Critical Approaches to Comics Artists

University Press of Mississippi (UPM) will publish a new series: edited volumes of original, multidisciplinary essays by established and emerging scholars on a major cartoonist or graphic novelist. Series editor: David M. Ball, Visiting Associate Professor of English, Princeton University.

Books in this series will be edited, multi-author, scholarly volumes exploring major comics artists from any period, genre, or country. Each volume of essays will focus scholars on a single comics creator or graphic novelist. Interdisciplinary, comparative, and multicultural approaches to understanding comics are particularly welcome, and the series hopes to highlight a wide range of disciplinary, methodological, and theoretical approaches to comics scholarship in each volume. The series especially wishes to underscore the contributions by women and writers of color to the medium, and to pursue artists both within and beyond the frame of North America.

Within this global scope, the series hopes to address these topics: artist's contributions to the medium's history, development, and reception; their cultural, contextual, and aesthetic influences and resonances; their accounts or elisions of class, race, gender, sexuality, and disability; their relationship to or distance from literature, art history, film, and other contiguous disciplines; their participation in or detachment from wider social and commercial currents for comics in popular culture; among many others. Individual volumes can touch upon many of these topics simultaneously.

Artists for whom proposals would be particularly welcome include: Winsor McCay, Jack Kirby, Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Alison Bechdel, Marjane Satrapi, Osamu Tezuka, the Hernandez Brothers, and Lynda Barry, among others.

For an example of a volume that inspired the series, please consult The Comics of Chris Ware: Drawing is a Way of Thinking, Ed. David M. Ball and Martha J. Kuhlman (UPM, 2010). We welcome inquiries at:

David M. Ball

David M. Ball is Visiting Associate Professor of English at Princeton University and Associate Professor of English at Dickinson College. He is currently at work on a book exploring the intersections of comics and literary and artistic modernism. He is the author of False Starts: The Rhetoric of Failure and the Making of American Modernism (Northwestern UP, 2014) and the co-editor of The Comics Of Chris Ware: Drawing is a Way of Thinking (UPM, 2010). His essays and reviews have appeared in Modern Fiction Studies, College Literature, ArtForum, The Comics Journal, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among others.

The Artistry of Neil Gaiman: Finding Light in the Shadows

The Comics of Charles Schulz: The Good Grief of Modern Life

The Comics of Hergé: When the Lines Are not so Clear

The Comics Of Joe Sacco: Journalism in a Visual World

The Comics of Julie Doucet and Gabrielle Bell: A Place inside Yourself


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