Course Instructor Days Times Room
ENGL4896 PIZZINO, CHRISTOPHER TR 11::0 AM 0145

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 term.  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; 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 are not willing to examine such material, or if you cannot do so in good consience.

Assignments

Quizzes will be constant.

Short essays will be required throughout the term.

There will be a final exam.

Requirements

See above.

Attendance

Students will be allowed four 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

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

 

Lynda Barry, One Hundred Demons!
9781570614590
http://www.amazon.com/One-Hundred-Demons-Lynda-Barry/dp/1570614598

 

Hergé, Tintin in America
9780316358521
http://www.amazon.com/Tintin-America-The-Adventures/dp/0316358525

 

Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis
9780375714832
http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Persepolis-Marjane-Satrapi/dp/0375714839

 

Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, The Comic Book History of Comics
9781613771976
http://www.amazon.com/Comic-Book-History-Comics-Lente/dp/1613771975

 

Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, The Dark Knight Returns
9781563893421
http://www.amazon.com/Batman-The-Dark-Knight-Returns/dp/1563893428

 

Jason, What I Did
9781606994146
http://www.amazon.com/What-Did-Wait-Sshhhh-Wagon/dp/160699414X

 

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

 

Craig Thompson, Blankets
9781891830433
http://www.amazon.com/Blankets-Craig-Thompson/dp/1891830430

 

Chris Ware, Acme Novelty Library Vol. 20: Lint
9781770460201
http://www.amazon.com/Acme-Novelty-Library-Chris-Ware/dp/1770460209
  

Art Spiegelman, Maus Volume I: My Father Bleeds History
9780394747231
http://www.amazon.com/Maus-Survivors-Father-Bleeds-History/dp/0394747232

 

Art Spiegelman, Maus Volume II: And Here My Troubles Began
9780679729778
http://www.amazon.com/Maus-II-Survivors-Troubles-Began/dp/0679729771

 

Adam Hines, Duncan the Wonder Dog
9780977030491
http://www.amazon.com/Duncan-Wonder-Dog-Adam-Hines/dp/0977030490

 

Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, Locke & Key Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
9781600103841
http://www.amazon.com/Locke-Key-Vol-Welcome-Lovecraft/dp/1600103847

 

Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodgriguez, Locke & Key Vol. 2: Head Games
9781600107610
http://www.amazon.com/Locke-Key-Vol-Head-Games/dp/1600107613

 

Ed Brubaker and Sean Collins, Criminal Vol. 6: Last of the Innocent
9780785158295
http://www.amazon.com/Criminal-Vol-6-Last-Innocent/dp/0785158294