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Why Comics?: From Underground to Everywhere

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The massive impact that comics have had on our culture becomes more and more clear every day, from the critically acclaimed musical Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel’s groundbreaking comic, to the dozens of superhero films hitting cinemas every year. What is it that makes comics so special? What can this unique art form do that others can’t? In Why Comics?, comics scholar H The massive impact that comics have had on our culture becomes more and more clear every day, from the critically acclaimed musical Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel’s groundbreaking comic, to the dozens of superhero films hitting cinemas every year. What is it that makes comics so special? What can this unique art form do that others can’t? In Why Comics?, comics scholar Hillary Chute reveals the history of comics, underground comics (or comix), and graphic novels, through deep thematic analysis, and fascinating portraits of the fearless men and women behind them. As Scott McCloud revealed the methods behind comics and the way they worked in his classic Understanding Comics, Chute will reveal the themes that Comics handle best, and how the form is uniquely equipped to explore them. The topics Why Comics? include: • Why Disaster: with such major works focusing on disasters, from Art Spiegelman’s work, which covers the Holocaust and 9/11 to Keiji Nakazawa’s work covering Heroshima, comics find themselves uniquely suited to convey the scale and disorientation of disaster. • Why Suburbs: through the work of Chris Ware and Charles Burns, Chute reveals the fascinating ways that Comics illustrate the quiet joys and struggles of suburban existence. • Why Punk: With an emphasis on DIY aesthetics and rebelling against what came before, the Punk movement would prove to be a fertile ground for some of the most significant modern cartoonists, creating a truly democratic art form. Chute has created an indispensable guide to comics for those new to the genre, or those who want to understand more about what lies behind their favorite works.


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The massive impact that comics have had on our culture becomes more and more clear every day, from the critically acclaimed musical Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel’s groundbreaking comic, to the dozens of superhero films hitting cinemas every year. What is it that makes comics so special? What can this unique art form do that others can’t? In Why Comics?, comics scholar H The massive impact that comics have had on our culture becomes more and more clear every day, from the critically acclaimed musical Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel’s groundbreaking comic, to the dozens of superhero films hitting cinemas every year. What is it that makes comics so special? What can this unique art form do that others can’t? In Why Comics?, comics scholar Hillary Chute reveals the history of comics, underground comics (or comix), and graphic novels, through deep thematic analysis, and fascinating portraits of the fearless men and women behind them. As Scott McCloud revealed the methods behind comics and the way they worked in his classic Understanding Comics, Chute will reveal the themes that Comics handle best, and how the form is uniquely equipped to explore them. The topics Why Comics? include: • Why Disaster: with such major works focusing on disasters, from Art Spiegelman’s work, which covers the Holocaust and 9/11 to Keiji Nakazawa’s work covering Heroshima, comics find themselves uniquely suited to convey the scale and disorientation of disaster. • Why Suburbs: through the work of Chris Ware and Charles Burns, Chute reveals the fascinating ways that Comics illustrate the quiet joys and struggles of suburban existence. • Why Punk: With an emphasis on DIY aesthetics and rebelling against what came before, the Punk movement would prove to be a fertile ground for some of the most significant modern cartoonists, creating a truly democratic art form. Chute has created an indispensable guide to comics for those new to the genre, or those who want to understand more about what lies behind their favorite works.

