Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Contemporary Comics Storytelling

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Review - Contemporary Comics Storytelling

Contemporary Comics Storytelling
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About the Book
What if fairy-tale characters lived in New York City? What if a superhero knew he was a fictional character? What if you could dispense your own justice with one hundred untraceable bullets? These are the questions asked and answered in the course of the challenging storytelling in Fables, Tom Strong, and 100 Bullets, the three twenty-first-century comics series that Karin Kukkonen considers in depth in her exploration of how and why the storytelling in comics is more than merely entertaining.

Applying a cognitive approach to reading comics in all their narrative richness and intricacy, Contemporary Comics Storytelling opens an intriguing perspective on how these works engage the legacy of postmodernism—its subversion, self-reflexivity, and moral contingency. Its three case studies trace how contemporary comics tie into deep traditions of visual and verbal storytelling, how they reevaluate their own status as fiction, and how the fictional minds of their characters generate complex ethical thought experiments. At a time when the medium is taken more and more seriously as intricate and compelling literary art, this book lays the groundwork for an analysis of the ways in which comics challenge and engage readers’ minds. It brings together comics studies with narratology and literary criticism and, in so doing, provides a new set of tools for evaluating the graphic novel as an emergent literary form.

About the Author
Karin Kukkonen, Balzan Postdoctoral Research Fellow at St. John’s College, University of Oxford, is the author of Studying Comics and Graphic Novels and coeditor of Metalepsis in Popular Culture.

My Take on the Book
This book makes you think deeply about the comics that you read today or even the comics that you read as a child and the complex art of storytelling that happens within the pages of the comic itself. This is a great book that opened my eyes to the so much more. I have always loved reading comics but now after reading this book I have to say that I also greatly appreciate the work, time and effort that the writers and artists put into the intricate story/plot that you find in each story.

I have never analyzed the comics that I read in this way, so for me this book was a journey and once completed with the book I went through some of the favorite comics that I still have from when I was young and it gives me a new insight into what the authors were trying to say in their story.

If you love comics, you will want to read this as it will provide you with a new lens from which to read them. You will read them on a deeper level, and not just enjoy them for their entertainment value, but also for what they have to share with each and every one of us.

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