Description of ActivityInvited speaker at the 'Comics and Stuff' seminar. For most of their history, comics were widely understood as disposable―you read them and discarded them, and the pulp paper they were printed on decomposed over time. Today, comic books have been rebranded as graphic novels―clothbound high-gloss volumes that can be purchased in bookstores, checked out of libraries, and displayed proudly on bookshelves. They are reviewed by serious critics and studied in university classrooms. A medium once considered trash has been transformed into a respectable, if not elite, genre.
Contemporary culture is awash with stuff. Contemporary graphic novels give vivid expression to a culture preoccupied with the processes of circulation and appraisal, accumulation and possession. By design, comics encourage the reader to scan the landscape, to pay attention to the physical objects that fill our lives and constitute our familiar surroundings. Because comics take place in a completely fabricated world, everything is there intentionally. Comics are stuff; comics tell stories about stuff; and they display stuff.
In this session, we will discuss how contemporary graphic novels have explored themes of collecting and accumulation; how collecting comics has been a central aspect of how comics artists orient themselves to their medium’s history; why artists are motivated to pay special attention to the material objects with which they populate their worlds; and how shared experiences of collecting helps to bridge between writers and readers of comics.
|Degree of Recognition||International|
- Henry Jenkins
- Bryan Talbot