ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies

ISSN: 1549-6732

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[publication] Request for ImageTexT Book Reviews

Posted 12 Jun, 2011

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

  • Mechademia 5: Fanthropologies, edited by Frenchy Lunning
  • Comics in Wisconsin, by Paul Buhle

ImageTexT is also seeking reviewers for the following less recent titles:

  • Unpopular Culture: Transforming the European Comic Book in the 1990s, by Bart Beaty
  • Arguing Comics: Literary Masters on a Popular Medium, edited by Jeet Heer and Kent Worcester

Mechademia 5: Fanthropologies, edited by Frenchy Lunning
ISBN: 9780816673872

From the book description:

"Passionate fans of anime and manga, known in Japan as otaku and active around the world, play a significant role in the creation and interpretation of this pervasive popular culture. Routinely appropriating and remixing favorite characters, narratives, imagery, and settings, otaku take control of the anime characters they consume… Fanthropologies—the fifth volume in the Mechademia series, an annual forum devoted to Japanese anime and manga—focuses on fans, fan activities, and the otaku phenomenon. The zones of activity discussed in these essays range from fan-subs (fan-subtitled versions of anime and manga) and copyright issues to gender and nationality in fandom, dolls, and other forms of consumption that fandom offers."

(This title may be reviewed in combination with the forthcoming Mechademia 6: User Enhanced, if desired.)

Comics in Wisconsin, by Paul Buhle
ISBN: 9780981562032

From the book description:

"Who knew? Wisconsin comic artists, editors, and publishers have made both central and fringe contributions to the language, form, and content of comic strips, comic books, and other forms of this popular art. Paul Buhle traces this history, illustrated by more than two hundred reproductions, from 'The Gumps' and 'Gasoline Alley'—which introduced the continuity of daily life into newspaper 'funnies'—to comic book histories of Students for a Democratic Society and the Industrial Workers of the World, alternative press comics that fostered talents like Lynda Barry and James Sturm, and comic adaptations of totemic figures like Howard Zinn and Studs Terkel."

Unpopular Culture: Transforming the European Comic Book in the 1990s by Bart Beaty
ISBN: 9780802094124

From the book description:

"In the last fifteen years or so, a wide community of artists working in a variety of western European nations have overturned the dominant traditions of comic book publishing as it has existed since the end of the Second World War. These artists reject both the traditional form and content of comic books (hardcover, full-colour 'albums' of humour or adventure stories, generally geared towards children), seeking instead to instil the medium with experimental and avant-garde tendencies commonly associated with the visual arts. … The first English-language book to explore these issues, Unpopular Culture represents a challenge to received histories of art and popular culture that downplay significant historical anomalies in favour of more conventional narratives. In tracing the efforts of a large number of artists to disrupt the hegemony of high culture, Bart Beaty raises important questions about cultural value and its place as an important structuring element in contemporary social processes."

Arguing Comics: Literary Masters on a Popular Medium, edited by Jeet Heer and Kent Worcester
ISBN: 9781578066872

From the book description:

"When Art Spiegelman's Maus—a two-part graphic novel about the Holocaust-won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992, comics scholarship grew increasingly popular and notable. The rise of 'serious' comics has generated growing levels of interest as scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals continue to explore the history, aesthetics, and semiotics of the comics medium. … Yet those who write about the comics often assume analysis of the medium didn't begin until the cultural studies movement was underway. Arguing Comics: Literary Masters on a Popular Medium brings together nearly two dozen essays by major writers and intellectuals who analyzed, embraced, and even attacked comic strips and comic books in the period between the turn of the century and the 1960s. From e. e. cummings, who championed George Herriman's Krazy Kat, to Irving Howe, who fretted about Harold Gray's Little Orphan Annie, this volume shows that comics have provided a key battleground in the culture wars for over a century.

"With substantive essays by Umberto Eco, Marshall McLuhan, Leslie Fiedler, Gilbert Seldes, Dorothy Parker, Irving Howe, Delmore Schwartz, and others, this anthology shows how all of these writers took up comics-related topics as a point of entry into wider debates over modern art, cultural standards, daily life, and mass communication."

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

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