Comics and Books: Reading Value in the American Comic

  • Author / Creator
    Barnholden, Neale
  • This thesis examines four comics published in the United States between 1952 and 2017,
    all of which portray ideas of value—the relationship between morality and monetary consumption—and exist as physical objects with value attached. Using the Book History methodology of descriptive bibliography, as well as the Digital Humanities method of distant reading, I argue that the textual portrayals of values are complicated by the materiality of these texts. While the stories told by these comics often eschew or minimize the idea that the material is the ultimate value, the physical forms in which the comics are found create a tension with this idea by enacting and promoting a culture of consumption. Ultimately I argue that the relationship between the material and the textual creates a space for readers to imagine more ambivalent, complex readings of these comics.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2019
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
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