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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

ENGL 53.26 From More Fun to Fun Home: A History of the U.S. Comic Book

This course examines the development of the American comic book in its historical, cultural, and political contexts. Key topics include: pre-comics visual storytelling and the conceptual problems with seeking such precedents; the explosion of the American comic strip during the Yellow Journalism period; the formats, forms, and genres of the early comic book industry; the rise of DC Comics, home to Superman; artist-run “shops” and the development of romance and horror comics; the 1950s Kefauver hearings and the introduction of the Comics Code; the “Silver Age,” the decline of DC and the rise of Marvel Comics; Underground Comix and Sixties counterculture; censorship and creative rights skirmishes of the 1980s and 90s; and the legitimation of comics as “graphic novels.” Along the way, we will read historical comics (in reprint anthologies) to explore the comics form: visual narration, the development and assignment of distinct styles to different genres, and the historical import of individual creators from Jerry Siegel and Will Eisner to Alison Bechdel and the Hernandez Brothers.

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:LIT; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.

Department-Specific Course Categories

Course Group III