From Underground to Everywhere
This event includes a book signing
February 9, 2018
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes Northeastern University professor and comics scholar HILLARY CHUTE for a discussion of her latest book, Why Comics?: From Underground to Everywhere. This event is co-sponsored by the Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College
About Why Comics?
The massive impact that comics have had on our culture becomes more and more clear every day, from the critically acclaimed musical Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel’s groundbreaking comic, to the dozens of superhero films hitting cinemas every year. What is it that makes comics so special? What can this unique art form do that others can’t?
In Why Comics?, comics scholar Hillary Chute reveals the history of comics, underground comics (or comix), and graphic novels, through deep thematic analysis, and fascinating portraits of the fearless men and women behind them. As Scott McCloud revealed the methods behind comics and the way they worked in his classic Understanding Comics, Chute will reveal the themes that Comics handle best, and how the form is uniquely equipped to explore them.
The topics Why Comics? include:
• Why Disaster: with such major works focusing on disasters, from Art Spiegelman’s work, which covers the Holocaust and 9/11 to Keiji Nakazawa’s work covering Hiroshima, comics find themselves uniquely suited to convey the scale and disorientation of disaster.
• Why Suburbs: through the work of Chris Ware and Charles Burns, Chute reveals the fascinating ways that Comics illustrate the quiet joys and struggles of suburban existence.
• Why Punk: With an emphasis on DIY aesthetics and rebelling against what came before, the Punk movement would prove to be a fertile ground for some of the most significant modern cartoonists, creating a truly democratic art form.
Chute has created an indispensable guide to comics for those new to the genre, or those who want to understand more about what lies behind their favorite works.
“In her wonderful book, Hillary Chute suggests that we’re in a blooming, expanding era of the art . . . Chute’s often lovely, sensitive discussions of individual expression in independent comics seem so right and true.” —New York Times Book Review
“Chute clearly has a deep understanding of, experience with, and affinity for comics culture. Best of all, though she analyzes with an academic’s rigor and supports her themes with extensive research, she doesn’t write like a professor . . . For anyone who wants a crash course in contemporary comics or wants to teach one, this is your book.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Chute elevates comics to literature when dissecting panels, text, and drawing techniques in the more than 100 reprints within the book.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“Why Comics? is a riveting compendium of history, humor, politics, punk, sex, violence, and the occasional superhero. Hillary Chute has given us the stories behind some of the most subversive literature of our time. You want to read this book.” —Lauren Redniss
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.
While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.
Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:
- Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
- Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
- Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.
Ordering a signed book by phone:
- Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
- If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.
Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.
Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!
Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.
I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.
More questions? Give us a call!
Harvard Book Store's Friday Forum series takes place on Friday afternoons during the academic year as a way to highlight scholarly books in a wide range of fields, with a particular focus on local scholars.
The Suzy Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College was established by a generous gift from Susan and Donald Newhouse in 2004 to promote innovative, imaginative and influential research in the humanities, broadly defined. Its mission is to promote and enhance creative, critical thinking in the humanities and the wider arts. Learn more at https://www.wellesley.edu/newhouse.
Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
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