The Best American Comics Criticism

Conventional wisdom states that cartooning and graphic novels exist in

a golden age of creativity, popularity, and critical acceptance. But

why? Today, the signal is stronger than ever, but so is the noise. New

York Times, Vanity Fair, and Bookforum critic Ben Schwartz assembles

the greatest lineup of comics critics the world has yet seen to

testify on behalf of this increasingly vital medium.

The Best American Comics Writing is the first attempt to collate the best

criticism to date of the graphic novel boom in a way that

contextualizes and codifies one of the most important literary

movements of the last 60 years.

This collection begins in 2000, the game changing year that Pantheon

released the graphic novels Jimmy Corrigan and David Boring.

Originally serialized as “alternative” comics, they went on to confirm

the critical and commercial viability of graphic literature. Via its

various authors, this collection functions as a valuable readers’

guide for fans, academics, and librarians, tracing the current comics

renaissance from its beginnings and creative growth to the cutting

edge of today’s artists.

This volume includes Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) in conversation with

novelist Jonathan Lethem (Fortress of Solitude), Chris Ware, Jonathan

Franzen (The Corrections), John Hodgman (The Daily Show, The Areas of

My Expertise, The New York Times Book Review), David Hajdu (The 10-Cent Plague), Douglas Wolk (Publishers Weekly, author of the Eisner

award-winning Reading Comics), Frank Miller (Sin City and The Spirit

film director) in conversation with Will Eisner (The Spirit’s

creator), Gerard Jones’ (Men of Tomorrow), Brian Doherty (author

Radicals of Capitalism, This is Burning Man) and critics Ken Parille

(Comic Art), Jeet Heer (The National Post), R.C. Harvey (biographer of

Milton Caniff), and Donald Phelps (author of the landmark book of

comics criticism, Reading the Funnies). Best American Comics Writing

also features a cover by nationally known satirist Drew Friedman (The

New York Observer, Old Jewish Comedians) in which Friedman asks,

“tongue-in-cheek,” if cartoonists are the new literati, what must

their critics look like?

  • Format
  • paperback
  • Pages
  • 360
  • Language
  • english
  • ISBN
  • 9781606991480
  • Genres
  • comics, criticism, history, essays, anthologies, cartoon
  • Release date
  • 2010