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Comics are typically thought of as "low" art. While the latest Garfield or Boondocks Sunday strip might be a common topic around the breakfast table or water cooler, it is rarely considered material for more serious study. STRIPS, TOONS, AND BLUESIES: ESSAYS IN COMICS AND CULTURE gives comics the serious attention they deserve. Rather than focusing on punch lines, this book celebrates the visual and verbal riches comics have brought to both mass and marginalized societies. It shows how these works--from fifteenth-century woodcuts to Depression-era bluesies to contemporary zines--make statements about what is most important in their creators' lives.
The authors of STRIPS, TOONS, AND BLUESIES address such key issues as the intertwined origins of comics and animation; the sex, violence, and taboo breaking of 200 years of underground comics, from Jack T. Chick to Chris Ware; the popular "Locas" stories of Jaime Hernandez's LOVE AND ROCKETS; and the political and racial portrayals of African Americans in 1960s comics, including works by Stan Lee and R. Crumb. The book also includes a 25-page history of comics from 1380 to today, a thorough and novel approach to the genre.