English 4390: Comics and Visual Literature
Prof. Gene Kannenberg, Jr.
UHD, Spring 2005 - CRN 20789
TR 4:00-5:15pm

[Preliminary course description - syllabus to follow - See Book List]

In this course we will study the art form known as comics; our critical lens will come from text/image studies.  While the comics readings for this course will cover a historical range, this is not primarily 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 critical 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 for the comics art form, as well as a set of critical approaches to help them analyze other forms of visual communication, including:
Reading List
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, however.  Amazon.com offers some of our texts at significant discounts (like 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 Amazon 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 some 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...
We also will read:

posted 10 November2004; Last modified 10 November 2004