Comics scholars receive very little condemnation when we teach Crumb, Spiegelman and Ware (and Satrapi and Bechdel and…). When we do receive raised eyebrows is when we teach Archie and other works that are “not serious” or “not sophisticated”. The route that the comics world might have taken would have been to fundamentally challenge that ideology. To reject those sorts of claims altogether. If you look at the type of work that we’ve published as scholars and taught as teachers though, we’ve largely failed to do that. And I include myself in that group even as I recognize that this might have been the more productive direction to go.
- Bart Beaty, talking about his new book Comics versus Art, on the marvelous unrealized promise of academic comics studies.