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University of Cambridge To Study Comic Books

The literature center will now look at comics and graphic novels and how they shape our youth

The literature center will now look at comics and graphic novels and how they shape our youth


No Caption Provided
When we think of English class we don't normally think of reading comic books or graphic novels, but classic stories like The Great Gatsby or Fahrenheit 451. And while these classics have long influenced our education and our overall culture, one could make an argument that so have graphic novels like Maus and The Watchmen. These comic book stories have served to shape and influence our youth and culture just as much as any of the classics we read in school, yet they are rarely represented and acknowledged as influential.
 

The University of Cambridge, the second oldest University in the UK and one of the most distinguished in the world, has recognized the influence comic books, graphic novels, video games, blogs and even fan fiction as having an impact on our youth, and as a result have made a point to study them at the University of Cambridge's Literature Center.

Professor Maria Nikolajeva, who is the [University of Cambridge's Literature] centre’s first director, said: “Everybody can remember a book or a film from their childhood that played a role in shaping the way they understand the world around them. “For children, these are often secret and sacred places that they can go to and we need to study them if we want to improve their education and development. It’s easy to say that these things are just kids’ fashions or that they’re trash, but I don’t believe that’s good enough.”

“We live in a multimedia society. If we just pretend these things do not exist, we could lose a very important dimension of children’s competence at interpreting stories. Even to be a video-game player you need to learn something.

“Children’s literature and culture are not created in a vacuum: you need the social context. If what we regard as trash is popular with young people, we need to know why and whether, as researchers and teachers, we can offer them something that addresses the same needs but also deals with these themes in a critical and ethical way.”


No Caption Provided
Could comic books and graphic novels finally receive the literary credit they deserve? The institute will not only focus on the content within these books, but will also serve to analyze the way they affect and shape our youth, influencing their views on "gender, race and sexuality."  The fact that the medium will be viewed as a tool that helps shape the the identities of children is pretty powerful, and personally, I think it's about time. Comic books and graphic novels have long been disregarded and discredited as literature, when truthfully, many are masterpieces in their own right. What do you think of the new outlook the University of Cambridge has on comic books?

43 Comments

Avatar image for darkdove
Posted By Darkdove

FINALLY

Avatar image for chane
Posted By Chane

Damn, too late...

Avatar image for ms__omega
Posted By ms__omega

About damn time

Avatar image for mimschkin
Posted By mimschkin

Too bad I just started at a different uni :(

Avatar image for 1eyejoker
Posted By 1eyejoker

My college has a class where Watchmen, Persepolis, The Killing Joke, and Maus are required reading. I haven't taken the class, but I think that's pretty cool.
Avatar image for theantivillain
Posted By TheAntiVillain

course needs to be in every college especially at rutgers

Avatar image for swhorl
Posted By swhorl

Aye, it's about time.

Avatar image for _eclipse_
Posted By -Eclipse-

Sweet. 
 
I agree that comic books do help to shape our childhood. Long before I ever started actually collecting the books, I was inspired by Spider-man. Kinda weird to say that a fictional character was my role-model, but the way I acted back then (and the way I still act, really) was very much "What Would Spidey Do?" 
 
The heroes of comic books are excellent role-models for children. And Spider-man manages to deliver his message with humor, which kids most definitely respond to. It's one of the reasons the webhead is one of my favourite characters.

Avatar image for mysteriomaximus
Edited By MysterioMaximus

It’s no secret that the comic book faces an ongoing stigma. In the 1950’s, Superman and Batman were hidden under the bed sheets amongst Playboy. A super powered imagination was considered near pornographic to the staunch conservative adults of the era. Chalk the scarred reputation up to Fredric Wertham’s “Seduction of the Innocent” and the soon-to-be established writer restrictions AKA the Comics Code Authority. Heaven forbid Papa catch you viewing brightly colored spandex and flowing capes, what was then thought to inspire what every red-blooded Christian-American parent dread: latent homosexuality. Hah!

