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    ENG 381: Comic & Graphics Novels

    Spring 2012 Jan Susina • Illinois State University • English Dept.

    Course outline for Spring 2012 updated 1/19

    Required Texts: 

    • Scott McCloud.  Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art.  HarperPerennial, 1993.
    • Jeet Heer & Kent Worcester, eds. A Comics Studies Reader. U of Mississippi P., 2009
    • Charles Schulz.  Peanuts: A Golden Celebration.  ed. David Larkin.  It Books, 1999.
    • Herge.  The Blue Lotus (The Adventures of Tintin).  Little Brown, 1979.
    • Art Speigelman and Francoise Mouly, eds.  Big Fat Little Lit.  Puffin Books, 2003.
    • Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons.  The Watchmen.  DC Comics, 1995.
    • Frank Miller, Lynn Varley & Klaud Janson.  Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, DC Comics, 1997.
    • Art Spiegelman.  Maus I & II.  Pantheon, 1986 and 1992.
    • Joe Sacco.  Palestine. Fantagraphics Books, 2002.
    • Lynda Barry. One Hundred Demons! Sasquatch Books, 2002.
    • Daniel Clowes.  Ghost World.  Fantagraphics, 1998.
    • Craig Thompson.  Blankets.  Top Shelf Productions, 2003.
    • Alison Bechdel.  Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic.  Houghton Mifflin, 2006.
    • Chris Ware.  The Adventures of Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth, Pantheon Books.  2000.
    • Bryan Lee O’Malley. Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, Vol. 1 Oni Press, 2004
    • Gene Luen Yang American Born Chinese.  First Second, 2007.
    • Joseph Gibaldi.  MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.  Sixth edition.  MLA.

    Alan Moore's The Watchmen

    Watchmen Analysis and Criticism (  Detailed analysis

    "The Myth of Superman" by Umberto Eco (.pdf)

    The Watchmen, chapter by chapterAlan Moore as a Lego

    The Watchmen, Warner Bros official movie site

    The Watchmen Wikia

    An Internet Companion to The Watchmen

    "Watching the Watchmen" book released Oct. 2008

    Interview with Alan Moore from Mile High Comics in 2005.Alan Moore, creator of The Watchmen

    Interview with Alan Moore in 2003 from Arthur magazine.

    Alan Moore on "Watchmen's 'Toxic Cloud' and Creativity vs. Big Business" from co-Create at Fast Company.

    Alan Moore interviewed by LA Times about The Watchmen film (9/18/08)

    Links to interviews with Alan Moore

    Merging Charles Schulz and The Watchmen by cartoonist Evan Shaner.

    What happens if Charles Schulz' Peanut characters morph into The Watchmen?

    Bryan Lee O’Malley. Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life


    Radiomaru (Bryan Lee O'Malley's website)

    YouTube videos

    Scott Pilgrim wiki "over 220 articles, and 1,843 files"

    Comic Book Reader interviews O'Malley about new Scott Pilgrim editions in color (March 2012)

    Joe Sacco Palestine  Through the eyes of a Palestinian Refugee

    Art Spiegelman's "Drawing Blood" 

    Joe Sacco artist's bio on Fantagraphics

    Joe Sacco's website on Drawn & Quarterly

    Sacco interviewed by Al Jazeera Jan 2010

    Charles Schulz and Peanuts

    YouTube videos on Schulz and Charlie Brown

    "Comic Art, Children's Literature and the New Comic Studies" by Charles Hatfield published in The Lion and the Unicorn vol. 30.3 (Sept. 2006): 360-382. link to pdf of essay

    Mad magazine/Harvey Kutzman

    Mad - official website

    Doug Gilford's Mad cover website

    Comic Book Greats: Jack Davis Harvey Kutzman Stan Lee (YouTube video 45 min)

    Harvey Kurtzman website including "Hey Look" samples

    Al Jaffee's fold-ins for Mad magazine, connected to a New York Times article (Oct. 2010)

    Tom Richmond's Mad blog, about cartooning, drawing and behind-the-scenes

    Tintin sites

    Official Tintin site.   Includes video extract link on front page, biography details, & book material.

    Tintin and I. From the PBS television's POV series.

    Titinophile blog with links.

    National Maritime Exhibit website. Tintin at Sea.

    Tintin characters explained

    LeTinTin movie site.  good links explaining Tintin and videos

    "Hero, Villain, Yeti: Tibet in Comics" an exhibit at the Rubin Museum.  Interactive site for the exhibit.

