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date: 18 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter is a call for comics studies to become a fully interdisciplinary endeavor—an interdiscipline rather than an anti-discipline—and for that move toward interdisciplinarity to occur through reflective practice. The chapter proposes that one way this move might be accomplished is by incorporating methodologies and ways of thinking from the fields of book history and media studies into comics studies. Both book history and media studies demand that scholars be mindful of the commercial publishing contexts of comics, while additionally providing examples of hybrid methodologies that work toward interdisciplinarity in their own right. These questions of interdisciplinarity and methodology are approached through discussions of the 1976 Project, which involves examining a year of traditional output of the American comic book industry. The chapter details how book history and media studies might contribute to comics studies and addresses questions raised by and methodologies needed to examine seven comic books from August 1976.

Keywords: comic books, methodology, interdisciplinarity, book history, media studies, 1976

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