Dreaming the Graphic Novel: The Novelization of Comics

Dreaming the Graphic Novel: The Novelization of Comics

by Paul Williams


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Honorable Mention, 2019-2020 Research Society for American Periodicals Book Prize

The term “graphic novel” was first coined in 1964, but it wouldn’t be broadly used until the 1980s, when graphic novels such as Watchmen and Maus achieved commercial success and critical acclaim. What happened in the intervening years, after the graphic novel was conceptualized yet before it was widely recognized?
Dreaming the Graphic Novel examines how notions of the graphic novel began to coalesce in the 1970s, a time of great change for American comics, with declining sales of mainstream periodicals, the arrival of specialty comics stores, and (at least initially) a thriving underground comix scene. Surveying the eclectic array of long comics narratives that emerged from this fertile period, Paul Williams investigates many texts that have fallen out of graphic novel history. As he demonstrates, the question of what makes a text a ‘graphic novel’ was the subject of fierce debate among fans, creators, and publishers, inspiring arguments about the literariness of comics that are still taking place among scholars today.
Unearthing a treasure trove of fanzines, adverts, and unpublished letters, Dreaming the Graphic Novel gives readers an exciting inside look at a pivotal moment in the art form’s development.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781978805064
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 01/17/2020
Edition description: None
Pages: 278
Sales rank: 755,163
Product dimensions: 8.80(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 16 - 18 Years

About the Author

PAUL WILLIAMS is a Senior Lecturer in Twentieth-Century Literature at the University of Exeter in the U.K. The author of the books Race, Ethnicity and Nuclear War: Representations of Nuclear Weapons and Post-Apocalyptic Worlds (2011) and Paul Gilroy (2012), he has also published numerous articles and book chapters on the history of comics.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations xi

Note on the Text xiii

Introduction 1

1 The Death of the Comic Book 26

2 Eastern Promise 37

3 Making Novels 58

4 The Graphic Novel Triumphant 95

5 Putting the Novel into Graphic Novel 122

6 Comics as Literature? 158

Conclusion 183

Appendix 191

Acknowledgments 197

Notes 201

Bibliography 235

Index 247

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