I always agonize over which books to teach during any given semester. It’s not for a lack of possibilities. Indeed, there are always too many choices, too many great books to teach in the fields of postmodern literature and experimental literature. And I always want to get the syllabus just right for my students, balancing the absolute must-reads in the field with more obscure but just as rich texts. My upcoming graduate class in graphic novels has been particularly difficult. There is an embarrassment of riches in graphic narrative and at some point the selection seems to become arbitrary.
That said, my finalized reading list for ENGL 685 (Graphic Novels) does have a few thematic contours. And though I’m well aware of the many gaps and missing texts, I’m excited about the list and am looking forward to the course.
Here, then, is the primary reading list for ENGL 685 (Fall 2010), organized thematically:
- Frank Miller, The Dark Knight Returns
- Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen
- Neil Gaiman, The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes
- Neil Gaiman, The Sandman Vol. 3: Dream Country
Memory, History, and Memoir
- Art Spiegelman, Maus : A Survivor’s Tale : My Father Bleeds History/Here My Troubles Began (Boxed Set)
- Emmanuel Guibert, Alan’s War: The Memories of G.I. Alan Cope
- Alison Bechdel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
Love Stories and Hate Stories
- Chris Ware, Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth
- David Mazzuccheli, Asterios Polyp
- Wilfred Santiago, In My Darkest Hour
- Rutu Modan, Exit Wounds
- Ari Folman and David Polonsky, Waltz with Bashir: A Lebanon War Story
- Kyle Baker, Nat Turner
There will be many other readings for the course—book excerpts, journal articles, webcomics, and so on—but these thirteen selections will form the heart of ENGL 685.