Comics Versus Art
On the surface, the relationship between comics and the ‘high’ arts once seemed simple; comic books and strips could be mined for inspiration, but were not themselves considered legitimate art objects. Though this traditional distinction has begun to erode, the worlds of comics and art continue to occupy vastly different social spaces.
Comics Versus Art examines the relationship between comics and the most important institutions of the art world, including museums, auction houses, and the art press. Bart Beaty's analysis centres around two questions: why were comics excluded from the history of art for most of the twentieth century, and what does it mean that comics production is now more closely aligned with the art world? Approaching this relationship for the first time through the lens of the sociology of culture, Beaty advances a completely novel approach to the comics form.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 288 pages
- Illustrations: 10
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
Reviews‘This solid, sound, intriguing book will set the discourse on art and comics for a considerable time. Essential. All readers.’
Choice Magazine vol 50:07:2013
“Comics Versus Art is an intriguing text for readers of comics, and an illuminating look at the theoretical underpinnings of what we call – and refuse to call – art.”
Quill and Quire
‘Excellent investigation of the world of comics… In writing a history of ways the comic world has been taken up during modern era and beyond through sociology of art perspective, Beaty has made a valuable new contribution to the study of comic form.
Canadian Literature 219, winter 2013
‘Comics Versus Art is an absolutely terrific, very impressive book. Bart Beaty has produced a striking institutional history of comics, focusing on their movement from a position of low culture and marginality to their new place of prominence. It’s a work of great sophistication, providing a broader, more nuanced sense of comics as a cultural form than we have previously understood. At the same time, Beaty explores these ideas with great clarity and focus in straightforward language.’
Scott Bukatman, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University
Bart Beaty is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Calgary.
Table of contents
Comics Arts World
Roy Lichtenstein's Tears: Ressentiment and Exclusion in the World of Pop Art
Searching for Artists in the Entertainment Empire
Cartoons as Masterpieces: An Essay on Illustrated Classics
Highbrow Comics and Lowbrow Art?: The Shifting Contexts of the Comics Art Object
On Junk, Investments and Junk Investments: The Evolution of Comic Book Collectibles
Crumbs from the Table: The Place of Comics in Museums
By Way of Conclusion: Chris Ware's Comics About Art
PrizesGertrude J. Robinson Prize awarded by the Canadians Communication Association - Winner in 2013
Will Eisner Comic Industry Award - Best Education/Academic Work - Short-listed in 2013
Subjects and Courses