Occasionally comics actually do fit the billing of immature drivel. Throughout the vast and diverse history of one of Americas few genuine art forms, though it pains me to admit it, some really are nothing more then glorified wrestling matches. Fast forward to the 1980’s! We’re publicly shown (through writers like Alan Moore, Neil Gaimen, and Grant Morrison) that the so-called lowly comic books of old inspired brilliance. Since superhero inception, we’ve been introduced to deeply underlined religious parallels, moral motifs, and ethically empathetic power-fantasy themes. It merely takes a keen eye to notice them.

Fantasy has always mainly been considered lesser by the narrow mainstream critics. Heck, comic books were once thought to only appeal to either children or the mentally slow. Most people view it as nothing but mindless amusement; they ignore what’s called applicability and condescendingly criticize those who love things like comics or science-fiction as needing to get out more or having impractical hobbies. Any and all fiction, from classic literature to comic books, no matter how fantastical, can be practically applied to your very real life. This is why we study English, playwrights, or film to begin with. Most people are just too lazy to view entertainment as anything more, that doesn't mean that it can't be made into something sensible. For example: Batman can introduce you into the real-world of psychology, through Thor you can gain knowledge on actual history and mythology, Hellboy for the occult and archaeology, and just the general concept behind all superheroes can educate you on ethnics. The list goes on and on. These stories can act as a springboard toward knowledge, you just have to have an authentic interest in learning. The greatest form of educating is one that's masked in entertainment.   

   

Avatar image for mice_elf
Posted By mice elf

I think the Cambridge lady is actually trying to insult comic books in her quote. Read this section closely:
 
"we can offer something that addresses the same needs but also deals with the themes in a critical and ethical way"
 
She's essentially saying that comics are generally unethical and that the main reason to study them is so they can work out why kids read them and then take out the bits they don't like.

Avatar image for mysteriomaximus
Edited By MysterioMaximus
@mice elf said:

"I think the Cambridge lady is actually trying to insult comic books in her quote. Read this section closely:  "we can offer something that addresses the same needs but also deals with the themes in a critical and ethical way"  She's essentially saying that comics are generally unethical and that the main reason to study them is so they can work out why kids read them and then take out the bits they don't like. "

To be honest, I kind of got that sense too. I didn't so much get "Comics are worthy of respect," but really just "Comics aren't worthy of respect, so why are they respected?" Maybe I'm paranoid. I get so used to people outside of the comic book culture frowning on our passion, most especially the u ppity snobbish College Lit. types.  
Avatar image for overguardian
Posted By Overguardian

Hate to burst the bubble, but Concordia University in Montreal has had a graphic novel course for a few years now. 

Avatar image for mysteriomaximus
Edited By MysterioMaximus
@Overguardian said:

"Hate to burst the bubble, but Concordia University in Montreal has had a graphic novel course for a few years now.  "

While this isn't something new per se, I think Babs is stating that this is one of or the first time a university of some mass esteem is paying comics some notice.
Avatar image for icon
Posted By Icon
@MysterioMaximus said:
"

It’s no secret that the comic book faces an ongoing stigma. In the 1950’s, Superman and Batman were hidden under the bed sheets amongst Playboy. A super powered imagination was considered near pornographic to the staunch conservative adults of the era. Chalk the scarred reputation up to Fredric Wertham’s “Seduction of the Innocent” and the soon-to-be established writer restrictions AKA the Comics Code Authority. Heaven forbid Papa catch you viewing brightly colored spandex and flowing capes, what was then thought to inspire what every red-blooded Christian-American parent dread: latent homosexuality. Hah!

Occasionally comics actually do fit the billing of immature drivel. Throughout the vast and diverse history of one of Americas few genuine art forms, though it pains me to admit it, some really are nothing more then glorified wrestling matches. Fast forward to the 1980’s! We’re publicly shown (through writers like Alan Moore, Neil Gaimen, and Grant Morrison) that the so-called lowly comic books of old inspired brilliance. Since superhero inception, we’ve been introduced to deeply underlined religious parallels, moral motifs, and ethically empathetic power-fantasy themes. It merely takes a keen eye to notice them.

