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The Rise of the American Comics ArtistCreators and Contexts$
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Paul Williams and James Lyons

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604737929

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604737929.001.0001

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date: 22 October 2017

Comics Against Themselves: Chris Ware’s Graphic Narratives as literature

Comics Against Themselves: Chris Ware’s Graphic Narratives as literature

Chapter:
(p.103) Chapter Seven Comics Against Themselves: Chris Ware’s Graphic Narratives as literature
Source:
The Rise of the American Comics Artist
Author(s):

David M. Ball

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604737929.003.0008

This chapter examines Chris Ware’s graphic narratives in relation to a modernist aesthetic of fragmentation, the institutional maneuvers that sell comics, and Ware’s representation of the connection between comics as art and comics as a popular publishing industry. In particular, it looks at periodization and the ways comics complicate most conventional notions of modernism and postmodernism in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature. The chapter argues that the characteristic ambivalence of contemporary graphic narratives about their status as productions of popular culture echoes modernist anxieties about literary value that reappear precisely at a time when graphic narratives are struggling to win literary respectability.

Keywords:   comics, Chris Ware, graphic narratives, art, publishing industry, periodization, modernism, postmodernism, literature, popular culture

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