Where Do Graphic Novels Come From?

Contrary to the myths inherited from the 80s and later, the graphic novel was not invented or made popular exclusively by Will Eisner or his manager. In my latest Patreon project I dig into the origins of the graphic novel format and I also explore the origins of the term. A teaser of the project is now available for anyone on my website.

The project itself is longer than this teaser and is more argumentative. It is based on Dreaming the Graphic Novel by Paul Williams (Rutgers UP, 2020). I absolutely recommend this book. And my Patreon! Have I mentioned my Patreon in this paragraph yet?

The project on Patreon (ha!) shows that in the 60s and 70s many people had many ideas about how comics should be rethought. Yes, creators, publishers, editors, retailers thought that comics was in need of some change.

I do not dwell on this moral and financial crisis for long in my Patreon project (check!) , instead, I show the diversity of things people were doing and thinking AT THE SAME TIME. This is a dynamic and exciting age: noone knew that the graphic novel will turn out to be successful. They did not know it would be called graphic novel!

Why Patreon? I am experimenting with new formats to keep on doing research, thinking, and discussing ideas. As some of you know, I am outside Academia, which gives me a hard time, but I have watched dozens of Neil Gaiman motivational speeches and I am actively looking for alternative ways to share what I know and to learn from you all.

Distinguished guests, behold the project teaser:

The argumentation and further details of how people were experimenting with long format comics is available on Patreon, where my previous project is also available: You can also listen to an audio/podcast/thing on Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea cycle. Here is the link: patreon.com/eszterszep