Fantasy has always mainly been considered lesser by the narrow mainstream critics. Heck, comic books were once thought to only appeal to either children or the mentally slow. Most people view it as nothing but mindless amusement; they ignore what’s called applicability and condescendingly criticize those who love things like comics or science-fiction as needing to get out more or having impractical hobbies. Any and all fiction, from classic literature to comic books, no matter how fantastical, can be practically applied to your very real life. This is why we study English, playwrights, or film to begin with. Most people are just too lazy to view entertainment as anything more, that doesn't mean that it can't be made into something sensible. For example: Batman can introduce you into the real-world of psychology, through Thor you can gain knowledge on actual history and mythology, Hellboy for the occult and archaeology, and just the general concept behind all superheroes can educate you on ethnics. The list goes on and on. These stories can act as a springboard toward knowledge, you just have to have an authentic interest in learning. The greatest form of educating is one that's masked in entertainment.   

   

"
Well said.
Avatar image for 4essence
Posted By 4Essence

Well I think that the university's study of comic books' effects on the youth is probably most relevant to society nowadays. I think it's obvious that more kids now than ever are reading comic books. I mean 10 or 15 years ago, this topic would be overlooked. I believe I am stating the obvious here, but the success of the comic book industry today began with cinema at the tail end of the 20th century with films like Blade, then coming into the 21st with X-Men and Spiderman. I think that this program is great and love that comics are getting recognition beyond the monetary value of old and rare issues.  
 
But the truth is comics really haven't had the respect they deserved. Even back in the day, we can find comics that are just as profound and full of literary worth as any of today's best. From Siegel and Shuster's Superman, to Kane's Batman to Eisner's Spirit, and Fox's Justice Society of America. The door that was opened by these gents was of course walked through by the familiar names of Lee and Kirby and was capitalized some 20 years later by the likes of Moore and Gibbons, Miller, and the unsing hero: Gruenwald. But of course we all here know this more or less. I just think that comics should be looked at more than just how they shape children, but what they have to say about ethics (Watchmen, Squadron Supreme), culture (the prejudice in X-Men, and the national pride in Captain America), how they compare to classical literature (i.e. the battle of Homer's Iliad between the Trojans and Achaians and the war between the various super camps and their respected villains), and even just as beautiful pieces of art (Any of Eisner's stuff and Watchmen). And of course the list of foci can go on and on from their implementation of philosophies, society, and history; even to commentaries on contemporary fashion. To me these sound like the same kind of analyses that have been respecfully attributed to literature; so why not comics?
 
I for one am glad to see comic books getting their deserved attention (albeit it's only a start), so that one day we may see fine pieces of literature such as The Iliad, Crime and Punishment, and Oedipus Rex sharing shelf space with Watchmen. 
 
Avatar image for ms__invisible
Posted By Ms. Invisible

Good to see comic books coming forward. Comics books after all a popular culture medium. Why shouldn't they be taken seriously, like any other movie or novel?

Avatar image for mysteriomaximus
Edited By MysterioMaximus
@4Essence said:

"Well I think that the university's study of comic books' effects on the youth is probably most relevant to society nowadays. I think it's obvious that more kids now than ever are reading comic books. "

With all due respect, that's not true at all. Compared to the 40's, 50's, and 60's, comic books are a dying industry and have taken a significant dive when it comes to mass appeal. The analogy I always draw is with the video game industry. What that is to today, the comics business was to yesteryears. All kids read comics back in the day, but how many actually read the actual comics themselves today? Sure they all watch the films, buy the toys, and wake up Saturday mornings for the cartoons, but the actual comics are something else entirely. It’s become an adult driven medium. This is exactly why they branched out into the field of films and video games, to get more mass attention, so the major companies like Marvel and DC wouldn’t go extinct. This is also probably why comics are getting their long overdue praise now, film attracts more people and when it's done seriously, it'll garner serious analysis.

Avatar image for frogger
Posted By frogger
@mice elf: She's essentially saying that comics are generally unethical and that the main reason to study them is so they can work out why kids read them and then take out the bits they don't like.        