30 review for Why Comics?: From Underground to Everywhere

  1. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

    Comics is a medium dogged by questions, the most persistent and at the same time the most asinine being, "What could possibly be intelligent or relevant about comics?" Having been taught to read by my mother with the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, and having my favorite childhood book being Captain Underpants, I admit that I'm a little biased this category and believe wholeheartedly that comics are not only a legitimate artistic medium, but that they are also a medium defined by it's unending qu Comics is a medium dogged by questions, the most persistent and at the same time the most asinine being, "What could possibly be intelligent or relevant about comics?" Having been taught to read by my mother with the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, and having my favorite childhood book being Captain Underpants, I admit that I'm a little biased this category and believe wholeheartedly that comics are not only a legitimate artistic medium, but that they are also a medium defined by it's unending quality of potential. There is literally no space, ground, or territory of human society in which comics cannot address, and Chute demonstrates this in Why Comics? masterfully. The book is not an ungodly academic affair, anyone could read this book and gleam something from it. Whether it's her analysis of MAUS, a book which has permanently altered the medium by its respectability, her exploration of the lasting relevance of superhero comics, her insights into the eccentric works of R.Crumb, or her lengthy treatment of Alison Bechdel's memoir Fun Home, every page of this book is an love-song and a real defense of the medium of comics. Chute arranges this book as a series of questions anticipating the now outdated perception that comics has no merit in dealing with material like genocide, sexism, race, queer existence, politics, sexuality, and personal development. Chute answers the question why would comics handle the lives of queer people. Why would comics have relevance when dealing with the Serbian genocide? These questions over time become pressingly important to the reader, and as they read the book they will see that Chute is not only a skilled writer and defender of the medium, she succeeds in making the reader want to read more comics. Like I wrote at the start, I am terribly biased and I believe comics are something important to the culture for the way they can combine words and images to address common, eccentric, unusual, or complicated issues of human existence. Comics is a medium where the artist is not so bound by limitations. Because of it's structure of using image and word together the artists and writers who make and draft comics can create moments that are simply unlike anything which has existed before in any medium. Comics are pure potential, and Chute reminds me in every page why I love reading them.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Wednesday

    Well laid out, well written, thorough, and informative. In terms of opinions though, I did not agree with all of her stances. That, however, is purely personal comic preferences. Chute clearly prefers autobiographic comics to fictional comics and I am the opposite. Example, she really like Crumb and I do not. He's a terrific artist, we agree on that, but I just really don't enjoy reading the subject matter. Different tastes, but the book is so well written that our differing opinions wasn't off Well laid out, well written, thorough, and informative. In terms of opinions though, I did not agree with all of her stances. That, however, is purely personal comic preferences. Chute clearly prefers autobiographic comics to fictional comics and I am the opposite. Example, she really like Crumb and I do not. He's a terrific artist, we agree on that, but I just really don't enjoy reading the subject matter. Different tastes, but the book is so well written that our differing opinions wasn't off putting. As in I did not get the impression that my taste, in a broad sense, was being put down but the author. My main criticism is that she uses the word 'quotidian' too much, accurately, but so much that it became annoying. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is looking to expand their comics reading and is unsure where to start. Chute focuses on one or two creators per chapter but also gives examples of similar titles or creators throughout. Or, if you love comics and want to delve into the more academic side of things.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Manish

    I got into the world of comics at the ripe old age of 30. The past five years have been rich and I've also embarked on collecting them for fun. Hence, any work that sheds some academic light on this fascinating field is usually picked up. Chute's work is simply brilliant. By covering themes such as Superheroes, War, Journalism, Women, Pop culture etc, she paints a lovely canvas of the world of comics!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Garden

    Uhh I was totally reading this and then I think maybe McCleary ruined it for me? Idk I’ll try again some other time. Also it’s a hardbound which jesus take me now but I cannot.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anthoferjea

