- What Kind of Studies Is Comics Studies?
- Why There Is No “Language of Comics”
- In Box: Rethinking Text in the Digital Age
- What Else Is a Comic? Between Bayeux and <i>Beano</i>
- Reading Spaces: The Politics of Page Layout
- Comics as Art
- The Cartoon on the Comics Page: A Phenomenology
- All By Myself: Single-Panel Comics and the Question of Genre
- Drawing, Redrawing, and Undrawing
- Bakhtinian Laughter and Recent Political Editorial Cartoons
- Columbia and the Editorial Cartoon
- Efficacy of Social Commentary through Cartooning
- Radical Graphics: Australian Second-Phase Comics
- Self-Regulation and Self-Censorship: Comics Creators in Czechoslovakia and Communist Eastern Bloc
- This Is Who I Am: Hybridity and Materiality in Comics Memoir
- Auto/biographics and Graphic Histories Made for the Classroom: <i>Logicomix</i> and <i>Abina and the Important Men</i>
- Ambiguity in Parallel: Visualizing History in <i>Boxers</i> and <i>Saints</i>
- Irony, Ethics, and Lyric Narrative in Miriam Engelberg’s <i>Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person</i>
- Animals in Graphic Narrative
- Disco, Derby, and Drag: The Queer Politics of Marvel’s Dazzler
- The Replacements: Ethnicity, Gender, and Legacy Heroes in Marvel Comics
- Hammer in Hand: Feminist Community Building in Jason Aaron’s <i>Thor</i>
- When Feminism Went to Market: Issues in Feminist Anthology Comics of the 1980s and ’90s
- Children in Comics: Between Education and Entertainment, Conformity and Agency
- I’m Not a Kid; I’m a Shark!: Identity Fluidity in Noelle Stevenson’s Young-Adult Graphic Novels
- Forgetting at the Intersection of Comics and the Multimodal Novel: James Sie’s <i>Still Life Las Vegas</i>
- <i>My Favorite Thing Is Monsters</i>: The Socially Engaged Graphic Novel as a Platform for Intersectional Feminism
- Paper or Plastic? Mapping the Transmedial Intersections of Comics and Action Figures
- Transformative Architectures in Postcolonial Hong Kong Comics
- Adaptation and Racial Representation in Dell/Gold Key TV Tie-ins
- Candy and Drugs for Dinner: <i>Rat Queens</i>, Genre, and Our Aesthetic Categories
- Non-Compliants, Brimpers, and She-Romps: <i>Bitch Planet, Sex Criminals</i>, and Their Publics
- Literary Adaptations in Comics and Graphic Novels
- Comics Studies in America: The Making of a Field of Scholarship?
- Next Issue: Anticipation and Promise in Comics Studies
- Comics Studies as Interdiscipline
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter provides an analysis of Gene Luen Yang’s two-volume set Boxers and Saints, which offers historical fiction about the Boxer Uprising in the visual medium of comics. Embedded with numerous historical references, these graphic narratives unfold around two fictional characters who represent the complexity of a particularly contested period in Chinese history. Little Bao (a Boxer who is inspired by nationalism) and Four-Girl (a Christian convert who seeks belonging through faith) are on opposite sides of the conflict at the time, thus presenting parallel stories that prompt the reader to contemplate the nuances in the historical past. Both characters come to terms with who they are and what they believe in while being spiritually guided by the first Chinese emperor Ch’in Shih-huang and Joan of Arc, respectively. This chapter discusses how Yang’s work visualizes the intersectional images of the “thousand palms with eyes” of Guan Yin (the Buddhist goddess of compassion) and of Jesus Christ and how they present what Paul A. Cohen has called a “historically reconstructed past” in which the Boxers and the Chinese Christians’ encounters are visualized as “event, experience and myth” at the end of the nineteenth century.
Lan Dong is the author of Reading Amy Tan (2009), Who’s the Real Mulan: The Woman Warrior’s Cross-Cultural Journey (tentative title, forthcoming 2010), and several articles and book chapters on Asian and Asian American literature and films, children’s literature, and comics. She is currently editing a collection of critical essays on transnational Asian American heroines and another volume on teaching graphic narratives in the literature classroom. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature and is Assistant Professor of English at University of Illinois Springfield where she teaches Asian American literature and culture, world literature, and graphic narratives.
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