Comic books achieved almost immediate popularity and profitability when they were first introduced in the U. S. throughout the late 1930s and early 1940s. But comic books soon suffered attacks concerning the quality of this new genre/medium combining text and artwork.
With the rise of graphic novels in the mid-1980s and the adaptation of comics to films in the twenty-first century, comics and graphic novels have gained more respect as craft and text—called "sequential art" by foundational legend Will Eisner—but the genre/medium remains marginalized by educators, parents, and the public. Challenging Genres: Comic Books and Graphic Novels offers educators, students, parents, and comic book readers and collectors a comprehensive exploration of comics/graphic novels as a challenging genre/medium.
This volume presents a history of comic books/graphic novels, an argument for valuing the genre/medium, and several chapters devoted to examining all subgenres of comics/graphic novels. Readers will discover key comics, graphic novels, and film adaptations suitable for the classroom—and for anyone serious about high quality texts. Further, this volume places comics/graphic novels within our growing understanding of multiliteracies and critical literacy.