The History of the Graphic Novel

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Taught by Sarah McDaniel Dyer

Sarah McDaniel Dyer is the Editor in Chief of Old Timey Hedgehog, a nerd publishing startup. In other lives, she has worked at too many odd jobs to count, but notably was an Adjunct Lecturer at TCI and an Editorial Assistant at Harlequin Books. In her spare time she can be found haunting local comic shops probably reading the latest edition of Hawkeye. 


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In the 1940’s, nearly every American child, regardless of gender, read a steady diet of comic books. At best, they were regarded harmless children’s entertainment and, at worst, they were considered a bad influence and a sign of trouble. For decades, comics remained a subversive medium, mostly ignored by the mainstream until the 1980’s ushered in a new class of comics.

As comics started getting more critical notoriety, a new name was coined and Graphic Novels became the hot new thing in publishing. But whether you call them graphic novels, illustrated novels, or just plain comic books, the history of this literary genre is longer than most people realize.

See where it all began and go beyond the caped crusaders in this brief history of Graphic Novels. We’ll talk about how the medium got to where it is today as well as discuss why comics are worth studying.

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