Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books & Graphic Novels

Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books & Graphic Novels


Edited by Christine Hoff Kraemer, Edited by A. David Lewis, Contributions by Anne Blankenship, Contributions by Beth Davies, Contributions by Megan Goodwin, Contributions by Kerr Houston, Contributions by Steve Jungkeit, Contributions by Emily Taylor Merriman, Contributions by Greg Metcalf, Contributions by Kate Netzler


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  • Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 226mm x 30mm | 590g
  • Publication date: 9 December 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0826430260
  • ISBN 13: 9780826430267
  • Illustrations note: 36 bw illustrations
  • Sales rank: 823,360

Product description

This title explores the roles of religion in comic books and graphic novels. Comic books have increasingly become a vehicle for serious social commentary and, specifically, for innovative religious thought. Practitioners of both traditional religions and new religious movements have begun to employ comics as a missionary tool, while humanists and religious progressives use comics' unique fusion of text and image to criticize traditional theologies and to offer alternatives. Addressing the increasing fervor with which the public has come to view comics as an art form and Americans' fraught but passionate relationship with religion, "Graven Images" explores with real insight the roles of religion in comic books and graphic novels. In essays by scholars and comics creators, "Graven Images" observes the frequency with which religious material - in devout, educational, satirical, or critical contexts - occurs in both independent and mainstream comics. Contributors identify the unique advantages of the comics medium for religious messages; analyze how comics communicate such messages; place the religious messages contained in comics books in appropriate cultural, social, and historical frameworks; and, articulate the significance of the innovative theologies being developed in comics.

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Author information

Christine Hoff Kraemer holds a PhD in Religion and Literature from Boston University and is Department Chair of Nature, Deity, and Inspiration at Cherry Hill Seminary, South Carolina. A. David Lewis is a national lecturer in Comics Studies, an award-winning graphic novelist, and a PhD candidate in Religion and Literature at Boston University.

Review quote

"Graven Images excels at offering sophisticated interpretations of comic books and graphic novels that demand critical attention...Undoubtedly, Graven Images is a valuable contribution to the study of religion and popular culture. For religion scholars engaged in comic book/graphic novel criticism, the collection sets a high mark and will likely become an essential reference point for those in the field. For general scholars of religion or popular culture, Graven Images offers insight into how religion is a self-conscious engagement for comic book authors and readers, yielding works of depth and power within genres frequently dismissed as child's play." -The Journal of Popular Culture

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