Review of “Arresting Development: Comics at the Boundaries of Literature”

Christopher Pizzino begins Arresting Development: Comics at the Boundaries of Literature with the premise that even though news stories have proclaimed the arrival of comics as legitimate literature for more than thirty years, comics are still a marginalized medium that resists legitimation, and will be for the foreseeable future. Pizzino argues, “while comics are less reviled now than they were in the worst years of censorship, the medium is still designated illegitimate by default” (3).

The claim might surprise some, especially given forays into comics by the likes of acclaimed authors such as Margaret Atwood (Angel Catbird), Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club 2), and Ta-Nehisi Coates (Black Panther). This is to say nothing of MacArthur fellow Jonathan Letham and Pulitzer-Prize-winner Michael Chabon, who both draw heavily on comics in their novels, and have written comics as well. How can comics not be legitimate literature? This question potentially threatens the legitimacy of the cultural producers of comics, the readers, the purveyors, and even the scholars. See the full review here:





Published in: Louie Dean Valencia-García. “Arresting Development: Comics at the Boundaries of Literature by Christopher Pizzino (review).” Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society 1, no. 2 (2017): 257-261. (accessed January 16, 2018).

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