Comics as Philosophy

Comics as Philosophy

Comics as Philosophy

Comics as Philosophy


"Through the combination of text and images, comic books offer a unique opportunity to explore deep questions about aesthetics, ethics, and epistemology in nontraditional ways. The essays in this collection focus on a wide variety of genres, from mainstream superhero comics, to graphic novels that exercise social realism, to European adventure classics."


When we read comics, we make a series of aesthetic and philosophical choices. Although these choices are usually made subconsciously, they're nevertheless real decisions that we face every time we open the comics section of the newspaper or crack open a new comic book.

From the very outset, then, the form of comics—its language and how we understand it—is rife with philosophical quandaries. Once we start analyzing the contents of comics, we can face its theoretical concerns through its various storylines, narrative arcs, drawing styles, and commentary. Comics as Philosophy is a collection of essays that explores the ways in which comics, both in form and content, can articulate and complicate philosophical concerns, and vice versa. The essays here, written by scholars from diverse critical perspectives, also discuss related issues such as audience reaction and censorship, showing how comics have been a key battleground in cultural debates in the courtroom, the op-ed page, and the academy.

This collection shows how a cartoonist's careful construction of a world in comics form can give insight into the world in which we live. The contributors to Comics as Philosophy reveal how the issues and questions that philosophers deal with can be found not just in some remote branch of academia but in unassuming and easily accessible places. In doing so, they achieve the most noble goal of informing and educating individuals who may or may not be sitting in a university classroom. As the eleven authors present you with a variety of philosophical perspectives and draw from what they consider to be philosophically significant comic books and comic book genres, readers will see how these fields may be used to provide intellectually stimulating insight about the other.

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