Fine Arts | History of Comics
A280 | 29161 | Molotiu


In their juxtaposition of words and images, comics have fashioned
one of the most sophisticated narrative languages in the history of
visual art; this course will explore the formation of that language
in all its complexity, from Rodolphe Töpffer's first experiments in
the form of the 1830s to the most recent developments in alternative
and art comics. We will study the evolution of comic-strip and comic-
book graphic styles, and place the development of the comics in its
social context. Special focuses of the course will be the
development of comic strips in late nineteenth and early twentieth-
century America; the birth of the comic book in the 1930s and the
concept of the superhero; and the rise of underground and
alternative graphic culture.
Throughout the course, constant attention will be paid to the
interplay and mutual influence between comics and "high art," such
as Winsor McCay's Art Nouveau styles, Saul Steinberg and William
Steig's connections to Picasso and Klee, Jack Kirby's relation to
Pop Art, and the rise of gallery comics.