University College Lecturer Publishes Graphic Novel Book

Dr Thomas Giddens, Lecturer in Law at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham has co-edited a book that explores the critical depth of comics and graphic novels.

Cultural Excavation and Formal Expression in the Graphic Novel (Oxford: ID Press, 2013) has been co-edited by Dr Giddens and Jonathan C Evans, PhD student at Texas Woman’s University, Texas, USA.

Incorporating chapters from authors all over the world, this volume examines and expounds the rich tapestry of meanings, expressions and cultural insights found in the medium of graphic fiction. From concerns with comics’ definition and history, to examinations of both seminal and neglected works as well as the medium’s future, Cultural Excavation and Formal Expression in the Graphic Novel, demonstrates the deeply ingrained relevance of comics to contemporary culture.

The graphic novel is an artefact of visual images and written words; a complex and expressive form of tackling a multitude of issues and themes across the globe. It is a tool of self-expression and personal identity; of cultural understanding and philosophical exploration; of history and hope. Comics and graphic novels traverse themes such as heroism, identity, philosophy, gender, history and colonialism, and these are just some of the topics explored in this diverse collection of perspectives and analyses.

About the book Dr Giddens said, “This work is part of my general research trajectory, looking at the intersection of comics and graphic fiction with the concerns of law and justice. This volume clearly demonstrates the medium’s potential as a cultural resource across a wide range of topics, and my future work will look more specifically at the form’s legal and justice dimensions.”