introduction by translators and comics scholars Bart Beaty and Nick Nguyen brings the book up to date with explorations of the latest innovations, particularly the graphic novel."

History and Politics in French-Language Comics and Graphic Novels, edited by Mark McKinney
ISBN: 9781604730043

From the book description:

"History and Politics in French-Language Comics and Graphic Novels collects new essays that address comics from a variety of viewpoints, including a piece from practicing artist Baru. The explorations range from discussion of such canonical works as Hergé's Tintin series to such contemporary expressions as Baru's Road to America (2002), about the Algerian War. Included are close readings of specific comics series and graphic novels, such as Cécile Vernier Danehy's examination of Cosey's Saigon Hanoi, about remembering the Vietnam War. Other writers use theoretical lenses as a means of critiquing a broad range of comics, such as Bart Beaty's Bourdieu-inspired reading of today's comics field, and Amanda Macdonald's analysis of bandes dessinées (French comic books) in New Caledonia during the 1990s.

The anthology establishes the French-language comics tradition as one rich with representations of history and politics and is one of the first English-language collections to explore the subject."

Comics as Philosophy, edited by Jeff McLaughlin
ISBN: 9781604730005

From the book description:

"Included among the contributions are essays on existentialism in Daniel Clowes's graphic novel Ghost World, ecocriticism in Paul Chadwick's long-running Concrete series, and political philosophies in Hergé's perennially popular The Adventures of Tintin. Modern political concerns inform Terry Kading's discussion of how superhero comics have responded to 9/11 and how the genre reflects the anxieties of the contemporary world.

Essayists also explore the issues surrounding the development and appreciation of comics. Amy Kiste Nyberg examines the rise of the Comics Code, using it as a springboard for discussing the ethics of censorship and child protection in America. Stanford W. Carpenter uses interviews to analyze how a team of Marvel artists and writers reimagined the origin of one of Marvel's most iconic superheroes, Captain America. Throughout, essayists in Comics as Philosophy show how well the form can be used by its artists and its interpreters as a means of philosophical inquiry."

Art Spiegelman: Conversations, edited by Joseph Witek
ISBN: 9781934110119

From the book description:

"Art Spiegelman: Conversations reveals an artist who had long been working to establish comics as a serious art form. With his wife Françoise Mouly, he founded and edited RAW-the most in-fluential showcase for avant-garde comics in America-which published early work by such well-established cartoonists as Chris Ware, Kaz, and Gary Panter. Spiegelman's essays and lectures helped to establish that comics have a history and a canon.

This collection of interviews and profiles spans 1976-2006 and covers Spiegelman's career as an artist, critic, educator, and art historian. A previously unpublished interview conducted by the volume's editor discusses themes rarely touched upon in earlier profiles."

Harvey Pekar: Conversations, edited by Michael G. Rhode

ISBN: 9781604730869

From the book description:

"Harvey Pekar's American Splendor is the longest-running and arguably the most influential autobiographical comic book series produced in America. Since 1976, Pekar (b. 1939) has reported on his life through his comics. Pekar's comic books deal with his life as a Veterans Administration clerk and freelance music critic; his friends and co-workers and their stories; and his home city of Cleveland. Pekar's struggles with physical and mental problems, a low-paying job, Hollywood, marriage, his daughter's adoption, and success are all laid out in his comics. Pekar prides himself on depicting his life in all its 'splendor.'

Harvey Pekar: Conversations offers almost twenty-five years of interviews from a variety of sources including small fanzines, local public radio shows, and the Washington Post. The volume reveals his thoughts and feelings about comics, autobiography, his appearances on David Letterman's show in the 1980s, his life with cancer, and how a successful 2003 movie adaptation of American Splendor has changed and not changed his life."

If interested, please contact Tamar Ditzian, Review Editor, at tamar@ufl.edu for more information and to receive a review copy. Please specify which title you are interested in reviewing in your email.

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