Strips, Toons, and Bluesies

Essays in Comics and Culture

D. B. Dowd, Todd Hignite

     7.5 × 11 in (19.1 × 27.9 cm)
112 pages
85 color illustrations
Publication date: 8/1/2006
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568986210

Comics are typically thought of as "low" art. While the latest "Garfield" or "Boondocks" Sunday strip might be a common topic around the breakfast table or water cooler, it is rarely considered material for more serious consideration. Strips, Toons, and Bluesies gives comics the serious attention they deserve. Rather than focusing on the punch lines, this book celebrates the rich visual and verbal pictures comics have brought to both mass and marginalized audiences. It shows how these works--from fifteenth-century woodcuts to Depression-era bluesies to contemporary zines--make passionate statements about what is most important in their creators' lives.

The authors address such key issues as the intertwined origins of comics and animation; the sex, violence, and taboo-breaking of 200 years of underground comics; the popular "Locas" stories of Jaime Hernandez's "Love and Rockets;" and the political and racial portrayals of African Americans in 1960s comics. The book also includes a twenty-five-page history of comics from 1380 to today, a thorough and novel approach to the genre.

D. B. Dowd is professor of art at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis and illustrator and director at Ulcer City Studio. Todd Hignite is founding editor of Comic Art magazine>/i> and author of In the Studio: Visits with Contemporary Cartoonists. Both live in St. Louis, Missouri.

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