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The Death of the Cartoonist? Working on Living Creators by Barbara Postema

Comics studies is a young field in more than its academic standing. With the flourishing of comics production at the moment, it is also young in terms of its texts and its creators.

Many of the texts we work on are less than thirty years old, and in the case of my research they are often less than fifteen years old. With the obvious exceptions of certain established creators, for many of these texts the list of secondary works discussing them is quite short. There are countless comics to choose to write about, and it is easy to find comics that have never been discussed in an academic publication before at all. While comics studies has in many ways been reluctant to establish a canon of the comics we should all know, due to the choices scholars make in the texts they write about, if we were to gauge worthiness or canonicity by what is most often discussed, that canon is quite clear: a quick look at the comics and graphic novels most often discussed in journal articles and books shows the same names cropping up again and again–most notably Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, Joe Sacco, and the British auteurs Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. In the case of newer artists, the only secondary literature available is most often interviews with the cartoonist, writer, or artist in venues like The Comics Journal. But even in that department, the lists of interviews will only be more impressive for established cartoonists.

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Posted by on 2014/01/24 in Guest Writers

 

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