I am totally thrilled and mesmerized. I feel flattered by the care and attention of the editors and designers at the Ohio State University Press, and I am particularly grateful to Amanda Weiss, who drew the cover.
The cover of my book represents everything that this book is about: first, the vulnerability of bodies, which includes that the onlooker can also experience the vulnerability of his or her body when looking at other bodies. Second, the line: I adore that this cover uses multiple pens and pencils and plays with the qualities of lines used to draw the body. Third: markmaking by hand is actually a thinking process. Fourth, the background invites touch and haptic perception. I am totally in love.
“The exuberance of the prose and lovely phrasing beautifully offset the topic, which is exceptionally well-researched as well as being very clearly elaborated. The book was a pleasure to read and has the potential to reshape scholarly engagements with the material and affective dimensions of comics reading processes.” —Kate Polak, author of Ethics in the Gutter: Empathy and Historical Fiction in Comics (OSU Press, 2017)
“Eszter Szép’s book provides an analysis of the body that is currently undiscussed in the field, not only filling a gap in existing scholarship but also developing a new lens for analysis that highlights the potential for further research and study.” —Harriet Earle, comics scholar and lecturer
Eszter Szép’s Comics and the Body is the first book to examine the roles of the body in both drawing and reading comics within a single framework. With an explicit emphasis on the ethical dimensions of bodily vulnerability, Szép takes her place at the forefront of scholars examining comics as embodied experiences, pushing this line of inquiry into bold new territory. Focusing on graphic autobiography and reportage, she argues that the bodily performances of creators and readers produce a dialogue that requires both parties to experience and engage with vulnerability, thus presenting a crucial opportunity for ethical encounters between artist and reader. Szép considers visceral representations of bulimia, pregnancy, the effects of STIs, the catastrophic injuries of war, and more in the works of Lynda Barry, Ken Dahl, Katie Green, Miriam Katin, and Joe Sacco. She thus extends comics theory into ethical and psychological territory that finds powerful intersections and resonances with the studies of affect, trauma, gender, and reader response.