COMICS AND STUFF.

Author:Doherty, Brian
 
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As the American vernacular art of comics cements its cultural and academic respectability, other areas of cultural studies are being brought to bear on the form. That project yields interesting and illuminating results in University of Southern California communications professor Henry Jenkins' new book, Comics and Stuff.

Jenkins understands that humans find profound meaning and identity through the stuff we buy, and especially the stuff we choose to save or collect, although that stuff is often derided as vulgar and unimportant. He employs some gendered analysis, in which male artists (such as Kim Deitch or Seth, who draw stories about people who accumulate, respectively, toys and paper ephemera that reify their pop cultural obsessions) are contrasted with female ones (such as Carol Tyler and Joyce Farmer, whose drawn...

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