Comics and the U.S. South

Comics and the U.S. South

Brannon Costello and Qiana J. Whitted

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9781617030185

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi


This book offers a wide-ranging assessment of how life and culture in the United States South is represented in serial comics, graphic novels, newspaper comic strips, and webcomics. Diverting the lens of comics studies from the skyscrapers of Superman’s Metropolis or Chris Ware’s Chicago to the swamps, back roads, small towns, and cities of the U.S. South, it critically examines the pulp genres associated with mainstream comic books alongside independent and alternative comics. Some chapters seek to discover what Captain America can reveal about southern regionalism and how slave narratives can help us reread Swamp Thing; others examine how creators such as Walt Kelly (Pogo), Howard Cruse (Stuck Rubber Baby), Kyle Baker (Nat Turner), and Josh Neufeld (A.D.: New Orleans after the Deluge) draw upon the unique formal properties of the comics to question and revise familiar narratives of race, class, and sexuality; and another considers how southern writer Randall Kenan adapted elements of the comics form to prose fiction. With essays from an interdisciplinary group of scholars, the book contributes to and also productively reorients the most significant and compelling conversations in both comics scholarship and southern studies.

Table of Contents

Front Matter

I. The South in the National Imagination

“The Southern Thing”

Christopher Whitby

II. Emancipation and Civil Rights Resistance

Drawing the Unspeakable

Conseula Francis

III. The Horrors of the South

Crooked Appalachia

Joseph Michael Sommers

IV. Revisualizing Stories, Rereading Images

A Visitation of Narratives

Alison Mandaville

A Re-Vision of the Record

Anthony Dyer Hoefer