Two young comics scholars, Bart Beaty and Charles Hatfield, spent this week using Hatfield’s new book Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature as a springboard for discussing comics in all kinds of ways: formal characteristics, critical reception, the uses and abuses of genre storytelling, and more. It’s a terrific discussion that goes a long way toward validating comics as a distinct art form capable of as much nuance and complexity as any other. This isn’t something about which I need to be convinced, but it’s nevertheless fascinating. Check out all five installments.
Full disclosure: I work for the press that published books by both of these writers, and am mentioned in the acknowledgments of both books, so I’m hardly an impartial observer of their debate. But don’t let that stop you.