    TinTin on YouTube videos's relatively encompassing page on Tintin, includes 45 minute show of Tintin in Tibet and many links

    Tintin Euro coin.  Good only in Belgium. Link to article

    Peter Conrad of The Observer on the on Tintin's appeals in a 2004 essay on Tintin's 75th anniversary

    Brief New Yorker piece (Aug. 19, 2008) on a yet another Tintin controversy

    Link to abstract of Anthony Lane's 2007 New Yorker essay critiquing Tintin

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

    RAW Comix edited by Art Spiegelman

    "Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@?*!" by Art Spiegelman Virginia Quarterly Review. 2005.
    Susan Stamberg interviewing Art Spiegelman. NPR Morning Edition.  1-26-05.
    Harold Marcuse's website on Maus for his Univ of California-Santa Barbara History course on the Holocaust.
    History of RAW Magazine, from Indy Magazine in Winter 2005 by Bill Kartalopolous
    Little Lit site of Spiegelman and Mouly
    Interview with Spiegelman on RAW magazine from Comics Journal and similar article from St Louis Post Dispatch in 1991
    Read Yourself Raw.  lots of links
    Selection about RAW magazine from Stephen Heller's Design Literacy's interview and overview of Art Spiegelman
    A little off topic, but funny clip from The Simpsons about comic book stores featuring Dan Clowes, Spiegelman and Alan Moore. 2.30 min on YouTube

    Little Lit

    "A Mash Note to Crockett Johnson" by Dorothy Parker (.pdf)

    Little Lit site of Spiegelman and Mouly

    "Back to the Future" Time magazine article on Little Lit (2003)

    "It was a dark and silly night" by Neil Gaiman and Gahan Wilson from Little Lit. Animated version (5 min)

    "Comics for kids?" Review of Little Lit in January magazine by Claude Lalumière. Nov. 2000.

    Joe Sacco's Palestine

    Interview with Joe Sacco on Palestine (.pdf)

    Biography of Joe Sacco from Fantagraphic Books' website

    Joe Sacco's website at Drawn & Quarterly.

    "Eyeless in Gaza" interview with Joe Sacco in The Guardian by Rachel Cooke Nov. 2009

    Joe Sacco interviewed by the A.V. Club website


    Linda Barry

    Daniel Clowes

    American Born Chinese linksAmerican Born Chinese cover

    Craig Thompson's BlanketsCraig Thompson's Blankets

    Craig Thompson's website Doot Doot Garden

    interview with Craig Thompson about Blankets by Bookslut. February 2004

    Tracker.  Blankets: Recordings for the Illustrated Novel. link to the digital CD to accompany the novel.

    Craig Thompson on his influences in a blog entry for 



    From Thompson's blog "The comics narrative part of the CARNET DE VOYAGE.was constructed during a more comfortable part of the day or the next morning. I kept a separate journal to doodle and piece out my thoughts and thumbnail page compositions. Here’s a peek at that:"



    an rejected image from Blankets 

    From Thompson's blog: "Okay. And now since this is supposed to be a visual blog, here’s a sample of the construction of a single HABIBI page.(recently shown at my Wordstock and PNCA talks)
    1) the first draft drawn directly in my sketchbook in ballpoint pen. 2) the messy, re-edited / page breakdown version. 3) the penciled page, and some ornamentation I sampled and digitally arranged. 4) the final inked page.


    Click on the following images for links to bigger images of preliminary sketches for Blankets 

    blanketsnotes01.thumbnail.jpg   blanketsnotes02.thumbnail.jpg

    A page from a proposed screenplay of "Blankets"

    Portland Life interview with Thompson about Blankets

    Thompson talks about his 2007 Grammy award nomination for best record packaging for CD by Menomena

    Link to the band Menomena's website, note Thompson graphics

    Alison Bechdel linksdykesimage.jpg

    Alison Bechdel's website Dykes to Watch Out For: Life in a Box

    Video of Bechdel at Rutgers (5 min)

    Alison Bechdel Coming Out (.pdf)

    From Bechdel's wikipedia entry: "The strip popularized what is now known as the Bechdel Test, also named the Mo Movie Measure or Bechdel's Law. Bechdel credits her friend Liz Wallace for the test. The test appears in a 1985 strip entitled "The Rule", in which a character says that she only watches a movie if it satisfies the following requirements:dykes2.jpg

    1. It has to have at least two women in it, who
    2. Talk to each other about,
    3. Something besides a man."Edit

    Dykes to Watch out for archive on 

    Biographies for Bechdel's characters, from her blog 

    Bookslut interview with Bechdel from March 2007 

    Pine Street Art Works, a gallery representing Bechdel.  Here showing large sketches on kraft paper. 

    Article on Bechdel on 

    Austin Kleon's blog notes on talk by Alison Bechdel, nicely detailed, particularly on how she creates her comics. Oct. 2006

    Comics Should be Good blog from 11/18/08 Review of Bechdel's work

    New York Times article about Dykes to Watch Out For, Dec. 3, 2008

    Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan

    "Is there an African-American graphic novel?" by Michael A Chaney (.pdf)

    Photographs from the World's Columbian Exposition: World's Fair of 1893. Site from the Chicago Historical Society.