    Chute has carved out an expert lane in comics since her first book and I love her close readings and historiography. The thematic questions in each chapter layer and overlap in suggestive ways that allows her analysis of Spiegelman, Crumb, Kominsky-Crumb, Panter, Satrapi, Bechdel, Barry, Ware, Sacco and many other artists to feel fresh to me even though I've read some of these authors over and over again. She acknowledges while not obsessing over mass-market superhero comics AND also acknowledge Chute has carved out an expert lane in comics since her first book and I love her close readings and historiography. The thematic questions in each chapter layer and overlap in suggestive ways that allows her analysis of Spiegelman, Crumb, Kominsky-Crumb, Panter, Satrapi, Bechdel, Barry, Ware, Sacco and many other artists to feel fresh to me even though I've read some of these authors over and over again. She acknowledges while not obsessing over mass-market superhero comics AND also acknowledges while not obsessing over the comix movement of the 70s and 80s. I love this as I'm turned off by the pure poptimism of analyzing only the best sellers but I also hate the way that comix's obsession with auteurist writer-artists excluded the many worthwhile contributions of DC Vertigo, the work of Brian K Vaughn and Fiona Staples, and the interesting moves towards representation of a much wider audience that Marvel has made in the last decade. Chute has all of it, and all of it is fascinating and worthwhile.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    I really enjoyed learning about the backstories of some luminaries of the comics and literary graphic novel world, and close readings of important works were compelling. This is an academic text, not in the sense that it's particularly difficult but it's not especially pleasant to read. The introduction, especially, was dry and not a particularly good intro to comics - it summarizes a variety of previous works on comics - you'd be better off just reading these works. I was also skeptical of Chut I really enjoyed learning about the backstories of some luminaries of the comics and literary graphic novel world, and close readings of important works were compelling. This is an academic text, not in the sense that it's particularly difficult but it's not especially pleasant to read. The introduction, especially, was dry and not a particularly good intro to comics - it summarizes a variety of previous works on comics - you'd be better off just reading these works. I was also skeptical of Chute's attempts to show the changing popularity of comics. The metrics she uses weren't always convincing to me; however Chute is really interesting when she's talking about literary graphic novels and the underground comix world - would recommend if you already are familiar with comics and want to learn more about these subgenres.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I love Chute's writing and her fresh approach to understanding alternative/underground comics through its recurring themes -- essentially, identifying its subgenres. My one critical note is the way the book leans on (leans on! not singularly indulges) the usual suspects: R. Crumb, Alison Bechdel, Chris Ware, Art Spiegelman, the Hernandez brothers.... At the same time, Chute is the leading scholar on Spiegelman's work, so. Maybe more of a look into the current direction of these themes, balancing I love Chute's writing and her fresh approach to understanding alternative/underground comics through its recurring themes -- essentially, identifying its subgenres. My one critical note is the way the book leans on (leans on! not singularly indulges) the usual suspects: R. Crumb, Alison Bechdel, Chris Ware, Art Spiegelman, the Hernandez brothers.... At the same time, Chute is the leading scholar on Spiegelman's work, so. Maybe more of a look into the current direction of these themes, balancing each chapter with the artists who established them and the artists who are carrying them forward, would make the book more satisfying to me, idk.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emanuel Sanabria

    Very well documented and written. I specially loved the analysis of the works of Ware, Burns and Bechdel.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ian Jobe

    This book was given to me as a birthday present by my wife. She heard the author giving an interview and thought I might enjoy the book because of my love comic books growing up. Very early in the book, it became obvious that this would not focus much on the mainstream super hero comics of my childhood, but instead more on the adult themed books that I began to learn about as I grew older. Why Comics? looks at the history of different underground comics, and their influences, from humble beginnin This book was given to me as a birthday present by my wife. She heard the author giving an interview and thought I might enjoy the book because of my love comic books growing up. Very early in the book, it became obvious that this would not focus much on the mainstream super hero comics of my childhood, but instead more on the adult themed books that I began to learn about as I grew older. Why Comics? looks at the history of different underground comics, and their influences, from humble beginnings to the often mainstream products that they are today. The book's chapters each focus on the different influences or themes of specific comics (Sex, Punk, War, Disaster, Suburbs, Cities, etc.) The book does a good job of providing a lot of background information about the authors and the experiences that influenced their titles. I was surprised how many of these authors I had previously heard of and all the experiences that influenced their work. For the authors that I hadn't heard of, I often found myself adding their work to my Goodreads 'to read' list. This was not true with all of the authors though as some chapters were more interesting than others and I didn't always gain more appreciation for some of the artists (I have no desire to ever pick up a comic by Robert Crumb). Despite that fact, I still enjoyed reading about his experiences in the book. It's clear that Chute has a real passion and interest in the subject matter, which comes out in her work. I look forward to reading some of her other books in the future.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is the book I’ve read recently that has given me the most pleasure BY FAR. It contains both extremely good gossip about the background of comics you love and really smart close reads of those same comics, and I built a list of things I want to read next. Hillary Chute is the comics theorist of my heart and the person whose work is most influential to me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Peter Herrmann

