Experiencing Comics: An Introduction to Reading, Discussing, and Creating Comics shows students how to critically examine the craft and storytelling elements found inside a graphic novel or comic and spotlights groundbreaking work by comics creators and scholars from underrepresented and diverse backgrounds.
This accessible, introductory guide to comics is divided into four chapters. Chapter one discusses how a comic is made and introduces students to the unique form and structure of comics, demonstrating how panels, splash pages, and word balloons are used to tell a story. Chapter two encourages students to apply literary theory and social politics to the world of comics to encourage discussions of comics within a larger cultural context. Chapter three explores the history of comics and introduces students to significant movements and moments in comics history in the United States. The final chapter provides students with comic-making activities so they can practice the craft and storytelling elements discussed throughout the book. Students will gain first-hand insight from comics professionals and practitioners through interviews with creators, artists, writers, anthology editors, scholars, and comics enthusiasts such as: John Jennings, Gene Luen Yang, Ramzi Fawaz, Lucy Knisley, Kazu Kibuishi, Ronald Wimberly, Sonny Liew, Nilah Magruder, Belle Yang, Andi Santagata, Keith Chow, Yumi Sakugawa, Ryan North, Taneka Stotts, Fred Van Lente, Jeff Yang, MariNaomi, Deborah Elizabeth Whaley, Keith Sicat, Alexander Rothman, Glynnes Pruett, Danica Novgorodoff, Mildred Louis, Jenny Lin, Betsy Gomez, Sophie Goldstein, Ashanti Fortson, Leela Corman, Jeffrey A. Brown, Rina Ayuyang, and more.
Experiencing Comics is an excellent resource for courses in creative writing or comparative literature that focus specifically on graphic novels and comics. It can also be used in gender studies, ethnic studies, and sexuality courses.
An Emerging Voices Fellow, Kundiman Fellow, and VONA writer, Rachelle Cruz earned her M.F.A. in creative writing and the performing arts from University of California, Riverside, and her B.A. in liberal arts/liberal studies from Sarah Lawrence College. She is a lecturer at University of California, Riverside, and an adjunct faculty member at Orange Coast College, where she teaches courses in comics, poetry, English, and creative writing. Her latest book, God's Will for Monsters, won the 2016 Hillary Gravendyk Regional Poetry Prize.