The Graphic Novels & Comic Art collection features original works of art created by contemporary comic book artists and graphic novelists. This collection encompasses a wide range of narratives around diverse subjects, from superheroes to historical figures, all in visual form that is highly accessible to students. Classic comic strips from the “Golden Age of Comics” (1920-1950), like V.T. Hamlin’s Alley Oop and Fred Harman’s Red Ryder, mix with current favorites produced by D.C. Comics and Marvel, including Batman,The Avengers, and Captain America. Graphic novels, as an art form, are represented by hand-drawn works by acclaimed artists Becky Cloonan, Ho Che Anderson, and Jeff Lemire, amongst others.
This collection presents an exciting opportunity to discuss creative processes, collaboration, and arts careers. Comic books and graphic novels are often the products of a complex, multi-step process involving multiple artists, writers, and other creative professionals. In discussing the works of art in the Graphic Novels & Comic Art collection, students learn about this process while also gaining new insights into visual storytelling. Because our teaching emphasizes inquiry and discovery, students will engage with these objects and with the ideas that they represent through dialogue and hands-on opportunities. The highly accessible imagery of popular comics alongside the narrative art style of graphic novels gives students an easy entry point to build their communication, critical thinking, and visual literacy skills.
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