    I learned a lot. Have rarely read graphic stories (although a few years ago I discovered Roz Chast's collections - and love them). So am now reading some of the many recommended (by Chute) authors. Some great, some not so ... but a new learning experience. I've become - in my dotage - much more appreciative of art (I used mostly to only appreciate the printed word), and some of these graphic novels exhibit interesting art, as well as original verbiage. Her organization of material, by genre, is u I learned a lot. Have rarely read graphic stories (although a few years ago I discovered Roz Chast's collections - and love them). So am now reading some of the many recommended (by Chute) authors. Some great, some not so ... but a new learning experience. I've become - in my dotage - much more appreciative of art (I used mostly to only appreciate the printed word), and some of these graphic novels exhibit interesting art, as well as original verbiage. Her organization of material, by genre, is useful. I have zero interest, for example, in 'superheroes', so pretty much skimmed that chapter. My take is that for US comics, this book is relatively comprehensive. However, if you are a fan of - or want to learn about -European comics (not especially, in my case), there is very little info in this book on them. Also, when I said 'comprehensive' above, I meant re themes, styles, meanings, designers & writers (mini-bios). But as far as mechanical technique - i.e., if you wanted to produce your own graphic novels - there is very little info in this book, and you'd probably need to go to art school or technical school to learn how.

  12. 4 out of 5

    James Davisson

    Gosh, what to say besides "highly informative" and "meticulously researched," the two obvious compliments for any good work of nonfiction... Oh, right: it's impressively broad in scope, while still being highly readable! Weirdly full of personal anecdotes about the author's interaction with absolutely pivotal figures in modern comics history, but in a good way! Full of high-quality reprints of pages from the works being discussed, so you don't have to find them yourself (or suffer the irritation Gosh, what to say besides "highly informative" and "meticulously researched," the two obvious compliments for any good work of nonfiction... Oh, right: it's impressively broad in scope, while still being highly readable! Weirdly full of personal anecdotes about the author's interaction with absolutely pivotal figures in modern comics history, but in a good way! Full of high-quality reprints of pages from the works being discussed, so you don't have to find them yourself (or suffer the irritation of learning about a visual medium that you can't look at)! An excellent survey of all of the Important Comics, which should be a little dull if you already know which are the Important Comics, but somehow isn't! The major ding, if there is one, is the author's tendency to choose the most famous, most obvious, most Important comics, the ones you'd see on a Comics 101 syllabus, to illustrate her points and analyze in depth. She has fresh insights to offer on them, though, and if you haven't read them, she makes you want to.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hal Johnson

