Outlining the “Big, Big Tent” of Comics Studies

Sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Recorded on 04/03/2024
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 371

On Comics and Grief book cover

In this four-part series, comics studies scholar and author Dale Jacobs digs into his latest book, On Comics and Grief, an exploration of comics published in 1976 interwoven with his grief in the wake of his mother’s death. The book’s creative nonfiction structure blends Dale’s memories of his family with comics spanning romance, war, children, teen, fantasy, and, of course, superhero genres. As Dale explains, his intimate approach to scholarship allowed him to find new connections and perspectives he may not have found otherwise. In this series, Dale walks through his creative and research processes for the book, the comic book landscape in the 1970s, and the potential of applying a personal lens to academic work.

In the first episode of this four-part series, Dale dives into the development of his book and background in comics studies. He explains his path to the discipline, starting in composition and rhetoric, then transitioning into thinking about how comics fit into multimodal literacy. Defining comic book scholarship, he lays out its multidisciplinary nature, highlighting myriad approaches like political science, English studies, disability studies, art history, and media studies. Finally, he describes how the interdisciplinarity of comics studies influenced his book and why he chose the publication year of 1976 for the comics he examined in the text.


About the guest:

Dale Jacobs headshot

Dr. Dale Jacobs
Professor, English
University of Windsor

Dale Jacobs is the author of Graphic Encounters: Comics and the Sponsorship of Multimodal Literacy (2013) and the co-author (with Heidi LM Jacobs) of 100 Miles of Baseball: Fifty Games, One Summer (2021). His essays on comics have appeared in journals such as Inks, English Journal, CCC, Biography, and Studies in Comics. He lives in Windsor, Ontario.


Check out our previous series with Wilfrid Laurier University Press:
The Contemporary Leonard Cohen
– Creative Disruption in Scholarship
– Performing Female Blackness
– Canadian Poetry Today
– Animal Studies, Postcolonial Literature, and Multispecies Modernity


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