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Why Comics?: From Underground to Everywhere by Hillary Chute

January 25, 2018

In an illuminating and far-ranging conversation, Hillary Chute and New Yorker writer Sarah Larson will discuss Chute’s new book, Why Comics? and the answers to other key questions it raises: What is the essence of comics’ appeal? What does this art form do that others can’t?

Why Comics? explores how comics represents ten major themes—disaster, superheroes, sex, the suburbs, cities, punk, illness and disability, girls, war, and queerness—unpacking the unique storytelling capacity of the form. Chute delves into the fascinating careers of famous comic artists, featuring over 100 full-color reproductions of essential pages and panels, including some never-before- reprinted images from comics legends.

A book signing and reception will follow the presentation.

“When it comes to comics, Hillary Chute asks all the right questions.” — Scott McCloud

“Hillary Chute, who may be to comics studies what Art Spiegelman is to comics, brings her academic rigor to an examination of this oft under-appreciated art form.” — Karen Green

“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

“Hillary Chute is the scholar comics has been waiting for—passionate, eloquent, encyclopedically knowledgeable, and profoundly in sync with the medium.” — Lev Grossman

“Why Comics? is as entertaining as it is revelatory, and Hillary Chute is one of the most engaging thinkers afoot in criticism today. Ideas tumble from these pages.” — Michael Tisserand

Hillary Chute:
Hillary Chute is an expert on comics and graphic narratives, professor of English and Art + Design at Northeastern University, and the author of numerous books on comics as an art form.

Sarah Larson:
Sarah Larson is a staff writer at The New Yorker.

Tickets: Online ticket sales are closed. Tickets available to purchase at the door.
$15 Non-Members | $10 Members | $7 Seniors/ students (Undergrad with valid ID)


January 25, 2018
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