The Rise of the American Comics Artist
Creators and Contexts

Edited by Paul Williams
and James Lyons

256 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 40 line illustrations, index

978-1-60473-791-2 Printed casebinding $55.00S

978-1-60473-792-9 Paper $28.00S

Printed casebinding, $55.00

Paper, $28.00

An exploration of an art form's transformation from adolescent charms to adult aesthetics

Essays by David M. Ball, Ian Gordon, Andrew Loman, James Lyons, Ana Merino, Graham J. Murphy, Chris Murray, Adam Rosenblatt and Andrea A. Lunsford, Julia Round, Joe Sutliff Sanders, Stephen Weiner, Paul Williams; and interviews with Scott McCloud, Jeff Smith, and Jim Woodring

Starting in the mid-1980s, a talented set of comics creators changed the American comicbook industry forever by introducing adult sensibilities and aesthetic considerations into popular genres such as superhero comics and the newspaper strip. Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (1986) and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's Watchmen (1987) revolutionized the former genre in particular. During this same period, underground and alternative genres began to garner critical acclaim and media attention beyond comics-specific outlets, as best represented by Art Spiegelman's Maus. Publishers began to collect, bind, and market comics as "graphic novels," and these appeared in mainstream bookstores and in magazine reviews.

The Rise of the American Comics Artist: Creators and Contexts brings together new scholarship surveying the production, distribution, and reception of American comics from this pivotal decade to the present. The collection specifically explores the figure of the comics creator--either as writer, as artist, or as writer and artist--in contemporary U.S. comics, using creators as focal points to evaluate changes to the industry, its aesthetics, and its critical reception. The book also includes essays on landmark creators such as Joe Sacco, Art Spiegelman, and Chris Ware, as well as insightful interviews with Jeff Smith (Bone), Jim Woodring (Frank), and Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics). As comics have reached new audiences through different material and electronic forms, the public's broad perception of what comics are has changed. The Rise of the American Comics Artist surveys the ways in which the figure of the creator has been at the heart of these evolutions.

Paul Williams, Exeter, United Kingdom, is teaching fellow in English at the University of Exeter. His work has been published in European Journal of American Culture, Science Fiction Studies, Journal of Transatlantic Studies, European Journal of American Studies, and Science Fiction Film and Television. James Lyons, Exeter, United Kingdom, is senior lecturer in film at the University of Exeter. He is the author of Selling Seattle: Representing Contemporary Urban America and coeditor of Multimedia Histories: From the Magic Lantern to the Internet (with John Plunkett) and Quality Popular Television (with Marc Jancovich).

256 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 40 line illustrations, index