    Chris Ware interviewed on French television in 2005. YouTube videossfartists_ware_asleep.jpg

    Tavi, at Rookie magazine, interviews Dan Clowes in Dec. 2011

    YT. Chris Ware in motion 

    YT. Chris Ware on graphic novels vs. comics terms. 40 sec. 

    Images from Jimmy Corrigan on Random House website (a series of 4 images)

    Chris Ware gallery on Random House page. with single images of Jimmy Corrigan

    Chris Ware The Whitney Prevaricator 2002 From the Tate Modern collectionTranscript of Chris Ware interview on PBS, including thoughts on Tintin Copyright

    Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago, one of the galleries representing Ware.  Check out  b/w early versions and later color versions of work.


    Adam Baumgold Gallery in New York.  Links to some Chris Ware works. includes link to four New Yorker covers for Thanksgiving 2006.

    Chris Ware original art, framed, from David Chila.  Many links to Corrigan pages. 

    Article from Publishers Weekly blog on comics about Chris Ware and the Columbian Exposition 



    Jimmy6.jpgntm4-1-21s.jpg acme_c.jpgjimmyspread3.jpg

    nestware1_small.jpg   jimmycorrigan%20panel.jpg  baet001.gif 

    Comic Book Code of 1954


    Charles Burns"Skin Deep: Fantagraphics cover," 2001

    Interview with Charles Burns in The Believer

    Charles Burns's biography from Fantagraphics Books

    Charles Burns's work at Adan Baum Gold Gallery

    Interview with Charles Burns on X'ed Out from Comic Book Resources. Oct. 2010

    Lambiek site about Charles Burns

    The A.V Club's interview with Charles Burns from Nov. 2010

    Dan Clowes Ice Haven

    Edward Gorey

    Edward Gorey house.  Official website of the Massachusetts museum.

    Good Edward Gorey site with page by page of text and illustrations from three books

    Essay from Salon by Amy Benfar on an appreciation of Edward Gorey upon his death. scroll down to link to various images.

    Online version of a Gorey alphabet., The Gashleycrumb Tinies (This site looks a tad odd at the top, but scroll down and you can see images fine.)

    Goreybooks, a site that sells all of Edward Gorey's books

    Website for Gorey documentary.
    The Exuberant Funeration.  great slightly animated version using original illustrations.  cool.  YouTube. about 1:30 min

    Edward Gorey YouTube selections

    Oliver Twist and Fagin the Jew

    Krazy Kat

    Website devoted to Krazy Kat and Coconino County.  Lots of color and b/w images..  Good history.

    Krazy Kat animated cartoon from 1916. 3 minutes on YouTube "Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse at the Circus"

    View a few more large panels of Krazy Kat at this site.  Introduction to Kat panels . (Arrows to navigate are on the bottom of pages)
    Link to full-page spread of Krazy Kat from Nov. 1937 Sunday.  From the exhibition "Masters of American Comics" at the

    Hammer Museum at UCLA.

    Essay post by Jeet Heer about the language of Krazy Kat from the blog "Sans Everything"

    ...after World War II, when I came home, Krazy Kat became my hero.  I had never seen Krazy Kat up until then because neither one of the papers in the Twin Cities published it, so I didn't know Krazy Kat.  But then it became my ambition to draw a strip that would have as much life and meaning and subtlety to it as Krazy Kat had.
    Charles M. Schulz, creator of Peanuts

    Recent links about comics & graphic novels

    "New Books from Old: Turning Classics into Comics" by Ada Price, Publishers Weekly 12/21/2009

    Chris Ware and history of comics

    Rodolphe Topffer  Rodolphe Töpffer

    work by Topffer

    A few interesting sites for reference

    Lambiek Comiclopedia

    Drawn and Quarterly

    Babymouse! website. Interview with Matthew Holm, co-creator of Babymouse

    D.C. Comics website

    Minx Books website

    Brian Selznick The Invention of Hugo Cabret website

    Website devoted to the history of Flipbooks.  At end of this page is one of Chris Ware's viewers

    Essay about show at Vancouver Art Gallery. "Krazy: Delirious World of Anime +..."

    A/V Club website.  A compendium of the latest on popular culture, treat comics and graphic novels as an important part.

    The ESSL Children's Literature blog from U of I about comic resources

    Notes on Arabic version of Superman, called Nabil Fawzi from "Tintin Travels" blog.  Saudi Aramco World magazine article from March/April 1970 on bringing Superman to Arabic world.  Blogpost from "The Hooded Utilitarian" on localizing Mickey Mouse for Egypt

    A few comic sites recommended by Gene Yang