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Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Some of the most acclaimed books of the twenty-first century are autobiographical comics by women. Aline Kominsky-Crumb is a pioneer of the autobiographical form, showing women's everyday lives, especially through the lens of the body. Phoebe Gloeckner places teenage sexuality at the center of her work, while Lynda Barry uses collage and the empty spaces between frames to ...more
Paperback, 297 pages
Published November 16th 2010 by Columbia University Press
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Anna Springer
Jan 04, 2012 Anna Springer rated it it was amazing
I never finished this review for a fancy review pub last year when the book came out - the editor wanted changes that would have made it a book synopsis, and I ran out of time. Nonetheless, it's such an important and wonderful book, I thought I'd post my draft review here with hopes it will encourage you to get this excellent critical survey.

Review: Graphic Women by Hillary Chute

In a recent online column, “Ten Things to Know About the Future of Comics,” webcomic artist and Manga editor Shaenon K
Aug 13, 2012 Shanae rated it it was amazing
I've read GRAPHIC WOMEN several time over the past few months. I find it an insightful and intriguing look at not only graphic narratives but also women writers and women's studies.

For anyone interested in writing about graphic narratives, then I definitely recommend GRAPHIC WOMEN, however, I do not find it the text you'd want to pick up for recreational reading.
Sarah Sammis
Too narrow of a focus. There are so many different women writing graphic novels / memoirs now and this book focuses on four or five. The first two chapters seem to be there just for the shock value.
Sep 15, 2011 Kobeest rated it it was amazing
this is a heavy, scholarly look at the presentation of women in image and word in comics by women authors. it focuses on five of the most recognizable women comic authors and at least in the first three chapters (all i have read so far) zeros in on "on both pain and pleasure..." of womanhood, highlighting, at least in the first two chapters, their sexuality (69). the chapters on lynda berry, one of my favorite authors, and phoebe gloeckner, shed a brilliant light on the vagaries of growing up. e ...more
Nov 05, 2010 Chibineko rated it liked it
If you ask the average person about women in comics or graphic novels, most will probably respond with a comment about their favorite Marvel or DC female superhero or the girlfriend of one. If you ask about women CREATING comics or graphic novels, some might be able to point out their favorite artists but sadly most might draw a blank at naming even the author of one of the local weekly comic strips in their local paper.

Luckily with female created comics such as Persepolis & others becoming
Nov 11, 2012 Erin rated it liked it
What a cool collection of essays about female graphic novelists. Chute gave me some new ways to think about and critically read not only these specific graphic novels, but others. I was so intrigued by some of these artists (namely Aline Kominsky-Crumb) that I had to stop reading this book and read the artists' books before I could continue. Not a bad problem to have.

Theory-wise, I was happy that I had read Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics before delving into this book. It added a level of
Apr 06, 2016 dejah_thoris rated it it was amazing
It's academic and narrowly focused but I learned a great deal about some of the founding voices in women's narrative comics. I knew Alison Kominsky-Crumb had a similar style to her husband's, but I never knew how involved in their work she was. I was familiar with Alison Bechdel's queer feminist work, but I had never heard of her project honoring her father's life. I have also read all the Persepolis books Satrapi created, but never really understood why they worked so well. As for Phoebe Gloeck ...more
Debbie Hoskins
May 18, 2011 Debbie Hoskins rated it liked it
This is a scholarly examination. I found it a little tedious and hard to understand. However, the women profiled are all influential.
Three of the women profiled, choose to tell and depict depressing subject matter.
Lynda Barry is more positive. However she depicts childhood trauma and abuse, also.

Personally I think life is hard enough. An artist should try to figure out how to create work that is joyful, even though life is hard and can feel hard.

The author talks about how comics is an autobiogr
Dec 16, 2015 Whitney rated it really liked it
Very interesting ideas about the specificity of the form and the embodiment of trauma. I would have liked a little more generalized theorizing, but the close readings (especially of Bechdel) were excellent.
Jan 03, 2012 AJ rated it it was ok
Way too academic for me. I guess I just like reading graphic novels a lot more than I like reading about them.
Miami University Libraries
Call Number PN6714 .C49 2010
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“The medium of comics is not necessarily about "good drawing"--"It's just an accident when it makes a nice drawing," Spiegelman explained to a curator at the MoMA--but rather about what Spiegelman calls picture-writing and Satrapi calls narrative drawing: how one person constructs a narrative that moves forward in time through both words and images.” 1 likes
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