Print ISBN: 978-1-68217-911-6
# of Pages: 524
# of Volumes: 1
Print List Price: $195
e-ISBN: 978-1-68217-959-8
eBook User Price: $195
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Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: History, Theme & Technique

Editors: Bart H. Beaty; University of Calgary & Stephen Weiner; Maynard Public Library, MA
April 2019

This new edition provides readers with a solid understanding of the history of graphic novels alongside new information about themes and techniques used in this expanding genre. As graphic novels grow in popularity, this series becomes an important acquisition for public libraries, high schools and undergraduate literature collections.

History, Theme & Technique collects more than 80 essays on the evolution of the graphic novel, from its conceptual beginnings to its gradual acceptance. This volume covers the unique process of creating a product both in art and in word; historical overviews track the complex development of this important art form, while the survey of key themes, genres, and events, albeit far from exhaustive, will help define the major milestones and provide an important foundation for future research.

Scope & Coverage
This single-volume includes over 80 essays covering themes and concepts of graphic novels, including genres, time periods, foreign-language traditions, social relevance, and craftsmanship. A wide spectrum of other genres is also presented in critical format, ranging from the nationalistic, such as Japanese manga and African graphic novels, to the traditional, such as Westerns, science fiction, and the archetypal superhero genre and mythos.

This set also provides insight into various aspects of the industry, from techniques such a lettering, inking, and illustration, to the production and distribution of graphic novels and the significance of comic book conventions, Issues of readership and literacy, library collection development, and censorship are also covered.

Organization & Format
The essays in History, Theme & Technique appear in three topical sections: History, which traces the evolution of the medium before exploring a wealth of cultural and historical topics: Theme, arranged in alphabetical order and covering a wide range of storytelling across genres from the funny animal genre to action and adventure; and Technique, which examines the operations involved in creating and publishing graphic novels. Each essay is three to four pages in length and is divided into the following sections:

  • Definition-describes the time period, genre, or step in the creation process;
  • Introduction-provides a brief overview of the topic;
  • Impact-covers the theme, genre, or time period and its influence on the medium of graphic novels;
  • Bibliography-lists secondary print sources for further study and examination.

The end of the volumes includes special features and additional resource for further study, including;

  • Glossary of Terms & Techniques
  • Bibliography
  • Guide to Online Resources
  • Timeline
  • Major Awards
  • Recommended Readings (Heroes, Independents, and Manga)
  • Index

About the Series
Salem Press’s Critical Survey of Graphic Novels series aims to collect the preeminent graphic novels and core comics series that form today’s canon for academic coursework and library collection development. The series offers clear, concise, and accessible analysis of not only the historic and current landscape of the interdisciplinary medium and its consumption, but the wide range of genres, themes, devices, and techniques that the graphic novel medium encompasses.

Designed for both popular and scholarly arenas and collections, the series provides unique insight and analysis into the most influential and widely-read graphic novels with an emphasis on establishing the medium as an important academic discipline. Researchers and the common reader alike will gain a deeper understanding of these works, as the literary nature is presented in critical format by leading writers in the field of study.

View a Full List of Titles from the Critical Survey of Literature Series