    I have a lot of bones to pick with this book, but if I had to boil them down to one, I’d say that Chute is too giddy about listing every time a comic book is made into a movie or a TV show or anything, really, that’s not a comic book. Imagine if any other topic tried the same trick. “I’m a serious academic writing about Elizabethan literature for a popular audience, and Hamlet is a movie starring Mel Gibson.” And so we learn what celebrities appear in the Ghost World movie (p275), what Tony Award I have a lot of bones to pick with this book, but if I had to boil them down to one, I’d say that Chute is too giddy about listing every time a comic book is made into a movie or a TV show or anything, really, that’s not a comic book. Imagine if any other topic tried the same trick. “I’m a serious academic writing about Elizabethan literature for a popular audience, and Hamlet is a movie starring Mel Gibson.” And so we learn what celebrities appear in the Ghost World movie (p275), what Tony Awards the Fun Home musical won (p385), what Oscars the Persepolis cartoon was nominated for (“France’s first animated film to be nominated etc.”) (p300) etc. We learn that Lynda Barry’s novel The Good Times Are Killing Me became an “award-winning off-Broadway play in 1993” (p287)—The Good Times Are Killing Me isn’t even a comic! I would chalk this up to some nervous editor demanding that ignorant audiences be given something familiar (“…it was even adapted for MTV’s Liquid Television” (p146)), except the whole book reeks of this need for outside affirmation. Chris Ware’s comics are “beautiful enough to be collected in museums” (p158)! Comics are being written by “one of the most acclaimed public intellectuals of the last decade” (p98)! They’re being read by “cultural heroes” like Vonnegut and Fellini (p261)! Everything is a commercial—not a commercial for “Team Comics,” really, but a commercial for commercials. It’s non-stop cheerleading. It’s not enough to say that Justin Green’s cousin is director William Friedkin, the book has to be add that the Exorcist was a “smash hit” (p261). Did you know that Civil War is “the world’s highest grossing film in 2016” (no, dear reader, it’s “not about the US Civil War”) (p311). Eventually this kind of flattery becomes an unconscious tick, like someone announcing the next guest on Jay Leno. Chute is the first person in decades to label the series Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos “popular” (p311). The cheering just leads to absurdities. We note that Ware’s Building Stories “quickly sold out” (p159), which is fair enough, but we also note that Black Panther #1 “sold out quickly” (p98)—which makes no sense. I don’t expect Chute to stop and explain the vagaries of the direct market, but the truth is that every comic book issue sells out, almost without exception, by design, and that’s why only shills like Wizard Magazine have ever said a contemporary comic has sold out. I have to assume that Chute knows this, but was simply flailing around for something to prove how popular this comic was and got stuck. Even more absurdly, we’re cautioned that “it’s hard to overestimate the importance of Sacco’s Palestine to the comics world and to contemporary political and popular culture in general” (p319). Look, Joe Sacco’s great! His importance in the “comics world” is not on the same level as things like Maus, Fun Home, or DC’s New 52 marketing blitz, but fine. Sacco is important to comics. But “popular culture in general” obviously has no idea who Sacco is! He’s not going to be a Jeopardy question. He’s not a name you can drop at Thanksgiving dinner. It’s hard to underestimate the importance of Joe Sacco to contemporary political culture (whatever that is). “Novelist and critic Nick Hornby” is quoted approvingly as saying that Barry “seems to me to almost single-handedly justify the form” (p280) and—ok, I like Hornby fine, but “critic”? This isn’t Edmund Wilson here. And more importantly, as much as I love Lynda Barry, and I do, this statement is absurd. Try to imagine someone saying that Barry’s prose work Cruddy “single-handedly justifies” the novel. Nick Hornby is really saying, “I don’t know very much about art comics,” which is fine, except why would you quote that? Is it because Hornby’s book About a Boy became a smash hit film starring Hugh Grant? Any attention from the mainstream media, no matter how silly, is trotted forth as validation. The New York Times praises Phoebe Gloeckner for “creating some of the edgiest work about young women’s lives in any medium” (p133) and rather than wonder why anyone outside a marketing exec would talk this way, we bask in the glow of approval and move on. Did you know that Lynda Barry went to the same college as “lead members of the feminist riot grrrl bands Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney and peace activist Rachel Corrie” (p283)? This book drives me crazy! I won’t even talk about the really, really long and not-about-comics punk rock chapter. Chute is a good interviewer, but her uncritical acceptance of artists’ statements on their work, which served her well in her collection of interviews Outside the Box, is poison to analysis. There’s far too much “Sacco is just as influenced by artists like Pieter Bruegel the Elder, the sixteenth-century Dutch painter, as he is by twentieth-century prose journalists like Hunter S. Thompson” (p320). And what are we supposed to make of a sentence like: “In terms of identity and futurity, Sattouf, after a difficult childhood, seems to have chosen a more flexible, and deeply felt, identity” (p347)? There are a lot of great comics in this book, and if it introduces new readers to Chris Ware, Jaime Hernandez, Lynda Barry, Daniel Clowes, Phoebe Glockener, or Justin Green—hey, that’s wonderful. Chute at times pauses to do a close reading of a page, and when she does the book becomes smart and interesting. But most of it is like a slightly-dumbed down Entertainment Weekly article. These artists deserve a better introduction.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chuk

    I really enjoyed this. An academic look at various themes in comics, mostly not the mainstream superhero ones. Lots of well reproduced comic pages and each chapter would focus on a particular theme in comics, then zoom in on 2 or three particular works or creators. There was a big section on Ware's "Building Stories" and another on Allie Brosh's "Hyperbole and a Half", two recent-ish works I really liked, and also sections on R. Crumb and Harvey Pekar. It is closer to a pop culture book than an I really enjoyed this. An academic look at various themes in comics, mostly not the mainstream superhero ones. Lots of well reproduced comic pages and each chapter would focus on a particular theme in comics, then zoom in on 2 or three particular works or creators. There was a big section on Ware's "Building Stories" and another on Allie Brosh's "Hyperbole and a Half", two recent-ish works I really liked, and also sections on R. Crumb and Harvey Pekar. It is closer to a pop culture book than an academic work but still has citations.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Insightful survey of the wide range of topics addressed and styles used by the comics medium. Each chapter focuses on one theme (superheroes, queer, illness/disability, war, girls...), spotlighting a few comics creators and analyzing their work in depth. There are plenty of examples included of all the comics discussed. I discovered comics/graphic novels later in my reading career and now have several favorites. This book gave me an even greater appreciation of comics as an art form, and its uni Insightful survey of the wide range of topics addressed and styles used by the comics medium. Each chapter focuses on one theme (superheroes, queer, illness/disability, war, girls...), spotlighting a few comics creators and analyzing their work in depth. There are plenty of examples included of all the comics discussed. I discovered comics/graphic novels later in my reading career and now have several favorites. This book gave me an even greater appreciation of comics as an art form, and its unique capabilities as a medium for expression. Your TBR list will grow!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Yael