Youre damn right. This woman has no intention on giving comics credit as literature. She is admitting comic books are trash then saying its only needs to be studied because its popular trash.
Avatar image for greenenvy
Posted By greenenvy

I been wanting and waiting for this to happen for a long time now. I hope my colleges have this kind of thing because I will take it. I am going to a writer some way or form so I would love to study comics as a form of literature.
Avatar image for marshal_victory
Posted By Marshal Victory

When i seen it was at a collage said to my self this is not good.Haveing had a few bad experiances with teachers telling me what to read an who to vote for im leary of this .An no i wasnt a student at the collage either.
Avatar image for agent_buttons
Posted By Agent Buttons
Whoa.
Avatar image for crazed_h3ro
Posted By crazed_h3ro

Its about time LOL ^_^

Avatar image for edwardwindsor
Posted By EdwardWindsor

dam just finished uni last year i would love to do that course thou lol

Avatar image for 4essence
Posted By 4Essence
@MysterioMaximus:
Ah. Okay I do see error in my statement there. That is definitely  true, MM. Shoulda known that. 
I'm actually barely 20 years old, but been reading the funny pages since the age of 3. But to be honest, though i did love some of them, the movies and the video games have never given me the feeling I that when I read an issue. 
 
But can I ask you this, do you think that comic books and thier related materials are a bit more socially acceptible than they were in the 60's. As in the kid who reads them is not neccessarily afraid to admit that he enjoys superheroes? Though I don't know for certain, I do know that before Spider-Man came out in theaters, my twin brother and I were the only ones in my entire class to read comic books. Now it seems that if I were in grade school now, that ratio would be changed a fair amount.
Avatar image for iloverobots
Posted By iloverobots

I saw both Maus and Watchmen at my University library last semester. I'm pretty sure they're for an english class (I got to a french university) that's about different kinds of stories, including novels and graphic novels. Also, for the first couple of weeks of this semester, I noticed a few people coming in the local comics shop while I was there asking for "a package for a class" - though I don't have any details they were all leaving with a nice stack of graphic novels, also including Watchmen and Maus. 
 
I'm not surprised by this. I have a friend studying fine arts, and one of her assignment was to make a few comic panels inspired by a song. Comics are part of pop culture now, it's right to assume we'll start seeing them more and more in schools.

Avatar image for m_man360
Posted By m_man360

This sounds interesting but it won’t work with the new generation of kids because 90% of them don’t read comic books. It’s all just Gears Of War and MTV these days.

Avatar image for m_man360
Posted By m_man360

This sounds interesting but it won’t work with the new generation of kids because 90% of them don’t read comic books. It’s all just Gears Of War and MTV these days.

Avatar image for kitschy
Posted By Kitschy

As a published writer and current educator, this sort of press release always has me a bit weary.   I'll explain why:
 
I'm currently finishing up my PhD and teaching a classical literature course at a university for the second straight semester.  I actively encourage students to make connections between classical heroes and myths and those they see in modern comic books and video games.  I'm consistently pleased to see how often students draw fantastic parallels and think critically about how these mediums (comics and games) explore the human condition.  
 
This is why this sort of press release always has me a bit weary.  Sure, it's Cambridge trying to draw attention to itself while trying to maintain its status as a major player in the academic world, but as so many here have already pointed out, the critical study of comics and graphic novels in universities around the world is nothing new.  Cambridge is certainly trying to add legitimacy to its endeavor by claiming that their research is all about the impact of comics on children.  This is always the calling card of those trying to grab media attention: just make everything seem that it's for the benefit of children and understanding kids.   But in doing so, these studies sometimes pigeonhole the medium they study as simply "kids stuff." 
 
A similar thing has been happening for years as video games try to shake off the stigma of being "murder simulators" as academics worldwide (most of who know nothing about the medium) analyze games and their impact on children.  We see far less attention being paid to college programs and courses that study games in critical ways via litarary, social, political, or psychological perspectives.  
 
