Oxford Comics Network publishes free guide to Comic Studies

The Oxford Comics Network, in partnership with TORCH – The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities have produced a free A Graphic Introduction to Comics Studies in comics format, to assist comics educators teach about the comics form.

Oxford Comics Network & TORCH A Graphic Introduction to Comics Studies - Cover

The guide is written and drawn by members of the Oxford Comics Network, Enrique Del Rey Cabero, Michael Goodrum and Josean Morlesín Mellado, with an introduction by Paul Williams, and includes an interview with comics artist and educator, Nick Sousanis, who’s also a professor of Humanities & Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University.

“If you’ve ever designed a module on comics before, you’ll know how difficult it is to decide where to begin, notes Paul Williams, Associate Professor of Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture at the University of Exeter in his introduction. “Do students need to understand the history before comics theory? Or do you need to talk about comics form before everything else? And where do institutions, politics and readers come in?

“It’s a bit like when a student comes to your office and asks what they need to read in order to start writing an essay on graphic novels. What’s the first book or article they need to consult?”

The free guide offers chapters, in comic strip form, on subjects such as the difference between comics and graphic novels, the language of comics, distribution methods and more, providing a very useful too for academics and others seeking to introduce students to the Ninth Art.

• You can download the A Graphic Introduction to Comics Studies as a PDF here, for free

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

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