    I’ll admit, I didn’t finish this, but what I read was interesting. I picked it up at the library since my son is so interested in comics. This did answer my main question, which was whether reading comics counts as reading (it does), but is probably otherwise too academic/specialized to be of much interest to the general reader who doesn’t know comics. Otherwise, well-written.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rick Ouellette

    A definitive treatise on how graphic novels and other art comics have become such a cultural touchstone. Chute splits her books into different chapters covering different aspects of its appeal (Why Sex?, Why Punk?, Why Suburbs?) gives some form to its widespread, analytical (but still accessible) approach. Very generously illustrated with samples from many of the books she is writing about.

  18. 4 out of 5

    John

    this is an excellent, comprehensive, gorgeous read that took me about 3 months. i would almost recommend keeping it on the shelf like a textbook (next to Understanding Comics) and reading through a chapter or two during creative dry spells.

  19. 5 out of 5

    pianogal

    This one was good - better than I thought. I would have given her 4 stars, but she never mentioned Deadpool in any of the 423 pages. Sad face. Some of the chapters were better than others - I did not enjoy War, for instance. But overall it was organized well and much easier to read than I expected.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shana Dennis

    Amazing overview of the history, politics, and artistry of comics. It is broken up into the most common genres of comics but chapters often reference and bleed into each other, which takes it beyond enjoyably academic to having a flowing narrative that makes the book hard to put down.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    This is an academic book, so I thought I'd browse it; but Hilary Chute's writing is so enjoyable and accessible, I ended up reading it cover to cover! I'd recommend it to anyone who seriously loves comics, particularly indie comics.

  22. 5 out of 5

    John

    A great primer--but if you're a comic fan of with any discerning taste, there will be nothing here for you (as you'll already be familiar with the comics mentioned)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    It took a while for me to get through it, but I now have a greater respect for Comics and big to-read list.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Excellent. A great survey of comics with Chute's exacting critical eye. She gives us history, analysis, and thematic groups to work with. Love this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Judy Aulik

    Interestingly laid out, using subgenres and societal concerns. It's well-written and researched. However, it's aimed at a post-generation X audience.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Heil

    I'm writing this review a good month and a half after I finished reading the book because I'm reading more comics than ever now. I regularly bike to the library and raid the adult graphic novel section like a twelve-year-old. I just bought an American Splendor anthology. This book might not change everybody's life, but for me it made fresh an interest which I've snobbishly neglected for several years. Chute doesn't dwell too long on superheroes, which came as a relief. She has one chapter on them I'm writing this review a good month and a half after I finished reading the book because I'm reading more comics than ever now. I regularly bike to the library and raid the adult graphic novel section like a twelve-year-old. I just bought an American Splendor anthology. This book might not change everybody's life, but for me it made fresh an interest which I've snobbishly neglected for several years. Chute doesn't dwell too long on superheroes, which came as a relief. She has one chapter on them and even then she chooses to describes to describe lesser known characters once she finishes with Superman. Instead of providing a history of superheroes, she goes in depth into underground comix, the punk scene, classics like Eisner, Spiegelman, the Hernandez brothers, and Bechdel. Even Allie Brosh gets a shout-out. I just dropped all those names like a wily old connessieur, but before reading this book I only knew about Brosh, and Bechdel was only vaguely familiar. Chute has written an excellent introduction to comics for people like me, who've read Gary Larsen and Allen Moore but no idea the vast offerings of the genre.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sim

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gary Lang

  29. 4 out of 5

    Beth

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jake Slaughter

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