Currently, in addition to my course on classical literature, I was able to convince the department to approve a class in which I use the Final Fantasy series as the basis for studying the creation of  modern myth and how the reverence paid to the series by the fan community mirrors that of classical civilizations in the development of their respective pantheons and mythological traditions.  Meanwhile, a fellow professor in my literature department teaches two courses on comics and graphic novels while another teaches literary theory and uses the Green Lantern and the symbolism in the series as the core material for the study of Semiology.  Years ago, yet another professor in our department had to bust their butt just to get a course on science fiction approved.  It was a major success that helped pave the way for courses on comics and video games that our department is so open to offer today.  
 
More important than what Cambridge is doing in terms of comics and their impact on youth would be to get some recognition for programs at other universities that legitimize mediums of science fiction, comic books, and video games as serious mediums packed with rich explorations of the human condition that are worthy of academic study. 

Avatar image for overguardian
Posted By Overguardian
@MysterioMaximus: Mass esteem? 
What does that have to do with it? Just because a school with lots of money and prestige is studying comics it makes it more newsworthy? I'm as big a proponent as anyone of comics and graphic novels as a serious artform as anyone, but the fact that fancy-schmancy school is jumping on the bandwagon isn't a landmark victory. 

Not to go on a rant, but I really hate how places like Harvard and Yale and held up as these glistening paragons of education. How intelligent someone is isn't determined by what school they go to, but by their own willingness to learn. A harvard grad can be outsmarted by someone from a "lower" school. They're only considered "prestigious" because they have insane amounts of money, have alot of famous graduates, and its really hard to get in.  I don't really see how that makes it "better"
Avatar image for ravaginghamster
Posted By RavagingHamster

SWEEEET!!
Avatar image for jimmykudo09
Posted By JimmyKudo09

I've had to read Maus twice during school as a required reading in both eighth grade (2007), and sophmore year (2009).  Also I have seen and read several comic book versions of many books that are considered quality literature.  Some examples of these are:  "The Portrait of Dorian Gray" and several of Edgar Allen Poe's poems and stories including "The Raven" which I read just last week. 

Avatar image for jimmykudo09
Posted By JimmyKudo09
@Kitschy said:
"As a published writer and current educator, this sort of press release always has me a bit weary.   I'll explain why: I'm currently finishing up my PhD and teaching a classical literature course at a university for the second straight semester.  I actively encourage students to make connections between classical heroes and myths and those they see in modern comic books and video games.  I'm consistently pleased to see how often students draw fantastic parallels and think critically about how these mediums (comics and games) explore the human condition.    This is why this sort of press release always has me a bit weary.  Sure, it's Cambridge trying to draw attention to itself while trying to maintain its status as a major player in the academic world, but as so many here have already pointed out, the critical study of comics and graphic novels in universities around the world is nothing new.  Cambridge is certainly trying to add legitimacy to its endeavor by claiming that their research is all about the impact of comics on children.  This is always the calling card of those trying to grab media attention: just make everything seem that it's for the benefit of children and understanding kids.   But in doing so, these studies sometimes pigeonhole the medium they study as simply "kids stuff."   A similar thing has been happening for years as video games try to shake off the stigma of being "murder simulators" as academics worldwide (most of who know nothing about the medium) analyze games and their impact on children.  We see far less attention being paid to college programs and courses that study games in critical ways via litarary, social, political, or psychological perspectives.    Currently, in addition to my course on classical literature, I was able to convince the department to approve a class in which I use the Final Fantasy series as the basis for studying the creation of  modern myth and how the reverence paid to the series by the fan community mirrors that of classical civilizations in the development of their respective pantheons and mythological traditions.  Meanwhile, a fellow professor in my literature department teaches two courses on comics and graphic novels while another teaches literary theory and uses the Green Lantern and the symbolism in the series as the core material for the study of Semiology.  Years ago, yet another professor in our department had to bust their butt just to get a course on science fiction approved.  It was a major success that helped pave the way for courses on comics and video games that our department is so open to offer today.    More important than what Cambridge is doing in terms of comics and their impact on youth would be to get some recognition for programs at other universities that legitimize mediums of science fiction, comic books, and video games as serious mediums packed with rich explorations of the human condition that are worthy of academic study.  "

