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Reading Comics Language, Culture, and the Concept of the Superhero in Comic Books

by Mila Bongco

  • ISBN: 9780815333449
  • ISBN10: 0815333447

Reading Comics Language, Culture, and the Concept of the Superhero in Comic Books

by Mila Bongco

  • List Price: $155.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publish date: 05/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780815333449
  • ISBN10: 0815333447
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Description: This study explores how the definition of the medium, as well as its language, readership, genre conventions, and marketing and distribution strategies, have kept comic books within the realm of popular culture. Since comics have been studied mostly in relation to mass media and its influence on society, there is a void in the analysis of the critical issues related to comics as a distinct genre and art form. By focusing on comics as narratives and investigating their formal and structural aspects, as well as the unique reading process they demand, this study presents a unique contribution to the current literature on comics, and helps clarify concepts and definitions useful in studying the medium.

The last two chapters of the study provide an analysis of the evolution of the comic book superhero -- from the patriotic heroes of the 1940s to the muscular rebels of the 1990s. The figure of the superhero is widely perceived as espousing hegemonic truths, a prime example of a state's henchman, repetitively restoring order in aid of policemen and politicians. This study shows how the presence and polarity of superheroes and the superhero genre involve a critique rather than a celebration of a given society's judicial system. More and more, comic books portray justice and law as provisional, incomplete, and virtually unenforceable by a state increasingly incapable of understanding modern day society's complexity. As the superheroes change, so do the style and content of comic books. This books shows how these changes are not entirely controlled by structural or formal concerns, but are driven by the demands of consumerism as well as the changes in the key people behind the comics industry.

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Near Fine hardcover in blue boards. No dust jacket. Pages and text are clean and bright. Overall a bright and attractive copy. 238 pp.
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Near Fine hardcover in blue boards. No dust jacket. Pages and text are clean and bright. Overall a bright and attractive copy. 238 pp.
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