Chris Gavaler is an associate professor of English at Washington and Lee University. His books include On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa 2015), Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), Superhero Thought Experiments co-authored with Nathaniel Goldberg (Iowa 2019), and Creating Comics co-authored with Leigh Ann Beavers (Bloomsbury forthcoming 2020). He is the comics editor at Shenandoah magazine, and he blogs weekly at thepatronsaintofsuperheroes.wordpress.com.
Tsuge's narrator's mustache is no more convincing a disguise than Superman's Clark Kent glasses—which is the paradoxical point in The Man Without Talent.
Where gg's I'm Not Here found its force in ambiguity and the maybe-fantastical, Constantly is comparatively straightforward in its portrayal of the protagonist's sometimes literal battle with her own psyche.
The title of Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom's graphic memoir, Palimpsest, is an excellent metaphor for adoption generally and especially the literally erased and rewritten documents that define many Korean adoptions. But it is also a visual metaphor.
If you can't take a class with Lynda Barry, Making Comics is the next best thing. But what kind of class is it?
Award-winning graphic artist Eleanor Davis likes to accent key moments in Hard Tomorrow through panel size. Big moments are literally bigger. Layout is a way of making meaning.
Gina Siciliano's I Know What I Am is a formidable work of comics scholarship, including 50 pages devoted to detailed notes and bibliographic sources about the fearless artist, Artemisia Gentileschi.
The differences between Sylvia Nickerson's realistically-depicted homeless and the blob-like privileged establishes Creation's central dichotomy and critique.
De Jongh constructs a jigsaw puzzle of personalities, life experiences, and national identities, where even contrasts ultimately reveal connections in her graphic memoir, Taxi!
Like the title letters, the physical format of Michael DeForge's Stunt creates a kind of cage holding the main character inside rigid panels.
Picking up where Chlorine Gardens left off, Keiler Roberts' graphic memoir, Rat Time, wanders artfully and unannounced into memories.
The metaphor of imperfection and transition flows beneath every page of Frank Santoro's graphic memoir, Pittsburgh.
In Kate Lacour's graphic novel of imagined medical oddities, Vivisectionary, the viewer is the main character and the images the deranged antagonist.
Travis Dandro's King of King Court is an excellent reminder of how evocatively effective comics are in the hands of a skilled memoirist.
A Yoda-proportioned philosopher provides a humorous undercurrent in C. C. Tsai's adaptation of the Daoist text, The Way of Nature.
Is the ghost-child forming pixel-by-pixel in Ana Galvañ's Press Enter to Continue a repressed memory, a government-induced hallucination, or something weirder still?
Graphic fiction BTTM FDRS drags up our culture's biggest, ugliest globs of unconscious sewage and spreads it across a white page for us to see and acknowledge.
Inés Estrada's disturbingly plausible imagination effectively beams Alienation's dystopic future into readers' heads via the antiquated analog technology of ink and paper.
The juxtaposition of the comics and their prose-only afterwards in Amplify are intriguing, but the result is a surprising undercurrent of mistrust in comics to represent history independently of traditional scholarly apparatus.
Language and image never combine in Abrams' Live Oak, with Moss; they are distant lovers, if you will, as divided as Walt Whitman and Brian Selznick are as collaborators.
Poignant motifs travel through Marcelo D'Salete's graphic novel of Brazil's Angola Janga, a kingdom of runaway slaves.