I totally agree. 
P.S. Best avatar I have seen so far on this site.  I love The Boondocks.
Avatar image for rabbit_tots
Posted By Rabbit Tots
Finally, our needs are being met.
Avatar image for illyana_rasputin
Posted By Illyana Rasputin

I think ANY course that encourages literacy at this point in time is a good thing.
Avatar image for mysteriomaximus
Edited By MysterioMaximus
@4Essence said:

"@MysterioMaximus: Ah. Okay I do see error in my statement there. That is definitely  true, MM. Shoulda known that. I'm actually barely 20 years old, but been reading the funny pages since the age of 3. But to be honest, though i did love some of them, the movies and the video games have never given me the feeling I that when I read an issue.  But can I ask you this, do you think that comic books and thier related materials are a bit more socially acceptible than they were in the 60's. As in the kid who reads them is not neccessarily afraid to admit that he enjoys superheroes? Though I don't know for certain, I do know that before Spider-Man came out in theaters, my twin brother and I were the only ones in my entire class to read comic books. Now it seems that if I were in grade school now, that ratio would be changed a fair amount. "


Oh no, it's okay! I don’t mean to sounds like some snobbish know-it-all trying to show you up or anything. It's something not a lot of people do know. In fact, I don't know why I know this (usually) pointless old-timey comic book trivia. Hah! It's all my dad’s doing. He raised me on books twice my age, far before my time. So when kids were gaga over Venom and Carnage on my playground, I was that budding little eccentric obsessed over the guy with the freaking fishbowl head. I’m one diehard Silver Age Marvel fan, pretty big on Golden Age DC too. And for Bronze…while most people consider that ancient these days, in my world it’s new by comparison. Comic Book sales wise it does feel like a boom, but that’s only comparatively. Considering the humongous comic oversaturation of the 90’s that nearly (literally) finished the industry for good, Marvel even filed for bankruptcy at one point, we’re doing much better. But truly that’s as much the film and video game properties faults (if not more so) as it’s the comics themselves.

As for socially accepted, totally! What we lost is comic sales, we gained in respect. And while I think we’ll always encounter some pulp prejudice, as I call it, it’s not nearly as common today. See you have to remember that these characters are so universally beloved and recognizable, but that’s not necessarily due to the comic books, though that may be their main medium. I cannot lie; I get somewhat annoyed with those “Batman” or “X-men” fans that haven’t read a single issue. To me that’s just what we call a poser, but the sad truth is that the audiences are filled with them, so in turn they’re directly responsible for the comic book revere. They buy tickets, big numbers creates mass appeal, mass appeal will (eventually) garner analysis and simply put, there’s been a lot to comic books since inception, it just wasn’t usually overtly noticeable.    

Avatar image for mysteriomaximus
Edited By MysterioMaximus
@Overguardian said:

" @MysterioMaximus: Mass esteem? What does that have to do with it? Just because a school with lots of money and prestige is studying comics it makes it more newsworthy? I'm as big a proponent as anyone of comics and graphic novels as a serious artform as anyone, but the fact that fancy-schmancy school is jumping on the bandwagon isn't a landmark victory. Not to go on a rant, but I really hate how places like Harvard and Yale and held up as these glistening paragons of education. How intelligent someone is isn't determined by what school they go to, but by their own willingness to learn. A harvard grad can be outsmarted by someone from a "lower" school. They're only considered "prestigious" because they have insane amounts of money, have alot of famous graduates, and its really hard to get in.  I don't really see how that makes it "better" "

And I don’t disagree, I’ve even literally spoken aloud what you’re saying for years, but speaking from a sociological perspective, face fact…people consider universities of different caliber. And honestly some are, that doesn’t mean Harvard U. Harry is technically brighter than Community College Colin. I graduated third in my class of over some thousand at my High School. I won writing awards granted to me from some writer’s organization run by the state of Pennsylvania, some uppity mumbo-jumbo something like that, but because I came out of a relatively poor community, thus it’s assumed I’m just a top dog of an inferior breed. It doesn’t amount to much of any accomplishment in the eyes of the holier-than-thou board of education officials at someplace like Harvard or Yale.  
 
