The rise of the comics künstlerroman, or, the limits of comics acceptance: the depiction of comics creators in the work of Michael Chabon and Emily St. John Mandel

Journal article


King, Daniel 2018. The rise of the comics künstlerroman, or, the limits of comics acceptance: the depiction of comics creators in the work of Michael Chabon and Emily St. John Mandel. Open Library of Humanities. 4 (2). https://doi.org/10.16995/olh.246
AuthorsKing, Daniel
Abstract

The künstlerroman is a genre with a long and celebrated past. From Bret Easton Ellis’ Lunar Park (2005) to John Irving’s The World According to Garp (1978) and Saul Bellow’s Humboldt’s Gift (1975), the genre has occupied a prominent place in bestseller lists and awards shortlists. The enduring popularity and continued critical celebration of the künstlerroman makes it all the more striking that, since the turn of the millennium a new kind of author-protagonist has emerged — the graphic-novelist-protagonist. This move not only inducts graphic novelists into this existing — and prestigious — literary genre, it also draws them into the same struggle for recognition in which other novelist-protagonists have long been involved. Drawing on the recent examples of Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000) and Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven (2014), in this article I argue that there is a clear move toward the serious discussion of comics and comics creators in contemporary literature, an increasing willingness to talk about comics and their makers that is marked by a surprising faith in the fitness of comics as a mode of self-expression and a recognition of the clear kinship between prose authors and graphic novelists.

Keywordscomics; literature; cultural industries
Year2018
JournalOpen Library of Humanities
Journal citation4 (2)
PublisherOpen Library of the Humanities
ISSN2056-6700
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.16995/olh.246
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/624609
http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/
hdl:10545/624609
Publication dates28 Dec 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited19 Mar 2020, 15:29
Accepted2018
Rights

CC0 1.0 Universal

ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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