4390: Comics and Visual Literature
Prof. Gene Kannenberg, Jr.
UHD, Spring 2005 - CRN 20789
[Preliminary course description - syllabus to
- See Book
In this course we will study the art form known as
our critical lens will come from text/image studies. While the
readings for this course will cover a historical range, this is not
a course in or about comics history; rather, we will focus on formal,
interpretive, and analytical issues.
Primary readings in comics (strips, books, and graphic novels; mostly
fiction, but some non-fiction, as well) will be supplemented by
readings, first in comics-specific discourse (most prominently, Scott
McCloud’s Understanding Comics), followed, more extensively, by
broader investigations of text/image questions (Roland Barthes, Michael
Camille, Johanna Drucker, W.J.T. Mitchell, etc.). Reserve
materials in other text/image forms (some from our library, some from
my personal collection) will supplement our readings and allow us to
draw comparisons between
comics and other forms of visual literature.
When students leave the class, they will have a refined appreciation
the comics art form, as well as a set of critical approaches to help
analyze other forms of visual communication, including:
- Book Design
- Print Design
- Web design
- Icons and
Our class will use the following comics texts. As you may already
be aware, comics can be expensive; I've tried my best to keep the costs
down while covering a useful range of material. One way to reduce
your costs is to look for used or discounted versions of these books.
Some will be hard to find, others will be very easy to find,
Amazon.com offers some of our texts at significant discounts
Maus); I've included direct links to Amazon.com's information on some
of the books below. (If you bought all of the books through
that you could, you'd save about $35!) I also urge you to visit
Half Price Books stores and other used book stores; I can't guarantee
that you will find our books there, but chances are good at least one
or two may be waiting for you. You might also want to look at
of the larger comic book shops in the area, like Bedrock City .
There will also
be a course packet or reserve readings - details to follow...
also will read:
Lynda. The! Greatest! of! Marlyss! Sasquatch
Books. $15.95. (
Amazon.com: $11.17 )
- Gaiman, Neil, et al. The Sandman, Book 3: Dream Country.
Vertigo. $14.95 ( Amazon.com:
Gilbert. Love & Rockets vol. 8: Blood of Palomar.
Fantagraphics. $18.95. (
Amazon.com: $13.27 )
Scott. Understanding Comics. $23. (
Amazon.com: $16.07 )
and Dave Gibbons. Watchmen. DC Comics/Warner
Amazon.com: $13.97 )
Chris, ed. Drawn and Quarterly vol. 2 no.1.
$5.95. (Easiest place to find this book will be the UHD bookstore)
Art. Maus I & Maus II. Pantheon. $14
Amazon.com: $19.04 for both books! )
Chris. Quimby the Mouse (paperback).
Fantagraphics. $14.95. (
Amazon.com: $10.47 )
- Spiegelman, Art. Jack Cole and Plastic Man: Forms Stretched
to their Limits! Chronicle Books. - I will have
copies available in class.
- Editorial Cartoons - We will read
and discuss a variety of editorial cartoons on the Internet and from
posted 10 November2004; Last modified 10 November 2004