Topic outline

  • General

    Comics of the Self: Reading Graphic Memoirs
    Fall 2008
    Gloria Biamonte

    Graphic Novel"When I was a little kid," writes Scott McCloud, "I knew exactly what comics were. Comics were those bright colorful magazines filled with bad art, stupid stories and guys in tights." With these words, McCloud launches into his exploration of the art-form of comics - a form whose potential and "hidden power" we will explore in this writing seminar. Using McCloud's Understanding Comics as our starting point, we will examine how several contemporary graphic artists - Art Spiegelman, David B., Alison Bechdel, Marjane Satrapi, Howard Cruse, Ann Marie Fleming and others - use words, pictures and narratives to tell stories of their lives. We will be writing about all of this in several formats: in-class exercises and shorter assignments leading up to one 8-10 page research paper. Peer response workshops, writing conferences, and in-class work on style, revision, and editing will alternate with our class discussion of the texts.

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