Print ISBN: 978-1-68217-913-0
# of Pages: 1110
# of Volumes: 3
Print List Price: $395
e-ISBN: 978-1-68217-958-1
eBook User Price: $395
Free Online Access
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Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: Independents & Underground Classics

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

This new edition of Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: Independents & Underground Classics offers over 215 essays covering graphic novels and core comics series, focusing on the independents and underground genre that form today’s canon for academic coursework and library collections.

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, offering 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.

Scope & Coverage

This three-volume set covers over 215 well-regarded works of the independent and underground genre, summarizing plots and analyzing the works in terms of their literary integrity and overall contribution to the graphic novel landscape. It contains works that are self-published or are from independent houses. The entries in this encyclopedic set also cover a wide range of periods and trends in the medium.

Graphic novels featured in these volumes include:

  • Hard Boiled, Frank Miller
  • Alice in Sunderland: An Entertainment, Bryan Talbot
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nunzio DeFilippis, and Christina Weir
  • Age of Reptiles, Ricardo Delgado
  • Home After Dark, David Small
  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Alison Bechdel

Organization & Format

The essays appear alphabetically and are approximately 3 to 4 pages in length. Each essay is heavily formatted and begins with full ready-reference top matter that includes the primary author or authors; illustrators and other artists who contributed to the work; and the first serial and book publication. This is followed by the main text, which is divided into the following sections:

  1. Publication History: an overview of the work's origin and publication chronology
  2. Plot: an in-depth synopsis of the main story and progression and other story arcs
  3. Volumes: where applicable, orients the reader to the accepted reading order of the work
  4. Characters: detailed descriptions of major characters in the story, beginning with the main protagonists and antagonists
  5. Artistic Style: analysis of the work's visual content
  6. Themes: identifying the central themes in the work, how they are expressed and how they relate to characterization and style
  7. Impact: covers the work's influence on the creators' careers, publishing house, the medium of graphic novels itself, and literature in general
  8. Bibliography: secondary print sources for further study and examination

Appendices & Other Special Features

  • 250+ Pictures
  • Biographical Sidebars
  • Full Bibliography
  • Guide to Online Resources
  • Timeline
  • Major Awards
  • Works by Artist
  • Works by Author
  • Works by Publisher
  • Index

A “first” in the field, the Critical Survey of Graphic Novels series focuses on all aspects of the graphic novels genre, aiming to establish it as an important academic discipline and research topic in libraries. Designed for academic institutions, high schools, and public libraries, the series provides unique insight into the stories and themes expressed in historic and current landscape of the graphic novel medium.

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