Course Instructor Days Times Room
ENGL4896 PIZZINO, CHRISTOPHER M W F 1 :25 PM 0144

Description

While comics are read widely, and seriously, by people of all ages in many nations, they have long been considered a kind of non-literature in the US.  The fortunes of comics have been changing (somewhat) in recent decades, and this course will pay some attention to how the changes have happened and what they mean.  However, this is first and foremost a study of comics as a medium, regardless of status.  Early in the course, we will master the critical terms needed to analyze comics, and these terms will be a part of class discussion and part of the writing assignments throughout the semester.  Texts will be selected from a variety of national traditions and periods, but there will be a significant focus on the past three decades of graphic novels in the US.  One or two films may supplement the primary texts.  Students taking this course should be aware that there is a lot of reading and that the texts are, unfortunately, expensive.  They are also required; students who attend class without the day’s reading will be counted absent.  Additionally, students should note that printed (that is, paper) copies of all texts are required; with one or two exceptions, digital copies will not be allowed.

Students should also note that the assigned texts contain a great deal of visually explicit sex and violence.  If the texts were films, several of them would earn an NC-17 rating.  Please do not sign up for this course if you cannot examine such material in good conscience.

Assignments

Quizzes will be constant.

Short essays will be required during the term.

There will be a final exam.

Requirements

See above.

Grading

TBD

Attendance

Students will be allowed five absences.  Additional absences will damage the final grade; the more absences there are, the worse the damage will be.  If some absences are excused, the damage can be reduced but not erased.  Students should be aware that this policy is never altered, and that it has been the primary factor in drops and failures in previous terms.  Take this into consideration before deciding to register for the course.

Material

This is a list of all the hard-copy texts that need to be acquired for the course.  The links to amazon are not endorsements; they are there simply to establish the correct text.

NOTE: all books listed below are accompanied by an ISBN number and a link.  The links are not intended as endorsements, but they will let you know exactly which edition of the book to buy.  All texts listed are required.

 

Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art

9780060976255

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Comics-The-Invisible-Art/dp/006097625X

 

Charles Schulz, The Complete Peanuts Vol. 4

9781606998700

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Peanuts-1957-1958-Paperback-Edition/dp/1606998706

 

Lynda Barry, One Hundred Demons!

9781570614590

http://www.amazon.com/One-Hundred-Demons-Lynda-Barry/dp/1570614598

 

Gene Yang, American Born Chinese

9780312384487

http://www.amazon.com/American-Born-Chinese-Gene-Luen/dp/0312384483

 

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Red

9781771620222

http://www.amazon.com/Red-Haida-Michael-Nicoll-Yahgulanaas/dp/1771620226

 

Kyle Baker, Nat Turner

9780810972278

http://www.amazon.com/Nat-Turner-Kyle-Baker/dp/0810972271

 

Adam Hines, Duncan the Wonder Dog

9780977030491

http://www.amazon.com/Duncan-Wonder-Dog-Adam-Hines/dp/0977030490

 

Alison Bechdel, Fun Home

9780618871711

http://www.amazon.com/Fun-Home-Tragicomic-Alison-Bechdel/dp/0618871713

 

Charles Burns, Black Hole

9780375714726

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Hole-Charles-Burns/dp/037542380X

 

Gilbert Hernandez, Heartbreak Soup

9781560977834

http://www.amazon.com/Heartbreak-Soup-Rockets-Gilbert-Hernandez/dp/1560977833

 

Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis

9780375714832

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Persepolis-Marjane-Satrapi/dp/0375714839

 

Margureite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie, Aya: Life in Yop City

9781770460829

http://www.amazon.com/Aya-Life-City-Marguerite-Abouet/dp/1770460829

 

Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, This One Summer

9781596437746

http://www.amazon.com/This-One-Summer-Mariko-Tamaki/dp/159643774X

 

Sanaa Amanat, G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal

9780785190219

http://www.amazon.com/Ms-Marvel-Volume-No-Normal/dp/078519021X

 

Jim Woodring, The Portable Frank

9781560979784

http://www.amazon.com/The-Portable-Frank-Jim-Woodring/dp/156097978X