There’s somewhat a social misconception that goes along with college just in general. I absolutely agree. A degree doesn’t truly prove anything but that you spent money for an education. It doesn’t dilute to superior intelligence compared to those that didn’t go to a university at all. You can educate yourself, you just need an authentic interest in learning, which (in my experience) most people don't have. To learn, they need forced to learn. In fact, I’ve argued that in this day and age, you can learn everything you gain from college textbooks in theory for free on the internet, college merely provides the practice and proof that you did. Those that put their effort into "higher education" will always deem this a controversial statement, but that's only because they interpret it as you downgrading their effort.  
 
The sad truth is that the reason you’re encouraged to pursue further education outside of High School isn’t because you can’t be of college level intellect on your own, it means that you’ll just have your intellect on paper, which is what jobs desire - factual evidence of your intelligence. Again this doesn't mean you can't be of college or higher level intellect without it. The sad irony is that some of the world’s most intellectual people might not go further than senior year of their public school system and not be able to hold anything but a janitorial job down, whereas George W. Bush becomes president. College is entirely stoked by a social stigma, but that’s just it…if you don’t go and you are indeed smart, you have to expect to eventually defend your intellect. There will always be those that will try to prove superiority. It’s human nature, biologically speaking. You can hate the stigma all you want, I certainly know I do, but you have to conform (if you most likely want to be successful) and accept that it is what it is. So ultimately, as far as I’m concerned, how isn’t a “college of esteem” giving a possible nod in the direction of comics newsworthy?   

 

Avatar image for john_valentine
Posted By John Valentine
@mice elf said:
" I think the Cambridge lady is actually trying to insult comic books in her quote. Read this section closely:  "we can offer something that addresses the same needs but also deals with the themes in a critical and ethical way"  She's essentially saying that comics are generally unethical and that the main reason to study them is so they can work out why kids read them and then take out the bits they don't like. "
No, she's not.  
 
@mimschkin said:
" Too bad I just started at a different uni :( "
Too bad you wouldn't get in. BOOM.
Avatar image for 04nbod
Posted By 04nbod

Why the focus on children? You can see the snobbery shine though

Avatar image for matezoide2
Posted By Matezoide2

i may have to watch V for Vendetta in my class for a job

Avatar image for tetryq
Posted By tetryq
@Ms. Invisible said:

" Good to see comic books coming forward. Comics books after all a popular culture medium. Why shouldn't they be taken seriously, like any other movie or novel? "

I think they are treated seriously, at least by some people. Check out such books as e.g :
Scott McCloud 'Understanding Comics' or  Will Eisner  'Comics and Sequential Art'.
 
My uni, although not so popular as Cambridge, has too a course about comics and other visual arts. And I assume that there are more courses like that at universities all around the globe. cheerio.
Avatar image for dondasch
Posted By dondasch

I could not be happier.  This completely validates my own viewpoint about comics and graphic novels as a critical medium, as well as others on this site.  Well done Cambridge!  How I'd love to study there on Maus or Watchmen

Avatar image for mimschkin
Edited By mimschkin
@John Valentine said:

  @mimschkin said:

" Too bad I just started at a different uni :( "
"Too bad you wouldn't get in. BOOM. "
That was harsh :(
Avatar image for the_mast
Posted By The Mast

I've been into comic books since I was six years old, with my love for them undying right up until today as I type this; a 24 year old man.
 
You can call me bitter and elitist all you want for saying this, but I'm gonna say it because it needs saying. The very fact that the kind of people who bullied the shit out of me for reading comic books are now taking their girls out on dates to the movies to see Iron Man, is sickening to me. The fact that girls who wouldn't have looked the way of ANY geek, are now speaking of their love for "geek chic" and "nerds are the new cool", is sickening to me.
 
This is a major plus for comics, this kind of credible backing, but why are we acting like comics need it? Comics don't need the support from people who wouldn't have otherwise gave a shit. So what, now we're gonna get people saying: "We accept comics as credible.". Thanks, we've known that.