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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
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-mn30-7v25
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.